The 7 Best Leaf Blowers For A Stress-Free Yard Cleaning

Introduction

If you're like most landowners, your relationship with leaves is complicated. You love them when they pop in the spring. You adore them when they provide shade for your back yard in the summer. You can't get enough of them when they transform into a warm palette of oranges and yellows in the fall…and, by the first day of winter, you want them off your lawn faster than you can say, "Peace out, maple leaf."

Enter the leaf blower. It makes raking look like hard labor — because it often is. A leaf blower can save you time, back pain, and, in the long run, money, since you won't have to bribe the neighbor kid to come clear your yard or shell out for a chiropractor after you do it yourself. Leaf blowers come in a wide variety of makes and models. Some are gas-powered; others are electric. You can push some; other are worn on your back like you're the fifth Ghostbuster.

No two lawns are alike, either, and a host of factors go into picking the perfect leaf blower for your needs — and your budget. Is noise a concern? Do you ever have to scatter a light dusting of snow? Is a cord a deal breaker? Is vacuum mode a must-have? This guide is designed to help you choose the best leaf blower for your home, farm, ranch, small commercial property or haunted amusement park.

OK, probably not that last one.

Product FAQs

1. What is this type of product?

Leaf blowers are used to move debris like leaves and other light objects like grass cuttings and are powered either by gasoline or electricity. 

2. What does this type of product do?

Some models work like a vacuum - they suck in leaves and small twigs then shred them into a bag.

3. Where can you buy this product?

Because leaf blowers became an ubiquitous garden tool, you can find them sold in physical stores and also online shops like Amazon.

4. How much does it cost?

Leaf blowers can cost up to $1,000 but lower end models are cheaper and the price starts for as low as $25.  

How We Chose Our Ratings

There are several factors that are vital to any top-notch blower, no matter how it's powered or where you carry it. In developing our ratings, we took a cold, hard look at the following criteria:

  • Speed and efficiency in moving leaves
  • Ability to clear big piles and small particles
  • Noise level
  • Number of speed options available
  • Handling
  • Blowing speed
  • Cruise control
  • Extra features, such as vacuuming and mulching
  • Price
  • Warranty

The seven leaf blowers on this list all earned high marks in almost all of these categories.

The 7 Best Leaf Blowers for 2018

WORX WG520 Turbine

WORX WG520 Turbine 600 Electric Leaf Blower, Black
  • [TURBINE FAN TECH] WORX engineers figured out how to get a jet enginetype motor inside of a leaf blower; Cool, huh,...
  • [2 SPEEDS FOR DIFFERENT JOBS] It’s actually better to go slow for pavement or tight corners; But on the open lawn,...
  • [600 CFM] We named the TURBINE 600 after the 600 Cubic Feet per Minute of highcapacity air volume that shoots out of its...

With this quiet, 12-amp electric leaf blower, you can save your headphones for your favorite music app and that sweet new Foreigner album you've been looking forward to. No hearing protection is required, and your neighbors won't be bothered by your quest for a clean lawn. The handheld WORX WG520 has a cord and lacks a vacuum feature, but those might be the two worst things one could say about it.

It scatters leaves and other lawn detritus lightning fast, and features multiple speeds for maximum control. It handles like a dream, weighs a svelte 6.4 pounds and comes with a three-year warranty. Perhaps best of all, at a list price of , it packs a lot of leaf-sweeping power without breaking the bank.

GreenWorks BPB80L00

Greenworks 80V 145MPH - 580CFM Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower, Battery...
  • Up to 580 CFM / 145 MPH makes blowing through dry/wet leaves and debris a breeze
  • Brushless motor delivers gas equivalent performance
  • Variable speed trigger and turbo button delivers on-demand power

The GreenWorks BPB80L00 is a lightweight, battery-powered backpack leaf blower. It sports multispeed operation for maximum versatility around your yard, and because it's powered by an 80-volt battery, it's quiet — for a leaf blower, at least. No hearing protection is required. It handles very well, and moves leaves and other lawn debris efficiently for up to 70 minutes on a single battery charge. That's practically the length of a Pixar movie.

Its brushless motor may make the BPB80L00 a durable, discreet leaf blower, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any power. Its 580 cubic feet per minute airflow rating means it can shift a lot of leaves, and it features both a variable speed trigger and cruise control for ease of use. A turbo button provides an extra kick to get rid of any heavy-duty detritus. It retails for  and comes with a four-year warranty, double the industry standard.

Stihl BR 350

Later, leaves. Don't let the gate hit you on the way out. This backpack-style leaf blower from Stihl houses a powerful, fuel-efficient 63.3-cc gas engine with anti-vibration technology for maximum comfort.

While it lacks a vacuum, the BR 350 excels in all areas of leaf removal, including sweeping, as well as loosening up piles and packed-down particles. Its variable blowing speed can be fixed at higher settings, meaning you'll tackle all areas of your lawn with ease, and without your trigger finger going numb. A 57.5-ounce fuel tank means you can get a lot of work done in one go, too.

With great power comes great decibels, however. Operation requires hearing protection, and, depending on their distance from you — and their general temperament — this one might bug your neighbors. Ideal for larger properties, such as farms and ranches, the Stihl BR 350 comes with a two-year warranty.

Jonsered B2126

Jonsered B2126, 28cc 2-Cycle Gas 425 CFM 170 MPH Handheld Leaf Blower
  • User-friendly cruise control feature for setting consistent blowing speed for easier handling.
  • Fuel Pump designed for easy starting.
  • Simple, quick tube length adjustments for optimal performance and REACH.

The Jonsered B2126 is an easy-to-use, highly maneuverable gas-powered leaf blower that retails for . Featuring a 28-cc variable-speed engine, it weighs in at 9.4 pounds and excels at moving leaves from where they are to where you actually want them to be. While it lacks a vacuum mode, it’s great at loosening pesky leaf particles and even peskier compacted debris piles. A fixed-speed mode gives your grip a rest, too.

Like almost every other blower on this list, hearing protection is required for use, but the Jonsered B2126 isn't so loud that your neighbors will start plotting their revenge over Todd's famous baked beans.

EGO Power+ 600 CFM

What a difference a battery makes. This battery-powered backpack blower features a high-efficiency brushless motor and operation eight times quieter than its gas-powered peers. Will your neighbors vote you the Most Considerate Neighbor on the Block with this leaf blower in your toolshed? Quite possibly.

The EGO Power+ 600 CFM is a breeze to control and handles well. As its name suggests, its turbine fan moves leaves at an impressive air volume of up to 600 cubic feet per minute. Multiple speeds means it works well in a variety of settings, and a turbo button provides the boost you need to eradicate heavy debris. At , its price tag is a bit steep, but it’s tempered by the unit’s efficient brushless motor, brute force and lengthy 120-minutes-per-charge running time. It also comes with a princely five-year warranty.

Billy Goat F601X

Why tote a backpack or bag around your yard when you can push a goat? The Billy Goat F601X wheeled leaf blower, designed for residential lots, gives your back muscles a break. Featuring a 206-cc engine, it’s a lightweight but formidable tool that'll send your productivity skyrocketing, with a blowing speed that sits just under 200 mph and produces 2.5 times the air volume of a backpack leaf blower. It also sports a lockable point-and-shoot nozzle for precise air-flow direction.

Predictably, it comes with a hefty $759 price tag, but you get what you pay for. Advanced, 16-blade fan technology and rounded, composite housings make for a quiet, efficient leaf blower without air voids. It's 30 percent lighter than its steel peers, too, which makes it easy to maneuver. The Billy Goat F601X is dent- and rust-resistant, making it a solid investment for owners of larger residential properties.

Toro UltraPlus 51621

Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum, Variable-Speed (up to 250...
  • Superior blowing and mulching proven by controlled laboratory testing
  • Powerful up to 250 mph degree. 350 CFM blow mode and 410 CFM Vac mode
  • Vacuum tube, bottom-zip bag, cord storage hook, shred-all shred ring and time-saving oscillating tube included;...

The 12-amp Toro UltraPlus 51621 lives up to its name: It's ultra-powerful for blowing around, sucking up and straight-up mulching leaves — and that's no bull.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

This electric handheld blower moves even the smallest leaf specks and other yard debris efficiently, and its variable blowing speed, which maxes out at a mighty 250 mph, makes working in narrow or confined spaces a cinch. Its cord can present a problem for some homeowners, though, since it means staying within range of an outlet.

It’s not the quietest leaf blower on this list, but it won’t drive your neighbors nuts, either. The Toro UltraPlus 51621 retails for , weighs in at a sleek 8.9 pounds and comes with a two-year warranty.

Buyer's Guide

Now that you've feasted your eyes upon the seven best leaf blowers on the market, it's time to consider what type of leaf blower best meets your and your land's needs. When it comes to picking a leaf blower, there are three main things to think about:

  • Its power source
  • How you'll carry or move it
  • How loud it is

My Top Choice

Bestseller

Beginner/Kid Friendly

Image

Toro 51621

Worx TURBINE

GreenWorks BPB8oLoo

Air Speed

250 mph

up to 60 mph

n/a

Air Volume

410 cfm

up to 525 mph

145 mph

Weight

8.9 pounds

7.2 pounds

8.12 pounds

Price

Pick Your Power: Gas, Electric or Battery

Leaf blowers get their kick from one of three sources, and each has its pros and cons.

Gas blowers are generally faster and more powerful than their electric peers, but all that oomph comes at a price — literally: gas blowers are generally more expensive than electric blowers, and they usually weigh a bit more, too. They used to be more portable, as well, but now more and more electric leaf blowers are cordless, so you're not necessarily tethered to an outlet if you decide to go electric.

Bear in mind that a gas blower will likely require more maintenance, too, in addition to the cost of oil and, of course, gas. On that point, most gas-powered leaf blowers feature a two-stroke engine, which means you'll have to mix oil and fuel together first in order to fire it up. Four-stroke engines don't require that extra bit of chemistry.

Battery-powered blowers are the new(ish) kid on the block. They're lightweight, and you can expect to cover — or, more accurately, uncover — a lot of ground on a single charge (think one to two hours of use, on average), but they're more expensive than their corded cousins.

Carry That Weight

There are three primary ways to get your leaf blower from here to there, aside from just calling it a day and paying your daughter to do it for you. Handheld leaf blowers, if they're gas-powered or cordless, can be taken anywhere and are lighter than backpack leaf blowers. If they're corded, then you'll have to stay within range of your power source. If multiple modes of operation are important to you, such as vacuuming and mulching, you'll find them in a handheld. Handheld blowers are generally the least noisy style of leaf blower, too.

If power is what you're after, then a backpack leaf blower might be more your speed. It'll also take the stress off your rippling forearms and put it on your back, which many users find more comfortable. The average model weighs about 22 pounds, or twice as much as most electric models, and you can expect to pay more for a backpack than a handheld.

Still, gas-powered backpack leaf blowers aren't the mightiest, most powerful option when you can't see your fire pit with all the leaves. That honor belongs to the wheeled leaf blower, which can be pushed around your property like a lawnmower. Naturally, these are ideal for large lots, as well as farms, ranches and small commercial properties. They weigh a lot (think upwards of 100 pounds), so level land is virtually a must — at least if you don't want operation to be an uphill battle (yes, sometimes literally). Vacuum functioning isn't an option, and wheeled leaf blowers tend to be noisy and require more storage space. All that awesome power carries a significantly higher price tag, too.

How to Avoid Being Disinvited From the Next Block Party

Unless you'll be clearing leaves from your farm, ranch or top-secret lair on a remote Appalachian hilltop, the noise your leaf blower makes should be a consideration. Some leaf blowers are louder than others.

As you shop, be sure to check out each blower's decibel levels. Generally speaking, gas models tend to be the loudest. Battery-powered models are the quietest, and electric leaf blowers fall somewhere in the middle. No matter what type of leaf blower you choose, use common sense and don't operate it early in the morning or late at night.

Staying cool with your neighbors isn't the only noise concern, of course. Make sure you wear proper hearing protection each and every time you run your shiny new leaf blower if it requires it. Depending on the area you're clearing, a dust mask and goggles are probably good idea, too. Plus, it'll make you look like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an extra from Mad Max or perhaps both, as you transform your yard into the leanest, meanest, leaf-free lawn on the block.

Janice Friedman
 

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