The Black and Decker NSW18 is a compact, lightweight, easy-to-use blower for small jobs around the house. In this review, we’ll tell you everything we found out about this product’s design, performance, quality, and lifespan.
You’ll discover the benefits and drawbacks of owning this machine, giving you a better idea whether or not you want to buy one.
Black and Decker Leaf Blower Pros and Cons
Black and Decker NSW18 Product Highlights
This Black and Decker cordless leaf blower runs on an 18-volt NiCad rechargeable battery. It’s designed for light-duty, occasional cleanup of hard surfaces like driveways, concrete, brick, and stone walkways, and wooden decks and not for typical leaf blowing tasks on the lawn or in the garden.
- 18v leaf blower with NiCad battery
- Air speed 120 MPH
- Air volume 90 cubic feet per minute
- One-speed setting
- Weights 4.7 pounds
- Rechargeable battery and charger included
If you need a lightweight, easy-to-use blower to dust off the lawn furniture, keep paths and patios tidy, or remove light litter from the driveway, this 18v cordless blower might be what you need. However, this blower does not have the air speed or volume for moving piles of leaves and other yard waste on a lawn or other soft surfaces or cleaning up large areas.
The tool is well-balanced, and it has a large, soft-grip handle that’s comfortable to hold and reduces stress on your hand. The overall low weight makes it easy to lift to clean around window and door frames, on shelves, and around lighting fixtures and ceiling fans.
The 18-volt NiCad battery that powers this tool limits the runtime to about 15 or 20 minutes, which is on the low end for battery-powered blowers. NiCad batteries are an older and less expensive type of rechargeable battery, not as common now that lithium-ion batteries are available. However, Li-ion batteries cost more.
NiCad batteries are also heavier than lithium-ion, but Black and Decker still kept the weight of this blower to only 4.7 pounds with the battery installed, making it one of the lighter blowers available.
One drawback of this tool is the location of the air intake grill on the left side of the body housing. The problem is the intake tends to draw in the operator’s clothing when the person holds the tool near their body. The location of the grill seems like an unfortunate design issue, but holding the machine carefully and not wearing loose-fitting clothing can overcome the problem.
We also noted a high proportion of buyers who say they are underwhelmed with the power and quality of construction of this yard tool. The air volume of 90 cfm and top air speed of 120 mph are minimal for a blower and certainly not enough to blow anything but the lightest material. In addition, the plastic housing does not appear durable, and some buyers complain of problems with the motor bearings making noise or not working after less than a year of use.
This blower only has one speed setting for the airflow. So when the machine is on, it’s producing the top air speed and volume all the time. Variable-speed airflow is helpful for some types of work, and not having it might be a problem for some users. However, many people with regular cleanup chores only need a one-speed setting like this machine has.
Another issue we discovered is with reports of the batteries not recharging after only a few uses. However, the Black and Decker warranty covers the battery for the first year, and it’s common for NiCad batteries to have a lifespan of about one year. Thankfully, they are much cheaper than lithium-ion batteries when they need replacement.
This Black and Decker leaf blower is for people who have light-duty dusting and tidying up around their home. The ease of use and low noise level of this tool make it popular for minor, occasional cleanup of pollen, dust, cobwebs, and light leaf litter on hard surfaces like driveways, paths, decks, and shelves. However, the tool does not have power for piling up fall leaves or lawn clippings after mowing, and the quality of manufacture indicates the blower might not last for many seasons.
Black and Decker Cordless Leaf Blower Main Product Features
– Batteries and Recharging
As mentioned above, lithium-ion batteries are a more common power source for battery tools these days. However, the 1.5 Ah 18V NiCad battery in this 18v leaf blower is still widely available and less expensive than Li-ion batteries.
When using a NiCad battery, the power level fades out gradually rather than stopping abruptly, as with lithium batteries. Therefore, it’s crucial to run the battery in this tool down until it is fully discharged. Recharging a partially full NiCad battery causes it to lose runtime and lifespan, a problem known as the memory effect or battery memory. However, if you care for NiCad batteries properly by discharging them fully before recharging and storing them at room temperature, they can be recharged up to 1,000 times before needing replacement.
Recharging the battery takes approximately 90 minutes, but the amount of time depends on whether the charger is a fast charger or a trickle charger. Rapid chargers can reload the battery in about one hour.
The runtime on a fully charged battery average in this device is 15 to 20 minutes, which is low for a battery-powered blower and makes having backup batteries more critical in some situations. However, for many people with tiny houses or apartments, 20 minutes of wind power is enough to get everything done, so this lower runtime isn’t a problem.
The battery for this tool is interchangeable with several other Black and Decker yard tools, including chainsaws, pole saws, and weed trimmers. Having one or more backup batteries from another Black and Decker tool saves time if you have a lot of cleanup to do. This tool is a good choice for people who already have other Black and Decker 18-volt battery tools that are interchangeable with this blower’s battery.
– Air Speed and Air Volume
This Black and Decker leaf blower has a single-speed power switch that produces an air speed of 120 MPH and an air volume of 90 cubic feet per minute (CFM) . When the machine is on, you can’t adjust the air speed in any way, which could be a problem, depending on what type of blowing you need to do.
However, if you are dusting off outdoor furniture, cleaning out a truck bed, removing cobwebs around a doorway, or getting dust and debris off a porch or landing, not having more than one air setting is often not a problem.
This tip of the nozzle is angled to make it more functional on hard surfaces, and the nozzle has a scraper at the end for loosening stuck leaves, old newspaper, and other debris that’s clinging to the pavement. Once the material is released, the pre-set airflow is readily able to blow it aside.
– Weight, Dimensions, Noise Level
With the nozzle attached, the blower is 37 inches long, 10.5 inches high, and 6.5 inches wide with a weight of 4.8 pounds with the battery installed. The noise level measures 65 dB, which is quiet and soft and about the same as many other battery-powered blowers. As a result, this blower is not likely to disturb the neighbors.
The machine has a hole on the bottom for hanging on a bolt, hook, or nail, making it easy to store in a closet, garage, or shed. The compact size also makes this blower easily portable, and with the nozzle removed, it fits comfortably into a Black and Decker soft tool bag.
The tool comes with a 2-Year Black and Decker manufacturer warranty. Included in the purchase are the NSW18 sweeper, one 18-volt NiCad battery, one fast charger, a blower tube in two sections, and a manual with complete instructions on activating and using the warranty service.
Registering the product within 30 days of purchase and retaining the original receipt can make it easier and faster to get warranty service if you need it.
There are some reported problems with this Black and Decker cordless leaf blower, and the company might make improvements to this tool in the future. However, this blower has its place in the world of battery-powered devices for people who have light-duty, occasional cleanup of dust, pollen, light leaf matter, around their house or apartment, especially if they already own 18-Volt Black and Decker yard tools.
On the other hand, if you have a substantial cleanup of fallen leaves, twigs, acorns, and other yard waste, you might want to consider a more powerful battery-powered blower like the BLACK+DECKER LSW221AM 20V Max Lithium Cordless Sweeper.
- 10 Trees Native to Ohio: Vibrant Greens - January 25, 2023
- 6 Ornamental Grasses for Shade: Upgrading the Garden - January 25, 2023
- 12 Driveway Border Landscaping Ideas: Adding Aesthetics - January 25, 2023