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Quietest leaf blowers and mowers

The Quietest Leaf Blowers and Outdoor Power Gear

Electric and battery-powered tools that cut down on noise without skimping on performance

It’s 8 o’clock on Saturday morning. Your list of yard chores—much like the invasive trumpet vine strangling your fence posts—has grown steadily all week. Do you dare fire up the leaf blower and risk the wrath of still-slumbering neighbors?

It’s a dilemma as old as outdoor power equipment itself, and one that OPE makers have been working to solve. "The noise generated by outdoor power equipment can pose a risk to the user's hearing, but it can also drive your neighbors crazy," says John Galeotafiore, who oversees CR's testing of outdoor power gear. "That's why we measure decibels at the ear for all tools, and we also measure sound at a distance, to see what a mower or leaf blower might sound like from your neighbor's house."

Fortunately, Consumer Reports has found that in recent years, the performance of electric and battery-powered lawn gear—which is significantly quieter than gas-powered lawn equipment—has been improving. 

Keep in mind that battery-powered lawn equipment has a limited runtime before it needs to be recharged, so it's best for small yards. And not all battery-powered tools are quiet. Perform a midday test run before you risk waking the neighborhood with early-morning mowing.

How We Test for Noise

In our evaluations of leaf blowers, string trimmers, chain saws, lawn mowers, and pressure washers, we measure sound pressure at the ear, in decibels. For many of these product categories, we also measure loudness at 25 or 50 feet. The latter roughly represents the distance from a property line to the middle of the house next door, if it’s on a 100 x 100-foot lot.

Whether you’re mowing for the final time this season, clearing your yard of fallen leaves, or even cutting wood for a winter fire, using any of these quieter machines from our tests will allow you to start earlier in the day, so you can get your work done and avoid angering the neighbors.

Most manufacturers of electric outdoor power equipment make many of the tools listed above, and we test models from EGO, Black+Decker, Stihl, Worx, Toro, NorthStar, and GreenWorks.

Read on for our list of the quietest outdoor power equipment.

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We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.

Quietest Outdoor Power Equipment

Quietest Leaf Blowers
Battery Handheld Leaf Blower
EGO LB5302
Price:
$200
Overall score: 80
Rank: #1 of 14 battery handheld blowers
CR's Take: In our leaf blower tests, the EGO excelled at sweeping yard debris and loosening embedded leaves from grass. At distances of 50 feet, it’s exceptionally quiet. And at just 8 pounds, it’s among the lightest battery-powered models we’ve tested. But it lacks a vacuum function.

Corded Handheld Leaf Blower
Toro 51619
Price: $70
Overall score: 80
Rank: #2 of 15 corded handheld blowers
CR's Take: The Toro offers performance that rivals top gas models and includes a vacuum function that quickly churns leaves into fine mulch in a 3:1 ratio. That's a far cry from the promised 16:1 ratio, but still a strong result. Noise at a distance is kept to a minimum.

 

Quietest String Trimmers
Battery String Trimmer
EGO ST1505-S
Price: $180
Overall score: 80
Rank: #1 of 23 battery string trimmers
CR's Take: The EGO is the top battery-powered trimmer in our tests, excelling at trimming and edging, and boasting easy-to-change .095-inch dual cutting lines.

Corded String Trimmer
Black+Decker GH3000
Price: $70
Overall score: 72
Rank: #1 of 6 corded string trimmers
CR's Take: The Black+Decker is our top choice for corded trimmers and features a single .080-inch trimmer line that’s less aggressive but well suited for small jobs.


 

Quietest Push Mowers
Battery Push Mowers
EGO LM2101
Price:
$500
Overall score: 67
Rank: #1 of 15 battery push mowers 
CR's Take: The EGO earned top marks for ease of use and handling, and provided even, uniform cuts. It can bag clippings or spread them across the yard via a side discharge chute. But it’s twice the price of our top gas pick, the Cub Cadet SC100 11A-A92J, $250.

Black+Decker CM 2040
Price: $350
Overall score: 57
Rank: #7 of 15 battery push mowers
CR's Take: The battery-powered Black+Decker sells for $150 less than the EGO and delivers commendable performance without the roar of a gas engine.

 

Quietest Chain Saws
Battery Chain Saw
EGO CS1401
Price:
$300
Overall score: 76
Rank: #1 of 5 battery chain saws
CR's Take: Despite its small size, the battery-powered EGO made quick cuts through 10-inch square oak beams in our chain saw tests. But it’s limited by a short 14-inch bar, typical of battery-powered saws but shorter than the 16- to 20-inch bars found on most gas models. It’s easy to use with a tool-less bar adjuster and has ample safety features, including a chain brake.

Corded Chain Saw
Worx WG304.1
Price: $130
Overall score: 66
Rank: #3 of 10 corded chain saws
CR's Take: If you have access to electricity outside, the Worx is a solid performer at a great price, with an 18-inch bar that helps tackle larger limbs.




Quietest Pressure Washers
Corded Pressure Washers
NorthStar 573021
Price: $850
Overall score: 73
Rank: #1 of 240-volt electric pressure washers (only model tested)
CR's Take: For performance that rivals the best gas pressure washers, our pressure washer tests revealed that only the pricey NorthStar comes close. A flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute helps it generate 3,000 psi of pressure, making it a standout at removing stains. But it requires access to a 240-volt outlet, which many folks don’t have outdoors or even in a garage.

GreenWorks GPW1951
Price: $190
Overall score: 62
Rank: #2 of 14 120-volt electric pressure washers
CR's Take: For small jobs, the GreenWorks has a lower flow rate of 1.2 gallons per minute and generates 1,950 psi—enough for removing stains well. It’s particularly quiet and plugs into a standard outlet.


68
Leaf blowers in Our Ratings.
Current Leaf blower Ratings