10 Best Leaf Blowers | March 2017

They call it "Fall" for a reason. So now that all those leaves have fallen onto your lawn, deck and patio, clear them away the easy way with one of these leaf blowers. We've included quiet and efficient electric powered models, as well as some that can do double duty as vacuums and mulchers. Skip to the best leaf blower on Amazon.
10 Best Leaf Blowers | March 2017


Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 5
Best High-End
★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
10
The Toro 51702 costs less than $60, which is hard to beat. It pushes out air at speeds up to 120 mph, which means it isn't the most powerful option, but it should be enough for the casual user.
9
The Earthwise BLR20070 hits speeds of up to 160 mph, and comes with a 2-year warranty, so you don't have to worry about it breaking in the first season or two. It does take a long time to recharge the battery, but is powerful once charged, and is extremely lightweight.
8
The Weed Eater WEB160 is a lightweight, electric model with a powerful 7.5-amp motor that can remove stubborn, stuck-on leaves, so you don't have to bend over and scrape them off. It could use more cushioning on the handle, though.
7
The Black & Decker BV3600 is a combination electric blower, vacuum, and mulcher that comes in at a surprisingly affordable price. It's a great choice for somebody who needs a lot of tools, but doesn't have a lot of storage space. It even works well against matted leaves.
  • built-in cord retainer
  • compacts trimmings at 16 to 1 ratio
  • tool free change from blower to vac
Brand BLACK+DECKER
Model BV5600
Weight 13.6 pounds
6
The Makita DUB182Z only gets about 12 minutes of continuous operation from a single charge when using it on high speed, so it wouldn't be suitable for large yards. But it makes up for that in power and handles tough debris easily.
  • comfortable rubberized handle
  • 0-18,000 rpm variable speed control
  • compact at only 20-3/4" long
Brand Makita
Model DUB182Z
Weight 3.7 pounds
5
The GreenWorks 24252 G-MAX is a smart option that offers a lot of control over blower power. It features speed controls directly on the sweeper tips as well as a variable speed dial for the motor.
  • reliable starting in all weather
  • quality, high-performance battery
  • comes apart for compact storage
Brand Greenworks
Model 24252
Weight 8.4 pounds
4
The Ryobi P2102 is extremely lightweight, at just 4 lbs. so there is less user fatigue on big jobs. It's great for clearing decks, sidewalks and driveways of unsightly leaf buildup, and has a secure hand grip.
  • compatible with 18v ryobi1+ batteries
  • comes with the battery charger
  • blowing power isn't very strong
Brand Ryobi
Model P2102
Weight 7.1 pounds
3
The Toro 51609 Ultra is a powerful 12-amp leaf blower and vacuum that is capable of outputting air at speeds of up to 235 mph. It's also available in a less powerful 160 mph model, in case you prefer a less heavy-duty option.
  • includes a concentrator nozzle
  • quick conversion from blower to vacuum
  • comes with a cord storage hook
Brand Toro
Model 51619
Weight 12.7 pounds
2
The Greenworks 24012 is an affordable and lightweight option that is still effective enough to handle most jobs that average household users might throw at it. It features a powerful 7 amp, two-speed motor.
  • has zero carbon footprint
  • not as noisy as gas powered models
  • safety cord lock keeps you connected
Brand Greenworks
Model 24012
Weight 5.7 pounds
1
The Black and Decker LSW36 is an efficient blower that uses a 40-volt lithium ion rechargeable battery to output air at speeds of up to 120 mph. Its blow tube has a built-in scraper to help loosen matted leaves and stuck-on debris.
  • can maximize run time or power as needed
  • fast 1-hour charge time
  • weighs less than 5 pounds
Brand DEWALT
Model LSW36
Weight 6.6 pounds

Choosing The Right Leaf Blower

If you've ever hand raked your entire yard, you understand the amount of time and physical energy it takes to complete said task. Maybe that's the reason you're here: you're ready to invest in a leaf blower. Leaf blowers are powerful, effective, and in many cases are surprisingly affordable, too. It might come as something of a pleasant surprise to know that you can get a leaf blower for well under fifty dollars.

First, to be clear, when we discuss leaf blowers, in this context we are talking about electrically powered, handheld units as opposed to their larger and more powerful counterpart, the backpack blower. Those professional grade units tend to be overpowered for the purposes of most people looking merely to keep their yards or patios looking cleaner through occasional maintenance. (And even the cheapest backpack blower costs more than two hundred dollars, it should be noted.)

When choosing a leaf blower, you first have to decide if you prefer a corded unit or one that is controlled by battery power. The benefits of a unit that plugs in are as obvious as its drawbacks: your power source is reliable and essentially endless, and you never have to wait for a battery to charge. On the other hand, use of corded units necessitates the ownership of a long extension cord and the reach of the unit is limited by the length of said cord. Moving about also requires frequent retracing of steps and movement of the cord. A battery powered leaf blower, on the other hand, lets its user move freely about a property unencumbered by a cord and not limited by its reach. Once the batteries die, however, the unit is nothing more than an oddly shaped paperweight until they have been recharged. This annoying can be mitigated by the purchase of extra batteries, but of course that adds expense.

As for actual power, there is surprisingly little difference between the air output of a plug in blower compared to a battery powered blower with a relatively full charge. While most blowers create wind speeds of 160 miles per hour or more, some smaller units only generate winds blowing at 120 MPH. This will likely not be sufficient for clearing larger buildups of wet leaves or for larger twigs. Don't try to save money by getting yourself a leaf blower that is underpowered for your property's needs -- this will prove counterproductive as you end up wasting time manually clearing debris rather than blowing it where it needs to go.

Finally, consider whether your needs will be met by a unit that functions as a leaf blower alone or if you prefer (or need, given the quantity of leaves your property produces) a leaf blower that can also function as a vacuum and mulcher. Many leaf blowers can also be used to suck up and chop up leaves and small lawn debris, providing you with useful leaf mulch or simply reducing the number of bags needed to clean up the leaves you gather. With this versatility, you can expect a slightly added price, but many users find this cost well worth it.

Using Your Leaf Blower

Using a leaf blower will quickly become second nature to most people, but the amateur user will benefit from these few basic tips. First and foremost, you have to know how to operate the actual machine. Read the manual if you have any doubts about its function, and otherwise simply make sure you are running battery powered units with a full charge or are using intact power cords rated for the voltage drawn by your leaf blower.

Next, know that timing is important when blowing leaves. Wet leaves are remarkably resistant to a leaf blower; whenever possible, clear leaves before rainfall or else wait a day or two to let wet leaves dry out again before you try to remove them with your blower. (If you must clear wet leaves, you will likely have to use a rake.) Also avoid blowing leaves on a windy day unless the breeze is consistent blowing in the direction in which you want to move the leaves anyway; otherwise, you will simply lift and redistribute the leaves, rather than clearing them.

To make your work easier, plan in advance where your final leaf pile (or piles) will be and lay down a large tarp (weighted with rocks or branches if need be) that will collect the blown leaves in a pile. You can skip the tarp if you plan to suck up and mulch the leaf pile later. Always try to work in one direction when blowing leaves. One technique is to start in one corner of your yard and work toward the far corner; another is to work your way down hill.

You should hold your leaf blower down by your waist to reduce arm strain and to create the proper shallow angle for ideal lifting and moving of leaves and twigs. Use a back and forth sweeping motion to keep leaves moving once they have been lifted from the grass.

A Few Words On Leaf Blower Safety

Operating a leaf blower is safe and easy as long as you take a few basic precautionary steps prior to each use, and as long as you adhere to a few common sense practices.

It's important that you wear hearing and eye protection while using a leaf blower. Most electric units create a noise level measured between seventy and eighty five decibels, which is instantly annoying to the human ear and which can cause long term damage with prolonged exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration directs companies to protect workers from sound at this volume; take care of yourself and do the same.

As for eye protection, a leaf blower stirs up all sorts of debris while in use, including many small particles that can easily find their way into your eye, causing irritation or damage. Use goggles or protective glasses to minimize the risk of a scratched cornea.

And of course you must make sure no one else is near enough to your leaf blower to have their eyes or ears potentially damaged, or else to even be struck by a bit of wind blown debris you inadvertently send aloft.



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Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information

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