Best Leaf Blower 2017

Leaf blowers are a pretty essential tool if you live in a part of the country that has deciduous autumn trees or falling pine needles. Cheaper than hiring a professional, and much easier on your back than an old-fashioned rake, leaf blowers can get big jobs done in a short amount of time, drastically cutting down on the maintenance level of your lawncare routine. Some leaf blowers today have additional features like vacuuming to further simplify your outdoor chores, and there are many gas powered and gas-alternative models to choose from. We have selected some of our favorites to assist you in your search for the best leaf blower.

Best Leaf Blower

GreenWorks 24322 G-MAX 40V 185MPH Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac

Features

G-Max 40V Li-Ion System

The G-Max 40V Li-Ion System is the power behind the GreenWorks Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac, a gas-alternative leaf blower. Lithium ion batteries (commonly known as Li-Ion) are a big step up from previous battery types, offering not just long-lasting power, but fade-free power that doesn’t weaken and die off as the battery loses its charge through use. The 40V 4ah Li-Ion battery that comes with the GreenWorks leaf blower yields up to 60 minutes of battery life on one single charge.

Variable speed dial

The variable speed dial allows you to change speed settings. While lower speeds prolong battery life, the GreenWorks 24322 can blast leaves at speeds up to 185mph for when heavy-duty leaf-blowing action is needed.

Brushless DigiPro Motor

Brushless motors have been around a long time, but they’ve recently gained a lot of traction in products designed for consumers. A big reason for this is efficiency. Brushless motors are more intelligent than old-fashioned brush motors, and they don’t draw more energy from the battery than what they sense is necessary to complete a task. Additionally, brushless motors are simply more durable and have greater longevity than brushed motors due to decreased friction from lack of brushes inside the motor system. Because of its intelligent Brushless DigiPro Motor, the GreenWorks leaf blower not only tackles dry leaves, but tricky wet leaves as well.

Gas alternative

The GreenWorks Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac runs on a Li-Ion battery, which is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional, standard gas-powered leaf blowers. Because it’s runs on a battery, the GreenWorks leaf blower is quieter and vibrates much less than standard leaf blowers. It also features an instant electric start, so you don’t have to worry about pull cords, which is great for those with shoulder and elbow injuries, as well as arthritis.

First impression

Right away, I’m a big fan of the battery power of the GreenWorks 24332. I love making greener choices wherever possible, but I don’t like to compromise on power. That isn’t a problem with the 24332, which manages to be a greener choice and super-powerful at the same time, all while maintaining ease of use.

Verdict

The GreenWorks Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac is lightweight, ergonomic and comfortable to use. Its powerful brushless engine and 185mph velocity make very quick work of blowing away wet and stubborn leaves, while the vacuum feature is equally as powerful. When planning ahead, the battery charging is no big deal; additionally, the battery last long enough to finish everything in the yard, with some to spare. All in all, the GreenWorks offering is very powerful and likable.

Positives
  • Gas alternative
  • 40 Li-Ion battery provides fade-free power
  • DigiPro Motor provides increased torque
  • Quieter than gas leaf blowers
  • Less vibration than gas leaf blowers
  • Instant electric start—no cord needed
  • Variable speed dial; speed up to 185mph
  • Works for dry and wet leaves
  • 60 minutes of battery life with 40V 4ah lithium ion battery
  • Battery included
  • Battery charger included
  • Lightweight at 11lbs
  • 4-year warranty

Negatives
  • Because the battery life is so long, it also takes a long time to actually charge the battery. However, this wait can be mitigated by planning ahead and charging your battery in advance when you know you might be working in the yard.

Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum, Variable-Speed

Features

Speeds up to 250mph

The Toro UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum can reach speeds up to 250mph, making it a formidable opponent for wet leaves in a large yard.

Variable speed control

Both the vacuum and leaf blower modes have variable speed control, so you can tailor speeds to your needs. Lower speeds conserve power, are quieter and cause less vibration, which can be annoying to some homeowners.

Quick-release latch

The quick-release is Toro’s secret to turning their leaf blower into a powerful lawn vacuum in a matter of seconds, all without the use of tools.

Metal impeller

The blue shred ring on the metal mulch impeller reduces 97% of the mulch produced down to less than half an inch, which means more mulching capacity for you, the homeowner.

Oscillating nozzle

The oscillating nozzle improves airflow as well as coverage area, creating a more efficient blowing or vacuuming system, saving you both time and energy.

First impression

The Toro makes a very powerful first impression, literally.
You can definitely feel the 250mph velocity; I had thought it would make it very unwieldy, but it’s actually very easy to maintain control.

Verdict

The 250mph max speed on this variable speed leaf blower/vac/mulcher combo from Toro makes it a powerful tool in the war against leaves and pine needles. The robust mulching feature is a big draw, due to its 97% debris reduction, which is quite impressive indeed. Ease of use features like the built-in cord lock make it a very worthy contender.

Positives
  • 2-year full coverage warranty
  • 250mph max speed
  • Power insert included
  • Concentrator included
  • Oscillator included
  • Vacuum bag included
  • Metal impeller shred ring included
  • 97% debris reduction
  • 12amps motor
  • Cord storage hook
  • Built-in cord lock
  • Quick-release latch
  • Lightweight
  • Easy storage

Negatives
  • People tend to find that the vacuum feature is a lot stronger than the blowing feature.
  • Some have found pine needles aren’t that easy to blow away.

BLACK+DECKER BV5600 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher

Features

Speeds up to 250mph

The Black + Decker BV5600 has two speeds, with the greater speed topping off at an impressive 250mph.

Mulching feature

As a mulcher, the BV5600 has the capability to reduce 16 bags of mulch down to one, which makes it a very robust mulcher in its own right, aside of the blower and vac features.

Tool-free changing

With the easy tool-free changing feature, you can swap between blower, vacuuming and mulching modes quickly without the need for cumbersome tools.

Quieter

At 68dBA, the Black + Decker BV5600 Leaf Blower/Vac/Mulcher is 50% quieter than other comparable Black + Decker models.

Accessories included

Aside of the BV5600 motor head, this leaf blower comes with the following attachments included: Vacuum Tube, Blow Tube, Bag Assembly, Concentrator, and Leafblaster Nozzle.

First impression

The Black + Decker BV5600’s two speeds have a lot to offer. The high speed at 250mph is a force to be reckoned with during each of the three applications (blowing, vacuuming, mulching), while the lower speed is a great way to use the blower for more delicate tasks, such as in gardens, without destroying delicate flowers.

Verdict

The Black + Decker BV5600 Leaf Blower/Vac/Mulcher is a 50% quieter alternative to previous Black + Decker models that lives up to the hype. Though it would be a lot more likable if it featured multiple, variable speeds, the two allotted speeds aren’t bad, with the max being 250mph. It’s also a greener option, being corded-electric. It’s easy to use and gets the job done, but you’re left feeling the heavier weight difference compared to the other, lighter models.

Positives
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Corded-electric power
  • Leaf blower
  • Leaf vacuum
  • Mulcher
  • 50% quieter than previous models
  • Quick tool-free changing for different modes
  • 2 speeds
  • Max speed 250mph

Negatives
  • While the top speed is a fast 250mph, this model only has two speeds; it would be nice if there was a variable speed feature instead.
  • It’s not as light weight as some other models, but it’s still only about 14lbs, so it should still be alright for those without weight lifting restrictions.

Hitachi RB24EAP 23.9cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered 170 MPH Handheld Leaf Blower

Features

PureFire engine

The low-emission stroke-stroke 23.9cc PureFire engine from Hitachi is commercial-grade and features 1.13 horsepower, for powerful leaf-blowing action. This engine runs clean enough to be CARB compliant in California, for environmentally-friendliness.

High air volume

Thanks to the powerful PureFire engine with 1.13 horsepower, the Hitachi RB24EAP boasts 441 cubic feet per minute of air volume for extra leaf blowing power.

Velocity

When the taper nozzle is installed, the RB24EAP from Hitachi gets up to 170mph, which means it’s capable of blasting even the toughest stuck-on leaves off of your driveway and other surfaces around the home.

Ergonomic

The Hitachi RB24EAP leaf blower weighs only 8.6lbs, a modest weight for such a powerful device. Meanwhile, its ergonomic design decreases user fatigue, so you can get all of your leaf blowing done in one session.

First impression

The Hitachi RB24EAP is surprisingly likable for a gas-powered leaf blower in a world of electric and battery-powered offerings. It’s super easy to use and packs a powerful punch.

Verdict

Even though I’m not the hugest fan of gas-powered leaf blowers, I have to say I’m quite impressed with Hitachi’s offering. The 170mph max speed is enough to blow away stubborn leaves, and the intelligent, ergonomic design makes it feel lighter than its 8.6lbs. While I’m impressed with its low emission, CARB compliant status, I found the mixing of the oil and gas to be a little high maintenance, though I know many other people don’t find this an issue at all. For those who are wondering, Hitachi sells a pre-mixed concoction to simplify things and remove the guesswork.

Positives
  • 7-year consumer use warranty
  • Max speed 170mph
  • Auto-stop return switch provides always-on option
  • Taper nozzle included
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lightweight at just 8.6lbs
  • 441 cubic feet per minute air volume
  • 13 horsepower
  • 9cc engine
  • PureFire engine is low emission
  • CARB compliant

Negatives
  • While being low emission and CARB compliant, this is a gas-powered model; while there is nothing inherently wrong with gas-powered leaf blowers, those who prefer greener power may prefer a different model.
  • Since it’s a two-stroke gas engine, you have to fill it with a mix of gas and oil, though this isn’t cumbersome for those used to the process.

GreenWorks 24012 7 Amp Single Speed Electric 160 MPH Blower

Features

160mph

The GreenWorks 24012 Single Speed Electric 160mph Blower blows leaves at a constant 160mph to ensure you get your leaf blowing take care of in one, singular leaf-blowing session.

Lightweight

The 24012 from GreenWorks is ultralightweight at just 4.5lbs, making it one of the lightest weight options available; it’s 50% lighter than other GreenWorks models.

Ergonomic

Aside of being super lightweight, the 24012 is also ergonomically designed to reduce muscle and joint strain, as well as user fatigue.

Indoor or outdoor

Unlike some of the other pro-level, high-powered leaf blowers featured in this roundup, the GreenWorks 24012 can be safely used indoors as well as outdoors for total-home usage.

First impression

The first thing you notice about the GreenWorks 24012 is that it is extremely lightweight and ergonomic. I can see this being a fan favorite just for that virtue alone, but despite that, it’s still a solidly powerful leaf blower.

Verdict

The GreenWorks 24012 is a very impressive start option in the world of leaf blowers, thanks to its 160mph speed. While it only has one speed, its one speed gets the job done. It’s touted as being 50% lighter and 50% quieter, and I have to agree with those claims. This GreenWorks model is one of the quietest leaf blowers I’ve used, which will be a big pro for those who hate noise. And as for lightness, it weighs only 4.5lbs, which easily makes it the lightest leaf blower in this roundup. To top things off, the ergonomics of its design just make it very comfortable to use. Bottom line: what it lacks in sheer power, it makes up for in comfortable usage.

Positives
  • 4-year warranty, parts and labor
  • Electric start
  • 160mph speed
  • 50% weight reduction compared to previous GreenWorks models
  • 50% noise and vibration reduction compared to previous GreenWorks models
  • Can be used outdoors or indoors
  • Cord lock feature for safe cord storage
  • Ultralightweight at just 4.5lbs
  • Ergonomic design

Negatives
  • While this is an electric, gas-alternative leaf blower, and a greener leaf blower choice, it is corded-electric, which means it runs off of a power cord instead of a battery. For those who hate dealing with cords, this may be an issue.
  • It would be nice if it also vacuumed, however many will weigh that against it being ultra-lightweight and perhaps come to a different conclusion.

Final Verdict

There were a lot of great leaf blowers featured in the roundup for best leaf blower; however, ultimately a clear winner stood out: GreenWorks 24322 G-MAX 40V 185MPH Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac. It was a very easy choice to make because of its smooth track record combined with likable features like the blower/vac combo, eco-friendly cordless battery powered operation, and variable speed controls for an extra boost towards energy-efficiency. All and all, the GreenWorks 24332 is a leaf blower that’s very easy to recommend, and I’d put it forward as an option for all of my friends who are looking for something to improve their lawncare routine.

The benefits of buying a leaf blower

The biggest benefit to buying a leaf blower is that you no longer have to pay someone to get rid of the leaves in your yard. By doing the leaf blowing yourself, your wallet will thank you, and the leaf blower will pay for itself pretty quickly, if you’ve been having your leaves taken care of by a professional.

Conversely, if you’ve been getting rid of your leaves with a traditional rake, then your back will be the one thanking you. Raking leaves can be fun…for five minutes. But when you have a big job to do, or you have to remove leaves frequently, raking can become a nightmare—not to mention hard on your back and arms. Generally, leaf blowers are much easier to operate than a rake; you simply start the blower, point it at the leaves, and watch them blow away. Some leaf blowers are heavier than others, but pretty much any leaf blower you choose will be a lot easier on your back than the repetitive motion of bending to rake.

There are other benefits to having a leaf blower you might not have anticipated, too. For instance, most leaf blowers today come with a vacuuming feature. This is great, because sometimes you just really need to vacuum outdoors, such as when teenagers have rolled your yard with toilet paper because your kid has the audacity to go to their school.

And of course, there’s the mulching feature. Some of today’s top leaf blowers are also mulchers in addition to being vacuums. Having the mulching option is great for those who are into gardening and lawncare. And because the mulching aspect is back by a high-powered motor, you get a really great mulching experience to boot, which is always nice.

If you’ve already had a leaf blower in the past, but are looking for a replacement or an upgrade, it’s important to know that vacuuming and mulching aren’t the only tricks newer leaf blowers have up their sleeves. New leaf blowers are far more efficient. Not only are there electric and battery-powered options, but even the gas-powered options feature new low-emission two-stroke engines that are designed to be more environmentally friendly. Additionally, newer leaf blowers often feature ergonomic designs and lightweight bodies, which makes using them a lot easier than in previous iterations. Some may have extra perks, like being quieter than older models, as well.

What to look for in a leaf blower

Leaf blowers can be gas powered, electric powered or battery powered. There are pros and cons to each time, and each variety boasts several good choices, so you can’t exactly go wrong.

The big benefit of getting an electric or battery powered leaf blower is how easy they are to start. There’s no rip cord, so they’re both great choices for those with arthritis and other mobility issues. The downside of electric is the fact that it has to be plugged into an outlet, which can sometimes be awkward to maneuver. Most battery powered leaf blowers have really advanced in terms of technology, so there’s no longer noticeable power fade as the battery reaches the end of its charge during use, which is why many who prefer gas alternative leaf blowers tend to go for battery powered instead of electric.

While gas powered leaf blowers may be considered less environmentally friendly, the benefit of them is they are the most common, so there is a massive variety to choose from, pretty much ensuring you’ll find one that suits your needs. (That is, of course, provided you don’t mind a gas-powered leaf blower.)

Gas alternative leaf blowers tend to be lighter weight than gas-powered ones, so if you have back or shoulder troubles, an electric or battery powered leaf blower will likely be the best leaf blower for your needs.

If you opt for a battery powered leaf blower, check out the power stats. Go for a model that features a battery life that’s long enough to complete your task on one full charge. Typically, a good battery powered leaf blower will yield an hour give or take of leaf blowing.

Some leaf blowers are more powerful than others. If you have a small amount of dry leaves in your yard, pretty much any leaf blower will do. But if you have a large lot or live in a damp climate with a bunch of wet leaves on the ground, then you’re going to want a leaf blower that can get the job done. The faster the winder power behind the leaf blower, the more powerful it will be, so always be sure to check its speed rating. Additionally, some leaf blowers have variable speed, which will allow you to adjust the speed (and therefore power) to your needs on a particular day, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all setting.

Some leaf blowers simply blow leaves away while others also have a vacuum (commonly called “vac”) option. The vacuum feature allows you to suck up debris that you either don’t want to or can’t blow away with the blower setting. Leaf blowers with the vacuum option will often have vacuum-specific attachments to make the whole vacuuming thing a lot easier, such as a bag to catch debris. If you know you’ll be vacuuming a lot, go for a leaf blower/vac that has a large capacity leaf bag for time efficiency.

If you’re into lawncare and gardening, look for a leaf blower with a mulching feature. Leaf blowers make powerful mulchers and tend to have pretty impressive mulch reduction capabilities, which will be sure to delight homeowners who are big into making their own mulch.

While gas-alternative leaf blowers tend to be lighter weight, it’s also important to consider ergonomics. Look for a leaf blower with ergonomic design elements and a balanced weight to reduce strain and energy fatigue during use.

Tips on how to choose the best leaf blower for your needs

There are a few things to keep in mind so you can find the best leaf blower for your needs:

  • If you have mobility issues, opt for an electric or battery-powered leaf blower. They tend to feature a push-button starter instead of a rip cord, which is easier for those with issues like arthritis. Additionally, they tend to be lighter weight than gas-powered options, which is good for those who have back problems and have lifting restrictions.
  • Choose an ergonomic design to reduce joint and muscle pain, as well as fatigue.
  • If you have a large property or live in a damp climate where leaves and other yard debris are likely to be wet, choose a high-powered leaf blower with fast speeds to get the job done.
  • Leaf blowers with variable speed can reduce noise and vibration, as we as save battery life on battery powered models.
  • Remember that some leaf blowers have a vacuum feature as well, so if this is something you need, that’s something to be on the lookout for. The vacuum feature can help you get rid of stuff that’s hard to blow away.
  • If you choose a battery powered leaf blower, opt for a model that comes with its own battery and battery charger included. This will save you both time and money. If the model you like best doesn’t come with its own battery, always be sure to find out exactly what kind it takes; only use compatible batteries.
  • If you go for a gas-powered leaf blower, check to see if it is a greener option; for instance, it may say that it’s CARB certified or low emission (or both). Not only is this better for the planet, it’s better for your wallet as well.
  • Corded and battery options may be more convenient as gas-powered models tend to feature two-stroke engines which require you to fill them with a mix of gas and oil in the required ratio to function.

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