Professional reviewers call the Husqvarna 125BVx a top performer. Its 28 cc engine blasts through heavy-duty yard work, and the blower skillfully minces leaves and twigs when vacuuming. This well-balanced leaf blower offers better handling than most gas models, and although the Husqvarna is more expensive than some, its vacuum and mulching kit, two tubes and variable speed trigger make it a good value.
Brawny blower converts to a vacuum. The Husqvarna 125BVx boasts ample power, making quick work of dry leaves as well as wet and heavy vegetation, according to comparison tests. Reviews say its variable trigger delivers just the right amount of airflow for each job with a low-vibration engine that isn't too taxing. Editors at 10rate.com praise the trigger lock, saying "[it allows] you to maintain a speed without constantly adjusting the throttle." The 125BVx includes two blower tubes and experts love the extra versatility: The "flat nozzle is for pushing leaves around the lawn; the lower-velocity round tip is for clearing them out of corners," says Sal Vaglica at ThisOldHouse.com.
Well-balanced, easy to maneuver. Owners frequently dislike having to deal with a tough pull cord and finicky gas blower, but the Husqvarna 125BVx receives exceptionally high marks for being easy to handle. At 10 pounds, it weighs the same as the cordless electric Stihl BGA 85 (Est. $500 and up) . Vaglica says features such as "the abundance of rubber on the handle," the simple conversion from blower to vacuum and the adjustable blower nozzle make this Husqvarna easier to manage. At 70 decibels from 50 feet away -- what's commonly known as neighbor distance -- the 125BVx is pretty loud. Check local noise restrictions to make sure it meets guidelines and always wear hearing protection.
Husqvarna has a good reputation. Most reviews say the 125BVx is solidly built, with a steel impeller blade and 17-gallon collection bag for vacuuming. There are no third-party reports on the reliability of leaf blower brands, but Husqvarna scores well in expert write-ups of its other lawn tools. A few users complain about durability issues that include failing fuel lines, which isn't covered under the two-year warranty. However, owners say the fix is inexpensive and easy if you're mechanically savvy. Husqvarna's product coverage is typical for leaf blowers.
Editors test a dozen handheld gas blowers in this comprehensive report that includes the Husqvarna 125BVx. ConsumerReports.org carefully replicates the same tests for each tool, rating its ability to sweep leaves, loosen leaves embedded in the grass and vacuum up leaves. Noise at the tool and from 50 feet away is also measured.
Review: Leaf Blowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
2. This Old House magazine
Vaglica includes the Husqvarna 125BVx in a test of 10 leaf blowers. Although it gets excellent marks for blower performance, vacuum mode earns only a "very good" rating because the "small metal impeller blade didn't perform as well as bigger ones." Even so, Vaglica praises the blower's comfort and two tube tips.
Review: TOH Tested: Leaf Blowers, Sal Vaglica, Not dated
Husqvarna allows owners of the 125BVx to post reviews at its site. The comments don't appear to be censored and negative feedback can be found. The blower earns 4.4 stars out of 5, and 89 percent of the more than 200 users would recommend it to a friend.
Review: Husqvarna 125BVx, Contributors to Husqvarna.com, As of September 2013
Amazon.com users aren't as thrilled with the 125BVx as owners who post feedback elsewhere, giving it 3.8 stars out of 5 after more than 140 reviews. Most like its performance and handling, but numerous owners encounter early problems with fuel lines breaking and difficulty starting.
Review: Husqvarna 125BVx 28cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered 170 MPH Blower/Vac With Smart Start, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2013
Site editors include the Husqvarna 125BVx in their list of the top 10 best leaf blowers, giving it a score of 8.5 out of 10. Features such as the vacuum and mulch kit, two nozzles and trigger lock help earn this blower an Editor's Choice for best value, but testing isn't documented.
Review: Best Leaf Blowers: Top 10 Rated Leaf Blowers 2013, Editors of 10rate.com, Not dated