The 10 Best Backpack Blowers
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in February of 2016. There'll be no more strenuous leaf raking in your future if you opt for one of these backpack blowers, which will clear your garden of debris in no time at all. Available with electric motors and gas-powered engines, we've selected some reasonably-priced models for home users, as well as more substantial options good for professional landscaping and commercial maintenance. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 22, 2020:
We removed the RedMax EBZ8500 because of its extremely high price, and the fact that we already included the Husqvarna 580BTS. The Husqvarna 580BTS has nearly the same technical specifications as the RedMax EBZ8500, but is 5 pounds lighter, and priced lower.
We added another heavy-duty blower to our list, the Echo PB-770T. This model would be great for a professional landscaper, or a homeowner who just has a lot of property to cover. Its heavy weight and high CFM output are probably overkill for the average homeowner though.
Leaf blowers are notoriously noisy machines, and even the quieter models can create quite a racket. To prevent hearing loss over time, you should always wear proper ear protection when operating your leaf blower.
Speaking of noise, be sure to check with your local restrictions regarding leaf blower operation. Many cities across the country have recently passed legislation limiting the time leaf blowers are allowed to operate, and some have even banned gas-powered leaf blowers altogether. If you find yourself in one of these areas, you may want to consider one of these cordless blowers.
Backpack blowers are great for larger properties and jobs that require a significant amount of time, but if you don’t require one, you might want to consider this broader variety of leaf blowers. This collection includes several handheld models, with both gas and battery-powered options.
April 16, 2019:
If you've got a rather large property to clear of leaves and other yard waste, you may want to consider a backpack blower. They're a bit easier to wield and usually more powerful than their handheld relatives, though they're also more expensive. Husqvarna makes a handful of excellent options, ranging from a relatively light-duty model for home users, through a mid-range option that's exceptionally versatile, to a high-end blower that's more powerful and more expensive than just about all the rest. The Poulan is one of the most affordable, and if it won't see incredibly frequent use, it may be all you need to get the job done without hurting your shoulders and back. Echo and RedMax each make a great unit, and they're both quite powerful, and they come at middle-of-the-road prices. If you're okay with shelling out a little but more cash for a fantastic tool, it's hard to argue with the Makita. It uses a 4-cycle engine that operates flawlessly no matter what angle it's at or what direction its moving, and one tank of gas lasts for quite a long time.
If the noise level and fumes of an internal combustion engine are a turn-off for you or your neighbors, don't worry, as there are a few excellent battery-powered options. The GreenWorks uses an 80-volt power source and performs almost as well as a gas model, but not quite. DeWalt's is a little bit different than other electric models, as it has two separate battery ports. You can either keep both connected and switch to the full side when one empties, or you can use one while the other is still charging, thus reducing weight. But the Ego Power+ may be the best battery-powered option, partially because the rest of the tools that share its power pack are also of very high quality. If you decide to invest in a range of incredibly useful yard tools that don't spit out smelly exhaust or hurt your ears, it may be the way to go.
Landscaping And Property Maintenance Made Easy
At a bare minimum, proper lawn care must involve owning a decent lawn mower.
Ultimately, there is no easier way to enjoy a clean, well manicured property than by hiring a landscaping and lawn care company to take care of your yard for you. But the costs of a single landscape cleaning and maintenance session can quickly add up for the average sized property, especially when the work takes place during the fall season what with its extra load of downed leaves, or during the spring, when pollen blankets the land and many plants rapidly become overgrown.
Even homes with basic landscaping designs still need regular service and maintenance, with monthly visits being the minimum amount of care that can preserve a handsome property in some areas, while others need at least bi-monthly attention.
For the able bodied person who is proud of his or her home and wants it to look great, a Do It Yourself approach to landscaping and lawn care is the best way to go. And when you equip yourself with the right tools for the job, DIY property maintenance and cleaning need not be a laborious undertaking.
Assembling the right "arsenal" of landscaping equipment can be a costly process initially, but you will save lots of money in the long run by purchasing and using your own equipment, thereby freeing yourself from the need to use a paid service to help you maintain your property. At a bare minimum, proper lawn care must involve owning a decent lawn mower. Fortunately, there are many types of lawn mowers -- from electric options to manually powered push mowers to traditional gasoline powered lawn mowers -- that are available at relatively affordable prices.
The prepared DIY landscaper will have at their disposal both a good metal rake for pulling up stubborn thatch and a wider, more pliant rake (usually made of plastic) for collecting wet leaves or grass clippings left behind by a mower. An edger is great for keeping the lines of your lawn crisp, and a weed wacker is important for clearing grass, weeds, and ivy from around fences and trees.
The easiest way to tackle what is otherwise the most arduous task, the raking of the leaves and clearing of debris, is to treat yourself to a good, powerful backpack blower. They might initially seem pricey, but consider the savings you'll reap each time you clean your own yard up instead of using a professional service.
Choosing A Backpack Blower
Some backpack blowers weigh almost thirty pounds, while others weigh about half that. If you are a smaller person, or if your load bearing capabilities are limited by age, injury, or infirmity, then you should place a blower's size and weight as a more important consideration than its power: you can't well use a unit you can't safely carry, after all.
If you are of hale and hearty body, on the other hand, then by all means consider a unit with a 75 cubic centimeter motor that's capable of creating air speeds in excess of 250 miles per hour, to name a few stats boasted by some of the more potent units on the market.
Next consider the ergonomics of various units. Some use underslung grips while others use joystick style handles. Some backpack blowers have control surfaces operated by both hands, while others require just single handed use.
Safe And Proper Use Of Your Backpack Blower
A backpack blower can produce noise measured at as many as 100 decibels (Db) or, in rare cases with extra powerful units, or older units in need of a tune up, higher. Most units create at least 80 to 90 Db. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that no worker be exposed to noise levels higher than 90 Db during an eight hour work day, as any louder noises can lead to both acute and chronic -- and often irreparable -- hearing impairment. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends an even lower decibel exposure level, with 85 Db as their maximum acceptable level.
This step could be considered an abundance of caution for the infrequent user, but should be considered mandatory for anyone regularly operating such equipment.
These figures have been established based on rigorous, thorough study, and they warrant being followed by everyone who values his or her hearing. If you are using a leaf blower, you should be wearing ear protection at all times. Protective eyewear should also be used at all times when a person is operating a backpack blower as well as by those working in close proximity to the unit. These powerful units stir up debris that can easily find its way into a person's eye, potentially causing severe corneal damage.
As blowers also tend to stir up vast amounts of dust and small particulate matter, it is also a good idea to wear a mask covering your mouth and nose, and even to wear a full respirator mask if you are at particular risk for respiratory issues due to asthma or severe allergies. This step could be considered an abundance of caution for the infrequent user, but should be considered mandatory for anyone regularly operating such equipment.
Make sure to carefully read the operator's manual of your new backpack blower and familiarize yourself with its controls before you ever switch the unit on. You should also take the time to adjust your blower's straps so they fit your body comfortably and securely; this will reduce operator fatigue and give you greater control over the unit, making your work both more effective and safer.
And finally, take special care to always use the exact right type of fuel and the right blend of gas and oil when filling your backpack blower's tank. The wrong type or mixture of fuel can wreak havoc on the unit's motor.