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Leaf Blower Reviews

By: Carl Laron on September 21, 2016

Editor's note:
With enough power to handle all but the largest properties, our research reveals that electric leaf blowers are the right choice for most midsized and smaller properties. For large homesteads, or commercial use, there are some great handheld, backpack and wheeled gas models, too. Most have been around for a few years now, and have a great track record with users.

Toro 51619 Ultra Blower Vac Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Weight -- 8.5 lbs. Air Speed -- 250 mph Air volume -- 410 cfm

Best electric leaf blower

Featuring tons of power, three tubes and an infinite airspeed control, the Toro Ultra Blower Vac is rated as 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 »

Buy for $72.14
Toro 51585 Power Sweep Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Weight -- 4.7 lbs. Air Speed -- 160 mph Air volume -- 155 cfm

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.

Buy for $34.97
EGO LB4801 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Weight -- 10.59 lbs. (with battery) Air Speed -- 92 mph Air volume -- 480 cfm

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. On low speed, it can run for as long as an hour between charges. See our full review »

Buy for $207.90
Black & Decker LSWV36 Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Weight -- 6.9 lbs. (with battery) Air Speed -- 120 mph Air volume -- 90 cfm

Cheap cordless leaf blower

For a leaf blower 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 that this model is not meant to duplicate the work of a gas blower. The unit's mulching performance draws praise.

Hitachi RB24EAP Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Weight -- 8.6 lbs. Air Speed -- 170 mph Air volume -- 441 cfm

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 »

Buy for Too low to display
Husqvarna 350BT Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Weight -- 22.5 lbs. Air Speed -- 180 mph Air volume -- 692 cfm

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 »

Buy for $321.29
Troy-Bilt TB672 Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Weight -- 78 lbs. Air Speed -- 150 mph Air volume -- 1,000 cfm

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.

Buy for $429.99

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.

Types of Leaf Blowers

Electric Leaf Blowers

With easy starting, relatively quiet motors and zero emissions, electric leaf blowers are a user-friendly choice. There's no pouring of gas or oil, no annual engine servicing and no winterization required. Electric blowers can either be plug-in models or battery-powered cordless models. A corded electric blower uses an extension cord for power, which limits how far you can go with them, but not how long they can be used. A cordless model cuts the extension-cord tether, but will only run as long as the batteries have juice -- no more than an hour with most models, and then only at its lowest speeds. The best electric leaf blowers are powerful enough for most chores outside the house, plus, many have a range of speeds, including lower speeds that are ideal for clearing debris from around delicate landscaping and for blow-drying cars.

Gas Leaf Blowers

Gas leaf blowers work faster and are more powerful than most electric models, making them a good choice for homeowners who need to handle wet leaves and heavy debris, or to clean up large properties. However, hand-held gas blowers do have some drawbacks, not the least of which is that they are heavier and more tiring to use than electric models. Another thing to keep in mind with all types of gas blowers is that maintaining a gas engine takes more work than maintaining an electric motor: Gas blowers require regular servicing and winterization in the off-season, and most run only with a precise mixture of gas and oil. However, users who need heavy-duty performance say the extra work is worth it.

Backpack Leaf Blowers

These leaf blowers mount a large gas engine to a harness, leaving the user to manage only the tube when blowing leaves. The size and weight of the engine makes their backpack design almost a necessity. Because they are generally built for larger properties and for commercial use, backpack blowers have lots of blasting power yet are designed to be comfortable enough to use for hours. They cost more than handheld leaf blowers, and may be overkill for owners with small properties.

Walk Behind Leaf Blowers

If you have a commercial property, a walk behind leaf blower may be worth considering. These place a powerful motor on wheels and are most appropriate for jobs such as clearing leaves from a parking lot, but can also be a consideration for homeowners with acres of land to clean up.

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. However, experts note that higher airflow doesn't necessarily mean more power. For that reason, it's essential to consider reliable reviews before making a final decision.

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 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 September 2016, Black & Decker recalled its models BV5600, BV6000 and BV66000 leaf blower/vacuum/mulchers over dangers of cut fingers when a fan cover unexpectedly came loose during operation. The company is offering a free repair kit and replacement fan cover. 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
Our Sources
"Leaf Blowers"
"The Best Leaf Blowers"
"8 Best Leaf Blower Reviews"

To find the best leaf blowers, we analyzed side-by-side tests from experts such as those at ConsumerReports.org, Popular Mechanics, TheFamilyHandyman.com 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.

Recently Updated
Leaf Blowers buying guide

What every best Leaf Blowers has:

  • Sufficient airflow.
  • Effective sweeping and loosening capabilities.
  • A variable-speed trigger.

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