If you dread the inevitable leaf-raking that comes with fall, you may want to consider investing in a cordless leaf blower, which can help reduce the hassle of your fall-time yard work and let you roam around your yard without having to worry about cord management.
Speaking on the benefits of cordless leaf blowers (specifically battery-operated options), Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter, says: “Although cordless leaf blowers are less powerful than corded or gas-powered models, there is virtually no maintenance to perform other than charging the batteries. They're perfect for clearing leaves from small yards or yards with very few leaf-shedding trees.”
We tested 27 electric leaf blowers (including 17 cordless) in our Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, where we methodically evaluated each unit’s ease of assembly and use, battery life, noise levels, and effectiveness. We tested for effectiveness under a range of scenarios, timing how quickly each leaf blower cleared dry leaves from a patch of grass, dry leaves from a patch of concrete, and damp leaves from a patch of grass. We also tested to see if each blower had the strength to move 0.25-, 0.5-, and 1-ounce fishing line weights, as well as the precision to easily wrangle leaves in a box we drew with chalk on concrete.
Then, we sent a few home to volunteer testers with instructions to use it to get their yards in shape. You can read their three-month evaluations below.
After the three-month at-home testing, our favorite cordless leaf blower remains the Ryobi ONE+ 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower. This well-rounded model strikes the perfect balance between being lightweight, powerful, and budget-friendly.
Ryobi ONE+ 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower
Easy, one-hand operation
Powerful and precise
In an at-home test, the Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Leaf Blower speedily cleared leaves, as well as spider webs, grass, sticks, and more, while still being light and compact enough for our at-home tester to operate with one hand. "There isn't anything it can't blow around—without being too much or too little," she reported.
She also appreciated that she can use the battery with other Ryobi products—a manufacturer feature that keeps you in their ecosystem and indeed persuaded her to switch from a competitor's product line. Interestingly, she found the battery lasted longer in at-home use than we found when we tested the product in our Des Moines lab. At that time, our lab tester reported a battery life of only 30 minutes, but our at-home tester made no such observation after repeated use.
Our lab tester's primary complaint with this model was that it was quite loud; again, our at-home tester disagreed. "It isn't overly noisy, since I tend to use it for an extended period of time each time I do get it out—don't want to be a super noisy neighbor!" she said.
This model has an airflow capacity of up to 280 CFM and airflow speed of up to 100 miles per hour. We found it to offer plenty of power and convenience for its price point, earning it the top spot in our roundup. The setup was quick and easy—we just had to snap two pieces together. Once it's up and running, we could choose between different speeds.
Our at-home tester's only negative comment had to do with the chute, which seemed long to her but not enough to dampen her enthusiasm for the product. Not only do we consider this model a good value for what it does, but we also like that it can share batteries with other Ryobi products such as saws, drills, and screwdrivers.
Price at time of publish: $119
Maximum Air Speed: 100 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 280 CFM | Weight: 6.2 pounds | Motor Type: Electric | Noise Rating: 65 dB
EGO Power+ LB6003 600 CFM Variable-Speed 56-Volt Cordless Leaf Blower
Different speed settings
Comfortable backpack design
Large airflow capacity
May be excessive for small yards
The EGO POWER+ 600 CFM Backpack Blower is a backpack model, so some of its weight is distributed onto your back as you use it. This means two things: First, your arms and wrists are spared from bearing the entire load, and consequently may not grow fatigued as quickly. Second, you shouldn’t be super alarmed by its 16.2-pound weight, which is considerably heavier than that of the other models on this list. We appreciated that the backpack felt light and comfortable and that it didn’t hinder our mobility as we were using the unit. We also liked the convenience of the adjustable tube. Plus, we found it not too loud while operating and all in all, fun and easy to use.
The unit has an airflow speed of up to 145 mph, and lets you choose between an airflow capacity of 280 CFM or 600 CFM. This range allows for plenty of flexibility in how you use your leaf blower and means you should be able to reach leaves across a significant distance. We cleared the patch of grass from the dry leaves in 17 seconds and the damp leaves in just over five seconds. However, this unit really showed off on the patch of concrete, where it cleared the pile of leaves in just seven seconds and easily moved the various fishing weights without requiring our tester to be super close to them. However, if you have a smaller yard, the power range may be excessive, and you may find it more conducive to opt for a less powerful model at a lower price point.
Price at time of publish: 600
Maximum Air Speed: 145 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 600 CFM | Weight: 16.2 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 64 dB
Makita XBU03SM1 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Blower Kit
Light and easy to maneuver
Quick to clear leaves
Lack of precision
Anyone who wakes up one fall day after heavy rain or heavy wind will appreciate the Makita XBU03SM1 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Blower Kit. It’s a lightweight, easy-on-the-hand solution for clearing an inundated yard, with an airflow capacity of up to 459 CFM and an airflow speed of up to 116 mph. Since it weighs just 6.5 pounds, we found it light and user-friendly enough to adeptly hold and operate with just one hand. (We could dedicate our other hand to adjusting the controls.)
The leaf blower lets you choose from different speed settings, and we liked having the ability to control the power. However, we found it difficult to precisely control the airflow’s direction and effects. For example, regardless of the setting we used, we couldn’t wrangle the leaves in the chalk-drawn box on concrete. We cleared the patch of grass from dry leaves and damp leaves in 50 seconds and 42 seconds, respectively, while we cleared the patch of concrete from dry leaves in just 18 seconds.
But although subtlety was a challenge, power was no problem: We moved all the fishing weights the 10-foot distance in less than 20 seconds. We also liked that we didn’t need to bend down or be super close to the objects. But this product may be too powerful to surgically clear leaves stuck within delicate plants.
Ultimately, this unit is best suited for anyone who wants a cordless model that offers plenty of power, for big jobs, such as attending to leaf-strewn yards in oak-filled neighborhoods. But we need to reiterate that this product is made for power, not precision.
Price at time of publish: $196
Maximum Air Speed: 116 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 459 CFM | Weight: 6.5 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 60 dB
WORX WG584 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor
Very effective on dry leaves
Great battery life
Final setup step is a tad tricky
Less effective on damp leaves
Lack of precise control airflow
The WORX 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor lets you choose from an airflow capacity of 300 to 470 CFM and from an airflow speed of 60, 69, 80, or 95 mph. Our tester liked that the unit was “lightweight and easy to handle with one hand” and “fairly quiet for how much power” it offers. It cleared the patch of grass from dry leaves in 12.9 seconds, which was the fastest clocked time among all the other models on this list for that specific test. It cleared the patch of grass from damp leaves in a slightly faster 12.7 seconds and the patch of concrete from the dry leaves in a considerably longer 52 seconds.
This unit is made up of three pieces. While we had no issue following the assembly instructions and finished setting the leaf blower up in less than two minutes, we struggled a bit when attaching the final piece. We wish this unit allowed us to have better control over the airflow, since we were unable to round up the leaves in the box we drew with chalk on concrete. However, we were pleased with its power, as it easily pushed the fishing line weights a 10-foot distance. We were also pleased with its long battery life, and our tester said they “did not notice any decline in power while the blower was in use.”
Price at time of publish: $220
Maximum Air Speed: 95 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 470 CFM | Weight: 7.3 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 102.1 dB
RYOBI 550 CFM 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Whisper Series Jet Fan Leaf Blower
Great amount of power
Short battery life
We love how quietly the Ryobi 40V Brushless 125 MPH 550 CFM Cordless Battery Whisper Series Jet Fan Blower with 4.0 Ah Battery and Charger operates. While its product description says it has a noise rating of 59 dB, our personal measurement with a decibel meter showed its noise rating to be 40.2 dB. Our at-home tester confirmed it during three months of use.
One of the most common complaints about leaf blowers is the noise, and this model is "so much more quiet than others I've tried," she reported, adding: "It has as much power as a gas-powered model, but with none of the emission."
Despite its quiet operation, the unit offers a good amount of power in the form of a 550 CFM airflow capacity and a 125 mph airflow speed. In our lab tests, the Ryobi cleared a patch of grass from dry leaves in 27 seconds and from damp leaves in 28 seconds. It was significantly quicker at clearing the patch of concrete from dry leaves, finishing the job in just 11 seconds.
We also found the machine easy to start up, with the single press of a button. But while our lab tester found the under-10-pound machine easy to heft and maneuver, our at-home tester described it as a chore. "When my husband uses it, he doesn't quickly notice any fatigue or issues with its weight," she said. "He is a bigger, stronger guy. When I carry it, it does seem heavy to me, and the weight of the battery makes me tire faster. This may not be a great choice for smaller people."
The battery was another issue with our at-home tester, saying she got only 15 minutes from a charge. "Anyone using this should definitely invest in at least one more battery," she said. She also found the chute somewhat long, which she said made it sometimes not very maneuverable in tight corners.
Those downsides don't keep us from recommending this as an affordable, quiet solution to keep your yard tidy when the leaves fall.
Price at time of publish: $199
Maximum Air Speed: 125 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 550 CFM | Weight: 9.7 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 59 dB
Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower
Quick to recharge
Less powerful than other products
"This was the easiest year of picking up leaves I've ever had!" our at-home tester exulted after three months of trying this product to get grass and leaves out of her walkways, lawn, and everything else nature deposits in her Des Moines, Iowa, yard.
"I thought having a backpack leaf blower would be annoying and would be big and hard to use," she reported, "but this leaf blower isn't that big, once you get it on your back. It's not that heavy [under 15 pounds], and having the backpack holding the battery pack helps alleviate the weight on my arm, so this is very easy to use."
The Greenworks also was quieter than some other backpack leaf blowers we tested. It has a trigger-activated variable-speed throttle, and a cruise control option that provides constant airflow, as needed. Our Lab tester appreciated the variety. "There were multiple ways to control the power—one was like a trigger," she reported. "I used that the most so I could turn it off easily to improve my accuracy." You can get an extra boost of power with the tool’s turbo button.
The manufacturer estimates that the fully charged 2.5Ah battery lasts only around 18 minutes if run continuously at its highest speed. But our at-home tester noted it ran far longer. "The battery lasts a long time," she emphasized. "I was able to leaf blow my backyard multiple days on a single charge." The included rapid charger replenishes the battery in just 45 minutes.
The Greenworks isn’t the most powerful leaf blower—its maximum air speed is 145 mph, and maximum airflow is 580, below many models we tested—but it works well in smaller yards. Our tester was enthusiastic, saying: "The control I had over the power would make doing yard work more fun and certainly quick!"
Price at time of publish: $350
Maximum Air Speed: 180 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 610 CFM | Weight: 14.64 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 87 dB
Best Out of the Box
STIHL BGA 57 Handheld Leaf Blower
No setup required
Power and airflow capacity
Easy to grip
Not good on garden beds
The STIHL BGA 57 123 MPH 365 CFM 36 V Battery Handheld Leaf Blower Kit comes pre-assembled, so you won’t have to worry about any setup hassle. It has an adjustable tube, with three different length options you can choose from depending on your height or comfort preferences. It has a safety locking button, too, to prevent it from accidentally turning on. Our tester said, “the tool felt well balanced at the grip and I could use it with one hand, but my forearm started to tire after a few minutes.” They also said they, “didn't notice excessive vibration.”
The 7.8-pound unit has an airflow capacity of 365 CM, an airflow speed of up to 123 mph, and a noise rating of 64 dB. It cleared the patch of grass from dry leaves and damp leaves in a similar amount of time, completing each task in a little over one second, while it cleared the patch of concrete from dry leaves in 21 seconds. Our tester does not recommend using it to clear leaves from a garden, noting that “it pretty much uprooted the plants” in our garden bed test. It performed well in our fishing line test, however, easily moving each weight. Ultimately, we found this leaf blower to lack precision, but to be well-suited for speedily clearing large spaces from leaves.
Price at time of publish: $220
Maximum Air Speed: 123 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 365 CFM | Weight: 7.8 pounds | Motor Type: Electric motor | Noise Rating: 64 dB
Best With Trigger
Dewalt 20V MAX 125 Mph 450 CFM Brushless Cordless Battery Powered Handheld Leaf Blower
Good airflow capacity
Airflow control could be better
The Dewalt Brushless Handheld Blower has a user-friendly variable-speed trigger and speed lock, which made our experience using it to be effortless and straightforward. Our tester said they “really liked the power control buttons” as well as the option to “control the power two ways, either on all the time or by using the ‘trigger function.’” The unit cleared the damp leaves from the patch of grass in 43 seconds and the dry leaves from the patch of concrete in a speedy 10 seconds. We had a small technical difficulty when attempting to clear the patch of grass from dry leaves—we didn’t properly attach the tube during our initial assembly, so it fell out while we were using the leaf blower. Even so, we still managed to finish the task in 52 seconds.
The leaf blower has an airflow capacity of 450 CFM and an airflow speed of 125 mph. It consists of three pieces, and we were able to finish assembling the unit in a little over two minutes. It wasn’t super loud either, which is always a bonus. Our tester had to keep switching between the unit’s on and off setting to get the leaves near the chalk-drawn box, but was ultimately unsuccessful at rounding up the leaves into the box, so precision was lacking and our attempt to direct the leaves was taxing. However, the unit performed well in our garden bed test, effectively clearing leaves from the garden without damaging the plants, as well as in the fishing line weight test, quickly moving the different weights.
Price at time of publish: $284
Maximum Air Speed: 125 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 450 CFM | Weight: 6.7 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 66 dB
Echo 2-Stroke Cycle Handheld Leaf Blower
Easy to manage
Different speed settings
Translucent fuel tank
Shoulder strap not included
Typical gas-model maintenance required
The ECHO Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Leaf Blower manages to be a powerful gas model—with an airflow capacity of up to 453 CFM and an airflow speed of up to 170 mph—without being too loud, too unwieldy, or too high maintenance. It has a 70 dB noise rating, an 8.6-pound weight, and, according to users, manageable maintenance and cleaning requirements. Since this is a gas model, regular maintenance is required to keep it functioning properly, which is something to consider before purchasing it. Also note that a shoulder harness is not included with this leaf blower, though the unit does have shoulder harness points, so you have the option of buying a harness separately and attaching it to the leaf blower.
The unit relies on a recoil start (so you need to pull a cord to start operating it), but users say it's a quick, easy, and fairly smooth start-up process. Further contributing to its user-friendliness is a translucent tank that allows you to easily monitor your fuel levels as you operate the unit, as well as an air filter that’s made to help keep the engine clean. It has a curved tube as well, which is designed to mitigate strain placed on your arms and wrist, and thus help prevent them from quickly growing weary. There’s also a cruise control mode, which can help further minimize the taxing nature of your yard work.
Price at time of publish: $249
Maximum Air Speed: 125 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 450 CFM | Weight: 6.7 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 66 dB
After using our meticulous testing methodology to evaluate and compare 27 leaf blowers, our top pick is the Ryobi ONE+ 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower. The model is light enough to easily operate with one hand and powerful enough to quickly clear leaves under different circumstances, ultimately offering a well-rounded design at a good price point. If you’re looking for a backpack model, the Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower is our favorite. The unit is comfortable to wear, and it also has a substantial 610 CFM airflow capacity and a speedy recharge time.
How We Tested the Cordless Leaf Blowers
The Spruce tested 27 leaf blowers in The Lab, including 10 battery-operated cordless models. We followed a detailed testing methodology in order to properly test and evaluate each product’s effectiveness, battery life, ease of use, portability, noise level, and value. We provided ratings for each attribute based on our personal experiences with each unit, and we included the best performing units in this roundup.
We timed how quickly each leaf blower could remove different types of leaves from different types of landscapes to test effectiveness. We measured noise levels with a decibel meter, and we measured each unit’s weight when judging portability. We considered both noise level and portability in practical terms, too, noting whether the noise was tolerable or if the unit could be operated with one hand. When assessing battery life, we looked to see if the power output remained steady and if the battery life started to dwindle while in use. We considered how easy it was to access the controls, change between speeds and various attachments, and maneuver the device when rating ease of use. When it came down to value, we considered whether each unit offered too little, just enough, or more than expected for its price point.
For our test, we spread out 0.75 pounds of leaves on a 10-foot by 10-foot patch of grass. Using the highest mode available for each leaf blower, we timed how quickly we were able to clear the leaves from the area. With each leaf blower, we performed this test again on the grass but using 0.75 pounds of damp leaves, and one more time on a patch of 10-foot by 10-foot concrete using dry leaves. In order to test if the units were garden-friendly, we spread out leaves around plants in a garden bed. Using each unit's lowest setting, we used the units to clear the leaves from the garden and noted if their airflow caused any damage to the plants. When applicable, we tested a unit’s vacuum or mulching function as well. We also gathered leaves in a dense pile to test suction power and counted how many times we had to empty the leaf blower’s bag.
What to Look for in a Cordless Leaf Blower
Cordless leaf blowers are powered by either gas or electricity. Electric blowers tend to weigh less and produce less noise and air pollution, but they can overheat and generally aren’t as powerful. Gas-powered products, on the other hand, pack a punch when it comes to force, but they emit a number of gas pollutants and their maintenance is a little more complicated.
When thinking about how powerful a leaf blower you need, consider the size of your yard. If you have a large space with lots of trees, you’ll need a high-powered product with a high CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating—this means you’ll be able to move leaves and debris faster and more efficiently.
Dean,e Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter explains that “CFM measures the cubic feet per minute or volume of air coming out of the blower. You can think of it as the ‘size’ of the airflow. Bigger air will move more leaves at one time.’” He says a 500 CFM airflow capacity works well for typical residential yard work, but also says anywhere between a 300 CFM to 400 CFM airflow capacity is acceptable if you’re working with a smaller yard that doesn't have too many trees. With an airflow capacity of 610 CFM, the Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower can move the greatest volume of air compared to all the other models in our roundup.
Some leaf blowers have only one speed—which might work if you have a small yard and are mostly clearing away dry leaves. However, if you want to use your leaf blower for tougher jobs, you’re better off getting a variable-speed blower that you can adjust as needed. Our top pick, the Ryobi ONE+ 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower, is a variable-speed model that lets you choose from different speed settings. However, our pick for the best variable-speed leaf blower is the WORX 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor due to its handy and comprehensive range of settings for airflow speed and airflow capacity.
What are the benefits of a cordless leaf blower vs. a corded model?
The main benefit of a cordless leaf blower is that you won’t be tethered to an extension cord during operation. With a corded leaf blower, you have to worry about finding an electrical outlet, finding an extension cord, and navigating around obstacles with the power cord. With a cordless leaf blower, you can get started more quickly and have unlimited mobility. Many cordless leaf blowers are also fairly lightweight, making them easier to handle.
How long should a cordless leaf blower last?
In general, most battery-powered leaf blowers will last 20 to 30 minutes per charge. However, there are several variables that will affect how long a cordless leaf blower lasts. Gas-powered models will naturally last longer than battery-powered units, and they can be refueled immediately. The type of battery and speed at which your blower is operating will impact the runtime, as well. (In particular, running a leaf blower on its highest setting will drain its battery extremely quickly.)
Looking at long-term life span. Biermeier warns that "most cordless leaf blowers aren't considered heavy-duty models.” He says you can “expect about an 8 to 10-year life span before plastic parts wear down,” and for battery-operated models, depending on how frequently you use your leaf blower, “you'll likely have to replace the batteries every few years.”
How often do you have to charge a cordless leaf blower?
If you have a battery-powered cordless leaf blower, you’ll typically need to charge it after every use. Most models have a fairly limited runtime, so it’s best to start out with a full charge every time—otherwise, you run the risk of running out of battery power before you finish cleaning your yard.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Sarah Toscano is a freelance writer for The Spruce, specializing in all things related to home tech and smart home gadgets. With the exception of one model, all of the cordless leaf blowers listed in this roundup were tested in The Lab, where product testers followed a detailed testing methodology to assess each unit’s features. Toscano carefully researched the one model that wasn’t tested, as she read through pages of customer reviews, scoured discussion forums, and analyzed the product's specs to evaluate the leaf blower.
Toscano also consulted with Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter, to learn more about the features, uses, and benefits of a good cordless leaf blower.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.