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Match Your Leaf Blower to Your Pile of Leaves

Different yards require different leaf blower sizes and styles, so here are Consumer Reports' picks in five sizes

The price range of the 60-plus leaf blowers in Consumer Reports' ratings stretches from $35 to $900. Even more dizzying than that spread are the wildly varying styles: A push model looks nothing like a handheld.

Where to begin?

"The size of your yard and the number of trees you've got should really drive your choice," says Dave Trezza, who oversees CR's leaf blower testing.

Each has its advantages and drawbacks:

• Corded electric models can be great, so long as your yard doesn't stretch more than 100 feet from the outdoor electrical outlet you'll be using—not a problem if you have a small swath of grass or a patio.
• Battery-powered blowers free you from the electrical outlet, but tend to run only 20 to 30 minutes between charges. That should be enough for up to about a quarter of an acre.
• Gas handheld models get around both of those limitations, and allow you to range free and far. But most rely on two-cycle engines, which require that you mix oil and gas at a certain ratio or buy premixed fuel from the home center, which can be expensive. They're also noisy.
• A backpack-mounted gas blower is comfortably portable and also won't restrict your range, making them the best choice for big and hilly lots.
• Wheeled gas blowers move leaves from large lots like nothing else, but their weight—some weigh over 100 pounds—makes them hard to maneuver on hills.

How We Test Leaf Blowers
CR's test engineers rope off a standardized swath of grass and dump bag upon bag of leaves inside the boundary. Backpack blowers and wheeled blowers get a larger area with more leaves since both are designed for larger yards and professional landscaping crews.

Some years we go through 2,500 pounds of leaves in the process. Since we can't rely on that quantity to fall on our Yonkers, N.Y., campus each autumn, we often start collecting and storing fallen foliage a year in advance of a test.  

We select a broad mix of the models you'll see at home centers and hardware stores, with tools from brands including Black+Decker, Echo, Ego, Hitatchi, Husqvarna, Jonsered, Ryobi, Stihl, Toro, and Worx.

Here you'll find reviews of five CR-rated leaf blowers, each one hand-picked by our experts for a different type of yard based on the size of the leaf pile it will produce.

For more information on shopping by blower type, check out CR's leaf blower buying guide.

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