Leaf blowers have evolved significantly over the years, becoming an essential tool for every homeowner. They assist in keeping your yard neat and tidy, allowing you to deal with leaves and other debris with ease. In 2023, we have seen an array of compelling options, from gas-powered to electric and cordless models that cater to different needs and preferences. In this review, we have rounded up the top 5 leaf blowers of 2023, based on performance, durability, and user reviews.
Types of Leaf Blowers
There are three main types of leaf blowers: handheld, backpack, and walk-behind.
- Handheld Leaf Blowers: These are the most common and are lightweight, making them suitable for small to medium-sized yards.
- Backpack Leaf Blowers: These are more powerful than handheld blowers and are designed to be carried on the back, reducing strain on the arm. They are ideal for larger yards.
- Walk-Behind Leaf Blowers: These are the most powerful and are designed for very large yards or commercial use.
Leaf blowers can also be classified based on their power source into gas-powered, corded electric, and cordless electric (battery-powered) leaf blowers. Each has its pros and cons, which are dependent on the specific needs and circumstances of the user.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Leaf Blower
The power of a leaf blower is a key factor to consider. It's usually indicated in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and miles per hour (MPH). CFM refers to the volume of air that the blower can move per minute, while MPH refers to the speed of the air coming out of the blower.
A higher CFM means the blower can move more leaves at once, while a higher MPH means it can blow leaves further. Choose a blower with a higher CFM and MPH if you have a larger yard with a lot of leaves to blow.
Leaf blowers can be very loud, which can cause discomfort and even hearing damage. It can also be a source of noise pollution in residential areas. Consider the noise level of the leaf blower, usually measured in decibels (dB), before making a purchase.
The weight of the leaf blower can affect its portability and how long you can use it without getting fatigued. Handheld blowers are the lightest, but they are also the least powerful. Backpack blowers are heavier but more powerful, and they distribute weight across your back and shoulders. Walk-behind blowers are the heaviest but are the most powerful and are pushed rather than carried.
As mentioned earlier, leaf blowers can be gas-powered, corded electric, or cordless electric.
- Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers: These are the most powerful and are ideal for larger yards. However, they are also the loudest, heaviest, and require regular maintenance.
- Corded Electric Leaf Blowers: These are lighter and quieter than gas-powered blowers and do not require much maintenance. However, they are limited by the length of the power cord, making them suitable for small yards.
- Cordless Electric (Battery-Powered) Leaf Blowers: These are as light and quiet as corded electric blowers, but they are not limited by a power cord. However, their runtime is limited by battery life, and they are less powerful than gas-powered blowers.
Some leaf blowers come with extra features such as vacuum and mulching capabilities. A vacuum-capable blower can suck up leaves instead of just blowing them around, while a mulching-capable blower can shred leaves into a mulch that can be composted or bagged more compactly.
Our Top Picks of 2023:
1. Dewalt DCBL770X1 Flexvolt – Best Cordless Leaf Blower
If you're looking for a cordless leaf blower that provides power comparable to a gas-powered model, the Dewalt DCBL770X1 Flexvolt is an excellent choice. This blower is equipped with a brushless motor designed to deliver superior efficiency and durability. It offers variable speed control, allowing you to adjust the power based on your task.
The DCBL770X1 Flexvolt is powered by a 60V MAX FLEXVOLT battery, offering longer runtime and the capability to handle larger yards. It has a maximum air speed of 175 MPH and an air volume of 423 CFM, making it powerful enough to handle both wet and dry leaves.
Despite its power, this model is also designed for comfort and ease of use. The ergonomic design reduces user fatigue, and it weighs a reasonable 9.8 lbs.
- Powerful and versatile tool
- Brushless motor provides up to 6000 RPM and 1200 in-lbs of torque
- Variable speed trigger
- Belt hook for easy storage
- Comes with a variety of attachments
- Can be expensive
- Not as lightweight as some other tools
- Battery life can be limited
2. Husqvarna 350BT – Best Gas-Powered Leaf Blower
The Husqvarna 350BT is a top-of-the-line gas-powered leaf blower that combines power, ease of use, and effective performance. It features a 2.1 horsepower engine that can reach an air speed of 180 MPH and an air volume of 494.41 CFM.
One of the standout features of the 350BT is its X-Torq engine, designed to reduce harmful exhaust emissions and increase fuel efficiency. It also features a comfortable, ventilated, and load-reducing harness with a hip belt and wide shoulder straps, making it comfortable for extended use.
The Husqvarna 350BT is a bit heavier than other models, weighing in at 22.5 lbs, but its power and features make it a worthy trade-off for those with larger yards.
- Powerful 3.5 HP 2-stroke engine provides lots of airflow
- Features AutoReturn choke that automatically returns the choke to RUN position
- Lightweight design at only 12.6 lbs
- Variable speed control allows adjusting the airflow
- Centrifugal clutch reduces wear on parts
- Requires more frequent maintenance and tune-ups compared to basic models
- May have increased fuel consumption due to higher airflow
- Higher purchase price compared to basic blowers
- Only suitable for blowing leaves, debris; not optimized for vacuuming
- Limited to 13 to 20 inch extension tube lengths
3. BLACK+DECKER LB700 – Best Budget Leaf Blower
For those on a budget, the BLACK+DECKER LB700 is a great option. Despite its low price, it doesn't compromise on performance. This electric leaf blower has a 7-amp motor that provides a maximum air speed of 180 MPH and an air volume of 180 CFM.
The LB700 is lightweight at just 4.4 lbs, making it easy to use for extended periods. It also features a built-in cord retention system to prevent annoying cord disconnections during use. The only downside is that you'll be limited by the length of your extension cord, but for small yards, this blower is perfect.
- Lightweight at only 6.2 lbs.
- Cordless design with rechargeable battery for mobility
- Included accessories for leaf blowing and vacuuming
- Whisper Series for reduced noise
- 2-in-1 design for leaf blowing and vacuuming
- Easy start, no gas or oil required
- Limited power at only 110 mph and 125 CFM
- Short 25-minute runtime on a charge
- Battery takes 3-5 hours to fully recharge
- Not suitable for heavy-duty landscaping work
- Only works with BLACK+DECKER battery system
4. Makita XBU02PT1 – Best Performance
The Makita XBU02PT1 is a cordless leaf blower that offers superior performance. It is powered by two 18V LXT batteries for longer run time and features a BL Brushless motor that delivers up to 120 MPH air velocity and 473 CFM of air volume.
One standout feature of the XBU02PT1 is its noise level. At only 61 dB(A), it is one of the quietest blowers on the market, making it ideal for use in noise-sensitive environments. It also features 6-stage air velocity/volume selection dial with variable speed control, providing more versatility for any task.
The Makita XBU02PT1 weighs 9.0 lbs with batteries and also features a dual port charger, making it a great option for larger yards and professional use.
- Powerful 1600W motor for strong airflow
- Cordless operation for mobility
- Variable speed trigger for adjusting airflow
- 4-in-1 design for multiple tasks
- Increase in recharge time with larger capacity batteries
- Louder operation than some battery blowers
- Short maximum runtime of 15-20 minutes on a charge
- Higher price compared to some gas blowers
- Increase in weight with larger capacity batteries
- Requires purchasing batteries and charger separately
5. WORX WG520 Turbine 600 – Best for Home Use
The WORX WG520 Turbine 600 is an electric leaf blower that provides a good balance of power, weight, and convenience. It features a turbine fan technology that delivers a high-capacity air volume of up to 600 CFM and air speed of up to 110 MPH.
The WG520 weighs 6.4 lbs and has an ergonomic design to reduce fatigue. It also features a Hyper-Stream air nozzle for extra tough conditions and variable speed control for versatility.
While the WORX WG520 may not have the power of a gas-powered blower, it is perfect for most homeowners due to its ease of use, lack of maintenance, and affordability.
- Cordless electric for mobility
- Turbine features for powerful airflow
- Brushless motor for increased durability
- Included extension tube and shoulder strap
- Lower durability compared to gas blowers
- 4-in-1 design for multiple uses
- Limited runtime of 20-30 minutes
- Takes 4-6 hours for battery to recharge
- Noisier operation than some blowers
- Lowest power option in WORX Turbine line
Choosing the best leaf blower comes down to understanding your needs and picking a model that suits those needs. Whether you need a power-packed gas blower like the Husqvarna 350BT, a versatile cordless blower like the Dewalt DCBL770X1 Flexvolt, or a budget-friendly option like the BLACK+DECKER LB700, there is an option for everyone in 2023.
Remember to consider factors such as power, weight, noise level, and maintenance requirements when making your decision. For instance, if you have a larger yard and don't mind a bit of noise and maintenance, a gas-powered blower like the Husqvarna 350BT may be the best choice. If you need a quiet, maintenance-free option for a smaller yard, an electric or cordless blower like the WORX WG520 or the Dewalt DCBL770X1 Flexvolt may be more suitable.
All the leaf blowers we reviewed here have their strengths and offer good value for money. They are all from trusted brands renowned for their quality and durability. Therefore, you can feel confident about any choice you make from this list. Happy leaf blowing in 2023!