Updated 16 March 2022
Our team have tested the most popular leaf blowers. You could say we were blown away by the test winner. The best gardening machines packs heaps of power and are highly reliable while being easy to start.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carried out all of our leaf blower tests ourselves and tested all products in real conditions. We tested leaf blowers on different types of surfaces and in different weather conditions – everything from blowing leaves on dewy morning grass to gravel paths on hot summer days. All leaf blowers have been evaluated in respect of a number of factors:
Performance: What can the machine achieve in terms of blowing? Can it cope with dry leaves on hard surfaces? Can it cope with dry leaves on a lawn? Can it cope with damp leaves? Can it manage with sticks, pine cones and stones? Can it blow a large area in a single sweep? Can you target the blowing function?
Ease of use: How easy is it to get started? How well positioned are the controls? Is it easy to understand? How clear is the manual? Can you quickly change between different accessories?
Functions: Can you do more than just blow leaves with it? Can you adjust the blowing speed? Can you lock it, or do you have to keep the throttle pressed in throughout the session? Does it have other useful functions?
Accessories: If it is a battery operated model, can you change the battery? Does it include different types of blowing nozzles?
We have considered these factors and ergonomics, operating time and build quality, when allocating a score. Yet, we also considered how good the leaf blower is in terms of its value for money. What do you actually get for your purchase?
Power, user-friendliness and useful functions in a single machine
Power: 0.85 kW Power source: Petrol Noise level: 91 dB Air flow: 13 m³/min Maximum blowing speed: 157 m/s Weight: 4.3 kg Collector: No Tank volume: 0.45 l Accessories included: Flat and round blowing nozzle
The Husqvarna 525BX is one of the most powerful leaf blowers with a user-friendly design and functionality, which given its current price tag, we nominate as the best leaf blower of 2020. We had no problems blowing large lawns or damp ditch borders clean.
Because the blowing nozzle length is adjustable, you can get very close to the ground without having to bend down, even if you're tall. The nozzle length is easy to adjust and requires neither tools nor a manual. However, you can only adjust it by a few centimetres. But for a tall person those few centimetres make all the difference.
One really good function on this leaf blower is the setting for blowing speed. It means that you can use it more gently, for example when you're blowing leaves from gravel, and increase the power when you're blowing damp leaves or larger areas. The 525BX feels intuitive to use and all of the functions are visible and close to each other.
The package includes both a flat and an open blowing nozzle. The flat nozzle gives a more targeted and powerful air flow, which is useful when you're blowing leaves from a damp surface, for example first thing in the morning when the grass may still be a little dewy. The open blowing nozzle is better if you're blowing leaves, pine cones and other debris from large dry surfaces. The fuel lasts for around one hour.
The 525BX weighs just over four kilos, so you can use that time effectively, even if it may feel a little heavy towards the end. There's an extra handle on the bottom edge which is useful when you're blowing on more complicated angles or if your arms start to get tired.
Overall, this is a very competent, good value for money leaf blower for people with large gardens and who need to be able to adapt the machine’s power in an effortless way.
Lots of power in a compact body
Power source: Battery (48V) Measured battery life: 15-17 min (battery model 520), 20-25 min (battery model 540) Measured noise level: 65.4 dB (setting 1), 76.2 dB (setting 2), 78.6 dB (setting 3) Maximum blowing speed: 55 m/s Weight: 3569 g (inc. battery model 520) Collector: No Accessories included: Round blowing nozzle Miscellaneous: 3 strength settings
The Stiga BL 500e is a very powerful but simultaneously light and handy leaf blower that can cope both with blowing damp leaves on your lawn and snow off your car. Despite the fact that it’s quite compact and the nozzle has a round opening, it delivers an impressive result. For example, we tested it on spreading out heaps of soaking wet leaves on the vegetable bed, and it worked very well. It even shifts branches and gravel on the highest setting.
The leaf blower has three strength settings. The first one is for use when you’re blowing sawdust off your workbench, for example, while the second and third are more intended for leaf blowing and other heavier tasks. The third one gives an extra nudge to the machine’s capacity, but under normal conditions where leaves are dry the second setting is perfectly sufficient.
The battery system on the BL 500e is the same as on several of Stiga’s other 48-volt machines. So you can share batteries between your hedge trimmer and leaf blower, for example.
Unfortunately it only includes one blowing nozzle, with a round end. This will get you quite a long way, but if you want to target the air flow to get more control it’s immediately more difficult without an angled nozzle. Nor does it include a shoulder strap. On the other hand, we don't feel like you need one because the BL 500e is so light and well balanced.
The build quality of this leaf blower feels good and we don’t experience any unpleasant vibrations.
The design is also user-friendly. There’s an on/off button and one to control the strength. The grip is rubberised, and the battery also has a handle that means you can use the battery as a grip for the other hand when you’re working on areas that are difficult to access.
The Stiga BL 500e is ideal for anyone who wants a powerful battery leaf blower. It's suitable for a range of tasks, from blowing dirt and dust from your workshop or wheelbarrow to blowing leaves or cleaning up around the bird table.
Good cheap leaf blower for easy leaf blowing
Power source: Battery (40V) Measured battery life: 32 mins (5 Ah) 6.4 mins/Ah Measured noise level: 79.4 dB (standard mode) Maximum blowing speed: 41 m/s Weight: 2516 g excluding battery (battery: 1,334 g) Collector: No Accessories included: Battery and charger
The manufacturer says the Meec Tools Multiseries 40V (011224) is able to blow at 41 m/s – and it lives up to that claim. In standard mode, it’s easily capable of blowing together smaller piles of dry leaves. It can also move damp leaves on a lawn, even if it doesn’t do so quite as fast or in great numbers. In any case, it’s more capable than many other leaf blowers in the same price range.
If you drive it in turbo mode instead, it can also move decent sized piles of leaves – but not really large ones.
Unfortunately, the construction isn’t great. You have to hold the turbo button in manually, and this quickly becomes very strenuous for the thumb – partly because of the resistance in the button, partly because the button isn’t positioned well.
The resistance needs to be reduced, or there should be a normal push button that locks the machine in turbo mode so you don’t have to hold it down all the time.
Apart from turbo mode, there aren’t any special features, but we wouldn’t have expected them on such a cheap leaf blower.
The handle is OK in terms of size. It’s rubberised and you can use it with either hand.
The Meec Tools Multiseries 40V leaf blower is straight when you hold it, and then you put the battery, which means that it becomes a little heavy at the back. So you have to angle it downwards by hand.
At the time of writing, this product is sold together with a 2 Ah battery and you only get 10-12 minutes of blowing time. So if you have a large garden, you should take that into account as you’re definitely going to need a battery bigger than the one supplied. However, the operating time is fine in terms of the price, so we don’t knock points off when allocating our score. It’s mostly just something to bear in mind if you’re interested in the product.
One minor disadvantage, however, is that the battery is very awkward to remove.
Once you have removed it, however, there is a bracket on the machine so you can hang it up on a wall, which makes it very easy to store between uses.
The Meec Tools Multiseries 40 V leaf blower is a decent cheap leaf blower that actually manages to blow leaves – something that a lot of cheap models don’t really do. It works OK to gather up piles of leaves or to move smaller piles. It can also handle a few damp leaves, although it’s not really efficient in that respect.
Ergonomic powerhouse with lots of setting options
Power source: Battery (36V) Measured battery life: 22 mins 27 s (4 Ah) 5.6 mins/Ah Measured noise level: 77.6 dB Maximum blowing speed: 55 m/s Weight: 1870 g excluding battery (battery: 1,227 g) Collector: No
The Stihl BGA 57 is a lightweight leaf blower offering a low noise level and great ergonomics. In addition to all of that, it is really powerful.
This leaf blower can move both dry and damp leaves relatively efficiently across your lawn. It can also move piles of leaves. Overall the performance is amongst the very best of battery models in this price range.
Battery life is OK, but considering the price, we would have liked to have seen even better values.
Ergonomically the balance of this machine is very good. The tube of the leaf blower tilts slightly downwards.
The Stihl BGA 57 has a number of interesting functions. For example, it has a safety catch, so when you grab the handle you can’t go unless you first push the catch forwards – a kind of simple two-stage approach that works very well when you get used to it.
Furthermore, the tube is adjustable in three different lengths, so that everyone in the family can use it. You set it based on your own height, and at maximum length it is excellent for people up to as much 1.90 metres tall. It‘s also easy to reduce the length to suit shorter individuals.
In terms of battery you have the same type as in Stihl's chainsaws and grass trimmers (36-volt) – which is convenient if you already own other garden machines from this manufacturer.
The battery has a two-stage release where it partially pops out at first, but still remains in place. If you then press it again, it releases the whole battery. This is a very convenient and user-friendly solution. The battery also has a clear battery indicator at the back.
The machine has a bracket for hanging on a wall when not in use.
The Stihl BGA 57 is great if you’re looking for lightweight battery leaf blower with a really good design which is user-friendly, so long as you are happy paying a bit extra for all that. And if you also have other garden machines in the same series, you can share a battery between them.
Powerful with user-friendly construction
Power source: Battery (36 V) Measured battery life: 10 min 13 s (4 Ah), 12 min (5 Ah) Measured noise level: 86 dB Weight: 2059 kg (excluding battery) Collector: No Accessories: Round blowing nozzle Miscellaneous: Speed adjustment, digital on/off
The Husqvarna 120iB is a powerful leaf blower in the 36-volt class, where you feel the performance as soon as you start it. In terms of performance, it’s not far off being the best battery model, but unfortunately it falls short when it comes to battery life. The battery life isn’t bad, but it's still significantly shorter than desirable in a test winner.
On the other hand, the Husqvarna 120iB has a lot of other things going for it. For example, it can be hung up on the wall when not in use. Other user-friendly details include clear speed settings and the digital on/off function that makes it easy to start.
In terms of performance, the blower is able to blow together large piles of both small and large leaves. It can also blow damp leaves as long as the terrain isn’t too rugged. We also blew 5-7 centimetres of moss from a roof without any problems.
The blowing nozzle is a bit short so you won’t get very close to the ground, unfortunately. It’s also a bit tricky to release it from the machine body when the leaf blower isn’t in use.
With the fast charger, you can charge 120iB in around 30 minutes. With a normal charger, you can count on that taking an hour.
The Husqvarna 120iB is a powerful leaf blower with robust build quality and rubberised, comfortable handles. It has plenty of performance, but it's not so great in terms of operating time. However, it’s far from a bad buy, especially if you already have Husqvarna batteries to swap between tools.
Strong battery powered leaf blower with attachment for carrying strap
**Power source: Battery (48V) Measured battery life: 26.47 mins (5 Ah), 5.3 mins/Ah Measured noise level: 68 dB (mode 1), 75,7 dB (mode 2), 83 dB (mode 3) Maximum blowing speed: 55 m/s Weight: 2890 g excluding battery (battery: 1402 g for 5 Ah) Collector: No Accessories included: Round nozzle, flat nozzle Miscellaneous: 3 strength modes
The Stiga SAB 700 AE is very similar to the Stiga 500 AE with the difference being that the 700 model is a little heavier and has an attachment for a harness. No harness is included, but the fact that you can fit one is a definite advantage.
When it comes to performance, with this machine you do get plenty of power. In principle, this machine is the same as the previously tested 500 AE. You can blow dry and damp leaves into piles, and it can move the piles – even in slightly taller grass. Your lawn doesn’t need to be neatly mown, as it has to be with some competitors.
The leaf blower also handles tasks such as blowing away chestnuts, gravel and other larger objects.
Stiga have supplemented this model with a nozzle that looks like a duckbill. In practice, however, this nozzle makes no major difference when blowing leaves. On the other hand, it does help when you’re blowing dust from shelves and the like because the air flow becomes more focused. When blowing leaves, it’s better to have an efficient and powerful model that can blow a large area of leaves at the same time.
The SAB 700 AE has three power modes that regulate the blowing strength. It works well to use the machine at a lower strength if you’re going to blow a workshop floor clean or remove dust from shelves because then the dirt isn’t whipped up into the air too much. For leaf blowing, you can go up to step two or three depending on how damp the leaves are.
All buttons and grips are well designed. The machine has comfortable buttons with a very good response, which are easily accessible regardless of whether you are right or left-handed.
Can hang freely from your fingers Stiga SAB 700 AE has a form of soft start function. This makes it feel like it starts up slowly, where many other leaf blowers start with a jerk which also gives a good effect on the leaves. Here, the power builds up over a short period of time.
Last year's batteries had a handle that we liked. The handle allowed you to hold the leaf blower with two hands, and you could easily get the battery out. This year's batteries lack that handle. We think that's a shame because the batteries are a bit tricky to get out without one. Having said all that, this leaf blower is usually sold without a battery, and you buy the batteries and charger separately.
Operating time is OK given the price. It doesn’t stand out either positively or negatively.
The SAB 700 AE is a very well-balanced leaf blower that’s easy to carry around even for longer periods, even without using a harness. It’s so well balanced that you can balance it on your finger when the machine is running.
Unfortunately, it does suck in some air from the side, as it has an air intake there. This means you risk your trousers or whatever being sucked in if you hold the blower too close to your leg. This isn’t a huge problem, but something we consider a minor drawback.
The Stiga SAB 700 AE is an excellent leaf blower which also offers you the opportunity to fit a harness for extra support. It is powerful, easy to use and has a well-thought-out design.
Powerful leaf blower for small areas
Power source: Battery (54V) Measured battery life: 10 min (2.5 AH), approx. 4 min/AH Measured sound level: 90.5 dB Maximum blow rate: 50 m/s Weight: 2,770 g excluding battery, battery: 1092 g Collector: No
The Cub Cadet LH5 B60 is a leaf blower with plenty of power and some smart features. You adjust the blowing force seamlessly, which is convenient as you can then adapt it entirely to different types of surfaces. You can also lock the throttle so you don't have to hold it in by hand. This is appreciated.
The handle is rubberised for the best possible grip. Furthermore, the leaf blower itself is well balanced and therefore rests well in your hand at all strengths.
As said before, the power is substantial. It has no trouble blowing large objects such as chestnuts and gravel, as well as both wet or dry leaves. We also tested blowing sheet metal clean, after leaves rained down and then started to decay into soil, and it has no problem blowing them away either.
Unfortunately, it has a slightly malplaced intake. When you push it at maximum power, it tends to suck itself onto your pants.
The LH5 B60 has a hook underneath so you can easily hang it away in the workshop. It also has the advantage that you can place it flat on the slope without it wobbling.
Battery life is okay, but not impressive. The approximate ten minutes we get out of a 50-minute charge is definitely not much.
The battery is easy to insert and remove. There are three LEDs on the display that indicate when it is time to charge.
The Cub Cadet LH5 B60 is for those who want a powerful, easy-to-use leaf blower. It does not have test-winning battery life, and the performance difference is minimal compared to those with a top position in the test. But this is still a really good leaf blower, and if you have other machines from the same manufacturer and can therefore share a battery, you have a competent leaf blower in this model.
User-friendly and quite strong
Power source: Battery Noise level: 70.1 dB Maximum blowing speed: 170-250 km/h Weight: 3 kg Collector: No Accessories included: Flat blowing nozzle
The Bosch ALB 36 Li is a rather heavy but well-balanced 36-volt leaf blower with a user-friendly design. It's easy to understand the functions at first glance – partly because there aren't many of them, and partly because they are clearly marked.
All the parts you can interact with in some way are bright red, while the body of the leaf blower is green.
It's easy to insert and remove the battery. It even comes with battery indicators with three stages so that you can see when it's nearly time to recharge. The 2 Ah battery lasts about 15 minutes if you run the ALB 36 Li on maximum speed. It then charges back up again in an hour. We think the battery life is on the short side. But if you have other 36 V machines from Bosch, you can swap batteries between them.
The Bosch ALB 36 Li is strong for such a simple leaf blower. It can easily clean leaves off your terrace or patio. But if you're going to be blowing damp leaves off your lawn, or from another uneven surface, it probably won't cope so well. It also loses power when the battery starts to run down, which can be irritating. But at full charge the machine is quite powerful compared to many competing battery leaf blowers.
You can reduce the strength via a stepless control to save on battery life during simpler tasks. However, this function is rarely useful because you generally want to clean areas as efficiently as possible. The control doubles as an on/off button. The noise level on maximum strength is medium-high; it’s certainly not a noiseless leaf blower.
The ALB 36 Li is primarily suitable for blowing dry leaves from even surfaces such as asphalt drives or patios.
Bosch Cordless Leaf Blower ALB 36 LI (without battery, air speed: 180–260 km/h, 36-volt system, in carton packaging)
Bosch Green ALB 36 LI 36v Cordless Leaf Blower Body Only 06008A0401
Bosch ALB 36 LI 36v Cordless Garden Leaf Blower No Batteries No Charger
A leaf blower that can even blow stones
Power source: Petrol Noise level: 90 dB Air flow: 755/620 m³/h Maximum blowing speed: 63/74 m/s (round/flat blowing nozzle) Weight: 4.4 kg Collector: No Tank volume: 0.44 l Accessories included: Flat and round blowing nozzle
The Stihl BG86 C-E is one of the most powerful leaf blowers that can blow everything from leaves to small stones. It also copes easily with removing pine cones from lawns and paths. With the flat blowing nozzle installed, it has no problems with damp leaves, and with the round blowing nozzle you can blow large amounts of leaves at once.
On the side of the BG86 is a button that, when set to the central position, enables the leaf blower to run on medium power automatically. This function is sufficient for most tasks, but if you know that you'll be working on sensitive surfaces such as gravel paths and flowerbeds with a visible layer of soil, you can also set the throttle in another position. You press the throttle in until you have achieved the desired power and then lock the button with another control. Unfortunately, there's not much difference between full throttle and idling, so it can be tricky to get the desired strength. But once you've got used to the machine it gets easier.
The button on the side of the BG86 is also used when you start the leaf blower. You set it to the furthest position for choke, and then you pull the starting cord and give it throttle – the button then returns to its original position. This works well once you've learned how to hold the leaf blower while starting it, and when it's relevant to use the choke. It often starts with 2-3 pulls.
The fuel lasts for about 45 minutes of active leaf blowing, which feels a tad short. However, while using it there are no problems holding the leaf blower on the right angle from an ergonomic point of view. It weighs just over four kilos and produces very few vibrations.
It gets a bit heavy towards the end, but underneath it there's an extra handle which is handy at these times. And it’s useful if you're going to be blowing on more awkward angles or where there's garden furniture in the way. The build quality feels good, and it's easy to change between different accessories. The rubberised grip is comfortable to hold, but the throttle could have been partially rubberised too.
Overall, this is a well-made leaf blower with a lot of power that's straightforward to use once you've got the hang of it.
Compact leaf blower for paved surfaces
Power source: Battery Noise level: 59.8 dB (with power command running) Maximum blowing speed: 209 km/h Dimensions (LxWxH): 170x200x480 mm Weight: 1.7 kg Collector: No Accessories included: Flat blowing nozzle
The Black & Decker GWC1820PC is a straightforward leaf blower with double speed positions despite the fact that it falls within the budget leaf blower category. The leaf blower delivers the expected amount of power given its compact format, 18-volt battery and price. This isn't the leaf blower you'd choose if you've got a large lawn that often needs clearing of leaves and debris. But if you've got a big, paved patio, an asphalt garage drive or decking, there's plenty of power to keep leaves, grass cuttings and twigs at bay. However, if the surface is damp the machine struggles to blow away such debris. By using the built-in Power Command mode, you can get extra power when you need it, simply by holding a button. Of course, this also negatively affects the machine’s battery life. Unfortunately, the GWC1820PC still isn't strong enough if the surface and the debris are damp. But the function is pretty handy when blowing away pine cones and the like.
The battery lasts for just under 30 minutes if you blow using normal power for the majority of the time and use Power Command for about 2-3 minutes. Because the GWC1820PC isn't intended for anything more demanding, we feel that this is more than sufficient. However, we'd have liked charging to be quicker. It takes several hours to charge the battery. You should buy an extra battery and swap it over if you're planning on using the machine often or for longer periods. You can also use a battery from another B&D product as they're mutually compatible. The GWC1820PC weighs very little and is easy to handle. In summary, this is a seamless leaf blower suitable for paved, small and dry surfaces. If you bear this in mind when you buy it, you won't be unhappy. But if you're blowing leaves a long way or in more complicated terrain, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Useful for blowing sawdust in your workshop
Power source: Battery (18V, 2.5 Ah) Measured battery life: 16 min Maximum blowing speed: 200 km/h Length: 88 cm Weight: 659 g Collector: No Accessories included: Flat blowing nozzle
The AL-KO LB 2060 Easyflex is a cordless leaf blower with an angled nozzle, which feels like a well-designed detail. The angle of the nozzle means that you can get quite close to whatever you’re blowing, and still move it forwards. We give it major plus points for this.
When it comes to blowing power, however, the Easyflex is far too weak. The leaves have to be tinder dry, spread out and lying on a level and even surface – such as a broad piece of decking – for it to be able to move them. And despite this, you still have to get quite close with the nozzle.
In other words, there’s no way you’ll be using it for blowing heaps of leaves together on the lawn, or moving heaps of leaves you've already collected. In one of our reference measurements for blowing capability - an empty PET bottle over some decking - the bottle only moved a metre, which isn’t impressive given what other leaf blowers in the same price class could achieve.
The battery life of 16 minutes isn’t long compared to a petrol model, but it's still generous compared to some other battery operated leaf blowers in this price range.
Because it’s lightweight and small, the LB 2060 Easyflex is easy to carry around. It has on/off buttons, but nothing more complex than that. On the other hand, we hadn’t expected any extra functions, given its cheaper price tag.
The AL-KO LB 2060 Easyflex is suitable if you're looking for a lightweight and cheap battery leaf blower, above all to clean up simple spaces, such as blowing leaves off your patio or sawdust in your workshop. The cheap price and nice touches, such as the well-designed nozzle, compensate for the poor performance, which means it still gets a reasonable score from us.
Strong leaf blower and leaf vacuum with shredder in one machine
Power: 3000 W Power source: Mains electricity Noise level: 74.1 dB (measured) Suction force: 14 m³ Maximum blowing speed: 418 km/h Weight: 3.7/4.8 kg (without and with leaf vacuum) Collector: 50 l Accessories included: Carrying strap
The Black & Decker GW3030 has a number of advantages, such as its impressive range of power and variable blowing speeds. It has no problems blowing away damp leaves or large stones. In fact, often the problem is avoiding destroying sensitive surfaces with the machine. But at the same time, it's easy to regulate the speed with the knob on the top. At lower speeds, we had some problems with unpleasant vibrations, but they aren't noticeable at maximum power. Unfortunately, the leaf blower is somewhat sluggish to begin with. It takes a few seconds to get up to top speed. It also lacks a throttle. Instead you regulate both on/off and blowing speed with the knob. However, there's one major advantage with this, which is that you avoid having to keep a button pressed in as you use the machine, which can otherwise cause hand fatigue or cramps. The rubberised handle is comfortable. The design of the entire machine is slightly bulky and plasticky, particularly the click-in function to change accessories - but it does work.
The GW3030 also has a leaf vacuuming function with suction performance to rival the best of this kind. This means that you can first blow leaves into a heap and then attach the vacuum tube and fabric bag to suck all the leaves up. It's relatively easy and quick to change function once you've learned what to do. The collector can hold a good amount of leaves, particularly as it comes with shredder functions to reduce everything you suck up into smaller pieces. The vacuum isn't the most powerful. It can cope with dry or slightly damp leaves, but it struggles with wet leaves or long grass. On the whole, however, it does a good job. The major disadvantage with the GW3030 is that you're limited by a cable. You won't get anywhere with the short cable on the machine, and dragging an extension cable around in the garden is a pain. But if you're looking for a mains powered leaf blower with suction capabilities, this is a good option. Equally, it's perfect if you have a smaller garden but want a very powerful leaf blower for a cheaper price and without exhaust gases.
Leaf blower with turbo mode suitable for light work
Power source: Battery (36V) Measured battery life: 31 mins (5 AH), 6.2 mins per Ah Measured noise levels: 82.7 dB (turbo mode), 78.9 dB (standard mode) Maximum blowing speed: 42 m/s Weight: 2960 g excluding battery (battery: 1,458 g) Collector: No
The Ryobi RY36BLA is a leaf blower with two power modes and a rather unique design. For example, it has an adjustable handle that can be set to five different positions.
To adjust the handle, simply slacken a screw and then rotate the handle. In the upright position, you get the best balance, although it’s unfortunately still a bit heavy at the back, but in other positions the ergonomics are a lot worse. The whole thing feels a little strange considering that it is intended for blowing leaves with and so would normally be directed downwards.
Apart from the imbalance in the machine, this leaf blower still performs OK. In standard mode, it manages to blow together piles of leaves if the leaves are dry, at least as long as there aren’t large amounts of them. If you need more power, you have turbo mode, and it’s really this mode that saves the RY36BLA in terms of performance. If you use turbo mode, it can also move big piles of leaves and blow together smaller amounts of damp leaves. It’s not very efficient, but still does the job.
The turbo mode is controlled by pressing a button. This means you have to hold the button down with your thumb – at all times – to maintain the turbo effect, which quickly becomes very tiring. We’d rather it was possible to set the mode and then leave it running like that until you turned it off again.
Removing the battery isn’t a lot of fun either, as the button is on the underside. It's a little tricky to access, but the battery does slide out smoothly. We give the machine a plus because it has a battery indicator.
The machine’s grip is rubberised and you get good stability, but unfortunately the machine weighs a lot and has neither a carrying strap or an attachment for one.
Unfortunately, we really don’t feel that the Ryobi RY36BLA performs well enough given its price. It’s more suitable for those who already have 36-volt machines from Ryobi, and can share batteries between them. You also need to have a small lawn with few trees and shrubs.
Lots of power for its price class but does have shortcomings
Voltage: 18 volt Power source: Battery Noise level: 86 dB Air flow: 420 m³/h Maximum blowing speed: 38 m/s Weight: 2.1 kg Collector: No Accessories included: Round blowing nozzle
The cordless Stihl BGA45 is unexpectedly powerful given its price, and despite a relatively low battery voltage can cope with blowing dry leaves from a dry lawn without any problems. At a short distance, it can blow everything from pine cones and twigs to larger gravel, despite its round blowing nozzle – sadly it doesn't include a flat one.
The disadvantage with all this power is, of course, that the battery life gets drained quickly. It gives around ten minutes, which is too short, and the battery is also integrated so you can't replace it. This means that you can't change the battery or use a more economical one. As the charging time is several hours long, this is an enormous weakness.
The BGA45 also suffers from quite a lot of vibration. Because the grips aren't rubberised, the overall experience isn't all that positive, and the grips do get slippery.
On the plus side, the BGA45 is very simple to assemble and operate. Just like many larger leaf blowers, it has a double blowing nozzle, which means that you can get close to the ground without having to bend over.
Sadly, you can't control the air flow with the throttle or a separate control. Nor can you lock it in this position. Instead, you have to keep the throttle pressed throughout the session. There are better solutions to this issue on the market. The fact that you have to use a key and then press three different buttons to get the machine started also feels like they’re overdoing the safety functions. Unfortunately, these aspects mean that an otherwise very powerful leaf blower loses something in its user-friendliness and comfort.
But if you can live with this and only want lots of power for a small surface at a cheap price, this is still not a bad buy.
Better as a vacuum cleaner than a leaf blower
Power source: Battery (36V) Measured battery life: 10 mins 40 s (2.5 Ah) 4.3 min/Ah Measured noise level: 85.9 dB Maximum blowing speed: 75 m/s Weight: 3500 g excluding battery (battery: 692 g) Collector: No Accessories included: Leaf bag
The **Black + Decker BCBLV36 is both a leaf blower and a leaf vacuum. So you can blow the leaves together into a pile and then suck them up so that they end up in a bag.
According to the specification, this machine should have a very good blowing speed, but in practice it didn’t. It essentially only blows dry leaves, but unfortunately it doesn’t even blow these very efficiently. As for damp leaves, forget it.
On the other hand, it’s a good leaf vacuum, and we have definitely encountered worse models before. For the leaf vacuum function, you suspend a bag under the machine and use a quick button to switch from blow to suction. It then sucks up leaves pretty well.
But if you have to suck up a large pile of leaves you’ve got a problem, because the bag is quite small. If you can put up with this, it works very well. You can also suck up sawdust, light wood shavings and the like. It’s easy to release the bag and it has a zip so you can quickly empty the contents.
And that’s about it, in terms of a leaf vacuum. It works. But the bag is quite small.
Wheels at the front To start the Black & Decker BCBLV36, you rotate a recessed wheel. It starts with a click and then you set the suction or blow level steplessly by turning the wheel, an excellent solution that means you don’t have to hold down buttons or throttle controls while you work.
This leaf blower has a nice rubberised handle which gives an excellent grip.
It also has a wheel at the front that’s intended to help with the load. You can’t use this when blowing. If you do, the opening of the pipe ends up wrong in relation to the ground. Which is a bit of a shame because this leaf blower is quite heavy. The wheel is only of any use when you use it as a leaf vacuum.
It’s easy to change the battery on the BCBLV36 and it has a battery indicator. Unfortunately, the battery life is pretty bad.
One thing we liked, however, is that you can so easily remove the housing that covers the fan. Because this leaf blower has a leaf vacuum function, there is a certain risk that it will get blocked, but thanks to the fact that you can remove the housing, it should be easy to clean.
The Black and Decker BCBLV36 isn’t great but might be OK if you have a small garden without too many trees and want to be able to suck up the leaves.
Good battery life and easy to carry
Power source: Battery (36 V) Measured battery life: 13 min (4 Ah), 18 min 49 s (5 Ah) Measured noise level: 88.3 dB Weight: 3,776 kg (excluding battery) Collector: Yes Accessories: Round blowing nozzle, leaf sack Miscellaneous: Stepless speed adjustment
The AL-KO LBV 4090 is a combined leaf blower and leaf sucker. This means you can collect leaves in piles and then suck them up to grind or compost them for other uses.
It’s easy to hang the bag on the machine and just as easy to understand the construction in general. There’s an adjustable handle on the front so you can change the ergonomics to suit, and a knob to switch between blow and suck. So this leaf blower is easy to use. In addition to that, it also has good battery life. But that’s where most of the positive things end.
After testing the leaf blower thoroughly for a long period, although the LBV 4090 does have many good functions, we have to say that in terms of performance this machine isn’t great. It can blow very flimsy, light leaves. But the leaves don’t even have to be damp before it lacks the strength to blow them around, and even slightly bigger leaves cause the machine to struggle.
You could in theory blow individual leaves and collect them into small piles. But it’s really just faster to use a rake.
The same applies to the leaf suction function. The LBV 4090 can suck up individual leaves, but it’s actually faster – and good exercise! – to just do the job manually. The machine also vibrates quite a lot when you use it at maximum power. The leaves get stuck in the fan and the machine becomes unbalanced.
All of which is a shame because this is a leaf blower with many good functions. For example, it has a wheel on the front so that users without the strength to carry it can roll it over the ground instead. It also comes with a shoulder strap. Another nice detail is the stepless speed control – which unfortunately does not fulfil any major practical use because you have to run it on maximum speed all the time if the leaf blower is to perform at all.
The AL-KO LBV 4090 is aimed at people who have a few trees with small leaves and who only intend to blow them in dry weather when the leaves aren’t damp, and even then, preferably on soil that doesn’t give the leaves any excuse to stick. It has several practical functions, particularly if you can’t carry this kind of weight for long periods.
Works on sawdust in the workshop
Power source: Battery (18V) Measured battery life: 43 mins (4 AH) 10.75 min/Ah Measured noise level: 76.2 dB (mode 1), 83.4 dB (mode 2) Maximum blowing speed: 58 m/s Weight: 1297 g excluding battery (battery: 701 g) Collector: No Accessories included: Battery and charger
The Meec Tools MultiSeries 18 V (2238851-20) has a very good battery life, but unfortunately can’t really cope with what it’s built for. It can blow individual leaves around, but can’t collect piles of leaves together or anything like that. One user review described the performance of this leaf blower as “being like a hair dryer”, which, unfortunately, is quite true. On the other hand, it does work very well for blowing away sawdust in a workshop – but it’s no use for more difficult tasks.
The Meec Tools 18-volt leaf blower has two fixed modes. But you always have to run it at maximum if you want to get any blowing effect at all.
The construction itself, on the other hand, is well thought-out. It has a rubberised handle that provides good grip, and the power modes are regulated with a simple button.
If you ignore the poor performance, this is an interesting machine. The battery life is really good compared to the competition, even compared to slightly more expensive models. So if you don’t intend to use this to blow leaves, but only to clean the garage – for example, to blow dust off shelves or sawdust from the floor – then this long battery life is pretty useful.
The battery is also equipped with a battery indicator. Unfortunately, this isn’t visible when you insert the battery, as it’s on the inside. The battery is also rather difficult to remove.
We also noticed that the Meec Tools Multiseries 18-volt leaf blower is imbalanced, with a heavy rear end. But because it’s so small and light, this doesn’t cause any problems in practice.
This leaf blower has a slightly angled “beak” at the bottom of the blowing tube. The idea is that this angle should give a better effect, but since the whole thing is really weak, it makes no difference.
The Meec Tools MultiSeries 18 V is only of use if you want to blow out sawdust or the like from your garage or workshop.
Do you want to keep your lawn free of leaves? Or maybe the patio? With a leaf blower, you can quickly and simply blow away leaves and other debris. The most powerful machines can even blow away large gravel.
There are several different types of leaf blower on the market. Just like other machines for garden jobs, they can be divided into mains-powered machines, as well as battery or petrol-operated leaf blowers.
The major advantage with the mains powered electric leaf blowers is that you can achieve the same power as a petrol-operated machine but for a third of the price. Of course, this does assume that your garden is a simple shape; otherwise you quickly end up with the cable wound around trees and bushes. So your garden needs to be small enough for you to easily reach everywhere you want to, and you mustn't have too many trees, bushes or flower beds to navigate around.
If you can't face coping with a cable, a battery-operated leaf blower is a good option. If you buy a good battery in the lower voltage class around 18 volts, you will be able to blow clean both your patio and other paved areas with no problems. But if you want to be able to blow damp leaves away from your lawn, you must have a battery of at least 36 volts for the leaf blower to have sufficient power. The disadvantage of battery-operated leaf blowers is that you have to charge them, but the majority of manufacturers today have systems that allow you to buy two batteries and change between them, which is usually enough. The advantage of this is that you can use the same battery for a number of different machines, and that the batteries can be replaced so you can continue working even when one battery needs recharging.
But if you want to be completely unhindered, a petrol-operated leaf blower is the best choice. The petrol-operated machines are very powerful, but have the disadvantage that they emit exhaust gases. And in the long run, it gets expensive to buy petrol to power them. However, the majority of these machines today are more economical when it comes down to fuel consumption. With a good machine, you get about an hour's worth of leaf blowing before you need to fill up. Unfortunately, petrol-operated leaf blowers are quite noisy and significantly heavier than other types. They're usually more expensive too.
The vast majority of leaf blowers in the budget class have only a single position throttle. But the more expensive models with more power will provide the opportunity to alter the blowing speed effortlessly. This is great if you have delicate surfaces, such as flower beds and gravel paths, that you want to blow clean without causing damage. In these instances, you can set the speed to a less powerful position and avoid problems.
There are also a number of leaf blowers on the market that can act as leaf vacuums. This means you attach a bag and the machine then sucks up the leaves. You can then empty the leaves directly onto a compost heap or your garden waste bin. Some people use leaf blowers with these functions for other jobs, such as for dust collector tasks around your outer window ledges. You will need extra parts for your leaf blower to do complete these jobs, and you should only use parts supplied by the same manufacturer.
If the leaf blower also has a built-in leaf shredder, the leaves are reduced to smaller pieces, giving more space in the bag. In the long run, this means that you don't have to empty it as often.