My house has a lot of leaves, and when I say a lot I mean: I have 13 trees, 9 of which are deciduous and fill my yard with leaves every fall. When my kids were still around I cleaned things up the old-fashioned way – I asked/made the kids do it. However, it took just one year of me doing it all by myself to realize I needed to purchase a good leaf blower to help speed things up. Now that I’ve gone through a few different models, I’d like to share some advice for those looking to purchase the best leaf blower for the first time (I’d also recommend reading my article on which machine I believe is the all-around best leaf blower).
Decide Which Type of Lawn Blower You Need
Which type of blower you purchase will depend on how much power you need, local laws and regulations, and of course budget. There are three main types of leaf blowers:
- Handheld electric – These are great for the average person. They provide good blowing power (on par and sometimes even better than handheld gas models), are quieter than other kinds, and are also less expensive. For the vast majority of people they will be very well suited with an electric leaf blower. The downside is mainly the cord. If your lawn is larger than about 100 ft then you will need an electric cord, which can be a hassle if you have bushes or shrubs to work around.
- Handheld gas-powered – The obvious advantage to gas powered blowers is the fact that you don’t have a cord to pull around. However, they are a little more tricky to use, you have to add a gas/oil mixture to most of them, and they are louder than electric models. Also, they are banned in more local municipalities due to the increased air and noise pollution.
- Backpack gas-powered – These are the ‘industrial’ models that are, quite simply, amazing. They are more powerful than handheld models, don’t have cords, and are more easy to use since you literally wear them like a backpack. However, backpack blowers are even louder than their handheld counterparts which can be damaging to your ears and also increases the chance that they are/will be banned by your city. Typically, you see backpack lawn blowers being used by the larger lawn servicing companies.
My personal preference and recommendation for the average home owner is to purchase a good handheld electric leaf blower. Yes you will have to struggle a little bit with the cord, but given that you get the same power as the handheld gas models, pollute less (air and noise), and don’t have to worry as much when it comes to the local ordinances, the electric models are typically the best way to go.