Best Leaf Blower for 2020 Reviews & Advice

Looking to buy the best leaf blower? How do you choose the right model for your needs? To help you with your decision, we put together a comprehensive leaf blower buyers guide.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Types, Models and Brands
  • Top Rated Leaf Blower Reviews
  • User Points to Consider
  • Safety Tips When Using a Blower
  • Final Purchase Suggestions

Without further delay, let’s get started.

best leaf blower

How To Choose The Best Leaf Blower

There are three main types of leaf blowers; electric, battery operated/cordless and gas powered. Each type has pros, cons and product ratings. We want to help you understand the differences between them, so you can make an informed choice on which brand and model will work best.

Let’s take a look at the types:

Electric Leaf Blower

If you need to work in tight spaces an electric leaf blower is the only option you should consider. Especially if you don’t want to inhale toxic exhaust fumes. While corded may seem old school today, they have seen a huge resurgence in popularity in recent years because of their increased power.

Unlike battery operated units, corded electric leaf blowers are lightweight. This is great because it reduces the risk of arm and wrist strain if you’re using one for an extended period of time.

An Electric blower is also cheaper than both cordless and gas powered blower models owing to their simple design. If you are on a budget and concerned about emissions, then you should opt with an electric type handheld blower. You can use one in larger spaces, provided you have a long enough power extension cord.

Pros:

  • Compact and space saving
  • Provides powerful air volume
  • Lightweight
  • Great for small lawn areas, a sidewalk or even blowing snow
  • Emits Zero emissions
  • No maintenance
  • Lower cost

Cons:

  • Limited by length of power cord

Battery Operated or Cordless Leaf Blowers

For a long time battery operated cordless models couldn’t keep up with their gas powered counterparts. The only way to get similar performance was to use a corded model. The downside was you had to drag a power cord around behind you limiting your range.

The older style Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) and Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMh) batteries would only last a short time, had less power and were heavier. But with the advent of more powerful and longer lasting Lithium-Ion batteries that has changed. Lithium-Ion battery leaf blowers have bridged the gap between clean power and portability. If you’re looking for a leaves blower that is quieter, emits zero emissions and portable, then consider cordless rechargeable handheld blowers.

Just be sure you buy a Lithium Ion model. It’s well worth the small premium you’ll pay over older battery technologies.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great for small to medium sized areas
  • Zero emissions
  • Low maintenance

Cons:

  • Heavier than plug-in electric blower models
  • Will need multiple batteries if covering larger areas

Gas Powered Leaf Blower

It used to be that if you were serious about your powered gardening tools, then gas power was the only way to go. And while more people are buying electric powered, gas power has some strengths that the electric models can’t beat. The biggest issue with electric models is the range of use. With a plug-in blower you can only go as far as the length of your extension cord will allow.

With a gas engine powered blower if you run out of fuel, you simply top it up and keep going. So if you are going to be using your blower more than an hour a day and covering medium to large areas, then a gas powered model would be a good choice.

Pros:

  • Great for large yard areas, walkways, driveways
  • Most powerful type you can get

Cons:

  • High level of maintenance
  • High noise decibel levels
  • Emits exhaust fumes
  • Can be dangerous if used in confined spaces

Gas Powered Backpack

These machines are the gold standard for power and mobility. The backpack blower type is built for commercial use on larger properties and are powered by gas engines. Designed to be used for extended periods of time, they have superior ergonomics and longer lasting components. Rarely are one of these beasts required for domestic or homeowners. But if you love your power equipment and want the absolute best there is on the market, then look no further than a backpack leaf blower.

There are a couple of drawbacks to buying backpack models. One is the cost. Often asking more than double the price of what a handheld gas unit goes for. A backpack leaf blower is also 2-4 times larger than any handheld blowers on the market. If you will be using one over a large area or extended periods of time, a backpack might be the way to go.

From an ergonomics point of view, backpack blowers are better in many ways. Each convenient shoulder strap goes over each arm and you carry one much like a normal backpack. The extra weight is transferred on your back making the blower hose easy to control and super lightweight. This prevents wrist and arm strain after extended use. They also have longer range because they have larger gas tanks.

Pros:

  • Backpack models are perfect for large to very large property areas
  • Most powerful airflow to blow away even wet leaves, larger debris and yard waste
  • Great ergonomics making it easy to use for extended periods of time

Cons:

  • Higher price
  • Increased noise level
  • Engine emits exhaust fumes

Our Picks of The Best Leaf Blowers in 2020

Now that you understand the three main types on the market let’s take a look at some of our favorite picks. We’ve narrowed down the best leaf blower options in their respective categories.

We’ll list our top rated choices in an easy-to-navigate chart, and below that you’ll see our full leaf blower reviews of each model. You’ll get a general overview of what you should be looking for without being overwhelmed by all the options that are available to you.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Greenworks 24012 Electric Leaf Blower

If you want a great, powerful and budget friendly model, then the Greenworks leaf blower 24012 is the perfect electric choice.

This corded unit has a small 7 amp motor which delivers a surprising amount of power, generating air volume speeds up to 160 mph. The smaller size of this unit also helps keep the weight down to a very comfortable 4.58 lbs.

This means you can clean up a standard sized yard without feeling like your arm is going to cramp up. It’s the perfect handheld type with the power you need, when you need it.

The Greenworks 24012 is particularly handy if you need to work in small confined spaces. So not only are you doing your bit to help the environment, but zero emissions means you’re not breathing in on poisonous exhaust fumes.

Pros

  • Zero Carbon Emissions
  • Safe to use in confined/enclosed spaces
  • Powerful 7 amp motor producing up to 160 miles per hour
  • Safety cord lock so your power cable doesn’t fall out during usage
  • Lightweight making it comfortable to carry for extended periods

Cons

  • Limited range depending on the length of your power cable
  • The smaller motor does vibrate a bit more than the other products in our list

Verdict

A great little powerful leaf blower for a great price. Especially if you want a model with zero emissions but also lightweight and comfortable to use for extended periods. The Greenworks 24012 is definitely a best buy for your money.

For more detailed information read our full review here.

Toro 51619 Ultra – Multipurpose Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher

Sometimes you want an easy way to clean up that massive pile of leaves you just accumulated.

The Toro 51619 Ultra is three power tools in one. It works as a blower, vacuum and mulcher all in one. So not only can you can collect up all the leaves and grass clippings you are vacuuming, but you can mulch them up ready to add to your composting bin. A Quality handheld blower like this are hard to find and we have it.

This Toro multipurpose electric blower model comes with a bunch of handy blowers accessories to help you make your experience using this great garden tool easy. Even a storage bag is included to keep everything together.

But that’s not all. This machine has some serious power. If you thought 160 mph was fast, the Toro 51619 Ultra can pump out air speed at a whopping 250 mph! At this air volume even the most stubborn garden leaves are going to be sent packing.

Pros

  • A state of the art metal impeller for mulching as it vacs
  • Serious power delivering air speeds up to 250 mph
  • Can be converted from a leaf vacuum to blower, and mulcher or leaf shredder
  • Has variable speed controls in both vac or blow modes
  • Zero emissions
  • Easy to use in confined spaces
  • Perfect garden vac for any homeowner to keep your yard or flower beds clean and tidy

Cons

  • The blower works well on wet grass but takes a little longer to sweep than other units.

Verdict

This is our favorite multi use blower, vacuum and mulcher unit.

If you’re looking for a tool that has the functionality of several tools and at a great price, then the Toro 51619 Ultra blower comes highly recommended.

Want to know more? Read our full review here.

Black and Decker LSW20 Sweeper Cordless Leaf Blower

If you want the flexibility cordless blowers offer and the corded type aren’t your jam, then the Black and Decker LSW20 Sweeper is the tool for you. It’s portability gives you the ability to get into awkward and hard to reach places.

Cordless blowers can be much safer than a corded unit if you’re up on the roof or on a ladder cleaning your gutters.

The scraper at the bottom of the blower nozzle is a welcome addition. It gives you the ability to scrape and move even the most stubborn leaves off your driveway.

While many competitors are running 18v batteries to power their tools, the Black and Decker cordless LSW20 uses a larger and more powerful 20-volt battery. Which not only gives you more air speed power but really increases run time.

Pros

  • Runs off a 20-volt battery for more power and longer battery life
  • Great ergonomics making it easy to handle
  • Built in scraper at the bottom of the blower tube to help loosen stubborn leaves when they’re wet
  • Comes with a 2 year warranty that includes the battery and charger
  • Zero emissions
  • Lighter than most models

Cons

  • Even with the larger battery it still limits how long you can use the blower

Verdict

This Black & Decker model is a great tool with a ton of flexibility. If you’re looking for a zero emission tool but don’t want to deal with being tethered to a power socket, then the LSW20 Sweeper should be your tool of choice.

Read more about the Black & Decker LSW20 power Sweeper in our full review here.

Dewalt Blower 20v – DCBL720P1

If you want the best brand that is cordless then look no further than this Dewalt model.

This Lithium-Ion battery powered model has the power to take on the toughest jobs while still maintaining the flexibility only a cordless unit can provide.

It’s unique axial fan design provides the most efficient way to push a ton of air fast. This means that it’s still lightweight enough to use for extended periods without sacrificing performance.

It’s special brush-less motor design feature also means it uses less power for the same output of a similar brushed motor models. Giving you more time per charge to get the job done.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact makes it comfortable for extended use
  • Efficient brushless motor design which extends battery life
  • Adjustable throttle speed trigger and speed control lock gives you fine control over how much air this unit pushes

Cons

  • This is definitely on the pricey side, but it is high quality
  • It’s pretty loud for an electric unit so may bother people who are sensitive to noise

Verdict

If you want the best on the market and price is not a deciding factor for you, then the Dewalt 20v blower DCBL720P1 is right up your alley.

It’s powerful, efficient and let’s be honest here, it looks really cool too.

Read our full review on the Dewalt DCBL720P1 here.

Hitachi RB24EAP Gas Handheld Leaf Blower

Ok so our list has been predominantly electric types. But it would be irresponsible of us not to have a gas-powered handheld leaf blowers model in our lineup. This Hitachi model is the perfect lightweight gas engine operated model.

If you need to cover a lot of area and are not working in confined spaces, then the Hitachi model RB24EAP is our pick for the handheld leaf blowers powered by gasoline.

Hitachi is known for designing high quality power tools and this unit is no exception. It has an easy starting two stroke 29.9 cc engine and is built with commercial use in mind.

This means this tool has been designed with a focus on reliability. Making it suitable for extended operation without fear of breaking down.

And while you can’t completely eliminate emissions on a gas engine powered tool, Hitachi’s PureFire technology keeps your emissions as low as possible.

Pros

  • Fan speed moves huge air volume for its size at 441 CFM and air speed of 170 mph
  • Weighing in at 8.6 lbs this unit is light weight for a handheld gas leaf blower
  • Ergonomically designed handle and well balanced to help reduce fatigue when used for extended periods
  • 7 year warranty (for consumer applications only)
  • Can cover large areas before needing to refuel

Cons

  • Gas operated model needs regular maintenance to keep it running reliably
  • Not suitable for using in confined spaces
  • Avoid using ethanol based fuels as they can damage the fuel pipes

Verdict

If you are need to cover a lot of ground area in your yard fast, then a gas powered leaf model like the Hitachi RB24EAP is our recommend pick. It’s well designed, compact and is built at the high standard that we’ve come to expect from a manufacturer like Hitachi.

Need more information about how the Hitachi performs? Read our full review here.

Important Facts to consider BEFORE buying

leaf blower reviews guide

Leaf Blower Reviews

Now that you have an idea of the best leaf blower models, top brands and their pricing, here are some key points you should consider:

Speed and Convenience

Are you planning to have a relaxing day working in your own backyard? Or are you running a landscaping business and need to cleanup several yards, gardens, or cleanout gutters on a daily basis?

The more powerful the blower is, the faster you can clear the areas of grass clippings or leaves and debris. Plug-in electric and gas leaf blowers will tend to be more powerful than most cordless blower models.

If you don’t have an outdoor power outlet at your own home, it’s easy enough to run the power cable through a window. But this is less likely to be the case if you are clearing the yard or walkway for a customer.

So try to be practical and really think about what you’re going to use one for.

Air Power

The power of leaf blowers is measured as airflow; that is how fast the air is coming out from the blower tube. It will either be written as cubic feet per minute (cfm) or miles per hour (mph). As the CFM increases, so does the machine’s ability to move leaves and other debris. Before you buy any leaf blower it is important to learn what is cfm airflow is and then determine what size leaf blower you will need.

Noise and Emissions Levels

It is also important to know how noisy the machine would be. Leaf blowers are generally noisy, that’s something you can’t help. Hence, when you are selecting one, it is best to see which machine has the lowest decibel (dB) level so that you are not too inconvenienced while you are cleaning your property.

People are becoming more conscious about their impact on the environment. As a result, the demand and popularity of using electric blowers are on the rise. Electric models have zero emissions. This not only makes them better for the environment but they are also safer in confined spaces.

Gas blowers are more convenient when covering larger areas, but they are louder than their electric cousins.

So regardless if you choose an electric or gas model you may should consider which model would be the right type based on any noise restrictions or laws in your neighborhood.

Strain and Ergonomics

Ergonomics and design can be super important if you are planning to use one for extended periods of time.

A lot of factors can affect the ergonomics of the model you choose.

Such as:

  • Shape, comfort and feel of the handle
  • Balance of the tool
  • Vibration on certain types
  • The overall weight

Electric leaf blowers are lighter than gas blowers. Corded electric blowers will be lighter than a cordless unit. So you need to consider how often and how long you will use your leaf blower.

Will you use one for only 5 minutes every Saturday to clear your driveway? Then ergonomics and weight may not be a big factor for you.

Will you be using it all day long and covering large areas of your yard? Then the weight and vibration of one will be a lot more important for you to reduce the risk of hand and arm muscle strain.

So make sure you take your intended use into account when looking at ergonomics and how heavy the model is..

Safety Tips and Special Care

A leaf blower is a powerful piece of equipment and can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Here are our tips and advice to keep you and the people around you safe when you operate this powerful piece of machinery.

  1. Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE). The air intake can easily suck in loose shirts and coats. Always wear hearing protection when using one. Safety goggles, a dust mask and body protection are essential. It’s important to take steps to protect yourself when working with these very powerful tools.
  2. Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid working near pets or people. Always keep the blower tube pointed down. It’s very easy to blow up leaves and debris which can cause injury to people and animals.
  3. For electric leaf blowers, always check the condition of your power cable. Make sure it isn’t damaged in any way and keep an eye on it if  people are operating other powered tools nearby.
  4. For a battery operated and cordless leaf blowers, be sure to inspect your batteries for any signs of damage. Punctured Lithium-Ion batteries can explode, causing severe injury or even death.
  5. Be careful of smoke and heat created by gas engine models.
  6. Check your local rules, regulations or special conditions on when and where they can be used.

Always inspect the air intake for any obstructions as it restricts air being sucked in. On gas models always check to make sure there is enough oil(but don’t overfill)and and try to avoid overfilling the fuel tank. It’s better to run these small motors down to empty before storing them rather than leaving fuel in the tank. Stale fuel can affect the performance.

Final Suggestions

Choosing a model for your needs doesn’t have to be complicated. With the information in this leaf blowers buyers guide you should feel confident in your ability to pick the best brand and type for the job.

If you would like to find out more information on our top picks, click through to leaf blower reviews under each product. Here is where we breakdown all model features in detail including the pros, cons, comparisons and customer reviews of the best leaf blower brands. Go ahead and start checking out our product reviews now.