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Leaf Blower Reviews

Best Leaf Blower:

When the leaves fall each year off of my trees I dred having to pick them up. I used to do the work with a traditional rake but got tired of standing on my hillside and trying to keep balanced while raking. There are hard to reach corners of my yard that have shrubs and bushes which don't always allow for a rake to get into those tight spots. Last year I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a good leaf blower. I found excellent reviews online at Amazon.com and Epinions as well as an informative article at Popular Mechanics website. Magazines like Money and Consumer Reports have done recent tests on leaf blowers and their reviews are perhaps the most in depth with top brands surveyed like Echo, Toro, Stihl, Husqvarna, Black & Decker, Homelite, Craftsman, Ryobi, and Little Wonder.

Best Gas Leaf Blower:

There are really just 2 basic types of leaf blowers, those that blow leaves and ones that combine for leaf blowing and a vacuum function as well. The Black and Decker Leaf Hog is one of those combined blower/vacs that I ended up buying and it offers some nice features for the money. The vacuum feature is a totally different attachment in which the leaves or debris is sucked up into the bag that hooks up to the leaf blower. The bag is small and can only hold so much, so you have to empty it often. Leaf blowers come in 3 main styles - handhelds, backpacks and walk behinds. Handheld leaf blowers are the most common and certainly what the average homeowner needs to blow leaves. They come in gas and electric models. Owners say the handhelds are easy to maneuver, very portable and still pack the power you need to get the job done. Definitely pick up the model that you want to buy at your local hardware store to see how they feel and if you think you can manage the weight in your hands for an extended period of time. The backpack leaf blowers are gas-powered and you wear them just like you would a backpack with a hose nozzle that you hold in front of you that directs the leaves around. You see professional landscaping and yard maintenance crews using backpack blowers since they are the best solution for everyday use and larger yards. They can be noisy and often cities have ordinances against the use of these blowers during certain hours of the day. The Echo PB-260L ($260) is a very reasonably priced backpack leaf blower that gets great reviews from experts like Consumer Reports. The walk behind leaf blowers are really meant for commercial purposes, large business parks and the such. If you happen to have a 1/2 acre of lawn or more and have get excessive amounts of leaves over the lawn area, then you could consider a walk behind blower since they are very convenient to use. The Little Wonder is a popular choice for walk behind leaf blowers and it sells for about $650. John Deere also makes some quality walk behind blowers. As we mentioned above, leaf blowers are powered by gas, electricity, or battery powered (cordless). The advantage to using an electric leaf blower is that they are definitely quieter than the gas models and tend to vibrate less and weigh less. Electric blowers are recommended for smaller yards per salespeople at Home Depot and Lowes. I have the corded Black and Decker Leaf Hog which is not bad, but I have to say the cord can get in the way more often than not or it comes unplugged without my consent. The rechargeable/battery powered leaf blowers will work, but are designed to work on things like sidewalks or driveways and not on lawns or hillsides. The big boys are gas powered leaf blowers like the Stihl BG55 which is considered a 'best buy' from CR. Gas leaf blowers are louder, heavier, and more powerful than electric ones. Power blowers are a fast and easy way to clean up all those leaves in the fall season, so take a look at the popular models listed below.

RECOMMENDED - The Black & Decker BV4000 Leaf Hog ($70) is an excellent choice for homeowners. This handheld leaf blower is electric powered and definitely has enough power to blast your leaves or debris in the direction you want. The Black and Decker leaf blower also has a vacuum function which I use periodically on mine, although once the leaves are in a pile, it's more convenient to load them into a trash can than to take the time to use the vacuum bag. This leaf blower gets great reviews by several leading test groups and for the money it's hard to beat. RECOMMENDED - The Toro Ultra Blower Vac 51599 ($60) is another terrific choice for those with smaller yards. The electric handheld receives lots of praise on review sites and Toro is a leading name in the outdoor power tool industry. You can buy the Toro leaf blower online at Amazon.com or through stores like Sears. Target carries some of the Black and Decker blowers as does Amazon.

A great value for a gas blower is the Stihl BG 55($140) which is sold only through Stihl dealers. You won't find this model at Lowes or Home Depot as they don't carry Stihl products. The Stihl BG 55 is top rated by magazined like Consumer Reports, although several online reviews by owners say the gas powered leaf blower is a tough noisy at close to 68 decibels. Reviews say the BG 55 is simple to start using the Stihl ElastoStart feature and it's light enough to use with only one hand. Great for cleaning up leaves, dirt off sidewalks, and debris from driveways. A more budget friendly gas leaf blower is the Homelite Vac Attack II which sells for $100. See all the gas powered leaf blowers on Amazon here.

The Husqvarna 356BFx($450) was at the top of the list in many reviews because it runs much quieter than the competition. The 3.2 HP motor will supply all the necessary power to blow your leaves and debris in the right direction. The ergonomics of the backpack and straps make this easy to operate and the weight won't run you down. The shoulder straps and hip belt keep the unit stable on your back. Many owners say the handgrip is a good size and allows for effortless movement of the blower tube. The Husqvarna power blower is probably meant for professionals but for those of us with large yards and plenty of trees, it will do the work in no time. As for a lower priced professional series blower, consider the Echo PB-260L($260) with a padded backrest and adjustable shoulder straps. This budget backpack leaf blower has a cruise control throttle and a 25.4 cc engine. Maximum air speed is 155 MPH which should be plenty to move leaves and debris around. It's much lighter than the Husqvarna model listed above and the price is perfect for a good "value" buy. You can pick these up at an Echo dealer near you. For other Echo backpack leaf blowers see their website at Echo-usa.com. John Deere used to make the best in this category and we did find some listed on Ebay, although they no longer produce the walk behind models. The Little Wonder Walk Behind Leaf Blower ($650) is a great choice if you only want to blow the leaves off your lawn, driveway or property. Troy Bilt offers the TB 672 JetSweep Wheeled Blower for $399.99 and it works wonders as well. Durability is an issue with Troy-Bilt as some owners have said their blower spends more time in the shop than working on getting rid of leaves. For a true leaf vacuum (not just a blower), take a look at the Snapper Leaf Vacuum that retails for $769.99. Much like a lawn mower, this leaf vacuum runs over your lawn or driveway to suck up all the leaves and debris. Don't just blow them into your neighbors yard or onto the street, use the Snapper to actually pick them up and mulch them at the same time into a convenient bag catcher.

Top Selling Leaf Blowers:

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