Best Leaf Blowers of 2018

Noel Case ·
Writer/Reviewer
Updated
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We’ve been reviewing the best leaf blowers since 2013 and have evaluated more than a dozen products. During our most recent evaluation we spent more than 50 hours finding the best leaf blowers on the market with standout features. We chose the Black & Decker LSWV36 as our best overall pick. This battery-powered leaf blower is lightweight – just 5.4 pounds – and has an overall length of 37 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
The Black & Decker LSWV36 is a multifunctional, battery-operated tool with all the features we look for, like a vacuum function and variable speeds. Plus, it is the lightest and quietest leaf blower in our lineup.
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Best Value
Toro 51621
This Toro model is one of the most affordable leaf blowers in our comparison. It is a well-constructed machine with nice features, like a vacuum function. It lacks antivibration, but it makes up for this in sheer power with maximum air speeds of 250 mph, making it the most powerful leaf blower we evaluated.
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Longest Warranty
Hitachi RB24EAP
If you want a tool with a lot of durability and plenty of power, the Hitachi RB24EAP is a good pick. Its seven-year warranty shows Hitachi’s confidence in this product. It is, however, lacking in versatility and won’t allow you to vacuum leaves.
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Product
Price
OVERALL RATING
Power & Performance
Price
Conveniences
Design & Warranty
Power Source
Weight (pounds)
Length (inches)
Noise Level (dB)
Blow Length (feet)
Maximum Air Speed (mph)
Vacuum Function
Vacuum Accessories
Variable Speeds
Battery/Charger Included
Impeller
Anti-Vibration
Handle Cushioning
Adjustable Air Tubes
Warranty
$119.99 Wal-Mart
5 4.2 5 5
Battery
5.4
37
86.2
17.5
120
Yes
Plastic
3 Years
$88.52 Amazon Warehouse
5 5 5 1.7
Electric
8.5
41
96
16.8
250
Yes
Metal
2 Years
$179.1 Amazon
4.3 2.8 5 4.9
Gas
9.6
38.5
97.9
17.5
170
N/A
Plastic
2 Years
$145.58 Wal-Mart
3.7 4.3 3.4 3.8
Gas
10.8
38
106.8
11.75
230
N/A
Plastic
2 Years
$99 Newegg
4 4.2 1.7 2.2
Gas
8.6
33.5
96.7
18
170
N/A
Plastic
7 Years
$178.97 PlumbersStock.com
3.9 2.5 3.4 3.8
Gas
9.8
35
96.7
16
145
N/A
Plastic
2 Years
$144.99 Rakuten
4 3.8 1.7 2.2
Gas
8.6
33.5
96.7
17.5
170
N/A
Plastic
7 Years
Best Overall
We chose the Black & Decker LSWV36 as our top pick because it strikes the balance between power, quiet performance and features. 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 the best choice overall.
This leaf blower is battery powered so it doesn’t require gas or an extension cord. On a full charge, the battery should last about 30 minutes. The lightweight leaf blower weighs 5.4 pounds, the lightest in our comparison. 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 for a full 30 minutes without becoming exhausted. It also 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 air speed of120 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 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 leaves 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.
  • The battery only lasts about 30 minutes on a full charge.
$99.99Amazon
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Best Value
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 a lengthy 41 inches, putting it closer to the ground for maximum blowing and sucking power.
Its electric design requires an extension cord, which could be limiting if you have a large yard, but you can’t run 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 power of any leaf blower we reviewed. You can use it to push leaves and other debris up to 16.8 feet away, which is a good distance, though a bit behind the best in our lineup. This leaf blower can also be used as a vacuum and leaf shredder, adding to its versatility. It features a metal impeller that 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 such as anti-vibration technology and a cushioned handle. If you can do without these comfort features, the price and functionality make this a good pick.
Pros
  • It’s affordable.
  • It has air speeds up to 250 mph.
  • It can extend up to 41 inches in length.
Cons
  • There’s no anti-vibration technology.
  • The handle isn’t cushioned.
  • The warranty is shorter than average.
$105.10Amazon
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Longest Warranty
The length of a warranty 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 leaves and other lawn debris up to 18 feet – the farthest among all the leaf blowers we compared. 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. If vacuuming leaves isn’t a priority for and you want a powerful leaf blower, this is a great option. It is a bit on the loud side, producing 96.7 decibels of noise when turned on.
Pros
  • It has an outstanding seven-year warranty.
  • It can blow leaves up to 18 feet – the farthest among the tools we compared.
  • The lightweight materials make it easy to maneuver.
Cons
  • You must mix oil and gasoline to a precise measurement for fuel.
  • It’s as loud as a lawn mower.
  • Its handle doesn’t have cushioning.
$127.14Amazon
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Best Gas
The Husqvarna 125BVx has a 1.1 horsepower two-cycle gas motor and ergonomic design features that make it easy to maneuver.
The inline fan housing reduces stress on your arm and wrist and the 38.5-inch machine length puts the nozzle closer to the ground than most models we reviewed. 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.
Pros
  • Ergonomic design
Cons
  • Loud
$178.99Amazon
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Best Air Speed
This Poulan leaf blower has a powerful 25cc two-cycle gas motor capable of air speeds up to 230 mph, which is the highest air speed of the blowers we reviewed.
It 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 pounds it’s a bit heavier than other gas blowers we evaluated, but the 38-inch length puts the tube at a comfortable distance. 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.
Pros
  • Powerful gas motor
Cons
  • Heavy and loud
Amazon
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Why Trust Us? 

We have been reviewing leaf blowers since 2013. During our most recent refresh 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.

Walker feels some of the best brands of leaf blowers that he’s used in his landscaping business are Echo, Redmax, Husqvarna and Stihl. He said a gas leaf blower like the Echo PB-2520 is the best value for the money. He likes to use small Toro electric blowers for cleaning up stonework and other small jobs. However, he said he would like to see more options for electric battery blowers.

His crew uses mostly gas blowers, except for a couple corded electric blowers they keep on hand for smaller jobs, since gas blowers pack more punch for most jobs. Walker says he tries to steer clear of big store brands. He has a Ryobi model that worked well for its first tank of gas but would fail after that. “It has neat design ideas, but no reliability,” he said. Speaking of design Walker said he would like a manufacturer to develop a left-handed machine or a machine that lets you switch from the right to left hand with minimal effort.

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 blowers don’t require any and the gas blowers require very little. For gas 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.

How Much Does a Leaf Blower Cost? 

Electric leaf blowers, whether they are battery-operated or chorded, 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. All the gas 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 blower. Electric blowers are better suited for light-duty work in small yards.

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 comfortably 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. 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 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.

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 vibration. The more the leaf blower vibrates, the harder it is to use 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, a few are quieter than others. The quietest machine is the Black & Decker LSWV36, 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.

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.