Welcome to our guide to choosing the best gas leaf blower for your money. For homeowners leaf blowers are essential tools to keep your home clean and clear of debris. They’re fairly straightforward tools from an operational perspective but there are some key factors you should consider before deciding on which model to buy.
We cover a lot of ground here to help you make an intelligent buying decision. We hope you find this article helpful.
All of Those Pesky Leaves Have to Go!
It’s inevitable, if you have a yard or a business you’ll probably want the best gas leaf blower for your specific needs — and within your budget. As beautiful as the seasons are they also bring with them new challenges and with Autumn always comes falling leaves. Well, in truth, a leaf blower is used for so much more than simply cleaning leaves. Leaf blowers can rapidly remove leaves, dust, debris, spider webs, powdered snow and they can even dry your car after a wash.
We review some of the best gas leaf blowers available today, as well as discuss a wide range of topics that I think will help you make a smart buying decision.
Why Do You Need a Leaf Blower?
The yellowish-orange leaves shed by trees in autumn are truly beautiful to look at. They signal the arrival of a new season, and have been the inspiration for many poems. But while admiring this colorful new addition to your lawn, you realize that eventually you’ll have to get rid of it. Because unfortunately, the fallen leaves smother growing grass and prevent them from getting adequate sunlight exposure. This can leave your lawn with dying, yellow grass or even bare patches of soil come spring.
And a diseased lawn isn’t the only issue arising from trees shedding during the fall season. As old leaves tumble down onto the earth, wind blows them around so they get into everything. Your flower beds, garage, sheds, and even your car. Sometimes, a light drizzle will turn these fallen leaves into a slippery hazard on your porch and driveway.
►Cheap Gas Leaf Blower : SENIX BL4QL-L / 4-Cycle Engine
Now, you’re left with two choices — either spend the entire weekend raking heaps of dead leaves, or get a gas-powered leaf blower to take care of business within a fraction of the time. I know which option I’m going for. Because let’s be honest here, technology has made it much easier for us to do our gardening chores. I don’t want to waste my entire Sunday morning raking piles of dead leaves when I could be watching the game or spending time with family. I have plenty of work through the week, so I don’t need to worry about more on my free day. A gas-powered leaf blower is much, much faster than a rake. And it can get into spots where your rake simply won’t fit. Like flower beds. Plus, you can do wooden decks and stairs much more easily with a leaf blower. Try raking a deck, you’ll put some deep rake marks in that wood.
There are plenty of models to choose from when it comes to gas leaf blowers. There are handhelds, backpack blowers, and walk-behind blowers. Which one should you get? For the majority of people reading this article, it comes down to a choice between handheld and backpack blowers. Because these two are plenty powerful for small to medium-sized properties. And a good handheld or backpack model can even blow away wet leaves. Pay attention to the CFM and MPH ratings, these will give you an idea of how much blowing power you can get. Newtons is a much more direct and reliable metric of performance; it represents the amount of blowing force generated by your leaf blower. However, very few brands mention the blowing force in Newtons. That’s because CFM and MPH make for bigger numbers that look better on the box. In this regard, Husqvarna is one of the best leaf blower manufacturers because it states blowing force in Newtons.
Because gas-powered leaf blowers are available in three different flavors, let me give you a more in-depth view on what each type offers.
Handheld Leaf Blower :
The cheapest and lightest option, handheld leaf blowers are what the majority of homeowners prefer. These are extremely maneuverable and can fit into tight spaces where a walk-behind blower simply can’t reach. If you’ve got a small garden with delicate flower beds and furniture laying around, you want a handheld. It will fit into the gaps between flower plants and if you have a model with adjustable power, you can get rid of leaves without damaging the surrounding plants or mulch layer.
Got steps to climb? A handheld will go with you as you walk up and down the stairs. That’s why these little blowers are so good for clearing leaves and other debris from your porch or deck. And you can easily remove the tube to stow them away in a corner of the garage or shed, since the powerhead itself is no larger than a toaster.
Backpack Leaf Blower:
When you need more power to clear larger areas or heavy leaves, you go with a backpack blower. If your yard or lawn is medium to large-sized, a handheld will simply put too much strain on your shoulder and back. Backpack models distribute the weight much better, so you can walk around comfortably for an hour or longer. A well padded harness and vibration dampening springs take all the effort out of leaf blowing. Just point the hose at whatever you want to blow away, whether it be leaves or twigs, and the blower will take care of it.
Ergonomic Backpack Gas Leaf Blower | LawnMaster NPTBL31AB
Backpack blowers can generate more CFM and MPH than handhelds because of their larger impellers and more powerful engines. Despite their increased performance, they are still easy to store in a garage or shed and you can walk up steps or inclines with them.
Walk-Behind Leaf Blower :
Designed for landscaping crews and large estates, walk-behind leaf blowers are wheeled models that resemble snowblowers. These are the heaviest, most expensive, and most powerful leaf blowers you can purchase. For 99% of you reading this article, a wheeled unit is going to be extremely overkill. If you own a ranch or need to clear out the leaves at a parking lot, one of these is what you need. Keep in mind, they aren’t suitable for gardens and small lawns. Because it’s really hard to navigate an obstacle with one of these. You can’t go up stairs or get underneath furniture. You can’t clear out leaves from a flower bed with a wheeled blower. So they are best used on flat, open terrain. Oh, and since these are so powerful you can blow away everything from leaves to twigs and pine cones. Even light piles of snow.
Extra Power, If You Need It — Landworks Walk-Behind Leaf Blower
Reviews : Best Gas Leaf Blower
Today, I will review 5 different leaf blower models. Two of these are from Husqvarna, as they make some of the best leaf blowers money can buy. They are also one of the only manufacturers to be completely honest about performance specifications. For instance, they quote both air flow in the housing and at the tube. The only usable metric is the tube CFM since you don’t exactly run a blower with the tube detached. Still, it gives you some perspective on the differences in performance between various Husqvarna blowers. And more points of reference/ data is always a positive for the discerning buyer.
The Husqvarna 125 series leaf blower is available in two variants. You have the basic 125B model which is a simple 28cc leaf blower. Then, there’s the fancy 125BVX model with built-in mulching so you can vacuum leaves and break them down into mulch without the need for a mulching mower. The later obviously costs more (it also weighs slightly more). But there are a couple of other goodies included within the BVX variant, I shall talk about them in more detail within the actual review.
Ideal for Most Homeowners | Husqvarna 125B
If you want a really cheap gas-powered leaf blower that is reliable despite being affordable, get the Poulan Pro PRB26 or the Craftsman B215. Both of these are cheap, compact, and come with 2-year warranties. Plus, Poulan and Craftsman are both reputable equipment makers with nationwide support networks.
Want the absolute best handheld gas-powered leaf blower? I give to you the Makita BHX2500CA, which is the only handheld on this list with a 4-stroke engine. It also has an automatic engine decompression system to make pull starts a lot easier. And the build quality + ergonomics are just perfect.
Finally, there’s a backpack leaf blower- the Husqvarna 350BT. A true heavyweight for folks with properties above an acre in size. This is the leaf blower you want to tackle large, heavy, wet leaves in dense piles. It can even blow away light layers of snow and heavier stuff like pine cones.
This article will tell you everything you need to know before purchasing a leaf blower, and we have also included comprehensive reviews for many of the best gas-powered blowers currently available on the market, with many new models for you to consider. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
REVIEW : Craftsman B215
Exceptional Value Gas Leaf Blower For the Money
- POWERFUL ENGINE: High performance 25cc 2-cycle lightweight engine with air volume and air speed up to 430 csm/200 mph. Work more efficiently and effectively on yard work, lawn care, and other projects.
- EASY-START TECHNOLOGY: Faster starts with 3 simple steps: prime, choke, and pull.
- USER-FRIENDLY ENGAGEMENT: User friendly features such as the lightweight design to reduce user fatigue, variable speed throttle for more control, and the translucent tank to tell you when to refuel. Designed to make you work smarter and not harder.
- EXTENDED NOZZLE: Extended nozzle with integrated scraper provides more precise blowing to help clear stubborn leaves and debris making you well equipped to take on those hard to reach areas.
- 2-CYCLE ENGINE OIL: Oil included with purchase for your convenience.
There really isn’t anything exceptional or noteworthy about this one. It’s a basic product for basic leaf blowing tasks in small yards and lawns. If you want a blower that can tackle wet hickory and walnut leaves, this may not be your solution. However, for small dry leaves in a yard under 10,000 sq. ft? It’s perfect. You won’t find anything better for the money. And with a 2-year warranty from Craftsman, you don’t have to worry about parts breakage either.
With 430CFM, it isn’t as powerful as the Husqvarna 125B/ 125BVX when it comes to moving air. Makes sense because the engine is slightly smaller at 25cc (compared to 28cc in the Husqvarna). However, the airspeed is higher at 200mph. Take this with a grain of salt though because all you need to do for higher air speed is constrict the tube opening. In terms of blowing power, the B215 is slightly behind the Husky. But that shouldn’t be an issue for small yards because this is still plenty faster than a rake.
In fact, I recon you could hand one of these to your grandma and set up an Olympic athlete with a rake on the other side of the garden. Grandma would get the job done in half the time compared to the athlete with a rake. Feature wise, you aren’t missing anything. The B215 has cruise control, an engine kill switch, and variable speed throttle. The fuel tank is translucent. And you get an extended nozzle with a scraper attachment to remove leaves that have dug themselves into the soil. Pretty hand, right?
Tech Specs / Craftsman B215 :
|Noise Rating 72 dB(A)||Air Speed 200 mph|
|Decibel 72 dBA||Type : Gas Leaf Blower|
|Weight : 10 LBS.|
REVIEW : Makita BHX2500CA | Best Gas Leaf Blower
- Mechanical Automatic Engine Decompression for quicker, easier starts
- Soft grip for less vibration, and convenient cruise control lever for reduced operator fatigue
- Dual stage air filter is replaceable and easily accessible
- Compact design with less weight (only 9.8 lbs.)
- Large capacity muffler ensures quieter operation at 67dB(A)
- Powerful and fuel efficient 24.5 cc 4-stroke commercial duty engine
- Meets or exceeds EPA and CARB exhaust and evaporative emissions regulations
- 4-stroke engine requires no fuel mix
- Efficient 4-stroke engine has lower emissions
- High air volume (356 CFM) and air speed (145 MPH) for commercial-duty performance
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Makita BHX2500CA.
Makita is my favorite choice when it comes to electric tools. As it turns out, they aren’t too shabby in the gas segment either. This is a manufacturer dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. They are Japanese, and like all good Japanese manufacturers you can expect two things- excellent build quality and class-leading technology. The BHX2500CA certainly is built well, with premium plastics and a quality engine. It also has the technology to back up all that build quality.
For instance, this is one of the only handheld leaf blowers equipped with a 4-stroke engine. So say goodbye to mixing oil and fuel, you don’t need to do that tedious chore every time you need to prepare fuel for your blower. Plus, it’s quieter than a 2-stroke blower. At 67 dB(A), this is one of the quietest gas powered leaf blowers you can buy. Not just in terms of decibels, but perceived noise. The noise is lower pitched, so it’s less shrill and irritating. And the 4-stroke engine also runs longer since it is more efficient with fuel compared to a 2-stroke. Even the air filter is dual-stage so it lasts longer (less maintenance).
That’s not all, Makita even threw in automatic engine decompression. Basically, the exhaust cam lobe lifts up a bit while you pull the recoil starter to reduce engine compression. So pulls require less tension. But when the engine starts, a centrifugally actuated lever sets the cam lobe back to its default state as the RPM climbs. Simple, but so effective. This is the easiest gas powered leaf blower to start.
Tech Specs (Makita BHX2500CA) :
|Engine Displacement (cc) : 24.5 cc||Engine (HP) : 1.1 HP|
|Max. Air Volume : 356 CFM||Max. Air Velocity : 145 MPH|
|Fuel Type : Unleaded gas||Fuel Tank Capacity : 17.6 oz.|
|Crank Case Capacity : 2.7 oz.||Sound Pressure : 67 dB(A)|
|Blower Type : Handheld||Power Type : 4-stroke gas|
|Dry Weight : 9.8 lbs.||UPC Code : 088381-080101|
REVIEW : Husqvarna 125BVX / 125B
Best Gas Leaf Blower for Homeowners
- The fan housing is engineered so that the air stream is in line with the handle. This reduces stress on the wrist and arm.
- Stop switch automatically resets to the ON position for easier starting.
- Fan speed can be set for easier handling.
- The blowing tube length is adjustable for best performance.
- CARB Compliant
- Purchase this Husqvarna handheld item along with 3-32 ounce cans of Husqvarna pre-mix fuel, register your product online, and your consumer warranty will be extended from 2 years to 4 years
Let’s start with the base model, i.e. the 125B. It is a simple leaf blower with no special bells or whistles, but there are a few things that stand out. First, there’s this little mechanism in the starter handle that ensures it always sits in the same position whenever you let go of it. This makes starting that little bit easier since you don’t have to rotate the handle every time you reach for the starter. Then, there’s the kill switch for the engine. It’s positioned right at the front end of the top handle, which means you can easily activate it with your thumb. It instantly kills the engine, and the switch will reset so you can start the engine after 7 seconds (reset time is 7 seconds). This kill switch comes in handy when you need to stop the engine immediately (maybe you’re pointing the blower at something you don’t want to blow away).
The engine itself is a 28cc 2-stroke Husqvarna design, Husqvarna hasn’t specified if it’s an X-Torq model. I am guessing they are using a regular 2-stroke motor here, since the X-Torq is reserved for their more premium offerings like the 150BT and 350BT. The extension hose comes with two attachments, one has a round nozzle and the other has a slightly angled flat nozzle that looks like the bill on a duck-billed platypus. The narrow, flat nozzle gives more airspeed (170mph vs 130mph on the round nozzle). It’s better if you’re working on flat surfaces or areas that require more precision. The round nozzle is for more general purpose yard work.
►Modern Gas Leaf Blower & Mulcher (Vacuum Option) / Husqvarna 125BVX
Features : ( Husqvarna 125BVX )
- Mulching function : When using vac capability, mulching knives reduce material and increase bag capacity.
- Inline design : The fan housing is engineered so that the air stream is in line with the handle. This reduces stress on the wrist and arm.
- Auto return stop switch : Stop switch automatically resets to the ON position for easier starting.
- Cruise control : Fan speed can be set for easier handling.
- Air Purge : Removes air from carburetor and fuel system for easy starting.
- Adjustable tube length : The blowing tube length is adjustable for best performance.
- Intuitive controls : The controls are well gathered and easy to access.
- Smart Start : The engine and starter have been designed so the machine starts quickly with minimum effort.
- Vacuum capable : The blower can be turned into a lawn vacuum to collect debris.
- Comfort handle : Easily adjustable soft-grip handle for optimum comfort.
Husqvarna has crafted a very balanced blower, with most of the weight right underneath the handle so you don’t have to “torque” your wrists to support its weight. Plus, the handle itself is fairly large so you can grip it comfortable even while wearing thick gloves. There is a cruise control switch positioned on the left side of the handle which locks the throttle position. And the air intake is positioned on the right. This may seem like a small thing, the air intake being on the right side. But it means that if you’re a right hander like the majority of people, this blower won’t try to pull your pants in through the intake. Another little thing that most people will overlook is the fact that the blower tube lines up perfectly with the handle. On lesser blowers, the tube is offset compared to the handle so you feel additional gyroscopic forces on your wrist. Since the tube is inline in this Husqvarna, the “recoil” from the blower goes in a straight line into your arm and reduces fatigue.
The body is narrow, and it only weighs 9.4lbs (dry weight) for the 125B. That’s incredible, considering most leaf blowers with 25cc engines are both wider and heavier. A narrower body makes it easier to hold without your leg constantly bumping into it. On top of that, an adjustable length tube means you can tune the length of the overall extension depending on your height. If you are over 6 feet, you might want the tube in its full length configuration which adds an extra 2 to 3 inches of length.
The fuel tank is translucent which is always appreciated since it makes monitoring the fuel level super convenient. This is a 2-stroke blower, and you’ll need a 50:1 mix of fuel to oil. Husqvarna provides a little bottle of 2-cycle oil in the box that goes with exactly a gallon of fuel. I highly recommend you use ethanol-free gas if you don’t want to prematurely kill the engine. Small 2-stroke engines like these don’t like ethanol. You can also buy those cans of premixed fuel that are ethanol free. Either way, don’t put ethanol in the tank of this blower.
Starting the 125B is extremely easy. It auto applies throttle, so all you have to do is set the choke and pull the recoil starter. For completely cold starts when the fuel lines are dry, you might want to prime it by pressing the primer bulb. Both the spark plug and carburetor screws are easily accessible, there are cutouts in the plastic frame right above them. If your engine isn’t running right, you can adjust the carburetor on the fly. Changing the air filter is also extremely easy, just rotate the knob on the plastic cover in the back and out comes the air filter. Maintenance is nearly tool-free with this blower.
Now, we move on to the more expensive variant- the 125BVX. For all intents and purposes, this is a 125B with some extra features. It comes with a vacuum tube and mulching bag that has a zipper so you can empty the contents. The mulching bag seems to be made from tough materials and the zipper is also heavy duty. The 125BVX has a curved vacuum tube attachment that you need to attach while in vacuum mode. The way its designed, the bag and vacuum tube won’t get in your way while working. That’s a nice thing. Plus, they don’t even weigh all that much. The handle on the 125BVX feels more premium, it has a black soft rubber coating on it that makes for a comfier and slip-resistant grip. The cheaper 125B has an all-plastic handle with no rubber grips.
As for mulching, the 125BVX seems to suck up leaves and twigs just fine. With a mulching ratio of 16 to 1, if you feed it 16 cubic feet of leaves, you’ll end up with just 1 cubic feet of mulch in the bag. That’s an excellent reduction in volume for what’s essentially a compact handheld leaf blower. And even with the mulching capability, the 125BVX weighs just 9.8lbs which is 0.2lbs more than the base 125B. It’s still the same weight or lighter than many 25cc leaf blowers that don’t even have a mulching function. How does Husqvarna pull it off? I have no clue. Based on online reviews I read, the impeller in the 125BVX has no trouble dealing with sand and tiny pebbles which you’ll inevitably suck into the blower if you’re working in a garden.
Apart from the mulching + vacuum function and better handles, the 125BVX is the same as the 125B. It has the same CFM and mph figures; it comes with the same extension nozzles. The controls and startup are also the same. It also generates the same amount of blowing force, 12.5 newtons. However, it is more expensive. So unless you need the fancier handle and a mulching function in your leaf blower, the 125B will do just fine. It is an all-rounder, capable of handling everything.
Poulan Pro PRB26 | Big Performance In A Small Package
- 26cc, 2-Cycle engine
- high-velocity airflow up to 470 CFM and 200 MPH airspeed
- Equipped with trigger-operated variable speed control
- Comfortable soft-grip handle provides comfort and reduces fatigue
- Ideal for year-round clean-up of grass, leaves, and other stubborn debris
Look, if we’re talking about size, Poulan’s PRB26 gets the short end of the stick. However, the performance you get from such a small blower is incredible. With 470CFM of airflow and 200mph of air speed, it’s surpassing the numbers on the Husqvarna’s 125B/125BVX. Of course, CFM and MPH by themselves don’t mean much unless we know about the blowing force in newtons. But you have to admit, for such a cheap and compact blower this Poulan is really powerful. It has a smaller engine than the Husky too, which makes these numbers all the more impressive.
In terms of build quality, it doesn’t measure up to the Husqvarna or Makita blowers. But consider the reliability and durability perfectly adequate for most home users. It does have a pretty large intake opening, that’s where a lot of that CFM comes from. Unfortunately, the intake is on the wrong side. Or maybe the right side if you’re a lefty. For the rest of us, it means getting our clothes tugged at every time we operate this blower.
The rubber coated handle is very comfortable to hold, and it does a nice job of dampening vibrations so you don’t have to wear a glove while using this blower. And you get cruise control too, along with an engine kill switch. The fuel tank is also translucent, so you can easily monitor fuel levels.
REVIEW : Husqvarna 350BT / 965877502
- Lightweight blower with integrated back pack harness for landscape professionals as well as homeowners
- 2.1 HP X-Torq engine reduces harmful exhaust emissions and increase fuel efficiency
- Comfortable, ventilated and load-reducing harness with hip belt and wide shoulder straps
- Fan speed can be set for easier handling; air purge removes air from carburetor and fuel system for easy starting
- CAPACITY :
- Air flow in housing : 692.17 cfm
- Air flow in pipe : 494.41 cfm
- Air speed : 180 mph
- Air speed (round nozzle) : 180.01 mph
- CARB Compliant
- Weight : 22.5 lbs.
- Utilize full blow force with minimal arm strain
- Cruise control : Fan speed can be set for easier handling.
- Adjustable handles for superior comfort.
- Dampeners between the engine and chassis effectively reduce vibrations.
- Purchase this Husqvarna handheld item along with three 32oz cans of Husqvarna pre-mix fuel, register your product online, and your consumer warranty will be extended from 2 years to 4 years (Learn More).
Even though the Husqvarna 350BT is a commercial model, its price would make you believe otherwise. Despite being one of the most reasonably priced backpack blowers out there, the 350BT cranks out nearly 494 CFM of airflow in the pipe.
The Husqvarna X-TORQ 2 cycle engine powering this blower has been optimized for up to 60% less harmful exhaust emissions and 20% more fuel efficiency when compared to standard 2-stroke engines found in cheaper models. An air purge system removes trapped air from the carburetor and fuel system, allowing for reliable and effortless starting.
If you need to cover a lot of territory for leaf cleaning and you value your comfort, then you should buy a backpack blower. Simple as that. You probably don’t have a lawn or garden over 1 acre in size, but if you do this is a great option from Husqvarna. A handheld is ideal for an average yard size but not for large areas. Consider your actual needs before you make a buying decision.
But the 350BT isn’t just better for covering larger areas due to its high CFM (692). It is also excellent for lifting and blowing away heavier debris. Think wet leaves, large leaves, twigs, pine needles and cones, etc. A small handheld will also blow away wet leaves, but it will take a lot longer and won’t be worth the effort. Plus, if you have back problems or don’t like holding onto a 10 lb. weight for an hour- this backpack blower is an excellent alternative. Sure, you can’t reach underneath furniture or get between small plants as easily but the raw power compensates for those weaknesses. You will get the job done in half the time compare to a handheld.
The 350BT has 21N of blowing power compared to the 12.5N of a 125B/ BVX. It also has an X-Torq engine so you can expect a more torque and fuel efficiency compared to a standard 2-stroke motor. The control handle is offset to reduce strain on your arms, and the length of the blower tube is adjustable.
Adjustable handles provide superior comfort while operating, and they are also attached in an offset position to compensate for the kickback generated from the air flowing out of the hose. This means that you can easily control the blower without your arm being pulled downwards. A LowVib dampening system separates the harness from the engine, effectively reducing the vibrations that are transferred from the internal components to your shoulders and back.
The foam-padded harness system is designed to distribute the entire weight of the blower as efficiently as possible between your shoulders and back. Cruise control and a conveniently positioned throttle system adds to the ease of operation. The 50.2 cc single cylinder 2-stroke commercial grade gasoline motor accepts a fuel-oil mixture in the ratio of 50:1, and generates 2.1hp of power at its maximum speed of 7500 rpm. The fuel tank has a capacity of 42.27 fl oz. for extended run-times.
This blower is not exactly very efficient when it comes to fuel, but a consumption rate of 455g/ kWh is still very acceptable when you consider the amount of power that it generates. Noise output is 94 dB(A), and it is CARB compliant. Perfect for maintaining yards as big as one acre and above. There is a 2-year commercial warranty on this model.
REVIEW : Southland SWB163150E / Walk-Behind Blower
1200 CFM Air Volume – Up to 4 Times More Air Volume than Backpack Blowers.
- Manual recoil start
- 1200 CFM air volume
- 150 MPH air speed
- 3-4x more power than backpacks
- Balanced fan for reduced vibration
- Tapered crankshaft
- Adjustable chute wind vane
- 12″ rear wheels
- 2 year limited warranty
- EPA certified
- Well Balanced Steel Fan Provides Less Vibration
- Tapered Crankshaft and Steel Fan Housing Providing Increased Durability
- 15-Degree Adjustable Chute for More Directed Blowing
- 163-CC Engine 4-stroke engine
- Offering 6.5-Foot/Pounds of Torque
View or download the MANUAL for the Southland SWB163150E
Do you have a multi-acre piece of lush green estate that you need to maintain? Or maybe you own a commercial landscaping company and need a leaf blower to take care of all those leaves and twigs which have accumulated in parking lots or large driveways. Well, if you have a whole lot of leaves to clear and an area that is at least one acre in size – the Southland SWB163150E is here to help you out. It is about 3 to 4 times more powerful than an average backpack leaf blower, or nearly 6-8 times more powerful than a handheld model.
The 163cc, 4-stroke gasoline engine inside this 95-pound behemoth of a leaf blower is capable of generating an insane 6.5 Foot/Pounds of torque. This results in an airflow rate of 1200 CFM, and air speeds of nearly 150 mph. The steel fan inside this machine is properly balanced to reduce vibrations, and the fan housing is also made of steel for added durability.
Video | A Closer Look at the Southland Walk Behind Blower
One advantage of having this many steel parts is that the weight of the internal components increase, reducing vibrations and increasing lifespan. The tapered crankshaft and industrial grade air filters improve engine endurance and durability.
The air chutes are adjustable (15° to either side), so you can direct the air to the front of the blower or switch the vane to make the air flow out to the sides. The handle is tough and constructed from steel tubing. It is coated with anti-rust black paint, while the entire motor housing and air filter + carburetor assembly is mounted on a strong wheelbarrow style metal chassis with a smaller lead wheel (this can be steered) in the front and 12” tires on the rear.
Startup is done with a manual recoil system (cord pull). Noise output is somewhat low by walk-behind blower standards at just 76 dB(A). It might actually be quieter than some backpack leaf blowers (however, those models use 2-stroke engines). The fuel tank has a capacity of 0.87 gallons. This is a push-behind blower, so you will have to push it around. For the price, we can’t really expect more. There is a 2-year limited warranty on the blower, and this covers the motor.
REVIEW : Troy-Bilt TB672 Jet Sweep
- Powered by a 208cc OHV engine that does the hard work so you don’t have to
- 150 mph airstream, this gas-powered walk-behind leaf blower quickly gets rid of leaves and other debris in your yard, driveway or patio
- Complete your jobs effectively with the 90 degree front discharge chute and 14-inch high output impeller
- Ensure proper ventilation with 1000 CFM airflow volume capacity
- Designed with a rubberized comfort grip handle for better operation
The Troy Bilt TB672 Jet Sweep leaf blower works hard so you don’t have to. It is built on top of a tubular steel chassis, and is supported by 3 wheels. The TB672 is powered by a 208cc, 4-stroke Briggs & Stratton engine. This heavy-duty commercial grade leaf blower is designed to work on yards over the size of 1 acre, and it can also be used to clear parking lots, large driveways, etc.
It is a push-behind style blower, not self-propelled. You need to push its 79-pound frame in order to move it around the work area. However, that should not be as stressful as it sounds, since the two 12” rear wheels are supported by semi-pneumatic ball bearings for smooth and effortless motion. The 14” high output commercial grade steel impeller inside the metal housing of this blower is capable of generating up to 1000 CFM of airflow at speeds of nearly 150 mph.
This impeller is mounted on a steel shaft and spins on self-lubricated bearings so you don’t have to worry about maintenance charges. The 90° front discharge chute adapter ensures easy cleaning, while the rubberized comfort grip on the metal handles prevents hand fatigue.
The fuel tank can hold up to 0.75 gallons of unleaded gasoline, while the crankcase has an oil capacity of 20 fl oz. The engine is quite loud despite being a 4-stroke OHV type, and generates nearly 100 decibels of noise. This is of course the “guaranteed” noise output measured right on top of the exhaust, the noise which you will hear while operating this blower is more likely to be around the 70-80 dB(A) mark.
There is a 2-year limited commercial warranty on this leaf blower, and it ships with all parts assembled. Dimensions for the completely assembled product are – 27.5 x 25.5 x 30.5 inches. Comes with 18 fl oz. of SAE 30W engine oil, and complete setup instructions. Customers have reported that the Troy Bilt TB672 is capable of blowing large leaves, wet leaves, and some say it can even handle acorns.
One thing is guaranteed for sure though – this is one of the best performing walk-behind leaf blowers for the price. It is also very easy to operate thanks to the conveniently positioned throttle and cruise control. The 4-stroke OHV engine is easy to start and the semi-pneumatic ball bearings ensure that the rear 12” wheels spin with you applying minimal effort as you push it forward.
- Engine/Motor : Briggs & Stratton
- Displacement : 205cc OHV
- Oil : 18oz SAE 30 (included)
- Fuel Capacity : 3 qt.
- Airflow Volume : Up to 1000 CFM
- Airflow Velocity : Up to 150 MPH
- Impeller : 14″ high-output
- Chute Adapter : 90 degree front discharge
- Handle : Rubberized comfort grip
- Wheels : 8″ x 2″ S-wave / 12″ x 2″ S-wave rear wheels with bearings
- Warranty : 2-year limited
Poulan Pro PR48BT (967087101)
- 48cc 2-stroke engine
- 200 mph/475 cfm
- Cruise control. Heavy duty frame.
Despite having a model number that reminds you of a phone number, the Poulan Pro 967087101 is an extremely capable commercial grade backpack blower. It is powered by a 48cc two-cycle engine, and this engine drives a powerful axial impeller with steel blades. This impeller drives nearly 475 cubic feet of air through the tubes at speeds of nearly 200 mph.
If you have been paying attention to all of the product reviews on this list until now, you will notice that this backpack leaf blower expels air at the highest speed when compare to any other blower on this list. No, it doesn’t mean that it is the most powerful. The power of a leaf blower is primarily determined from the CFM values, and when we refer to CFM rate, it traditionally means the flow rate as measured at the hose exit instead of the actual internal tubing inside the blower. However, a higher air velocity is better for clearing larger areas of loosely scattered dry leaves. You need CFM to move more weight, and speed to cover more range in less time.
Video | Poulan Pro PR48BT
One of the things that you will immediately notice about this product is the performance that it offers for the price, which is truly phenomenal when compared to the competition that delivers similar performance for nearly 20-30% more money.
On top of that, it is built around a heavy-duty frame which protects all of the internal components from external shock. The variable speed throttle control is mounted conveniently in trigger form on the ergonomic handle. There is cruise control as well, enabling longer usage periods. Adjustable shoulder straps increase user comfort, and the blower comes with 2 extension pipes so you can use it in a wide variety of tasks.
There is a dampening system on the harness that completely nullifies vibrations generated from the engine, and prevents these vibration from transferring to your shoulders or back. The fuel tanks is translucent, and the hoses are detachable for easier storage.
Features of A Quality Handheld Leaf Blower
Since this is the most popular type of leaf blower, you might find it useful to know what differentiates the good ones from the mediocre ones. A good handheld has the air intake positioned in a spot that won’t tug on your clothes while you’re operating it. With a gas-powered model, the intake is usually placed on the side. But with electric models, you’ll see handhelds that have air intakes on the bottom. Of course, a side-mounted intake isn’t an issue if you just switch hands.
Good handhelds also have translucent fuel tanks (and large filler caps) so you can easily monitor fuel levels while operating your blower. This is especially useful if your blower uses a 2-stroke engine. Because unless you have premixed fuel laying around, you’ll have to go through the procedure of mixing fuel manually every time your blower runs dry. Or you can just buy cans of premixed fuel from your local home improvement store. That one is a real time-saver.
When you buy a handheld, look for one with good ergonomics. If it lets you grip the blower with both hands, that’s really good because the additional leverage allows for better mobility. You don’t want to put all the stress of holding a 10lb blower on a single wrist. If you’ve got giant piles of dead leaves to blow, you also need to consider weight and fuel efficiency. Most handhelds use 2-stroke engines because they are lighter, cheaper, and easier to maintain. However, certain premium models like the Makita BHX2500CA (reviewed in this article) have 4-stroke motors.
What are the advantages of 4-stroke? You get more runtime per tank of fuel, so you can blow more leaves before refueling. Four stroke engines are also quieter because they make one exhaust sound wave per combustion cycle, and the sound is lower-pitched. This is good news for both you and your neighbors. In summary, if you can afford a 4-stroke handheld leaf blower, go for it.
Finally, it really helps to have some kind of engine decompression built into your handheld leaf blower. Generally, the recoil starter on these tiny 30/ 40 cc engines isn’t very tough to pull. But you know what, I am a lazy fellow and I’ll take every bit of advantage I can get. There are two types of engine decompression systems- manual and automatic. With a manual decompression system, you have to pull the decompression lever manually (duh). Automatic decompression (like on the Makita BHX2500CA) requires zero extra work. The engine uses a specially designed exhaust cam lobe and centrifugal actuation system that automatically engages and disengages the decompression system depending on RPM. No matter which decompression system your leaf blower has, it should reduce the pull tension by 40 to 50 percent.
Selecting a Good Backpack Leaf Blower
A lot of the features present in a good handheld leaf blower are shared with backpack models. For instance, the decompression system. I would argue it’s even more important on a backpack model. Because every time you stop the engine, you have to undo the straps and take off the blower to restart it. So having a mechanism that makes pull starts easier is crucial on a backpack leaf blower. Just like with handhelds, you should get a backpack blower with a 4-stroke engine if you can afford it. The little bit of extra money you spend upfront will pay dividends in the long term since you save a lot on fuel. And it will be quieter. Backpack blowers are louder than handhelds by default, since they have larger engines and the engine is closer to your head. So you want to dampen the noise as much as possible. Get a backpack model with a 4-stroke engine and good muffler.
There are some features exclusive to backpack blowers that you won’t see in a handheld. The harness for one, it should be well padded so you don’t feel the vibrations of the engine as you operate the machine. Padding also prevents the metal frame from digging into your back. All backpack blowers have shock dampeners installed between the engine and the frame. These shock dampeners reduce vibration levels even further in combination with the padded harness. All these mechanisms make it so you aren’t constantly reminded of the fact that there are hundreds of tiny gasoline explosions going on every minute behind your spine.
With a backpack blower, you definitely want adjustable power controls. Because if you always operate it at full blast, you will destroy everything in your garden. Flower beds, mulch, bark chips, etc. So get a backpack blower with adjustable power controls that are located conveniently. On any good model, the speed control will be on the handle, along with an instant engine OFF switch to immediately stop the engine in case of an emergency.
Do You Want a Blower That Also Vacuums and Mulches?
If you don’t have a compost pile or some other convenient leaf-dumping spot around your house, what do you do with all those leaves? Sure, you can gather them up into a neat pile using your blower. But then what? Some folks suggest using a mulching mower/ lawnmower to slice up dead leaves so you get a nice layer of mulch that nourishes the grass in your garden. And that’s not a bad idea, after all dead leaves contain lots of potassium and nitrogen. They also attract earthworms; these little guys loosen up the soil and aerate it. But what if you could also break down leaves with the same machine that you use to blow them?
A combination blower-vacuum unit can run its impeller in reverse, so instead of blowing air it works like a vacuum. Some blowers also have mulching blades so they use the very same impeller to slice up the incoming leaves and twigs. That way, you can fit a lot more leaves in your vacuum/ mulch bag. So a mulching function might be highly desirable for you. Keep in mind though, that not all blowers are built equal. Some have plastic impeller blades which will get beat up over time and dulled. So you lose performance because of reduced airflow from damaged blades. If you do get a combination blower + mulcher, make sure it has metal impeller blades. Most of these combination units don’t handle large heaps of leaves very well, and their vacuum function isn’t strong enough to lift up wet or large leaves from a dense pile. So read the reviews and look at videos of these units in action before you purchase them.
General Information About Leaf Blowers :
How Does a Leaf Blower Work?
A leaf blower can be broken down into 4 main parts :
This is the “body”, or the shell of the leaf blower. Typically, it is made from plastic in order to keep the weight low. A plastic housing also stays cooler since it is a bad conductor of heat, and the internal components of a leaf blower can get quite hot over time. The design of the housing is different for each of the three main types of leaf blowers–handheld, backpack, and walk-behind. The primary purpose of the housing is to isolate the internal machinery from the user, as well as protect the engine, propeller, etc. from external physical shocks.
Electric leaf blowers use electric motors, while gas leaf blowers are powered by 2-stroke/ 4-stroke engines. Typically, the engine in a leaf blower is a single-cylinder 2 stroke that run on a mixture of gasoline and oil (50:1 ratio). Modern leaf blowers are gradually shifting towards 4-stroke engines because of their decreased emission levels and lower noise output compared to 2-stroke engines. Gas leaf blowers are more powerful than electric leaf blowers, since gas engines are more powerful than electric engines of comparable size.
Fan and Tubing :
The fan is usually an axial impeller with multiple blades mounted on a shaft that is connected to the engine. When the engine spins, the shaft turns along with it. Some designs utilize direct drive, in which the engine is directly connected to the impeller shaft, meaning that the fan spins at the same speed as the engine.
However, more powerful blowers use a transmission system with gearing that allows the fan to spin faster than the engine. This results in increased air velocity at the output. Tubing refers to the pipes and chambers that serve as restraining channels for the air being sucked in from the outside. This air is pulled in through the impeller, then forced to move through a smaller space in order to increase velocity.
Hose: This is attached to the front of the blower, and serves as an exit path for the air coming through the tube from the impeller. This is also what you hold in your hands to control the airflow direction. It is directly connected to the internal tubing, and features a round or flat-shaped snout at the end. Typically made from plastics or composites.
The Mechanics of A Leaf Blower
The fundamental mechanic behind the working of a leaf blower is centrifugal force. If you know a thing or two about dynamic air compressors which use high velocity air to create pressure, you will understand that the same technique is used inside the housing of a leaf blower to create the tremendous air velocities which are often in excess of 200 miles per hour.
When the motor spins an axial fan inside the housing of the blower, air is sucked in by the motion of the rotating blades. This air is then forced to move through a smaller cavity as compared to the vents through which it entered. By decreasing the size of the passage, air velocity is increased. When you keep the flow rate constant for a fluid, but decrease the size of the tubing/ pipe, it comes out at increased velocity.
This is just like putting your thumb on the tip of a garden hose to decrease the size of the opening, thus increasing flow velocity and range. Except in the case of a leaf blower, the force that keeps the air flowing is centrifugal force generated by the spinning impeller. Centrifugal force is equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction to the force directed towards the center of a rotating mass.
Because of the pressure that is built due to centrifugal force, the air flows through the internal tubing at extreme speeds and comes out through the hose. The user can then point the hose in the direction that he or she desires, blowing away all the leaves and twigs in its path. An average leaf blower will generate anywhere between 65-75 decibels of noise, and is capable of blowing out air within the range of 140-200 mph. Most leaf blowers come with a throttle that lets you control the power of the air stream.
There are also hose attachments that let you generate a wider (and slower) or narrower (but faster) air stream as per the job requirement. You can think of a leaf blower as a reverse vacuum cleaner, but there are certain models which come with a built-in vacuum mode.
All that a blower has to do in order to transform into a vacuum cleaner, is reverse the airflow direction by spinning the fan the other way. The blowers with this ability are called blower-vacuums (or blower-vacuums), and often come with a mulching function so that the leaves and twigs which are sucked in can be mulched into tiny pieces and disposed easily. Or, you can transfer the mulched leaves to a compost pit.
Which Gas Leaf Blower is Right for You?
By now, you have gained a basic idea of how leaf blowers work, as well as the distinct types of leaf blower designs – handheld, backpack, and walk-behind. But do you know which gas leaf blower is the best for you? Here are 5 simple steps to help you out —
Select your leaf blower type
Hand-held blowers are the best for cleaning out small yards, patios, driveways, and porches. Since we are dealing with gas powered models here, you won’t be restricted by cord length or battery life. You can keep working for hours on stretch with a gas powered handheld blower, as long as you keep the tank filled with fuel.
Some handheld models come with two grips instead of one, this provides better weight distribution and control. Nozzle design can vary, and most handheld blowers will include removable hoses and nozzles for easy storage after work is done. You can detach the hose from the main body, and store the two separately, or together. Either way, less space will be consumed as compared to storing the blower in its complete state.
Flat shaped nozzles generate higher velocities, but slightly decrease CFM output. These are better for sweeping loose leaves. Round nozzles are capable of higher CFM values, and the increased flow rate is useful for dislodging leaves that are embedded deep within grass or entangled with twigs. Make sure that your handheld gas leaf blower comes with an easy shut off switch and throttle for safety and speed control respectively.
Two-stroke engines are common in handheld models, since they weigh less and handheld blowers are all about that light weight so your hands don’t wear out after prolonged usage. A translucent fuel tank and wide tank opening are desirable features. A bottom mounted air intake is preferred because it is less likely to pull on your clothes as you sweep through an area with the machine turned on, side mounted air intakes are especially annoying for left-handed people.
Backpack leaf blowers will come with 2-stroke as well as 4-stroke motors, choose a 4-stroke model if you are concerned about emission and noise laws in your state or locality. However, 2-stroke engines offer a better power to weight ratio despite their decreased efficiency and higher noise. Two stroke motors are the easiest to maintain, since you put in the oil and fuel together into the fuel tank (typically in a 50:1 ratio).
With 4 stroke engines, you need to fill the oil separately, and check oil levels before starting the motor. As with any small engine, you must ensure that the air filter is not clogged and the spark plug is showing no signs of degradation before you pull that starter cord. Maintain healthy oil levels in your 4-stroke engines, and your leaf blower will easily last for nearly a decade. Backpack blowers can cost anywhere between 160-500 dollars, depending on the power of the motor and the included features.
These are good for medium to large-sized yards, up to one acre. CFM rating for most backpack blowers varies between 200 to 400, and they can generate air speeds of 170-220 mph.
Walk-behind models are either pushed or self-propelled, with the latter costing more. These are necessary for clearing yards/ gardens larger than an acre. Walk-behind models can take care of large as well as wet leaves very easily, since these typically throw out anywhere between 450 to 500+ cubic feet of air per minute, at velocities in excess of 200 mph.
There are little to no limitations on size and weight, since the motor and impeller are mounted on a single large steel/ aluminum frame that has handles on the back and wheels on the bottom. On wheeled models, you will find an adjustable air deflector that lets you adjust the airflow to either side, or to the front of the blower. This feature comes in handy when you are working alongside a wall, hedge, or similar obstruction.
Decide what built-in features you want
There are leaf blowers with vacuum and/ or mulch functionality built-in. When you want to not just collect all the scattered leaves into one big pile, but also dispose them at the same time – you get a leaf blower with vacuum and mulch capability. When you are buying a leaf blower capable of mulching, you want to look at its compression ratio. For example, a compression ratio of 8:1 means that the blower can mulch 8 bags of leaves into one bag of mulch.
A compression ratio of 16:1 means that 16 bags of leaves get reduced into one bag of mulch. With a blower-vac, you gather up all the scattered leaves and twigs from your yard into one big heap, then you turn on the vacuum + mulch mode, and the blower will suck in all the leaves, shred them, and store them in a mulch bag attached to the rear.
Blowers with either vacuum or mulch functionality will cost more than regular blowers, but they also save a lot of time and manpower. Regular blowers can gather up leaves into a giant pile, but you need one or more men with tarps to dispose those leaves after that. Mulching is a fantastic way to reduce the volume of the collected leaves, and the mulched leaves can be used as fertilizer on your lawn.
Estimate the CFM power required
- Leaves on driveways, porches, patios, and small backyards: <200 CFM up to 300 CFM (anything after that is overkill)
- Larger leaves, wet leaves, twigs, and other debris on yards up to 0.25 acres: at least 250 CFM, 350-400 CFM recommended.
- Leaves and debris on yards between 0.25 to 1 acre: 400 to 500 CFM.
- Commercial tasks, yards larger than an acre: 500 CFM and above.
Convenience features :
- Vibration reduction mechanism (especially important in backpack models, not so much in walk-behind blowers)
- Translucent fuel tank with a wide opening for fuel.
- Simplified choke operation to make startup easier
- Secondary grip or handle on a handheld blower makes operation much easier, since the weight is carried by both of your arms.
- Removable hose, with optional attachments provided for free (a removable hose reduces the overall footprint, so you can store the blower easily)
- Bottom mounted air intake on handheld leaf blowers
- Adjustable air ducts on walk-behind models
- Hip mounted throttle on backpack blowers
Learn more about CFM / Read our dedicated articles :
Noise and emissions
Some states have laws on how much noise (measured in dBA) a certain power tool is allowed to generate. Please check your state laws as well local community guidelines before making a purchase, and refer to the manufacturer spec sheets as well for emission figures.
Leaf blowers that run clean enough to comply with most state emission laws are labelled as “CARB-Compliant”.
Brief History of Leaf Blowers
Let me shed some light on the history of the leaf blower, for those of you curious about where they originated from. It was originally invented in 1950, not as a landscaping machine but as an agricultural chemical sprayer. Dom Quinto came up with the original design for this chemical spraying device, but he never expected to see people using it as a landscaping tool. About 20 years after the original chemical sprayer design was released, various companies noticed that customers were using these spraying machines as blowers by removing the parts that dispensed the chemicals.
They would remove the dispenser attachments, fertilizer tanks, etc. and use the machine to blow away leaves and twigs from their fields and lawns. Manufacturers immediately recognized the potential of this invention as a common gardening and landscape maintenance tool. The sale of leaf blowers was propelled by drought conditions in California during the 1970’s, since people couldn’t use water to carry out many cleanup tasks.
By the 90’s, annual sales of leaf blowers in the United States had gone up to 800,000. What started out as an agricultural chemical dispenser had now become a ubiquitous gardening piece.