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Leaf blower buying guide
Clean your lawn in a jiffy without breaking the bank.
These handy pieces of equipment allow you to blow leaves and clippings off your lawn, and some models have a vacuum feature to help you make your spotless yard the envy of neighbors. When buying a new leaf blower, consider if you want a gas-powered, cordless or electric model and how much you want to spend.
Compare some of the best leaf blowers
|Name||Average price||Type||Blow speed (cubic feet per minute)||Power output||Weight (pounds)||Purchase|
|Echo PB-2520||$150||Gas||450||N/A||8.6||Buy now|
|DeWalt DCBL720P1||$200||Battery||400||20 volts||9.7||Buy now|
|Black and Decker BV6000 Blower/Vac/Mulcher||$89||Corded||400||120 volts||8.1||Buy now|
|Husqvarna 965877502 350BT||$300||Gas||434||N/A||22.5||Buy now|
|Poulan Pro||$90||Gas||470||N/A||11||Buy now|
|Ego LB5302||$179||Battery||530||56 volts||9.8||Buy now|
|$65||Corded||350||12 amps||8.5||Buy now|
What is a leaf blower?
A leaf blower is an outdoor power tool designed to help you clear your land of leaves and grass clippings. You can use them to blast garden debris off paths, off your property or into an easy-to-manage pile.
Some models can also vacuum up the debris to better clean your yard. Many models even include a mulching feature to turn that debris into mulch that you can use around your garden.
Pros and cons
Why should you get a leaf blower? There are a few important reasons:
- Convenience. Instead of sweating away with a rake trying to keep your lawn looking sharp, a leaf blower makes cleaning away fallen leaves and other debris a whole lot easier.
- Curb appeal. Maximize your home’s curb appeal or just keep your yard neat and tidy with this handy tool you can tuck away in your shed.
- Versatility. You can also use a leaf blower to keep patios and decks clear of leaves and other debris, which can be useful if you like outdoor entertaining.
- Bushfire safety. Reducing and removing leaf litter, twigs and dead vegetation near your home can help to protect your property in the event of a bushfire.
There are also a few reasons why you might decide that a leaf blower isn’t for you:
- Cost. Leaf blowers usually cost between $100 and $500, but some can be even more. If you have a small yard and don’t have huge piles of leaves and other debris to clear, a rake and broom would be more cost effective.
- Limited leaf collection. Leaf blowers and vacuum combos can only collect a relatively small amount of leaves before you have to empty the bag. Switching between blowing and vacuuming can also take time on some models, so you might prefer to do without the vacuum functionality altogether.
- Noise. Leaf blowers are notoriously loud. Make sure you wear ear protection when using one.
What types are available?
You have three options to choose from when shopping for a leaf blower:
- Gas-powered. Suitable for large areas, gas leaf blowers are the most common option. Two- and four-stroke models are available, and they offer more power and a longer run time than cordless models. However, gas-powered models can be louder and heavier than other options and also tend to require more maintenance.
- Battery-powered. While gas blowers are still the most popular, there’s an increasing number of cordless models — powered by lithium-ion batteries — available. They’re simple to use and generate much less noise and vibration than gas blowers, plus they offer the added benefit of being able to use the battery to power other tools in the manufacturer’s product range. But you’ll need to make sure the vacuuming power and battery runtime are sufficient for your needs.
- Electric. Electric leaf blowers also produce less noise than gas models and are generally easy to use. They’re also usually the most affordable of the three options. The obvious downside is you’ll need to deal with the hassle of an extension cord and stay close to a power outlet, so they’re generally better suited to smaller gardens.
How to compare leaf blowers
When buying a leaf blower, consider these features to find the best fit for your needs:
- Size of yard. Gas models are generally a better choice for large yards, while battery or electric models can be a good choice for smaller yards.
- Weight and comfort. Check the weight of the blower to see if you’ll be able to comfortably hold it for long periods. Is it designed to be held in either hand so you can give your tired arm a break? If you’re choosing a gas model, does it feature any vibration-reduction or vibration-dampening technology?
- Noise levels. Check whether the manufacturer lists a noise rating before you buy. Ratings for gas blowers commonly range between 75 and 95 decibels. If you or your neighbors are sensitive to noise, you might want to opt for a quieter cordless or electric model.
- Switching from blower to vacuum. Some models can be changed from a blower to a vacuum simply by flicking a switch. Others require some tinkering, and sometimes even the use of tools, to be reconfigured. Find out exactly what’s involved before you buy.
- Price. Most blower vacuums are priced in the $100 to $500 range. If buying a battery-powered model, check whether a battery and charger are included as part of the price or whether the model you’re buying is “skin” only.
Additional factors to consider
Along with the aforementioned factors, here are some additional features to consider when buying a leaf blower.
- Adjustable speed. Most models have a maximum airflow speed of 120 to 220 miles per hour. Adjustable speeds are great for leaf blowing around delicate plants and flowers.
- Dust bag. Dust bag capacities typically range from 10 to 15 gallons. Smaller bags will need to be emptied more frequently, but larger bags can become quite heavy to carry when full.
- Mulching. If the blower offers mulching functionality, check the specs sheet to find out its claimed mulching ratio. A ratio of 5:1 means that five bags of garden debris could be chopped into one bag of mulch.
- Handheld or wheeled. A small number of manufacturers offer electric blowers that can be maneuvered around your yard on wheels. You may want to consider one of these models if you think you’ll have difficulty holding a handheld vac for the time required to clean your yard.
- Storage. If storage space is at a premium in your shed, you might want to consider a blower vacuum with a telescopic tube or a detachable nozzle.
Leaf blowers come in a range of sizes, types and price points. The right fit for you will depend on the size of your yard, your budget and personal preferences.
How did we choose these products?
To choose our list of the best leaf blowers, we conducted online research to determine some of the most leaf blowers currently available. We also factored in features such as type, power and price — along with third-party reviews.
MORE BUYING GUIDES
Frequently asked questions
What is a good CFM for a leaf blower?
Leaf blowers with 200 to 400 cubic feet per minute should be fine for a small yard, while blowers with 400 to 700 will be better for larger yards and acreage.
What is the best leaf blower brand?
Some of the most popular leaf blower brands are Echo, Stihl, Husqvarna, Craftsman and Black and Decker.
How long do battery-powered leaf blowers last?
It depends on the model and battery you have, but an 80-volt lithium max battery should give you about 30 minutes of run time.
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