The Best Leaf Blowers for Yard Work

For help choosing the best leaf blower for your budget and needs, continue for top tips and recommendations.

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The Best Leaf Blower for Any Yard

Photo: istockphoto.com

Manually raking leaves is often a laborious chore. You can make it an easier, faster process by using a leaf blower. There are a wide variety of styles and sizes of leaf blowers on the market today, ranging from light-duty handheld units to heavyweight professional-grade models. Read on to learn about the different types and to find out why we consider the following to be among the very best leaf blower options out there:

  1. BEST OVERALL: WORX Turbine 600 Corded Electric Leaf Blower
  2. BEST FOR HEAVY DUTY: Husqvarna 360BT Backpack Blower
  3. BEST VALUE: Sun Joe 6-Amp 155 MPH Electric Leaf Blower
  4. ALSO CONSIDER: Kobalt Brushless Cordless Electric Leaf Blower
Best Leaf Blower for Any Size Yard

Photo: amazon.com

Key Considerations for Choosing the Best Leaf Blower

Size

It is important to take the total weight of the blower into account—while a larger model may be more powerful, it will probably also be more unwieldy.

  • Small, handheld leaf blowers—usually sporting a shoulder strap—are suitable for those who have an average-size suburban lot and a few trees.
  • Larger, backpack-style models are ideal for those with bigger properties or yards with many trees.
  • Wheeled, walk-behind blowers are generally used by pros and people with heavy-duty needs.

Power

Leaf blowers are rated by cubic feet per minute (CFM), a measurement of the volume of air that is pushed through the unit. Blowers with higher CFM ratings can move more leaves at a faster rate. Another important rating, the power output of a leaf blower, is measured in cubic centimeters (cc) for gasoline-powered motors; amps (A) for corded electric blowers; and volts (V) for cordless, battery-powered blowers. Miles-per-hour (MPH) ratings, yet another indication of a blower’s power, measure the speed at which air exits the unit.

Choosing Between Gas and Electric for the Best Leaf Blower

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Fuel Type

There are three different types of power systems for leaf blowers:

  • Gasoline: Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are typically the most powerful—ideal for properties of a quarter acre or more—and come in two-cycle or four-cycle engines. Two-cycle engines run on a blend of oil and gasoline, and offer a good balance between power and weight; four-cycle engines run on gasoline alone but tend to be heavier than two-cycle engines and also require regular oil changes. Note that these models produce exhaust that contains carbon monoxide and other pollutants and therefore should always be used outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
  • Corded Electric: Corded electric units are lightweight, portable, and quieter than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Light-duty electric sweepers can handle driveways, decks, and patios, while higher-powered electric blowers can take on yards up to a quarter of an acre. Corded electric blowers provide steady power without the weight of a battery; however, because the cord restricts mobility, they are used primarily for small yards or areas near the house.
  • Battery-Powered: Showcasing many of the same advantages as an electric model, cordless battery-powered blowers also offer excellent mobility. The batteries, however, add a little weight and need to be recharged periodically. Some cordless leaf blowers use batteries that are interchangeable with other power equipment or accessories, including string trimmers, hedge trimmers, and chain saws. If you have several such battery-powered tools, or if you have a particularly large lawn, it may be in your best interest to keep some extra batteries on hand.

Noise

The most frequent complaint about leaf blowers is that they are noisy. Many gasoline-powered models emit 90 to 102 decibels during use; electric and battery-powered units typically range from 65 to 78 decibels. Some local municipalities have enacted laws capping leaf blower noise at 65 or 70 decibels at a distance of 50 feet away, so it might be a good idea to check your local ordinances before purchasing a leaf blower. A unit with variable speed settings, which allow you to adjust the airflow and movement of debris, can also help with noise control. Always wear eye and ear protection and a dust mask while operating a leaf blower.

Accessories

A leaf vacuum and/or shredding or mulching attachment is a highly desirable feature that enables you to shred leaves so they can be used as mulch in garden beds, thereby reducing yard waste. Some vacuum-capable models include larger-diameter chutes or tubes that help collect leaves. Reduction ratios—such as 10:1 or 16:1—indicate the number of bags of leaves that a blower with mulching capabilities can reduce to one bag.

Our Top Picks

While there are a tremendous number of options out there, we’ve done our homework to narrow it down from you, using the criteria outlined above to identify our favorites among the best leaf blowers available today.

Best Overall

The Best Leaf Blower Option: WORX WG520 Turbine 600 Corded Electric Leaf Blower
Photo: amazon.com

Make quick work of leaf removal with the WORX Turbine 600 leaf blower. The WORX features turbine fan technology (spinning force) that delivers up to 115 mph of leaf-churning air, controlled by a variable speed switch on the handle. Still, this corded electric blower weighs in at a comfortable-to-carry 6.4 pounds and can reach most of a small- or medium-size yard with light leaf accumulation if you connect it to either a 16-gauge, 50-foot extension cord or a 14-gauge, 100-foot extension cord.

Best for Heavy Duty

The Best Leaf Blower Option: Husqvarna 967144301 360BT Backpack Blower
Photo: amazon.com

For superior leaf-blowing power, consider this model from Husqvarna. Its powerful 65cc X-Torq motor delivers air at an impressive blowing speed of up to 232 mph, so even compressed leaves won’t stand a chance. It weighs in at a hefty 23.2 pounds, but don’t worry about arm fatigue! The Husqvarna comes with a backpack that supports the blower at your side as you work—you just guide the pipe. Air speed is controlled by trigger pressure, and the blower runs on a fuel combination of 50 parts gasoline to one part two-stroke engine oil (included) that powers up with an easy one-pull quick start. This option is great for large yards that get a lot of leaf accumulation (and for working in areas where electricity isn’t available).

Best Value

The Best Leaf Blower Option: Sun Joe SBJ597E 6-Amp 155 MPH Electric Leaf Blower
Photo: amazon.com

The Sun Joe electric leaf blower offers an impressive air speed of up to 155 mph so you can effectively remove leaves and small twigs from driveways and walks. Weighing in at just 3.9 pounds, you won’t have any trouble holding the single-speed blower with just one hand. The Sun Joe features a 6-amp, 110-volt electric motor and comes with a short cord that should be connected to either a 16-gauge, 50-foot exterior cord or a 14-gauge, 100-foot extension cord for safe outdoor operating. A standout for power at a low price, the Sun Joe is great for clearing away light leaf accumulation in garden areas, sidewalks, and garages.

Also Consider

best-leaf-blower

If you’re looking for muscle in a cordless blower, the Kobalt may impress. It runs on a powerful 80-volt lithium-ion battery (sold separately) and requires the additional purchase of a battery charger, both of which are interchangeable with all other Kobalt 80-volt cordless tools. This blower generates air speeds of up to 125 mph, making it ideal for medium to heavy leaf accumulation.