Troy-Bilt 40V Cordless Blower (TB4300): Product Review
A powerful, well-designed blower that replaces corded and gasoline powered blowers
Looking for a cordless, battery powered leaf blower to handle those really tough landscape and lawn jobs? Well the new Troy-Bilt TB4300 might be just what the doctor ordered. With its 40V, 4.0Ah, (Amp hour) Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) battery, it’s a force to be reckoned with in the 40V lawn and leaf blower market.
I tested the TB4300, which included a 4.0Ah Li-Ion battery and charger.
|Approx. Unit Weight (without battery):||7.90 lbs.|
|Approx. Battery Weight:||3.4 lbs.|
|Approx. Unit weight (incl. battery)||11.3 lbs.|
|Air volume:||545 cfm (cubic feet per minute)|
|Air speed:||125 mph|
|Battery Type*:||40V, 4.0Ah Li-Ion|
|Optimum Charging Temp.:||32 degrees – 104 degree F|
|Battery Charger input:||120V, 60 Hz AC only|
|Battery Charger output:||6A, 42V DC|
|Approx. Charging Time*:||45 mins.|
|Warranty :||5 years / 3 years on battery|
* Troy-Bilt also offers a 6.0Ah Li-Ion battery, which weighs slightly more and takes approximately 60 minutes to charge.
OUT OF THE BOX
The TB4300 comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box, along with the battery charger, a 40V 4.0A Li-Ion battery and the blower tube.
Troy-Bilt also offers a configuration (model TB4300B) that does not include the battery. The TB4300B is offered to those that own other Troy-Bilt CORE products that take the same 40V 4.0A Li-Ion battery and don’t need an extra charger or battery.
The only assembly required is to add the blower tube (the piece that concentrates the airflow) to the end of the blower outlet (the part that is permanently connected to the blower unit). This is a simple matter of aligning the tabs of the blower outlet with the slots of the blower tube and pushing the parts together until the tabs lock into place inside the slots. If you want to store the unit in a tight space, you can simply remove the blower tube from the blower outlet by depressing the outlet tabs and pulling off the blower tube.
Right away, I noticed that the blower has a nice, compact body that neatly houses the battery at the rear of the handle (keeping it out of the way) and what looks like a jet engine turbine blower section. Part of my background was in the aerospace business and I know a jet engine when I see one. This had me intrigued as I wanted to know if some of the vanes in the compressor section of the TB4300 actually turned. More on this later.
Beyond my first impressions, I could feel and see right away that this is a sturdy piece of gear, with aluminum castings, heavy-duty injection molded parts, and excellent fit-and-finish.
Troy-Bilt has developed a new brushless motor and microprocessor-controlled platform called “CORE” technology. So what is CORE anyway, and what makes it unique?
According to Troy-Bilt, power comes from the motor, not the battery. Instead of a typical brushless motor design, the CORE technology uses a state-of-the-art, printed circuit board in the motor that allows it to deliver concentrated, efficient power when and where it’s needed. This generates a high degree of torque, which is the primary force that lets you efficiently manage battery life by selecting only the blowing power you need. By running efficiently, the 40V CORE power system will dramatically outperform a traditional cordless unit using a 56- to 80-volt battery. Said simply, CORE does more with less.
This technology is also incorporated in its string trimmer, the TB4200.
The important thing to know about brushless motor technology is that it is the wave of the future for managing battery life and power output. The cordless, battery powered tool industry is adopting the vernacular “smart tools” to include the likes of CORE technology and other brushless motor technologies / devices.
The battery that comes packaged with the TB4300 is a 40V 4.0Ah unit. The charger plugs into a standard 120V AC outlet and fully charges the included battery in about 45 minutes, according to the Troy-Bilt specs. My tests showed that it charged a little slower, in the neighborhood of 50 minutes. But lets face it, that’s a rounding error.
One nice aspect of this battery is that it can be used interchangeably in other Troy-Bilt CORE products, like their hedge trimmer, lawn mower, and string trimmer.
Troy-Bilt also offers a 6.0Ah battery. The only difference here is the time necessary to charge it (60 mins) and that it will last longer than the 4.0Ah battery when performing identical tasks.
I found the 4.0Ah battery had ample power to blow all kinds of debris in a 1/4 acre yard, and still had power to spare.
WEIGHT & BALANCE
At nearly 11.30 lbs. (with the battery installed), the TB4300 is a tad heavier than other competitive models. But it’s not so significantly heavier that I would put it in a weight class by itself.
With the 4.0Ah battery installed, I found that the blower had very good balance. The molded handle and controls are at a perfect tipping point and it’s easy to operate the unit both side to side and up and down because of the great balance.
I’m not sure how the balance would be affected with a 6.0Ah battery, as these batteries tend to be heavier. That’s something we couldn’t test.
USING THE BLOWER
As I alluded to above, the blower air-moving components are set up like a jet engine. Some vanes are fixed, while others spin. This creates a high output volume of 545 cfm at a speed of 125 mph (on boost mode). This was ample speed to blow even the toughest material we tried, Mesquite bean pods, which are a heck of a lot denser and heavier than leaves.
To turn the blower ON, just install the battery in the back of the unit and pull the variable speed throttle trigger (located at the front of the handle, on the underside). Air velocity will increase the harder you pull the trigger (and vice versa).
The Troy-Bilt TB4300 blower has a nice feature for maximizing the airflow – the “Boost” button. A single push on the switch and this baby really winds up and produces an incredible amount of cfm’s at a high speed. The Boost button can also be pushed a second time (while running at high speed) to switch to “Eco” mode. This is for low speed airflow and battery conservation.
To see how much power (battery consumption) you’re using, just look at the power output display located just beyond the Boost button. A series of 5 LED lights (min to max) will illuminate the more you squeeze the trigger. This visual meter is a very nice feature when you just want to apply the right amount of power, but not too much. The lower the power output, the longer the battery life and the higher the output, the shorter the battery life.
I found that Eco mode was good for light debris like small twigs and smaller dry leaves.
Full power (not Boost power) let me blow large amounts of debris into piles.
But it was the Boost power that let me move entire piles of debris. I found it to be a very powerful blower. I asked one of my professional landscape friends to try the unit. He loved it, and commented that it performed as well as the hand-held gasoline powered blowers he owns.
There was some slight torque developed by the blower. It wasn’t much, and I had no trouble holding the blower with one hand (either hand for that matter). Folks who are not quite as strong can hold the blower with two hands. I did this for a test (holding the battery and handle at the same time). This worked great, and I still had full control of the unit as if I were using it with one hand.
In all instances, due to the nature of leaf and debris blowing at high speeds, safety glasses are a must (I recommend these glasses from John Deere/Wiley X). I also recommended wearing long pants, and boots as an extra layer of protection.
And one final piece of safety advice when operating the Troy-Bilt TB4300 blower – have a set of earplugs or muffs handy as the high power and Boost modes can generate sound levels beyond 80db.
Troy-Bilt offers a 5 year limited lifetime warranty on the blower and motor, and a 3 year limited warranty on batteries. As limited warranties go, it covers only defects in materials and workmanship. Pretty much everything else is not covered.
Simply put, if you have the cash, want to go cordless, and want a superior quality product, buy the Troy-Bilt TB4300 Blower. It met all my expectations and then some. It’s a solid performer that can be stacked up against any gas, cordless, or corded blower in its class.
WHERE TO BUY
The Troy-Bilt Cordless 40V Blower (Model TB4300) is available from the Troy-Bilt website and at Lowes. Both outlets offer the packaged unit for $279.00. The package includes the charger and a 40V 4.0Ah battery.
It is also available as a stand-alone unit from Troy-Bilt (without the battery or charger) for $179.00.
A spare battery from Troy-Bilt costs $149.00.
If you had to buy all three as separate components you’d be spending $417.00 ($179.00 blower + $89.00 charger + $149.00 battery) vs. $279.00 for the kit. Looking at the Lowes website, there is no indication that they offer spare batteries, so I guess you’ll have to order those directly from Troy-Bilt at $149.00 each.
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