Leaf Blower Reviews:
Leaf blowers, especially gas leaf blowers, are under heavy scrutiny these days. The noise levels that these machines put off can be deafening and many towns and cities have added ordinances just to deal with the noise concerns of loud leaf blowers. Before you even begin your search for a gas leaf blower or electric leaf blower, check with your city to see what restrictions there might be in your town. The top leaf blower brands are Stihl, Toro, Echo, Black & Decker, Craftsman, Homelite, Poulan, Ryobi, Husqvarna, and Tanaka. A good electric leaf blower like the Toro Super Blower Vac 51591 should cost about $60 and do all the chores (both vacuuming and blowing) in your yard. It's not only light (7 pounds) but generates air speeds of 210 mph which makes for effective leaf blowing in less time than other leaf blowers. You can switch from blower to vacuum mode in seconds which makes sucking up leaves very easy. With zero emissions, the electric leaf blower from Toro is environmentally friendly and not that noisy. Of course, with a cord attached to the blower, you are restricted on your coverage area which may be a concern for people with larger yards.
Best Leaf Blower:
If you want to stay with an electric leaf blower
but do away with the cord, then we suggest the 18.0 Volt Cordless Broom Hard Surface Sweeper (Model # NS118) from Black & Decker for about $70 (see photo and link at right). It comes with 2 18V rechargeable NiCad battery packs that should supply you with lots of time to do most yard clean up tasks. It's really lightweight and easy to handle but lacks the power of the corded electric blowers. The Black & Decker Cordless Broom is great at clearing debris from hard surfaces like decks, patios, driveways, garages and walks. Due to the lack of power, it's not efficient for use in the grass or flower beds. If you have a large lawn that has trees dropping leaves every year, we recommend a walk behind leaf vac from Dr Leaf and Lawn Vacuum at Drpower.com
. The walk behind leaf blower/vac can collect leaves, pine cones, pine needles, nuts, and more. It's about the size of a regular lawn mower and is easy to maneuver. The 6 HP Push model with manual start is priced at $1259. Although the cost is high, it will save you hours of cleanup time each year if you are a do it yourselfer. Other top electric leaf blowers (per Amazon.com) are the:
#1 Seller - Toro 51609 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed Blower
#2 Seller -
Black & Decker BV5600 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher
#3 Seller - The Weed Eater WEB160 Electric Blower
I have a Black & Decker Hog Blower which is great for picking up leaves as a vacuum. I live in a wet climate where blowing wet leaves is not easy but picking them up with the vac feature is simple. The only drawback to vacuum functions on leaf blowers is that the leaf collector bags fill quickly and if the leaves are wet, you can get dirty as the bag fills and the water sprays on you. You can browse the top selling leaf blowers online here
Gas Leaf Blower vs Electric Leaf Blower:
The one drawback to gas leaf blowers vs electric leaf blowers is that gas powered blowers tend to be noisier and put out more toxic emissions. The Stihl BG46 at $150 defies the rules for gas leaf blowers and meets many of the strict laws in California and other parts of the United States. The Stihl leaf blower is designed for homeowners that need a low noise model and has adjustable locking blower tubes, an optional gutter kit and vacuum kit, and is great for big yards. For larger jobs that require a backpack leaf blower the Echo Pro Lite PB260L ($300) is more than enough. The Echo Pro Lite is a professional grade blower that had a padded backrest and easy to adjust shoulder strap for comfort, an adjustable left hip mounted throttle with cruise control, a see through fuel tank, and an electronic ignition for quick, reliable starts. This model is again considered a low noise gas powered leaf blower at only 65 dB(A). Having used both types of leaf blowers over the years, I can certainly say gas powered blowers are a nuisance on the ears and your neighbors. If given the option go with an electric leaf blower or a cordless electric leaf blower for those hard to reach areas in your yard. The reduced power should not be a big deal and your neighbors will appreciate the quieter performance. RECOMMENDED
- See all the top rated gas leaf blowers here
Backpack Leaf Blower:
When it comes to convenience and larger jobs, a backpack leaf blower is probably the best solution. The newer models from Troy Bilt and Tanaka are professionally rated and very comfortable to wear. One of the top sellers is the Tanaka TBL-7800R
- features a tube mounted throttle, a 65 cc, 4.3 HP engine, with 205 MPH blowing capability. It does have a 75 dba (decibel) noise level, so we recommend noise canceling earmuffs from someone like Peltor when operating this blower. Tanaka has an excellent reputation in the landscaping and yard maintenance industry for reliability and durability. Another option is the Troy-Bilt TB4BP Gas Powered Backpack Blower
with a padded harness, a 4 cycle 32cc engine, and powerful airflow for quick clearing of driveways, yards, sidewalks, pathways, etc. The Troy-Bilt TB4BP is not as powerful as the Tanaka but it does operate slightly quieter. Leaf Blower Reviews
- Each year Consumer Reports puts out their latest finding with leaf blowers and we try to follow their advice as much as possible. Their CR Best Buy ratings are usually the way to go and several of their top picks are listed right here on our page. Popular Mechanics did a recent test matching 7 backpack blowers against each other. Husqvarna, Makita, and Stihl stole the show. This Old House website also has information on their latest findings with all types of leaf blowers. Of course, one of our favorites websites is Amazon.com for their extensive owner reviews which are posted next to each model. Get the feedback and comments from actual owners before you purchase anything.
Buying a Leaf Blower:
When it comes to purchasing a leaf blower, we highly recommend going down to HomeDepot, Lowes or a household powertool supply store to see them in person. You can get a better idea on weight, features, and even noise levels if they allow you to start them up and hear it in action. Keep in mind that Stihl products are not sold at Home Depot or Lowes and only through Stihl dealers so you'll have to search a bit to find them in some areas. If you know what you want and have researched the different styles and features, then by all means, do your shopping online at sites like Amazon.com. Yes, Amazon has moved beyond just books and DVD's, they now sell lots of household equipment through select resellers right on their site. For complete descriptions and reviews of leaf blowers try some of the manufacturers sites like Echo-usa.com or Stihlusa.com.