Updated November 2018

Best Leaf Blowers

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Best Leaf Blowers Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Husqvarna

50.2cc Gas Powered
Check Price at: 1 store
This backpack leaf blower is equipped for medium- to heavy-duty jobs and comes with a 692 CFM (cubic feet per minute).
Its X-Torq engine reduces gas emissions by 60% and improves fuel efficiency by 20%. The power is adjustable with a variable throttle and cruise control. You’ll get hours of runtime out of the 42-ounce tank.
We can see why this is a backpack-style blower—it’s 22.5 pounds. Customers wish it had just a bit more power.

Black & Decker

12-Amp Blower
Check Price at: 1 store
This 3-in-1 machine grinds 16 bags of mulch into 1. It comes with a blower, vacuum, and mulcher.
It’s powerful, blowing up to 250 MPH, and quiet. Switch between 2 speed settings.
Some clogging has been reported, but customers report that the tube is easy to disassemble to clear debris.

Toro

12-Amp Variable-Speed
Check Price at: 1 store
A leaf blower that doubles as a vacuum.
This electric leaf blower can reach 250 MPH with a variable speed setting. The oscillating nozzle makes leaf blowing nearly effortless.
Provides a somewhat clunky user experience. Customers say it’s awkward and kind of heavy. You’ll also want to invest in a long extension cord.

Greenworks

G-MAX 40V Variable Speed
Check Price at: 1 store
This 6-speed leaf blower is cheap, but the battery is sold separately.
Customers have been pleasantly surprised by the power behind this battery-powered leaf blower. It’s easy to use and weighs only 3.3 pounds.
You’ll be limited to 28 minutes of runtime and only 135 CFM, which is OK for small driveways and walkways.

Hitachi

23.9cc 2-Cycle 170 MPH
Check Price at: 1 store
A gas-powered leaf blower that’s 14 pounds lighter and nearly as powerful as our top pick. It’s better designed for lefties.
You’re covered under a 7-year consumer warranty. PureFire technology reduces gas emissions.
The pull start can take a few tries. It doesn’t feel as well constructed as the Husqvarna. Users say it’s better to use left-handed.

OUR PROCESS

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At House Method, we’re all about saving time, which is exactly what a leaf blower helps you do. To determine the best leaf blowers on the market, we read customer reviews, learned the difference between CFM and MPH, and created the ultimate guide to the leaf blowers. Above, we’ve provided context on how to choose between five market-leading leaf blowers. Keep reading our comprehensive guide to learn more about leaf blowers before making a purchase.

Leaf Blower Reviews Guide

Every year, you swear you’ll finally buy a leaf blower and be done with the mounting pile of leaves that continues to grow in your yard. But every year, you labor over the pile with nothing but a lousy rake. If you’re ready for change, read on.

Leaf blowers can be used to clear sand-covered decks at your beach house or driveways littered with fresh cut grass or snow. Some leaf blowers also work double-, sometimes even triple-duty. Do you want to get rid of leaves and create mulch at the same time? Do you want a vacuum built into your leaf blower to remove stubborn debris in your yard?

House Method is here to help answer those questions. In our research, we found the best leaf blowers on the market, which are listed above. Our top five include gas-powered backpack leaf blowers to battery-powered three-pounders. Continue reading to learn more about leaf blowers and how to choose the best one for your maintenance needs.

 

Types of leaf blowers

Handheld leaf blowers

  • Pros—These provide a good grip and weigh three to 10 pounds. You’ll be able to easily maneuver a handheld leaf blower and remove sand, dust, and dry leaves from hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Cons—They’re not as powerful as backpack or wheeled leaf blowers.

Backpack leaf blowers

  • Pros—Backpack leaf blowers cover a lot of ground, easily removing stubborn debris like wet leaves. They’re more powerful than handhelds and more maneuverable than wheeled designs.
  • Cons—Wearing a 20-pound leaf blower on your back can cause sore muscles and fatigue.

Wheeled leaf blowers

  • Pros—Walk-behind leaf blowers can tackle big messes, like cardboard and garbage, with professional-grade power.
  • Cons—Wheeled leaf blowers are heavier than other types of leaf blowers. They take up more storage space and are tough to tow.
Best backpack leaf blower HUSQVARNA 50.2CC GAS POWERED

This Husqvarna leaf blower covers the most ground—nearly 700 cubic feet per minute—allowing you to tackle the front lawn and backyard in one go. It’s helpful for corralling piles of leaves across several acres. With a 42-ounce tank that sustains hours of use, this leaf blower works overtime. It packs the power of a proper gas leaf blower, but its X-Torq engine actually reduces harmful emissions by 60%. You won’t be tethered by a power cord, either.

A two-stroke engine is better balanced than a four-stroke engine, but it requires a special combination of oil and gas.”

Gas vs. electric leaf blowers

Gas leaf blowers

Gas leaf blowers are loud and require more maintenance than their electric counterparts, but they get the job done quickly and efficiently. You can choose between a two- and a four-stroke engine. They’re great for large yards and debris like twigs, pinecones, and wet leaves. Without a power cord to anchor you to your house, you’re able to move freely and clean up messes as you go. Note: gas leaf blowers are heavy with some weighing more than 20 pounds before they’re even filled with fuel.

Electric leaf blowers

Electric leaf blowers are cleaner and greener for both the environment and your health. Some are even as powerful as gas leaf blowers. You can choose between corded and battery-operated models. You’ll have an endless power supply with corded leaf blowers, but you’ll need an extension cord to reach your property line. Cordless leaf blowers are better for targeting problem areas or clearing a small space in a short amount of time. You’ll get about 30 minutes of runtime with a cordless blower at best.

The size of your yard and amount of debris you’ll be removing will help you decide between a gas and electric leaf blower.”

6 Major factors to consider

Air intake

The air intake will be either on the side or the bottom of the blower. Leaf blowers with a side intake, like the Hitachi, may catch on your clothing and affect the performance of the leaf blower.

Speed

Leaf blowers with variable speeds allow you to control airflow according to the mess at hand. This setting can make gas leaf blowers more fuel efficient. The Husqvarna X-Torq Backpack Blower has a cruise control setting, so you can take your finger off the trigger for a more comfortable grip and allow your leaf blower to run at a consistent speed.

You should also consider the speed at which the air blows—although not a total indication of power, it is an important factor to consider. Note: a greater MPH will push leaves faster.

Cubic feet per minute (CFM)

CFM refers to the volume of air flowing through the machine at a given time. A higher CFM will push leaves further. Look at the amount of air (CFM) and its speed (MPH) to determine the power of a leaf blower.

Nozzle

You’ll come across round and flat nozzles. Round nozzles are better for targeting stubborn debris, like wet leaves packed into a tight corner. A flat nozzle with a sweeping motion can lift loose leaves. The Toro UltraPlus Leaf Blower comes with an oscillating nozzle that does the sweeping for you, so you can simply point at the problem area and remove the mess.

Noise

Leaf blowers are loud, though electric leaf blowers are typically quieter than gas leaf blowers. Find the decibels (dB) listed in the product description to determine how loud a leaf blower is. The lower the decibels, the quieter the leaf blower will be. On average, leaf blowers range from 95 to 115 dB at the operator’s ear; for reference, typical speech is about 60 dB and a chainsaw is about 115 dB.

Also, double-check local laws around neighborhood noise levels before you buy a leaf blower. In any case, we recommend wearing protective headphones while leaf blowing to protect your ears.

Vacuum

Some leaf blowers, like the Toro UltraPlus, double as a vacuum. While you won’t be able to use a leaf vacuum to pick up every single leaf in your yard, you’ll find that a leaf vacuum is helpful for picking up stragglers after you’ve already completed a round with the leaf blower. They’re also useful around gardens and flower beds where a blower would just spew dirt everywhere and make the mess worse.

Leaf blowers are actually banned in some neighborhoods with strict ordinances around noise level. Check with your city before you buy a leaf blower.”

Leaf blower tips

  • If you buy a cordless leaf blower, invest in an extra long extension cord to help you reach your entire yard.
  • Take advantage of a nice day. Wet leaves are stubborn and blowing on a windy day is just counterproductive.
  • Wear protective glasses to shield your eyes from flying debris as well as headphones to make a loud leaf blower a little more bearable.
  • Be courteous to your neighbors. Don’t fire up the leaf blower until a reasonable time of day.
  • Work your way around the corners of your yard and blow leaves toward the center.
  • Blow debris onto a tarp that you can fold and transport to the trash.
  • Perfectionists and leaf blowers don’t play well together. If you’re picky, you’ll probably have to use a rake or leaf vacuum to pick up any remaining debris.
  • Use a mulcher, like the three-in-one Black & Decker, to make cleanup quicker and easier.
  • Do not use a leaf blower if your lawn has recently been treated with pesticides, herbicides, or any other chemical-based fertilizer.
Best electric leaf blower TORO 12-AMP VARIABLE-SPEED

The Toro UltraPlus is a two-in-one machine that works in places big—up to 350 CFM—and small. With this machine, you can clear larger leaves from your lawn and vacuum debris from delicate areas like your garden. Adjust the speed up to 250 MPH with variable speed control. Cut yourself some slack by investing in a long extension cord for this electric blower and don’t forget about the oscillating nozzle attachment, which may be its best quality. Air oscillates as it flows through the nozzle, so you don’t have to use any sweeping movements.

You can get rid of leaves by blowing them back where they came from, bagging them, mulching them, composting them, or burning them.”

Frequently asked questions

What’s the best leaf blower to buy?

The Husqvarna X-Torq Backpack Blower is the best leaf blower for several reasons, perhaps the most impressive being that it has professional-grade power. You can clear nearly 700 cubic feet per minute with an air speed of 180 MPH. Gear up backpack-style to move freely along your entire property line. You’ll get more runtime and fewer refills from the 42-ounce tank. Even though it’s gas-powered, the X-Torq engine increases fuel efficiency and emits 60% fewer fumes than standard two-stroke engines. It’s a win-win.

What’s the best cordless leaf blower?

The Greenworks leaf blower is the best cordless blower because it’s lightweight and has six speed settings. Use the sweeper nozzle to streamline air at 150 MPH to clear porches and sidewalks, and the lawn edging feature to tidy up and boost curb appeal.

What is the most powerful leaf blower?

The Husqvarna X-Torq Backpack Blower is the most powerful leaf blower on our list. It’s backed by a two-stroke, 2.1-horsepower engine that propels air at 180 MPH and boasts 692 CFM.

What is a good CFM for a leaf blower?

A good CFM depends on the size of the area you need to tackle. If you’re working in a small area—like a porch, deck, patio, or garage—a 200–400 CFM leaf blower will do. A whole yard requires a 400–700 CFM leaf blower to get the job done well.

Is CFM or MPH more important in a leaf blower?

You should consider the cubic feet per minute (CFM) and the miles per hour (MPH) before you purchase a leaf blower. CFM refers to the volume of air flowing through the leaf blower. MPH is how fast the air is flowing. A higher CFM and MPH will push debris further at a faster rate. Note: high MPH on its own doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to cut through a big mess in an efficient amount of time. High CFM may move more leaves, but it could take longer if you’re working at a low MPH.

The team that worked on this review

Kelsey Roadruck
Writer
Kealia Reynolds
Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Product Researcher
Sabrina Karr
Product Researcher
Casey Taylor
Product Researcher
John Morgan
Producer

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