Kobalt 80V Blower Review
It's not quite up to gas powered performance yet, but the Kobalt 80V blower is getting closer. Decent air speed and outstanding air volume characterize this step in lithium ion OPE innovation.
Kobalt and Greenworks made waves this year in OPE when they unveiled their 80V lineups. This pushes the power in terms of voltage well beyond the 56V platform we saw from EGO and doubles the standard 40V landscaping tools on the market. We already looked at the Kobalt 80V String Trimmer, which boasted several improvements over last year’s model. Can we expect the same from the new Kobalt 80V Blower?
Kobalt 80V Blower First Impresssions
When I assembled the Kobalt 80V Blower, all I could think was “This looks like a cannon compared to the 40-volt version!” The design has straight blower tube with a diameter of around 3 inches and it slightly tapers off for a focused air-flow. Several brands have moved away from that bent end design that creates air flow resistance, so this is good to see. The handle has a textured rubberized material for a secure and comfortable grip.
The on/off and speed control buttons are at thumb’s length away and are indicated by a green LED light. It’s not a difficult task to make adjustments while in use. The blower has an auditory beep that indicates that it is active when turned on. A battery saving feature will turn the blower off at 1 minute when left on and unused. Once turned on again, it automatically resumes at the previous speed setting. It’s a small detail, but I really appreciate not having to cycle back through speeds to pick up where I left off. With the battery installed, the weight is well balanced and manageable making it easy to maneuver in all directions.
Kobalt 80V Blower Specifications
- Power Source: 80V Max Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- Motor Design: Brushless
- Max Air Flow Volume: 500 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 125 MPH
- Speed Control: 3 speed settings and variable speed trigger
- Run Time: up to 70 minutes on low (manufacturer’s rating)
- Charge Time: 30 minutes (2.0 amp hour battery)
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $249 (includes blower, battery and charger)
Kobalt 80V Blower Performance
At a maximum of 500 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) and 125 MPH, the Kobalt 80V Blower is more than enough to clear debris and lawn clippings off my driveway. While Florida isn’t known for its broad leaf trees, our friends to the North can expect to be able to clear their lawn of leaves pretty effectively. 125 MPH speed isn’t up there with the gas leaf blowers, but 500 CFM volume exceeds many. This trade off means that once you get the debris moving, you’ll be able to keep it moving very well as you push it to your desired location. You’ll just need to be closer than you’re used to with a gas blower.
For those of us that are merely looking at post lawn mowing cleanup, the Kobalt 80V Blower is more than up to the task. Grass clippings turn and run as if the Roman army itself were chasing it down. Even pebbles up to the size of a dime that had escaped my flower beds were easily blown back into their proper place. Most any yard debris left on a hard surface will be hard pressed to resist your will.
I like the option of having 3 variable speeds when more power is needed. However, the trade off on high is here run time (as always). It sucks the life out of the battery quickly at the highest speed. This isn’t unexpected as every lithium-ion blower we’ve reviewed suffers at high speed. It’s simply an indication of just how much power is required to create that kind of speed at a high volume.
The strength of the air movement was noticeable when toggling through different speed settings while it was actively being used. As soon as the highest setting was reached it had enough force to push my arm back. Compared to gas powered options it was quiet and did not have any vibrations.
With a max air speed of 125 MPH and max air volume of 500 CFM it is great to know that a cordless battery powered blower can do a good job for moderate applications. Battery life will vary depending on speed setting. However, the battery will be fully charged in 30 minutes. It is well balanced, maneuverable and performs well.
80 volts is tempting as a gas replacement, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. Run time issues aside, the air speed still needs to come up to make that claim. However, when you compare to the other lithium ion blowers out there, the Kobalt 80V Blower is a compelling choice with the power that it offers. Paired with Kobalt’s 80V mower and string trimmer, you’ll be on a solid platform that is suitable for medium sized yards. If/when we see 4.0 amp hour batteries from Kobalt, I think this will be a line to contend with the top homeowner OPE options on the market.