What Leaf Blower Should I Buy? – Buying guide for beginners

Approx Reading Time: 10 minutes

Before you buy a leaf blower, you should probably learn about them. Without knowing some essential facts, you may end up buying something that just isn’t right for you.

After all, not everyone has the same needs. Leaf blowers can be very useful for most people, but there are a number of factors to consider.

What type of leaf blower do you need?

There are multiple types of leaf blowers out there, and you should know what their key differences are.

Electric Leaf Blowers

Electric leaf blowers have become increasingly popular over the years, and they do offer a number of benefits.

The three types of electric leaf blowers include:

Corded

Corded electric leaf blowers have an average weight of 4.5 to 5 lbs and a blowing speed of around 150-250 mph.

While these models can be effective when it comes to blowing leaves and other debris, the cords can get in the way and become a nuisance.

Battery powered

These leaf blowers do not have to be plugged in, as they use rechargeable batteries. They can weigh anywhere from 3.5 to 15 lbs.

With these blowers you won’t have to worry about any annoying cords getting in the way while you are using them.

However, since they run on batteries, you can only use them for a limited time before having to recharge.

Backpack

These are more powerful and usually offer longer runtime, which can only be achieved by making them heavier. Because of this, they come in the form of a backpack.

Most of them are fairly comfortable to wear, and offer great power for a bit of extra money.

What are the Benefits of Electric Leaf Blowers?

One of the biggest benefits of using an electric leaf blower is that you don’t have to deal with the same level of noise as you would with a gas-powered model.

Depending on what the laws are where you live, you might need to get an electric leaf blower.

Check out this article about leaf blower noise restrictions to see if this is the case for you.

These leaf blowers are also generally considered to be the most reliable overall.

Also, they can be quite lightweight, but it partially depends on whether you get a corded or battery powered model.

They are also more environmentally-friendly than their gas-powered siblings, and are generally cheaper, though this also depends on the manufacturer.

What are the Drawbacks of Electric Leaf Blowers?

You will find that electric leaf blowers are generally less powerful than standard gas-powered models. If you are looking for a leaf blower with some real power, you might want to think twice about getting an electric one.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

Those who have a gas-powered leaf blower will never have to worry about being limited by a cord. These leaf blowers tend to be fairly powerful, though it also depends on the specific model.

The three types of gas-powered leaf blowers include:

Handheld

These leaf blowers tend to weigh anywhere from 9 to 20 lbs. They have around 24 to 30cc of engine power and 2 or 4 cycle engines.

Handheld leaf blowers weigh the lightest and tend to offer the least power of all gas-fueled models.

This can be a good option for those who only want a leaf blower for some light yard work around the house.

Backpack

Backpack leaf blowers have a weight of anywhere from 15 to 25 lbs, making them decently heavy but not extremely so.

These blowers have an engine power that ranges from 27 to 75cc, and engine types are either 2 or 4 cycles. Backpack leaf blowers are sometimes used for commercial purposes, though they can also be useful for individuals.

Walk-Behind

A walk-behind leaf blower can weigh anywhere from 75 to 250 lbs, making it the heaviest of all models.

It can have an engine power of 164 to 570cc, so it is also the most powerful of all leaf blowers on the market.

These models are only available with 4-cycle engines, and they are reserved almost exclusively for commercial use. Most individuals don’t need a walk-behind leaf blower, though it could be a good investment depending on your circumstances.

What are the Benefits of Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers?

Gas-powered leaf blowers are more resistant to environmental factors such as rain or snow, which cannot be said about electric models.

These leaf blowers are usually more powerful as well. And if you ever run out of fuel, you can just reload your tank, no need to wait for batteries to charge.

What are the Drawbacks of Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers?

There is no question that gas-powered leaf blowers tend to be a lot noisier than their electric counterparts.

The extra noise could be a major problem depending on where you live. You also need to consider the fact that they do require gas to function, so you can’t just plug them in to recharge like battery powered models.

Obviously, this makes them more expensive to use. Also, this is definitely not the most eco-friendly option out there.

General Benefits of Owning a Leaf Blower

There are quite a few benefits to owning a leaf blower, such as:

Convenience

If you ever need to blow leaves or other debris on your property, you will have an effective way to do so.

Save yourself time and effort

Using a leaf blower will save you a lot of time and effort when clearing away debris when compared to using a manual tool like a rake.

Inexpensive

You shouldn’t have any difficulty finding an affordable leaf blower that will do a good job and last a long time.

Versatility

These devices can be used for a lot more than their main function. For example, you can use them as a snow blower during winter.

Possible Drawbacks of Owning a Leaf Blower

Keeping it fueled up

If you own a gas-powered leaf blower, you will need to fill it up every once in a while. How often you need to do this will depend on how much you use the blower.

Noise

Gas-powered leaf blowers can be very loud and obnoxious. You could even be fined for using one depending on the local laws.

Other Factors to Consider

As I previously said, not every blower is right for everyone, as every person has different circumstances. Here are the main factors to consider:

The Size of Your Property

You need to consider the overall size of your property before choosing a leaf blower.

If you have a ton of land in a rural area, a backpack or even walk-behind model is worth considering. A low-powered handheld leaf blower simply won’t provide you with the efficiency and power you need.

Those who have a smaller piece of land can probably get a battery powered blower. These models don’t make much noise and can move around lighter debris fairly effectively.

When you are looking for a leaf blower that will provide you with maximum efficiency, you need to focus on finding one with a high CFM or cubic feet per minute.

This is basically the volume of air that the blower produces. The higher the CMF, the larger of an area the blower can affect.

Price

If you want to buy a leaf blower you may want to establish a budget for yourself. Leaf blowers can vary in price quite a bit.

Corded leaf blowers are by far the cheapest option, but they are also less powerful. If you are on a tight budget and don’t need to cover a large area or blow heavy debris you should consider this option.

Backpack leaf blowers are mid-range in terms of price, but there are some fairly inexpensive models available. You can check out my personal recommendations here.

Walk-behind blowers are the most expensive kind without question. These are typically used by businesses because of their incredible power.

Type of Debris you intend on blowing

You also need to think about the type of debris that you need to move, as it will have a direct impact on the type of leaf blower you should buy.

For lighter debris like small grass clippings and small amounts of leaves, a handheld or cordless model should be perfectly adequate. You don’t need a whole lot of power to move these types of debris, so there’s no need to get a very powerful and expensive model.

If you know for a fact that you will need to move heavier or wet debris, you should think about getting a higher-powered backpack blower.

A walk-behind leaf blower is a good choice for clearing large areas, but it is most likely overkill if you aren’t a landscaping professional.

Runtime

If you want to get a battery powered leaf blower you should consider the runtime of each one. Most of these blowers last about half an hour, but you can recharge them back to full capacity within around thirty minutes.

The longer the runtime of the blower, the more convenient its usage will be.

If you choose to purchase a gas-powered leaf blower, the runtime will depend on the size of the gas tank. Some of these blowers have larger fuel capacities than others, so you must keep that in mind when shopping around.

The Noise Issue

Noise is a very important issue when it comes to buying a leaf blower, which is why I felt the need to include an entire section on it in this guide.

It is important that you look into your local rules and ordinances regarding leaf blowers and noise pollution. A number of cities throughout the U.S. have banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers altogether because of how loud they are.

Some cities just limit the times of day that you can use them. The last thing you want to do is buy a leaf blower before looking into this, because you could be throwing your money away.

You can learn about these regulations by reading this article.

Commercial-Grade Leaf Blowers

If you need a leaf blower for commercial use, you should consider getting either a backpack or walk-behind model. Both of these types can offer high air speeds and air volume, which is why they are used by so many businesses.

Commercial leaf blowers are typically the most expensive, and they can easily cost up to $1,000. Gas-powered models tend to be ideal for commercial use, though not all cities allow them (as mentioned above in the “Noise Issue” section.

Extensions

There are a number of different extensions that you can buy for leaf blowers, and they can make doing this type of work much easier.

There are special kits available for cleaning gutters, which can cut the time you spend on this task in half. The vacuum kits and variable head tips can also be of great use, so you should look into which ones are available.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, my complete guide for choosing the right leaf blower. I hope you have enjoyed reading it.

Until next time!

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!