As fall winds down, a good leaf blower can make much quicker work of those messy yards than a rake. But potential buyers should consider what kind of power and features they really need. For instance, a gas-powered blower will give you the most power, especially in larger yards—the trade-offs are dealing with a healthy amount of noise and maintaining a proper mixture of gas and oil to keep the engine working smoothly.
For homeowners with smaller yards or fewer trees, an electric leaf blower... might be more convenient. In general, these units are quieter and a better pick for anyone who might be bothered by fumes from a gas-powered engine. But most units are corded, which might make many electric blowers a no-go for those with large yards, and they aren’t as powerful.
Rechargeable leaf blowers are the ultimate in convenience for those who don’t want to mess with a cord or gas, but keep in mind that they have limited battery life. They also tend to be the weakest blowers on the market.
Still having trouble choosing? Here are our picks for six of the best leaf blowers.
01 of 07
The WG520 has a top blower speed of 110 mph and moves up to 600 cubic feet of air per minute. Reviewers praised its wide-mouth blowing tube which makes it better able to get to the bottom of thick and matted leaf piles than comparable leaf blowers. They also praise the WG520 for being relatively lightweight at 6½ pounds—important for users who have larger yards or a lot of nooks and crannies to clean. Reviewers are also impressed with the easy-to-use, multispeed thumb-dial control, which can be... reduced for more delicate cleanup work and turned up when maximum power is required.
Like most leaf blowers, the WG520 isn’t quiet, and expert testers give it slightly lower marks for noise. Still, some users say it is less noisy than gas leaf blowers. It also requires users to purchase an outdoor-rated extension cord if they don’t already have one. The blower comes with a three-year warranty.
02 of 07
Buyers who want a gas-powered blower for a little extra oomph will want to check out the Hitachi RB24EAP, a longtime favorite of users who say it’s a wise choice for anyone with a leaf-filled yard. Experts rate it a bit higher than the WORX WG520, giving it top marks for sweeping, loosening debris, and ease of use.
The Hitachi RB24EAP has a top blower speed of 170 mph and moves up to 441 cubic feet of air per minute. It has a 23.9 cc, low-emission engine that meets stricter California leaf-blower... regulations. Testers with Popular Mechanics praise its airstream and say it’s especially good for “moving soggy leaves and prickly seedpods.” Though not as lightweight as the WG520, it is still relatively light for a gas-powered leaf blower at just over 8½ pounds. Users say the two-finger throttle is easy to use, though some wish for a lock that would allow users to set it on a certain speed.
Like most gas-powered leaf blowers, the Hitachi RB24EAP is loud, reviewers caution. Experts give it only fair marks for noise at the ear, and most users say noise is in line with what they would expect from any gas leaf blower. If something goes wrong, note that this model comes with an impressively long seven-year warranty.
03 of 07
If your outdoor space is small and your budget is smaller, the corded electric Greenworks 24012 Single Speed Electric Blower offers a cheap, quick solution for anyone who wants to clear a small yard or hard surfaces such as patios, driveways, and sidewalks of leaves, dirt, grass clippings, and other debris.
True to its name, the Greenworks 24012 offers just one speed, up to 160 mph, and moves up to 150 cubic feet of air per minute. It has a 7-amp motor that owners say is powerful enough for most... light duty chores, though some caution that it’s not ideal for bigger, more leaf-filled yards. Users love how lightweight it is, just 4½ pounds, and say its push-button start is extremely easy to use. An integrated cord wrap also helps keep extension cords out of the way.
The Greenworks 24012 isn’t as noisy as gas-powered blowers, users say, and it has a four-year warranty—longer than many others. Of course, buyers will need to purchase an outdoor-rated extension cord to use with it if they don’t already have one.
04 of 07
If you prefer a more powerful gas blower to a cheap electric model but simply can’t afford to spend a lot, this little Remington is about as inexpensive as it gets for gas. It has a two-cycle, 25 cc engine that has a top blowing speed of 180 mph, and it can move up to 400 cubic feet of air per minute.
This blower is heavier than some of our other picks at 11.75 pounds, but that’s still not bad for a gas blower, and reviewers don’t seem to mind. It has a variable throttle for better control.... Reviewers say it’s great for light or medium duty in larger areas where they simply can’t be tethered to a power cord, which is the case for most electric blowers, or they need more power than a battery-powered blower can provide. The main complaint is that despite a QuickStart engine, it can be hard to get going – a common issue with gas leaf blowers. It’s backed by a two-year warranty.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Buyers who have large, tree-filled yards may find that handheld leaf blowers just don’t cut it for long work sessions. A backpack-style, gas-powered blower like the Husqvarna 350 BT is rugged enough for heavier duty, users say, and comfortable to boot. Experts give it top marks for loosening and sweeping yard debris, and very good ones for handling and ease of use.
The Husqvarna 350 BT has a top speed of 180 mph and moves up to 692 cubic feet of air per minute – more powerful than any other leaf... blower on our list. It has a 50.2 cc engine with 2.1 horsepower and is compliant with California emissions regulations. Popular Mechanics notes that it “not only moves a lot of air, but the blast from its tube seems unusually productive.” Testers there also say it’s quite comfortable, which owners echo: They say the padded straps and waist belt do a good job of distributing its nearly 23-pound weight. A cruise-control function lets users set a certain speed, too.
The big trade-off here is noise: Like all gas-powered blowers, the Husqvarna 350 BT is loud, and experts give it only fair marks for noise. Several reviewers caution that using ear protection is a particularly good idea with this model. The warranty is two years.
06 of 07
Some rechargeable leaf blowers are underpowered or have short-lived batteries. That’s not the case with the Greenworks Pro GBL80300 Cordless Blower, which reviewers say is almost as good at clearing a yard as a gas-powered blower. Experts give it very good marks for sweeping, handing, and ease of use, and top marks for loosening debris.
The Greenworks Pro GBL80300 has a top speed of 125 mph and moves up to 500 cubic feet of air per minute. It weighs 8.2 pounds—about average for a blower—and runs... on an 80-volt lithium ion battery that allows up to 70 minutes or runtime before needing to be charged, which only takes a half-hour. Reviewers love being able to go places without being tethered by a power cord or dealing with the upkeep of a gas-powered machine. They also like having three speeds that help them adjust to light or heavy-duty work. A few report quality-control issues, however.
If you’re noise-sensitive, note that the Greenworks Pro GBL80300 is one of the quieter leaf blowers you can buy. Experts give it good marks for noise at the ear, and users agree that it’s quiet enough not to bug the neighbors. It’s backed by a four-year warranty.
07 of 07
Leaf blowers that function as vacuums and mulchers let homeowners do triple-duty when it comes to yard maintenance, and reviewers say the corded electric Toro 51619 Ultra Blower/Vac is one of the best. Experts give it top marks for sweeping, loosening and vacuuming debris, and very good ones for handling and ease of use.
The Toro 51619 has a top speed of 250 mph and moves up to 410 cubic feet of air per minute. It comes with a vacuum bag and also has a durable metal impeller that helps reduce up... to 88 percent of mulched debris to sizes less than a half-inch. Most users say it does a great job at all of its functions and is easy to use.
Experts say noise is about average with this leaf blower—fairly loud at the ear but much better at 50 feet. Buyers who don’t yet have an outdoor-rated extension cord will need to purchase one for this unit. It comes with a two-year warranty.
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