What’s the best backpack blower for you? We’ve selected several backpack blowers that we feel give you the best value for your money. But beyond that, we discuss the different type of leaf blowers and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Ultimately, we want to help you make a smart buying decision because, well, let’s be honest, backpack blowers are expensive, but if you make the right choice it will be money well spent.
The best backpack blower for you is different than what your neighbor or friend needs. It’s important to understand your requirements before you can choose the right leaf blower. We hope you find this buying guide helpful.
The Practical Side of Leaf Blowers
Can you remember it like it was only yesterday? You had worked hard all week at school, but your dad would still suddenly burst into your bedroom early on a Saturday morning letting you know there was work to do. He was obviously bigger and more powerful than you, so guess who was going to be the one doing it? It almost felt like you were going to war, and to make it feel even more like a battle you were handed two special weapons. In one hand you would have a garden rake, and in the other would be a large trash bag.
Video | DEWALT DCBL590X1 | 40V Battery Powered Backpack Blower
We’ll discuss the DEWALT DCBL590X1 throughout the article. It’s a wonderful piece of technology.
What Is A Leaf Blower Used For?
Now the simple garden rake has been replaced, because technology has taken over ever area of your home in a big way. You don’t want your kids to go out and clean up the garden, otherwise you’ll miss out on all the fun. A leaf blower is essentially a powerful tool with the sole purpose of propelling air out of a nozzle. It allows you to build up piles of leaves and grass cuttings without putting in a fraction of the effort you were required to put in when you were a child.
What’s A Backpack Leaf Blower?
As you can imagine, they’ve come out with many different versions of the leaf blower during the years. The best backpack blower is better than them all for various reasons, but they all have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s for this reason we’re going to compare the main models against each other, but before we do it would be easier if you knew exactly what a backpack blower is to avoid any confusion.
Later in the article we’re going to dig into the ins and outs of backpack blowers, so let’s keep the initial explanation as simple as possible. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what they are, because the name gives everything away. It’s essentially a leaf blower where the main unit sits on you in the exact same way a backpack would, and you even have straps sitting over your shoulders meaning they’re comfortable to wear. You’re left with a handheld wand where all the magic happens as the air thunders out.
We’re going to compare the best backpack blower to 3 different models you can opt for if you think they sound better:
- Handheld Left Blower
- Combo Leaf Blower
- Walk Behind Leaf Blower
Handheld Leaf Blowers
It’s now obvious the name of the leaf blowers give their identity away, but what would make something like the Hitachi RB24EAP handheld leaf blower different from a backpack model? They still produce an impressive air velocity more than capable of handling leaves and grass in your back garden.
The only downside is your inability to use it unless you’re prepared to hold it in your hands the entire time. Maybe it’s not the best idea for anyone with a large garden and lots of trees, because even though the model we mentioned is very lightweight you only get a rest when you’re not holding it.
Features of the Hitachi RB24EAP:
- 8.6 lbs, well-balanced and easy to use.
- 23.9 cc, 1.13 hp commercial grade Pure Fire II low emission 2-stroke engine.
- Produces an impressive air velocity of 170 MPH (with taper nozzle) / 441CFM
- Large throttle lever for increased comfort.
- Industry leading 7-Year Consumer Warranty.
Combo Leaf Blower
For this example, we’ll use a Black & Decker BV5600 because it’s a quality piece of equipment. You should realize it’s not a combo leaf blower due to its physical appearance, but it’s more to do with what it can actually do. To be more specific, instead of only blowing leaves it can also vacuum and mulch them at the same time.
Perhaps it’s the perfect tool for anyone who doesn’t want to splash out money on too many power tools, but you’ll run into the same problem you do with the handheld leaf blower. You’ll need to hold all the weight in your hands, and a combo version will also be slightly heavier.
Features of the Black & Decker BV5600:
- 12 amp motor 3-in-1 blower, vacuum, and mulcher.
- Air speeds up to 250 MPH. Quiet at 68 dBa.
- Metal Fan prevents clogging when mulching (16:1 ratio).
- 2 Speeds: One for flower beds and additional power for compact leaves.
- Pivoting mechanism turbo nozzle loosens leaves and debris.
- Tool-free allows you to quickly switch between the vacuum and blower.
- Built-in cord retainer locks the extension cord in place.
View or download the MANUAL for the Black & Decker BV5600.
Walk Behind Leaf Blower
Now we’re moving onto the beast of leaf blowers. A walk-behind leaf blower works in a similar way to a lawn mower except instead of cutting your lawn it blows leaves and other debris, leaving a clean and tidy lawn. This particular leaf blower unit is suitable if you have a large yard where leaves are a constant problem. Ultimately, the benefit of purchasing a walk behind leaf blower is to save you time and and to keep your lawn lush. The cost is comparable to a backpack blower, it really depends on what makes the most sense for the yard you own.
Video | Watch the Southland SWB163150E in action
Remember, you can also use this for flat surfaces such as decks, driveways and pathways. If you have a lot of trees on your property then you’ll appreciate the extra blowing power and range of using a walk behind leaf blower.
But the name already gave it away again, right? You could easily turn out to dislike these because they sound harder to operate, but they do have their good points. For example, the Southland SWB163150E has up to 4 times more power than your average backpack blower, which could help someone with a back garden the size of a field. If you measure your yard in acres then you need a pull-behind leaf vacuum like the Agri-Fab 55249 Chip-N-Vac which can also be hooked up to a zero-turn tractor mower.
To clear a large area you’ll need a pull-behind leaf vacuum.
Features of the Southland SWB163150E:
- Manual recoil start.
- 1200 CFM air volume / 150 MPH air speed.
- 3-4x more power than backpack blowers.
- Balanced fan for reduced vibration / Tapered crankshaft
- Adjustable chute wind vane / 12″ rear wheels
- 2 year limited warranty / EPA certified
Advantages & Disadvantages | Backpack Blowers
The best backpack blower is the king of leaf blowers, as I’m sure you’re about to find out. But like any other piece of technological equipment, it comes with its advantages and disadvantages. We’re going to brush through them right now, and as we do you might find one of the other kinds of leaf blower we’ve already mentioned will work out better for you.
- It’s Comfortable To Use
- Minimal Fatigue
- They’re Generally More Powerful
- Fast Yard Cleaning
- You Will Have More Freedom
It’s Comfortable To Use
Holding something in your hand isn’t fun when we’re talking power tools, especially when there are alternatives available. If someone told you they were wearing the best backpack blower you would assume it had shoulder straps, otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a backpack. But some also come with hip belts and load-reducing harnesses meaning they’re even more comfortable, especially when those features are built from ventilated materials too. This becomes even more of an advantage if you live in a particularly leafy area and you’ll need to use the blower more often.
It doesn’t matter how lightweight a handheld leaf blower is, because it’s always going to leave you fatigued. You should also remember even when you see the word ‘handheld’ it doesn’t automatically mean it’s much lighter. At around 20 pounds, a backpack blower could possibly be double the weight of a handheld leaf blower, but those extra 10 pounds of weight don’t make any difference in the grand scheme of things. It’s even more true because of load-reducing harnesses and shoulder straps, which will easily eliminate an extra 10 pounds completely.
They’re Generally More Powerful
If you were to compare the best backpack blower with the best handheld blower, guess which one would win? There would obviously only be one winner, so if all other things are equal the backpack blower would come out on top. It means they’re generally more powerful, which will help if you have lots of grass and leaves to move around. This obviously doesn’t ring true when we’re talking about walk behind leaf blowers, which are always going to be more powerful but they’ll appeal to different buyers.
Please note: When companies are bragging about their backpack blowers you’ll hear them talking about a couple of things related to power which are:
- MPH (Miles Per Hour)
- CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)
You don’t need to know much about them other than the fact they’re both important. For example, air could be coming out of a blower at 200 mph, but if the hole was half an inch thick it wouldn’t help you much. The cfm refers to the volume of air exiting the tube, but without speed it’s meaningless. Now you know what they both mean, and you should pay attention to both numbers on each backpack blower.
Fast Yard Cleaning
A little later on we’ll talk about the power of walk behind leaf blowers, but let’s focus on the other two for a minute. Even if they pushed out air at the same speed (mph), a backpack blower might have a CFM rating a few hundred more than its handheld rival. It means even if you didn’t take anything else into account, the backpack blower would help you finish your leaf cleaning tasks much quicker. The exact time would depend on the size of your yard and garden, but I’m sure everyone will appreciate that any extra free time they can muster up is a good thing.
You Will Have More Freedom
As a general rule of thumb, when you’re wearing a backpack blower you’ll be able to squeeze into any areas as long as it fits. Even though it might not seem like it, they’ll even give you more freedom than handheld blowers because of the backpack blower’s flexible tube. Freedom can also mean you won’t have to keep both hands on your blower at the same time, which will come in handy if you need an spare hand to do something. You won’t have to turn your handheld blower off until the task is done.
Disadvantages | Backpack Leaf Blower
- A Limit To What You Can Clear
- They’re Not Environmentally-Friendly
- It Will Be Heavier Than You Think
- Bad For Your Own Health
- No Good For Certain Physical Problems
NOTE: I should clarify that these disadvantages apply to gas backpack leaf blowers. It’s very rare to find a battery-powered backpack leaf blower on the market, but thankfully, in 2016, DEWALT released a 40V battery-powered backpack blower which is an exception to the rule. The DEWALT DCBL590X1 is covered later in the article, but you should know that it’s one of the best backpack blowers for your money due to it’s low noise levels and the fact that it doesn’t emit fumes. It’s an impressive tool which requires almost no maintenance. But I digress —
Let’s look at the disadvantages of gas backpack leaf blowers…
A Limit To What You Can Clear
So far we’ve only really talked about using your backpack blower to move leaves and grass cuttings, which makes sense because it’s what most people use them for. Just know there is a limit to the kinds of things you’ll be able to tackle. A walk behind blower might hit 3,000 cfm and will blast out air at speeds well over a couple of hundred miles per hour. It’s going to have no problem moving tree branches, soaking wet piles of leaves, and small rocks. Even the best backpack blower won’t come close to its intense power.
They’re Not Environmentally-Friendly
To be fair, it’s maybe wrong to list this as a disadvantage. A gas-powered backpack blower certainly isn’t environmentally-friendly and it’s going to release harmful emissions into the atmosphere, but so is every other power tool with a gasoline engine. If you really did want to do everything you could to save our planet you could use an electric-powered backpack blower, but it’s less powerful so would automatically qualify as its own disadvantage.
It Will Be Heavier Than You Think
We’ve already established a backpack blower will be roughly double the weight of a handheld model, but hold the press because it does get slightly more complicated. Not that it matters much, but the weight you see listed on Amazon won’t be the weight you’ll be carrying around on your back because of gas. Thankfully even a full tank of gas isn’t going to bump up the numbers by much, and an electric one won’t bump up the numbers at all. It’s just something you should be aware of when choosing one.
Bad For Your Own Health
Now you know the ramifications they have on the environment, but what about your own personal health? Toxic emissions don’t just magically bypass your mouth until before entering the atmosphere. You’re going to be breathing in all the same fumes, except the environment can handle them better than a human body. You might not be able to see all the debris they’re throwing up in the air which is even worse, and I was still in two minds whether or not to tell you they can sweep old animal feces into the air.
No Good For Certain Physical Problems
This isn’t likely to apply to you, otherwise I doubt you’d be searching for backpack blowers in the first place. Or it could just be you don’t know how physically demanding they can be, but if you have any health concerns even a light backpack blower hanging off your back could cause you problems. It might be better using a rake and broom because they’re so much lighter. But as we’ve already mentioned, it’s very unlikely this particular disadvantage will apply to you.
Best Backpack Blower Features To Consider
In a minute we’re going to look at some of the best backpack blower models you can purchase at the moment, but I’m sure you don’t want to explore the fine details of every single one. It’s much better clicking through and reading the Amazon reviews from past customers to get a better idea of how good they truly are. When we cover each backpack blower we’re only going to point out the best features of each one, so now we’ll look at a few of the top features you would generally look for when choosing one. Even the best backpack blower won’t have them all.
- Anti-Vibration System
- Reduced Noise levels
- Electric Vs Gas Blowers
You can easily imagine having an engine strapped to your back will cause a little bit of discomfort due to the vibrations, but an anti-vibration system will quickly put a stop to that. Once the harness you’re wearing is suddenly separated from the engine using metal springs, all the springs will take the vibrations away so it doesn’t feel like you’re a human jackhammer. It seems easy enough to design a backpack blower with an anti-vibration system, yet every model doesn’t have one. It might be worth your while to pick a model that does.
Reduced Noise Levels
It would be unfair to say backpack blowers are as noisy as they were a few years ago, and now they might be a lot quieter. Unfortunately as you’ll find out later on they’re still loud enough to warrant you wearing hearing protection if you value your ability to hear. Anything over 75 decibels is a lot for the human ear to handle, even if you can finish working in the garden 8 times quicker than if you were using a broom or rake. To stay on the safe side, a quieter backpack blower is always going to be more favorable unless the difference in decibels is negligible.
Electric Vs Gas Blowers
You do get electric backpack blowers even though gas-powered ones are a lot more prevalent, and they come with their own set of benefits a gas blower won’t afford you. An electric-powered model would only be a top feature you would look out for if you wanted one specifically, so let’s quickly look over some of their main benefits:
- Reduced Noise (Electric Backpack Blowers Are Even Quieter)
- They’re Much Lighter in Weight
- Surprisingly Easier To Maintain
- Easier For The Average Person To Use
- Much Better For The Environment
Best Backpack Blower | Guide
You have leaves piling up in your garden and money burning a hole in your pocket, so it’s now time to take a look at the best backpack blowers you can buy from 4 respectable brands. Let’s briefly look at the main benefits of each one, and when one brand has more than one model in their series we’ll look at the main differences between them.
- Up to 450 CFM of air volume at 142 MPH. Capable of clearing heavy debris.
- Uses a brushless motor which runs cooler and optimizes battery life.
- High capacity 40V MAX* 7.5Ah battery
- Consider a second battery to increase a 7.5 Ah working time.
- Battery switch to select which battery well to draw energy from or to lock off the tool
- Whisper quiet – 63 dB(A). Perfect for noise sensitive areas. Won’t bother neighbors.
- Variable trigger and speed lock gives you more control.
- Heavy-duty design will handle day-to-day usage.
- Part of the 40V MAX* system of Outdoor Power Equipment
Overview | DCBL590X1 / DCBL590X2
When DEWALT released their 40V Max line of cordless power tools it caused a big stir, and a backpack blower was one of the surprises. It’s very weird to see battery-powered backpack blowers, because they’re simply not powerful enough for everyone. DEWALT can still only hit 450 cfm and 140 mph, but it’s actually perfect for someone with a small garden in a residential area.
The leaf blower only reaches 63 dBA (decibels), so noise pollution isn’t something you need to concern yourself with. The 7.5 Ah battery will also last a long time, plus there is enough room on the blower to buy a separate one. This kind of blower is easy to control because it’s not wildly powerful, but also because the variable speed trigger and speed lock are useful.
Also available in a package set that comes with two 7.5 Ah batteries: DCBL590X2 A backpack leaf blower uses a lot of energy so if you have a large yard or you’re using this for work then you should seriously consider buying the bundle to save you a little money on batteries.
Documents for the DCBL590X1:
Specs (Dewalt 40V Backpack Leaf Blower) :
- Air Volume (cubic feet per minute) : 450 CFM
- Air Speed : 142 mph
- Decibel : 63 dBA
- Weight : 22.8 lbs.
Learn more on the DEWALT site.
Husqvarna Backpack Blower Series
Watch this Husqvarna video on the BT Backpack Series.
There are 4 particular models we’ll look at in the Husqvarna backpack blower series today, just so you can see the difference between them. The first 2 are residential models and the latter 2 are commercial models, but the one you choose would mostly depend on the size of your garden.
Husqvarna Backpack Blowers | Models :
- Residential — Husqvarna 130BT — 30cc
- Air flow in pipe : 374.34 cfm / Air speed : 145 mph
- Weight : 14.55 lbs
- Sound pressure level at operators ear : 91 dBa
- Residential — Husqvarna 150BT — 50.2cc
- Air flow in pipe : 434 cfm / Air speed: 251 mph
- Weight : 22.5 lbs
- Sound pressure level at operators ear : 85 dBa
- Commercial — Husqvarna 350BT — 50.2cc
- Air flow in pipe : 494.41 cfm / Air speed : 180 mph
- Weight : 22.5 lbs
- Sound pressure level at operators ear : 94 dBa
- Commercial — Husqvarna 560BTS — 65.6cc
- Air flow in pipe : 631 cfm / Air speed : 232 mph
- Weight : 23.15 lbs
- Sound pressure level at operators ear : 97 dBa
✓All of these models are CARB Compliant, which means they adhere to California’s strict emission laws.
Overview | Husqvarna Backpack Blowers
The CFM ranges from 450 to 900, and you’ll notice the mph ranges from 150 to 250. These figures will differ depending on the model, but it’s easy to see the Husqvarna 150BT is the most popular because it clearly gives you the most bang for your buck.
You can easily compare the power of each backpack blower, but I’d really like to show you why Husqvarna are so special (aside from the fact they’re all CARB compliant)
The X-Torq engines inside Husqvarna backpack blowers are superior to most others out there. They can reduce all the dangerous emissions you throw into the atmosphere by up to 60 percent, so they’re very good for the environment. They also increase your fuel efficiency by around 20 percent, so your money ends up going a lot further. The well-designed fan equals higher air flow and air speed than normal.
They can also purge all the excess air out of the fuel system and carburetor, so you’ll find even though they’re gas-powered they are still very easy to start. Something else we said you should look out for is any backpack blower with an anti-vibration system, and the Husqvarna series would definitely fall into this category because the vibration levels are very low. They do have a few separate features depending on the model, so you’ll need to study the ones you like the sound of.
Learn more about Husqvarna backpack blowers.
Makita Backpack Blower Series | BBX7600N / EB7650WH / Makita EB7650TH
Makita is another brand you should be familiar with if you know anything about tools, but in case you don’t they are one of the leading brands. They also have a couple of particularly amazing backpack leaf blowers you might be interested in.
- Makita BBX7600N | 75.6 cc | Air volume (526 CFM) — Air Speed (195 MPH)
- Makita EB7650WH MM4 | 75.6 cc | Air volume (670 CFM) — Air Speed (200 MPH)
- Hip Throttle
- Makita EB7650TH MM4 | 75.6 cc | Air volume (670 CFM) — Air Speed (200 MPH)
- Tube throttle
Overview | Makita Backpack Leaf Blowers
The EB7650WN model is a MM4 hip throttle backpack blower, whereas the BBX7600N model is a plain old MM4 backpack blower. To be honest, it’s purely down to personal preference where you like the throttle to sit. The EB7650WN model also has a slightly better anti-vibration system, perhaps because it has a higher cfm rating, but each backpack blower is more or less the same. They even have the same kind of engine, which is 75.6cc. The real reason they stand out so much is because of the time and effort Makita have invested into them.
Their 4-stroke engine is a hundred times better than the old 2-stroke engines they used when they were trying to single-handedly cause global warming. The new engines are much healthier for the environment. They’re both easy to maintain, they’re light, and maybe more surprising is the fact they only have a decibel rating of between 74 and 76 dBA thanks to the muffler. Makita have also tried to include everything to make them as easy and comfortable as possible for you to use, which comprises of varies things you can click through and read about.
Makita BBX7600N | Professional Backpack Leaf Blower
- Powerful and fuel efficient 75.6 cc. 4-stroke commercial duty engine
- Mechanical automatic engine decompression for quicker, easier starts
- Padded shoulder straps and back panel for improved operator comfort
- Compact design with less weight (22.6 lbs.) for easier operation in confined areas
- Oil filling port and drain plug are easily accessible for faster maintenance
- Large capacity air filter is replaceable and easily accessible for faster maintenance
- Soft grip for less vibration and cruise control lever for reduced operator fatigue
- Large capacity muffler ensures quieter operation 74 dB(A)
- Spark plug is easily accessible for faster maintenance
- High air volume (526 CFM) and air speed (195 MPH) for commercial-duty performance
Documents for the Makita BBX7600N :
Makita EB7650WH MM4 | Backpack Blower
- High Air Volume (670 CFM) and Air Speed (200 MPH) for Commercial Duty Performance
- Powerful fuel efficient 75.6 cc (3.8 HP) MM4 commercial duty engine
- Mechanical automatic engine decompression for quick and easy starts
- Hip throttle with cruise control and convenient on/off switch
- Shoulder straps engineered with multiple adjustments for improved fit
- Large capacity muffler ensures quieter operation (76 dBA)
- Padded shoulder straps retain their shape for easier re-shouldering
- Heavy duty anti-vibration mounts between frame and engine for improved operator comfort
- Tool-less handle adjustment for quick positioning of handle
- Adjustable tube easily adjusts to desired length
- Summer and winter operation adjustment for improved performance during winter conditions
- Padded back panel is ventilated for improved operator comfort
- Large grip positioned at optimum center of gravity for easier transport
- Large capacity air filter is replaceable and easily accessible
Video on Makita MM4 Backpack Blowers
Documents for the EB7650WH MM4 :
Visit the Makita site to learn more.
- Fully-tensioned multi-material suspension system distributes weight evenly and comfortably between shoulders and hips
- Backpack design and padded hip belt for reduced operator fatigue; fits the shape of your hips and reduces pressure points
- Ergonomic tube-mounted throttle lever for easy operation
- 72 dBA noise level
- Oil included in carton
- Powerful 32cc, 4-cycle engine eliminates the need to mix oil and gas
- 2-year limited warranty
Overview | Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC
Sadly this is also a single backpack blower, and unlike DEWALT it can’t stand behind its brand name to the same degree. I wouldn’t let that put you off, because it’s a surprisingly good leaf blower with plenty of helpful features.
Take the long flex tube, for example. It will allow you to glide around and underneath objects you wouldn’t be able to go near with certain backpack blowers. At 500 cfm and 150 mph you also can’t fault its power, even if it’s not the best backpack blower in the world.
There are 3 things in particular you’ll like about this leaf blower, if you don’t count the power and long flex tube we’ve already talked about:
- NO MIX OIL AND GAS Engine
- The Engine Is Easy To Start
- Extremely Comfortable Design
Video | Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC
NO MIX OIL AND GAS Engine
The NO MIX OIL AND GAS engine is exactly what it sounds like. The engine doesn’t need to mix oil and gas together. It’s a 32cc 4-stroke engine, and we’ve already mentioned it produces a lot of power.
The Engine Is Easy To Start
SpringAssist technology means you’ll be able to pull the cord a lot easier, but JumpStart technology goes one step further because to start the backpack blower you won’t need to pull the cord at all.
Extremely Comfortable Design
Even though the brand isn’t as well-known, they still put tons of effort into making it one of the best backpack blowers for comfort. A patented Coolflex harness for extra air flow, a padded hip belt, and a suspension system that distributes weight evenly all add up.
Visit the Troy-Bilt site.
Hearing Protection | Look After Your Ears
Although we take them for granted unless we know someone who is deaf, our ears are so important and we would struggle to get by without our ability to hear. It’s why every construction site requires you to wear professional hearing protectors when you’re on the job. There are far too many cases of people damaging their hearing because they thought they were too big and strong to protect their ears even though anything over 75 decibels is dangerous. Is this why people who use power tools at home don’t use ear protection?
In all likelihood, it’s probably because they don’t know the danger they’re in. Prolonged use of a backpack blower will damage your hearing, and it’s more a case of when rather than if. You can easily safeguard your hearing by wearing Husqvarna professional hearing protectors (Model : 5313000-89) even if you’re going to pick up the best backpack blower. They’re lightweight and affordable, but more importantly you’ll be able to hear your grand-kids laughing when you’re older.
Husqvarna Professional Hearing Protectors | 5313000-89
- Lightweight, Flexible Padded Headband.
- 25 dBa NRR Hearing Protectors For Use Without A Hard Hat.
- One size fits most.
The Best Backpack Blower For You
As you now know, there are many various backpack blowers and there is always something different about them. Not only are they manufactured by some massive brands, but each one has multiple models to suit all tastes. At the end of the day it’s a bit like buying a phone. Get one that has all the features you’re looking for, and if you can afford to upgrade it you can think of it as a bonus.
Considering how much you’re likely to pay, it would be in your best interests to click on all the models we’ve looked at to find more information about them. Sometimes it takes one or two paragraphs from a random customer review to figure out what will ultimately be the best backpack blower for you. At least you can’t be upset you don’t have a lot of fantastic choices to choose from.