365btxConsider this the fall answer to our summer items on swimming pool tech (hey, it's a slow day, ok?). With leaves falling from the trees and homeowners griping less about the foliage on their lawns than about the noise generated by leaf blowers, manufacturers have begun touting blowers they claim are significantly quieter than most common models. The Echo PB-460LN Quiet 1, for example, runs at 65 dB, compared to over 90 dB for standard leaf blowers. Husqvarna markets the 356BTx (pictured), which runs at just 64 dB. Manufacturers are also attempting to address the other concern about blowers: emissions, since most are gasoline-powered. The LA Department of Water and Power, however, holds the patent on a battery-powered, zero-emission blower. Needless to say, most of the low-dB blowers aren't cheap; the 356BTx will set you back close to $500. If you really can't stand the noise or smell, and want to spend a little less, consider picking up a rake; a deluxe model can be had for about $50, and won't cause any emissions or fits from peeved neighbors.

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Quiet leaf-blowers attempt to stop epidemic of lawn rage