Best Leaf Blowers of 2021
The top models you can buy right now for every size yard, plus a few to avoid
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.
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.