Written By
Updated Jun 17, 2022 2:12 PM

A great leaf blower makes you want to wake up on a fall day and get to work. It makes you wish your yard was a few acres bigger so you can put your favorite power tool to more use. But who wants to bother with a leaf blower rental? And trying to borrow a neighbor’s noisy, old leaf blower can feel like pulling teeth. The wrong leaf blower can make you want to pick up a rake just to move the few leaves that fell on your front lawn. Purchasing your own leaf blower can have higher upfront costs compared to renting, but it will save you plenty of headaches—there’s no need to pick up and drop it off, and you don’t have to worry about handling a leaf blower you hate. Effectiveness isn’t the only measure of a blower. If you want to be a good neighbor, you’ll also want to consider just how loud your lawn equipment is, as some communities ban the use of certain kinds of leaf blowers in an effort to reduce noise pollution. Here’s how to find the best leaf blower for you.

How we chose the best leaf blowers

We looked to product reviews, consumer impressions, and warranted advice from our landscape-loving dads, who are very proud of their yard tools. You deserved to be just as jazzed about your own collection of backyard tools as they are.

What to consider when buying the best leaf blowers

Walking into a home and garden store can be overwhelming, between the high ceilings and bounty of charcoal grills. How can you focus on picking out the best leaf blower when there are at least 20 varieties of riding lawn mower five feet away? We’ve done all the work for you, so leave the choice paralysis for the chip aisle at the grocery store.

Power source

When considering the best leaf blower, you’ll first need to decide between gas, electric, and battery-powered models. Gas models are generally more powerful than electric models and freedom from a cord means they can go just about anywhere. However, they are considerably noisier, heavier than electric models, and put out pollution tied to fossil fuels. Electric models are lighter than gas, and can provide the kind of power that will cover a large swath of jobs—however, their mobility is limited to about 100 feet of an outlet. Battery-powered models spare users from the maintenance required of gas blowers but have less power. The biggest mark against battery-powered leaf blowers is that batteries generally only last up to an hour. That means big jobs will take much longer, as you’ll need to recharge.

Power

To gauge the power of a blower, you’ll want to look at the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating and promised miles per hour (MPH). The higher CFM, the more leaves you’ll be able to blow away at one time. The higher the MPH, the easier it will be to move heavier debris or wet leaves.

Once you get through that basic consideration, you might want to consider other features like vacuuming and mulching features, which store and shred yard waste. For professional-grade yard maintenance across multiple acres, you’ll want to consider backpack models that pack extra power, or even wheeled models. Keep in mind though that wheeled models come with their own drawbacks, like a lack of features and considerably high noise levels.

Cordless vs. corded

When it comes to convenience, cordless leaf blowers are at the top of the pack. They dispense with the need for gas and maintenance required by gas-powered blowers as well as their noisiness. A cordless blower also tends to be fairly light and allows you to go wherever you need without worrying if you’re close to an outlet. However, even the best cordless blower doesn’t tend to have the same power as its gas-powered brethren and with a battery life of around one hour, you may have to charge once or twice before finishing your chores or consider investing in a second battery.

Corded leaf blowers are ideal for backyards that provide access to outlets at 100 feet of your work zone. They provide power nearly as strong as gas-powered motors and are generally much lighter.

Electric vs. gas

Gas leaf blowers feature high power and the convenience of not having a cord. However, they require regular maintenance and two-stroke engines featured in the majority of gas blowers require mixing gas and oil. Try to look for four-stroke engines instead to do away with the need for mixing gas and oil and to reduce emissions. Another drawback to gas leaf blowers is their sound level—it’s often recommended to wear hearing protection when operating them. Most models also weigh about 10 pounds, which might be disqualifying for some users. Electric leaf blowers offer the convenience of a button-press start and do away with the noise and environmental pollution of gas blowers.

Backpack vs. handheld

Backpack leaf blowers arm users with power twice that of their handheld competitors. The tradeoff is the drawbacks associated with gas engines—maintenance, fuel mixing, noise pollution, and air pollution. They offer way more power than folks with a small front yard or even a sizable backyard need. But if you’re dealing with major acreage that has to be maintained meticulously and quickly, you may want to consider a backpack blower. Handheld leaf blowers are good for cleaning up your driveway, but the vibrations might make your hands hurt if used for an extended period of time.

Price range

A budget leaf blower will give you what you need to deal with your sidewalk and moderately-sized yard. You’ll be able to find decent corded models for around $100. In some cases, you’ll find deals that get you models with useful features like mulching and vacuuming. Just expect lower CFM rates, which means you might have to spend longer blowing.

The best leaf blowers: Reviews & Recommendations

Looking for a tool to move leaves can be stressful, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered—you don’t have to go back to raking leaves. This guide will take you through the main points to consider while buying a leaf blower while offering up our leaf blower reviews. You can save that stress for when it’s time to choose a snowblower.

Best overall: DeWalt Corded Electric Handheld Leaf Blower

DeWalt

Check Price

Why it made the cut: This professional-grade leaf blower brings crisp landscaping to your backyard.

Specs

  • Weight: 9.8 lbs.
  • Power source: Corded
  • Electric or gas: Electric
  • Air speed: 145 MPH (189 MPH with concentrator nozzle)

Pros

  • Contractor-grade

Cons

  • Cord limits range

Put down that business card—you won’t be needing it with this contractor-grade leaf blower. The DeWalt leaf blower has 12 amps and delivers up to 189 MPH of blowing speed with professional-grade construction and convenience. An included one-inch nozzle allows you to clean out small spaces and crevices, and a flat concentrator nozzle helps blow away heavier debris. It runs on electricity, which means you don’t have to worry about refilling it with gas. However, you might want to invest in more power cords in case you have a large yard, and it does not have vacuum capabilities for sucking up leaves. A variable speed trigger allows for custom airflow.

Best rechargeable: RYOBI Brushless Cordless Jet Fan Leaf Blower

Home Depot

Check Price

Why it made the cut: This lightweight, quiet leaf blower packs a powerful punch.

Specs

  • Weight: 8.08 lbs.
  • Power source: Battery
  • Electric or gas: Electric
  • Air speed: 125 MPH

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Light
  • Brushless motor

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately

This Ryobi leaf blower buzzes along at 125 MPH and is fairly quiet at only 59 decibels. The cordless blower has a battery life approaching half an hour without using turbo mode. It weighs less than 10 pounds, meaning you can teach Junior how to help out in the yard without risking a hospital trip. Don’t let its weight and quietness fool you—this leaf blower runs at 550 CFM, or cubic feet per minute, and rivals the power of many gas-powered leaf blowers. This means you can clean the yard and driveway faster than Junior tries to bail out of their yard duties. Not today, Junior!

Best handheld: Makita 4-Stroke Engine Blower

Amazon

Check Price

Why it made the cut: A large, translucent fuel tank takes the guesswork out of filling up this leaf blower.

Specs

  • Weight: 9.8 lbs.
  • Power source: Engine
  • Electric or gas: Electric
  • Air speed: 145 MPH

Pros

  • No mixing gas and oil
  • Powerful
  • No cables

Cons

  • Not for heavy use

This Makita leaf blower has a four-stroke engine that does away with the need to mix fuel and also reduces emissions and saves on gas. A large-capacity muffler tamps down the decibel levels associated with most gas engines. You’ll blow your leaves away in relative peace with a max speed of 145 MPH and a volume of 67 decibels, which is about as loud as a dishwasher. A soft grip prevents vibration, and an accessible spark plug makes for quicker, easier maintenance. There’s no guesswork on when to fill up, thanks to its translucent fuel tank. And, the 17.7-ounce fuel tank means less time spend fueling and more time banishing those pesky tiny stones from your driveway.

Best backpack: ECHO Gas Backpack Blower

Amazon

Check Price

Why it made the cut: This powerful leaf blower takes the strain off your hands to make yard work a breeze.

Specs

  • Weight: 29 lbs.
  • Power source: Engine
  • Electric or gas: Gas
  • Air speed: 234 MPH

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Covers lots of ground
  • No tingly hands from vibrations

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

This ECHO leaf blower blows 234 MPH and has an airflow capacity of 765 CFM, which makes it perfect for those with plenty of acres to cover or who landscape on the side. Keep in mind that it weighs 29 pounds, though, so it might be cumbersome to wear for long periods of time. However, the comfortable straps help ease the burden on your shoulders. Although this leaf blower packs a hefty price tag, reviewers note its longevity and power, meaning this investment purchase pays for itself.

Best budget: BLACK+DECKER Leaf Blower & Leaf Vacuum

Amazon

Check Price

Why it made the cut: This versatile piece of equipment vacuum leaves, not the cash in your wallet.

Specs

  • Weight: 8.1 lbs.
  • Power source: Corded
  • Electric or gas: Electric
  • Air speed: 250 MPH

Pros

  • Three tools in one
  • Easy leaf disposal

Cons

  • Needs practice to handle

This Black+Decker leaf blower provides leaf blowing and vacuuming as well as a bag for mulching. Twelve amps of power deliver up to 250 MPH of blowing speed. You can conveniently grind down up to 16 bags of mulch into one with this leaf blower vacuum. Reviewers note that it works on small debris, but be aware that it takes a bit of practice to handle—vacuuming too fast will clog the tube. It’s quiet despite its power, meaning you won’t alert the entire neighborhood that you’re doing yard work. Two disposable bags are included for fast clean-up.

FAQs

Q: What cities have banned leaf blowers?

Over 20 cities in California have banned leaf blowers due to the noise they create, although enforcement of the ban is spotty. Some cities, including Greenwich, Connecticut, and Palm Beach, Florida, regulate the decibel volume and times of use of leaf blowers. To find your city’s rules on leaf blowers, you can check here. Your local government website may have more up-to-date information.

Q: What is the best kind of blower for gutter cleaning?

Cordless leaf blowers offer the kind of maneuverability to safely work on your roof. They are generally lighter than gas-powered models and won’t force you to deal with the noise of a gas-powered model as it ricochets off your roof and across the neighborhood. Yes, you might have to recharge your blower—but odds are your gutters aren’t going to need hours of power to get things clean.

Q: What is the best way to use a blower?

Before using your blower, make sure you’ve taken your safety into account. Put on a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris and don a pair of earmuffs to protect your hearing. Check that the leaves you are blowing are mostly dry and that wind is low. Plan to blow your leaves in one direction using pulses of air while pointing the nozzle at a shallow angle toward the ground. Sweep the blower from side to side while blowing leaves into a pile.

Q: Can you use a leaf blower on wet leaves?

If using a leaf blower to vacuum leaves, no. They can clog the fan, prevent other debris from being sucked up, weigh down the tool, and cause bag attachments to break. However, if you’re blowing away wet leaves, by all means, yes. It might take more work, but it can be done.

Q: Which is more important for a leaf blower, CFM or MPH?

It depends. A higher CFM pushes leaves further and helps you clear a larger area faster. This is important if you’re working with light materials. However, a higher MPH will help move heavier objects, like wet leaves and larger rocks. Take both into consideration when purchasing a leaf blower.

Finals thoughts on the best leaf blowers

When buying a leaf blower, your first major consideration should be the demands of the property you are tending. Do you have access to power outlets? Do you have acres or a small backyard? This will tell you whether it’s worth buying a larger gas-powered model, or if you can stick with a corded or wireless model. From there, you’ll want to consider what kind of power tool owner you are. Are you someone who likes maintaining your landscaping tools, checking the engine, and mixing gas? Or do you simply want to plug something in or charge a battery? Your environment also comes into play when considering how much power you’ll need. Are you dealing with debris other than leaves? Do you have close neighbors who will object to loud engine noise? Once you’ve reached this conclusion, you’ll want to set a price range. Remember that CFM rating will tell you how many leaves your tool can move at once, and MPH will tell you how it can handle heavier debris. Now you’re well on your way to finding the best blower for your home.

MORE TO READ