Best Leaf Blowers of 2021

The top models you can buy right now for every size yard, plus a few to avoid

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leaf blower testing
CR test engineer Thomas Johnson assesses a leaf blower's ability to loosen embedded leaves.
CR

Fallen leaves are no match for a great leaf blower. Consumer Reports tests a cross-section of leaf blowers every year to find the best models.

Before you start shopping, nail down which configuration makes sense for your yard. Leaf blowers use either a gas engine or an electric motor to channel a large volume of air toward fallen leaves. Gas models can run indefinitely if you keep adding fuel, which makes them great for large properties with lots of trees. Battery and corded electric leaf blowers start instantly, require no engine maintenance, and are better for the planet.

But beyond the choice of gas or electric, leaf blowers also differ in how they are configured for the user. The majority are handheld, while some are mounted to a wearable backpack. Others are essentially huge, wheeled fans.

More on Leaves and Lawn Care

“Leaf blowers are one tool where you can really find great options in every configuration,” says Misha Kollontai, who oversees leaf blower testing for Consumer Reports.

We test leaf blowers in six configurations from major brands including Black+Decker, DeWalt, Echo, Ego, Greenworks, Husqvarna, Kobalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Stihl, Sun Joe, Toro, Troy-Bilt, and Worx.

Our leaf blower buying guide is a great place to zero in on the configuration that makes the most sense for you. Then, CR members can turn to our comprehensive leaf blower ratings. Or for a faster route to the right model, choose the type that fits your yard and read on for our top picks in each of six configurations, as well as a few models to avoid.

Regardless of the style you choose, you should know that with the exception of the cordless model below, every tool here either requires hearing protection or produces enough noise at the ear to make it a good idea.

Handheld Blowers

Handheld leaf blowers are best for smaller properties without a ton of leafy trees. Power comes from a cord, battery, or gasoline engine.

Gas models go anywhere, but they’re the noisiest type, can be harder to start, and require mixing fuel and oil. Battery-powered handhelds also travel anywhere—and clear leaves as well as gas-powered blowers—but run time is limited to the life of the battery, unless you have an extra unit on hand and fully charged. Plug-in electrics run indefinitely, but range is limited by the length of your extension cord—most owners’ manuals recommend a cord no longer than 100 feet. We’ve selected the best in class for each of these configurations.

Best Corded Electric Handheld Leaf Blower

Best Battery-Powered Electric Handheld Leaf Blower

Best Gasoline Handheld Leaf Blower

Backpack Leaf Blowers

Backpack leaf blowers are better for larger properties with more trees, including those with hilly yards. Because the motor or engine is mounted to a pack, you don’t feel the weight in your arm, allowing you to clear leaves longer without your arm growing tired. Most are powered by gasoline and are quite noisy, but two models we’ve tested run on large batteries and clear as well as gas models.

Best Gasoline Backpack Leaf Blower

Best Electric Battery Backpack Leaf Blower

Wheeled Leaf Blowers

Designed for folks with enormous, mostly level yards, wheeled blowers are exclusively powered by gasoline. They clear faster than any other type of blower but lack the control of smaller machines, so they’re best for people looking to blow leaves off their lawn and into woods surrounding their property, rather than into a tidy pile. They’re best reserved for flat parcels because they’re heavy and can be difficult to maneuver up or down a hill.

Best Wheeled Leaf Blower

Worst Leaf Blowers

Most of the backpack and wheeled blowers we test fare well enough to get the job done. But we see big differences in handheld models, regardless of power source. Here are the two lowest scorers in our ratings.


Paul Hope

As a classically trained chef and an enthusiastic DIYer, I've always valued having the best tool for a job—whether the task at hand is dicing onions for mirepoix or hanging drywall. When I'm not writing about home products, I can be found putting them to the test, often with help from my two young children, in the 1860s townhouse I'm restoring in my free time.