If you want a tidy, well-groomed yard, driveway and sidewalks, a leaf blower can be a great tool to include in your yardwork collection. Leaf blowers can help you clear anything from your yard or driveway, including dust, debris and leaves. Many have the power to handle either large stretches of grassy land or a small backyard. We evaluated leaf blowers that work for both commercial landscape workers as well as homeowners who want help getting rid of the fallen leaves that are inevitable when you’ve got trees on or near your property. You have a range of blowers to choose from and which one you select will depend substantially on how large a space you need to cover as well as other factors. You can learn more by reading our articles about leaf blowers.
Best Light Weight Leaf Blower for Portability
Tending your lawn, driveway and all the areas around your house can eat up an entire Saturday unless you've got the right tools, and that means getting the machinery that works best for your needs. If you are thinking about buying a leaf blower, you might include the weight of the machinery as part of the equation. Some people can heft the big, heavy blowers around like nobody's business, but many don't want the back, shoulder and arm strain that can cause. Instead, you might prefer a leaf blower that is considerably lighter so it's easy to carry and operate but still effective enough to get the job done fast.
Black & Decker
The Black & Decker LSWV36 leaf blower can help you clear your yard of debris easily, and you won’t be stuck with the aches and pains that come from maneuvering a too-heavy machine around your property. This battery-powered leaf blower weighs in at a mere 5.4 pounds, so most people can easily lift and carry this around their property as they are cleaning.
The GreenWorks G-24V cordless electric leaf blower is so lightweight that you can use it comfortably and easily to clear your yard. At a mere 3.3 pounds, it is a breeze for anyone to use. It is powered by a 24-volt Lithium-ion battery, which means there are no emissions to the environment, plus you don't have to worry about mixing gas and oil like you would with a gas leaf blower. Another benefit is that you're not restricted by a cord. You can move about your yard freely sweeping away leaves and any lawn clippings.
If you have invested in a leaf blower to keep the exterior of your home and property looking tidy, you undoubtedly want value for your money. Leaf blowers are not extraordinarily expensive, but putting money into tools that work well for your needs – and which are backed by solid and lengthy warranties – gives you a measure of protection in the event that something goes wrong. Some high-quality leaf blowers provide only two-year warranties, but you might feel better having something that will cover repairs or replacement options for a longer period of time. You paid for it, so if something breaks or malfunctions, it's always good to have a backup plan, and a strong warranty can fill the bill.
The Hitachi RB24EAP is a compact gas-powered leaf blower that can do the job nicely and is backed by an impressive seven-year consumer warranty. Like most warranties, any negligence, improper use of or incorrectly mixing the gas and oil voids the agreement, but otherwise, you're covered for an extended time so you can get years of service out of your leaf blower.
Whether you are cleaning your gutters, raking leaves, blowing away freshly mowed grass or spring-cleaning your yard, a reliable leaf blower is a useful tool to have on hand. Tanaka makes a lightweight leaf blower with the TRB24EAP that can serve your basic yard, driveway and sidewalk cleaning needs.
Best Machine Lengths for Ground Coverage
When it comes to leaf blowers, the longer the assembled machine is, the closer to the ground it will be. That means it is easier overall to move leaves, dirt, dust and other debris, and you can clean up that yard or walkway much faster. Some leaf blowers are as short as 33 inches, but if you want a lengthy machine that will get down and get to work, then look for one that measures at least 38 inches long. Your yard work will be finished in no time and your property will look groomed and well-tended.
Whether you have a large or small lawn, leaf blowers can be exceptionally helpful tools for yard maintenance. The Husqvarna 125BVx gas leaf blower does a good job moving those messy leaves, and its 38.5-inch machine length puts it closer to the ground than shorter leaf blowers, which means it is easier to clear away debris, dirt and leaves. You also get a vacuum function with this leaf blower, and the machine can compress leaves into mulch at an impressive rate.
The Poulan Pro PPBV25 is a powerful leaf blower with a useful lengthiness that extends 38 inches, putting it close to the ground where it can really do its work. The 25cc, two-cycle gas engine is rugged and blows air through the tube at 230 mph, which is the highest air speed of the leaf blowers we evaluated.
The Toro 51619 serves as a blower, vacuum and leaf shredder in one machine. It's a compact model, but it extends a generous 41 inches in length. This puts it closer to the ground so you can power through all that yard, driveway and patio cleanup in no time. This is an electric leaf blower, so it lets you clean your entire yard without running out of battery power or gas, but this also means it needs to be plugged in, so your movement range with it is more limited than with a cordless leaf blower.
Best Anti-Vibration Technology for Long-Term Use
All machinery made for yard work of any kind will produce some level of vibration no matter how well designed and well built. Several manufacturers have designed their leaf blowers in such a fashion that it reduces the tool’s vibrating movement a significant degree. The reduced level of vibration can make it much more comfortable for your hands and wrists, and depending on the model, can also cut down on discomfort you might feel in your back and shoulders. In addition, anti-vibration capabilities for a leaf blower can help reduce fatigue so your yardwork is not followed by physical aches and pains.
The Craftsman 41BS2HBC799 is a gas-powered leaf blower that doesn’t vibrate so much as other leaf blowers in our lineup thanks to its design. In addition, the handle sports a comfortable cushion for you to grasp. These two features reduce the strain on your hands and fingers.
The Worx Trivac leaf blower serves as a multipurpose machine that blows, vacuums and mulches leaves. This versatile machine is compact enough so you can use it with one hand, and it has an anti-vibration system that limits the amount of motion produced during operation. That feature can minimize the joint and muscle fatigue you experience after you’ve finished tidying up your yard.
The Makita BHX2500CA is one of the most physically stress-free leaf blowers you can find. It does not blow debris very far, but if you are looking for a tool that is comfortable to use and does a good job of cleaning out the backyard, this leaf blower could easily fill the bill.
What We Evaluated, What We Found
Power & Performance
We evaluated both gas and electric leaf blowers, and none of the machines we examined is made exclusively for professionals or homeowners. However, some blowers are better suited for large areas while others are better for smaller places.
In addition, we investigated how far each blower could move a pile of sawdust or lawn debris, such as grass clippings or leaves, and how quickly it moved it. The best leaf blowers could blow debris more than 17 feet.
We also assessed the weight and noise level of each model, since both influence how long you can use the blower. We also checked whether the blower has other beneficial features, such as variable speed settings and whether it has a vacuum function. In addition to evaluating the power, weight and the noise level of each cordless leaf blower, we also judged how maneuverable each blower is.
Gas or Electric?
When buying a leaf blower, you need to determine whether you'd prefer a gas-powered or electric model, and each type has strong points and drawbacks. If you select a gas leaf blower, you will have to make sure you have the strength and mobility to rev up the engine by using a pull cord since it often requires a hard yank. In addition, many gas-powered blowers consist of a two-stroke engine, which requires a mixture of gasoline and oil that you'll need to prepare and keep on hand.
If you choose an electric leaf blower, you will have to either remember to charge the battery before use (if it has a battery) or, in the case of corded models, find the closest, most convenient electrical outlet outside that gives you the best access to your yard. Another consideration to take into account before you buy is the issue of a cord getting tangled around objects like sprinkler heads, shrubs, etc.
If you prefer to have total control over the blower's speed and you have a big area to cover, choose a leaf blower that offers substantial power and maneuverability. If you have a smaller yard and only plan to do the occasional simple cleanup, then one with less power and maneuverability will work nicely.
The best leaf blowers offer variable speeds, which allows you to set the speed of the blower for the job at hand, usually through numbered knobs near the blower’s handle or by how far you squeeze the handle lever. A vacuum function, while not essential, can be quite helpful. If the blower comes with a vacuum function, then look for vacuuming accessories, like attachments, for more specific jobs.
What Else Is Important in Choosing a Leaf Blower?
Blower Design: How Comfortable Is the Blower to Hold?
Most blowers feature a soft-grip handle, and it should be at a good angle and made with a soft cushioned material to ease strain on your hands. The rest of the design should fit your needs. If you plan to use the blower for several different functions, look for one with adjustable extension tubes. The overall size of the leaf blower, and how easily you are able to carry it, also influence your ability to use it.
All power tools, and lawn care machines are no exception, produce vibrations. The more the leaf blower vibrates, the harder it can be for you to use it over an extended period of time. Anti-vibration technology is also a large part of comfort, and it makes the leaf blower easy to maneuver with less annoyance. Look for blowers with specific features that reduce the amount of vibration the machine produces.
Noise Level: Should You Use Ear Protection?
Most leaf blowers are unavoidably loud, so it is important to choose one that has the least potential for disturbing people. We learned the noise level of each leaf blower in our lineup, and most of them of them are pretty close to one another, but a few are quieter than others. The quietest machine in our lineup is the Black & Decker LSWV36, which weighs in at 86.2 decibels (dB).
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) recommends wearing hearing protection any time you're exposed to sounds louder than 85 decibels, so you should wear ear protection when using any of our suggested leaf blowers.
Warranty & Support: What If Something Goes Wrong?
The best leaf blowers should also be backed by great support and service. An instruction manual is essential for every leaf blower, because many require some form of assembly. It’s best to get a brand that provides both a physical copy and an online one (in the event the physical copy is misplaced). Having support through email and phone is also useful.
In addition, a multiple-year warranty is ideal, especially if you use your leaf blower frequently. Some machines come with different commercial and home-use warranties as well, such as the Tanaka TRB24EAP.
All of the leaf blowers in our lineup are fine choices for anyone who needs to clean a yard or property, and they reflect the range of options available. Check our reviews for information that will help you choose the one with a warranty, noise level and weight that suits you.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
The Black & Decker LSWV36, the Worx Trivac and the Toro 51619 are all solid leaf blower models for regular use. The Black & Decker combines comfortable design with great power. And for a machine with so much power, its noise level is remarkably low. In fact, this is the quietest blower of the 10 we investigated. The Worx Trivac has a durable metal design. It is a reasonable weight for the average homeowner to carry and operate, and it features a soft-grip handle so you can comfortably handle big jobs with it. The Toro has a powerful air speed with air being pushed by the motor at a rate of 250 mph, which will blow away plenty of leaves, and it is also designed to vacuum debris and shred leaves into mulch.
Contributing Reviewer: Linda Thomson