Husqvarna 356BT Leaf Blower Reviewed

Husky's innovative low noise leaf blower aims to quiet the critics

Photo from Husqvarna

Leaf blowers are in the crosshairs of many homeowners lately, and who can blame them? Leaf blowers can be dangerously noisy as they endlessly stir up dust and leaves throughout neighborhoods everywhere. Many municipalities have enacted leaf blower laws ranging from noise restrictions to all out bands. Husqvarna is doing their part to reduce the noise with the introduction of the "low noise" 356BT leaf blower.

Husqvarna Innovates with "Low Noise" Technology

The most noticeable part of the 356BT is the unique look of the back pack itself. It looks like it would be at home on the back of a Ghostbuster with it's unique molded shell offering little clue as to what's going on inside the housing. The Husqvarna 356BT backpack leaf blower utilizes noise dampening material within the housing combined with an innovative exhaust system to reduce the decibel level to a downright quiet 64 dBA, well within noise restriction guidelines set by many municipalities to combat noise pollution. The 356BT also uses the latest Husqvarna E-TECH II engine, known for improved power and reduced emissions. It is truly a unique piece of equipment among lawn care tools.

A quiet hum is all one hears when the 356BT is in operation. Compared to standard leaf blowers which can be as loud as 85 dBA, the 356BT purrs like a kitten.

Some municipalities have banned leaf blowers outright, but in neighborhoods where quiet technology is allowed, the 356BT will operate within most guidelines which are usually in the 65-70 dBA range. The 356BT even has the Consumers Digest Best Buy seal to validate its claims.

The 356BT Sacrifices Nothing for Reduced Noise

Weighing in at a total of 22.9 lbs and equipped with a 3.2 HP engine, the 356BT is definitely a commercial grade blower, capable of working as hard as the rest of them.

With an MSRP of $479.95, the 356BT is in a category all by itself. Nestled between the lower end commercial models and the high-end pro models yet with the low noise feature that none of them can touch.

One of Husqvarna's touchstones is ergonomics and that is evident in the 356BT with its convenient tube mounted throttle, adjustable, soft-grip handles, cruise control feature, and the machine's center of gravity close to the users back. Husqvarna knows these machines are used for long periods of time and much effort goes into reducing possible fatigue or injury from prolonged usage. Comfort is as important as functionality and power.

The Husqvarna 356BT also features easy access to the housing, an easy-start engine, and an 80 minute run-time on one tank of gasoline.

Quiet Is the Key Feature on This Blower

The number one reason to buy this leaf blower is for it's reduced noise output, but thankfully Husky doesn't trade airspeed for quiet. With an air speed of 177 mph, the 356BT is a fully capable, commercial grade leaf blower. High-end commercial leaf blowers are capable of airspeeds in excess of 200 mph but they also are in a higher price bracket and can be upwards of 77dBA in volume. The 356BT is a direct answer to the growing negative sentiment over noisy leaf blowers which can disturb neighborhoods for hours on end as lawn care companies make their way from house to house.

It should be noted that dBA readings and the subsequent guidelines are inferred from a distance of 50 feet and often times blowers are closer than that when they are working. There is no easy answer when it comes to noise bylaws and their impact on our quality of life, but the Husqvarna 356BT is truly a quiet blower compared to its counterparts and it's great to see innovation rise to the demands of the public.

In addition to quiet, the Husqvarna 356BT is the most powerful quiet leaf blower off its type, in its price range. Other blowers sacrifice engine size or blowing power to reduce their noise levels while Husqvarna radically re-designed the housing to contain the noise while maintaining engine power and air velocity. While some people may be forced to buy low noise blowers due to by-laws, hopefully, it won't be long before sweeping innovation like this makes every machine a low noise machine.