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Leaf Blower Buying Guide

A leaf blower makes landscape cleanup quick and simple, and the variety of models and features means you can find one that will meet your needs.

Man Blowing Leaves with a Gasoline-Powered Leaf Blower.

Leaf Blower Power Options

Woman Clearing a Porch with a Corded Electric Leaf Blower.

Electric leaf blowers are low-maintenance machines. They're lighter and quieter than gasoline-powered blowers and are easier to start. Light-duty electric sweepers handle driveways, decks and patios, while higher-power electric blowers are good for yards up to a quarter of an acre.

  • Corded blowers offer steady power without the weight of a battery. The cord restricts mobility, so these blowers work best clearing small yards and areas near the house. Follow the device manufacturer's specifications for compatible extension cords and see Power Cord Safety Tips.
  • Cordless blowers have good mobility. High-voltage batteries provide power and run time, but add weight. Batteries periodically need recharging, so depending on the size of your landscape, you may want to have a spare battery available.

Gasoline-powered leaf blowers deliver maximum mobility and run time. These models are suited for large areas — a quarter-acre or more, depending on the model — and frequent or prolonged use. Gas blowers crank with a manual pull start. Some models start with an optional, powered device you purchase separately, eliminating the need to use the pull cord. Gasoline-powered blowers need the right fuel — follow the manufacturer's requirements and read Fueling Outdoor Power Equipment for tips on keeping your machines running properly.

Good to Know

Maximize your outdoor toolbox with cordless tools that use the same battery and charger.  This outdoor power “family” includes chainsaw, mower, leaf blower and trimmer/edger.

Good to Know

Cordless leaf blower battery types include nickel cadmium (NiCd or NiCad) and lithium ion (Li-ion). A Li-ion battery is lighter and smaller than a NiCd battery of the same voltage. Li-ion batteries can hold a charge for several months between uses.

Leaf Blower Types

Man Blowing Leaves with a Backpack Blower.

Handheld leaf blowers are the most common types for the home landscape. Other blower designs include backpack and wheeled, walk-behind models. These gasoline-powered machines provide power and more comfort for extended use in large areas.

Some blowers convert to vacuums, allowing you to collect light landscape debris such as small twigs or leaves in an attached bag. Blowers that convert to vacuum / mulchers collect and grind the debris, simplifying disposal and creating mulch for use around the landscape.

In addition to traditional blowers, there are shop vacuums and string trimmers that convert to blowers.

Good to Know

You may see “Bare Tool Only” in the product description of many cordless tools such as trimmers, blowers, drills and saws. This simply means the item does not come with a battery. You’ll need to buy a battery and charger if you don’t already have one.

Leaf Blower Features

Gasoline-Powered Blower.

Beyond vacuuming and mulching capabilities, there are features you can look for to help you select the best leaf blower for your work.

  • 2-cycle engines offer a good balance of power and weight, but run on a blend of oil and gasoline. You need to mix the fuel yourself or purchase it pre-mixed.
  • 4-cycle engines run on gasoline alone. They eliminate the need for mixing fuel, but are heavier than comparable 2 cycle-engines and require regular oil changes.
  • Ratings for amps (A) on a corded blower, volts (V) on a cordless blower and cubic centimeters (cc) on a gasoline-powered blower all indicate power output.
  • Simplified choke operation makes startup easier on a gasoline-powered blower.
  • Miles-per-hour (MPH) ratings measure the speed that air exits the unit and are another indication of the blower's power.
  • Cubic-feet-per-minute (CFM) ratings measure the volume of air the blower moves. Blowers with higher CFM ratings can move more debris.
  • Larger-diameter chutes or tubes included with some vacuum-capable models help collect leaves.
  • Reduction ratios — such as 10:1 or 16:1 — represent the number of bags of leaves a blower with mulching capabilities can reduce to one bag.
  • Speed settings allow you to control the airflow and movement of debris. Blowers may have fixed settings or variable-speed controls. Some let you set and lock a speed.
  • Vibration reduction features improve comfort.

Shop for Leaf Blowers

Good to Know

Electric outdoor power tools noted as “corded” almost always require an outdoor extension cord to operate.  The cord is not part of the tool itself.   Make sure you choose and use the cord properly.   

Leaf Blowers and More

Power Base Engine with Blower Attachment.

As an alternative to a standalone leaf blower, look for equipment that handles a variety of outdoor maintenance projects with a single engine. The engine powers several optional attachments — leaf blower, pressure washer, mower and snow blower — reducing maintenance requirements and storage space. See this Troy-Bilt system — available exclusively at Lowe's — in action.

Shop for Power Base Engines & Attachments