Toro 51619 Ultra Blower Vac
Toro 51619 Ultra Blower Vac

Best electric leaf blower

Featuring tons of power, three tubes and an infinite airspeed control, the Toro Ultra Blower Vac is rated one of the top corded leaf blowers by experts and owners. It has a powerful 12-amp motor, which reviewers say makes blowing leaves and vacuuming yard debris a breeze. It also features a serrated metal impeller for top-notch mulching.
See our full review

Toro 51585 Power Sweep
Toro 51585 Power Sweep

Cheap electric leaf blower

The Toro Power Sweep is a top choice for homeowners who want an inexpensive yet effective leaf blower for light duty tasks. It won't vacuum or mulch, but reviewers say it's got plenty of power to move leaves from walks, driveways and decks. It's exceptionally easy to handle, thanks to a lightweight frame and straightforward controls, and owners say it's durable.

EGO LB4801 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Electric Blower
EGO LB4801 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Electric Blower

Best cordless electric leaf blower

The 56-volt EGO LB4801 is remarkably robust for a cordless leaf blower. Experts compare its performance favorably to that of the best corded electric models and even light-duty handheld gas blowers. It's exceptionally quiet, yet also exceptionally capable when called on to move leaves, including debris embedded in grass. It can run for as long as an hour between charges.
See our full review

Black & Decker LSWV36 40V Lithium Sweeper/Vacuum
Black & Decker LSWV36 40V Lithium Sweeper/Vacuum

Cheap cordless leaf blower

For a choice that makes short work of simple tasks, reviewers recommend the Black & Decker 40V Lithium Sweeper/Vacuum. Owners use it both indoors and out on leaves, dust, clippings and even pet hair. Some complain that the power output is too weak, but others point out the model is not meant to duplicate the work of a gas blower. The unit's mulching performance draws praise.

Est. $145 Estimated Price
Hitachi RB24EAP 23.9cc Handheld Blower
Hitachi RB24EAP 23.9cc Handheld Blower

Best gas leaf blower

The Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower gets great reviews from experts and owners as a top performer in a variety of yard jobs. It has a powerful, commercial-grade engine that meets California's strict air-quality guidelines, along with a variable-speed trigger and two-finger throttle lever for easy operation. It is relatively light weight for a gas blower and has a very long seven-year consumer warranty.
See our full review

Husqvarna 350BT
Husqvarna 350BT

Best backpack leaf blower

Reviewers say the Husqvarna 350BT is the most comfortable backpack blower available. It has padded shoulder straps and a hip belt to keep it balanced for extended use. The low-emission engine is strong and efficient even on wet debris, according to owners, and you can lock the speed setting for less fatigue during extended use.
See our full review

Troy-Bilt TB672
Troy-Bilt TB672

Walk-behind blower

With a relatively modest price tag but powerful performance, the Troy-Bilt TB672 wheeled leaf blower should be a consideration for those with large (acre plus) properties to clear. The 1,000 cfm, 150 mph output blows away even backpack blowers, the large rear wheels make navigating over uneven terrain easier, and the three-position, louver-equipped discharge chute helps you put leaves where you want them.

COMPARE PRODUCTS
See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Leaf blowers are a versatile yard tool

Leaf blowers are versatile tools that go well beyond just sweeping up leaves. With the right machine, you can clean spider webs off the house, tidy up around landscaping, clear grass clippings off the driveway, and even blow away light snow. Some will also vacuum up and finely mulch your yard debris.

There are five main categories of leaf blowers. Electric leaf blowers can be either corded or cordless (battery operated), while gas leaf blowers can be handheld, backpack style or walk-behind (wheeled). Gas-powered models tend to be more powerful, but they also are noisier and involve the hassle of fueling up. Many find electric models more convenient to operate, if you don't mind dealing with a cord or limiting your use to the run time of the battery before it needs to be recharged. Backpack-style leaf blowers are often used by professional landscapers or those with large yards because they cut down on the fatigue of carrying a piece of landscaping equipment for long periods. Wheeled walk-behind leaf blowers are the most powerful type (at least in terms of the amount of air they can move per minute) but are most suitable for commercial use or very large properties.

Leaf blowers depend on airflow to move leaves and other debris. Manufacturers measure airflow using miles per hour (mph) or cubic feet per minute (cfm). The airflow of the models in our report range from just over 100 mph to more than 230 mph, and from less than 100 cfm to as much as 1,000 cfm. Keep in mind, however, that higher airflow doesn't necessarily mean more power. After testing eight leaf blowers, Popular Mechanics reports that the manufacturer rating "for airspeed and volume is an unreliable gauge of effectiveness -- some of the least air-worthy were the most trustworthy." For this reason, it's essential to consider reliable reviews before making a purchase.

Handling is also a major factor to consider with blowers. Some handheld models weigh less than 10 pounds -- but even that can start to feel heavy over time. If you have a large property or plan to use the blower frequently, it's wise to look for one with ergonomic controls and a comfortable-grip handle. Backpack models should have padded straps and be designed to distribute weight evenly over your shoulders. Some blowers have a "cruise control" feature that locks in the speed, eliminating the need to keep a constant hold on the trigger. A walk-behind blower should have large rear wheels and a swiveling front wheel so that it is easy to handle in tight spots or over rougher terrain. The ability to change the direction toward which it sends debris improves a wheeled blower's versatility, too.

Some leaf blowers include a conversion kit that enables the model to vacuum, finely mulch and collect debris in a bag. A built-in impeller minces leaves and other detritus into smaller bits, which are then compressed for easy composting or disposal. For most blowers, the ability to suck up leaves is a secondary function, so performance rarely matches their sweeping and loosening abilities. Owners often use the vacuum feature for decks when they don't want to send pet hair and debris flying into the yard.

Be respectful of your neighbors. Using leaf blowers has become a point of contention in some areas due to their excessive noise. The quietest leaf blowers measure less than 65 decibels (dB) at the tool, which translates to sound levels that are low enough at 50 feet away to keep neighbors happy. However, some, measure more than 100 dB, and can still be annoying even at some distance away. Even with a relatively quiet model, you'll probably avoid complaints if you don't fire up your leaf blower too early in the morning or late at night, and some areas have ordinances that will earn you a fine if you do. For your own protection, experts recommend ear protection when using most models. Eye protection against flying debris is a must with all blowers.

Leaf blowers vary greatly in price. Electric corded models ranging from less than $50 to over $100. Cordless models also start at under $100, but can go as high as $300. Gas-powered handheld models start at about $130 and go up to $300 or more, backpack models range from less than $200 to more than $500. Walk-behind blowers start at around $400 and can run into the thousands of dollars for the largest commercial models. The quality of the engine or battery and other parts, as well as the number and type of features, will affect the price. Most leaf blowers have a two-year warranty, although some go as long as five or seven years for consumer use.

Watch for recalls. In April 2014, Homelite recalled some electric leaf blower vacuums because they posed a fire and burn hazard. In April 2014, Troy-Bilt and Remington recalled leaf-blower models because they posed a laceration hazard. You can find more information about these and other recalls at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website (search for leaf blowers).

Of course, to make the best use of a leaf blower, you need to have leaves, grass clippings or other yard debris to sweep. If you're in the market for additional lawn and garden tools, check out our reports on lawn mowers, lawn tractors, string trimmers and hedge trimmers.

Finding the best leaf blowers

To find the best leaf blowers, we analyzed side-by-side tests from experts such as those at ConsumerReports.org, Popular Mechanics and TheSweetHome.com. These professional evaluations are an accurate way to compare performance and handling on an even playing field. To better understand durability and real-world function, we analyzed thousands of owner reviews from retail websites such as HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com and Amazon.com. Based on this research, we evaluated performance, ease-of-use and features to find the best electric and gas leaf blowers, along with some worthwhile alternatives to consider.

Elsewhere in this report:

Best Electric Leaf Blowers | Best Gas Leaf Blowers | Best Backpack Leaf Blowers | Buying Guide | Our Sources

Back to top