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"If you'd rather get your yardwork done quickly, a leaf blower is the answer." -Popular Mechanics
"The biggest bugaboo of fall gardeners? In a word: leaves." -HGTV
"While having a driveway or sidewalk lined with beautiful trees or shrubs certainly raises curb appeal, it can make more work for you in terms of keeping your yard pristine. That's where leaf blowers come in handy: to help clear away unsightly leaves and debris." -Good Housekeeping
"While autumn comes with plenty of assets, there's one activity that most people tend to dread — raking leaves and tending to outdoor chores." -Today Show
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Choosing The Best Option
What goes into being the best, you may ask. The criteria we've looked at include:
Leaf Blowers Shopping Guide
Leaf-peepin' season can be one of the most exciting times of the year — wrapped up in a light sweater while drinking hot cider, you take a drive to the woods to see a whole palette of colors in the treetops.
But for homeowners, this can be a leafy foreboding. Rather than enjoying the fall colors, you might be imagining the layers of leaves all over the driveway, outdoor furniture, walkways, etc. It's time you throw those worries out the window and start shopping for a leaf blower. These little beasts are a fun way to get rid of all that leaf carnage, and who knows, you might even start enjoying the feeling of autumn again.
If you already know what kind of leaf blower you're wanting, you can skip the how-to and scroll up the page to our top leaf blower choices. But if you're still wondering what makes each leaf blower different, keep reading for some tips on how to find the perfect tool to help you "fall" back in love with autumn.
Choosing Between Gas or Electric
As with any hard-working outdoor tool, you'll need a way to power your leaf blower in a way that works best for your needs.
What do we mean by that? Well, do you have a giant yard that will take more time to cover? Do you have a back injury that prevents you from carrying a heavier leaf blower? Finding a new leaf blower should involve your comfort zone and your specific yardage.
Your first step in narrowing down your search is deciding how your leaf blower will be getting its power. There are pros and cons to each power type.
Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
A leaf blower fueled by gasoline is suited for larger spaces. For someone looking to clear out more than a quarter-acre of land, consider a gas-powered leaf blower. With its heavy-duty capabilities, you'll have to make sure that it's properly cared for, even when you're just storing it in your garage.
Gas-powered leaf blowers require a gas-oil mixture specified by the manufacturer, and when storing it away for long periods of time, you'll want to replace the old mixture with a fresh one. You'll typically need to tackle these tasks about once a month or more, depending on its usage. Along with its maintenance, gas-powered leaf blowers are also noisier, emit smoke, and can be heavier to carry than an electric operator. However, when it comes to lasting longer while in use, gas power is the way to go.
Electric Leaf Blowers
For those who are covering less ground, but just want a leaf blower for sidewalks or smaller yards, you can turn to electric-powered leaf blowers to get the job done. You can narrow your choice down even further by choosing a corded or cordless option. A corded leaf blower will require you to be plugged in at all times while operating the machine, while a cordless will use a rechargeable battery that can also add weight.
You can cover a bigger area with a cordless leaf blower thanks to its physical freedom from any cord, but you'll also need a charged battery on hand and even a backup in case the original dies on you. An electric choice is the go-to for someone that wants to avoid closely maintaining their machinery, and usually, they're overall simpler to use. While they won't cover a huge plot of land, they'll get the job done when it comes to isolated areas like driveways, sidewalks, and patios.
How should you decide between the two? Easy. Take a look at all the trees around your yard. Then, take a look at just how big your yard is. Have a ton of leafy branches hanging over your giant property? Then go for the gas power. Have just a few branches hanging over your small patio? The electric choice will work wonders.
Different Types of Leaf Blowers
You might remember spending hours raking together piles of leaves and then stuffing them in garbage bags and take them to the dump. You'd spend a good day cleaning up the yard, only to find a new layer of leaves the next day. The thankless manual labor that used to go into leaf removal is now a thing of the past. Now, with leaf blowers that can even be pulled behind you as you work, you hardly have to break a sweat as you move through the yard.
Handheld Leaf Blowers
The leaf blower you see most often is the lightweight, hand-held option that usually wraps around your shoulder and runs parallel with your arm. These are typically the lowest-priced options for leaf blowers since they still require you to carry them around as you work. Along with that, they lack the power needed to really push around exceptionally soggy, heavy debris.
You can find a dependable, worthwhile handheld leaf blower for $100 to $300, depending on the type of motor you go with (gas power will be on the more expensive side while you can find an electric for around $150).
Backpack Leaf Blowers
One version of leaf blowers that takes up quite a few spots in our top picks is the backpack leaf blower. This combines the power provided in a heavier leaf blower with the portability of a handheld tool.
It's always a bummer to take a break from yard work just because your back is too tired to continue. By putting this much power in a backpack, homeowners and landscapers can easily strap this high-powered machine on their backs and spend a long time making progress in the yard.
You'll persevere through longer hours outside, shortening the timeline of your outdoor projects so you can eventually relax and enjoy your hard work. Plus, a backpack leaf blower can handle tough jobs that a handheld can't.
Backpack leaf blowers are typically priced anywhere from $150 to $600, depending on the horsepower, airspeed, and other features that you choose.
Pull-Behind Leaf Blowers
The muscle crew of leaf blowers is a pull-behind version. These are best suited for professional or commercial use or for large clean-ups like at a construction site. The price of these machines can shoot well above $1,000.
What are CFM and MPH?
One way to determine how much speed and power your leaf blower has rests in the two acronyms CFM and MPH. MPH, as you already know from driving your car, just means Miles per Hour and stands for the speed of air coming out of the leaf blower. CFM, on the other hand, is specific to yard work tools like a leaf blower. CFM stands for Cubic Feet for Minute, and you'll see that most of our top picks use this to rate their efficiency.
CFM measures the volume of air that comes out of the leaf blower tube, translating to the volume of cubic feet of debris that can be moved around. The speed, or MPH, determines how fast that volume of air is pushed out of the tube. To put it simply, the higher CFM you have, the more area you can cover at a time as well as the kind of objects you're able to pick up off the ground — higher CFM means you can dislodge heavier materials. High MPH speeds up this process, adding even more strength to your leaf blower capacity.
Leaf blowers measure anywhere from 200 to 3,000 CFM, all depending on the motor type, size, and purpose. In a very simplistic breakdown, smaller projects can be tackled with 200 to 400 CFM, medium-size to larger projects can be conquered with 400 to 700 CFM, and then heavy-duty projects can use anywhere up to 3,000 CFM to completely wipe out leaves and everything around them.
Leaf Blower Noise
One thing to take into consideration before making your leaf blower purchase is just how noisy your machine will be. In some suburban neighborhoods, noise ordinances restrict loud decibel levels, even from household tools like leaf blowers.
You should do your research into neighborhood noise levels, and then compare dB (decibels) that your potential leaf blower emits. Electric leaf blowers will fall into the less noisy category, while gas-powered and heavy-duty tools can easily cross into the need-to-wear-headphones threshold.
Trusting Our Top Pick
Honestly, leaf blowers can make you feel like a kid again, giving you the ultimate satisfaction of clearing out a leaf-covered yard in no time. If you think your yard is a mess, removing leaves could make a huge difference, helping you feel accomplished with just an easy sweep.
Finally deciding to take the plunge to make your next big purchase can be a stress-inducing nightmare. You find yourself spending hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading every anecdotal consumer review on even the most basic of household items. You end up wasting your valuable time and even after the purchase is made, you can still be racked with buyer’s remorse, still worrying you made the wrong decision.
Now, all that stress and heartache can be put behind you. Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We know you want to spend your money wisely, but most importantly, you want to purchase the right product that will suit your needs. This is where our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations step in to empower you to find the product that's right for you.
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