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Leaf Blowers: Expert and User Reviews

By: Carl Laron on August 29, 2017

Leaf Blowers: Ratings of Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

Editors test nearly 70 leaf blowers -- including corded electric-handheld, battery handheld, battery backpack, gas-handheld, gas-wheeled and gas-backpack models -- on their ability to sweep leaves, loosen embedded leaf particles from the lawn, and vacuum up and mulch dry leaves. Handling, noise at 50 feet and noise at ear level are also part of each blower's final score. Ultimately, more than 35 models earn recommendations, and more than 15 are also good enough values to earn Best Buy status. The section also includes a buyer's guide.

Doug Mahoney, Oct 10, 2016

TheSweethome.com surveys the leaf blower marketplace, looks at likely good performers, then narrows down recommendations based on its own testing. A top model is named, as are good alternate choices including gas, electric, battery and backpack models. Testing is well documented, and discussion is lengthy, including why certain models fall short compared to other choices.

Roy Berendsohn, July 31, 2017

Editors of Popular Mechanics conduct a thorough test of eight gas handheld leaf blowers. Testing is hands on and, while likes and dislikes are noted, details are limited. One blower is named best overall.

Roy Berendsohn and James Schadewald, Aug. 15, 2017

Popular Mechanics also tests eight battery-powered leaf blowers. Roy Berendsohn and James Schadewald say that while gas blowers are still the most powerful, for many light to medium-duty jobs, a battery-powered blower is "plenty capable, not to mention faster and easier." Ratings are based on four different comparison tests. Discussion is brief, but likes and dislikes are listed for each blower, and a best overall is named.

Roy Berendsohn, July 13, 2017

Rounding out Popular Mechanics' leaf blower coverage is a seven model test of backpack leaf blowers. Discussion is similar to the site's other leaf blower reviews, which is to say brief. Likes and dislikes are again noted, but ratings and a best pick are not provided or named. That said, reading the write ups makes it clear which of these backpack blowers did the best in impressing reviewers.

Editors of TheFamilyHandyman.com, Not Dated

TheFamilyHandyman.com rounded up gas powered leaf blowers from several major manufacturers and gave them to their editors for hands-on testing. We'd be happier if the testing was better explained, and if each blower had more discussion, but the review is comparative, and top choices among handheld blowers, blower/vacuum models, and backpack blowers are named. There is also a lot helpful information on selecting the right model for your property, features to look for and other buying tips, operating tips, leaf blower safety and more.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2017

Amazon.com sells hundreds gas, battery-powered and corded electric leaf blowers from dozens of manufacturers, with several receiving hundreds and even thousands of reviews. Reviews tend to be longer than found at other user-review sites, and some are updated to reflect the owner's experience after months and sometimes a year or more of usage. One caveat is that some reviews are of products that the owner received for free in exchange for posting feedback.

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of September 2017

HomeDepot.com offers over 170 leaf blowers, including commercial-grade units and large walk-behind models as well as handheld and backpack styles for consumers. Reviews tend to be brief but owners can say whether or not they would recommend a blower. While many reviews from the site's own users are found, some were originally posted on manufacturer websites. An invitation-only program offers some users free products in exchange for writing reviews.

Contributors to Lowes.com, As of September 2017

There are fewer leaf blowers listed at Lowes.com than at HomeDepot.com, but with over 60 models, there's still plenty of selection among corded and cordless electric, and hand-held and backpack gas blowers. Many blowers get ample feedback, sometimes into the hundreds, but some of that includes reviews originally written and posted at manufacturer web sites and the same reviews can also be read at other retailers -- including HomeDepot.com.

Dale Vogelsanger and contributors to LeafBlowersDirect.com, As of September 2017

On this retail and review site, product expert Dale Vogelsanger provides evaluations and recommendations, naming good, better and best choices among the various types, although there's no mention of how or whether he personally tests each model. Owners can post ratings and reviews, too. Most blowers get only a handful of reviews, but some get over 100. Reviews are exclusively from LeafBlowersDirect.com's own customers, many of which have been verified as actually owning the leaf blower in question. The site also includes buying guides for different types of blowers and information to help consumers understand the benefits of various leaf-blower features.

Editors of ProToolReviews.com, As of September 2017

ProToolReviews.com looks at a variety of tools for homeowners and landscaping professionals in single product reviews and occasional product round ups, including leaf blowers. Reviews vary in depth and detail, but are largely based on hands-on testing. Ratings are sometimes offered, other times not. No "best" leaf blower is named, but opinions about individual models are generally clear.

Contributors to Sears.com, As of September 2017

Both electric and gas leaf blowers are available at Sears.com. Most don't get a ton of feedback, but others draw much more -- and some Craftsman models get well over 100. While other brands are offered, Sears.com is an especially good destination to check out for those considering a Craftsman leaf blower.

Contributors to Walmart.com, As of September 2017

Walmart.com might not be the first place many think of for leaf blowers, but the site lists a good assortment of homeowner-grade blowers, including many electric and cordless models. Reviews aren't long, but owners can rate their blowers and say whether or not they would recommend it to a friend. Many models only get a handful of ratings, but others get dozens and even hundreds.

Sal Vaglica, Not Dated

This Old House magazine evaluates 10 blowers -- rating each on performance, balance and comfort -- although the article is vague regarding how the models are tested. Sal Vaglica also discusses the pros and cons of different blower types. Specs for each tested model are listed. Though this article appears to be older, many of the blowers -- or very similar models -- remain available.

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Leaf Blowers buying guide

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