If you have decks, patios, porches, sidewalks and garages that need to be swept a lot; then chances are that the Black and Decker NS118 18V Blower might work well for you. With a cordless and compact design, this powered hard surface sweeper is easy to maneuver and requires much less effort then a traditional outdoor broom.
Black and Decker NS118 18V Blower Feature
When the Black and Decker NS118 18-Volt Cordless Hard Surface Sweeper & Blower arrived at our facility, we immediately opened the cardboard box and assembled it. Assembly was a cinch, and minimal, consisting of having to merely snap the blower nozzle together. We threw the battery on the charger and plugged it into some power. After a quick read of the specs, we were a little disappointed to find out that the included 18V NiCd battery takes 8 hours to fully charge. We were later told that if you wanted a shorter charge time, that a 2 hour charger (part number FSMVC) is available separately. The body of the sweeper and nozzle is made of plastic which helps to contribute to its light weight. Weighing in at 4.8 pounds with the battery attached, it is light enough that you can easily wield it with a single hand. We found that the balance was pretty good, too, since they located the heavy Ni-Cad battery on the bottom of the back side which is balanced out by the long nozzle on the front. The On and Off switch is in a convenient location so that, when holding the handle, you just use one of your fingers to activate the large paddle style switch.
Black and Decker 18V Hard Surface Sweeper Testing and Use
Like most places, our facility has plenty of hard surfaces that need to be swept off every now and then. With sidewalks all around and some large shop space with overhead doors, we have had plenty of leaves that get blown around both outside and inside. Once the battery was charged up, we installed it on to the Cordless Hard Surface Sweeper & Blower and took it for a spin. We found that when standing with one hand on the handle and our arm hanging at our side, that the business end of the sweeper was just a few inches above the ground. This was the perfect height to blow the leaves and debris off of the sidewalk in front of our office. There was plenty of power and air movement that the leaves were quickly blown out of the way. It was a slightly different story once the leaves got into the flower bed and the grass, though.
There was not sufficient power to continue blowing the leaves once they got into these areas. We also used the Black and Decker NS118 blower in our shop to clear the dust, dirt and leaves that got tracked in. With the overhead doors open, we just blew all the junk out side and across the driveway. Around this time we noticed a dramatic drop in power and finally had to call it quits. On our first mission we used the blower for about 9 minutes straight before the battery needed to be recharged. Since our test model only came with one battery, we had to wait another day to use it some more. After a few more uses we confirmed that the run time is no longer than 10 minutes on a fully charged battery. While this might sound like a total let down, we found that we were able to effectively sweep out our shop and the sidewalk in front of our building in this time frame. Using the Black and Decker NS118 Cordless Hard Surface Sweeper & Blower was faster then sweeping by hand and did not create much more dust in the process than using a broom. Just a note to all of you that might be thinking this is a leaf blower, you will be disappointed because it does not have the gusto or the reserve power to really do a good job at this task. We’d classify it as a light duty broom replacement which, given its name, is exactly how Black and Decker designed this product. For those looking for greater blowing power, check out some of the company’s more advanced models.
The Black and Decker NS118 18-Volt Cordless Hard Surface Sweeper & Blower is pretty much a broom on steroids. It really is not a leaf blower, at least one that you can use to clean up your whole yard. If you do have a lot of hard surfaces around your home, like decks, patios, garages and side walks, this tool sure beats sweeping by hand. If you already own some other Black and Decker 18V Single Source tools, then this is an even better tool to add to your collection (since you will have more batteries and the fast charger). For our Performance rating we gave the sweeper a 4/10 since it really is limited in its use, comes with a super slow charger and just one Ni-cad battery. For our Value Rating, we gave the sweeper a 4/10 due to the fact that, for its meager performance, it costs quite a bit. If you can find it on sale somewhere you’ll get even more satisfaction out of this product.