Best Leaf Blowers of 2018

Danny Chadwick ·
Updated
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We’ve been reviewing the best leaf blowers for five years and spent more than 40 hours researching and evaluating over a dozen products. At the end of our analysis we chose the Black & Decker LSWV36 as our best overall pick. This leaf blower is battery-powered, lightweight – 5.4 pounds – and has an overall length of 86.2 inches. It can produce airspeed up to 120 mph, which will move leaves and other debris up to 17.5 feet away. It’s also one of the quietest blowers we reviewed, producing only 86.2 dB of noise.

Best Overall

Black & Decker LSWV36

It’s not the most powerful, longest, lightest or quietest blower we reviewed, but it strikes the balance between all of these aspects to give you a well-rounded, useful tool.
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Best Value

Toro 51621

Most of the leaf blowers we reviewed cost upwards of $200. You can pick this one up for around $75. You’ll miss out on features like anti-vibration and handle cushioning, but you’ll still blow leaves at 250 mph.
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Longest Warranty

Hitachi RB24EAP

If a long-lasting tool is what you need, you should consider the Hitachi RB24EAP. It has a seven-year warranty that shows Hitachi’s confidence in their product.
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Best Overall

Black & Decker LSWV36

We chose the Black & Decker LSWV36 as our top pick because it strikes the balance between power, noiseless performance, and features nearly perfectly. It’s not the best in any of these areas, but when put together, it’s the best choice.
This leaf blower is battery powered, doesn’t require gas or the need to connect it to an outlet. On a full charge, the battery should last about 30 minutes. The lightweight leaf blower weighs 5.4 pounds. The average weight of the leaf blowers we evaluated is 8.43 pounds – the heaviest being 10.8 pounds. So, you can use this blower as long as the battery will last without becoming exhausted by carrying it around the yard. The overall length of this leaf blower is 37 inches, which is just a touch over the average of 36 inches. This puts the leaf blower close enough to the ground to effectively blow anything that’s in front of it effectively. This tool can blow air up to 120 mph and push leafs and debris more than 17 feet. The fastest airspeed we saw was 250 mph, and farthest push distance was 18 feet. So, while none of those numbers topped our charts, they’re still very good.
Pros
  • It’s light – just 5.4 pounds.
  • It can blow leafs a lengthy 17.5 feet.
  • It’s battery powered, so you can take it anywhere.
Cons
  • It uses a plastic impeller which is more susceptible to damage than metal.
  • It produces below average air speeds, maximum of 120 mph.
  • Battery only lasts about 30 minutes on a full charge.
$121.80Amazon
Best Value

Toro 51621

Leaf blowers can be expensive, top of the line models can cost hundreds of dollars. If you don’t have that much to spend, the Toro 51621 is worth considering. This leaf blower is compact, but extends to be a lengthy 41 inches, putting it closer to the ground for maximum blowing power.
Its electric design requires an extension cord, which could be limiting if you have a large yard, but you don’t run the risk of running out of gas or battery power in the middle of your chores. This tool blows air at a maximum of 250 mph, which is the most powerful of all the leaf blowers we reviewed. You can use it to push leaves and other debris up to 16.8 feet away. Which is a good distance, but not the farthest among the leaf blowers we reviewed. This leaf blower can also be used as a vacuum and leaf shredder, adding to its versatility and usefulness. It features a metal impeller, which shreds leaves and other debris into small pieces making them easier to gather and haul away. There are a couple of extras you don’t get with this machine: anti-vibration technology and a cushioned handle are absent. If you can do without these comfort features, it’s well worth the savings to go without them.
Pros
  • It costs a fraction of more expensive models.
  • It can produce air speeds up to 250 mph.
  • It can extend up to 41 inches in length.
Cons
  • No anti-vibration technology.
  • No cushioned handle.
  • Relatively short warranty period of only two years.
$89.99Amazon
Longest Warranty

Hitachi RB24EAP

The length of a warranty period reflects how well a company stands behind the products it sells. The average warranty period among the leaf blowers we reviewed is about 3.5 years. Hitachi blows this out of the water by offering a seven-year warranty for its leaf blowers.
Outside the warranty, this is a solid pick overall. It’s gas powered, weighs 8.6 pounds and can generate air up to 170 mph. You can expect to blow leafs and other lawn debris up to 18 feet – the farthest among all the leaf blowers we compared. This is a powerhouse leaf blower. However, it lacks some of the convenience features we look for in this category. For example, you can’t use this leaf blower as a vacuum, and it doesn’t feature any anti-vibration technology or handle cushioning. None of these things are deal-killers, but the addition of any of these extras would make it a more versatile tool. It’s also a bit on the loud side, producing 96.7 decibels worth of noise when turned on. Don’t expect to hear someone calling your name when you use this machine.
Pros
  • It has an outstanding seven-year warranty period.
  • It can blow leafs up to 18 feet – the farthest among the tools we compared.
  • It’s plastic, lightweight materials make it easy to handle and maneuver.
Cons
  • You must mix oil and gasoline to a precise measurement for fuel.
  • It’s as loud as a lawn mower – producing 96.6 dB worth of sound.
  • Its handle doesn’t have cushioning.
$122.97Amazon

Why Trust Us? 

We have been reviewing leaf blowers for five years. Our team of reviewers spent more than 40 man hours researching, and evaluating the best models on the market. Out of dozens of models considered, we presented the ones with the best power and performance, convenience features, blower design and support options. We considered things like power source, weight, length, airspeed, vacuum functionality, vibration rates and more when deciding which model is the best for you.

How We Picked the Best 

When we compared the best leaf blowers, we considered the following criteria: 

Power & Performance
We evaluated both gas and electric leaf blowers, 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 leaf blower, we also judged the maneuverability of each leaf blower.

Gas or Electric?
When buying a leaf blower, you need to determine whether you'd prefer a gas-powered or electric model – 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, for corded models, find the closest outlet that gives you the best access to your yard. Another consideration before you buy is the issue of a cord getting tangled around objects like sprinkler heads, shrubs, etc.

If you prefer 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.

Conveniences

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.

Leaf Blowers: Other Considerations 

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 can 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. 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. Although the noise levels are similar between most, there are a few that are quieter than others. The quietest machine is the Black & Decker LSWV36, which only produces 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, such as the Tanaka TRB24EAP.

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