Best Leaf Blowers: Our 2017 Consumer Guide
Last Updated 30th January 2017
You might view the Best leaf blowers and garden vacs as something of a luxury, but they are actually very versatile tools that can be bought for $30+. Of course what type of leaf blower is best for you will depend on what you need to do. Are you exhausted from using a hand rake or brush to clear up all the leaves? Leaf blowers can do the job in a fraction of the time, with leaf blower vacs also sucking up the leaves into a holding bag. Cordless leaf blowers tend to be more pricey but if you have a big garden they can be a lot easier as you don’t have a cord stopping you reaching the end of your garden. Meanwhile corded leaf blowers are great if you are on a budget or have a small outside space. Corded machines tend to be easier to use as well as lighter.
Make sure you pick one that is comfortable and easy start. Also think about whether you need just a blower, a blower vac or one that does both of these things and picks up the debris as well. If you go for the dual or triple purpose ones, it should be easy to change modes and have a easy to empty collection bag. We tried a range of machines on the wet leaves in our garden to bring you the most efficient for the job. Our recommended Best leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs take the hard work out of clearing autumn leaves. They shift piles of leaves so your garden looks smart and tidy, and they’re easy to use. Our reviews of corded electric, cordless battery powered and petrol leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs are designed to sort the outstanding models from the poor machines that require too much effort to collect the leaves.
Our reviews answer the most crucial questions about leaf blowers and vacs, including:
- How well will it shift wet leaves?
- Will it blow the leaves everywhere?
- Is it easy to use?
- How noisy will it be?
- Can it tackle leaves on gravel?
- How quick the collection bag gets full?
- Is it heavy?
These are our top picks so if you know which Leaf Blower you need, use our quick look chart or if you would like more in depth info on each Leaf Blower read on…
Best Leaf Blowers in 2017
When testing the leaf blowers, we measure how much time and effort it takes to blow an area of the lawn clear of leaves, how well each leaf blower clears wet stuck down leaves from our patio. We rate how easy it is to blow the leaves into a neat pile and how easy each blower is to operate. We also check how easy the leaf blowers are to assemble and easy they are to clean after use.
There are big differences in how well leaf blower vacs collect the leaves. Some will collect all the leaves, even if they are damp and can cope with the occasional twig. Others will regularly get blocked. It is also helpful to know how well leaf blower vacs shred the leaves and fill the collection bag. We have come across leaf blower vacs pass the leaves whole and this means the collection bag needs emptying frequently. The best leaf blower and leaf blower vac should take the hard work out of clearing your autumn leaves. Some models are much easier to use than others, we carry out test to see which ones will help you collect the leaves without any hassle and which ones will give you a hard time. We weigh the leaf blowers and on the corded models we check how long each cable is. On the cordless models we check how long the battery will last.
Types of leaf blowers
Leaf blowers are best for small gardens or if you are dealing with a large number of leaves that can’t easily be vacuumed up. They only blow but are ideal for moving lots of leaves into one big pile that you can collect easily.
Leaf Blower Vacuums
Leaf blower vacuums are useful for small jobs particularly the non shredding types as they are good for picking up general litter as well as leaves. They are not great for big jobs as it will generally take longer to suck all the leaves up than it will blowing them into one big pile.
Combined Leaf Blower and Vacuum
Combined leaf blowers and garden vacs are best for the majority of people due to their versatility. The main drawback is they can be fiddly to set up and operate and usually have extra attachments which you need to store.
Things to consider when buying a leaf blower?
We’ve already covered the different types of leaf blowers and garden vacs, but what else should you think about when deciding which one to buy? Here’s a handy check list of questions when choosing which leaf blower to buy.
Table of contents
Now with all this in mind lets take a look at our best leaf blowers.
Hitachi RB24EAP 23.9cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered 170 MPH Handheld Leaf Blower (CARB Compliant)
the RB24EAP hand held blower is one of the lightest (8.6 lbs) and most powerful (at 441 CFM) blowers in its class. Available to both homeowners and professionals, the RB24EAP features a purge primer for quick and simple starts, a low emission PureFire engine and a large two finger throttle for easier operation. The exceptional balance and light weight make it ideal for small clean up, while it has the power to handle larger yard work. Built to make quick work of big cleanup tasks, the Hitachi RB24EAP Handheld Blower uses a 23.9 cc commercial-grade engine. It features low-emission two-stroke engine technology, and an auto-return stop switch. It offers an air volume of 441 cubic feet per minute and delivers air speeds up to 170 miles per hour for effective debris removal.
Delivering up to 170 MPH in air power, the Husqvarna 125B Handheld Blower makes yard maintenance tasks much easier. With its specially engineered fan and lightweight frame, the blower is designed to minimize stress while still delivering enormous wind power. It also features a cruise-control function that maintains a constant fan speed, allowing you to tackle raking and sweeping tasks with ease.
DEWALT DCBL720P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion XR Brushless Blower (5.0 Ah) uses an innovative axial fan design that maximizes on air output and run time. The variable speed trigger and speed lock give the user maximum control of the blower, with performance up to 400 cubic feet per minute of air volume providing and 90 MPH of air speed. This blower features a lightweight and ergonomic design (7.1 lbs.), along with low noise performance (61 dB). Includes: DCBL720 Blower, 20V MAX 5Ah Lithium Ion Battery, Charger.
Power up your yard clean up with the cordless Black & Decker 40-volt Lithium Sweeper (model LSW36), and the versatility to share batteries with other tools within the system. Black & Decker’s 40-volt lithium-ion system offers numerous benefits over older battery technologies and gas options, notably the ability to put more power into a small and compact battery. Lithium batteries have a longer lifecycle than other types, and they also hold their charge longer when taken off the charger. This means that once charged, a lithium battery is always ready to use. The included Energy Star-rated fast charger fully recharges the battery in about 1 hour.
Ideal for hard surfaces like patios, decks, walkways, driveways, and garages, the Sweeper has an efficient design and a 120-mph air speed to make quick work of debris. It features Power Command controls for adjusting speed for maximum run-time or maximum power. The blow tube has a built-in scraper that enables the Sweeper to loosen matted leaves and stuck-on debris.
Weighing in at just 4.7 pounds, this blower is light enough for anyone to use for extended periods. And it features a comfortable soft grip handle that’s large enough for use with gloves.
The Sweeper’s electric motor greatly reduces the roar that’s common with gasoline blowers to protect your hearing and reducing noise pollution. It’s rated at 66 DB.
Clean up any mess that Mother Nature may have left behind with the Greenworks 24012 Single Speed Electric Blower. This lightweight corded blower plugs in and uses a 7-amp motor which means no harmful emissions. It features a two-speed motor for multiple uses and it can reach speeds of 160 mph to collect grass clippings and leaves in piles. The blower tube comes in two pieces and measures 20 inches long. Weight: 4.5 lbs.
The WORX WG506 2-Speed Corded Blower is lightweight and easy to use. It has a simple tool-free assembly to get you started right out of the box. Use this blower for clearing debris from larger areas all around the home or business. With a 7.5 amp motor and adjustable air speed from 130 to 160, it ispractical for clearing patios, decks, driveways, sidewalks, steps, parking areas and small business areas. The tube design produces 160 cfm of air volume offering sufficient power to tackle a multitude of blowing and sweeping duties.
GreenWorks 24322 G-MAX 40V 185MPH Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac.
GreenWorks DigiPro Brushless Series delivers a powerful solution to rival gas powered tools. Easy to use, powerful brushless motor and lower operating cost, this DigiPro Variable Speed G-MAX Blower/Vac offers versatile features and a zero emissions solution for cleaning and clearing debris. The innovative brushless motor technology provides up to 80% longer life, less noise and lower vibration for user comfort. With up to 185 mph wind speed, 340 CFM, light weight, ergonomic design and vacuum capability, this tool gets the job done without the hassle and mess of gas powered blowers–simply snap in the battery and start working.
you can work on clearing your yard and collecting up to 4.5 bags of debris on a single charge using the G-MAX 40V 4.0 ah battery On the bottom of the blower there is a gate / cover that protects the user from getting into the spinning impeller of the blower. In order to use the blower as a Vac, this gate is opened and a collection tube is inserted to allow for leaf pick. There is a safety switch on this gate and if the gate becomes unlatched during use as a blower, it will not allow the blower to run.
The WORX TRIVAC is the easy-to-use, All-in-one system for blowing, vacuuming and mulching leaves. No stopping to change tubes and no downtime to switch from a blower to a vac. This machine does it all with a flip of a switch and no tools. The balanced single hand operation makes it easier to maneuver and control without much fatigue. In vac mode, the innovative vacuum tube design provides 350 cfm of volume even when reaching under decks and patio furniture. In blower mode, the air speed can be adjusted from 75 to 210 mph for more power on demand, or adjust the air speed to maximize performance for blowing and sweeping in corners or harder to reach areas. The WG505 TRIVAC has a metal impeller which provides a 16 to 1 mulch ratio. A quick tube release makes cleaning a breeze. tools. There is no downtime with the TRIVAC — blow the leaves into a pile; vac and mulch them; and dump the bag for compost or collection.
BLACK+DECKER LSWV36B 40V Lithium Ion Sweeper/Vac
The BLACK+DECKER LSWV36B 40V Lithium Ion Sweeper/Vac is ideal for clearing driveways, sidewalks, decks, garages and other hard surfaces of leaves, grass clippings, and other lawn debris. It has a rechargeable 40 volt battery for easy use that will give users reliable power year after year. Power Command controls speed for maximum run-time or maximum power. It is lightweight at just 5.4 pounds and allows for quick and easy clearing of debris. It easily converts to vacuum mode for quick and easy vacuuming of debris from hard surfaces like patios, decks, garages and walkways. Its low noise design allows for quiet operation and it has a built-in scraper that allows users to loosen matted leaves and stuck-on debris. The soft grip handle provides added comfort during use. Powered by an energy star qualified charger for a better environment. The Sweeper’s electric motor greatly reduces the roar that’s common with gasoline blowers to protect your hearing and reducing noise pollution. It’s rated at 65 DB.
How many leaves will you be clearing up?
This sounds very obvious (and it is), but it’s important. If you have a small garden then a smaller, lower-power blower or vac should suffice. Most people will be better off with a blower or combi blower and vac, but if you have a large amount of leaves then you’ll need a more powerful, longer-lasting machine to get the job done. If you have a large area to cover, don’t skimp on the machinery, as you’ll regret it later.
Do you want to pick up litter too?
If so, a straight garden vac without shredding is what you need. They’re not as good at picking up and storing wet leaves, but they’re a hugely versatile time saver.
Mains, Battery or Petrol – which is the best?
Petrol is generally something you’ll only want to go for if you know you’re going to be working all day. Most battery-powered models only last well under 30 minutes, so if your garden is quite large you’ll probably need to go for a mains-powered unit.
Why use a brushless motor?
1, increased run time. This is the most important to the modern day trades person. The battery power is no longer wasted on energy like friction and heat, more of the power actually goes into whatever your doing. Your battery will last longer doing that job per a single charge than it would using a brushed motor. Up to 50% more run time on certain jobs.
2, increased power and speed. Now that the power is not being wasted on friction and heat, you are able to get a higher percentage of power out of the battery. This means you can work a little faster and achieve more in terms of power.
3, longer life of the tool. The reduction of heat and friction will actually prolong the life of the tool itself. The wearing on the bushes will take its toll on the motor over time , so you can see how it would prolong the life of any tool using a brushless motor.
4, Lighter and smaller. A brushless motor is smaller and lighter, this is always a benefit when you are working with tools all day. It means manufacturers can make smaller and more lightweight tools for your ease.
Now you know a little more about brushless motors you can now decide if you want to go brushless or not and the benefits it will have if you do choose to do so.
What is CFM?
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, and is a measure of air flow.
It describes the rate at which a certain volume of air moves in a certain period of time. In the case of a blower it indicates how much air it can move per minute through the tube of the specific model. The more air that it moves means more volume which means more leaves moved .