Best leaf blower

Best leaf blowers
(Image credit: @Callum Hill on Unsplash)

Grab a leaf blower and fast-track your way to a tidy yard. Choosing the best leaf blower for you depends on how large the area that needs to be cleared. For a large yard,  we’d suggest a gas leaf blower as these tools will work for long periods of time, as long as you top them up with gas. Cordless or electric leaf blowers are normally quieter than gas models but they don’t quite offer the same power. They are good for clearing smaller areas.

Best electric blower

Toro 51621

(Image credit: Toro)

Toro UltraPlus leaf blower vaccum (opens in new tab)

A corded machine

This Toro UltraPlus is an electric leaf blower. It's compact but can be extended up to 41 inches. Plus, its wind power pushes leaves over 16 feet away with a maximum 250 mph gust, making it one of the most powerful blowers available.

Pros:

  • Air speeds up to 250 mph
  • Extend to 41 inches
  • Built-in vacuum and impeller

Cons:

  • No anti-vibration
  • No cushioning
  • Limited movement

You’ll never run out of gas or battery power because it runs on electricity, but you are restricted by the length of the extension cord you use. The Toro UltraPlus is a versatile gardening tool that acts as a leaf blower and can also be used as a vacuum. It also features a metal impeller that shreds leaves and other debris into small pieces. 

There are some comfort features that are missing from this leaf blower. No anti-vibration technology is used, so you'll feel every tremor and fluctuation. And the handles aren't cushioned, which would help with the vibration while giving you a more comfortable hold on the machine.

Best gas blower

Husqvarna 125BVX review

(Image credit: Image source: Amazon)

Husqvarna handheld blower (opens in new tab)

Comfort with less stress

The Husqvarna is a gas-powered leaf blower that has a two-cycle motor. Its ergonomic design makes it very easy to maneuver while the inline fan housing reduces stress on your arm and wrist, making the machine comfortable to use. 

Pros:

  • Ergonomic design
  • Exchangeable nozzles
  • Long nozzle

Cons:

  • Pretty loud

The hose of the Husqvarna leaf blower is over 38 inches long, putting the nozzle closer to the ground and resulting in better wind power against debris. It comes with interchangeable flat and round nozzles that direct airflow at two different airspeeds with a maximum speed of 170 mph. 

This leaf blower doubles as a yard vacuum with a bag that holds up to 17 gallons of debris. It also has a mulching function to reduce material and increase bag capacity. The Husqvarna leaf blower is one of the louder leaf blowers in our comparison, reaching up to 97.9 decibels. This is as loud as a garbage disposal, or a freight train horn from 50 feet away, so we highly recommend wearing hearing protection while you corral yard debris.

Best value

Black & Decker LB700

(Image credit: Black & Decker )

Black+Decker electric leaf blower (opens in new tab)

Easy and straightforward

The Black+Decker electric leaf blower has a 7-amp motor that provides a healthy 180 mph of airspeed. At just over 4 pounds, it's a small, lightweight blower that you can hold in one hand. It is ideal for garden paths, backyards, and lawns. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • A healthy 180 mph air speed
  • Cord retention

Cons:

  • No vacuum function
  • Limited range

This electric blower is a corded model, so you're limited to the length of the cord, and the extension cord you use. it does have a cord retention mechanism so you won't get annoying cord snags as you walk around your property. 

The biggest disadvantage is that there's no vacuum option, so only consider the Black and Decker LB700 if you're only looking for a blower to move leaves around your home. But for a no-frills product, it gets the job done well, plus the airspeed is high enough that you'll have no problems with debris.

Best battery blower

Black & Decker LSWV36

(Image credit: Black & Decker)

Black+Decker 2-in-1 cordless sweeper and vacuum (opens in new tab)

Powerful and quiet

The Black + Decker leaf blower strikes a good balance between power, quiet performance, and affordability. While it isn't the most powerful leaf blower, it is easy to use. Its general functionality and rich feature package make it a strong choice.

Pros:

  • It’s light – just 5.4 pounds
  • It can blow leaves a lengthy 17.5 feet.
  • Can be used as a sweeper or vacuum.

Cons:

  • Below average air speeds
  • Short battery life

The Black + Decker is a battery-powered leaf blower, so it doesn’t require gas or an extension cord. On a full charge, the battery should last about 30 minutes. This isn't ideal for large projects, so it's good to have an extra battery ready. This lightweight leaf blower weighs under 6 pounds, nearly 3 pounds lighter than the average blower. It has cushioned handles and anti-vibration functionality to make it more comfortable to use. The overall length of this leaf blower is 37 inches. This puts it close enough to the ground to effectively blow anything that’s in front of it.

While its maximum airspeed of 120 mph lags behind the competition, it performs among the best when it comes to the distance it can push a pile of debris, more than 17 feet.

Best handheld blower

Poulan Pro PPBV25

(Image credit: Poulan)

Poulan Pro handheld leaf blower (opens in new tab)

Powerful two-cycle gas motor

If you're looking for a leaf blower that offers raw power, this is the machine for you. This Poulan leaf blower has a powerful 25cc two-cycle gas motor capable of airspeeds up to 230 mph. It also has vacuum and mulching capabilities for cleaning up wet leaves. 

Pros:

  • Powerful gas motor
  • Cruise control feature
  • Anti-vibration features

Cons:

  • Must wear ear protectors
  • Heavy

This leaf blower has a cruise control feature and trigger-operated variable speed control attached to the soft-grip handle. Those features, along with the anti-vibration capabilities built into its design, reduce muscle fatigue and make it comfortable to operate.

At 10.8 lbs it’s a bit heavier than other gas blowers we evaluated, but the 38-inch length puts the tube at a comfortable distance from the ground, easing the burden on your arms a little. The Poulan is the loudest gas blower in our review at 106.7 decibels. That’s well above the threshold for permanent ear damage, so definitely wear proper hearing protection.

Choosing a leaf blower

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

We have been reviewing leaf blowers since 2013. During our review, we spent more than 40 hours researching and evaluating the best models on the market. Out of dozens of models considered, we chose the ones with the best power and performance, convenience features, blower design, and support options. Among other things we considered things like power source, weight, length, airspeed, vacuum functionality, and vibration rates when deciding which model is the best for you.

In addition to extensive online research, we reached out to professionals and people who regularly use leaf blowers to get their informed opinions about the best products as well as usage and maintenance tips. We talked to Kevin Walker of KGW Services, a Massachusetts-based landscaping company, whose crew regularly uses leaf blowers during landscaping projects.

Expert advice on buying a leaf blower

Walker said a gas leaf blower is the best value for the money. His crew uses mostly gas leaf blowers, except for a couple of corded electric leaf blowers they keep on hand for smaller jobs like cleaning up stonework since gas blowers pack more punch for these jobs.

When it comes to usage, Walker feels vacuuming is a more efficient way to get rid of big piles of leaves, instead of trying to blow a big pile from one location to another. Instead of using leaf blowers with a vacuum function, however, Walker says his crew uses a dedicated leaf vacuum that mulches the leaves it sucks up into a large enclosed dump trailer. This saves his crew members’ backs and time. He said leaf blowers are also useful in blowing away cobwebs and debris from entrances and worksites, pollen from cars, and grass clippings from the sidewalk in the summer – and on a rare occasion very light snow in the winter.  

As for maintenance, Walker said electric leaf blowers don’t require any and the gas leaf blowers require very little. For gas leaf blowers the air filter occasionally needs to be changed or cleaned and his crew adds Star Tron fuel treatment to the fuel before storing the leaf blowers for the winter, which will keep the fuel fresh for when you need to use it in the spring.

When we evaluated leaf blowers, we scored machines with extra features like vacuum function, cushioned handles, and anti-vibration higher than models that lacked these features. Landscaping companies like KGW Services use separate devices for vacuuming leaves, but we found that people who use leaf blowers for regular maintenance around their homes have more need for a vacuum function to clear a pile of leaves from a backyard or to suck a large spider web out of a corner.

What we learned during our evaluations

How powerful is the leaf blower?

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. The more powerful the leaf blower, the easier it will be to remove debris from your yard. 

How easy is the leaf blower to handle?

We also assessed the weight and noise level of each model since both influence how long you can comfortably use the leaf blower. We also checked whether the leaf 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 noise level of each leaf blower, we also judged the maneuverability of each leaf blower.

Does the leaf blower have convenience features?

The best leaf blowers offer variable speeds, which allow 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.

FAQs

Which is the best leaf blower—gas or electric? 

When buying a leaf blower, you need to determine whether you'd prefer a gas-powered or electric model. If you select a gas leaf blower, you’ll need enough 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 must either remember to charge the battery before use (if it has a battery) or, for corded models, find an 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 and shrubs.

If you prefer total control over the leaf blower's speed and you have a big area to cover, choose a unit 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.

Corded or battery-powered leaf blower?

There are two types of electric leaf blowers: battery-powered and corded. One advantage of battery-powered leaf blowers is that they're portable; they don't require you to be tethered to an electrical outlet. On the downside, it takes hours to fully recharge the battery on these models, and they require additional storage space for the charger. 

Corded leaf blowers may be good for you if you don’t blow leaves very often or if you have a smaller yard. Even though corded blowers have basically unlimited runtimes, the length of the extension cord will limit you.

How loud is the leaf blower?

Most leaf blowers are loud, so it is important to choose one that has the least potential for disturbing people. Although the noise levels are similar between most leaf blowers there are a few quieter models. The quietest machine is the Black & Decker 2-in-1 (opens in new tab), which only produces 86.2 decibels.

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. Long-term use of a leaf blower without ear protection will result in a loss of hearing. 

How much do leaf blowers weigh?

Don’t overlook weight when choosing the best leaf blower for you. Clearing leaves is physical work and you’ll want to opt for a model that you can handle easily. It boils down to a trade-off between power and weight — the more powerful models tend to be heavier. 

If you’re worried about your leaf blower being unwieldy, then go for an electric model as these tend to be more lightweight. Bear in mind that the latest generations of gas leaf blowers are lighter than they used to be so check the product descriptions. 

Our round-up of the best leaf blowers includes models with a range of weights. The lightest option is the Black & Decker LB700 (opens in new tab), weighing in at just 4.4 lbs. The heaviest option is the Poulan Pro PPBV25 (opens in new tab), which is a weighty 10+ lbs when filled — a big difference. You’ll want to factor in how you’ll use your leaf blower and for how long. Opt for a size that you’re capable of maneuvering around your plot. Remember too, that the heavier models tend to be more powerful so may clear leaves more quickly than a less powerful option so you won’t have to carry them for as long. 

How much does a leaf blower cost?

Whatever your budget, there is a leaf blower out there for you. Both gas and electric models come in a range of prices. The best electric leaf blowers offer good value for money and are typically cheaper than gas, with prices ranging between $50 and $110. 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about maintaining the device. For these reasons, they're a great choice if you’re using the blower for light work in small yards. Bear in mind though, that they are not as powerful as gas alternatives. If they break, they’re difficult to repair so you’ll likely have to buy a replacement. 

If you’re regularly maintaining a larger yard, a gas leaf blower may be worth the additional investment. They offer more power than electric models so can blast through huge piles of leaves. Our top picks range in price from $130 to $180. The options we reviewed require a mixture of gas and two-stroke oil. Remember that you will need to refill the fuel periodically so be sure to keep some on hand.

Why trust us?

At Top Ten Reviews, we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As experts, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your life. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. Our detailed product overviews balance objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is easy.

Graham usually works in home computer journalism for his day job, and has been at Future Plc for many years, mostly employed across our print titles. He has a keen interest in all things gardening, and has written extensively about lawn mowers and other garden care products while in his freelance capacity at Top Ten Reviews.