Best Leaf Blower Buying Guide

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If you are in the market for a new leaf blower this year, you may have noticed that there is a huge selection to choose from. There are hundreds of brands various models at a range of different prices. So how do you know which blower is suitable for you? There are several factors to consider, and below, we have provided a buying guide to help you pick out the best leaf blower for your lawn and landscape needs.

Types of Leaf Blowers

This is one of the most important factors when purchasing a leaf blower. There are four main types of leaf blowers: electric handheld, gas handheld, backpack, and walk behind. Let’s take a look at what the differences are between each one:

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Electric Handheld

This type of blower is either powered by plugging it in and using an extension cord or rechargeable battery-powered leaf blowers. These blowers are usually the lightest in weight, normally weighing under 7 pounds. They are intended for homeowner use on small to medium-sized lawns. Many of them now include vacuum attachments, making them a blower / vac combo. One of the main advantages of using these blowers is that you do not have to store gas and/or oil at your home. They also do not require much maintenance. Ease of use, low price, and environment-friendly are other reasons homeowners choose electric blowers. On the downside, these blowers are limited either by the extension cord’s length or battery life. They also normally aren’t as powerful as gas powered blowers, although there are exceptions.

Gas Handheld

These leaf blowers are similar to electric, except that they run on gas and cost a little bit more. More often than not, these leaf blowers have 2-cycle engines, so a gas/oil mix is required. They are usually more powerful than electric blowers, but not always. The average weight of a gas handheld blower is a little bit heavier, weighing 7-12 pounds. Although you don’t have to worry about carrying around an extension cord or a battery running out, these blowers do require more maintenance.

Best Leaf Blower Buying Guide
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Backpack Leaf Bower

Most professional lawn and landscape companies use backpack blowers for mowing lawns and leaf cleanups. They are more powerful than handheld leaf blowers and are built to be used for several hours at a time. These blowers are a good choice for people who have large lawns with many trees or lawn professionals. Using a backpack blower is more physically demanding than a handheld. They weigh more and are also noisier. A backpack blower is usually two to three times the price of a handheld, but it is worth it due to the power these blowers supply. Backpack blowers are gas powered, usually with 2-cycle engines.

Walk-Behind

This is the least common type of leaf blower for many reasons. For starters, it’s by far the most expensive, costing anywhere from $500 to $1000. But they are also the most powerful leaf blower. Most walk behind leaf blowers weighs over 100 pounds, so they are not easy to maneuver, especially on hills. These blowers are gas powered and intended for commercial use.

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Leaf Blower Brands

Whatever your favorite power tool brand is, there’s a good chance that they also make a leaf blower. There are several brands to choose from, but it’s a good idea to stick with brands that have worked well for you in the past. Also, suppose you own rechargeable power tools. In that case, a lot of the companies like Black & Decker and Makita make rechargeable battery-powered blowers so you can use the same batteries, which will save you money. Other top blower-producing companies include my personal favorite, Stihl, who offers commercial-grade handheld and backpack blowers. They have just recently added battery powered units to their impressive line of lawn tools. Echo is another brand that produces a line of “high-end” blowers that can be purchased at Home Depot. Toro is one of the leading brands of leaf blowers. You can find their units in several different hardware and retail stores.

Best Leaf Blower Buying Guide
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Leaf Blower Price

Another important decision is how much you want to spend on a leaf blower. Since prices start at under $20 for a leaf blower and extend to over $1000, there is a lot of ground to work with. Use your best judgment, evaluate your situation, and read leaf blower reviews to help form your decision. If you have a small lawn with not many trees, there is no reason to spend several hundred dollars on a leaf blower. An electric, handheld blower that costs under $100 will likely work well for that situation. On the contrary, if you have a large lawn with big trees that lose a lot of leaves in the fall, you might want to consider a professional-grade backpack blower that will usually cost $200 or more.

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One common mistake I see homeowners make often is trying to save a little extra money and settling on an inferior piece of equipment. I recommend spending a little more on a good blower that works well and will last several seasons. It might cost you more money upfront but most likely will save you some in the long run. You also won’t have to deal with frustrating breakdowns that are bound to happen.

Where To Buy

You can find leaf blowers available for sale at various stores, both online and off. Major hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot carry a nice selection. Local small lawnmower dealers also carry them. These stores will usually carry both homeowner and commercial grade leaf blowers. You can find them online at major retail stores like Wal-Mart, Sears, and Target. I have found the best selection and lowest prices at Amazon.com. In addition, you can usually get free shipping included with your purchase.

Over the years, I’ve bought several used leaf blowers and have been please with the results. This comes with more risk than buying new. There is a chance that something can go wrong, and you don’t have a warranty to cover the purchase. But if you know where to look and are careful when you buy, there are some great deals. Craigslist is my favorite place to find good, used lawn equipment. I’ve also had good luck at garage sales and local pawn shops. Another place I’ve found quality used equipment for sale is at lawn forums.

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Other Factors To Consider

There are a couple of other factors to consider before purchasing your leaf blower. You will want to keep the environment in mind when selecting a leaf blower. Select a blower that limits the amount of harmful toxic fumes released into the air. If you are a resident of California, make sure the unit you purchase is CARB-compliant. Noise level is another thing to consider. More communities are adopting noise ordinances. You can check if your city has any noise laws on its official website.

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