The Husqvarna 356B comes in two versions: The BT has a tube-mounted throttle, while the BF's throttle is on the frame. Other than that, they are identical. This is one of the most powerful backpack gas blowers available, rated at more than 470 cubic feet per minute (CFM), yet it is also one of the quietest. If you want a backpack blower because you have a huge lawn or need to clear leaves out of parking lots or long driveways, experts praise this blower's low noise level and ease of use, as well as its performance. It is heavy, at almost 23 pounds, but its ergonomic features minimize the strain on the user. If you want to spend less for a backpack gas leaf blower and don't mind more noise, the Echo PB-500H (*Est. $300) has plenty of power and comes with a five-year warranty.
We found the most credible review of the Husqvarna 356BF at ConsumerReports.org, where it's rated and ranked among other gas backpack leaf blowers; electric and gas handheld blowers are also tested and rated. Older articles in The Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney.com and at Engadget.com highlight the Husqvarna 356BT/BF for its low noise level,
ConsumerReports.org ratings are based on the results of objective tests carried out by Consumers Union. The Husqvarna BFx (now BF) is one of eight gas backpack blowers rated on performance, handling and noise level. The ratings chart ranks the eight blowers from the highest- to the lowest-rated models.
Review: Leaf Blowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Charles Passy compares five leaf blowers based on his experience using each one in his own backyard. He praises the Husqvarna 356BT for its power, but he finds its noise annoying.
Review: Powerful. Quiet. Best Leaf Blowers, Charles Passy, Sept. 29, 2006
3. The Wall Street Journal
This article recommends three powerful gas leaf blowers, mostly on the basis of their relatively low noise levels. The noise levels on the recommended blowers have been certified by the American National Standards Institute, and confirmed by the reviewer (with the use of a decibel meter). The reviewer notes that the Husqvarna 356BTx (now 356BT) uses an enclosed engine to lower the sound to 64 decibels, which is quite low for a blower this powerful.
Review: Leaf Blowers: Quiet, Please, Sara Schaefer Munoz, Sept. 17, 2005
This article focuses on two relatively quiet backpack blowers, the Echo PB-460LN Quiet 1 and the Husqvarna 356BTx (now the 356BT). Both are rated at about 65 decibels, which makes them much quieter than most leaf blowers of this type, which are typically rated at close to 90 decibels.
Review: Quiet Leaf-Blowers Attempt to Stop Epidemic of Lawn Rage, Marc Perton, Sept. 23, 2005