A great leaf blower makes you want to wake up on a fall day and get to work. It makes you wish your yard was a few acres bigger so you can put your favorite power tool to more use. The wrong leaf blower can make you want to pick up a rake just to move the few leaves that fell on your front lawn. Effectiveness isn’t the only measure of a leaf blower. If you want to be a good neighbor, you’ll also want to consider just how loud your lawn equipment is, as some communities ban the use of certain kinds of leaf blowers in an effort to reduce noise pollution. Here’s how to find the best leaf blower for you.
Related: Hate raking leaves? There’s an easier method.
- Best cordless leaf blower: RYOBI Brushless Cordless Jet Fan Leaf Blower
- Best gas leaf blower: Makita 4-Stroke Engine Blower
- Best backpack leaf blower: ECHO Gas Backpack Blower
- Best electric-powered leaf blower: DeWalt Corded Electric Handheld Leaf Blower
- Best budget leaf blower: BLACK+DECKER Leaf Blower & Leaf Vacuum
Features of the best leaf blower
When considering the best leaf blower, you’ll first need to decide between gas, electric, and battery-powered models. Gas models are generally more powerful than electric models and freedom from a cord means they can go just about anywhere. However, they are considerably noisier, heavier than electric models, and put out pollution tied to fossil fuels. Electric models are lighter than gas, and can provide the kind of power that will cover a large swath of jobs—however, their mobility is limited to about 100 feet of an outlet. Battery-powered models spare users from the maintenance required of gas blowers but have less power. The biggest mark against battery-powered leaf blowers is that batteries generally only last up to an hour. That means big jobs will take much longer, as you’ll need to recharge.
To gauge the power of a leaf blower, you’ll want to look at the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating and promised miles per hour (MPH). The higher CFM, the more leaves you’ll be able to blow away at one time. The higher the MPH, the easier it will be to move heavier debris or wet leaves.
Once you get through that basic consideration, you might want to consider other features like vacuuming and mulching features, which store and shred yard waste. For professional-grade yard maintenance across multiple acres, you’ll want to consider backpack models that pack extra power, or even wheeled models. Keep in mind though that wheeled models come with their own drawbacks, like a lack of features and considerably high noise levels.
It’s a lot to take in while looking for a tool to move leaves, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This guide will take you through the main points to consider while buying a leaf blower while offering up our leaf blower reviews.
Features to look for in the best cordless leaf blower
When it comes to convenience, cordless leaf blowers are at the top of the pack. They dispense with the need for gas and maintenance required by gas-powered blowers as well as their noisiness. A cordless blower also tends to be fairly light and allow you to go wherever you need without worrying if you’re close to an outlet. However, even the best cordless leaf blower doesn’t tend to have the same power as its gas-powered brethren and with a battery life of around one hour, you may have to charge once or twice before finishing your chores, or consider investing in a second battery.
Best cordless leaf blower: RYOBI Brushless Cordless Jet Fan Leaf Blower
No Strings on Me!
Cordless leaf blower with extreme power. Home Depot
This Ryobi leaf blower buzzes along at 125 MPH, and is fairly quiet at only 59 decibels. The cordless blower has a battery life approaching half an hour without using turbo mode.
How to select the best gas leaf blower
Get the best gas leaf blower to take advantage of high power and the convenience of not having a cord. However, they require regular maintenance and two-stroke engines featured in the majority of gas blowers require mixing gas and oil. Try to look for four-stroke engines instead to do away with the need for mixing gas and oil and to reduce emissions. Another drawback to gas leaf blowers is their sound level—it’s often recommended to wear hearing protection when operating them. Most models also weigh in about 10 pounds, which might be disqualifying for some users.
Best gas leaf blower: Makita 4-Stroke Engine Blower
A powerful blower with features that reduce the negatives associated with gas models. Amazon
This Makita leaf blower has a four-stroke engine that does away with the need to mix fuel and also reduces emissions and saves on gas. A large-capacity muffler tamps down the decibel levels associated with most gas engines. You’ll blow your leaves away in relative peace with a max speed of 145 MPH and a volume of 67 decibels, which is about as loud as a dishwasher.
Looking for the best backpack leaf blower?
Backpack leaf blowers arm users with power twice that of their handheld competitors. The tradeoff is the drawbacks associated with gas engines—maintenance, fuel mixing, noise pollution, and air pollution. They offer way more power than folks with a small front yard or even a sizable backyard need. But if you’re dealing with major acreage that has to be maintained meticulously and quickly, you may want to consider the best backpack leaf blower, below.
Best backpack leaf blower: ECHO Gas Backpack Blower
Twice the power of the competition. Amazon
Power. This ECHO leaf blower blows 234 MPH and has an airflow capacity of 765 CFM, which makes it perfect for those with plenty of acres to cover. Keep in mind that it weighs 28 pounds, though, so it might be cumbersome to wear for long periods of time.
How to know if an electric leaf blower is best for you
Corded leaf blowers are ideal for backyards that provide access to outlets at 100 feet of your work zone. They provide power nearly as strong as gas-powered motors and are generally much lighter. Electric leaf blowers also offer the convenience of a button-press start, and do away with the noise and environmental pollution of gas blowers.
Best electric leaf blower: DeWalt Corded Electric Handheld Leaf Blower
This DeWalt leaf blower has 12 amps and delivers up to 189 MPH of blowing speed with professional-grade construction and convenience. An included one-inch nozzle allows you to clean out small spaces and crevices.
Best leaf blower on a budget: What you get for under $100
A budget leaf blower will give you what you need to deal with your sidewalk and moderately-sized yard. You’ll be able to find decent corded models for around $100. In some cases, you’ll find deals that get you models with useful features like mulching, and vacuuming. Just expect lower CFM rates, which means you might have to spend longer blowing. Here’s the best leaf blower we’ve found for less.
Best budget leaf blower: BLACK+DECKER Leaf Blower & Leaf Vacuum
Get a blower and mulcher at less than $100. Amazon
This Black+Decker model provides leaf blowing and vacuuming as well as a bag for mulching. Twelve amps of power delivers up to 250 MPH of blowing speed. You can conveniently grind down up to 16 bags of mulch into one with this leaf blower vacuum.
Best leaf blower FAQ: people also ask
What cities have banned leaf blowers?
Over 20 cities in California have banned leaf blowers due to the noise they create, although enforcement of the ban is spotty. Some cities, including Greenwich, Connecticut, and Palm Beach, Florida, regulate the decibel volume and times of use of leaf blowers. To find your city’s rules on leaf blowers, you can check here. Your local government website may have more up-to-date information.
What is the best kind of leaf blower for gutter cleaning?
Cordless leaf blowers offer the kind of maneuverability to safely work on your roof. They are generally lighter than gas-powered models and won’t force you to deal with the noise of a gas-powered model as it ricochets off your roof and across the neighborhood. Yes, you might have to recharge your blower—but odds are your gutters aren’t going to need hours of power to get things clean.
What is the best way to use a leaf blower?
Before using your leaf blower, make sure you’ve taken your safety into account. Put on a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris and don a pair of earmuffs to protect your hearing. Check that the leaves you are blowing are mostly dry and that wind is low. Plan to blow your leaves in one direction using pulses of air while pointing the nozzle at a shallow angle toward the ground. Sweep the blower from side to side while blowing leaves into a pile.
Related: The best way to deal with fall leaves
The bottom line on finding the best leaf blower
When buying a leaf blower, your first major consideration should be the demands of the property you are tending. Do you have access to power outlets? Do you have acres or a small backyard? This will tell you whether it’s worth buying a larger gas-powered model, or if you can stick with a corded or wireless model. From there, you’ll want to consider what kind of power tool owner you are. Are you someone who likes maintaining your landscaping tools, checking the engine, and mixing gas? Or do you simply want to plug something in or charge a battery? Your environment also comes into play when considering how much power you’ll need. Are you dealing with debris other than leaves? Do you have close neighbors who will object to loud engine noise? Once you’ve reached this conclusion, you’ll want to set a price range. Remember that CFM rating will tell you how many leaves your tool can move at once, and MPH will tell you how it can handle heavier debris. Now you’re well on your way to finding the best leaf blower for your home.