Best Leaf Blower 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Many people love the arrival of the Autumn season. But if you are a keen gardener, the build-up of fallen leaves in your outdoor area is a big downside.

If you usually spend hours raking them all into a pile, then a leaf blower could take a lot of the manual effort and time out of this job. You could even opt for a 2-in-1 model with a garden vacuum function, so instead of scooping them all up into a refuse sack to take to the compost bin, they can be sucked up for much easier and reliable transportation. Then there are 3-in-1 models which can shred or mulch the leaves to encourage the breaking down process.

With so much choice out there, you won’t find it hard finding your perfect model. But there are a lot which are just not up for the job, and you should avoid. To find the best garden leaf blower or vacuum available to buy online, read our reviews and handy buying guide to whittle down your choice.

The Best Leaf Blowers – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Bosch ALB 36 LI Cordless Leaf Blower
  • Fuel Type: Cordless Electric
  • Lithium-Ion battery
  • Airflow Speed: 170-250 km/h
  • Weight: 2.8kg
  • Power: 36V
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Mcculloch GB355BP Petrol Backpack Leaf Blower
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Power: 46 cc
  • Airflow Speed: 355 km/h
  • Weight: 9.16 Kg
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FLYMO Scirocco 3000 Garden Vacuum
  • Fuel Type: Cordless
  • Electric Power: 3000 W
  • Airflow Speed: 55 m/s
  • Weight: 5.22 kg
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Best Leaf Blower

Bosch ALB 36 LI Cordless Leaf Blower

By far one of the easiest leaf blowers to use which we reviewed, the ALB 36 is a very well-designed piece of kit from one of the industry leaders.

Thanks to the ergonomic design and weight redistribution balance, it will never become a pain to use, even if it is going to take you well over an hour to actually rid your yard of leaves. Because it is cordless, you are free to go anywhere with it and reach into all of those difficult places, so it is perfect if you have a large outdoor area.

The speed and power can be adjusted, so whether you have a few dry leaves to move into the corner or a big pile of wet leaves on the grass, you can pick the level which suits you and your environment the best. It also helps to get the job done quicker (or slower if you’re trying to avoid the other tasks on your long list of things to do).

A standout is the Syneon chip, which controls the amount of energy used depending on the demand level, so it always performs at its best, and the battery won’t run out before you’re expecting it to. It should last 35 minutes on a full charge and takes 1 hour 30 to get back up to the top level.

If storage is a worry, then you can remove the blower tube to keep it in two parts. It is light enough to not hurt your arms or back when holding it, and the power levels make it perfect for both small confined porches or even budging moss off the driveway. It may be a higher price than many of the others, but you can really feel the quality, and it isn’t too extreme when comparing directly.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Cordless Electric
  • Lithium-Ion battery
  • Airflow Speed: 170-250 km/h
  • Weight: 2.8kg
  • Power: 36V

We like

  • Lightweight - redistribution makes it seem lighter than the 3kg on the specs
  • Choice of power
  • Battery lasts a good amount of time

We dislike

  • Cost

Final Verdict

We can’t give it enough stars. If you’re willing to pay the price, then it is a no-brainer

Ryobi OBL1820S ONE+ Cordless Blower

We have mentioned the Ryobi ONE+ range of garden appliances in some of our other reviews, and how they can all be used with one battery so you can just buy the body to save a bit of money if you want to extend your collection.

The good news is that this blower is in that range, so it is perfect if you already own the battery part or you’re looking to develop your gardening expertise. If not, it’s still one of the best garden leaf blowers money can buy.

It is ideal for tackling hard surfaces, such as patios, driveways and decking, for creating a safer slip-free environment. There is a high-speed airflow so the debris can be removed in moments, and it is also nice and lightweight so you won’t get uncomfortable holding it.

The flat nozzle helps to target the area you have in mind, as opposed to wasting a lot of the air and power. A real test for any blower is whether it can move clumps of wet leaves, and this targeting seems to ensure it can get under the leaves and transfer them around a metre at a time.

There is only one power level, but this never becomes a problem as you can just move further away or closer to the target if you need to adjust. As the nozzle is so long and slim, it will definitely get to those places where a rake is just impossible to fit.

It is sold as a Zero tool, without the charger or battery pack, or as a bundle if you need to purchase these too. As it is cordless, you won’t be restricted in terms of movement or distance, either.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Electric Cordless
  • Airflow Speed: 245 km/h
  • Weight: 2.21 Kg

We like

  • Lightweight
  • Extra long nozzle to target areas
  • Overmould handle for comfort
  • Price

We dislike

  • Needs the largest capacity Ryobi battery to last 15+ minutes

Final Verdict

A brilliant lightweight and powerful garden tool which will tackle all of that garden debris without you having to lift a finger

WORX WG518E Air Turbine Corded Leaf Blower

Many leaf blowers feature tapered nozzles for a bit more accuracy, but if you prefer something big, bold and covering a huge area to speed up the process, a blower named the Air Turbine is a good pick.

The WG518E is designed for extra tough conditions, able to deliver a high capacity volume. You can still choose which speed setting is in operation, however, so even if you only have a couple of leaves to gently move off the patio, it will do this gently despite the huge air delivery tube.

A Turbine fan is what delivers this air power, and when working with all of the other design components, it is what helps to make it such a heavy-duty garden tool.

It is corded, which you will have to take into consideration if you have a larger garden or struggle with mains access. But in a way, this is how it can deliver so much power when compared to a cordless battery model. The power cable is around 10 metres however, so not too bad when considering.

The larger nozzle could also help if you want a blower which can multitask, and undertake drying your car after it has been washed out, or sweeping out the garage/shed without you having to reach for the yard brush. It can also move chippings, pebbles and stones too if you have these lining a driveway, path or bedding area, so you can reassemble them all and give them a freshen up.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Electric Corded
  • Power: 2500W
  • Airflow Speed: 120 mph, 13m³/min
  • Weight: 4.3 Kg

We like

  • Easy to hold despite heavier weight
  • Can be used for various tasks
  • Good to control with rotary thumb switch

We dislike

  • Larger nozzle makes very targeted jobs difficult

Final Verdict

Handles every task very well, and gives the power of a petrol model without the price tag if you’re not bothered about the power cable

Mcculloch GB355BP Petrol Backpack Leaf Blower

A pretty heavy and cumbersome garden tool to be holding, especially if you struggle for long periods. So the fact that you can wear it as a backpack is a big plus.

The heaviness is all down to the sheer power of the product, which you’d expect from a petrol model. It is very high performance, so if you have a big task on your hands every week during the cooler months, or you’re a professional gardener, you’re going to get the job done in lightning time.

Because the backpack takes all the pressure off your arms, you can use it for a prolonged time if necessary. The padded shoulder straps help to spread the weight over both shoulders, and your back will thank you for it too.

As it is so powerful, it isn’t just leaves it can move. From other debris such as hedge cuttings and brambles, to even budging moss from paths, you can tackle pretty much anything. We will say it is better with dry leaves than wet, but it does still budge them.

Control is made nice and easy as well. You can adjust the pressure you apply on the trigger to change the blow speed, and the trigger grip position is moveable for your comfort. Select the cruise control option for a steady delivery of the same speed of air to reduce strain on your hand. You can also adjust the straps on the backpack to suit your size and height.

Because of the high power, it does get through a lot of fuel, particularly notable if you’re using it all day or not for domestic use. A full tank will last around an hour. Forgivable for what it does, though.

And because of the design, you will look as though you are recreating Ghostbusters as you do the gardening – a pretty priceless idea in our minds.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Power: 46 cc
  • Airflow Speed: 355 km/h
  • Weight: 9.16 Kg

We like

  • Powerful
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Trigger grip makes it easy to control

We dislike

  • Amount of fuel it could use

Final Verdict

Brilliant for the more difficult jobs, and comfortable to use for prolonged periods. We also love how easy it is to control with just one hand

Makita BHX2501 4-Stroke Petrol Handheld Leaf Blower

A two-part blower which is nice and easy to store or transport if this is required.

The four-stroke engine is great for keeping emissions low and making it a much more efficient product to use. There is also a mechanical decompression system so it starts up easier, which should save you a lot of time and stress before you get going.

Thanks to the 0.52-litre fuel tank, you can top it up with a decent amount of petrol before you have to stop to refuel. When the time does come, a nice generous wide opening gives you plenty of room to pour the liquid.

A trigger lets you pick just how much ‘blow’ you need so that it can handle a range of tasks. If you need to remove leaves from a gravel path without budging the stones, choose the lower option. If you do need to move the stones in order to give them all a bit of a refresh, then the maximum setting will save you having to rake them all.

Being a four-stroke model, it is relatively quiet so shouldn’t disturb the neighbours. It can be converted into a vacuum machine with the optional attachment, available to buy separately or as a package if you’d like an appliance which can do both tasks. However, other reviewers state this is very difficult and fiddly to fit, so you’d be best buying an all-in-one as featured below.

The negatives are that it gets through petrol at a very high speed, and the kill switch is in a bit of an awkward position and can be pressed accidentally which is annoying. But on the other hand, this is good for when you do want it to stop! The price makes it one of the more expensive on the list, but it is still worth paying if you want a good quality petrol model.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Power: 24.5 cc
  • Airflow Speed: 10.1 cubic meters/minute
  • Weight: 4.4 kg

We like

  • Nice levels of power
  • Quiet in operation

We dislike

  • Difficult for right-handed people to use because of positioning of air inlet

Final Verdict

Good across the board, and despite a few issues, it is nice and easy to get used to using

Best Garden Vacuum Leaf Blower

FLYMO Scirocco 3000 Garden Vacuum

With blow, vacuum and shredding modes, this is a perfect all-in-one garden tool which can deal with those loose leaves completely.

Switch between the blow and vac functions with a simple switch of a slider, and you can also shred the leaves once they are collected so you can collect more in one go. Because it is so easy to change between modes, you don’t need to fit extra heads or bags which makes it so much simpler to use.

The collector has a 45L capacity, which means less time running back and forward to the compost bin to empty it all. It also means more space becomes available in the waste bin, or you can use it as a compostable nutrient for your flower beds.

It can all be opened up easily so you can remove any debris which may be blocking it all up, which is especially good if you will be removing wet leaves which can often clog up the tubes.

It feels very well built and is powerful enough to suck up leaves from a gravel or stone path without budging the surface.

We did think it was very heavy for an item of this size however, and the positioning of the ‘on’ switch is a bit poor as it can be knocked when removing the bag. There are wheels on the bottom of the nozzle which makes it great for rolling along the floor and collecting as you go, although holding it at this tilt isn’t actually the optimal angle.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Cordless
  • Electric Power: 3000 W
  • Airflow Speed: 55 m/s
  • Weight: 5.22 kg

We like

  • Good capacity
  • Very effective at shredding

We dislike

  • Some design issues - but easy to adapt to

Final Verdict

It is one of the more attractive shredding garden vacuums around, and less fiddly to use, but it does take a little getting used to. Still a good price though considering all it does, and the best garden vacuum for under £100 we found

McCulloch GBV 325 25 cc Petrol Garden Blow Vac

With a mulching facility which can reduce down your waste in a 10:1 ratio, this McCulloch is one of the best in terms of power and airflow, as you would expect from a petrol model.

We loved how it was a flare nozzle on the end of the tube, as opposed to leaving it wide open. While the latter usually allows you to give a bit more welly to the mechanism, a nozzle helps when you want to target smaller piles of leaves or those which are more difficult to budge.

Talking of the more difficult to move, it was one of the best when we tested it against damp leaves. This is an important test of how well a garden vacuum performs all round, and while many disappoint, this machine treated them as though they were dry. Ideal if this is when you need to tackle the issue the most due to preventing slippery surfaces. This makes the McCulloch GBV 325 the best leaf vacuum for wet leaves.

It can be difficult to get started and keep on until you get used to the mechanisms, which may prove a bit frustrating for any of you out there who just like to get going with the job. You basically pull three times on the choke, then pull again on half a choke.

It is also just over £100, but while you can get some shredder garden vacuums for around half the price, it is good at what it does. It is also a sturdy, quality bit of kit which copes well with damp leaves.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Power: 25cc
  • Airflow Speed: 320km/h
  • Weight: 45kg

We like

  • Sucks up well
  • Powerful airflow
  • Nozzle is great for targeting small areas

We dislike

  • Can be hard to start up

Final Verdict

We found it hard to find an outstanding garden vacuum which ticked every box, but this was one of the closest. Opt for it if you prefer the petrol aspect

VonHaus 3 in 1 Leaf Blower

Described as ‘the ultimate tidying tool’, this is an ideal leaf blower for completely ridding your garden of debris.

The powerful motor will blow or vacuum the leaves to where you want them, and then can mulch them all to a smaller pile, perfect for either composting or adding to the waste bin and saving some valuable space.

A collection bag makes it quite easy and lightweight to move around, and it is 35L capacity, so you can hold more before you need to empty it. In fact, to be precise, it is at a ratio of around 10:1. It includes a shoulder strap for easier carrying about, and there are also wheels, so it is simpler to move along the ground.

The nozzle is on the smaller side so not great for masses of leaves at once, particularly if they’re damp, as it can clog up the tube quickly. The key is to go slowly and not try to push it. But on a more positive note, we loved the zip collection bag which is easy to empty but also keeps all of the waste safe in one place.

You need a screwdriver to assemble the product fully, just adding two screws. But once it is up and running, you will be pleasantly surprised by how lightweight and efficient it is. Just remember it is best for dry leaves.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Corded
  • Electric Power: 3000W
  • Weight: 3.5kg

We like

  • Zip bag
  • 10m cable
  • Mulches - even better than shredding

We dislike

  • Struggles with thicker or damp leaves

Final Verdict

Under £40 for an item which does an awful lot of work on your behalf is great, even if it isn’t the most outstanding around

Flymo 9676581-01 PowerVac 3000

With a 16:1 shredding ratio, this is one of the best available to buy online in terms of getting your waste down to a manageable size.

The 45-litre bag is very generous for collecting up the debris, and there is a good chance you’ll get the whole garden done before having to whip out the refuse sacks.

Variable speed control is manageable via a slider on the handle, so you can switch between power levels as the product is working. This is perfect depending on the surface you’re taking care of, and what it is you are trying to move.

It gets heavy as it fills up, so the shoulder strap is probably necessary, and it is very loud when in operation so not one for those 7 am keen bean gardeners. You also have to change over the tube when switching between each process, and attach the bag if you want to collect up the leaves. This can require a bit of forward planning but is nothing too strenuous. Just bear it in mind.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Corded
  • Electric Power: 3000 W
  • Airflow Speed: 310km/hr
  • Weight: 5.2 kg

We like

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Generous capacity collection bag
  • High shredding ratio

We dislike

  • Can be fiddly to switch the nozzles

Final Verdict

One of the more fiddly to use, but the price is good, and it is nice and sleek

Bosch ALS 30 Corded Garden Blower & Vacuum

Powerful at tackling leaves and cuttings, whether you want to collect them manually or vacuum them all up for easier disposal.

The 10:1 shredding ratio means it can collect more in one go, and it will hold 45L of leaves at any one time, so you’re going to be able to go undisturbed for ages. The speed is adjustable, so even the stickiest of wet leaves won’t be sticking around for long.

Everything is mulched down quite finely, which is ideal if you want to be adding it straight to the flower beds or grass.  It takes around 5-10 minutes to assemble once it arrives, but nothing too difficult.

The power cord is only around 6m long, which can prove difficult to manage if your garden is quite restricting. It also seems to get clogged rather quickly, especially if it has just rained and everything is a bit damp.

Suction is also not the greatest of all reviewed, but this could be a good thing if you’re going to be using it over chippings or gravel as the surfaces don’t budge. The machine can get very heavy when the collection bag is nearly full, however.

It misses a set of wheels, like most other vacuum models have, to keep it in one place and at the right height for collection without any straining from you. Having said this, it is on the lighter side of the scale, so should be easy to hold as you wish anyway.

Specifications

  • Fuel Type: Corded Electric
  • Power: 3000 W
  • Airflow Speed: 300km/h
  • Weight: 4.4kg

We like

  • Great at shredding
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Adjustable blower speed

We dislike

  • Short cable

Final Verdict

Misses a couple of pointers which we would expect from such a product and brand, but in all a good price for a talented bit of kit

Help and Resources

Leaf Blower Buying Guide

Types Of Leaf Blower

  • Blowers – These options simply blow your leaves in the direction you choose, so you can get them into a manageable pile without raking or lifting them, or simply just get them off your paths or decking
  • Garden Vacuums – Often blowers and vacuums in one, these can suck up the leaves into the machine, which takes the effort out of lifting them all into garden bags or your bin; the bag attached to the machine can just be tipped into where you want them. As you will have seen in our reviews though, many do lack the power to suck up difficult leaves which are either damp or large
  • Shredders/Mulchers – As the leaves are sucked into the vacuum, they are also shredded or mulched. This not only helps you pick up more at once by increasing the volume of free space in the bag but also helps speed up the process of composting or allows you to place the waste directly on your plant bedding

Power Options

  • Electric – They can either be corded or battery powered cordless. The former usually has more power than the latter but is also less convenient so weigh up the pros and cons vs your needs
  • Petrol – Usually the most power possible, with the convenience of still being cordless. But many do get through a lot of fuel in a short time, and they can be heavier and more difficult to get started, so won’t be for everyone

Weight

This is vital to think about. You are going to be holding the appliance, and it may take you a while to get the job done. So, think about how much weight you could cope with.

Heavy garden vacuums and leaf blowers are often the most powerful, but many do come with shoulder straps or even backpacks which can take some of the strain off your arms and back. It could be worth opting for one of these if you need to use it under professional circumstances too.

Accessories

Some models may come from brands which also offer extra attachments, such as a hedge trimmer, gutter kits or even just additional heads or brush kits. If you want an all-rounder, then look for an option which offers them.

There are also many brands which make battery-powered models and said battery is compatible with a whole host of their items. It could be transferred between your leaf blower, to your lawnmower, to your strimmer. This is a good idea if you want to save space or a bit of money.

FAQ’s

Are Leaf Blowers Noisy?

Generally, the more powerful a product is, the more noise it will give out. But those which we tested weren’t really loud enough to wake all of the neighbours up – if it was, we have mentioned it.

As a rule of thumb, petrol models are usually louder than electric ones.

Can A Leaf Blower Be Used For Snow Or Other Debris?

A dedicated leaf blower is usually not powerful enough to move something like snow, although if you have a light dusting, a very powerful model could budge it to a more manageable position, or move it off your car in winter. Bear in mind that using such a tool in cold conditions causes the motor to work in overdrive, so only use it for a short period.

If you are concerned that leaf blowers are a very seasonal garden tool and you’re not sure if you want to spend that money, some other uses for a leaf blower include:

  • Drying your car after it has been washed/has been raining
  • Clearing the floor of your garage or shed if you don’t want to remove everything to get the brush around
  • Getting rid of dust or cobwebs from hard to reach areas
  • Clearing patios or paths in Summer, from allergens such as pollen or dust from pollution
  • Ridding gutters of leaves and debris (there may be attachments available, too)