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Best leaf blowers 2021: Gas and cordless leaf blowers to buy this year

Best leaf blowers 2021: Gas and cordless leaf blowers to buy this year
(Image credit: ShutterStock)

The best leaf blowers will fast-track your way to a smart yard, thanks to their rapid clearing power. Rather than raking your way through hordes of leaves, great gas and cordless leaf blowers will put an end to long leaf-clearing sessions by clearing your driveway or yard of leaves quickly and without any of the extra fuss.

When selecting one of the best leaf blowers, you’ll want to properly weigh up your choices. A cordless leaf blower is ace at handling big backyards because you won’t need to rely on a power socket to reach pathways or driveways. Meanwhile, a gas leaf blower usually has more power, meaning you’ll be able to blast away debris quicker. These are a little heavier and louder, as a result, so if you don’t want to bother your neighbors too much with the extra noise, an electric model might suit you better. These tend to be more lightweight than the gas alternative, good news if you’ll be handling the device for long periods of time.

Before you make your mind up on the best leaf blowers, you’ll want to double-check you’ve got a suitable power outlet near a door or window, as having no nearby socket will rule out any corded models. As for other features that should factor into your thought process, some gas and cordless leaf blowers can handle activities such as sweeping if you’re looking for a leaf blower that will help you tidy up even more.

While you’re looking at appliances that will sharpen up the appearance of your backyard, you might want to check out our guide to the best pressure washers too.

1. Black & Decker LSWV36: Best leaf blower overall

Black & Decker LSWV36

(Image credit: Black & Decker)

Strikes a good balance between power, quiet performance and price

Weight: 5.4 lbs
Max air speed: 120 mph
Power source: Lithium battery
Battery life: 30 mins
Dimensions: 37 x 8.5 x 20.44 in
Reasons to buy
+It’s light – just 5.4 pounds.+It can blow leaves a lengthy 17.5 feet.+Can be used as a sweeper or vacuum.
Reasons to avoid
-Below average air speeds, maximum of 120 mph

We chose the Black & Decker LSWV36 as the best overall because it strikes a good balance between power, quiet performance and price. While it isn’t the most powerful leaf blower we looked at, it is the easiest to use. Its general functionality and rich feature package make it a strong choice overall.

The Black & Decker is a battery powered leaf blower and so it doesn’t require gas or an extension cord. On a full charge, the battery should last about 30 minutes. This lightweight leaf blower weighs 6.9 lbs, the lightest in our comparison. The average weight of the leaf blowers we evaluated is 8.43 lbs, the heaviest being 10.8 lbs. So, you can use this blower for a full 30 minutes without feeling exhausted.

The Black & Decker leaf blower has handle cushions and anti-vibration functionality to make it more comfortable to use. The overall length of this leaf blower is 37 inches, which is just a touch over the average of 36 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. The fastest airspeed we saw was 250 mph, and the furthest push distance was 18 feet. So while it didn’t break the metrics with its raw power, its still impressive.

2. Toro 51621: Best budget leaf blower

Toro 51621

(Image credit: Toro)

An electric leaf blow that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars

Weight: 8.9 lbs
Max air speed: 250 mph
Power source: Corded electric
Dimensions: 45 x 9 x 14 in
Reasons to buy
+It’s affordable+It has air speeds up to 250 mph+It can extend up to 41 inches in length
Reasons to avoid
-There’s no anti-vibration technology

The Toro 51621 is an electric leaf blower that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars - making it a good option for people that don’t have a big budget This leaf blower is compact but extends to a lengthy 41 inches, putting it closer to the ground for maximum blowing and sucking power.

As it is an electric leaf blower, the area it can be used in is restricted by the length of your extension cord. On the plus side, you’ll never run out of gas or battery power as you’re blowing away a mound of leaves. This tool blows air at a maximum of 250 mph, which is the most powerful out of any leaf blower we reviewed. This electric blower can push leaves up to 16.8 feet away which is a very good distance. Although, this does put it a little behind the best leaf blowers in our reviews.

The Toro 51621 is a versatile gardening tool that not only acts as a leaf blower, but can also be used as a vacuum and a leaf shredder. It features a metal impeller that shreds leaves and other debris into small pieces making them easier to gather and haul away. But as it is a budget leaf blower it lacks a couple of the comfort features that more expensive models provide. If you don’t mind a more stripped back and basic leaf blower that doesn’t have anti-vibration technology or a cushioned, then the Toro is a good choice. It’s low cost, powerful enough to the job done, and functional.

3. Black & Decker LB700: Best lightweight leaf blower

Black & Decker LB700

(Image credit: Black & Decker )

When it comes to value and weight it's hard to beat the Black and Decker LB700

Weight: 4.4 lbs
Max air speed: 180 mph
Power source: Corded electric
Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 7 in
Reasons to buy
+Great budget price+A healthy 180 mph air speed
Reasons to avoid
-No vacuum function-Corded, so limited range

When it comes to value it's hard to beat the Black and Decker LB700. It's a corded electric leaf blower with a seven amp motor that provides a healthy 180 mph of air speed, which means it's ideal for garden paths, back yards and lawns.

At 4.4 pounds it's a small, lightweight blower that you can hold in one hand.  A cord retention mechanism means you won't get annoying cord snags as you walk around your property. As well as the electric cord, the main 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.

Let's be clear - this is a no frills product, but what it lacks in features it makes up for in value. The Black and Decker LB700 does the job well, and the air speed is high enough that you'll have no problems with debris of any sort.

4. Husqvarna 125BVx: Best gas leaf blower

Husqvarna 125BVx

(Image credit: Husqvarna)

A gas powered leaf blower that has a 1.1 horsepower two-cycle motor

Weight: 9.6 lbs
Max air speed: 170 mph
Power source: Gasoline
Airflow pipe: 425 CFM
Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic design+Exchangeable nozzle tips+Long 38.5-inch nozzle
Reasons to avoid
-Pretty loud

The Husqvarna 125BVx is a gas powered leaf blower that has a 1.1 horsepower two-cycle motor, which provides the leaf power with a moderate level of power. This gas leaf blower is all about easy use as it has an ergonomic design makes it very easy to maneuver. The inline fan housing reduces stress on your arm and wrist making the machine comfortable to use. The 38.5-inch hose length puts the nozzle closer to the ground than most models we reviewed, lowering the amount of stretching and turning you have to do. There are interchangeable flat and round nozzles that direct airflow at two different airspeeds for a maximum 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, so we highly recommend wearing hearing protection while you corral yard debris.

5. Poulan Pro PPBV25: A powerful gas blower

Poulan Pro PPBV25

(Image credit: Poulan)

Has a powerful 25cc two-cycle gas motor capable of air speeds up to 230 mph

Weight: 17 lbs
Max air speed: 230 mph
Power source: Gasoline
Dimensions: 19 x 16 x 12.75 in
Reasons to buy
+Powerful gas motor+Cruise control feature+Anti-vibration features
Reasons to avoid
-Must wear ear protectors

This Poulan leaf blower has a powerful 25cc two-cycle gas motor capable of air speeds up to 230 mph, which makes it the best gas-powered leaf blower for air speed we reviewed. If you are looking for a gas leaf blower that offers raw power, this is the machine for you.

This gas powered 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 PPBV25 has vacuum and mulching capabilities for cleaning up wet leaves. The mulch ratio is 16:1, meaning it reduces material that would normally take 16 bags into a one-bag load. This 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.

How much does a leaf blower cost? 

Electric leaf blowers, whether they are battery-operated or corded, are generally more cost-effective and require less maintenance. They are also less powerful and almost impossible to repair. The top-rated electric blowers are between $60 and $110. Electric leaf blowers are better suited for light-duty work in small yards.

All the gas leaf blowers we reviewed range in price from $130 to $180 and require a mixture of gas and two-stroke oil. If you regularly maintain a large yard we suggest spending a little more to get a gas-powered leaf blower.

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.

How much do leaf blowers weigh?

If you're clearing a large yard with a heavy piece of machinery, that is going to be extremely hard work. Because leaf blowers are exclusively hand-carried, you should keep weight in mind when choosing your perfect blower. Electric blowers tend to be a little lighter, but not quite as powerful, so that's your trade-off right there. Although there isn't much in it with more modern models.

The lightest leaf blower on this list is the Black & Decker LB700, and that weighs in at 4.4 lbs. The heaviest is the Poulan Pro PPBV25, which is a weighty 17 lbs - a stark difference. As ever, you need to consider how you'll be using the blower, for how long, and if you're physically capable of swinging it around for the length of time required to clear your yard or driveway. Just keep in mind that less powerful blowers may take longer to clear leaves, so even if you go light, you may still get tired from holding the leaf blower for longer periods of time than a heavier, more powerful model.