Keeping your yard clean of leaves can often feel like a chore, but it’s essential for the health of your lawn and for keeping your yard neat and tidy. But long gone are the days when the only options were to spend hours painstakingly using a rake or carrying a heavy hand-held leaf blower. The solution? Backpack leaf blowers.
These handy and powerful tools can make light work of clearing yards and lawns and now come in a variety of styles and powers to suit everyone from those looking for something small for their own backyard to those clearing larger areas professionally. And, as a bonus, they’re pretty fun to use!
We have all the information you need here in one place. Read on for our handy guide to the benefits of backpack leaf blowers and other things to consider, such as gas vs. electric, key features and recommended brands.
|Product Name||Image||Maximum Air Speed||Maximum Noise Level||Weight||Details|
|HUSQVARNA 350BT 965877502 Backpack Leaf Blower||180 mph||104 dB||22.5 lbs||Check Price|
|HUSQVARNA 580BTS Backpack Leaf Blower||209 mph||112 dB||25.8 lbs||Check Price|
|Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC Backpack Gas Leaf Blower||150 mph||72 dB||16 lbs||Check Price|
|Makita EB5300TH Backpack Leaf Blower||184 mph||70 dB||26.5 lbs||Check Price|
|Poulan Pro Blowers PR48BT Backpack Leaf Blower||200 mph||96.7 dB||22 lbs||Check Price|
|ECHO PB-770T Backpack Leaf Blower||234 mph||74 dB||24.5 lbs||Check Price|
|ECHO PB-580T Backpack Leaf Blower||215 mph||70 dB||22.6 lbs||Check Price|
|HUSQVARNA 150BT Backpack Leaf Blower||251 mph||71 dB||22.5 lbs||Check Price|
|Greenworks 80V 580 CFM Brushless Backpack Blower||145 mph||65 dB||14.6 lbs||Check Price|
|Dewalt DCBL590X2 40V MAX* XR® CORDLESS BACKPACK BLOWER||142 mph||63 dB||27 lbs||Check Price|
We’ve done the research for you
We know you’re looking for the best solution for your specific needs and that you don’t have infinite time to spend trying out all the backpack leaf blowers out there. So we’ve scoured the internet and consulted the experts for their opinions to bring you the best guidance.
Nothing is more honest and insightful than hearing from real people who have actually used a device. So we’ve read ratings and reviews from hundreds of users whose first-hand advice covers everything from small-scale backyard use to professional large landscape gardeners.
We have looked into a wide range of models currently on the market, including both gas and electric backpack leaf blowers, because, whilst everyone has a preference, these can suit different needs.
And we’ve filtered out the information you don’t need so much, such as air speed and volume, which have no standard measure, so that you can focus on the features that actually matter.
We know that everyone’s needs are different, so we have highlighted the most important benefits of different types of leaf blower in easy to understand terms, as well as the overall pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision before committing to your purchase.
Finally, we’ve pulled out some of the key things to consider before using your backpack leaf blower, having read the advice of homeowners and gardeners around the world.
Husqvarna 965877502 350BT Backpack Leaf Blower
Have you had trouble with your household leaf blower; leaving you looking for the perfect backpack leaf blower? Husqvarna presents Husqvarna 965877502 350BT Backpack Leaf Blower with 2.1 HP X-Torque engine designs is a unique backpack leaf blower with all the essential features you will need for an amazing debris clearing experience. Looking for style, effectiveness and convenience? This should be your pick. However before you make a choice (just like for every other product you want to purchase online) be sure to go through the reviews by customers who have purchased this equipment and used it.
- Low-vibration causing less noise due to presence of dampeners in between engine & chassis.
- Powerful 50.2cc 4-cycle engine with high torque.
- Up to 180 mph air speed and 7500rpm that can be applied for large properties.
- It also has a powerful 1.6 kW engine.
- Presence of a powerful X-Torque engine for increased power, low emission and economy.
- Throttle and cruise control for efficiency.
- Presence of hip belt and well padded harness for the operator’s comfort.
- A fully functional Air Purge system to keep air from the wrong places.
- Efficiency: Very efficient for your lawn jobs.
- Comfort: Easily adjustable shoulder straps. It is also not too heavy.
- Ergonomics: Its harness design and control gives it a high capacity to function well & to the convenience of the operator.
- Ease of assembly: When gotten, it is in parts but it’s easy to assemble.
- Does not make noise as loud as other backpack leaf blowers.
- Ease of starting: It is easy to starts. Easier than the ECHO. Its Air Purge feature also contributes to this.
- Power: Has power and easy cruise control.
- It works one-sidedly i.e. it does not work for South paws.
- It does not have a vacuuming option.
- Cannot work for wet/heavy snow.
- When on full throttle, gas consumes very quickly.
- It can only work on recommended gas to oil mix.
Husqvarna 350Bt backpack leaf blower has many pluses which is almost cancelling the cons. Equips with a nice grip handle and well-padded harness plus its light weight, gives the best comfort there is when working on your lawn. Its fuel tank capacity is also great keeping you in charge for a long period of time before it stops. Its Air Purge functions maximally thereby removing air from the carburetor & fuel system.
HUSQVARNA 580BTS Backpack Leaf Blower
Your search for power and efficiency could be laborious and unrewarding if you ended up with something you would regret putting your precious dollars in. Husqvarna 580 BTS has proved its efficiency for commercial use over and over again. Just like every other Husqvarna product, it is suitable for such demanding tasks. Its features; such as powerful X-Torq® and large air flow makes it very suitable for its special use. Being solid, it can blow heavy debris, rocks, and also large piles of leaves. With this piece of equipment at your reach, you’ll look forward to fall every season!
- Has an X-Torq engine design that increases fuel efficiency and reduces exhaust emissions. The X-Torq engine also has a high blowing capacity.
- Has an efficient fan design delivering high air speed and air flow.
- Presence of an offset handle fot ease of control of the blow force.
- Air Filter is of commercial grade.
- Rubber inserts on handle for ease of grip.
- Power: It has a high power for a low cfm backpack leaf blower.
- Comfort: Has easily adjustable shoulder strap and an offset handle makes the blow forces easier to control.
- Ergonomic handle: Its adjustable handle can be made to fit the operator.
- It is heavy and bulky.
- Requires specific mix of 50:1 ratio of gasoline to oil.
There is no doubt that you will not regret having this product for your lawn clearing. Its power and cost are enough reasons to go for this product. It has weight which compensate for its power. It is great for landscapers, gardeners and environmental cleaning. It is perfect for heavy duty operations, as it is designed for such. With an easy control on the throttle, it is easy to control speed of air. It is heavy but has well-padded straps for grip. Husqvarna products have lasting performance and this is noy an exception. Once used to the recommended gas to oil mix, you are good to go.
Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC Backpack Gas Leaf Blower
Finding the most suitable back pack leaf blower for your lawn jobs can be a little bit tasking, but you don’t have to go through this stress anymore. Troy-Bilt® has provided the best equipment for the perfect job and convenience. Besides, who wants to do a job that is boring and at the same time fatiguing. TB4BP EC backpack leaf blower similar to other equipments manufactured by Troy-Bilt® is strong and would prove one of your valuable home equipment. Troy-Bilt® has been producing gardening equipments since 1937-when their first Tiller was built. Through these years, Troy-Bilt® products have been known for withstanding (successfully) years of handling in dirt, and this cannot be an exception. TB4BP EC offers both comfort and power, with a cool back pack. It can also be conveniently operated and is handy for a backpack blower.
- Spring Assist™ starting that reduces the effort of pull starting.
- Up to 150 mph air speed and 500 cfm air volume that blows away large piles of leaves and debris.
- Powerful 32cc 4-cycle engine with high torque.
- Long flex tube enabling maneuvering around and under things.
- Patented backpack harness allows flow of air to the operator’s back and reduces fatigue.
- Padded hip belt which reduces hip pressure.
- Engine capable of Jump Start™ saving pulling stress.
- Variable throttle with cruise control.
- Fully tensioned multi-material suspension system and a compression release starting system.
- Comfort: Has a cool flex backpack design for the comfort of the operator and easy straps.
- Long flex tube for easy manufacturing.
- Not too bulky-it is also light weight, making it easy to carry for long.
- Has a Jump Start™ technology making it easy to start without exerting pull force.
- Cost: It is not too expensive to afford.
- Warranty: A 2-year limited warranty.
- Hassle free operation.
- Customer complaint of leaking gas if not properly handled.
- At idle, it does not move leaves powerfully.
This backpack leaf blower is well known for effectiveness and its efficiency can be hardly matched with any other product. Easy to carry around and operate, its high torque enables for power blowing away of debris as stated earlier. With proper knowledge of the product’s assembling, this will prove as one of your best option for a clean environment. There have been many good reviews so far on this product, as the customer feedback is tremendous. Troy-Bilt® don’t just tell you that you need to live in a clean environment, they also show you how to do that.
Makita EB5300TH Backpack Leaf Blower
“My backpack leaf blower is not so efficient and I find it hard to use for large piles of debris, it also causes back ache from prolong use” was the complaint of a client. Makita has got you all covered with unique technology that blows leaves and debris, no matter how small or large. Makita 4-Stroke engine has the solution to engine seizure caused by incorrect mixture of oil and fuel in the engine. This cleaner-burning is answer to the problem of inefficiency in the operation of competitor backpack leaf blowers. Makita also tackles the problem of back aches and fatigues due to prolong use, by incorporating shoulder straps having multiple adjustments for improved fit.
- Fuel efficient 75.6 cc (3.8 HP) MM4® commercial duty engine.
- Easily accessible air filter which is also replaceable.
- Equipped with adjustable shoulder straps for easy fit.
- Well padded back panel which is ventilated for improved comfort of the wearer.
- Has an adjustable handle position which is also tool-less.
- Presence of mechanical automatic engine decompression for quick and easy starts.
- Less noise due to large capacity muffler (76 dBA).
- Easy maneuvering due to presence of adjustable tube.
- Heavy duty anti-vibration mounts between frame and engine.
- Its 4-Stroke engine is an improvement on 2-stroke engines
- Produces reduced noise.
- Economic: It maximizes fuel.
- Eco-friendly: Does not emit that much waste gas.
- Flexibility: Can be used for both commercially and for simple garden.
- Weight: light weight for easy carrying around and maneuvering.
- Package includes three different kinds of nozzle.
- Harness is only shoulder strapped without straps in front which makes the high torque pull the shoulder strap.
Looking for aesthetics and convenience? This is your best pick. Although there are many backpack leaf blowers out there, considering the best pick could be a bit tasking. The backpack leaf blower is complaint with noise restricted regions and ideal for working on noise sensitive properties as stated earlier. It is designed to withstand everyday heavy duty. The weight of the machine is negligible and it rest on the shoulder and back which hinders pain in the wrist, arm and hand. It provides freedom in the hand so as to utilize it for other purposes such as raking up. Makita EB5300TH Backpack leaf blower can be the best gift for that neighbor who has been finding it difficult in getting that debris away from his yard since it is cost effective and efficient.
Poulan Pro Blowers PR48BT Backpack Leaf Blower
A young girl once approached a Workshop owner and said to him, “My mammy wants a penny”. The man was so angered by that and replied angrily to this little girl, “Leave this place, your mom can get nothing from me”, and then continued his work. Not noticing that the little girl didn’t move an inch the whole time after his reply, she spoke up again. “My mammy wants a penny”. The man more angered said, “Little girl leave this place or else..!” and hurled a spade at her threatening her. This little child persisted again and spoke loudly, “My mammy gotta get that penny!” The man was startled and probably scared, but he reluctantly pulled that penny from his pocket and handed it to the little girl, who took it and dashed away. This story is one of persistence and determination of a little girl who later got her way. These two qualities are what Poulan have held on to as a manufacturing company. Over the years, they have strived to bring out the best in all of the equipments they produce. Poulan Pro 967087101 Backpack leaf Blower has an incredible high-velocity air speed up to 200mph. It is also equipped with other unique features and contours that enable maximum performance.
- Has the perfect cruise control with a variable speed control.
- Has a soft grip for a handle.
- Has the perfect strap and padded harness for maximum comfort of the operator.
- The leaf blower is light weight.
- Has large contoured shoulder strap to reduce fatigue from prolonged use.
- Has a heavy duty frame.
- 48cc two-cycle engine.
- Has a unique ergonomic design with contoured and adjustable back/shoulder harness.
- Convenient controls.
- Speed: Has high velocity air speeds reaching 200 mph and an airflow up to 475 cfm.
- Power: Powerful blow force for the best lawn maintenance and leaf clean-up.
- Flexibility: Can be used for either large or small clean up.
- Warranty: Has a 2 year warranty.
- There is the need to assemble after purchase which could be tasking (without prior knowledge).
This is the best option for either commercial or small scale house clearing. One of the customers who reviewed this product stated that it doesn’t just clears leaves or just debris, it also clears old piles of manure, nuts and compacted and half rotting clumps of stuff in low lying areas. It is a new product but has been striving and is still making name in the market. It is also affordable. The device is produced with the innovation and quality. It can serve as snow blower which makes it environmentally safe, effective and powerful.
ECHO PB-770T Backpack Leaf Blower
What if you got home and figured out you needed to clear out your yard? And you then remember the hectic day you had. Going for your leaf blower could be another hectic exercise if you think of it, because you remember your backpack leaf blower is so heavy & is fatiguing that you have backaches after each operation. Well, your problem just got solved. ECHO brings you the backpack blower that is right for you. ECHO has been producing quality products since several years back. This backpack blower is not an exception. Therefore, in your quest for the perfect backpack leaf blower, this should be one of your picks.
- Professional-grade 63.3 cc engine to blow large piles of debris and leaves.
- Has a 2-stroke engine.
- Has air speeds and air volume of 756 cfm and 234 mph respectively.
- Exclusive vented back pad.
- Also has a padded backrest & shoulder straps
- Variable speed tube-mounted throttle with cruise control.
- Metal wear ring shields blower pipe from damage
- Filter provides superior air filtration for long engine life.
- Classified as heavy grade construction equipment
- Power: It is useful for heavy duty operations.
- Performs better than most hand held leaf blower.
- Eco-friendly: there is zero emission of gas and maintenance, additional batteries, a rapid charger for quick charge time and multiple compatibility platforms.
- Leaf guard helps to keep debris out of fan intake
- Comfort: padded backrest and shoulder straps offers comfortable operation. Also, the vented back pad helps air to circulate around the user for better operator’s comfort in hot stance.
- The vented back pad helps air to circulate around the user for better operator comfort in hot stance.
- It can serve as snow blower which makes it environmentally safe.
- It is expensive compared to other leaf blowers.
Green works PRO back pack leaf blower provides great power, excellent air discharge from the nozzle, and simple to assemble as it is pretty straight forward. Its power can be harnessed for a small sailboat to work. It can produce enough force that you can stand far away and get debris, rocks, leaves, sticks blown away. Despite the high cost, its performance cannot be matched with other products. Nevertheless, if you insist on going cheaper, go for one of ECHO’s models at the entry-level.
ECHO PB-580T Backpack Leaf Blower
Do you find it difficult to clear your lawn and garden of wet leaves or debris? Why spend enormous time on clean, lifting heavy hand held leaf blower when you can get it done just half the time? Echo pb-580t back pack leaf blower will get your acreage clean within a short period of time. Bigger hand held leaf blowers results to serious discomfort. The back pack leaf blower is quite easy to assemble, possess adequate force to move wet leaves and debris. It is designed for both light and heavy duty work.
- Genuine OEM Echo Part.
- Presence of Carburetor Diaphragm.
- 2cc professional-grade, 2-stroke engine.
- Has leaf guard which helps to keep debris out of fan intake.
- Metal wear ring is included which shields leaf blower pipe from damage.
- Well padded backrest and shoulder straps. Back pad is also well ventilated.
- Pleated, automotive style air filter.
- Posi-loc™ pipe connectors.
- Presence of a standard starting system.
- Power: It is useful for heavy duty operations because it is really powerful.
- Performs better than most hand held leaf blower and has long lasting peak performance to tackle any project.
- Eco-friendly: There is zero emission of gas and maintenance, additional batteries, a rapid charger for quick charge time and multiple compatibility platforms. It can also serve as snow blower which makes it environmentally safe.
- Safety: A secure connection Tube mounted throttle is provided by Posi-loc™ pipe connector
- Comfort: The vented back pad helps air to circulate around the user for better operator comfort in hot stance. Padded backrest and shoulder straps also offer comfortable operation.
- It is convenient, effective and assembly is not difficult.
- It is more expensive than the regular leaf blower.
- The noise level is also high to an extent.
- Doesn’t have a shoulder strap across the chest, so it slips during operation.
- It could also be difficult to assemble as customer complained of unclear instructions.
ECHO PB-580T back pack blower provides great power plus excellent air discharge from the nozzle. This backpack leaf blower is worth every penny because it plows through debris without much effort applied. The back pack allows you to operate it for long period of time without wearing you out. It is effective, easy to start, clear debris, and even displace small and medium size stones. The special design with the backpack frame provides impressive support and reduces vibration levels during operation. The adjustable straps enable a perfect fit to your body, no matter your size and shape. The backpack leaf blower can be mounted on the harness which makes it possible for use on rough or uneven ground, where the use of other backpack leaf blowers would be difficult. Therefore, lengthy use in hostile areas will not be a problem.
HUSQVARNA 150BT Backpack Leaf Blower
Do you experience stress and discomfort while clearing your lawn and garden? Are you tired of spending enormous time in other to keep your environment clean? Presenting the Husqvarna 150BT, the solution you have been searching for. The Husqvarna 150BT 50cc 2-cycle leaf blower blower has its controls and harness ergonomically designed to produce & enhance power, high capacity and ease of use. It is also very easy to mount on your back as the harness also adds to the convenience.
- 50cc engine. Power output – 2.15 hp
- X-Torq engine does not only make it powerful and easy to start but also in combination with efficient fan design offers high air flow and air speed.
- 250 MPH air speed
- Air flow in pipe is 434.37 cfm
- Air Flow in Housing is 710 cfm
- Blowing force: 20 Newton
- Variable trigger speed offers mixed of fast and slow motions, it conform to the requirement of application, reduce damages and energy loss on the device. Variable trigger speed with cruise control makes handling easier.
- The LowVib dampeners positioned in between the engine and chassis effectively minimize vibrations.
- Comfort: Hip belt and wide shoulder straps offers ventilated, comfortable and load-reducing harness. Ergonomic hip belt and padded harness is designed to suit the shape and size of the operator.
- Economy: The X-Torq engine is designed to minimize harmful exhaust emissions by up to 60% to enhance power produced and aid better fuel efficiency by up to 20%.
- Ease of use: It facilitates accurate reading as stop switch automatically resets to the ON position, requiring little effort to start.
- Its air purge displaces air from fuel system and carburetor for easy starting.
- Conforms to a standard for light commercial applications and homeowners.
- It is heavy.
- The pull chain needs a lot of force exerted.
- Ear protection is needed. It could be loud.
Husqvarna 150BT is powerful and preferable because the air discharge from the nozzle of the back pack leaf blower is quick and adequate. It is clear debris, easy to start and effective. It rests on the shoulder and back which provides better support and limits discomfort. The back pack allows for portability. Husqvarna have been known for producing quality equipments since 1689 and this is not an exception. This backpack leaf blower last long in use even when used on days with high temperatures. With this speed, you’ll need to stay clear of lawn decoration stones because the Husqvarna 150BT 50.2cc 2-cycle Gas backpack leaf blower will blow them off. Enjoy cost, power and long lasting equipment from Husqvarna.
Greenworks 80V 580 CFM Brushless Backpack Blower
It is a cleaning device used for blowing through dry / wet leaves and debris. It comes inform of a back pack with the nozzle attached which makes it convenient during use. There is no limitation to place of operation since electrical cords are not utilized. The bigger hand held leaf blowers bring serious discomfort to your arms. This back pack leaf blower is ideal for anyone who has endured wrist, hand and arm problems. Variable speed trigger and cruise control enable you to choose and moderate the speed you want, gives you full control over all operations.
- Has 2.5 AH Battery included BPB80L2510.
- Up to 145 mph air speed and 580 cfm air volume that blows away large piles of leaves and debris.
- It is cordless.
- Has an 80 – volt feature.
- It is lightweight.
- Dual 7.5 amp batteries.
- Has a power of 145mph and 580 cfm
- Comfort: It is useful for tenacious operations (reducing fatigue and bestow comfort).
- Settings can be made to utilize precise speed all through every stage of operation, according to the need of application, giving you total control.
- Efficient: brushless motor maximizes length of time taken to run and extends motor life.
- Variable trigger speed offer mixed of fast and slow motions, it conform to the requirement of application, reduce damages and energy loss on the device.
- It is designed to be efficient and effective in performance.
- Versatility: It is versatile, easy start and arrange (convenient).
- Eco- friendly: There is zero emission of gas.
- Flexibility: easy to carry.
- The battery gets used up a lot faster because of the turbo switch
- There is the need to assemble after purchase which could be tasking (without prior knowledge).
- It is purely one-sided, and therefore you need to tactically use it to blow leaves hiding under tight corners
- Has a low tube angle and there is the need to lean over more during use.
Green works PRO back pack leaf blower offers adequate power, releases the air quickly out of the nozzle, and has more accurate reading in cubic feet per hour. The noise level is moderate and less compared to most leaf blowers. It is also easier to carry as a back pack. Gardeners and landscape companies will prefer this back pack leaf blower for simple reason, that it can be carried on the shoulder among other benefits. Majority of the weight rests on your shoulder and back, to provide and allow for better control of the backpack leaf blower during operation. It is classified as heavy grade construction equipment and also possesses long lasting peak performance to tackle any project. It is perfect for homeowners who take on jobs whether big or small. It is easy to use, convenient, durable, effective and cost saver, smart technology and extended run times which makes it efficient in its use for landscaping.
Dewalt DCBL590X2 40V MAX* XR® Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower
Are you in search of a leaf blower for landscaping in a garden or yard with wide area that offers comfort and makes operations less strenuous? Purchasing a big heavy hand held leaf blower could be inconvenient. Dewalt backpack leaf blower is the right equipment for you; a backpack cleaning device releasing air out of its nozzle to dispatch debris. It is easy to use, operates with lesser noise and minimal vibration compared to a gas leaf blower. The quality of unit is top notch and ergonomics is excellent.
- Dual handle swivel and dual speed select.
- Battery switches to select which battery to best draw energy from or to lock the tool off.
- Two set of 40 volt 7.5 Ah lithium – ion battery pack for extended run time if needed.
- Battery charger.
- Presence of two 40 vol max. Lithium-ion XR. Included is a backpack blower that is brushless.
- The handle provides a full variable speed trigger and speed lock that is activated and deactivated with a push of a button.
- High capacity of 40 V max
- Dual 7.5 amp batteries
- Ease of use: Battery installation and reload is quick and easy. Also the trigger lock makes its operation fatigue free and there is plenty of power.
- Convenience: The use of backpack leaf blower makes the use of your hand during operation easy and the debris can be targeted with ease.
- Comfort: It provides comfort, unlimited workspace due to absence of electric cord for power supply. There is also no worry against gas/oil mess to deal with.
- Variable trigger speed offer mixed of fast and slow motions, it conform to the requirement of application, reduce damages and energy loss on the device.
- Less noise: The backpack leaf blower is complaint with noise restricted regions and ideal for working on noise sensitive properties.
- Control: Settings can be made to utilize precise speed all through every stage of operation, according to the need of application, which gives you total control.
- It is costlier than some other models.
- Customer complained of battery taking long to get charged.
- Its power is not high enough to blow heavy snow, clogged gutters or wet leaves.
- There is no wall mount bracket for the battery charger.
- It is also one-sided.
- The batter runs out more quickly and speed is determined by the batter’s rating.
Dewalt backpack leaf blower is powerful & noise level minimal, the mulching capacity is effective and the air discharge from the nozzle of the back pack leaf blower is quick and adequate. The weight of the machine is negligible and it rest on the shoulder and back which hinders pain in the wrist, arm and hand. However, external factors affect the performance of the backpack leaf blower such as kind of leaves, wetness and so on.
Why use a Backpack Leaf Blower?
The most obvious benefit of backpack leaf blowers is the fact that it’s on your back, freeing up your arms for the task in hand whilst keeping the weight where your body is designed to hold it.
If you’ve ever used a hand-held leaf blower, you’ll know that it’s hard work – your arms start to ache after a few minutes and you soon start to wish the job was over. Wearing the leaf blower on your back enormously reduces the risk of injury, is great for anyone with arm or lower back issues and means you can happily continue the task for longer, meaning it’s finished in less time.
Leaf blowers with powerful motors can be quite heavy, so it’s important to keep the weight balanced evenly on your body to prevent injury and to give you more control as you sweep the blower from side to side. Wearing a leaf blower designed to sit on your back ensures that the weight is equally supported and your arms are free to point the blower easily and in more specific directions.
A powerful motor is the other big advantage of backpack leaf blowers compared to more traditional tools such as a rake, or even to smaller handheld blowers. For shifting bigger piles of leaves or other debris, nothing compares to a backpack blower. Gone are the days of having to rake over the lawn multiple times or point a flimsy handheld blower in the same direction until the leaves decide to move. In one tool, you can get all the power you need to complete the task quickly and allow you to get on with the rest of your day.
The Big Debate: Gas or Electric?
A few years ago, almost all backpack leaf blowers were gas-powered. However, in recent years, electric leaf blowers have become serious contenders. When deciding which is for you, remember to consider the following:
Power levels: gas-powered backpack leaf blowers tend to be more powerful, which is useful for clearing bigger areas or deeper piles. However, they can be harder to start, especially on cold mornings. Switching between blow and vacuum modes also tends to be easier on electric models, where there is usually just a simple switch.
Size of area to be cleared: many electric models have a power cable that needs to be plugged in. This can be a problem in bigger gardens and it can get in the way if you have hard-to-reach areas that need clearing. If you’re set on electric, there are some cordless options now available.
Noise: electric leaf blowers are usually quieter, which is better for protecting your ears and your reputation with the neighbors.
Weight: whilst not as important a consideration as for hand-held blowers, some users prefer to carry less weight on their back. Electric models tend to weigh less than their gas equivalents.
Your budget: the lower end of the spending scale tends to be dominated by electric backpack leaf blowers and the upper by gas, but there are good options for both at most pricing tiers in-between. If budget is important to you but you have a set of requirements in mind, try shopping around to see if you can find a deal.
The Best Way to Work Out How Much Power You Need
There are two key power measures you will see on most backpack leaf blowers:
Miles per hour rating (MPH): This is how fast the air comes out. Obviously, the faster the better for hitting those leaves with more force. Many models now have MPH speeds of upwards of 200 MPH, which will certainly make clearing an easier task.
However, this needs to be considered alongside:
Air volume rating (CFM – cubic feet/minute): This is how much air the tool emits per minute. Again, generally the higher the number, the better. There’s no point having very fast air coming out of a tiny blower nozzle, with you having to wave it around to direct it at more than one small leaf at a time. But, on the other end of the scale, you don’t want such an enormous opening in the nozzle that leaves just blow in all directions without enough air pressure.
So, always look for a good mix of both ratings: high MPH and high CFM. Some cheaper models will have smaller nozzles, so the MPH rating will be high, but the CFM will be low. This will ultimately be more effort for you, as you will have to move the blower around more to achieve the same effect.
A Word About Noise
Anything with as much power as we’re looking at here will inevitably create quite a lot of noise. You can compare different noise levels by looking at the decibel rating of each model, and remembering that, in general, electric motors are a bit quieter. Some reviewers also show 50-foot noise ratings so you can get a feel for how loud the noise will be for your family and neighbors.
When using a backpack leaf blower, you should always wear protective ear covering. Professional ear protectors or earplugs will give the best protection, or try experimenting with different options whilst using the blower for just a few minutes until you find the best solution for you. The same applies if you are operating the tool near children or pets, whose hearing can be more sensitive – try to keep them out of the area whilst you’re using the blower.
Another consideration is the time of day you want to be using your leaf blower. It’s common courtesy to avoid times when neighbors may be in bed, such as early in the day or after dark. Some areas have rules and regulations around usage times of leaf blowers or prohibit the use of gas blowers. If in doubt, find out your town’s regulations or ask a neighbor. The No Noise [http://www.nonoise.org/] website has more information.
What to Look For in a Leaf Blower
Reading the manufacturer’s technical specifications for a leaf blower can be quite overwhelming. We have picked out the most important features to look for:
Weight: Most backpack leaf blowers should be fine for the average person to carry on their back, but consider a lighter option if you have back issues or prefer less weight.
Engine type: 2-cycle engines use a mix of oil and gasoline which means you need to mix the two or find somewhere that sells it already mixed. For the weight, these engines are pretty powerful. 4-cycle engines use only gasoline but tend to be heavier and need their oil changing more frequently.
Power (miles-per-hour – MPH, and cubic-feet-per-minute – CFM): This is how fast the air comes out of the unit and how much air comes out per minute. The higher the better for shifting bigger piles more quickly. Make sure both numbers are similarly high, otherwise you might end up with fast air coming out of a tiny nozzle. Power can also be measured in amps, volts and cubic cm – for all, the higher, the more powerful the tool.
Speed settings: useful if you want to control how far you blow the leaves. Think about how many different speeds you might you need for your tasks.
Noise level: usually measured in decibels. Most blowers will require you to wear ear protection, but quieter ones will be less disruptive for your neighbors. Remember to check the regulations for your area in case there is a noise limit.
Mulching reduction ratios: 10:1 means a blower with mulching ability can reduce the equivalent of ten bags of leaves into one bag.
Starter mechanisms: electric leaf blowers usually just have an ‘on’ switch. Some gas blowers can be harder to start in the cold. Look out for simplified choke operation.
Ergonomic design and vibration reduction: if you’re using the blower frequently or for long periods of time, this can help reduce repetitive strain injuries and make the experience more pleasant.
Top Brands of Backpack Leaf Blower
Gas leaf blowers:
Echo: If you’re after a top quality tool, Echo’s professional level leaf blowers are a good place to start. They have a good range of handheld options too, which can be useful for comparison. Echo blowers offer excellent weight to power ratio and can be a comfortable long or frequent use option. You can find them in most hardware stores and Home Depot.
Electric Leaf Blowers:
Black + Decker: Available almost everywhere you can think of, Black + Decker leaf blowers come in cabled or lithium-ion cordless versions. They also make the Leaf Hog models. Black + Decker blowers focus on being easy to carry, lightweight (most are between between 5 and 8 pounds) and good value. You can find lots of advice and reviews for these online, due to their popularity.
Toro: A good alternative to Black + Decker, Toro models are also lightweight and very widely available online and in most hardware stores and general merchandisers. Most of their models are cabled, so consider if this is important to you. Toro brand names include Power Blower, Power Sweep and Super Blower – look out for these names if you want the reassurance of Toro quality.
Ego: Great quality cordless options, built from the same expertise as their other garden power tools, with a long-lasting 56 volt battery. You can find these in many online retailers and at Home Depot.
Gas and Electric Leaf Blowers:
Craftsman: A Sears brand available also in Kmart, Craftsman focuses on both gas and electric leaf blowers and built up its expertise in handheld models, with a good range of backpack leaf blowers too. Craftsman blowers are very popular and highly rated.
Stihl: Much loved by professionals, Stihl make high quality gas and electric models, which are only available through power tool dealers. For a slightly cheaper option with the same engineering skill and quality behind it, look at HomeScaper, which is a sub-brand for their consumer range.
Weed Eater: A good low-budget option that nevertheless remains high enough quality for the average user’s needs. Some surprisingly lightweight options considering the price. Available in many general merchandisers, hardware stores and online.
Care and maintenance
Getting into a regular routine for maintaining your leaf blower is essential for keeping it working as it should. Doing things properly shouldn’t take long if you stay on top of it, and will ensure that your warranty remains valid.
Before each use:
Gas leaf blowers: check gas and oil levels before starting. The manual will tell you the correct ratio. Getting this wrong could mean the blower doesn’t start or could cause permanent damage.
Battery powered leaf blowers: ensure that the power cable is in good condition with the casing intact and no loose wires around the plug. If you have a cordless blower, check that the the batteries are charged and that there’s no sign of battery leakage which could damage the insides of the equipment.
Ensure that the air filter has nothing in it – air needs to be able to flow smoothly through while in use.
Check for cracks or any loose nuts or parts. Give the whole tool a quick wipedown to remove any dust or debris from storage.
Test the throttle trigger to make sure it works. If it doesn’t, and all other parts seem to be working, don’t try to open the blower – contact the retailer or manufacturer for advice, so that you don’t void the warranty.
While Using the Blower:
Don’t use at full throttle the whole time – the motor is working pretty hard on its highest setting and using it for prolonged periods can cause overheating and wear and tear.
Take care not to hit the ground or other objects with the nozzle or the blower on your back – bangs can cause cracks which can easily grow with use.
- Clean the blower using a cloth or rag. Remove any debris in the air filter.
- Ensure you have a dry place to store the tool, out of reach of animals and children or any chemicals which could damage the casing.
- Ensure that all safety locks are on.
- Wipe the fan blades on the flywheel if there is any dirt on them.
- If the blower came with a protective bag or box, use this for storage to prevent dust or other debris from getting in.
Check the gas and oil ratios, the spark plugs and anything obvious such as dirt in the air filters or cracks in the casing. With good care, your backpack leaf blower should last you for many years.
The perfect tool for all year round
Did you know that leaf blowers can be used for much more than leaves? They make a very versatile tool for all seasons, keeping your yard and driveway clean and tidy no matter what time of year it is.
Fall: Your leaf blower does what the name suggests and blows leaves into piles for bonfires or mulching. This tool will be your best friend during this time of year and you will never look back to the days of using a rake or holding a bulky leaf blower in your hand.
Winter: Your leaf blower can be used to clear snow. Gas leaf blowers with their extra power are most effective at this, but all leaf blowers create heat and produce enough airflow to shift the light dustings that come and go throughout winter. It can also help with clearing fallen twigs and leaves that tend to accumulate after heavy winds.
Spring: Time for a good clear-up of your yard when the winter snows have melted and the spring plants start to appear. Use your backpack leaf blower to clear old leaves and dirt from your beds and decking. Now is a good time to create some piles for mulch which you can apply again in the summer.
Summer: There is still plenty of garden debris in summer, with petals, leaves, gardening cuttings and grass trimmings. Use your leaf blower to effortlessly keep on top of these and have a tidy garden you can enjoy when the sun is out.