A leaf blower is a handy tool to have in the garage. While crunching through piles of leaves is an autumnal treat, no one wants a lawn covered in shriveled brown bits. Whether you’re a landscaping professional looking for the best backpack models on the market or just someone seeking an affordable option to help rid your driveway of leaves, there are hundreds of leaf blowers to choose from. A top-of-the-line model can easily set you back hundreds of dollars, but not every task calls for a top-notch device. Knowing exactly how much power and which features you need can save you time and, most importantly, money. Here are five models for every budget and outdoor chore.
Eco-friendly electric — Toro 51621 ($89)
Nowadays, many individuals are looking for more eco-friendly options when it comes to tools and appliances. Fortunately, there are plenty of great electric leaf blowers on the market. For years, the knock against electric blowers was that the devices simply lacked the overall power and performance of gas blowers. Even if this was once true, it’s certainly no longer the case. The Toro 51621, for instance, is capable of producing a max air speed of 250 miles per hour. The leaf blower also utilizes an oscillating nozzle — which allows it to sweep a concentrated stream of air from left to right — meaning there’s no need for you to physically sway the unit. This greatly reduces strain on your wrist and elbow.
As an added bonus, the Toro 51621 also doubles as a vacuum for mulching. The patented Shredz-All Ring works alongside the metal impeller to reduce debris to less than a half inch. This prevents annoying clogs, while maximizing space in the attached bag. The aforementioned bag also has a handy Bottom Dump zipper to minimize unload times.
While the quick-release latch makes the process of switching the blower to a vacuum fairly quick, it still requires you to dismantle and reassemble the unit, which can be annoying. Also, seeing as the device is electric, you’ll need a series of extension chords to complete your task. Being tethered can be a nuisance, and as anyone who has ever used an electric blower knows, you’ll probably come unplugged during your chore at some point. Regardless, the Toro 51621 is hard to top when it comes to green, dual-purpose leaf blowers.
Tangle-free cordless — Worx WG591 ($182+)
The Worx WG591 uses a rechargeable battery, meaning it won’t bog you down with cords like the plug-in electric options out there. The efficient, brushless motor pumps out a solid, albeit underwhelming air speed of 125 miles per hour. Rather than being limited to “high” or “low” speed settings, the Worx WG591 allows you to adjust the speed between 60 and 125 mph. The Turbo boost feature also provides some added oomph when you need it, but this will only further drain the blower’s limited battery life.
Because of this, you may have to work in installments for larger projects, even if the battery does only take about 90 minutes to reach a full charge. While more power and extended battery life would have allowed this model to challenge some of the top-dollar blowers out there, the Worx WG591 is still a a worthy, lightweight option for those with less ambitious projects in mind.
Put it in a backpack — Husqvarna 350BT ($320)
This backpack model from Husqvarna is a landscaper’s dream. The unit combines the power and extended operational time of gas blowers with an exceptional ergonomic design. The uneven weight distribution of handheld blowers can cause strain and general fatigue, but the Husqvarna 350BT’s motor and fuel tank are housed in a backpack to reduce the amount the user actually has to carry in-hand. Wide shoulder straps and a ventilated harness also help distribute the weight of the bulky device more evenly.
All the user needs to hold onto is the throttle mounted directly on the tube. The handle is adjustable for comfort and improved maneuvering, further encouraging you to pivot along the elbow rather than at the wrist. The Husqvarna 350BT weighs a whopping 22.5 pounds, so this model certainly isn’t for everyone. That said, landscaping professionals and those with large seasonal projects will definitely appreciate the power, comfort, and single fill-up operational time.
Similar to the other Husqvarna model on our list, this unit also features a cruise-control setting to maintain a constant fan speed. This model is also environmentally minded — unlike most gas-powered leaf blowers — and emits 60 percent less emissions with 20 percent less fuel consumption than your standard 2-stroke engine. Nonetheless, we’d expect a little more power from the patented 2-stroke X-Torq, 7,500-rpm engine. Not that 180-mph winds won’t get the job done, but there are lighter options on the market with higher performance capacity.
Rev up with gas — Husqvarna 125BVx ($179)
The Husqvarna 125BVx is an ergonomic option for those who prefer gas blowers. For added functionality, this blower also doubles as a vacuuming unit for convenient mulching, with knives that finely chop lawn debris and store it in a removable, 17-gallon bag for quick unloading. There’s even a cruise control feature that allows you to operate the device without continuously holding down a button. This model is also extremely fuel-efficient, with a consumption rate of 575 g/kWh. The massive, 16.9-ounce gas tank can fuel hours of continuous use on a single fill-up.
The fan is housed in line with the handle to prevent unnecessary yawing as you switch between air speeds — reducing stress on the wrist and elbow joints — and the soft, rubberized grip and the blower’s adjustable length are also welcome ergonomic touches.
However, there are a few knocks against this gas-powered leaf blower. First, it’s rather heavy, weighing in at nearly 10 pounds when fully assembled. Carrying it might not be taxing for quick tasks, but longer projects could weigh users down. Also, seeing as the device runs on gasoline, there are of course carbon emissions. Those looking for a greener option may prefer an electric leaf blower.
Considering the price tag and the rather robust motor, we were expecting more power as well, as 170-mph speeds don’t match others on our list. While there are cleaner and more powerful options out there, this device is hard to top if you’re in the market for something with robust customization.
Don’t break the bank — Toro 51585 ($35+)
Not everyone in the market for a leaf blower is looking for a top-of-the-line product. For basic tasks, like clearing grass clippings or removing debris from your driveway or garage, there are many affordable options to choose from. And with a price tag of $35, the Toro 51585 is a great budget option.
This leaf blower is capable of dishing out a concentrated air speed of 160 mph, which makes it nearly as powerful as some of the gas-powered models on this list. The low-speed setting tops out around 130 mph, and a simple button on the handle makes it easy to switch between power options.
At only 4.6 pounds, the Toro 51585 is lightweight as well, which is always something to consider when purchasing a new device. Sadly, it’s still a plug-in model, meaning you’ll wear that chord like a ball and chain. This leaf blower also doesn’t come with any additional nozzle accessories, minimizing the range of tasks you can tackle.
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