If you find yourself with a yard full of leaves and other organic debris, what do you do? Would you pay a landscaper to deal with it or take it on yourself? If the DIY route, then how do you get all that out of your yard?
When I was growing up, my dad had one of those old manual metal rakes with the wood handle. He would rake everything into a few files in our yard – all by hand. And, if my brother and I didn’t jump in the leaf piles first, he would then bag up the leaves into some of those large, black trash bags by hand. He would do this by grabbing the rake close to the metal part and using it as sort of a dustpan to make the process a little quicker.
These days though, it’s all about the leaf blower at my parents house cause it’s quicker and just more efficient. Maybe it’s time for you to get a quality leaf blower. Each of us has different personal preferences and needs, but I want to help you do a little comparison shopping on leaf blowers to select one that will keep your yard looking its best.
Do You Really Need A Leaf Blower?
A good leaf blower vac is a great yard tool for getting rid of leaves that are cluttering up the lawn. Unless you want to rake leaves by hand, you need to get one of these tools to rid your yard of leaves.
The blowers are available in two main different power offerings – gas or electric. You can also find a few battery operated leaf blower models. For the fastest leaf blower, you need to go with a gas model as they offer the quickest removal. However, they are considerably noisier than electric models. And, if you live in a neighborhood with noise restrictions, then you will likely not be able to make much use of a gas powered leaf blower vac.
Fortunately, the electric models are not far behind in speed and are often cheaper in price. In fact, if you compared gas leaf blowers to electric leaf blowers, then you will likely discover that the lower price and noise level make the electric a pretty decent trade off compared to the quicker gas model. Plus, they are better for the environment.
While you can still clean up dead leaves and organic yard waste by hand like my dad did, I bet you would rather have pretty much ANY leaf blower to help you clear them out of the yard. You can use the list above of the best leaf blowers for the money (or the comparison chart down below), as well as my reviews and analysis of each tool, to find the best leaf blower for you.
The leaf blowers that I have included on this chart actually only begin to scratch the surface of what is available for purchase. So many manufacturers and models exist that there is no way that I could have listed all our top rated models. However, many exceptional leaf blowers are included at every price range and from a variety of quality makers.
I hope you find success using our recommendations to get started on shopping for your new yard tool.
How To Find A Leaf Blower That Meets Your Needs
If you are looking at the handheld electric blowers, know that they offer enough power for even big jobs. However, they often need to be with 100 feet of an electrical outlet.
With a handheld gas blower, you can go anywhere since there is no cord. However, that fuel tank results in extra weight that you have to carry. It also comes with more noise and higher costs. And remember, your safety with the leaf blower is most important so don’t buy something that is too heavy for you to carry safely.
Backpack leaf blowers offer a good solution to carrying the weight of the blower, since it takes the stress from your arms and puts it on your shoulders and back. Of course, a good backpack leaf blower isn’t the best choice for everyone.
And if you have an abnormally large yard with a lot of leaves to remove, then a wheeled leaf blower may be the best bet for you. That being said, this is the most expensive model and it can sometimes be difficult to control and push.
Before making a decision or purchase, you should first check to ensure that you are not in an area that prohibits or restricts the usage of leaf blowers. The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse maintains a database of this type of information, but you can also check with your community or HOA.
Ask yourself if you need equipment that also functions as a vacuum. A lot of the handheld leaf blowers that are available for purchase are also capable of picking up yard debris. Of course, they have relatively small tubes which limits how much debris you can actually pick up with the machine. If getting a model that offers this capability is important to you, then I suggest looking for one that has a metal impeller as opposed to the nylon versions. Doing this will ensure that your blower vac can ingest leaves and twigs while standing the tests of time.
Features can be an important consideration factor when comparing leaf blowers. If you expect to be doing a lot of sweeping of leaves, then go with a flatter nozzle. However, if you want to loosen leavens, then choose the model with a rounded nozzle. If you choose a model with adjustable speeds, then you will easily be able to go at a lower speed around your flower beds. And if you want to easily be able to know when your gas blower is low on fuel, opt for a model with a clear gas tank.
If you are going to be spending a lot of time out in your yard with this thing, then you may want to go with a model that saves you a little manual labor. The handheld models are usually easy to hold and comfortably fit in your hand. They balance good in your grip and some of them even have a second grip for more control. If you choose a model that has a bottom-mounted air intake as opposed to a side mount, then you have less tugging at your clothes when using it. And if you have a conveniently located shut-off switch, then you will be able to quickly cut off the motor or engine if you need to do so.
Regardless of which model you decide to purchase, it is important to remember that these tools are quite noisy. As a result, you should purchase some safety headphones to protect your hearing. Goggles and a dust mask are other safety items that you will want to wear while using your leaf blower.
Electric or Gas Leaf Blower – Which Is Better?
Shopping for a new leaf blower to clear the debris from the yard can be an overwhelming experience. There are a number of different features and options that you can choose from when comparing leaf blowers, but fuel type might be one of the more important things to consider.
There is a pretty good chance that you are asking yourself one question – do I need a gas or electric leaf blower to clear my yard?
Typical Electric Leaf Blower Features
This type is primarily designed to be handheld while in use.
You can choose to get this type of leaf blower either as cordless or corded. For a cordless model, the tool with have a rechargeable battery for its power source. For the corded model, you will need to connect the tool to an electrical outlet for it to work.
Typical Gas Leaf Blower Features
You can choose between either a backpack or handheld design when it comes to gas powered leaf blowers.
Engines for this type of blower will be either two-stroke or a four-stroke.
What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Leaf Blowers?
Electric models are generally cheaper than the gas models, which is beneficial for users on a budget.
The warranty for this type of blower is normally a short 60 to 90 days.
While this type of leaf blower is generally more lightweight than a gas model, you do have restricted mobility with it. If corded, then you can only go as long as the cord will reach. And if cordless, you can only use the tool for as long as the battery holds a charge. This can be a little at 10 minutes.
For the quietest experience, you should go with an electric blower as their engines emit less noise than gas models.
What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Gas Leaf Blowers?
For budget conscious consumers, a gas-powered model is normally a bit more expensive than the electric models.
You get a nice warranty on this type of model; usually about 5 year.
If you are in a hurry, then you should know that gas models are not only much more powerful but clear the debris quicker than electric models.
However, gas blowers are generally louder and emit more harmful emissions than electric models.
Since the blower has a gas tank, it will be heavier than an electric model.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. In fact, the best type of leaf blower for you depends on your specific needs and budget.
My Top 3 Favorite Battery Operated Rechargeable Leaf Blowers
If you are in the market for leaf blowers that are rechargeable, then there are some great battery operated models for you to choose from. And the best thing about these models is that they tend to be a little cheaper than some of the other types of leaf blowers that are available. This is an environmentally friendly choice as their is no gas, oil or fumes. It is also better for your hearing since electric battery-powered leaf blowers have a quieter engine noise than the gas powered models.
The benefit to this type of yard tool is that it is cordless, however if you have a large yard then you may not be able to do it all at once if the battery does not hold the charge long enough. Of course, you get to miss out on the backache caused by hauling around those heavy gas powered blowers, so this is still a great choice. To help you narrow down the choices a little, I want to point out what I think are the three best battery powered leaf blowers for the money.
Black and Decker 36V Lithium Ion Sweeper Review
If you want a really powerful leaf blower with a rechargeable battery, then this Black and Decker model is your best bet for the money.
The battery charge lasts a LONG time so that you can complete even the biggest and toughest jobs. It only takes around an hour for this powerful battery to get a full charge.
You can carry this one without much effort since it only weighs 4.7 pounds. And the handle has a soft gripper to fit comfortably in your hand.
This tool’s blow tube has a built-in scraper, which is perfect for clearing matted leaves and debris out of gutters and such. The warranty period is for 3 years.
Makita BUB182Z 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Blower Review
Makita is one of the most trusted names in yard equipment, and for good reason. They make solid tools that can last for years and years while continuing to work perfectly. This blower is no exception to that.
The nice thing about this one is the motor offers three different speeds, with a max of 179 MPH.
This one is the easiest of the three to hold as the handle is designed for a comfort grip. It makes it so much easier to hold this thing for a while if you have a lot of leaves or a large yard.
The compact design of this tool is quite impressive and it results in a super light piece of equipment. It weighs just 3.9 pounds, which makes it easy to use for even the worst of backs. You get a nice 3-year warranty on this one. And the battery only takes 30 minutes to fully charge!
Earthwise 20 Volt Lithium Ion Blower Review
This single speed leaf blower has rubber molded around the handle so that it fits comfortably in your hand. It is also very easy to carry because it is lightweight at just 4.8 pounds.
The speed you get with it is 140 MPH and it features a 18 Volt li-ion battery.
You can easily and quickly clean a patio, deck or walkway with this blower. It comes with a 20-Inch tube that snaps on for extra reach and access. And with the lithium ion battery, you get more than enough charge to get the job done.
What Are The Best Backpack Leaf Blowers For The Money?
If you are interested in getting a backpack leaf blower to clear your yard debris, then you might want to start your shopping by comparing the products that are currently on the market. Checking out how current owners like me have rated their backpack blower can help you to determine which of the leaf blowers are the best bets for the money. The last thing that you want to do is to spend a chunk of change on one of these yard tools that ends up being a really bad product. I know that I haven’t has the chance to check out all the models that are available, but the ones below are those that I have been able to test.
1. Husqvarna 350BT 50.2cc 2-Cycle X-Torq Gas Powered 180 MPH Midsize Back Pack Blower Review
I have to say that I really like this one right here (even though I’m not a huge fan go gas models). I love how lightweight it is – especially since I have a big yard. It is easy to handle and fits comfortably into my hand while in use.
If you’re going to choose a gas model, then this one right is a good choice because it is very fuel efficient. That efficiency also means low emissions from it, which is a little better for the environment than your standard gas engine. I think one of the reasons this one has the good fuel efficient thing going on is the X-Torq engine, so don’t expect that of all gas models.
2. Husqvarna 560BTS 65.6cc 2-Stroke X-Torq Gas Powered 232 MPH Backpack Blower Review
A buddy of mine has a landscaping business and he swears by this thing. So, I got him to let me take it for a test drive one afternoon and boy does this thing have some power! I’m not surprised since it is a commercial grade model that can be used by regular consumers, wow is it something.
Like the model above, this one has one of those X-Torq engines for the better fuel efficiency and reduced the emissions going out in the air. I’ve noticed that this seems to be common for this brand, which is a definite benefit. I also noticed that this one feels a lot more comfortable in your hands than the one above, despite this one being a bit heavier. The ergonomic handle helps it feel right in your hands though.
3. Makita BBX7600N 75.6 CC 4-Stroke Backpack Blower Review
This leaf blower is another one of the ones that my landscaping buddy uses with his employees. As you may have already guesses, it is another one of those powerful commercial models with a crazy strong engine that packs a lot of punch. heck, I bet if I used this on my yard, then I would be done in about half the time it normally takes me. That’s how powerful this thing is. With that in mind, if you’re not a pro, then I think this would only be a good option if you have a really, really big yard. Otherwise, it might be just overkill.
The biggest disadvantage to this one is that it feels like it weighs a ton. It doesn’t matter how comfortable the handle feels at first cause this thing is heavy. In fact, it is so heavy that a lumbar support and padded straps are included with it! Yup, that’s heavy alright..
Leaf Blowers: CFM vs MPH – What Does It Mean?
Are you in the market for a leaf blower and need some help learning all the terminology and such? Well you’ve come to the right place because today I am going to show you some tips for purchasing a leaf blower. I am going to go over common terminology as well as provide you some tips so that you can get the best leaf blower your budget can afford.
Leaf blowers are commonly measured by their blowing strength. There are 3 common measures used to indicate a leaf blower’s strength which includes CFM, MPH, and CC. These might seem confusing for you at first but do not worry I will explain what they mean to you!
Your CC stands for how large your engine is going to be
CFM refers to cubic feet per minute. So for example, 400 CFM means that every minute 400 cubic feet of air volume is pushed through the end of the nuzzle. CFM as of right now is generally the best factor to decide on because it seems that machines with a higher CFM have more power than the ones with a high MPH or CC.
MPH refers to the speed that the air reaches the end of the nozzle. These can seem like an important factor but if you have no power then your speed is going to be pretty useless if you can’t move anything.
MPH vs. CFM
A lot of people, when they first go to purchase a leaf blower assume that MPH is the largest factor, similar to how fast a car goes but generally speaking the CFM will determine how powerful your leaf blower is. Ideally you want a blower that is large in both these numbers. It’s always best to get a blower that both have power and speed.
Before you purchase your blower it is important that you check local guidelines to make sure that your leaf blower is not too loud or produces air pollutes that are banned in your area. Leaf blowers are known to cause a lot of problems in our environment as well as cause damage to hearing so keep those factors in mind as well.
Choosing a leaf blower can be hard just make sure that you do your research and learn the differences between them all so that you don’t end up owning two blowers instead of one.
Leaf Blowers Dangers: What You Need To Know
With so many cities and communities outright banning leaf blowers, it get to wondering why that is. In fact, plenty of news stories are articles warn against the dangers of leaf blowers. But what, exactly, are these dangers?
As pointed out by the Greenwich community organization, they can be pretty loud. So loud in fact that it can damage your hearing or anyone else in close range. Of course, you can just wear safety ear muffs or ear plugs to protect your own ears.
These yard cleaning tools are also a drag on the environment. A study out of California concluded that they emit a lot of pollution into the air. And when I say a lot, I mean a LOT. Half an hour use of one of these is apparently the equivalent of a car traveling 440 miles at a speed of 30 mph (who would go that slow for that long?!?). That is a heck of a lot of air pollution.
Another possible environmental issue involves top soil. It seems that these machines really do a lot of damage to top soil, which is kinda fragile to begin with. And it takes many, many years for top soil to recover.
If you want to read up some more on these dangers and how they might pertain to you, then start with the CleanHouston article on this topic.
Tips On Operating A Gas Leaf Blower
Whether you just recently became a home owner or are simply new to using a gas powered leaf blower, you should not start using one with out getting a little information on the best practices. While you may have seen landscapers using them and think that it looks fairly simple, there is a little more to it.
When operating a gas leaf blower, it is important to keep safety at the forefront of your mind. You do not want to be careless with the tool, otherwise someone may get hurt. You also do not want to annoy the neighbors with your usage.
In order to have the best results from your gas powered leaf blower, and practice safety, I suggest that you watch the video below to pick up a few tips. The video is the perfect introduction for someone who is new to using leaf blowers to clear yard debris.
How Much Power Do You Need In A Gas Leaf Blower?
When you start checking out all of the gas powered leaf blowers , you will notice that there is a lot of variety in terms of power offered. And the amount of power that you need really varies from on person to the next. Sounds a little confusing, right?
The answer here is that there is no single best power for a leaf blower (gas or electric). The truth is that you need to find that one that is the best solution for your unique needs. Sounds good, right? But now you might be wondering how you know which power level you actually need.
To help determine how much power you need in your gas leaf blower, I suggest you watch the video below to get more info.
Potential Environmental Impact of Leaf Blowers
Leaf blowers are commonly used for cleaning yards, maintenance and landscaping. People use them because they are good at what they do and make their lives so much easier, but just like everything that’s good there’s always a catch.
Leaf Blowers Environmental Impact
Let’s go over some of the common problems that have been found so far when we put leaf blowers to use:
- When you use a leaf blower it produces air pollutes that are similar to driving a car. For example, using a blower for half an hour is the same as a car driving 440 miles at an average speed of 30mph. This only applies to gasoline powered blowers however, so keep that in mind.
- The sound noises of these devices can be really hard on our earring. It has been shown through scientific research that any noise level over 75 decibels can be harmful to our health and cause hearing loss.
With the cons of using leaf blowers adding up one might argue that the negative out ways the positives. If you do decide to use leaf blowers be aware of what damage you are causing to the environment, we need to stop destroying our earth so going for an electric alternative is a step in the right direction at least.
Also, make sure that you use ear plugs or something to block out the loud noise that emits or else you will be deaf in no time. Try to go for a green alternative if you can, it will be better for you and your kids, and you can feel good about yourself or doing so.
In the end you should really just think about doing it by hand. This will give you exercise and besides is racking leaves really that hard to do? If for some reason you need a leaf blower try going for an electric version instead. Sure, it still uses energy but it’s definitely better for the environment none the less.
I hope this article helped to open your eyes to a deeper problem that exists in our world. Although I only listed the basics there are still more problems that leaf blowers cause such as destruction of habitat, loss of topsoil, and spreading allergies and diseases.
To give you an idea of the environmental impact, check out this video from the Studio City Neighborhood Council on why leaf blowers are illegal in Los Angeles.
Are Leaf Blowers Annoying?
If you are considering purchasing a leaf blower for home use, then you may want to take a moment to consider how your neighbors might feel about this new addition to your yard tools arsenal.
You see, leaf blowers are incredibly loud (some more than others) and that noise level can be a bit of a nuisance to other people. And the longer you are using the tool, then the more annoying that sound is to everyone around you.
For instance, I live in a community where yard upkeep is included in the HOA fees. So, a landscape company regularly comes around and cuts the grass, trims the trees and shrubs and so on. And, of course, they use leaf blowers. And boy are they slow about it! With so many houses close together, it seems as if they are spending forever with that loud thing.
Of course, that won’t be the case with your use of the yard equipment.
When you are ready to use a leaf blower, it is a good idea to consider your neighbors (if you have any close by). Think for a moment how it would feel to you to hear that loud noise before you get up at 6 a.m. and start blowing around the leaves on your deck. Green Towns Guides has some thoughts on why they are so annoying right here.
You do not want to be the inconsiderate neighbor who angers everyone with the early morning loud noise. And take care that you are not blowing yard debris at people who may be passing by walking their dogs and such. You can be a responsible leaf blower owner.
Note that some communities have banned leaf blowers because they were deemed to be a nuisance to the local citizens. You do not want to be the person that is the catalyst for such an action.
Advantages of Gas Leaf Blower Backpack
Are you considering buying a backpack leaf blower but not sure if the style is for you? Learning the advantages of the tool will help you to make an informed buying decision as to if it meets your needs or not.
As you may already know, the backpack style of leaf blower does rest on your back and shoulders as you work to clear leaves and other yard debris. This can be a good thing as it means that you are not limited in terms of where you can travel in the yard to access the debris.
However, that tool can get a little heavy if it is one of the models with a large fuel tank.
Summary: Top Leaf Blowers Recommended
For a quick comparison, check out the table below of our top picks right now.
Updated: 2019-07-15 at 10:41 / Affiliate disclosure / Images by Amazon Product Advertising API
Keep in mind that plenty of models are available, so you can shop around for something else if these don’t meet your needs.