Leaf blowers are used to clear fall debris off of yards, driveways and sidewalks, as well as to blow heavy autumnal leaves from your yard. Finding the right leaf blower for the job involves considering a variety of criteria, including the size of your lawn, the amount of power you need to clear it, and your own capabilities with a leaf blower.
The best leaf blowers include the Husqvarna 125B gas leaf blower, the Dewalt 20V Lithium-Ion blower, and the Hitachi 23.9cc gas-powered blower. These blowers are all handheld blowers, making them perfect for home-maintenance and independent yard work.
There are three main types of leaf blowers. The best type of leaf blower for everyday use is the handheld blower. We will look at why, and the seven best handheld blowers available below.
Do You Need a Leaf Blower?
Not every person with a yard will need to purchase a leaf blower. If you live in an area of the world that has mostly evergreen trees, you may not encounter many leaves on your lawn throughout the year. Evergreen trees, which can be either broadleaf or coniferous, keep their leaves or needles year-round.
If, however, your property is home to mostly deciduous trees or trees that lose their leaves annually, then chances are you’ll need a leaf blower to clear your lawn and clean out your gutters a few times a year.
What to Look for in a Leaf Blower
When purchasing a leaf blower, it’s important to consider a few different things. These include the weight of the blower, the size of your yard, and the power source of the leaf blower.
Below, we take a closer look at these criteria.
Types of Leaf Blowers
There are three main types of leaf blowers: the handheld leaf blower, the backpack leaf blower, and the pushable leaf blower.
- The pushable leaf blower is best suited for industrial jobs. These machines are large and more difficult to maneuver than their lighter cousins. They do offer more power, and so are usually used in large spaces like football fields, or on acreage. Your average home lawn doesn’t need the intense power of the push blower.
The handheld blower is the lightest, most mobile of the blowers. It is suitable for most home improvement jobs and can be operated with minimal body strength. Handheld blowers are the smallest type of blower, making them optimal for storing in your home, shed or garage and using without experiencing fatigue.
This is the most common blower for homeowners, renters. Unless you have over a half-acre of land, then chances are, you won’t need a backpack blower – and you definitely don’t need to purchase a pushable leaf blower.
- Backpack blowers land somewhere in the middle of the two previous blowers. They offer more power than the handheld blower but aren’t as large as the push blower. The backpack-style straps offer added comfort for extended projects.
Size of Your Yard
As noted within the different types of blowers, each style of blower is better suited for different surface areas.
If you are clearing off anywhere from a simple deck area to a large yard, a handheld blower will fit your needs best.
When your property stretches from 5,000 square feet, up to an acre, you’re better off with the backpack blower. Any leafy areas larger than an acre and you should invest in a push mower.
Another thing to consider is the noise level of the leaf blower. Depending on the size of your property and the proximity of your neighbors, you may have to look for a quiet blowing option. A lot of blowers also come with nozzle attachments that help to muffle the sound of the blower, though this won’t stop the sound altogether.
Gas or Electric or Corded
The power source of your blower will determine many things: the amount of force it can use to rid your yard of leaves, the noise level of the blower, and the weight of the machine.
The three power sources for blowers are gas, battery, and corded electricity.
Gas-powered blowers have the most fan power, but can be a bit intimidating to use if you’re not familiar with gas-powered equipment. They also take more work to maintain and tend to be heavier than other blowers.
Battery-powered blowers have good mobility and are much quieter than gas blowers since there is no engine running the machine. Batteries for the blowers are also usually compatible with other batteries for electronics of the same brand. For instance, the Dewalt Lithium Ion blower on our list below uses the same battery as the rest of the Dewalt lines.
Lastly, there are corded blowers. These are usually lighter than the first two types of blowers, as they don’t have an engine or heavy battery pack. Obviously, the reach of these blowers is the lowest because of the plugged cord. The advantage that the cord offers is usually a more powerful blower than a battery-only blower, but not quite as powerful as the gas blowers.
Warranties / Cost
Leaf blowers range in price and quality like any other product, and while finding something within your budget is important, investing in a high-quality piece of equipment that also has a warranty is usually the most beneficial in the long run.
Look for companies that offer extended warranties on their products. Husqvarna offers a standard 2-year warranty with their handheld gas-powered products that can be extended into either a 3-year or 5-year warranty.
Weight / Ease of Use
The last criteria to consider when buying a blower is the weight of the machine. Handheld leaf blowers can range anywhere from 5-10lbs (2.27- 4.53kgs).
Corded blowers land at the lightest end of this spectrum, with their lack of internal power components. These may be the better option for people with limited upper body strength.
Gas blowers are on the other end of the spectrum, often weighing more than 9lbs (4.08kgs). They can be more tiring to use for extended periods of time.
The WORX Turbine 600 blower is a corded blower at a reasonable price. Under $55, it uses the same function as a jet engine. One continuous tunnel with a fan in it that draws air in from the back, and pushes it powerfully out of the front of the tube. This keeps the blower light, coming in at 6.4lbs (2.9kg).
The WORX blower also offers 2-speed functionality. The lower speed setting is useful for driving leaves out of curbs and tight corners, while the high-speed setting releases 600 cubic feet of air at 110mph (177km).
This blower also includes a tapered nozzle to help direct the powerful stream of air to the exact location you need it. This does help quieten the blower, though it’s not overly loud, to begin with.
This blower is designed to be used with one hand, so if you do need to adjust the extension cord you’re working with, you’ll have a free hand to do it.
The Greenworks Jet Electric leaf blower is a battery-powered blower that has a molded grip for comfort, and up to 22 minutes of run time on one battery charge.
The turbo button engages a 145mph (233km) wind system, which helps to compensate for the limited battery life. The battery also charges to full within 40 minutes, so if you don’t finish the job on the first try, you can be back at your chore in under an hour.
This tool, with battery and charger, can run upwards of $200. If you already have some Greenworks hardware that uses batteries, you can use those on the blower instead of buying a new battery and charger. The tool only will cost you considerably less, under $140.
This investment does include a 4-year warranty on the leaf blower tool, and a 2-year warranty on the battery.
The Greenworks electric blower weighs in on the heavier end of this list, at a solid 10lbs (4.53kg).
The Hitachi 23.9cc gas-powered blower is a commercial-grade leaf blower made available for home use. The fuel tank capacity is 17.6fl ounces.
It is well-balanced and relatively light for a gas-powered blower. This machine weighs in at 8.6lbs, (3.9kg) It also has a large, two-finger trigger, which means a more reliable grip when you’re operating the blower, with less strain on your hands.
The blower costs about $150 and has an impressive warranty. For non-commercial uses, the blower is covered by a 7-year warranty. For commercial uses, the warranty is lowered to 2-years, and for rental purposes, it includes a 1-year warranty.
The 2-stroke engine produces a 170mph (273km) wind force when using the tapered nozzle to better focus the airflow. This also helps to reduce the noise slightly, though the powerful gas engine may be too loud for early morning suburban projects.
The Hitachi gas-powered blower also works with its PureFire low emission technology, which makes it more environmentally friendly.
This Dewalt handheld leaf blower is very capable, though pricey. The 1st generation models cost about $200, with the second generation adding another $70 to the bill.
The engine of this blower is brushless, meaning that it uses magnets to turn the motor, instead of brushes. This reduces the number of replaceable parts in the engine, making it more durable and efficient.
The trigger on this Dewalt Brushless Blower is pressure sensitive. It will give more speed to the engine the harder you press the trigger, reaching maximum speed when you depress the trigger fully. There is also a speed-lock function that fixes the speed of the motor, holding it in the desired place. This allows you to concentrate on your chore, and not on keeping the blower at the right speed.
The Dewalt brand is known for its interchangeable batteries, making this a good addition to your garage if you already have many Dewalt tools.
This blower weighs in at 9.7lbs (4.39kg).
This Makita machine is one of the heavier duty blowers on this list. The gas-powered engine is a 24.5cc, 4-stroke engine, making it more powerful than the Hitachi, which is only a 2-stroke engine.
The Makita blower is of commercial grade, meaning it can easily tackle most home lawns. It has a large muffler, to quieten the tool. It includes two nozzles, the long one for more focused streams of air, and the round one for more widespread power.
This blower’s handle is padded, to diminish the vibrations from the powerful motor. It also helps to cushion the carrying load. The MM4 weighs in at 9.8lbs (4.44kg). The fuel capacity of the tank on this blower is 17.7fl ounces.
Makita offers a 2-year warranty on all emissions-related parts, while the warranty on all other parts is only 1-year, which is seemingly low when compared to the price tag, which is upwards of $250.
The Husqvarna 125B handheld blower is a gas blower that offers up to 170mph (273km) wind power. The blower will run you about $150 and comes with Husqvarna’s 2-year limited warranty.
It also includes an auto-return stop switch. This means once you’ve stopped the blower, the switch automatically returns to the “start” position, making a faster start for next time. This blower also includes a variable speed control throttle that allows you to control the force of the air coming out, manually. Once you’ve found a speed you like, the cruise control setting allows you to set the speed, and leave it there.
The Husqvarna 125B also has an adjustable blowing tube. This acts as a sort of built-in nozzle attachment. If the tube is fully extended, the blower will be quieter, and the air stream more direct. If the tube is fully compressed, the blower will be louder, and the force of air will be broader.
This leaf blower weighs in at about 9.4lbs (4.26kg).
The Toro UltraPlus is a leaf blower, vacuum, and leaf shredder combo. This means that it has a reversible fan, which allows the machine to blow outward, or suck inward.
The machine comes with extra accessories for the vacuum mode. These include an extended vacuum tube for better leaf-grabbing abilities and a zip-top bag attachment for the debris, so you can detach the vacuum bag when you’re only using the leaf blower mode.
In the body of the machine is a patented shredding gadget called “Shredz-all” that serves as a built-in leaf shredder. When in vacuum mode, the shredder is engaged, tearing all of the dry debris into more compact pieces. This allows the vacuum bag to pack more leaves in and makes for easier disposal of your yard waste.
Toro makes special note to mention that this vacuum is only intended for dry leaves, not for use as an industrial vacuum. This means no dust, sawdust, or large amounts of dirt should be cleared with the Toro UltraPlus. The blower has variable speed controls for both the vacuum and the blower functions.
This corded electric blower comes with a hook for storage of the device’s cord, though it does not come with an extension cord for more reach.
The power of this blower clocks in at an impressive 250mph (402km) and the machine weighs in at a reasonable 8.9lbs (4.03kg). You can take home this 3-in-one yard care tool for about $100.
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The Bonus Uses for Leaf Blowers
When you’re investing in a new tool to add to your garage, you want to get the most out of that gadget. Leaf blowers are by no means limited to just clearing leaves.
Other uses for leaf blowers include:
- Clearing light layers of snow off of your driveway
- Blowing clumped grass off of your yard, after you’ve mowed
- Clearing out your gutters- just be sure to do this before clearing your lawn
- Dry pavement or other surfaces quickly
- Cleaning the dirt off of other equipment
- Quickly clearing sawdust out of a room or garage
There are many types of leaf blowers, and they vary slightly from model to model. For the average consumer who is clearing the leaves off of their lawn, any of the leaf blowers above will complete the job.
If you’re looking for the best gas model, it’s hard to beat the powerful Hitachi with its 7-year warranty.
Leaning towards a battery-powered machine? The Greenworks leaf blower is a great all-around tool with a good warranty.
The best corded electric blower is the Toro Leaf Blower Vacuum Shredder combo. It has great customization with the three different modes of function, and its powerful blowing action is hard to beat.