Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
As fall winds down, a good leaf blower can make much quicker work of a messy yard than a rake, but potential buyers should consider what kind of power and features they really need from this lawn tool.
While gas leaf blowers offer the most power, battery-powered or corded electric models are quieter and easier to maintain, making them a worthwhile consideration for smaller properties. You'll also want to pay close attention to the weight of the model—a long-running time won't do you much good if the tool is too heavy to carry for more than 20 minutes. Other important factors to consider as you shop include the unit’s maximum airspeed, measured in MPH, and airflow, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
With that being said, here are the best leaf blowers and vacuums to keep your yard and driveway clear.
Best Overall, Electric: WORX WG520 Turbine 600 Corded Electric Leaf Blower
Fuel Type: Corded electric | Weight: 6.4 pounds | CFM: 600 | MPH: 110 | Noise Rating: 82 decibels
Quick and effective
Gets heavy after extended use
Loud at higher settings
Using a leaf blower can be cumbersome. For an electric blower that delivers powerful airflow, it’s hard to beat the Worx Turbine Corded Leaf Blower. It delivers air at speeds up to 110 MPH with an impressive 600 cubic feet per minute (CFM), which is enough to corral even wet leaves and gravel. Our tester found that she could move a good amount of leaves in far less time than it would take to rake or broom—"[It] made tidying up the patio, a task that would usually take 15 minutes with a broom, a 3-minute job."
"The retainer allows you to secure your cord through a loop so even if your cord gets stepped on or snagged, your leaf blower won’t lose power. [It's] a big help when you’re navigating through a yard with shrubs, rocks, sticks, and trees. Whenever we got snagged on anything, we just felt a gentle tug rather than a total loss of power."—Shannon Wells, Product Tester
Best Budget: Greenworks 7 Amp Single Speed Electric 160 MPH Blower
Fuel Type: Corded electric | Weight: 4.8 pounds | CFM: 150 | MPH: 160 | Noise Rating: 97 decibels
Extremely effective for light debris
Only one speed
No cord, must purchase extension cord separately
Blast leaves without blowing your budget by picking up the affordable Greenworks 7 Amp Electric Blower. It isn’t the mightiest machine, but it can clean light debris in a hurry. It offers air speeds up to 160 miles per hour, but the 150 CFM rating is low in comparison to more robust models. It also weighs less than 5 pounds and plugs into your basic home extension cord (not included with purchase).
Best Rechargeable: Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Brushless Axial Blower
Fuel Type: Battery | Weight: 8.9 pounds | CFM: 500 | MPH: 125 | Noise Rating: 60 decibels
Battery compatible with other Greenworks products
Heavy and cumbersome
Short battery life
The 80-volt Greenworks Pro Cordless Blower with its rechargeable 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery doesn't fall short when it comes to power and performance. Air speeds reach up to 125 MPH, and while the 500 CFM is slightly lower than other blowers in this mid-range class, our tester found that it's enough to tackle almost any job, including wet leaves and rocks.
The unit is on the heavy side at nearly 10 pounds, and the manufacturer claims up to 70 minutes of run time on a fully charged battery. On the plus side, its battery charges in about 30 minutes and it stays pretty quiet at 60 decibels (on low).
"On its lowest setting, it did last quite a while. We turned it on and off quite a bit, but were able to clear our driveway, patio, garage area, and move debris from all of our flower beds. We loved that we were able to blow leaves from anywhere no matter how cramped or cluttered, but the battery lasted 50 minutes at most."—Shannon Wells, Product Tester
Best Cordless: EGO 3 Speed Turbo 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Electric Blower
Fuel Type: Battery | Weight: 8.7 pounds | CFM: 500 | MPH: 110 | Noise Rating: 68 decibels
Powerful and efficient
Battery charges quickly
Short battery life
On the heavier side
Roam free chasing down rogue leaves and debris with the 56-volt Ego Turbo cordless leaf blower. Equipped with a 2.5-Ah, lithium-ion battery, the blower runs for close to an hour in regular operation and about 20 minutes in turbo mode. Inside the unit, a brushless motor reduces friction and increases durability.
As for power, the Ego Turbo has top speeds of up to 110 MPH and a respectable 530 CFM. Weighing in at 9.8 pounds, it certainly isn’t the lightest leaf blower on the market, and you might want to purchase the shoulder strap for added comfort.
Best Gas: Ryobi RY25AXB Gas Jet Fan Blower
Fuel Type: Gas | Weight: 11.5 pounds | CFM: 520 | MPH: 160 | Noise Rating: 74 decibels
Cruise control feature is perfect for long jobs
A gas leaf blower offers plenty of power and no limitations when it comes to battery life or cord length—making it well suited for extended work sessions. The Ryobi Gas Jet Fan Blower is powered by a 25-cc gas motor and a three-stage fan system that gives more wind power and speed. This blower reaches top speeds of 160 MPH and 520 CFM.
At over 10 pounds, it's on the heavier side, but the combo of the variable speed settings with a "cruise control" option and shoulder straps balances it all out.
Best Backpack: Echo PB-580T Backpack Blower
Fuel Type: Gas | Weight: 22.7 pounds | CFM: 517 | MPH: 216 | Noise Rating: 70 decibels
Powerful enough for commercial and residential use
Setup instructions are confusing
Featuring a two-cycle engine and convenient variable speed throttle on the blower tube, Echo Gas Backpack Leaf Blower gives you whopping speeds up to 215 MPH and 510 CFM. The only complaint, which isn’t uncommon with backpack blowers, is the fact that you can’t restart the blower without taking it off. And while the backpack design distributes weight to the shoulders and back, it weighs 22 pounds—a bit more than other options on this list.
Best with Wheels: Troy-Bilt Walk-Behind Gas Blower
Fuel Type: Gas | Weight: 78 | CFM: 1,000 | MPH: 150 | Noise Rating: 87 decibels
Able to blow heavy debris
Models like the Troy-Bilt Walk-Behind Gas Blower deliver extreme power that will clear large areas quickly. This unit offers a max airspeed of 150 MPH and airflow of up to 1,000 CFM, and because it weighs a substantial 78 pounds, it’s mounted on semi-pneumatic ball-bearing wheels that allow you to roll it around your yard.
This walk-behind blower is powered by a 208cc Troy-Bilt engine, and it has a 14-inch high-output impeller and 90-degree front-discharge chute. The unit features a rubberized grip handle for comfort, and it’s powerful enough to use on wet leaves and heavy debris.
Best Lightweight: Toro 51585 Power Sweep Electric Leaf Blower
Power: Corded electric | Weight: 4.6 pounds | CFM: 155 | MPH: 160 | Noise Rating: 63.5 decibels
Two airflow speeds
Not ideal for large yards
If heavy leaf blowers make your arms ache after just a few minutes, you need a lightweight model such as the Toro Power Sweep. This corded leaf blower weighs less than 5 pounds, and it offers speeds up to 160 MPH with a maximum airflow of 155 CFM.
This compact leaf blower has two airflow speeds—a low setting of 130 MPH and a high setting of 160 MPH—that you can toggle between using a control switch on the handle. The unit is powered by a 7-amp motor, and it comes with a 2-year full warranty against defects. Its small form is ideal for maintaining sidewalks, driveways, decks, and more.
Best Leaf Vacuum: BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 VACPACK Electric Leaf Blower
Fuel Type: Corded electric | Weight: 16 pounds | CFM: 400 | MPH: 250 | Noise Rating: 75 decibels
Comfortable backpack design
Large-capacity collection bag
Plastic mulching blade
Instead of moving leaves around your yard, the BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 VACPACK can suck them up into its bag, allowing you to remove debris from your yard. This backpack-style model converts from a leaf blower into a leaf vacuum, and the zipper-free collection bag has a wide opening for emptying.
This 3-in-1 model offers air speeds up to 250 MPH, and there’s even a POWERBOOST button that delivers increased power on demand. When used as a leaf vacuum, it mulches leaves and other debris to take up less space in the large-capacity bag, and its flexible tube gives you more room to maneuver when cleaning up your yard.
The WORX WG520 Turbine 600 Corded Electric Leaf Blower is an unbeatable choice for most homeowners, as it’s designed for comfortable operation and packs a powerful punch, with maximum air speeds of 110 MPH and airflow of 600 CFM. If you prefer a gas-powered model, the Ryobi RY25AXB Gas Jet Fan Blower (view at Amazon) is a top choice, offering air speeds up to 160 MPH and a comfortable 11.5-pound design that’s easy to wield.
What to Look for in a Leaf Blower or Vacuum
Cubic feet per minute, or CFM, refers to the volume of air that the leaf blower can move. The higher the CFM, the more air is pushed through the tube every second. This translates into a more powerful gust of air, allowing you to move leaves, sticks, and twigs at a faster pace.
You'll also see that leaf blowers have an airspeed listed in MPH. Faster speeds give you increased ability to move yard debris and often reduce how many passes it takes to clear a section of your yard, driveway, or deck.
Leaf blowers can be powered in several ways, including by gas engines, rechargeable batteries, or power cords. There are benefits to each of these styles—gas models are cordless and typically provide the most power, but they are louder and require more maintenance. Corded electric models are quieter and more eco-friendly because they don't emit fumes, but you're limited by the length of your extension cord. Finally, battery-powered leaf blowers have a convenient cordless design, but their runtime is typically limited, especially if you're using it at the highest speed.
If you opt for a gas-powered leaf blower for its power, consider whether you want a two-stroke or four-stroke engine. The two-stroke engines are typically less expensive than more complex four-stroke engines, but they will require you to blend gas and oil at the right ratio for proper operation. On the other hand, a gasoline leaf blower with a four-stroke engine accepts straight gasoline into its fuel tank, but it will need regular oil changes. If you don’t mind pre-mixing fuel, then a two-stroke engine is likely adequate for your leaf-blowing needs.
If you’re opting for a cordless electric leaf blower, battery life is an important consideration since your clean-up time could be cut short by a dead battery. If you have a small yard, a standard lithium-ion battery may suffice. However, if you have a lot of ground to cover, you might want to invest in a model with longer battery life or keep a back-up battery on hand to swap in when the first battery dies.
Noise is a critical consideration since some leaf blowers can be loud enough to disturb the neighbors—or even violate local noise ordinances. The noise rating of any leaf blower is rated in decibels. Electric leaf blowers are likely to be the quietest, followed by gasoline models, and the loudest of all are walk-behind leaf blowers.
Get the facts on whether your community or municipality limits the decibels of yard equipment like leaf blowers, or outlaws the use of them altogether. Also be sure to use hearing protection when operating a leaf blower, since sustained use can lead to hearing damage and loss.
Leaf blowers can weigh anywhere from 5 to 70 pounds, depending on the style. For a handheld leaf blower, you'll typically want a model that under 10 pounds, otherwise it may not be comfortable to operate for long periods of time. If your leaf blower is any heavier, you'll want to consider a backpack-style model or even a walk-behind option, which will make the weight of the unit easier to manage.
While some leaf blowers only operate at one set speed, others include variable speed control. The benefit of adjusting the speed is that you can increase the power to tackle tougher messes, like wet leaves or muddy sticks, then turn it down to keep from wildly blowing lighter debris in all directions. A few models with variable speed control include a lock feature (sometimes called "cruise control") that will let you select a speed and maintain it without having to keep the speed throttle engaged.
The airspeeds generated by a leaf blower cause a lot of vibration through the nozzle and body of the machine. Holding onto the blower for any length of time can start to take a toll on your body as a whole, and hands in particular—especially with backpack models. If comfort is a priority or you plan to use the leaf blower for an extended period of time, be sure to look for a model that is designed with vibration-dampening features.
Corded vs. Cordless
Gas- and battery-powered leaf blowers are both considered cordless. The main benefit of these styles is that you can use them anywhere—there's no need for an extension cord and no worrying about finding an electrical outlet nearby. However, the downside is that their runtime is limited. Battery-powered leaf blowers will need to be recharged or have a spare battery swapped in, and gas-powered models will need refueling.
On the other hand, corded electric leaf blowers have an unlimited runtime and their power will never wane. The trade-off is that you're forced to navigate around an extension cord during use.
The most common type of leaf blowers on the market are handheld models. There is also the widest variety in this type of leaf blower, with models that are better suited for light-duty use or more professional-grade equipment for serious lawn care.
The biggest differentiator among handheld leaf blowers is the power source. There are both gasoline models and electric handheld models, which come in two subtypes: corded or cordless. Handheld blowers cost anywhere from $30 to $300, depending on the power and features you choose.
Corded electric leaf blowers are typically an economical choice and skip the hassle of gasoline or recharging batteries. Just plug this type of leaf blower into a proper extension cord and you’re ready to blow leaves and debris out from flowerbeds, walkways, and more.
The convenient operation of a corded electric leaf blower is offset by the fact that you can only work in areas within reach of your extension cord. So this type of leaf blower isn’t a good match if you have a lot of property to keep up. However, corded electric leaf blowers are typically lighter in weight, so they make a good option if you just need a leaf blower for casual use close to a power source.
One of the more popular leaf blowers on the market, cordless models offer the convenience and quiet of an electric model without the shortcomings of a cord. Just make sure you have a live battery onboard and you are free to find leaves and debris anywhere and everywhere.
The battery itself can sometimes add weight to a cordless leaf blower, but it’s still significantly lighter in comparison to a handheld model with a full tank of fuel. As long as you don’t expect to use the leaf blower for extended run times (or you have a spare battery as a back-up), you’ll likely be happy with the flexibility of a cordless leaf blower.
Handheld gas-powered leaf blowers are equipped with a motor and offer the greatest amount of power among handheld blowers. However, they also produce the greatest amount of noise and fumes. The extra weight of the engine and fuel tank also can make handheld leaf blowers heavier and more cumbersome to use over an extended period of time.
The advantages to a gas handheld leaf blower are the power and portability it offers. You get plenty of wind speed and airflow from these models and you aren’t restricted by a cord or limited by the battery life as you are with other types of handheld leaf blowers.
These leaf blowers are usually gasoline-powered models that package power and convenience into a backpack model. While this type of leaf blower is usually far from lightweight, the weight is evenly distributed with the help of thick shoulder straps, and a padded back plate allows the blower to rest relatively comfortably between your shoulders.
These leaf blowers are often used by professional landscapers to cover large areas. However, even residential users find backpack leaf blowers offer advantages. While they’re not "hands-free"—you’ll need to direct the nozzle and control the speed trigger with one hand—they do reduce the burden of carrying around a heavy gas-powered leaf blower with one arm. You’ll typically find between 500-700 CFM in backpack leaf blowers, which is more than the average handheld blower but lags behind most walk-behind blowers.
Backpack leaf blowers require more of an investment than handheld models. Typically, these leaf blowers start around $200. They’re available in both two-stroke and four-stroke engine configurations. Newly available cordless electric backpack blowers add a quieter option for anyone seeking a backpack-style leaf blower without the noise level and fumes of gas-powered backpack blowers.
The biggest leaf blowers are walk-behind models. This type of leaf blower is best suited for commercial applications or professional landscaping teams, but you might opt for a walk-behind model if you don’t want to carry a blower. Walk-behind blowers vary in price depending on whether it’s a commercial or residential model; this type of blower starts at about $250 but climbs quickly to $1,000 or more.
The advantage to a walk-behind leaf blower is superior CFM—anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 or more CFM is typical. Newer residential models have more limited power in the 500 CFM range. Just about all walk-behind leaf blowers are gasoline-powered, with the exception of a few very light-duty electric models.
The onboard gas engine and high CFM mean that walk-behind blowers tend to be some of the loudest leaf blowers on the market. This is another reason these blowers aren’t popular picks for residential yard work. However, if you don’t have nearby neighbors and have a large area to clear, then a walk-behind blower may work for you.
Sometimes you just want to blast away debris, but other times you might want to vacuum up leaves, pinecones, and more for a tidier yard or to create mulch. Some leaf blowers include a vacuum attachment that collects debris into a bag or includes a mulching feature to turn suctioned items into a mulch you can spread around your trees or garden.
What type of leaf blower should you get?
There are several types of leaf blowers with advantages to each depending on your specific needs and budget, but the two main categories are gas and electric. In general, gas-powered leaf blowers tend to be more powerful, but they’re also typically heavier, more expensive, and louder. Electric leaf blowers, whether corded or cordless, are often easier to maneuver and less expensive, but you’ll sacrifice power and will also be constrained by either the battery life or how far your extension cord reaches.
What does a leaf vacuum do?
Leaf vacuums contain fans that create suction to pull leaves, pine straw, and other debris into a collection bag. Some also have a mulching feature, which turns the collection into mulch or compost that you can then use in your yard or garden. Most leaf vacuums also feature a blowing component. Leaf vacuums are better suited for smaller jobs or hard-to-reach areas of decks or porches because they tend to have small capacities for holding the debris.
Is CFM or MPH more important in a leaf blower?
CFM, or cubic feet per minute, measures the volume of air that the leaf blower can move, whereas MPH, miles per hour, measures the speed at which the air moves. It’s important to look at both numbers because they work together. However, a higher airspeed does nothing without a large push power—the volume of air coming out every minute (CFM)—and therefore, large differences in CFM between models can often make a bigger difference in how quickly you can complete a job.
Can you clean gutters with a leaf blower?
Many people clean leaves and other debris out of their gutters using leaf blowers, as the tool makes this cumbersome chore faster and easier. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind if you clean gutters with a leaf blower. It’s not advised to try to wrangle your leaf blower while balancing on a ladder—instead, you should invest in a gutter-cleaning attachment for your specific tool. These attachments include a long tube with a hooked end, allowing you to blow leaves from your gutters while standing on the ground.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester. She has done firsthand testing of leaf blowers, including the Worx Turbine 56V Leaf Blower, and she used her experiences to select the best products for this list. In addition to reading dozens of reviews from consumers and testing professionals, she looked for products with high CFM ratings and appropriate air speeds. She also considered the ergonomics and weight of each machine, which have a large impact on user comfort.