This leaf blower buying guide covers everything you need to know about one of the most versatile yard tools you can have. This single piece of power equipment can be transformed into the best leaf vacuums, compost mulcher, or can even be used to clean gutters. These are the facts you need to know about leaf blowers to make your decision.
Types of Leaf Blower
There are 4 main types of leaf blowers: gas-powered backpack blowers, handheld gas blowers, corded electric blowers, and battery-powered blowers. We briefly cover each type below.
Gas Backpack Blowers: Best For Commercial Use
A backpack blower is the most powerful option but also the heaviest. They are too heavy to carry in your hand, hence, the setup to carry it on your back.
Backpack models are generally only used for commercial purposes or a very large property. The noise and the number of fumes it releases make it an unsuitable choice for the average homeowners.
Gas Backpack Blower Pros:
- Very powerful
- Less arm fatigue
Gas Backpack Blower Cons:
- noise and air pollution
- not versatile
Gas Leaf Blowers: Best for Large Properties
A gas leaf blower has a gas engine and therefore also a fuel tank. That is why these are the heavier handheld blowers but also the more powerful alternative to electric blowers.
Gas blowers have more maintenance requirements, for example, oil changes, mixing in a fuel stabilizer, and replacing the spark plug. One of your considerations should be whether the amount of maintenance is worth the extra power.
Gas Leaf Blowers Pros:
- Powerful model
- Best for large site
Gas Leaf Blowers Cons:
- Noise and air pollution
Corded Electric Leaf Blowers: Best For Small Yards
A leaf blower with a cord has the least maintenance requirements. However, they are also the least versatile. On the other hand, certain models have a more powerful motor than the cordless types. Do make sure you have an extension cord so that you can reach all corners of your yard without the plug pulling out.
Corded Electric Leaf Blowers Pros:
- No maintenance
Corded Electric Leaf Blowers Cons:
- Limited movement
- Requires extension cords
Cordless Leaf Blowers: Most Popular
Cordless electric blowers can meet the needs of most households. They are generally lightweight, don’t release any fumes, are not loud, and allow for freedom of movement.
The electric motor is powered by a rechargeable battery pack. Find a brand that accepts universal batteries or a power equipment series that can share the same battery to save extra money.
Cordless Leaf Blowers Pros:
- Greatest convenience
- Suitable for most people
Cordless Leaf Blowers Cons:
- Run time depends on batteries
- Not most powerful
What Should I Look for When Buying a Leaf Blower?
There are 4 main specs to factor in when browsing for a new leaf blower. These are the type, the power, the size, and how versatile it is. Let’s first explain why size and versatility are important before going into further detail about the different types and their power output.
The right size leaf blower depends on the homeowners, or whoever will be doing most of the yard work. It is important that the user can maintain a good grip over the blower.
This means that you should consider one of the more lightweight options if you have less strength in the arms. Also, consider the relative length of the blower and the height of the person.
Many leaf blower designs come with a detachable nozzle. This is a great advantage because you can use the same tool for different tasks, for example, collecting grass clippings, mulch leaves, or vacuuming the car.
Not all styles of leaf blower have these extra benefits so do check before you buy. Purchasing a single multifunctional tool can save you on unnecessary spending.
3. Power & Performance
How powerful a leaf blower depends on the power source. Generally, a gas blower outperforms an electric blower but this is not always the case. A better indication of power is the leaf blowers’ CFM and MPH.
What is CFM?
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It refers to the volume of air leaf blowers push out. A higher CFM indicates a more powerful model but this also depends on the MPH.
What is a Good CFM for a Leaf Blower?
Although there is no exact benchmark, your safest bet is a CFM between 300 and 600. This is enough for most dry leaves but you may need something more powerful for heavier debris or rain-soaked leaves.
What’s More Important in a Leaf Blower: MPH or CFM?
Both CFM and MPH (miles per hour) are important in a leaf blower since they both impact airflow. Large nozzles that allow for high air volume but without any speed don’t outperform leaf blowers with a more balanced CFM and MPH.
FAQ about How to Choose a Leaf Blower
So, are leaf blowers actually worth investing in? Leaf blowers are worth it for anyone that deals with the seasonal falling of leaves. Regardless of yard size, it is a lot faster than raking. The small motors of leaf blowers also allow for multifunctional use.
Buying a handheld blower with multiple attachments could work for much more than blowing leaves. Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to choosing a leaf blower for your home.
What is the best leaf blower for home use?
Electric leaf blowers are best for home use because they don’t release fumes and are not as loud as gas leaf blowers. The Black+Decker BV3600 3-in-1 and Dewalt DCBL720P1 are among the most popular models.
What is the best leaf blower for the money?
Greenworks leaf blowers are a good budget choice. Other models that offer a lot of bang for your buck include the Worx WG520 and Makita BHX2500CA.
Are battery leaf blowers any good?
A battery-powered model is a great alternative to gas models. They are better for your health and less damaging to the environment.
Some may claim that electric motors cannot compete with engines but the many new innovative models are proving the opposite. There are many more benefits to a battery leaf blower than there are to a gas blower.