Best Handheld Leaf Blower 2018: Buying Guide and Top 5
If you’re a professional landscaper, contractor, gardener, or just a homeowner who’s passionate about yard maintenance, you know how much of a nuisance it is to rake up piles of dead leaves every fall. One day you think you’ve raked them all, and then the next day, the wind has blown them back onto your lawn, or more leaves have fallen onto your yard. If this issue seems familiar to you, you should invest in a handheld leaf blower. However, not all leaf blowers are created alike. There are a lot of factors to consider when planning to purchase a handheld leaf blower. Let this buying guide help you out!
What Powers a Handheld Leaf Blower?
Commercial leaf blowers are either powered electrically or using gas. Electric leaf blowers generally need to be plugged into an extension cord, which usually needs to be purchased separately. Of course, this limits your leaf blowing radius to the length of whatever extension cord you own. Gas powered leaf blowers have no such distance limitations, but continually need to be filled up with a combination of gasoline and oil to function. They also tend to emit fumes and are also louder than electric leaf blowers.
How Powerful are Handheld Leaf Blowers?
The speed and power of any single handheld leaf blower depends on the model and manufacturer. You can generally expect the maximum air speed of any commercial handheld leaf blower to be at least 145 miles per hour, although some models can reach air speeds of over 200 miles per hour. The faster the maximum air speed, the more powerful the leaf blower. Some leaf blowers come with a flat or tapered nozzle attachment, which narrows and focuses the airstream and increases the maximum air speed.
Are Handheld Leaf Blowers Difficult to Use?
The ease of use and maneuverability of a handheld leaf blower depends most heavily on its weight. The lighter the leaf blower, the easier it is to use single-handedly, and the more maneuverable it will be. The average leaf blower will weigh somewhere between 7 and 9 pounds. Electric leaf blowers tend to be lighter than gas-powered leaf blowers, since they don’t carry the extra weight of a fuel tank filled with gas. However, their maneuverability is limited by the fact that they rely on a power cord to function. Lighter leaf blowers are easier to use for longer periods of time, but they’re generally less powerful than larger, heavier leaf blowers.
Most handheld leaf blowers work by pulling a trigger, holding down a lever, or flipping a switch. Some models have variable speeds that can be controlled using a button or switch. Others are single-speed.
The Top 5 Handheld Leaf Blowers
Each leaf blower model is designed with a different weight, maximum speed, power system, and comes with a different array of attachments. With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to narrow down which model of handheld leaf blower will work best for you and your yard. Here are 5 of the best handheld leaf blowers available in 2018. You’re sure to find at least one model that’ll perfectly suit your needs!
5 DEWALT DWBL700 12 Amp Handheld Blower
The DEWALT DWBL700 leaf blower is specifically designed to work just as well as any contractor-grade model, but without the need for gasoline. It’s powered using an extension cord, which you can easily buy at any hardware or home improvement store. It weighs 9.8 pounds, making it lightweight and maneuverable. Using the standard round nozzle, this leaf blower can reach a maximum air speed of 145 miles per hour. If you’re looking to clear out heavier debris than just leaves and grass, try using the included flat concentrator nozzle, which will increase the maximum air speed to 189 miles per hour. Finally, each leaf blower also comes with a round concentrator nozzle, which is designed to help you clear out tricky cracks and crevices.
4 Makita BHX2500CA 24.5 cc MM4 4-Stroke Engine Blower
The Makita leaf blower boasts a lightweight 4-stroke motor, which is specifically designed to minimize emissions and noise while remaining as energy efficient as possible. The fuel tank is generously sized at 17.7 ounces, so you don’t have to constantly fill and refill the tank. It weighs 9.8 pounds, which is lighter than any other leaf blower with a 4-stroke engine. It can reach a maximum speed of 145 miles per hour, making it equally as powerful as any other commercial grade leaf blower. For added convenience and ease of use, the trigger features a cruise control lever, which you can set in place to keep the air flowing continuously, making your leaf blowing process easier and more comfortable.
3 Toro 51618 Super Leaf Blower Vac
The Toro 51618 leaf blower is an especially powerful and versatile model. It can reach speeds of up to 225 miles per hour, and also doubles as a high-speed vacuum and leaf shredder. It’s powered using an extension cord and has 2 variable speed settings, making it incredibly versatile. Its powerful shredder can reduce the mass of a pile of leaves by 90%, turning 10 bags of leaf debris into 1. When it comes to general debris, the shredder has an 81% reduction rate, although your results might vary based on the type of debris you’re trying to shred. This leaf blower weighs 7.2 pounds, so despite its incredible power and versatility, it’s still lighter than many other leaf blower models.
2 Hitachi RB24EAP Gas Powered Leaf Blower
This powerful Hitachi leaf blower uses a 2-stroke engine, which features PureFire low emission technology to reduce its environmental impact and minimize noise and emissions. It weighs 8.6 pounds, putting it smack dab in the middle of the average weight range for handheld leaf blowers. Using the included taper nozzle, this leaf blower can reach speeds of 170 miles per hour, making it a strong competitor among commercial grade leaf blowers. It’s powered using a combination of gasoline and oil. You can turn the airflow on and off using a 2-finger throttle lever, making it extremely user-friendly and easy to operate, even for long periods of time.
1 Greenworks 24012 7 Amp Single Speed Electric 160 MPH Blower
This Greenworks 24012 leaf blower is especially compact and lightweight, weighing in at only 4.5 miles per hour. However, its low weight doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice power—this leaf blower can reach a maximum speed of 160 miles per hour, making it strong enough to handle any sort of natural debris, from twigs to leaves to pine needles. It’s EnergyStar approved and has absolutely no carbon footprint, making it one of the cleanest, greenest, and most energy efficient leaf blowers on the market today. It also features a safety cord lock feature, which prevents your extension cord from accidentally getting unplugged or disconnected.
Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing a Handheld Leaf Blower
If you’re struggling to keep up with all of the factors to consider when looking into handheld leaf blowers, don’t worry! This buyer’s guide lays out all of the important considerations you need to keep in mind before making a leaf blower purchase!
Handheld leaf blowers are either gas powered or electric. Gas powered leaf blowers tend to be heavier, louder, and emit fumes, but are also more maneuverable due to the fact that they aren’t attached to any cords or plugs.
Electric leaf blowers are generally lighter, smaller, and quieter. However, you may not be able to reach all of the areas of your lawn or landscape that you’d like to clean, since your leaf blowing range is limited to the full length of your extension cord.
The faster the maximum air speed, the more powerful the handheld leaf blower. You can expect most models to reach speeds of at least 145 miles per hour, which is more than enough power to handle general yard debris, like leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, dirt, and dust. Some models come with a tapered nozzle attachment that increases the maximum air speed by focusing the airstream.