Your shopping guide for best backpack blowers in 2019

Keeping leaves, sticks, and grass off your lawn can be a difficult and never-ending task. Blisters and backaches are a common side effect of hours spent cleaning your garden or yard. A Backpack Leaf Blower provides you with an effortless way to keep your yard and driveway looking its best. Many have the power to clean up large amounts of litter, in a relatively short amount of time.

 

However, finding your ideal backpack blower can be somewhat of a challenge. Going through all the choices and reading consumer reviews takes up valuable time, and that’s where we come in!

 

We’ve put together a shopping guide to provide you with the information you need to narrow down your choices, and to assist you in deciding what features are most essential to you.

 

When you’re ready to purchase, bear in mind to check out our top five backpack leaf blower picks.

Greenworks Cordless Backpack BlowerBackpack Blower with Brushless Cordless MotorPoulan Pro Backpack Leaf Blower Makita 4-Stroke Engine Mist Blower DEWALT Brushless Backpack Blower
Pros
Up to 580 CFM / 145 MPH makes blowing through dry/wet leaves and debris a breeze
Brushless motor delivers gas equivalent performance
Variable speed trigger and turbo button
Pros
8 Times quieter than gas-powered backpack blowers
Powerful 5.0 Ah arc-lithium battery
Adjustable harness with waist belt
Pros
48CC 2-Stroke engine
200 mph/475 cfm
adjustable shoulder straps
Heavy duty frame
Variable speed throttle control
Pros
Powerful fuel efficient heavy duty engine
Quick and easy start-ups
Single action switch to activate liquid chemical flow
Liquid chemical in tank is automatically mixed by intake air flow
Pros
Brushless motor with lots of power
Full variable speed trigger with a speed lock
Compliant with noise-restricted areas at only 63 dB(A)
Cons
Battery and charger not included
Cons
Expensive but worth every penny
Cons
Need constant maintenance
Cons
This unit is heavy
Cons
Battery & charger sold separately
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Types of backpack leaf blowers

Gas-powered, two-stroke engine

Two-stroke engines load more capacity in a lighter package than a four-stroke engine.

But, they are more difficult to maintain. You’ll need to use a mixture of gas and oil in the fuel tank. You can make this mixture yourself, or purchase premixed fuel at a home improvement store.

 

Gas-powered, four-stroke engine

Four-stroke engines take the same type of fuel you use for your car, so you don’t have to buy special fuel or do any mixing. They are very efficient and effective, which means you’ll be getting more work out of every tank of fuel. Four-stroke engines can produce a substantial overall power, but that can also mean a bigger engine and more weight.

 

Battery-powered

Battery-powered, or electric engines, are somewhat new to the backpack blower market. There are not many of them, but they are increasing in popularity for several reasons. They are quieter and don’t put out any harmful emissions like a gas engine. Battery-powered backpack leaf blowers can be utilized in areas that may have limitations on noise and air pollution. These blowers aren’t as powerful or effective as a gas-powered blower, and you might need a backup battery.

 

What to consider when buying a leaf blower

Airspeed

Airspeed is how quickly the air comes out of the tube and it’s measured in miles per hour. Battery-powered blowers reach about 140 mph, while a powerful gas engine may possibly reach speeds of 250 mph or higher.

The amount of airspeed you require depends on how large of an area you need to clear, and how much litter and leaves you need to move. The more yard you have, the more airspeed you’ll require.

 

CFM and tube size

The other measurement utilized by manufacturers to describe the power of a backpack blower is how much air leaves the tube in one minute, measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm).

This number is directly connected to the tube size. A narrow tube with a high airspeed won’t clear as effectively as a wide tube with high airspeed.

Remember both airspeed and tube size when determining how powerful the backpack blower truly is.

 

Ergonomic throttle design

To prevent injuries from continuous motion, the throttle should be user-friendly to not aggravate the wrist, elbow, or shoulder. You should be able to hold your arm in a natural position while using the throttle.

 

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Your ears aren’t the only thing that might need cover when utilizing a backpack blower. Hands and eye protection are also advisable, to protect from any debris thrown by the blower.

 

Shoulder straps and hip belt

The convenience of carrying the blower on your back offers you the freedom to use it nearly anywhere; however, you’ll be carrying approximately from 14 to 25 pounds.

Check for a backpack blower with a user-friendly design that fits the body of the person who will use it more frequently. Adjustable shoulder straps are also a necessity.

Better yet are models that include a hip belt. Hip belts remove the weight off the shoulders and put it on the hips, which is more convenient to carry.

 

Anti-vibration system

An anti-vibration system helps minimize user fatigue, yet not all backpack blowers include this. These systems differ by manufacturer, but most use a series of springs and anti-vibration mounts to assist in absorbing the vibrations, so your body doesn’t have to.

 

Noise reduction

Anything that transmits noise louder than 75 decibels requires hearing protection. That includes most backpack blowers, specifically because the engine is so close to the ears.

Battery-powered blowers are quieter than gas-powered blowers; however, we still suggest wearing hearing protection.

Some blowers are manufactured to minimize noise. If you have neighbors close by, you’ll certainly want to consider a blower with some kind of noise reduction features, like a large capacity muffler.

 

See also our: Top Picks of the 8 Best Leaves to Pick Up Leaves

 

Price

Inexpensive

Backpack blowers prices start between $200 and $300. You’ll find two- and four-stroke gas engines, as well as a battery-powered backpack leaf blower as you get closer to $300.

As the price increases, the engines get bigger and more powerful and some come with 250 mph airspeed and an impressive cfm.

 

Mid-range

For $300 to $500, you’ll find bigger, heavier blowers with more complex anti-vibration systems and noise reduction features. They generally have adjustable tubes.

 

Expensive

At $500 to $700 you’ll discover commercial grade two- and four-stroke backpack blowers with two-stage intake air filtration systems and adaptable throttle handles, amongst other high-end features.

Large capacity mufflers help to minimize noise, but these machines are powerful, and that much power just brings a great deal of noise with it.

 

FAQ

Q. I have a small yard, but I need a blower that can move grass, leaves, sticks, and other debris. How much cfm and mph do I require?

A. Since you don’t have a large area to clear, you probably don’t require a huge machine. You could use a small two-stroke or battery-powered blower, and be able to manage a reasonable amount of debris. You’ll need an airspeed with a minimum of 175 mph if you’re going to move anything more than leaves. If you have a considerable amount of debris and sticks, you’ll want to look for a model with over 200 mph and a high cfm.

Q. What if my state has special regulations for blowers?

A. To help manage pollution, California does have specific regulations for small engines, such as those found on backpack blowers. To minimize the effects of small engine emissions, the engine must be California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant. You can still use a backpack leaf blower, but you’ll need to search for one that says it is CARB-compliant. Even though they aren’t pollutant-free, CARB-compliant models are more effective and run cleaner.

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