Best and Worst Leaf Blowers From Consumer Reports' Tests

Top models from CR's ratings for every size yard

A gardener clearing a yard with a backpack leaf blower.
CR Test engineers assess a leaf blower's ability to loosen embedded leaves.

Fallen leaves are no match for a great leaf blower. And Consumer Reports has tested dozens to find the best models. But that’s only half the battle.

First, you have to 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. They differ in how the blower is configured for the user. The majority are handheld, some are mounted to a wearable backpack, and others are essentially huge, wheeled fans. 

More on Fall Lawn Care

We test leaf blowers in six configurations from all the major brands, including Black+Decker, DeWalt, Echo, Ego, Hitachi, Husqvarna, Jonsered, Kobalt, Makita, Remington, Ryobi, Stihl, Toro, Troy-Bilt, and Worx.  

“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.

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, read on for our top picks in each of six configurations, as well as a sampling of models to avoid.

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 runtime 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

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Best Battery-Powered Electric Handheld Leaf Blower

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Best Gasoline Handheld Leaf Blower

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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 quite noisy, but two models we’ve tested run on large batteries and clear as well as gas.

Best Gasoline Backpack Leaf Blower

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Best Electric Battery Backpack Leaf Blower

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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

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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 three lowest-scorers in our ratings.

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Craftsman 74936

Price: $80

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Worx WG509

Price: $100

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Homelite UT26HBV

Price: $100

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