While many people enjoy the look of lush green or yellow, red, and orange foliage, the aftermath when it comes time for those leaves to fall is decidedly not as enjoyable. Those leaves inevitably clutter your yard, sidewalks, and driveway, making big piles and messes that are a pain to pick up. A leaf blower is a handy solution to this common problem. They make cleaning up leaves much quicker and require a lot less manual labor than raking the leaves onto a tarp and dragging it to the curb. They aren’t limited just to leaves, either. Leaf blowers can clear away dirt, sand, lawn clippings, debris, and even light snow. Here are a few we recommend.
What to Consider in a Leaf Blower
Here are a few things to think about before buying a leaf blower:
- Speed/Power: The speed and power of a leaf blower are measured in CFM and MPH. CFM is “cubic feet per minute,” which measures how much air passes through the blower’s nozzle each minute. MPH is “miles per hour,” which measures the tool’s speed, just like cars and motorcycles. Together, these two factors determine the strength of a leaf blower. CFM usually starts around 350 and may go up to 900 or more; 95 MPH is generally the lowest available, and it tends to cap at around 250 MPH.
- Gas vs. Electric: A leaf blower can be powered by gas or by electricity. Gas leaf blowers are quite powerful and fast. However, they’re heavier, often pricier, and noisier than electric models. They also require fueling and more maintenance. Electric models are low maintenance, don’t emit exhaust fumes, and lightweight, usually under 10 pounds. They won’t be as strong or fast as a gas leaf blower, however. Consider which of these factors are more important to you and pick accordingly.
- Corded vs. Cordless: Most leaf blowers these days are cordless, though both types are still available. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks. Leaf blowers with cords will pack more of a punch, but they obviously require a plug to operate and thus have limited reach depending on the length of the cord (or extension cord, if you own one). The cord may also be a pain to maneuver around objects like trees or fences. Cordless leaf blowers can be carried anywhere you need them, which is very convenient. However, they also require batteries and/or charging, which may limit their runtime and power.
Best Value: Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Blower
Power tools can be pricey, many costing in the realm of several hundred dollars, especially if you want something with higher speed or power. If you want a leaf blower that packs a good punch without paying through the nose for it, consider this corded model. This tool can double as a vacuum and a leaf blower and comes with a vacuum tube, bottom-zip bag, power insert, concentrator nozzle, and cord storage hook. The new larger and improved metal impeller also makes this leaf blower more effective for mulching. The variable speed control gives you better control over the tool, whether you’re blowing leaves or vacuuming up debris. It has an impressive 250-MPH capability with a 350 to 410 CFM. If you want something with a little less punch, there are 160-, 215-, and 225-MPH options as well. Four additional purchasing options include extra tools like an extension cord or gutter cleaner for an additional cost.
Greenworks 12 Amp 2-Speed (230 MPH / 375 CFM) Blower / Vacuum
A cost-efficient leaf blower that packs a powerful punch and works as a vacuum and mulcher.
Best Gas-Powered: Craftsman Gas Powered Leaf Blower
If you’re looking for a gas-powered leaf blower, this model is an excellent choice. It’s lighter than a lot of other gas-powered models, designed to reduce your fatigue as you’re using it, while the see-through tank makes it easier to determine when it needs refueling. This leaf blower has other useful features, too, including a variable speed throttle that gives you better control and an extended nozzle and integrated scraper that grant you better precision and extension for those hard-to-reach areas in your yard. To start the leaf blower, all you have to do is prime it, choke it, and pull. The two-cycle engine is capable of 430 CFM and 200 MPH. As a bonus, some complimentary oil comes included with your purchase.
Craftsman B215 25cc 2-Cycle Engine Handheld Gas Powered Leaf Blower - Gasoline Blower with Nozzle Extension for Lawn Care, Liberty Red
A handheld, cordless gas-powered leaf blower equipped with plenty of user friendly features.
Best Corded Option: Greenworks Electric Leaf Blower
This leaf blower is ideal for anyone who prefers a corded model above all others. This tool isn’t just a leaf blower, as it has vacuuming and mulching functions as well. You can switch between blower and vacuum functions without needing any special or extra tools or accessories. The 12-amp motor can reach speeds and air volume of 230 MPH and 375 CFM, strong enough to clear away bigger debris like sticks. This model also has two-speed control that works in both blower and vacuum mode to give you more control over your tool. If you want to use this leaf blower with an extension cord (sold separately), be sure to use a 14-gauge 50-foot one or a 12-gauge 100-foot one.
Greenworks 12 Amp 2-Speed (230 MPH / 375 CFM) Blower / Vacuum
A corded leaf blower that is strong enough to clear away bigger debris like sticks.
Best Cordless Option: WORX WG584 Cordless Leaf Blower
If you want the portability of a cordless leaf blower, consider giving this one a try. It weighs just over 7 pounds and is designed to be operated with only one hand, thanks to its ergonomic shape that channels the air in a way that won’t overwhelm you. The brushless, jet engine-style motor and turbine fan are powerful but not loud and newly improved to increase their reliability and performance. This leaf blower can operate at up to 90 MPH and 430 CFM, with three different speed options for different tasks. Besides the leaf blower itself, you receive two 20-volt batteries and a 2A dual charger. There are six other purchasing options, most of which include extra accessories like a wall mount system or a hedge trimmer.
WORX 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor - WG584 (Batteries & Charger Included)
A highly portable cordless leaf blower that can be safely operated in just one hand.