Best Leaf Blowers and Vacuums – Buyers Guide and Reviews
Our experts have reviewed the best leaf blowers and leaf vacuums so now you can sit in your garden at the height of summer and enjoy your beautiful deciduous trees, without that niggling feeling of dread for the coming autumn when all those beautiful green leaves will turn into piles of fallen leaves waiting to be raked up.
Here is a comparison table showing the most popular leaf blowers and leaf vacuums currently being sold on Amazon in the UK. Click here if you want to read our “leaf blower and leaf vacuum buyers guide” before browsing the top 10 list.
Here is a list of our Top Ten Leaf Blowers and Vacuums
Best Petrol Leaf Blower for Domestic Gardens – Makita BHX2501 24.5 cc 4-Stroke Petrol Handheld Leaf Blower
If you need to gather wet leaves on a large lawn, then this petrol powered leaf blower is for you. A massive advantage is that this machine has a 4 stroke engine, so doesn’t require oil mixing into the petrol and also it is much quieter than the traditional 2 stroke engine used in garden power tools.
It weighs under 5kg, and also has a vacuum attachment. The vacuum should only be used for soft leaves as the leaves are sucked into a plastic fan which will be damaged by solid debris. Overall we love this machine and as long as you are confident you can handle 5kg for as long as you reckon it will take to clear your leaves, and you can afford the price – this leaf blower is for you!
Best Petrol Leaf Blower for the Professional or Massive Gardens – Stihl BR600 Backpack Blower – Orange
As expected this is a quality product from Stihl. This is the most powerful leaf blower we have reviewed and is suitable for the professional gardener. The award winning 4-Mix Stihl engine combines the advantages of both 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines and gives you more power with less noise, less emissions, less weight and less vibration. Ear protectors are essential when using this product and don’t buy this if you’ve got a small garden – it really packs a punch.
If you are only planning on using a leaf blower to clear your autumn leaves once or twice a year, then you can’t really go wrong with the Greenyard Leaf Blower. It is light weight but powerful enough for most domestic use. As with all cheaper petrol powered garden equipment, make sure to clean it thouroughly before you put it away.
If you want a corded electric leaf blower and vacuum, then look no further. Although about twice the price than some of the cheaper electric leaf blowers, you are paying for a machine that does the job. It can blow and vacuum wet leaves
Best Cheap Corded Electric Leaf Blower for Lighter Use – VonHaus 3 in 1 Leaf Blower, Garden Vacuum & Mulcher – 2600W – Large 35 Litre Collection Bag, 10:1 Shredding Ratio, Automatic Mulching Compacts Leaves in Bag with 10m Cable
Cheap and cheerful, this leaf blower is suitable for small light weight jobs, so if you’ve got a big lawn full of soggy wet leaves don not expect this blower to be of much use. It is however suitable for blowing and vacuming dry leaves off your path and patio. For the price and weighing in at only 3.5kg, it is a good buy.
Best Battery Powered Leaf Blower – Bosch ALB 36 LI Cordless Leaf Blower with 36 V Lithium-Ion Battery
A fantastic product from Bosch. This will be a boon to anyone clearing leaves from anything but the largest of gardens. Check the price to see if it includes the battery and charger – if it looks expensive then you will be paying for a quality Bosch Lithium-Ion battery and charger which you should be able to use with other battery powered Bosch gardening equipment. Full charge takes only a couple of hours and as the blowing speed is variable, you will have time to do all but the most demanding blowing jobs.
Best Battery Powered Leaf Blower with Vacuum and Mulcher – Makita DUB182Z 18V Body only Cordless Li-ion Blower
Whilst you will struggle to use this to clear large amounts of wet leaves from your lawn, it is a great machine for dry leaves or cleaning debris from your patio. The machine is suprisingly small and compact which makes it useful for car cleaning too! It weighs only about 1.5kg making it suitable for even the least brawny! Make sure you’ve got a Makita battery and charger when purchasing this leaf blower.
Good cheap leaf blower and vacuum suitable for small to medium sized gardens. This is an electric corded blower with a 6m cord, so you may have to use it with an extension lead. For the price, the blowing power is excellent, however the vacuum is nothing to write home about!
Best Leaf Blower and Vacuum for Tall People – Spear & Jackson 3000W Blower Vacuum with Telescopic Tube and 15:1 Mulching Ratio
A neat idea from gardening experts Spear & Jackson; this leaf blower has an extendable tube making it much more comfortable to use for taller people. Changing from blower to vacuum is easy as pie – just flick a switch. It also has guide wheels which support most of the weight making it easier to use than many other heavy machines. When buying Spear & Jackson products you also benefit from their 7 days a week customer service, who can be contacted on 01904 727505.
Best unbranded Petrol Leaf Blower – 65cc Petrol Backpack Leaf Blower, Extremely Powerful – 210MPH (MK-II)
This backpack petrol leaf blower really packs a punch, even the hardest jobs usually only require using half throttle. It is easy to start, has a comfortable harness and only weighs 12kg. It uses a 2 stroke engine so is noisy and a pair of ear defenders are a must when using this leaf blower.
Leaf Blower and Leaf Vacuum Buyers Guide
What will you be using your leaf blower for?
This is the most important question that you need to ask yourself before looking to buy a leaf blower/vacuum. There are so many different types and models out there, each suited (or not suited!) to different jobs. You will have to decide if you are going to use your leaf blower for commercial or domestic use? Will you be using it for wet leaves or only dry leaves? Will you be using it for your lawn or just your patio and paths? How often will you be using your leaf blower? Do you want it to be able to vacuum and mulch the leaves too?
Once you have decided the answers to the above questions, then you can choose whether to buy a petrol, corded electric or battery powered leaf blower. Or you may decide you are better off sticking to the old rake and broom instead 🙂
Petrol Leaf Blowers
Generally the choice of the professional gardener/landscaper due to their power and durability. As well as the standard hand held petrol leaf blower, you can also get back pack petrol leaf blowers which are generally more powerful and easier to use for long periods as the heavy engine goes on your back leaving less weight on your arms. Petrol leaf blowers are generally noisy beasts and you will need a pair of ear protectors when using one. Recently several manufacturers have started using 4 stroke engines in their leaf blowers rather than the traditional 2 stroke engine; 4 stroke engines are quieter and do not require fiddly fuel mixing.
Corded Electric Leaf Blowers
The more powerful (and heavier) corded electric leaf blowers should be suitable for clearing wet leaves off your lawn. Many electric leaf blowers however are only suitable for lighter clearing jobs – dry leaves of your patio. Electric leaf blowers do have the advantage of being lighter weight than their petrol counterparts; they also frequently feature extra functionality such as leaf vacuums and mulchers.
Leaf Vacuums and Mulchers
If your leaf blower does come with a vacuum and mulching feature please keep in mind the following:
- Bag Capacity – the smaller the bag the more emptying required
- Bag Material – Make sure it is tough and water proof
- Mulching blade material – If the blade is plastic it will be more prone to damage.
- Spare parts – Can you get spare blades if the blade gets damaged
- Ease of switching between modes – some models of leaf blower can change from blower to vacuum with a simple flick of a switch, other models can involve complicated re-assembling procedures
Battery Powered Leaf Blowers
Now that we live in the age of the lightweight long lasting lithium ion battery, many garden power tools can now equal or even out perform their corded cousins. Be aware of the following when buying your battery powered leaf blower:
- Is the battery included in the price? What may seem a good price for a leaf blower can quickly double or treble when buying batteries and chargers.
- Operation time – Will your battery last for the job you are doing?
- Charge time
- Weight of leaf blower WITH batteries
If you are buying a leaf blower for commercial or very heavy domestic use, you will probably want a petrol leaf blower. Top Tip – Try and go for a 4 stroke engine as they are quieter and don’t need oil mixing into the petrol.
For most average homeowners clearing their autumn leaves once or twice a year, a corded electric model should suffice – Top Tip – Don’t clear the leaves when they are wet, as they are much heavier and many electric blowers aren’t powerful enough to handle wet leaves.
You may well end up deciding that a rake and broom will suffice in the end!
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