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.
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, 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 more quiet 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.
Features to consider
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
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 to 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.
An anti-vibration system helps minimize user fatigue, yet not all backpack blowers includes 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.