If you have trees in or near to your yard, you’ll probably be familiar with the seasonal hassle of clearing up leaves. It’s important to remember, though, that it’s not just the appearance of a messy yard that’s an issue here: wet leaves in your yard can present a slip hazard, and moldy, decaying leaves smell bad and double as a hiding place for pests. Additionally, in the summer months, dry piles of leaves pose a fire risk, which can put you and your neighbors in danger. Using a leaf blower to clear fallen leaves will make your yard a safer and more attractive place in which your family can relax.

In this article we review some of the top corded electric and a battery-powered leaf blowers on the market today to help take the guesswork out of your leaf blower purchase.

  • Brushless motor
  • Innovative fan design
  • 400 cfm air flow rate
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Speed lock
  • Low noise operation
  • 3-year limited warranty

  • 180 mph max air speed
  • Cord retention feature.
  • Small handheld size
  • 180 cfm air flow rate
  • Inexpensive
  • 2-year limited warranty

  • Cordless design
  • Max 130 mph air speed
  • Lightweight
  • Low noise operation
  • Lithium battery
  • Uses 20V Max system
  • 2-year warranty

  • 600 cfm airflow
  • 110 mph max air speed
  • Corded design
  • Turbine jet engine
  • Dynamic airflow
  • Variable speed control
  • 3-year warranty

  • 150 mph max air speed
  • Lightweight
  • Concentrated airflow
  • Lithium battery
  • Six-speed functions
  • Limited 4-year warranty

  • 3-in-1: blower, mulcher, and yard vacuum
  • 210 mph max air speed
  • 350 cfm air flow rate
  • 16:1 mulch ratio
  • 10 gallon collector bag
  • 3-year warranty


The DeWalt Brushless Blower is a cordless electric leaf blower with a powerful innovative axial fan design. Its brushless motor has been built to ensure maximum efficiency and durability, while its maximized air flow is higher than most battery powered leaf blowers at 400 cfm. This makes it suitable for a greater number of cleaning applications while offering you the convenience and ease of use that comes with a cordless power tool.

This DeWalt leaf blower has a variable-speed trigger, so it’s easy to increase or decrease your blowing speed as necessary. The speed lock is also a useful function for covering large areas without any fatigue. Unlike other, less powerful models, this leaf blower has a lower top speed at 90 mph; however, this should more than suffice when combined with the above average air flow rate. Another bonus of DeWalt’s innovative technology is that this leaf blower has a low noise rating at just 61dB, so you won’t annoy the neighbors.

Although DeWalt have ergonomically designed this model so that arm fatigue and stress are minimized, it does weigh in at 9.7lbs, which is somewhat heavier than many other cordless models. If you tire easily and don’t need a little extra power, you may be better with a lighter, less powerful model. On the whole, however, this is an impressive cordless leaf blower. If you are looking for a more powerful battery-powered leaf blower then this model would make a great choice; just bear in mind the weight and lower top speed.

Pros

  • Brushless motor
  • Innovative fan design maximizes air output (400 cfm)
  • Variable speed trigger and speed lock
  • Ergonomic design
  • Low noise

Cons

  • Heavy
  • 90 mph top speed


This Black and Decker corded blower is a great budget option provided you don’t need a lot of power. This lightweight blower is just 4.4lbs, making it suitable for use with one arm. It is also small in size and easy to handle.

While this is a corded model, it does have built-in cord retention, which will prevent annoying interruptions during your clean-up from the power cord. Although this budget blower has an impressive top air speed of 180 mph, it maxes out at a low 180 cfm air flow rate. For this reason, this low-priced garden blower is best used only for very light tasks. If you’re thinking of purchasing this model, note that there is no way to vary the speed. This budget leaf blower model by Black and Decker makes a good choice thanks to its low price, low weight, and ease of use, but it really is only suitable for use on hard surfaces and for blowing very light debris.

Pros

  • High top air speed 180 mph
  • Built-in cord retention
  • Lightweight
  • Small and easy to handle

Cons

  • Low 180 cfm air flow rate
  • Not variable speed
  • Not very powerful

This Black and Decker model is an easy-to-use, lightweight, and highly portable sweeper. It weighs in at an incredibly light 3.7lbs, and since it’s cordless you can use it for long driveways or any other places where you may not have a power outlet. It is also pretty quiet, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors. With up to 130 mph maximum air speed, this leaf blower is ideal for replacing your handheld broom. Use it on hard surfaces for a fast and easy way to clear your paths and driveway of grass trimmings, dry leaves, and dirt.

If you are looking to remove heavier debris, then you will need a stronger model, such as the WORX WG520, with more power that will invariably weigh more. Part of the 20V Max system, you can use the LSW221’s battery with other compatible Black and Decker power tools. This is helpful as the sweeper has a pretty short runtime per full battery charge. If you’re an occasional user, one of the main advantages is that the battery will hold its charge for up to 18 months, so you won’t have to wait to get started after not using it for some time. All in all, this is a handy sweeper perfect for light-duty clean-ups.

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Up to 130 mph air speed
  • Lightweight
  • Low noise design
  • Battery holds charge for up to 18 months
  • Part of the 20V Max system

Cons

  • Only powerful enough for light use
  • Short runtime per charge

The Worx Turbine 600 is a powerful corded electric leaf blower. With a respectable top air speed of 110 mph and 600 cfm air flow, the Turbine 600 is great for clearing leaves and light debris. Its turbine jet engine and dynamic air flow design deliver high-capacity air volume for greater power. Variable speed means you can adjust the intensity of your air speed so it matches your blowing conditions and needs. You can use it on low to remove leaves from your flower beds without blowing mulch everywhere or use it on high to remove damp leaves from your driveway.

Weighing just 6lbs, this lightweight model is a little heavier than others but it can still be used with one hand. It is also easy to maneuver, so you won’t have any issues clearing around outdoor furniture and tubs and planters. The main drawback with this leaf blower is that its air inlet is badly positioned and has a tendency to suck your clothing in if it gets too close. Depending upon your movements and your body position when blowing, this can get very annoying for certain users.

It is also important to bear in mind that the nozzle has a pretty wide opening. While this is great for blowing large quantities of leaves in a general direction, you may need a more concentrated airflow to round them up in a pile effectively. On the whole, this is a good, powerful, corded leaf blower although it’s let down by its air inlet position that may affect some users.

Pros

  • 600 cfm airflow, up to 110 mph air speed
  • Corded turbine jet engine
  • Variable speed control
  • Dynamic airflow design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Intake badly positioned
  • Large nozzle opening

The Greenworks 40V cordless blower is a great choice for your small or maintenance cleaning tasks on hard surfaces. It has an average runtime of around 14 minutes per full charge, however, if you find you need longer for a large driveway or porch, you have the option to purchase an additional Greenworks 4Ah battery.

This is one of the most lightweight models, at just 3.3lbs, making it easy to carry and use. There is also a six speed selection, which makes this leaf blower even easier to use because you can adjust the blow speed to your needs and the current conditions. Meanwhile, the flat nozzle provides a concentrated airflow that makes getting leaves around obstacles or into piles much easier.

Although this leaf blower has an impressive top speed of 150mph, its air flow rate is just 135 cfm. For this reason, this blower is only suited to light jobs on hard surfaces. It won’t really be effective upon grass or saturated vegetation. You’ll also need to be careful not to drop it as the plastic outer casing is not durable, and the awkward placement of the power button means it requires two hands to start or stop. In short, this is a good model for light clean ups around the porch and driveway but is not suitable for any medium or heavy clean up tasks. If a low weight and variable speed are your priorities, then this makes a great choice.

Pros

  • Up to 150 mph air speed
  • Lightweight
  • Flat nozzle – concentrated airflow
  • Six speed selection
  • Compatible with Greenworks 4Ah battery

Cons

  • Power switch inconveniently placed
  • Plastic casing not high-grade
  • Low 135 cfm

The Worx Trivac is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one leaf blower, vacuum, and mulcher. The Trivac has a 16:1 mulch ratio, condensing your piles of leaves and making them easy to dispose of. The Trivac also comes with a metal impeller, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking when vacuuming the occasional twig or stone. A 10-gallon collector bag is included with the Trivac, so you can vacuum your outdoor space and easily collect leaves and debris without having to bend over and pick anything up.

With a top speed of 210 mph and 350 cfm air flow rate, the Trivac has a decent amount of power and good performance. On the downside, at 11lbs it is one of the heavier leaf blowers we’ve reviewed, so if you’re looking for a lightweight and easily maneuverable leaf blower, this might not be your best option. The vacuum function also has a tendency to clog when used with wet leaves, something which is worth bearing in mind if you tend to have damp fall weather.

This model is a great choice if you want an all-in-one leaf disposal system with a fairly powerful leaf blower. If your priorities are a low weight and maneuverability, though, take a look at our other lightweight recommendations and consider purchasing a separate vacuum, mulcher, or possible add-on attachments.

Pros

  • 3-in-1: blower, mulcher & yard vacuum
  • Top air speed 210 mph, 350 cfm
  • 16:1 mulch ratio
  • 10 gallon collector bag included
  • Robust metal impeller

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Clogs easily with wet leaves

Comparison Chart

FEATURESBLACK+DECKER LSW221 Lithium Cordless SweeperWORX WG520 Turbine Electric Leaf BlowerGreenworks Variable Speed Cordless BlowerBLACK+DECKER LB700 Corded Blower DEWALT DCBL720P1 Brushless BlowerWORX WG505 Blower
Power (volts)20120404020120
Max CFM air flow rate100600135180400350
CordedXXX
CordlessXXX
Max Air Speed (mph)130110 15018090210
Variable Speed OptionXXX
Vacuum IncludedXXXXX
Mulcher IncludedXXXXX
Battery IncludedXXXXX
Weight (lbs)3.763.34.49.711
Warranty2-year3-year4-year2-year3-year3-year

Buyer’s Guide:

Leaf Blowers

To help you to make the right decision when it comes down to choosing your leaf blower, we’ve compiled this handy leaf blower buying guide to highlight the types of leaf blowers available and what features you should look for when purchasing one.

While all leaf blowers are designed to perform the same task, they come in a variety of formats destined for different levels of use. In general, you’ll need to choose between gas-powered and electric-powered leaf blowers; you’ll also need to consider size and, in the case of electric versions, whether you want battery or corded power.

Handheld Leaf Blowers

Handheld leaf blowers are the smallest type of leaf blower you can get and are generally less powerful than the other types. They make up for this, though, by being lighter in weight and easier to maneuver. This makes them the ideal choice for quick clean ups around your home on a regular basis, for example clearing leaves or grass trimmings from your pathways or driveway. There are three main types of handheld leaf blowers:

  • Cordless Electric Handheld Leaf Blowers

    As handheld leaf blowers are often used for quick and easy cleaning, electric battery powered models are often the most preferable choice. This adds to their usability. Electric models also tend to be quieter, making them ideal for smaller outdoor areas with close neighbors.

  • Corded Electric Handheld Leaf Blowers

    You can also find corded electric handheld leaf blowers. Typically they tend to offer more power than their battery-powered equivalents; however, you will need to be in the vicinity of a power outlet and have the necessary power cord extensions. Some people prefer to have both a corded and a cordless leaf blower; using the cordless for regular garden maintenance tasks and the corded for longer, heavy-duty, one-off garden cleans.

  • Gasoline Powered Handheld Leaf Blowers

    If you want the maneuverability of a handheld leaf blower but extra power without a cord, then a gas-powered handheld leaf blower could be just what you need. These are great for tackling larger cleaning tasks over wider areas – just be careful if you’re using one in a built-up area as they can be very noisy. Naturally, they’ll also produce exhaust fumes which can endanger your health if you’re using them often.

Backpack Leaf Blowers

Backpack leaf blowers are heavier blowers, hence the need to carry them on your back to save tiring your arms out. They have large gas-powered motors which really give them extra punch when it comes to getting your garden in order. They do lack the convenience of handheld leaf blowers, though, and are designed for those big annual or biannual cleanups. With their extra power comes extra noise and exhaust fumes. If you have an extensive garden and you want to tackle it yourself, a backpack leaf blower is going to be your best choice; for those fall leaf piles, though, stick with a smaller, easier to use electric model for localized hard surface sweeping.

Multi-function Leaf Blowers

Some leaf blower designs have evolved to offer you the performance of multiple devices in one. While some leaf blowers require extra add-ons, others can switch between modes at the touch of a button. Ideal for small spaces when you don’t want to invest in a whole host of tools, popular multi-function leaf blowers also provide mulching and vacuuming modes that allow you to bag leaves securely or to shred them for use as mulch.

While most leaf blowers are extremely simple to use with a one-button start, how you use your leaf blower can make the world of difference to its performance.

Here are our top leaf blower tips to keep in mind:

  1. Weather – try to clean your garden or yard on dry, still days. Wet leaves are heavier and some lighter-use leaf blowers can struggle with them as they tend to clump together. It also makes sense not to start blowing leaves if it’s windy out. Even when the wind seems to be blowing in the direction you want, sudden gusts can potentially ruin your work.
  2. Planning – you may just want to get on with it, but planning how to best to tackle your area can help make your cleanup more efficient.
  3. Bigger picture – don’t get too caught up with trying to do a perfect job. Leaf blowers are there to round up leaves faster and more efficiently. Going over one area multiple times early on is going to frustrate you and slow you down. Continue moving across your garden and if you’re a perfectionist you can always go back over certain bits when you’re done, or grab a rake or garden vacuum for those little bits that you missed.
  4. Create multiple piles – don’t try to get all your leaves into one big pile, but rather create a pile for the section you’re working on. Clearing up piles as you go can break up the monotony and reduce the risk of a sudden unexpected gust of wind undoing all of your hard work.

Here’s our suggestions for some of the main features that you should look out for when purchasing a new leaf blower:

Power Source

Leaf blowers are available as electric or gas-powered models. Bear in mind that certain usage restrictions may be placed upon the use of gas models, as the exhaust fumes they create can be dangerous to your health. Electric models may be either corded or battery powered. While corded models tend to be more powerful, battery models can offer greater convenience.

Battery (Ah)

If you’re thinking of choosing a battery-powered leaf blower, you should check out its Ampere hour rating (Ah). This determines the battery’s charge capacity, so a larger Ah means your battery will have a longer runtime when used at the same level as a battery with a lower Ah. If you think you’ll need a particularly long runtime, check to see if your leaf blower manufacturer offers any compatible batteries with a higher Ah rating.

System Compatibility

Some power tool manufacturers group their products into certain ranges with compatible, interchangeable batteries. This can work out well if you need to increase your runtime, and it can also save you money when you purchase tools all in one range.

Top Air Speed (mph)

You should check out the top speed of your leaf blower, which is measured in miles per hour (mph). You’ll need a decent rate to be able to blow leaves any distance. Fast moving air alone isn't enough, though, as you’ll also need to make sure that the air flow rate is high. A small quantity of fast moving air isn’t going to achieve much.

Air Flow Rate (cfm)

You should also focus on the leaf blower’s air flow rate, which is the quantity of air displaced by the blower and is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The more air that moves through the machine, the greater amount of leaves it will be able to move. You also need speed to move those leaves, so you also need to consider the top air speed alongside the air flow rate.

Weight

Weight matters more than you’d think, especially if you’re planning on using your leaf blower for frequent clean-ups. For ease of use, a lightweight leaf blower will be more convenient for you to use rather than struggling with a heavy one, especially if you have a lot of debris to contend with. Bear in mind, though, that in some cases reduced weight can equate to reduced power, so be sure to take all aspects into consideration as well as your individual needs and capabilities.

Noise Level

If you live in a suburban area, noise level should be one of your top priorities. In certain cities there are usage restrictions on noisy leaf blowers; even if this isn’t the case where you life, you don't want to upset the neighbors. The good news is that many convenient, light-use leaf blowers are also ultra-quiet, so you can use them on an as-need basis without upsetting anyone.

Attachments

If your leaf blower has plenty of extra attachments that you could purchase at a later date, then you may be able to further extend its uses. This is also a sign of a good product from a knowledgeable manufacturer. Take a look at any additional add-ons that could be useful for your needs before making your choice, even if you don’t intend on purchasing them right away.

PROS:
  • Easy to Use: Generally speaking, leaf blowers are easy to operate, even for complete beginners.
  • More Effective: Leaf blowers offer a faster and more efficient solution to raking up fallen leaves.
  • Cordless Options: Cordless leaf blowers are also available. These are very convenient if you have a large yard or prefer not to be tethered to a power outlet when clearing your garden.
  • Multi-functional: Some models incorporate vacuum and mulching features in one machine, so you won’t need to purchase multiple tools.
CONS:
  • Weight: Some leaf blowers can be heavy which makes them tiring to use for long periods.
  • Noise: Some models can be very noisy, which may upset your neighbors.
  • Cumbersome: Large or corded models can be awkward to use.
  • Battery Life: Cordless, battery operated models may have a short battery life per charge. This can be problematic if you have a large yard to clear.
Best Leaf Blowers For Yard Clearing

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Quicker and more effective than raking
  • Corded and cordless options
  • Some models include vacuum and mulching capabilities

Cons

  • May be heavy
  • Can be noisy
  • Corded models may be cumbersome
  • Cordless models can run out of charge quickly

Here’s a selection of some of the most frequently asked questions all about leaf blowers.

  • Are leaf blowers safe?
  • Yes, leaf blowers are one of the safest power tools you can use provided that you always follow the usage instructions and keep your device in good working order. It is recommended that you use eye protection when using your leaf blower. This will protect your eyes from any debris and make it easier to get on with the job, so you can focus ahead of you even when there’s dust and dirt blowing all around.
  • Can I use a leaf blower to clear snow?
  • Yes, for light, powdery snow, a leaf blower can work relatively well. For deep, heavy snow you’ll find that you’ll need to resort to a shovel, if you don’t have a snow blower, to recover your driveway.
  • Are leaf blowers legal in all states?
  • While you can legally buy leaf blowers, the use of gas-powered leaf blowers is banned in a small number of states across the country, so check your state’s regulations if you’re uncertain. For electric leaf blowers, there may be some usage restrictions in place. In some cities you’ll be restricted to using your leaf blower between certain hours if its noise level is above a certain threshold. Note that these restrictions are generally only valid in certain built-up areas and are aimed at reducing emissions and noise pollution. Always check before you purchase, although a battery-powered electric leaf blower with a quiet noise level is unlikely to be affected.
  • How do leaf blowers work?
  • When you press start on your leaf blower, the motor starts up to turn the internal fan or impeller. As this turns, air from outside is sucked in through the air inlet and forced into a rotational motion. This creates a centrifugal force from the spinning motion of the fan. Thanks to the blower long, relatively narrow tube, the fast-moving air is forced to slowly move down the tube, creating pressure. This pressure causes the air to exit the tube at a high speed, blowing your leaves.
  • Are leaf blowers bad for the environment?
  • Gas-powered leaf blowers produce exhaust fumes that are, as we all know, bad for the environment. Electric leaf blowers don’t directly create any pollution, but they do still use electricity. For most people, however, it just isn’t viable to hand rake their garden or sweep out their porch and driveway on a regular basis. As long as you use them responsibly and only when required, any impact is likely to be minimal.

Final Thoughts

With so many different choices out there, you can feel a little under pressure when you’re trying to pick the best leaf blower for your home. If you’re still not quite sure, we recommend the DeWalt DCBL720P1 Brushless Blower. Its durable brushless motor means its more efficient and will last longer, while its innovative fan design sets it apart with a 400 cfm air flow rate that is superior to many corded versions. All that combined with an ergonomic design and low noise level, make the DeWalt DCBL720P1 Brushless Blower our number one leaf blower pick.

If, on the other hand, you’re really looking for an inexpensive model that will do the job, check out the Black + Decker LB700 Corded Blower. It has an impressive high air speed of 180 mph and a low weight for ease of use and maneuverability, all at an extremely affordable price making it our budget leaf blower of choice.

Further Reading

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