Every autumn it’s time again: the leaves on the trees change their color from green to yellow to brown and fall to the ground. As beautiful as the autumnal sight is, removing leaves from the terrace, sidewalk and green areas is all the less. In the past, if the leaves had to be laboriously put together, appropriate garden tools now make this tedious work easier.
Leaf vacuum cleaners and blowers are available with battery drives, electric and petrol engines. Our extensive research on leaf blowers gives you the answer to all your questions!
As with many other garden tools, a distinction is made between leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners between three types of drive: battery-operated, devices with electrical or mains operation and those with a petrol engine. Which type suits you best depends, among other things, on the respective area of application. To make your decision easier, we present the individual leaf vacuum device types with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Cordless leaf blower / cordless leaf blower
Cordless leaf blowers and leaf blowers are still relatively new on the market. They offer a good compromise between flexibility and environmental awareness but do not match the performance of electrical or petrol devices. The advanced lithium-ion technology has extended the working time of cordless tools considerably, but it is limited for power-hungry garden tools such as leaf vacuums – they are therefore only suitable for smaller gardens or areas.
What are the advantages of cordless leaf blowers?
Cordless leaf blowers and blowers score above all with environmental friendliness and flexibility, since there is no annoying power cable here. In addition, they differ at least in terms of engine volume from gasoline devices and are cheaper to buy. If you have several cordless garden tools from the same manufacturer, the batteries can in many cases be swapped under the tools and used more effectively.
Disadvantages of cordless garden vacuums
The lower power is currently the biggest disadvantage of cordless leaf blowers. On the one hand, this shortens the working time, on the other hand, these devices often have problems with wet and large sheets.
Battery-operated vacuum cleaners are particularly suitable for short work assignments to clear leaves on the fast sidewalks and small areas. Although include gardening equipment with battery is not the most powerful, but you have less weight and are significantly quieter than a comparable petrol leaf vacuum.
Which is the best cordless leaf blower? To make your purchase decision easier, we have examined a number of devices and have summarized the best battery-operated models in a clear way and write pros and cons of each leaf blower.
Electric leaf blower / electric leaf blower
Environmental awareness, volume, and performance are the focus of electric leaf blowers and leaf blowers. However, this is at the expense of freedom of work, as there must always be a power connection in the area. But they are considerably lighter than other types of devices.
What are the advantages of electric leaf blowers?
If you pay particular attention to the price, you will soon end up with electronic devices – they are significantly cheaper to buy than a battery or petrol vacuums. You can also work with them continuously without changing the battery or refilling petrol. In terms of performance, devices with a mains connection do not have to hide behind petrol leaf blowers and are also significantly less maintenance-intensive.
Disadvantages of electric leaf blowers
Although the range of electric blowers and vacuum cleaners can be expanded considerably using a cable drum, the power cable significantly limits freedom of movement, as is also the case with electric lawn mowers.
Mains-operated vacuums are ideal for larger areas or longer work and are lighter and quieter than petrol leaf vacuums. With the power cable, you restrict the benefits somewhat within the operating radius but offer higher performance than comparable cordless leaf blowers.
Which is the best electric leaf blower? To make your purchase decision easier, we have examined a number of devices and have summarized the best electrical models so you can buy a leaf blower as per your requirements and needs.
Gasoline leaf blower / gasoline leaf blower
If you have a large garden and rely on the performance, a gasoline-powered leaf blower/leaf blower is recommended. However, not all devices in this segment are extremely powerful, so when purchasing, you have the choice of how much power you actually need. In the professional sector, gasoline leaf blowers are used almost exclusively.
What are the advantages of gasoline leaf blowers?
The biggest advantages of gasoline vacuum cleaners and blowers are the freedom of movement and the long uninterrupted working hours. With powerful equipment, you can easily pick up even wet and heavy leaves or blow them into a heap.
Disadvantages of gasoline leaf blowers
One of the biggest disadvantages of gasoline leaf blowers is the combustion of fossil fuels, which causes annoying exhaust gases to rise, and the gasoline engine, which requires regular maintenance. In the older models, in particular, two-stroke engines were often found earlier, which produced a lot of harmful exhaust gases. The emissions of the new devices are significantly lower but still comparatively high. It also emits hydrocarbons and other nitrogen oxides that are harmful to the environment. The noise pollution should not be underestimated either, because the garden vacuum powered by a combustion engine generates penetrating noise. We recommend using suitable hearing protection.
Gasoline powered vacuums offer the highest performance and flexibility when larger areas need to be cleared of leaves and dirt on a regular basis. In contrast to weaker cordless leaf blowers, these garden tools can also be used to vacuum or blow up damp leaves without any problems.
Which is the best gasoline leaf blower? In order to make your purchase decision easier, we have examined a number of devices and have summarized the best petrol-powered models so you can buy a gasoline leaf blower with full confidence.
10 Best Leaf Blowers of 2021
Interesting facts about leaf blowers and leaf blowers
How does a leaf blower work?
A leaf blower is constructed like an oversized vacuum cleaner and sucks leaves with a vacuum generated by the motor through the suction pipe into the device’s collecting bag. Depending on the performance of the vacuum cleaner, small and large as well as dry and wet leaves can be sucked from sidewalks, the terrace or from lawns. Strong leaf blowers achieve a suction power of 14 cubic meters per minute and more.
What is the difference between a leaf blower and leaf blower?
If you do not want to soak up the leaves directly, but rather collect them as a pile of leaves in the garden, then use a leaf blower. These work in exactly the opposite way to the leaf-clearing by having a blower function, with which the leaves can be easily blown into one or more piles.
Depending on the type of drive, strong leaf blowers can develop fan speeds of over 400 km / h. To blow even large, wet leaves away, you should use a device with at least 250 km / h.
Are there combination devices from leaf blowers and blowers?
If you want to use both functions, i.e. sucking and blowing leaves, we recommend buying a combination device. Many leaf blowers can be converted with little effort into a full leaf blower. This removes the grass bag, which reduces the weight of the device and in most cases replaces the suction tube with a special blow tube.
The leaf blowers, there is this combination is rare. They almost always work as pure fans and rarely offer an additional extraction set. Therefore, before buying a leaf blower, make sure that the device contains the desired functions.
Which leaf blower is the best?
The choice of the right vacuum cleaner should depend on the area of use and the number of leaves. Electric models restrict you in the radius of action and require a power source nearby. Cordless tools offer you more freedom, but with reduced performance. Gasoline leaf blowers are noisy, but they have the best suction power. Before you buy, think about which device suits you best.
How much does a garden leaf vacuum cost?
Simple devices with a mains connection start at around 50 euros. Garden owners who value quality and want to remove large amounts of leaves should plan at least 150 euros. Note that the battery and charger often have to be purchased separately for cordless tools, which increases the purchase price even more.
When is it worth buying a garden vacuum?
Especially if you do not have too much time to care for your garden, buying a leaf blower or leaf blower can be very useful. With these devices, the leaves can be collected much faster than with a conventional rake. The time saved here is enormous. In addition, the use of the garden vacuum is not as physically tiring and exhausting as normal raking.
Another advantage is the individual use in the different seasons: a leaf blower is also suitable in spring or summer when the trees lose their flowers, great for cleaning paths or terraces. If it is a leaf blower or a vacuum cleaner with a blowing function, even loose powder snow can be quickly and easily removed from the sidewalk in winter. This may save you the purchase of an expensive snow blower.
Are there leaf blowers with chop function?
Most devices are multi-function devices and include a chop function, with which the sucked-in foliage is greatly reduced when the picture is taken. This has the advantage on the one hand that there is more space in the collecting bag and on the other hand that it can be better disposed of on the composter or used as mulch, i.e. natural lawn fertilizer. With some leaf blowers, the reduction ratio is up to 16: 1.
How loud are leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners?
Leaf blowers and leaf blowers produce a loud, high noise level because they can produce a noise of up to 115 decibels. Human hearing can suffer irreversible damage from just 85 decibels, so you should definitely wear hearing protection when using it.
In addition, noise limits must be observed in residential areas. Due to the Noise Abatement Ordinance, for example, the devices may not be used all day on Sundays and public holidays and during rest periods. All new leaf vacuum models must also be labeled by the manufacturer with regard to the individual sound power level.
How heavy is a leaf blower?
The weight of a leaf blower is an important criterion that you should consider when buying. This varies between the individual models and the manufacturers. The leaf blowers weigh an average of four to seven kilograms. Of course, even lighter models are available on the market. Since the arm and shoulder muscles are primarily required when working with the leaf blower, you should make sure that they do not tire too quickly. It is therefore very useful to read the product details before buying it.
Some petrol leaf blowers and leaf blowers also include a shoulder strap, which distributes the weight of the leaf blower over the body, so that there is no overuse of certain muscle groups. There are also some models that are equipped with rollers on the proboscis. These also have a relief function, since the castors give you the option of supporting the device on the floor.
Can gravel beds be cleared of leaves?
In principle, any floor covering can be cleaned with the help of a leaf blower or leaf blower. With gravel beds, however, tact is required because the performance of the device must be taken into account. In this case, you should tend to use a device that has a comparatively weak suction power or that can be regulated in speed. Otherwise, there is a risk of small stones being sucked in or blown through the air.
In any case, it is advisable to proceed carefully when cleaning the gravel bed. When cleaning your garden, make sure that the distance between the leaf blower nozzle and the bed is so large that the suction power is just sufficient.
Our expert tip:
Cordless leaf blowers are in most cases weaker than garden tools with other drive types and are more suitable for cleaning surfaces that are covered with gravel or mulch.
Where to with the collected leaves?
The leaves that have been sucked up or blown onto a pile should be taken to the compost, but are also very good for mulching. The latter is extremely important as it contributes a large part to the soil quality and soil fertility. Proceed as follows when mulching with autumn leaves: First spread a layer of leaves about 10 centimeters high under the trees and bushes. The leaves then gradually rot and supply the soil with important nutrients.
Why should foliage be removed at all?
Basically, it can be said that leaves in green areas are very good natural fertilizer. Therefore, there is no reason not to leave isolated leaves. Especially around and under plants, the leaves should not be removed, as they protect against frostbite in winter. However, too many leaves deprive the lawn of oxygen so that it can shrink. Large layers of leaves should, therefore, be blown or swept as quickly as possible.
Wet leaves can also pose a risk of slipping on stairs and sidewalks. As with snow and ice in winter, you should remove the foliage from all paths in autumn so that pedestrians are not harmed.
Where can I buy leaf blowers?
Leaf blowers are available almost everywhere. You can find them in conventional hardware stores such as Hornbach, Obi or in the Hagebaumarkt. Some of these are also offered as part of certain garden promotions in supermarkets such as LIDL or ALDI. If you can’t or don’t want to visit these shops in person, you can easily buy leaf blowers and leaf blowers on the Internet and have them sent to your home. The large shipping giant Amazon, for example, is ideal for this, since the selection is very large there.
Popular online shops for leaf blowers
If you prefer a particularly large selection of devices, you will find it at online retailers. In addition to mostly cheap prices, the opinions of other customers also help with the purchase decision. The only drawback: you can not test the leaf blower before buying. However, you have the option to exercise your statutory right of withdrawal. Just keep in mind that this exchange right can be restricted for already used suction cups and blowers.
If you would like to receive comprehensive advice and carry out a leaf blower test yourself, then a visit to a specialist dealer is recommended. So you can get an idea of the quality before you buy. If necessary, there is also the possibility to rent a leaf blower or to test it extensively at home at the hardware store.
Discount Deals of Leaf Blowers
Offers with garden tools are usually only available seasonally and therefore at short notice at discounters. In the case of supposed leaf blower bargains, keep in mind that the models offered cannot always keep up with branded devices. Especially if you want to buy a device for frequent use, you should invest a little more money. Garden vacuum cleaners from the discounter are sufficient for occasional cleaning work.
Can I also rent leaf vacuums and blowers?
Some providers give their customers the opportunity to rent the garden tools for a certain period of time for a usage fee. There are internet platforms that specialize in this possibility. You can reserve different garden tools online and pick them up at a branch near you. Some local hardware stores also offer such a service.
Renting is particularly useful for garden owners who only have a small garden and do not have to regularly remove leaves. If you are unsure whether renting or rather buying is the best solution, you should ask the following questions:
- Do I have to regularly dispose of large amounts of leaves?
- How big is the area that needs to be cleaned?
If larger amounts of leaves have to be disposed of regularly, a bottom-line purchase is the better alternative.
What are the alternatives to collecting leaves?
Another possibility to effectively and gently free your garden from leaves is the rake. A leaf rake is a tool that is not only used to sweep leaves together. For example, it can also be used in gardening to smooth the earth. Rakes are available in different colors and designs and are made of plastic, aluminum or steel.
Cleaning the garden with the help of a rake is an environmentally and neighborly solution. Because there are no emissions and the noise level is not increased unpleasantly. When making the final purchase decision, you should also consider other factors such as the working width or other special features in addition to the material and weight of the rake. Some models, for example, the Gardena 3101-20, do not include a handle. The device is very light and, above all, inexpensive. However, the stability is only sufficient for the function of the raking of the leaves, otherwise, the tines could break off. So you should decide what the rake should do later before buying it.
Where can rakes be bought and what do they cost?
You can buy garden rakes directly in hardware stores, supermarkets or online. If you value personal advice, then buying from the hardware store is ideal. For all other options, it is essential to compare the different providers and models before completing the purchase.
There are rakes for under 10 euros. However, the quality is often not very good. Many also lack the stem, which must also be purchased. Larger and more stable leaf rakes cost from around 20 euros. But here, too, there is often no handle included.
Other alternatives to effectively remove leaves
In addition to the rake, we recommend the sweeper or the commercial vacuum cleaner. The sweeper, like the leaf blower, is available in mechanical, petrol or battery-powered versions. However, the capabilities of a sweeper are well above the functions of a conventional leaf blower. For example, plant growth between joints or stones can be reduced or completely removed. Moss and other unpleasant weeds are also destroyed using the sweeper. Another option would be a sickle mower with a collecting basket since it can be used to clean large garden meadows.
Buyer’s Guide: Tips for buying a leaf blower
There are different criteria that should be considered when buying a leaf blower. In summary, these are:
- Power unit
- Suction power / suction volume
- Blowing function / blower speed
- collection capacity
- cleaning and maintenance
- environmental Protection
- purchase price
Gasoline, electric and cordless leaf blowers are available on the market. These, in turn, have advantages but also disadvantages.
Petrol leaf blowers have the highest performance and offer great mobility because no power connection is necessary. For this reason, a “cable spaghetti” is avoided since no cable drum or the like is required. However, emissions should not be underestimated. In addition, you have to find out at the beginning which gasoline mixture you need for your leaf blower. Not all fuel can be used and the device may even be damaged.
Electric leaf blowers score with their comparatively low noise pollution and the lack of production of exhaust gases. The disadvantages are found in limited mobility and poor performance. If you do not have a power connection nearby, additional equipment such as an extension cord must be purchased. Experience has shown that this can quickly become a dangerous trip hazard.
The cordless leaf blower offers you many advantages because it combines many advantages. It is quiet in operation and there is no cable connection so that these devices are just as flexible as the petrol garden vacuums. Minuses, however, are the low storage capacity, so that the runtime is between 20 and 40 minutes (depending on the manufacturer and quality). If you need more time to clean your garden, this model is the wrong choice.
Suction power / suction volume
With a high suction volume, large mountains of leaves can be removed quickly. The suction power of leaf blowers is usually given in cubic meters per minute (unit: m³ / min). Most devices have a suction volume of at least 10 m³ / min. In order to be able to vacuum up even wet and heavy foliage, the suction power should be as high as possible.
Blowing function / blower speed
Almost all leaf blowers on the market also offer a blowing function that can be switched over in a few simple steps. With the resulting leaf blower, you can blow leaves, branches and other debris into a heap if necessary. If you want to use this function more often, the fan speed is one of the most important factors that you should consider when buying a leaf blower. Good fan speed is important so that you can work efficiently with the leaf blower. A decent leaf blower with a blower function has a fan speed of at least 200 to 220 km / h. However, some high-performance models are also able to blow up to 400 km / h quickly. However, higher fan speed is usually also associated with a higher volume.
If you need to collect a lot of leaves or if you would like to compost the foliage, you should choose a leaf blower with a high chopping ratio. The smaller the shredded leaves, the more compact it is collected in the collecting bag and the better it can be composted later. The ratio is usually between 10: 1 to 16: 1.
When buying, you should also take into account the collection volume, since you do not have to empty it as often with a device with a large collection bag. Most leaf blowers have a collection volume between 45 and 50 liters. Models with a smaller collecting bag are also available.
As already mentioned above, garden blowers and vacuum cleaners generate a high level of noise. For this reason, we recommend that you always wear suitable hearing protection. The higher the fan speed, the higher the noise. Therefore, before buying, you should consider whether a device with a standard fan speed is sufficient or whether you still need a high-performance model. In addition, the statutory rest periods must be taken into account.
Weight is also one of the basic purchase criteria. Over the past few years, manufacturers have developed ever lighter devices, some of which even weigh less than three kilograms with accessories. The heavier a leaf blower or leaf blower is, the greater the strain on the back. We recommend checking the device for weight at a specialist dealer near you. This way you can find out whether the model is suitable for (longer-term) gardening.
Cleaning and maintenance
Regular cleaning is essential so that you can use your garden tools for many years. This includes cleaning the chopper disc or replacing or emptying the grass-catcher. You should also regularly check the air filters for contamination. As the owner of a petrol leaf blower, you also have to think about cleaning the petrol tank and spark plugs.
Leaf blowers and leaf blowers are very noisy and harmful to your hearing. Therefore, earmuffs should never be omitted. In addition, dust should not be underestimated, especially with garden blowers, so we recommend wearing a face mask, especially in very dry weather.
Critics keep emphasizing that leaf blowers are harmful to the environment. In fact, gasoline leaf blowers, in particular, produce poisonous exhaust gases. In addition, microorganisms are eliminated and most devices generate a lot of noise. To prevent air pollutants, the use of battery-operated models is recommended. You can also use rakes or brooms to clear your walkways, especially when there is little foliage or when it is wet.
Leaf blowers and leaf blowers are available in many different price categories. There are extremely cheap entry-level models on the market, but also expensive and high-quality professional devices. The entry-level models are priced between $30 and $50. Leaf blowers with chop function are priced between $150 and $200. However, there are no limits to the top, and especially for professional devices, you need to quickly calculate 500 dollars and more.