Which backpack leaf blower is best?

If you have a yard or patch of land, you may have some difficulty dealing with leaves in the fall. Smaller yards with fewer trees usually clean up easily with a handheld leaf blower. But if you have a large plot that has plenty of foliage, you might want to consider investing in a backpack leaf blower. These handy devices can significantly cut your workload. And there are a number of worthwhile options in every price range.

The best backpack leaf blower for most consumers is the Echo PB-580T due to its budget-friendly price, performance, weight and reliability.

What to know before you buy a backpack leaf blower

They’re perfect for large jobs

Since backpack leaf blowers are considerably more powerful than handheld models, you won’t have to walk as much. They transfer the bulk of the weight to your back, hips and legs instead of your shoulders and arms. 

Most importantly, they let you work on your entire property without being tethered to an electrical outlet. It’s this versatility that makes backpack leaf blowers the go-to choice for contractors and commercial lawn care outfits.

Noise factor

Backpack leaf blowers pack more power than handheld models because it has an internal combustion engine. One of the biggest issues with this is how much noise it makes. Four-cycle backpack leaf blowers are usually in the neighborhood of 70-80 decibels, and two-cycle models can easily exceed 90 decibels. Aside from wearing proper ear protection, you’ll need to consider noise level regulations. Some communities have laws prohibiting the use of lawn power tools that exceed 65 decibels.

Fuel blend

Most backpack leaf blowers have two-cycle engines, which use a combination of gasoline and motor oil. It’s extremely important to remember to use this blend since the wrong mixture could wreck your leaf blower. Most use a fuel-to-oil blend, but this can vary based on the model. Take time to review the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure you use the right formula.

What to look for in a quality backpack leaf blower

Airspeed and cubic feet per minute

Both velocity and volume are important considerations. They’re related but not necessarily correlated. These factors vary depending on the design of the specific model and brand. If you want a truly effective backpack leaf blower that can handle a good amount of space, look for leaf blowers with a velocity of nearly 200 mph or more and at least 500 CFM in volume.

Throttle position

The leaf blower’s throttle control location is a subtle but important detail. Most users find that tube-mounted throttles are more convenient and comfortable to use. Leaf blowers with hip-mounted throttles tend to be slightly less expensive, but that depends on the brand. Ultimately, the choice will come down to your personal preference.

How much you can expect to spend on a backpack leaf blower

The most affordable backpack leaf blowers cost just over $200. The best options for private landowners are in the $500-$700 range. Those with landscaping businesses that do multiple jobs a week might want to invest in even more expensive models, some up in the thousands.

Backpack leaf blower FAQ

Are battery-powered backpack leaf blowers worth it?

A. Not really. If you have enough land and debris to need a backpack leaf blower, there aren’t battery-powered models that will last long enough to complete the job. To be clear, some systems allow you to strap high-powered, long-lasting batteries to your back for running specific leaf blowers, but they cost over $1,000.

What’s the best safety equipment for using a backpack leaf blower?

A. Wear work boots with plenty of traction as well as durable pants and long-sleeve shirts. These are important basics when working with any potentially hazardous tools. In addition, you should also use other safety equipment when using a commercial-grade leaf blower, such as protective glasses, earmuffs, earplugs and work gloves. All of these will keep you safe and ensure you’re protected while you’re using this heavy-duty equipment.

What’s the best backpack leaf blower to buy?

Top backpack leaf blower

Echo PB 580T

Echo PB-580T

What you need to know: It combines the performance of a commercial leaf blower with a consumer-friendly cost and lightweight design.

What you’ll love: It’s powerful enough to satisfy homeowners with large plots and plenty of brush. Echo is a well-respected manufacturer, so it’s an investment you can trust. It boasts a maximum airspeed of 215 mph and weighs just over 22 pounds.

What you should consider: One of its few drawbacks is that you can’t adjust or repair the carburetor.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot and Amazon

Top backpack leaf blower for the money

Tory Bilt TB51BP

Tory-Bilt TB51BP

What you need to know: This relatively affordable option doesn’t sacrifice power or comfort.

What you’ll love: It’s one of the rare options that is less than $300 and still offers long-lasting effectiveness. It’s about as light as they come and significantly more powerful than a handheld mode.

What you should consider: It doesn’t quite have the same kind of power that many lawn care professionals need.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

Makita EB7660TH

Makita EB7660TH

What you need to know: Put simply, this four-cycle model is a beast of a leaf blower.

What you’ll love: It has more raw power and speed than just about any other option. Plus, since it uses a four-cycle motor, the sound it makes isn’t quite as painfully loud as others. If you need premium performance for professional jobs, this one is a great choice.

What you should consider: While it outperforms much of the competition, it may be too much power for the average homeowner.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot


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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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