DeWalt FlexVolt Blower Review
DeWalt designed the FlexVolt OPE line for the Prosumer homeowner, not the commercial lawn care Pro, and that's reflected in the blower.
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Lithium-Ion blowers are the category that every commercial lawn care Pro loves to hate. No matter what the marketing claims, cordless blowers just don’t push the kind of power that Pros need. But where does that leave the property owner that doesn’t need 200 MPH speeds couple with 600 CFM or more? Cordless blowers are right up their alley, actually. If you need further proof of their popularity, look at all the options now available. Following up our review on the FlexVolt String Trimmer, today we’re looking at the DeWalt FlexVolt Blower.
*Editor’s Note: The ratings reflect this blower’s performance in our Cordless Blower Shootout.
DeWalt didn’t stray far from their 40V Max commercial line in the design of the FlexVolt OPE line. That’s pretty evident as the FlexVolt Blower looks like it’s the twin to the 40V Max Blower. Even as most blowers move to an inline design, DeWalt is sticking with the side intake method. That introduces a little rotation in the air flow which is why you see the slight S-curve in the nozzle to reduce it. All of that results in more friction for the air to encounter and a loss of power – even if it’s slight.
You’ll find DeWalt’s cruise control lock for the trigger. It’s a mechanical stop that allows you to dial in a power setting appropriate to the task. It’s not sexy or sophisticated, but it does its job well.
You’ll find a 2-finger, variable speed trigger along with a contoured, overmolded handle that makes for a comfortable grip around the control center. There’s also a lock off switch that’s handy for storing or transporting the tool since there isn’t a trigger safety.
The DeWalt FlexVolt Blower diverges from the 40V Max model in a couple of ways. First, the battery placement is to the left side of the handle rather than beneath it. I liked the placement below the handle since an appendage comes down to protect the battery and give you a stable platform to set the blower on. With the FlexVolt model, your battery is at greater risk if you drop it.
The other change is a pair of nozzles to choose from. The standard wide nozzle gives you up to 423 CFM and 129 MPH. Moving to flat nozzle brings your volume down to 287 but increases the air speed to 175 MPH.
With the battery installed, you’ll notice a slight forward lean to the blower – that’s a good thing. That balance keeps the nozzle pointed toward the ground in front of you so you’re not having to put as much effort into the task.
I use the wide nozzle for most duties. It’s a good bet to clear off the clippings and leaves from the driveway and sidewalks. I’ll also use it to push the leaves away from the fence line as they build up.
The flat nozzle reduces your air volume enough that you’ll only want to use it for stubborn matter. It’s best for wet grass and leaves that you want to get off of the hard surfaces and pathways around your property. It’s not going to do quite as much good moving wet leaves in the grass, though.
Overall, the power isn’t mind blowing, especially if you’re used to a gas blower. But for the homeowner, it does a very nice job of keeping your hard pathways clear.
Runtime is always a matter of interest and of course, it varies depending on the speed you have it set on. Using the 3.0 amp battery that comes with the kit, I ran the blower continuously for 14 minutes, 38 seconds. There was a slight change in motor pitch around 11:30 as the battery dropped down to its last bar.That’s long enough to get the job done, but there are longer-lasting options out there.
If you really want to use the blower on a low speed, you can go for hours – literally. I turned it to the lowest usable speed (blowing dry sawdust with control to get it out the door) and still had three bars after an hour. That’s not most users though.
The Bottom Line
The DeWalt FlexVolt Blower takes the foundation of its design from its 40V Max cousin. The only downside to that is some loss of power due to air friction caused by the side intake accelerating the air around to the main tube that also requires a slight bend to stabilize the rotation. Even though you still get reasonable performance, it will be at least a few percentage points higher by moving to an inline design.
Ergonomics are solid and offer a comfortable grip and appropriate forward leaning balance. The feature set is pretty basic, highlighted by a lock-off switch, mechanical cruise control, and two nozzles.
Performance as I said, is reasonable for property owners. The moderate air speed and volume are great for clearing hard pathways like driveways and sidewalks. However, you’ll be frustrated trying to move wet material on grass. Runtime is good, but not great. On high, you can expect a little under 15 minutes. DeWalt designed the FlexVolt OPE line for the Prosumer homeowner, not the commercial lawn care Pro, and that’s reflected in the blower.
DeWalt FlexVolt Blower Key Features
- Powers through debris at up to 423 CFM of air volume at 129 MPH
- Flat concentrator nozzle increases air speeds to 175 MPH to power through stubborn debris
- High-efficiency brushless motor maximizes run time and motor life
- Variable speed trigger and speed lock for total power control
- Lightweight and ergonomic design maximizes control and minimizes stress on your arm
- Designed to withstand everyday heavy-duty usage
DeWalt FlexVolt Blower Specifications
- Model: DeWalt DCBL770X1
- Power Source: DeWalt FlexVolt 60V Max Battery
- Air Speed: 175 (flat nozzle), 129 (wide nozzle)
- Air Volume: 287 (flat nozzle), 423 (wide nozzle)
- Noise Rating: 67 DB(A)
- Weight: 9.8 pounds
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $249