All About Leaf Blowers.
The general idea of a leaf blower is simple. A high-speed fan is surrounded by a cover. Tubes are connected to the side of the fan to focus the air current (up to around 200 miles per hour in some units) in the direction you want to move the leaves. There are two main types of leaf blowers. Simple blowers, either gas or electric and blower/vacuum units that combine both features into one unit. While this machines are far too small to suck up all the leaves in your yard they are great for cleaning out around flower beds. Look for units high a high shredding ratio to make sure the bag does not fill too quickly.

Handheld gas units are the most popular. Electric units can be powerful and reasonably priced, but being tethered to an extension cord is annoying at the least, and certainly cumbersome in a large yard. Consider the weight and balance of any handheld unit as fatigue can be a major issue when operating for long periods of time. Backpack blowers are often used by commercial landscapers who operate for longer periods of time over larger areas. The output of a good backpack blower is unmatched and can even be used for removing snow on cars and difficult areas to get a shovel.


In order to make accurate comparisons while shopping, keep these measurement and features in mind:

  • CFM (cubic feet per minute) is the measure of blowing volume. Ratings fall in the 200 to 700 CFM range. A higher CFM will blow leafs further.

  • MPH (miles per hour) measures blowing power. Leaf blowers perform at levels from 120 - 220 mph. A higher MPH is good for removing leaves that maybe stuck to a driveway or wet area. Manufactures can cheat by using a smaller diameter tube to inflate this figure.

    *Removing segments of the blower tubes can increase CFM and help blow leaves further at the expense of some MPH. In real world use CFM is much more important.

  • Decibels (dB) is the noise rating. Lower is quieter.

  • Shred Ratio (on mulching blower/vacuums) A 10:1 ratio means that 10 bags of leaves can be reduced to 1 bag of mulch.

  • Speed settings allows control when blowing or vacuuming.

  • Attachments, such as extension tubes for cleaning gutters, vacuum kits for blowers, nozzle attachments are often available separately.