Dunno 'bout the complaints I'm reading, but I have one of the older models--had it ~10 years--and the motor finally burned out. But I used it a lot--my neighbors have 3 poorly maintained oak trees that span over my house, and I'm constantly buried in the debris from December to September (I'm in FL). GRRR. So I used it 4-5 times a week, and ~10 years is not bad for an inexpensive electric tool. I paid like $45 for it at WallyWorld. I also used the vac a lot, to pick up the oak leaves from hard-to-get places (like in rock beds that have heavier rocks) and my back yard (totally enclosed--nowhere to blow the leaves). Can't use it in areas that have small, light rocks (like pea gravel) 'cause it's too powerful (even on the low setting) and sucks up the rocks (likewise areas that have mulch, if you have that). Instead, for that I use my shop vac w/ the wide (sweeper-type) attachment. Ergo, little wear-n-tear on the impeller blades; after ~10 years, mine still look almost new. It's true that it doesn't completely mulch oak leaves, but oak leaves are small and get sucked up past the impeller blades easily. The claim that it turns 10 bags into 1 is pure fantasy. For oak leaves, you're better off using dedicated plastic yard cans than trash bags (trust me on this--I have 2). It's still much easier than raking and shoveling leaves all day. You'll want to keep the bag clean; it has pores to allow fine dirt to filter out, and they can get clogged. Hose it down until the water runs clear, let it dry and you're set. My only complaint w/ the old model was how the bag attached to the unit--it wasn't well-thought out, and if I didn't keep the bag really clean, the build-up of pressure would blow it right off. But the newer model looks like it has a much better designed attachment. I'm going over today to pick up this new model and expect another ~10 years of use (or abuse, in my case). For $53, it's really about the best option as both a blower (ever try to rake oak leaves out of St. Augustine Floritam?) & vac. You can pay lots more, but I doubt you'll get any more functionality. It's just a yard tool, right?
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