Autumn has come around again and the leaves have begun to fall. While it might look pretty, having this type of debris strewn over your garden isn’t good for its health. To clear it away manually would take some serious effort so you need the best backpack leaf blower to make the job quicker and easier.
These tools are also perfect for quickly tidying up debris after you have mowed the lawn so they’re versatile enough to be used all year round. But before you head off to choose your new backpack leaf blower, there are a few things you’ll need to think about. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered and in our guide to the best backpack leaf blowers, you’ll find out everything you need to know to choose the right tool for you.
Last update on 2022-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
When it comes to looking for tools to maintain your outdoor space, buyers are inundated with options. This can lead to you feeling a little overwhelmed and confused by the choice but let us take care of that worry for you. We have reviewed several of the most powerful leaf blower tools and we think that these products really stand out from the crowd.
1. Echo PB 580T
The Echo backpack leaf blower is a seriously powerful tool that would be great for anyone looking for something to use in a commercial capacity. It comes with a whopping 510 CFM and operates at 215mph giving you plenty of force to shift those leaves quickly and easily.
The leaf blower runs on a 58.2cc 2 cycle engine giving you ultimate power with hassle-free maintenance and ease of use. If you’re using this for work or for more demanding domestic jobs, these features are critical. What’s even better is that the manual start up is quick and efficient so you won’t need to mess around to get going.
This isn’t the heaviest leaf blower on the market at 27.5lbs but it is a little weighty especially when used for a longer period of time. That said, it doesn’t come with any additional accessories or straps so you will need to consider your personal strength and ability when choosing this tool.
2. Greenworks Pro Backpack Leaf Blower
If it’s convenience and reliability that you’re looking for then the Greenworks backpack leaf blower is well worth considering. The cordless design means that it’s far better for the environment and in a domestic capacity, it gives you everything you need for easy outdoor maintenance.
It boasts a brushless motor for a smooth and reliable performance and with 580CFM it’ll shift a good amount of debris. However, the top speed is only 145mph which isn’t the most significant out there but it should be more than enough for the needs of the average homeowner. There is a variable speed option and running on a powerful 80v battery for 13 minutes at a time, this is a good gas alternative.
We also really like that this leaf blower is so lightweight at just 14lbs. For users that are lacking in strength, this is an ideal option. Plus, the padded, adjustable shoulder straps further aid your comfort.
3. Schroder SR-6400L Leaf Blower
This industrial backpack leaf blower is ideal for more demanding needs and really packs a punch in terms of power. Operating at speeds up to 230mph and with a CFM of 920, it isn’t difficult to see why this leaf blower truly is in a league of its own. This is all powered by a 63cc 3.7HP engine that doesn’t mess around; it’s reliable and comes with a whopping 5 year warranty for your peace of mind.
While gas powered leaf blowers are typically heavier than battery powered models, this one comes in at just 19lbs which is great for commercial users who will be wearing the pack for longer. It’s fitted with strong, padded shoulder straps that can be easily adjusted to suit your physique, offering ultimate comfort.
4. Poulan Pro PR48BT
We would absolutely recommend this backpack leaf blower to the domestic user who wants a powerful gas tool without going over the top. If you don’t quite need the might of the Schroder leaf blower we looked at before, this one will give you a good performance.
It boasts a top speed of 200mph with 475 CFM which is a really great balance between these two figures. What we really like is how robust this gas powered leaf blower is. It is made from superior materials that are strong yet lightweight.
5. Husqvarna 965877502 Gas Leaf Blower
The Husqvarna backpack leaf blower is a brilliant option if you are looking for the power of gas but in a lightweight and easy to handle tool. The brand is known for its attention to detail and high quality so you can rest assured that you’re getting a good bit of kit.
With a super powerful engine turning at 7500rpm, this leaf blower will deliver 692 CFM at speeds up to 180mph. This is ideal for both domestic users and light commercial duties, making this one of the most versatile leaf blowers we have looked at.
The tool has been designed for a superior user experience and features an easy start function so there’s no messing around. What’s more, the harness is comfortable and adjustable even if you’re using the leaf blower for a long time.
Types Of Backpack Leaf Blowers
When you are choosing between different backpack leaf blower tools, you’ll need to decide on the best type of power. How you plan to use the tool and your personal preference will both come into this decision but it’s important to know a little about each type of tool to help you choose.
In the main, there are two main types; the battery-powered leaf blower and the gas backpack leaf blower. Both are portable which is essential for this type of tool, hence why you don’t really see corded models where you might with other types of outdoor tool. But while they have this in common, there are some key differences that you’ll want to consider.
If you know even the smallest amount about outdoor tools, you will understand that gas powered tools are far more powerful thanks to their engines. These tools are ideal if you are looking for a commercial blower as they will stand up to almost any challenge you throw their way.
However, you must consider that the gas powered leaf blower requires a lot more upkeep. Due to the fact that the engine has moving parts, you’ll need to be prepared to perform regular maintenance, if you want your tool to stand the test of time.
Moreover, gas powered leaf blowers are much heavier so you need to ensure that you have the physical capability to manage this. While this might sound like a downside, it’s also a good thing since the robust design of these machines means that they are more of an investment and, when properly cared for, will last a lifetime.
Just as easily portable, the battery powered backpack leaf blower has one clear advantage; it is much lighter. This makes it ideal for people who do not have as much strength or for domestic users that don’t require such a heavy duty tool. This does mean that the durability is not quite on par with that of its gas powered equivalent but most manufacturers do have a keen eye for quality materials.
What’s great about battery backpack leaf blowers is that there is very little maintenance involved. If you want a tool that you can simply use and then store, there’s no better option. Moreover, it won’t give off any harmful fumes so it’s better for you and the environment.
The only real downside of the cordless leaf blower is that, when you run out of power, you can’t simply add fuel and get going again like you can with a gas version. You’ll need to recharge the batteries which can take a couple of hours. That said, there is the option to buy additional batteries but of course, this comes at an extra cost.
What To Consider When Choosing A Backpack Leaf Blower
Now that you understand the importance of choosing the right type of power, it’s time to move onto the more intricate aspects of choosing a backpack leaf blower. You’ll notice that there is a considerable amount of jargon when looking at these products but the good news is that it isn’t as complicated as it first seems. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to think about.
The length of the blade will determine how far you can reach while cutting. If you have much deeper hedges then you’ll need to opt for something longer. Gas-powered hedge trimmers usually come with much longer blades that could be as long as 38 inches.
You might also consider a longer blade when you are doing more precise work. For example, if you’re working on a box hedge, you’ll be able to cover more in one pass as well as get a much more accurate and straight cut which is essential for the overall aesthetic of the hedge.
Your leaf blower is going to be relatively weighty, again, this will vary by model but it’s certainly worth investigating this in order to find a tool that you feel comfortable using. Many backpack leaf blowers come with a chest strap or waist strap (sometimes both) and this will take a lot of the weight out of your shoulders.
It’s important to remember that you may be using the blower for a significant period of time so while it may feel relatively light to begin with, it’ll soon start to weigh you down without the correct support.
You want your backpack leaf blower to be as comfortable as possible and this means looking for one that has as many comfort features as possible. We have already discussed things like chest and waist straps but you should also check that any straps are padded so that they do not dig into your or chafe as you move.
It’s also very important to look at how easy the controls are to use and whether they are easily accessible. The last thing you want is to have to over reach just to turn the machine on and off.
Blowing Force & Speed
The power of your backpack leaf blower is determined by its blowing force. Later on, we will talk about two of the most important figures you’ll need to know when choosing a leaf blower; CFM and MPH. However, it’s also important to get a little more scientific and look at Newtons. These measurements tell us the required force to move an object and one newton is equal to moving an object 1 meter whose mass is 1kg.
When using a gas powered leaf blower, you can expect to have around 40 Newtons of force and there isn’t too much variation on this. However, when you are using a cordless backpack leaf blower, the amount of Newtons can decrease by half with most models having around 20N of force.
Whenever you are looking for outdoor tools, it is essential to compare them with the size of your yard. If you have a very large yard with a lot of surrounding trees then there is very little point in buying an unpowerful leaf blower. You’ll need to opt for something larger and with more get up and go. In these cases, we would suggest going for a gas powered model as this will have the force you need to tackle larger areas in a shorter amount of time.
Horsepower or Torque - MPH or CFM?
CFM or cubic feet per minute tells us how much air the leaf blower produces at its maximum power. When you’re looking for a leaf blower, choosing one with a higher CFM will mean that it produces more air. But that doesn’t always mean it’s the best option because you have to couple this with the speed that this air is travelling. For example, there is very little use in having a leaf blower that produces massive amounts of air but whose speed cannot keep up in propelling that air.
While CFM tells you how much debris your leaf blower will be able to shift, MPH (miles per hour) will tell you the speed at which this air is moving. In many cases, leaf blowers will have variable speeds. But if your leaf blower has a high CFM then it is imperative that it has a speed to match this.
2-cycle vs. 4-cycle Engine
If you are using a gas powered leaf blower then you will need to choose between a 2 cycle and a 4 cycle engine. You’ll find tools that feature both and there are pros and cons to each so it is essential to understand these.
The terms 2 cycle and 4 cycle tell you how many strokes it takes to complete a power cycle. For this reason, you may also hear them being called 2 stroke or 4 stroke, respectively.
2 cycle engines are considered to be more reliable and are far more lightweight than their 4 cycle counterparts. What’s more, you will find that they don’t vibrate as much which is crucial if you’re using the tool for a long time. What’s great is that the 2 cycle engine does not need as much maintenance. Instead of having to perform an oil change as you would with a 4 cycle engine, you’ll mix oil in with the fuel.
However, a 4 cycle engine is far quieter and is much better for the environment as it does not kick out as many emissions. You’ll also find that, in most cases, these engines have greater torque, which can often mean more power.
Features and Ergonomics
When you are using your leaf blower, the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable and this is why it is essential to find a tool that takes user experience into account. Some of the things you will need to keep an eye out for are how comfortable the tool is to wear as well as the level of vibration. Depending on the model, you might feel extensive vibrations in the back and the hands, the less this happens, the more enjoyable it’ll be to use the tool.
In addition to this, you want to make sure that you aren’t going to experience pain or discomfort when using the tool. This means opting for one whose straps are padded and adjustable so that you can get a good fit. The method of adjusting the straps should also be easy and hassle-free.
Since some of the best backpack leaf blower tools are quite heavy, you’ll need additional support to prevent you from feeling physically exhausted at the end of the job. This means looking for things like a chest strap or a waist strap. These features are especially important if you are going to be using the leaf blower for an extended period of time.
If you are using a gas powered leaf blower then it will feature some kind of active cooling which you will feel on your back underneath where the leaf blower sits. These systems work by releasing air through ports at the back at the same time as dragging air into the device. The result is that you get a nice cool blast of air on your back while you work.
You might think that this sounds like a minor feature but imagine carrying a heavy leaf blower on your back on a hot day; you’ll be grateful for that active cooling! There are some leaf blowers that do not use an active cooling system and some of the brands to watch out for where this is concerned are Stihl and Shindaiwa. If you’re only going to be using the blower in cooler weather, this might not be an issue.
A backpack leaf blower is a great option for clearing large spaces of fallen leaves, lawn clippings, and other debris. It’ll make the job far easier than using a handheld leaf blower but since these are complex and often pricey tools, it’s important to make a careful decision when buying. Once you’ve got your tool you’ll notice how simple outdoor clearing and maintenance becomes and if you choose a good model, your leaf blower will serve you for many years.