The best leaf blowers

  • A quality leaf blower is essential for maximizing yard work productivity, allowing you to quickly clear fallen leaves and get a variety of cleanup tasks done with minimal effort.
  • After extensive testing and research, we found the Toro 51621 UltraPlus to be the best leaf blower you can buy, thanks to its multi-functional design and eco-friendly operation.

Instead of using a rake or broom to sweep up your yard or driveway, a leaf blower gets the same job done in a fraction of the time. Leaf blowers, or simply "blowers," use concentrated air streams to move leaves, grass clippings, or other lawn debris.  And, since they require minimal effort to operate, allow you to save your energy for more productive activities.

The two most common types of leaf blowers are handheld and backpack models. Additionally, leaf blowers are powered by either gas or electricity. For the latter, an electric leaf blower is either plugged in (corded) or runs on a battery (cordless). They all have their advantages and disadvantages, as well as environmental and health impacts that you need to be aware of. For a full breakdown of the difference between these types of leaf blowers and how to know which is best for your needs, jump to the bottom of this guide.

In addition to being a longtime owner of a leaf blower, I also have extensive experience working in the professional landscaping world. I have been a member of a large crew of residential landscapers, as well as the head groundskeeper of a large state park. Both of these jobs required a substantial amount of leaf-blower work, and I used a range of types and brands over the years.

I used this experience — along with additional research and testing — to pick the five best leaf blower options you can buy, making sure to include a variety of price, style, and fuel type. I have personally tested the models listed below, whether they were my own personal machines or equipment that I was able to borrow from friends, family, or local landscapers that I've worked with. Lastly, these recommendations have been made with both environment and health in mind.

So whether you're looking for the portability to wrangle acres of leaves, the power to dislodge wet debris piles, or just some help clearing off the patio once in a while, you should find an option for you.

Here are the best leaf blowers:

  • Best overall: Toro 51621 UltraPlus
  • Best on a budget: Worx WG520 Turbine
  • Best light-duty: Greenworks 24V
  • Best for portability: Echo PB-2520
  • Best for large properties: Husqvarna 350BT

Updated 10/22/20. We updated prices, links, and formatting.

The best leaf blower overall

The versatile Toro 51621 UltraPlus packs a blower, vacuum, and leaf mulcher into one ultra-functional tool.

In my experience, the more bells and whistles a product advertises, the less effective its primary function ends up being. Luckily, this is not the case with the corded Toro 51621 UltraPlus. Even with the addition of a powerful vacuum and mulcher, the Toro 51621 UltraPlus is still a lightweight and impressive leaf blower, capable of generating air flows of 250 miles per hour (mph).

The power of the Toro 51621 UltraPlus's vacuum was a major reason it was chosen as the overall pick. Its 12-amp motor sucks in leaves and debris at an impressive 410 cubic feet per minute (CFM, the volume of air that's released), and then reducing them by 88% with a metal impeller. By using metal instead of plastic like other models, the impeller blades will stay sharper longer. This durability puts less stress on the motor, maximizing efficiency and extending its lifespan. The Toro also only produces 68 decibels of noise — about the same as a vacuum cleaner — which is something your neighbors are sure to appreciate.

Switching between functions does require removing the narrow blower tube and attaching the wider vacuum tube, but it's a fairly simple process. A convenient zippered vacuum bag keeps your mulched debris contained until you're ready to dispose of it, eliminating that awkward step of scooping a leaf pile into a trash bag.

One of the best characteristics of the Toro 51621 UltraPlus, aside from its functionality, is how environmentally friendly it is. Its corded power source results in zero emissions, and the mulched leaves can be used as fertilizer for your garden or compost bin, releasing valuable minerals as they decompose.

Vacuum blowers like the Toro 51621 UltraPlus really come in handy for properties that have bushes, fences, or landscaping rocks. Leaves tend to get trapped against these obstacles, and standard blowers have trouble getting them out. With a vacuum blower, you can simply walk around and suck up these troublemakers, then get back to blowing the rest of the yard. I love using vacuum blowers for tidying up my deck, instead of just blasting leaves onto the yard below.

Pros: Oversized handle allows for a variety of grip positions, built-in cord lock, storage bag for accessories and attachments

Cons: Relatively loud, wet leaves can clog machine, not as portable (must be plugged in)

The best leaf blower on a budget

Rest assured, the only thing "cheap" about the Worx WG520 is its price tag. From its high-tech motor to its durable construction, this machine performs just as well as the big boys.

If you don't have the budget for a high-end machine, the low-priced Worx WG520 has you covered, delivering jet-turbine power in a small package.

The Worx WG520 is an exceptionally powerful machine. Its turbine fan is capable of blasting air at 600 CFM, and extra-wide nozzle allows you to clear larger areas more efficiently.

You would assume that so much power would make a such a compact machine difficult to control, but I was able to maneuver the Worx WG520 without issue. It's 7.2 pounds, which makes one-handed operation pleasant and comfortable, and a thumb-wheel control lets you adjust the output level as you work. The Worx WG520 also includes a nozzle attachment that creates a narrower airstream, if you prefer more focused power.

The compact size of the Worx WG520 also makes it convenient to store when not in use. A handy little keyhole cutout on the bottom makes it easy to hang up on a nail or hook in your garage or tool shed. By freeing up valuable shelf or floor space, this makes the Worx WG520 ideal for users who don't have the room for larger models.

The impressive power and unlimited runtime of the Worx WG520 do come at the price of portability, however. Unlike gas or battery-powered blowers that you can bring anywhere, the Worx WG520 needs to be plugged into a wall socket at all times. When running high, it can also produce up to 82-decibels of noise, so ear protection would be recommended.

That said, if you're working in a relatively small area, and don't want to mess around with storing and mixing fuel, it's a great option.

Pros: Compact size, additional nozzle options, very affordable

Cons: Extension cord must be purchased separately, not ideal for large properties

The best light-duty leaf blower

If you're tired of handling messy fuel mixes or wrangling extension cords, the push-button start of the Greenworks 24V might be just what you're looking for.

Powered by a 24-volt lithium-ion battery, the Greenworks 24V is a great option for those who don't require the raw power of gas-powered models, but still want the freedom to roam around untethered.

Capable of generating 330 CFM, the Greenworks 24V is great for smaller maintenance jobs like clearing leaves from your patio, air drying a newly-washed car, or blasting grass clippings off the driveway. In fact, even though it doesn't have the power of my gas-powered blower, I find myself using the Greenworks 24V more often, simply because of its hassle-free startup.

Weighing about as much as a toaster, the 3.3-pound Greenworks 24V requires minimal effort to maneuver, and a variable speed trigger makes it easy to adjust the air speed. I've personally used this blower while wearing a suit and tie, with no concern about breaking a sweat.

Like most battery-powered models, the runtime of the Greenworks 24V is relatively short. A fully charged battery will last about 30 minutes, so it wouldn't be ideal for larger properties. That being said, battery runtime is less of a concern if you already own other Greenworks power tools. Since their power equipment uses the same battery type, you benefit from having several batteries to keep popping in as you go.

A notable downside that you should consider is that the Greenworks 24V is very loud, at 96.3 decibels. 

But, if you're interested in ditching your gas-guzzling tools for good, Greenworks is a great brand to go with. I've used their lawnmowers, chainsaws, and weedwhackers and been impressed with them all.

Pros: Battery motor starts up instantly, ultra-lightweight, low price

Cons: Limited runtime, not powerful enough for heavy-duty use, noisy

The best for portability

By combining a powerful engine with a lightweight body, the gas-powered Echo PB-2520 gives you the ability to tackle projects regardless of distance.

Without having to worry about extension cords or limited battery life, the Echo PB-2520 is well-suited for jobs that require maximum portability, like clearing remote areas or working on properties that don't have accessible power outlets.

The first thing that caught my attention when testing the Echo PB-2520 was just how light it was. At only 8.6 pounds, this tool is comfortable to carry and requires minimal effort to maneuver around the yard. I have found that this kind of portability really comes in handy if you need to climb a fence or hop over a puddle.

In itself, this low weight isn't that special, but the fact that the Echo PB-2520 can generate the power that it does – and at such a low price – is what really separates it from the rest of the pack.

Its CARB-compliant (California Air Resources Board) 25.4cc two-stroke engine generates up to 453 CFM and can hit a max speed of 165 mph. This is plenty of power to handle the majority of blower tasks, covering light-duty cleanups as well as large-scale projects. It also produces 70-decibels of noise, which is relatively low for a gas-powered model.

Operating the Echo PB-2520 is simple and straightforward, with a nice big throttle trigger to adjust the engine speed. A convenient cruise-control lever on top of the handle lets you lock-in a preferred setting.

Echo blowers have a reputation for starting up easily, and the Echo PB-2520 is no different. If you're familiar with priming and starting a two-stroke engine, you'll be fine; if you're not, you can figure it out pretty quickly. I will say that Echos tend to want a minute or two to warm up after starting, so keep that in mind.

There really aren't many performance drawbacks to the Echo PB-2520, but — just like any gas-powered model — you'll have to deal with a gas/oil mixture to fuel it. This process can get a little messy if you're not careful, but definitely worth it if your priority is portability and long-range use. It's not as loud as yesterday's leaf blowers, but it still pollutes. 

Pros: Five-year warranty, attachment points for a shoulder harness, curved tube increases control

Cons: Tends to need a minute or two to warm up after starting

Editor's note: Inventory for this model is going in and out of stock quickly. It is currently only available via third-party sellers on Amazon.

The best for large properties

The gas-powered Husqvarna 350BT is designed for power, comfort, and easy operation, making it great for tackling large-scale projects.

Even though the Husqvarna 350BT is considered a mid-size commercial model in terms of power, its smaller size and lower price point make it ideal for residential use. If you don't need hurricane-strength power, but still want the reliability and comfort needed to clear large yards and fields, the Husqvarna 350BT is a great choice

At 22.5 pounds, the Husqvarna 350BT weighs more than most handheld blowers but is still relatively lightweight for a backpack model. Its shoulder harness is designed to distribute the weight of the unit evenly across the shoulders and gives it a sturdy, balanced feel. What's nice about having a secure backpack is that it's easier to handle other tasks that require two hands; without having to worry about straps slipping around, you have full mobility to climb a ladder or clear brush out of the way.

The Husqvarna 350BT's ergonomic joystick is comfortable and simple to use, and a cruise control setting is great for those all-day jobs. In addition to being CARB-compliant, the 2.1-horsepower X-Torq engine reduces fuel consumption by 20%, which allows you to roam farther and longer before needing to refuel.

This fuel efficiency also results in 60% fewer exhaust emissions as well, making it much less harmful to the environment than other models. It is still the loudest option on our list though, capable of generating 104 decibels. To protect yourself from potential hearing damage, you'll need to purchase ear-protection to wear while operating the Husqvarna 350BT.

I've owned multiple Husqvarna products over the years, from blowers to chainsaws and snowblowers, and I am always impressed with their performance and reliability.

Pros: Great value, comfortable enough for extended use, long running time, more efficient than other gas blowers

Cons: Not as maneuverable as handheld blowers, not for left-handed users, very loud

Gas or electric? Corded or cordless?

Leaf blowers can use a variety of fuel sources, each with its pros and cons.

Gas-powered

The engines that run gas-powered leaf blowers have longer running times compared to battery-powered models, and their portability isn't hindered by power cords. The majority of gas-powered blowers have two-stroke engines that require a fuel/oil mixture, which can be messy and inconvenient to prep. While some gas-powered blowers today are now quieter, more fuel-efficient, and emit fewer pollutants, they aren't the most environmentally friendly option.

Corded

Their portability may be limited, but with an unlimited supply of power from your home's wall socket, corded leaf blowers can run as long as you like. These models are typically more powerful than most others, and with no heavy batteries or engines, they're lightweight as well. But, just because they run on electricity, it doesn't mean they're any less loud than some gas-powered options.

Battery

As batteries have become more powerful and less bulky, cordless electric leaf blowers have become more commonplace. Without an engine, these machines are much easier to maintain than their gas-powered competitors and produce zero emissions. They tend to have a much shorter runtime, however, making them ideal for short, infrequent use. 

Handheld blowers versus backpack models

Handheld blowers

Handheld variants are your typical leaf blowers, usually designed with a handle on top and carried briefcase-style around the yard. If choosing a handheld model, make sure it's lightweight and is properly balanced.

Backpack blowers

A back model has the weight of the unit supported by your shoulders and back. They are comfortable to wear and thus can be used for hours without too much discomfort. These are best suited for large-scale jobs that have you on your feet for long periods of time.

Environmental and health issues

Environmental impact

Electric blowers, both corded and battery-powered, have the advantage of operating with none of the harmful emissions that gas-powered models do. If your needs can be met by an electric blower, there's really no need to choose a gas-powered option.

However, there are some instances where gas-powered blowers are still necessary. For large properties that require a long running time and unlimited range, or properties that lack available power outlets, gas-powered models are still the most effective solution.

To make mitigate the harmful effects of your gas-powered blower, always make sure they are rated as CARB-compliant. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulates outdoor landscaping emissions, and rates equipment as CARB-compliant only if their emissions fall below an acceptable level.

Hearing safety

Leaf blowers are notoriously loud machines, and regardless of their power source, they can generate enough noise to cause significant hearing loss over time.

The US Department of Health states that long-term hearing loss begins to occur when exposed to 85 dbA (A-weighted decibels). When operating machines above this limit, ear protection is required. Two of our picks, the Husqvarna 350BT and the Worx WG520 Turbine fall into this dbA range, so take that into consideration when choosing your blower.

See more great buying guides for your yard

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  • The best snow blowers
  • The best gardening and landscaping tools
  • The best lawn mowers

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