A leaf blower or blower vac is synonymous with autumn, when leaves start to pile up in the backyard. The good thing about these tools is that they’re simple to use, easy to store, and can be used to clean up your lawn in the blink of an eye. Here, we’ll cover some of the best leaf blowers that you can buy as well as their features, strengths, and weaknesses.
Best Petrol Leaf Blower
STIHL BG 56 27.2cc 2-Stroke Petrol Handheld Blower
- Easy to start
- Has a decent amount of power
- Can reach a very loud 70 dB while working
The Stihl BG 56 is a petrol-powered leaf blower, which means that it blows its electricity-powered competition out of the water when it comes to power (we promise that’s the first and last pun in this article). The small 2-stroke engine can produce around 13 newtons of blowing force and can reach an air velocity of 160 kph.
This blower comes in at just over 4 kg, which means that you can easily carry it with one hand. The handle has a comfortable grip and an easy-to-press power button, while the petrol engine has a fuel pump that can manually deliver fuel to the carburettor so that the engine starts up quickly. Additionally, you also get 18.3 oz of maximum fuel, which isn’t a lot but decent for an engine of this size.
Best Battery-Powered Leaf Blowers
Ryobi 18V ONE+ Cordless Blower
- Very lightweight
- No fumes
- The battery and the charger are sold separately
This is a great little leaf blower for a bit of yard work, and it can work constantly for around 20 minutes on a full charge. It’s not particularly powerful, but it’s very easy to carry and direct, and it’s one of the best leaf blowers that you can get if you don’t have a large yard or all that much porch space that you need to cover.
You get a speed nozzle at the front, which helps concentrate the blowing power and allows you to get the most out of the small 18V system. It should be able to produce an air velocity of around 150 kph. The handle provides a lot of room where you can hold the blower, and since it’s just over 1 kg, you shouldn’t have any trouble carrying it.
BLACK+DECKER 18V Lithium-Ion POWERCOMMAND Blower Kit 2.0Ah
- A bit more powerful than most electric blowers
- Ergonomic handle and lightweight for easy handling
- Fairly short battery life
Black+Decker’s Powercommand packs a bit more of a punch than the previous electric leaf blower that we covered—it has to since it’s in all caps, right? It has an air velocity of just over 200 kph, which is pretty decent for a non-petrol-powered blower. It weighs just over 2 kg, has a slim nozzle for concentrated airflow, and has a rubberised grip with an easy-to-access start/stop button. The battery pack is at the bottom of the handle.
The extra power is nice when you compare it to most other blowers of this type, but it still doesn’t let it compete with the much more powerful petrol models. Moreover, the extra push does mean that the charge will be dead after around 15 or 20 minutes of continuous use. However, the power is always nice to have and it takes up virtually no space in the shed, so you can just bust it out and turn it on whenever you need it.
Best Cheap Leaf Blower
Ozito 1800W Electric Blower
- Soft grip ergonomic handle
- Cord Retainer
- Can reach 100 dB, which is louder than most petrol blowers
The Ozito is a pretty powerful leaf blower even by petrol blower standards. It has an airspeed of around 320 kph, which is twice as much as any leaf blower that we’ve covered so far. Petrol leaf blowers still have the edge when it comes to how much blowing force they can produce, but the directional nozzle that this unit comes with will definitely allow it to keep up in terms of push power.
Since this is a corded blower, you’ll need a power socket nearby if you want to use it, but that also means that you don’t have to charge any batteries or put in petrol. The only downside here is that the 1800W electric motor can increase your electricity bill for the month if you use it for too long, which is the price you pay for the convenience.
Best Premium Leaf Blowers
Husqvarna 580BTS 3.3 kW Petrol Back Pack Blower
- Very powerful
- The internal airflow systems reduce the need for frequent maintenance
- Significantly more expensive than standard models
The Husqvarna comes with a commercial-grade air filter that works on a 2-stage intake system that results in less necessary downtime. The air injection also allows for longer operating times and the air purge allows the engine to start up much more easily.
Speaking of startups, this device has a rubberized grip that can easily be pulled to start the engine, as well as adjustable handles just above it. It comes in at around 112 dB on the noise scale when it works on full blast, but even though it’s a bit noisy, the internal dampeners improve the handling and make it much easier to handle thanks to the lack of vibrations.
The backpack also comes with an ergonomic harness so that you can carry it easily, as well as adjustable straps. This all results in one of the best leaf blowers for anyone that has a lot of ground to cover and needs to work without their arms getting tired from constantly lugging around a standard blower.
Husqvarna 525iB Kit 5.2Ah Li-ion Cordless Brushless Blower Combo Kit
- Very powerful
- The battery lasts quite a while considering the power output
- The power has a bit of kick which might slightly affect the handling
The battery on this leaf blower can last for around 30 to 35 minutes, and considering how much space it can cover, that’s more than enough to cover your entire yard, regardless of how big it might be. You can adjust the blowing speed to whatever suits your needs best, you can turn on cruise control to set the motor rpm, and you can activate boost mode to speed things up a bit in short bursts.
It comes with a brushless motor with built-in dampeners for lower vibration and noise levels, as well as a harness that makes carrying and operating this machine a lot easier on the wrists. You also get a few conveniences like the ergonomic handle, a water-proof battery case that can allow you to work in damp weather if you want, and even a two-year warranty in case something goes wrong with any of the parts.
Best Leaf Blower Brands
You might know Stihl best from their long line of quality chainsaws, but the company is known for many useful products. Just like their chainsaws, most of their leaf blower models are petrol-powered, very reliable, and they’re probably the most powerful tools that you can find on the market. This is the brand of choice for anyone that has more space to cover and wants to cover it quickly.
Ryobi is a Japanese brand, and the company is known for making very high-quality gardening equipment, so you can bet that their leaf blowers are no exception. They mostly have corded and battery-powered leaf blowers and a lot of their models can pack a punch in terms of airpower.
Husqvarna doesn’t have the sort of pedigree as the other brands on this list, but despite that, the leaf blowers that come out of this company are still just as good as the products that come from the bigger players in this market. They have a large line of useful leaf blowers, and all of them are useful in their own way and would be perfect for just about anyone.
How to Choose The Right Leaf Blower
Depending on the type of leaf blower that you get—battery, corded, or petrol-powered—there is a certain airspeed that you can expect from it. Petrol blowers are usually the most powerful, closely followed by corded, with battery-powered leaf blowers coming in as the least powerful models.
For the sake of convenience, you also want a blower that’s not too heavy, as well as one that has a rubberised or ergonomic handle. Aside from those features and maybe a decent starting cord, there really isn’t all that much else to have on your blower.
Are Leaf Blowers Worth It?
The honest answer is: depends on who you ask. These are incredibly useful tools for getting a tedious task over and done with as quickly as possible. On the other hand, a rake or a broom can do just as well, and a lot of people just see leaf blowers as a waste of money and shed space. You also have to either constantly charge the battery, fill the tank with petrol, or occasionally do some basic maintenance on the components.
Speaking of costs, if you’re on the fence about whether or not a leaf blower is something that you really need, then you can simply get a cheaper model for around $100 or less and try it out.
Which is Better – Corded or Cordless?
If you’ve completely eliminated petrol options from the list of leaf blowers, then the last choice that you have is corded or cordless.
Cordless leaf blowers are much more mobile and you don’t need fuel or a power socket in order to work. This means that you can use them practically anywhere without worrying about cables getting tangled up in your feet. However, their battery life usually only lasts around half an hour, and it takes around five to seven hours for the battery to get a full charge again (depending on the model, of course).
Corded leaf blowers on the other hand don’t have a battery life so you can use them however long you want, and while they’re not as convenient to use as the cordless models, the lack of a battery actually makes them lighter and easier to use with a single hand. However, you do need an extension cord or a harness with a battery.
You’ll likely be happy with either type of leaf blower, but the ultimate decision will be based on how much yard work you’ll be doing. If you spend a decent amount of time in the yard, then you’ll want something that can go for longer, but if you just need to take care of a few leaves, then a cordless model is the better choice.