Stihl Leaf Blowers
Below, you'll find a list of all our 27 Stihl blowers.
- You can use the filters to narrow your choice down and the sorting options to change the display order.
- You can also click on "Compare" to add a leaf blower to the comparison table to see how it rates beside any other blower on our website.
Stihl AG & Company KG was founded by Andreas Stihl in 1926. The German company specializes in handheld outdoor power equipment. Over the past fifty years, Stihl has opened manufacturing plants in Brazil, the United States, and China. The German company’s sure and steady expansion has made it a leading provider of in the lawn, forestry, and landscape maintenance industries.
Stihl Model Nomenclature
- BG: Handheld blower
- BGA: Lithium-ion handheld blower
- BGE: Electric handheld blower
- BR: Backpack blower
- SH: Vacuum shredder
- C: Comfort (with Easy2Start™)
- E: Easy2Start™
- L: Low-noise
- X: Lightweight
- F: Electric start
What does it feel like to have Hurricane Irma strapped to your shoulders? Donning any of the leading backpack blowers will give you a close representation. With air velocity exceeding 200 MPH and CFMs reaching for four digits, these monster air movers make short work of leaves and mower shrapnel. So they all blow and none of them suck! Which one reigns supreme? We give you more than just a winner in our best backpack blower shootout.
Many manufacturers make leaf blowers, ranging from handheld to backpack, 2-stroke to 4-stroke, gas and cordless. However, when it comes to the backpack blowing beasts, this list narrows pretty quickly. We the test the seven best in this roundup of the best backpack blowers. Our testing includes real world use in addition to scientific instruments, delivering tons of data. We wrap it up into one little package, just for you.
Shootout – at the OK Corral
Not to spoil the ending, but we’ll give you a snippet of what’s to come. Testing and using the best backpack blowers turned into testing, and testing, and testing, and more testing. Sorry for the redundant redundancy. You could put six of these seven blowers in a drum, shake it up and dump one out. The one that comes out, regardless of brand, will successfully complete your tasks at hand, hence determining the best is a monumental task.
If these blowers were sent into a gunfight against each other, they’d either walk out best friends or all look like swiss cheese. All the great charts and data are below, which we make as objective as possible. We do our best to conclude with repeatable results, backed up with real data, not just thoughts and ideas.
In the end, we have seven brands in our best backpack blower shootout. Included in the roundup are Stihl, RedMax, Echo, Husqvarna, Makita, Shindaiwa, and Maruyama. Efco was the only manufacturer that declined to enter their trusty steed into the race, so maybe another time. Proceed with caution – you may be surprised!
Don’t Weight on Me
When you have a blower strapped to your back, padded straps make difference, but let’s face it, it’s about the weight. We weighed them all, multiple times, with our digital hanging scale. These are all dry-weight numbers, so no fuel is in the tanks.
The Stihl is a surpise, as it weighs in at just over twenty-three pounds. Echo is just behind, with less than a pound separating the two. Husqvarna sinks to the bottom, with the top weight, surpassing twenty-six pounds. Exactly three pounds spans the whole pack. Three pounds may not be a big deal to most. However, if you wear a backpack blower for hours on end, this may weigh heavily on your decision.
Cover Your Ears
No, really, cover your ears! All this great power from the best backpack blower shootout comes at a cost, or several costs. No matter how you slice it, they’re loud. Regardless of ANY that you pick, hearing protection should be worn. ANSI specs require that the decibal – dB(A) – levels are measured from fifty feet away. We measure per the ANSI spec, but we also give you our findings at the user’s ear.
Some of the manufacturers claim as low as seventy-three (73) dB(A), however the lowest in our testing was the Makita at seventy-six (76) dB(A). Keep in mind, this small measurement is at fifty (50) feet, so this is only useful data for the bystander. All seven backpack blowers ranged from 101 to 104 dB(A) at the operator’s ear. In short, hearing protection should be used at all times, with any of these blowers.
Note on OSHA Exposure Limits for Sound Levels
OSHA allows a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 90 dB(A) for an 8 hour work day. After that, the OSHA standard has a 5 dB(A) “exchange rate”. What that means is that when the noise levels increases by 5 dB(A), the amount of time a person OSHA allows for exposure divides by two. Using this calculation, at 100 dB(A) SPL you could only work for two hours without hearing protection. Thus, the goal of hearing protection for an 8-hour work day is to reduce the volume to your ears by at least 20 dB(A) SPL.
One interesting thing to note, the Makita came in as a tie with 101 dB(A) at the operator’s ear. It actually sounds, to the naked ear, like it’s a lot quieter than the others. The tone seems to be much lower, since this is the only 4-stroke in the best backpack blower roundup. More information can be found in our Makita MM4 4-Stroke Technology article.
Performance – Newtons of a Different Kind
This is not our first rodeo here. We know you want to know the skinny on power and performance. Yes, we’ll get into MPH and CFM, but first let’s talk about Newtons. No, we’re not talking about the fig kind, this is all about force. The formal definition is such: one newton of force is the force required to accelerate an object with a mass of 1 kilogram 1 meter per second per second. OK, now that that is all cleared up, let’s make some sense of it.
You may hear the braggings of some about MPH and some about CFM, or both. While we’ll get into the CFM and MPH shortly, let’s keep on the Newton force side at the moment. Again, ANSI sets the standard for measuring Newton force, so we follow suit with our high-fallutin’ scientific instrumentation. Don’t let this be your only interest either, it gets even better.
It’s no doubt why RedMax comes to many minds when the best backpack blower is mentioned. With the Newton force pushing for 40, the RedMax musters 38.9, highest of the bunch. Husqvarna is a close 2nd at 38.2 Newtons. In case you didn’t know, Husqvarna is the mother company for RedMax. Just looking at them tells the tale. While some of the ergonomics and controls may differ, performance is much the same. Again, the story continues with the closeness of this best backpack blower shootout. Only five (5) Newtons separate the top six, from Makita to RedMax. It’s doubtful that one could recognize this difference, without using one right after the other. They will all handle the workload without flinching.
Horsepower or Torque – MPH or CFM?
Now let’s really muddy the waters a bit. So you now know the Newton force, why don’t we dive into airspeed and volume. You’ve probably heard the claims of blowers with 225 MPH and others with 900 CFM. Which is better for work? The real answer is both. We could make a whole article out of this topic. In fact, we did just that. For details, check out our article: Blower CFM and Airspeed: Why Are the Numbers So Far Off? Now, back to finding the best backpack blower.
Looking at air speed, we show you three (3) different numbers. The first is the actual MPH as tested, with no correction factors. The second number is the MPH that the manufacturers claim in their specifications and marketing collateral. The third number is the theoretical peak MPH, which is the MPH in a perfect environment, to make it simple. This theoretical number is a corrected calculation from our “actual” MPH, which is part the ANSI equation. Check out the article listed above for more.
Shindaiwa comes out on top with the highest recorded MPH in our backpack blower shootout. We recorded 203 MPH in 90-degree heat and 70+% humidity. You can see that Shindaiwa claims 245 MPH, which is almost exact to our 243 MPH theoretical. This just edged out Echo at 202 MPH. Stihl actually comes in the lowest in MPH at 173.
What in the CFM?
Cubic Feet per Minute, or just the volume of air the blower can produce at Wide Open Throttle (WOT). Again, many misunderstood claims are made in this arena, but we cut the clutter and give you the skinny. Again, more of this can be explained in the full article linked above.
Using the actual CFM as tested, again the Husqvarna and RedMax cousins come out on top. The Husky gets 907 and the RedMax squeezes out 916 CFM. Redmax, Echo and Makita achieve higher CFM numbers than their marketing claims for each. Just as we stated in the MPH section, don’t hang your hat on the CFM side either. We still need to look at some real-world testing.
Wet Sandy Swath
So we use our fancy measuring tools to find all the scientific mumbo-jumbo. But, how well do the contestants of the best backpack blower shootout do with real work? If you don’t already know, OPE Reviews is headqaurtered in Central Florida, nestled right in-between Tampa and Orlando. If you want an idea of our weather, it’s pretty much like an armpit. Hot, damp, and sometimes even the unpleasant odor.
We wrestled with the correct medium for testing real world scenario with our blowers. Fallen tree leaves seem to be too easy, so we thought about using wet grass on concrete or asphalt. With most lawn Pros now mulching their lawns, it’s hard to find a truckload of grass clippings. We settled for a better idea. Using a 50-pound bag of wet playground sand for each test, we evenly spread the bag over a 6-feet by 6-feet area, on very porous asphalt.
With our area marked out in paint, we also add a red chalk line to ensure the exact starting point for each blower test. Our custom rig ensured that every blower nozzle kept the same angle, as well as the tip was the same height off the ground for each. In the end, the Stihl holds the key to the sandcastle. With an area of 888 square-inches, it nudges out the RedMax and Husqvarna at 840. Keep in mind, this is a general measurement of the widest of the width and longest of the length, multiplied together. Also, each of the blowers were run for the same length of time
Best Backpack Blower Shootout Value
Ok, we’re not going to make you wait for it any longer. Here we discuss the value and how many green-backs that need to be shelled out to add one of these steeds to your stable. Interestingly enough, less than $100 span the most expensive from the most economical. Maruyama and RedMax sit amongst the most expensive at $589, while the Makita and Echo are the cheapest, for only $499.
While Echo can be purchased from many of your commercial lawn dealers, the Makita can be purchased via online outlets and big box stores. At the same time, the Echo can also be purchased from stores such as Home Depot. Additionally, the rest of the brands are going to be sold through the commercial distributor/dealer, so you may be able to strike a better deal than MSRP.
More than just the cost of the tool, value also includes the quality of the goods when you purhcase that tool. A higher priced blower may have a better value, simply because the performance and features far outweight the competition. This superior performance may justify the additional cost. In the best backpack blower shootout, it’s actually one of the lowest priced blowers that takes the best value.
Echo is not only tied for the cheapest at $499, but it also leads the pack in value. Makita follows in 2nd by a microscopic difference, with Husqvarna, Stihl and Redmax rounding out the top five.
Work Efficiency – Not Just Fuel Mileage
When we talk about work efficiency, we’re talking about more than just how much and how fast the fuel is used. While this is important, it’s only part of the equation. In addition to the fuel usage, we also need to understand how often the operator of the best backpack blower will have to return to the truck or trailer for a fill-up. This measurement will take into account fuel efficiency and tank size.
To test for fuel efficiency, we emptied the tanks of all the blowers. Next, with the tanks empty, we cranked them and ran them until they stopped running. This ensured that the tanks were empty and the carburetors had no fuel in them either. In the South, we call this “bone dry”. With careful measuring, we added 6 ounces of the same TruFuel 50:1 premix to the fuel tanks, except the Makita. The Makita is the only 4-stroke in the backpack blower shootout, so we added pure 91 octane unleaded fuel to its tank.
With only 6-ounces of fuel in each tank, we primed and started the blowers, immediately taking them to wide open throttle (WOT). This wasn’t a problem, since the Florida heat kept the blowers warm, there’s no need for choking and warming up first. With stop-watches rolling, one by one the blowers sputtered out. First to go was the RedMax, followed by, you guessed it, Husqvarna. The most efficient were the Stihl and Makita. Stihl squeaked out the win on efficiency by seven (7) seconds. Don’t celebrate just yet, wait for the next graphic.
How Far Will a Tank Get Me?
Ok, so we know how long 6-ounces of fuel will last, but we don’t fill our best backpack blower with just 6-ounces. How long can we hold the throttle wide-open on a tank of fuel? Well, we also have the manufacturer specs on the size of the tank, so we take the tank size in ounces and divide by 6. Take that number and multiply times the minutes/seconds the 6 oz. lasted. This gives you the total runtime on a tank of fuel.
Would you look at that?! Stihl went from having the best fuel efficiency to dead last in tank runtime. A full tank of fuel will only last just over fifty-three (53) minutes in the Stihl, while the Husqvarna surpasses an hour and thirteen minutes. The question comes down to whether you want to save $0.50 or make less trips back to the truck or trailer.
The Makita EB7650TH is also a big winner here, since it finishes 2nd in the 6-oz runtime and 2nd in total tank runtime. Even with a smaller tank, Makita’s blower only stops short of the winner by two minutes. Keep in mind, the Makita doesn’t need premix oil either, so you save money there as well.
Feature Set and Ergonomics
While the performance, weight and fuel efficiency testing is quite objective, the ergonomics side does get a bit subjective. We’ll try not to put you to sleep in this section. For the most part, we ran these blowers on our backs to get a feel for comfort, as well as the vibration felt. Some of the blowers vibrate more than others, and some vibrate in the back and hands. Others, just the back vibrates.
All the blowers in the backpack blower shootout include padded straps and a padded back, however some more padded than others. Also, some of the straps are much easier to access and adjust, while others seem more difficult. The Stihl includes big, open finger pulls for cinching the straps, but reaching the plastic adjusters for release can be a pain. Husqvarna seems to have the most comfort, as well as they include a waist strap and chest strap. This waist and chest strap may be a time waister for most. However, if you are part of a large crew, you may run a blower for hours at a time. This being the case, the additional support of the waist and chest strip will be worth the effort to fasten them.
One of the features standing out the most is the active cooling felt on your back. As the blower pulls air into the blower housing, air is not only sucked in from the sides with the larger grates. On some of the blowers, there are ports between the users back and where it meets the blower. This pulling of air creates a nice draft to cool your back. The Makita is by far the best at active cooling. Even in the 90+ degree Florida heat, the blower keeps our backs down-right cool. Four of the others make a valiant effort, but the Shindaiwa and Stihl don’t have it at all.
Our shootout feature set includes items such as strap adjustment, cruise control (throttle lock), active cooling, and a starting step. We calculate who does and doesn’t have these features, then we tally them in our nifty computerized spreadsheet. Even with the plethora of data provided below, you’ll have a hard time figuring your favorite
Best Backpack Blower Shootout Final Rankings
Performance is the highest weighted category in our calculations. Newton force, swath size and work efficiency are the major contributors to performance. From there we also consider ergonomics, noise level, feature set, and value into the overall score. Each blower is measured based on 100 possible points.
As we tally up all the numbers, the cream of the crop seems to be six (6) of the seven blowers. Yes, the numbers show a winner, but as stated in the beginning, any of the top six blowers perform well enough to get the job done right. Not only that, the price only varies by $90 on these $500-600 tools.
Well, you’re the Pros, and you want to see the final list, so here goes.
Shindaiwa EB802 2-Stroke Backpack Blower – 7th Place
- Model: EB802
- Displacement: 79.2 cc
- Weight: 25.3 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 67.6 oz
- dB(A) @ ear: 101
- Max Air Volume: 586 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 203 MPH
- Force: 28.0 Newtons
- Tank Runtime: 1 hr 2 min
- MSRP: $529.99
- Feels light and nimble
- Scored the best in Actual MPH – 203
- Revs quickly
- Hip controlls with kill switch
- Finished in 7th position in Force, CFM, and Swath
- Not the cheapest
- Vibration in hands and back when running
- Least comfortable of the pack
We’re not big proponents in participation prizes, one should earn the merits of the reward. Such is the case with the Shindaiwa. The EB802 didn’t get last place in a wheelbarrow race, it earned 7th place in the best backpack blower shootout. Let’s face it, this is a small community here. Handheld, cordless, nor electric blowers even stand a chance to be in this ring.
The Shindaiwa is a great blower. No, it doesn’t produce the force or CFM needed to make it king of the hill, but the air speed is high and will work well in the typical lawn debris cleanup. The EB802 has the feel of a very light and nimble blower, and it scored 76.4 in our shootout. Even though the scales didn’t tip this way, the Shindaiwa feels lighter on the back than the Stihl. Also, the RPMs seem to ramp up quicker than any other blower tested.
To find out more information on the Shindaiwa EB802 blower, click here .
Maruyama BL9000-SP Backpack Blower – 6th Place
- Model: BL9000-SP
- Displacement: 79.2 cc
- Weight: 25.7 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 71 oz
- dB(A) @ ear: 102
- Max Air Volume: 785 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 189 MPH
- Force: 35.0 Newtons
- Tank Runtime: 1 hr 6 min
- MSRP: $589.99
- Very solid contender
- Comfortable straps and back pad
- Active cooling
- Easy to use pistol grip
- Multiple tips included
- More powerful seat-of-the-pants feel than the numbers show
- Tied for the Highest price
- Ranks 6th in Value
Maruyama is a brand that you may not notice every day, however this is a solid blower and competitor. The numbers weren’t quite at the level of the top three, but the Maruyama BL9000 was scratching at the door. It has all the great features, and even some active cooling. The BL9000 scored 88.0 points in the shootout.
Of all the objective testing and data that has been collected, the subjective feel of a tool (blower) still carries some weight. Even though the data doesn’t show it, the seat-of-the-pants feel of this blower assures you that it’s powerful. This blower, when put to use, has the feel that it’s #1 in power, but the numbers aren’t there. Multiple people pick up the Maruyama BL9000, and they all have the same thoughts after using it. Take our word, and when you use it, you’ll understand. The BL9000 is a beast!
To see the Maruyama for yourself, click here .
Makita EB7650TH Backpack Blower – 5th Place
- Model: EB7650TH
- Displacement: 75.6 cc
- Weight: 26.3 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 71 oz
- dB(A) @ ear: 101
- Max Air Volume: 732 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 197 MPH
- Force: 33.9 Newtons
- Tank Runtime: 1 hr 11 min
- MSRP: $499.99
Only 4-Stroke – no fuel mixing needed
- Very solid contender
- Excellent active cooling
- Comfortable straps and back pad
- Easy to use controls
- Two tips included
- Ranks 1st in Work Efficiency
- Ranks 2nd in Value
- Marketing/Performance Claims are spot-on or under-value
- Lowest price
- Ranks 6th in Performance
- Ranks 6th in Weight
Makita stepped into this gunfight with a gun that others may scoff at, but not any more. The MM4 4-stroke Makita EB7650TH backpack blower may place a few spots back, but it’s every bit worth being at the top. This unassuming-sounding blower gets the work done, even when you don’t think so. Scoring 89.3, the Makita blower is within five points of taking 1st.
The sound coming from the Makita has a lot more mellow tone, which is quite different from the high-rpm screaming 2-strokes. It takes firsthand experience for the brain to engage and realize what this blower is capable of. In addition to performance, the Makita has the best active cooling, by far. At WOT, you can feel a strong wind moving between your back and the blower body
One big attaboy goes to Makita for not claiming numbers that the blower can’t hit. In fact, not only could we hit their claimed CFM and MPH with the same nozzle/tip, but we actually beat one of their numbers. Furthermore, if you hope to one day rid yourself of fuel mixing, then Makita has your ticket. They also have a full stable of OPE tools with the MM4 4-stroke technology.
Makita EB7650TH info here .
Echo PB770-T Backpack Blower – 4th Place
- Model: PB770-T
- Displacement: 63.3 cc
- Weight: 24.3 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 68.3 oz
- dB(A) @ ear: 104
- Max Air Volume: 761 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 202 MPH
- Force: 36.2 Newtons
- Tank Runtime: 1 hr 08 min
- MSRP: $499.99
- Ranks 2nd in MPH – within 1 MPH from tying for 1st
- Tied for 1st for lowest price
- Ranks 2nd for Weight
- Strong contender
- Active Cooling
- Tip is cumbersome
- Tip could be better engineered
- Vibration through back and hands
ECHO is no stranger to the top of the OPE world. It’s no secret why so many lawn trailers include an ECHO string trimmer, edger, or the complete line from the lawn tool giant. Performance and dependability keep the Pros counting on this brand. When it comes to backpack blowers, the theme doesn’t change.
The ECHO PB770-T controls are easy to use and work flawlessly. Starting the PB770 is easy and performance is impressive as well. Scoring 90.1, this blower didn’t miss by far. Some vibration through the back and handle counted against this blower on the ergonomics scale, and we believe the tip/nozzle design could be help to force and swath testing as well.
Anyone thinking of getting or replacing a backpack blower would not be disappointed in the ECHO PB770-T. In addition to really good performance, the ECHO also carries the smallest price tag. You can find the ECHO PB770-T at your local dealer, some big-box stores, or clicking here.clicking here .
RedMax EBZ8500 Backpack Blower – 3rd Place
- Model: EBZ8500
- Displacement: 75.6 cc
- Weight: 25.1 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 77.8 oz
- dB(A) @ ear: 102
- Max Air Volume: 916 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 181 MPH
- Force: 38.9 Newtons
- Tank Runtime: 1 hr 04 min
- MSRP: $589.99
- Ranks 1st in CFM
- Ties for 2nd for Swath
- Ranks 1st for Force (38.9 Newtons)
- Ranks 1st in Performance
- Active Cooling
- Tied for highest price
- Suffers in work efficiency from smaller tank size
- A little less comfortable than its sibling, the winner (Husqvarna)
Setting the standard for backpack blowers for decades is no easy task, and this is just what RedMax does. Many try to reach the heights of the EBZ8500, but most fall short. If it just came down to brute and braun, hands-down, the RedMax wins. Scoring 92.3, it’s only by the slimmest of margins that the RedMax didnt’ finish 1st or 2nd.
In the end, if anyone is looking for a trustworthy and powerful blower, then look no further. You won’t be disappointed in the RedMax. We have a RedMax in the shop that is pushing 20 years old, and it still cranks on every pull.
Check out RedMax here .
STIHL BR 700 Backpack Blower – 2nd Place
- Model: BR 700
- Displacement: cc
- Weight: 24.3 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 47.3 oz
- dB(A) @ ear: 103
- Max Air Volume: 903 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 173 MPH
- Force: 36.7 Newtons
- Tank Runtime: 1 hr 08 min
- MSRP: $499.99
- 1st for Weight
- Ranks 1st for 6-oz fuel runtime
- 1st in Swath test
- 1st in Ergonomics
- 3rd in Performance
- Top 3 in CFM
- Best controls
- Easiest starting
- Suffers from small tank size
- No active cooling
- Not the best comfort
Stihl the one! Whether you are currently a fan, or not, you recognize a difference when you use the Stihl BR 700 backpack blower. It’s obvious that Stihl does their field research. While power and performance definitely winds up top three, it’s some other differences that set it apart from the others. The BR 700 scores a 92.9, which is less than two points from being #1.
One interesting feature on the BR 700 is the throttle lockout for the choke. If the throttle is not in the lowest position, then you can’t fully apply the choke. This helps to ensure that you have the correct starting procedure. Another nifty idea is the locking ring on the supply nozzle. Turn the ring to the right (unlock) and you can extend or retract the tube, then turn to the left for a secure lock. Furthermore, the pistol-grip control can easily be moved and secured using the lever on the bottom side of the pistol-grip.
The Stihl BR 700 didn’t win the CFM, MPH, or the Force (N) categories, yet it had the largest swath, by a ways. Stihl does a great job of putting their performance to work, efficiently. Take a look at the Stihl BR 700 products at your local dealer, or click here.click here .
Husqvarna 580BTS Backpack Blower – 1st Place
- Model: 580BTS
- Displacement: 75.6 cc
- Weight: 26.4 lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 87.9 oz
- dB(A) @ ear: 101
- Max Air Volume: 907 CFM
- Max Air Speed: 179 MPH
- Force: 38.2 Newtons
- Tank Runtime: 1 hr 14 min
- MSRP: $549.99
- 1st in Work Efficiency
- 2nd in Performance
- 1st in Tank Runtime
- 2nd in Ergonomics
- 3rd in Value
- Most comfortable
- Active Cooling
- Ranks last in fuel Efficiency
- Ranks last in Weight
The Bottom Line – For Real This Time
We have finally reached the summit, and the Husqvarna sits atop with a score of 94.6. The days and weeks of testing and information gathering finally draws nye. While the Husqvarna 580BTS sits alone as the victor, with very small changes, there are several below that could easily dethrone the champ. Please understand, this by no way undermines the achievement of the Husqvarna, it just solidifies the hard fight and closeness of this race.
Literally, tenths and hundreths of a point separated many smaller battles in an effort to end this war. It is somewhat ironic that the same brand that was last in the fuel efficiency test, took the victory in the tank runtime test. Kudos to Husqvarna for sacrificing space and weight to provide a bigger tank, which paid off.
There is no doubt that Husqvarna models their flagship blower off the RedMax. In fact, I would argue that you get a more luxurious blower in the orange and gray, at a cheaper price. You can find more information and Husqvarna dealer locations here .
Lots of people see leaf blowers as loud, fume-spewing wastes of fuel—but newer corded and cordless models offer plenty of power without those drawbacks, which apply primarily to gas-powered blowers that are rarely necessary at home. Most folks should start their search by considering a corded leaf blower like the Toro PowerJet F700, the best blower we’ve found in our years of researching and testing leaf blowers in the woods of New Hampshire since 2014.
The Toro PowerJet F700 is like an air bazooka. It quickly and easily gets under dense, damp, or matted leaves to lift them and move them forward. We found the simple one-handed interface easy to use, and the curved handle gave us flexibility in positioning the angle of the airstream. The Toro also provides a second pommel grip at the front of the handle, which is a good thing because the airstream was so powerful in our tests that we sometimes relied on a second hand for better control. Typically available for less than $60, it’s one of the best-priced blowers you can get—it’s cheaper than most other electric models, and most cordless or gas models can easily cost $200 more. But it has to be the right fit for your property: It’s tethered to an outlet, which limits range to about 100 feet or less, and if you also need to buy an outdoor extension cord to go with it, that’ll cut the cost savings down a bit.
If the Toro F700 isn’t available, we recommend the Worx WG521 Turbine 800 Leaf Blower, which is the most powerful leaf blower we’ve ever tested. This tool is an absolute monster at moving leaves across a yard, but the ergonomics are trickier than with the Toro. The Worx has a smaller handle and lacks the front pommel grip. Given the immense power of this tool, those added features, which are found on the Toro, go a long way to adding comfort and control to the leaf blowing experience. If blasting leaves across your yard is your top priority, this is the tool for you, but be warned that the lack of handle options leads to a real forearm workout.
If you have to blow beyond the reach of a 50- or 100-foot extension cord, get the cordless battery-powered Ego LB6504 Power+ 650 CFM Blower. Its roughly 27 minutes of run time (on high) is second only to the 30 minutes you’ll get out of the Ego LB5804, but it is less powerful. The Ego LB5604 doesn’t have the raw leaf-blasting power of the corded models, but in our tests its more focused airstream was better at getting under a dense mat of wet leaves, and its turbo button can produce an extra burst of power (but drains the battery faster). The downsides: weight and cost. At around 10 pounds, it nearly doubles the Toro’s or Worx’s heft, and at a typical price of around $300, the Ego is very expensive—much more expensive than any other cordless handheld we looked at. For the money, however, you’re getting the absolute best combination of power, portability, and ease of use, and it’s an especially smart investment if you plan to expand your collection of Ego’s great system of lawn tools, including lawn mowers and string trimmers. This model replaces our previous pick, the Ego LB5804 Power+ 580 CFM Blower, an earlier version of Ego’s leaf blower.
If you know you need a cordless leaf blower but the Ego LB6504 is either unavailable or too expensive, we recommend the Ryobi 40470VNM 40V 550 CFM Brushless Jet Fan Blower. It doesn’t have the straight-up power or run time of the Ego, but it’s an effective leaf mover under regular dry conditions. The high points are that it’s very quiet, even for a cordless blower, and the adjustable handle allows for great ergonomics and minimal wrist strain, which is good because the Ryobi is on the heavier side. The controls aren’t as polished (there’s no lock-on switch), and its run time isn’t as long as the Ego (but at almost 20 minutes, it’s still better than most). At around $200 (in the single-battery configuration) at the time of our testing, the Ryobi is among the least expensive cordless blowers we looked at, and we think it’s a great value compared with the competition. Ryobi’s system of lawn tools is solid but not as polished as Ego’s—and this tool’s battery doesn’t work on Ryobi’s drills or other power tools.
Another fine cordless option is the Worx WG584 40-Volt Power Share Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower. This blower lacks the power of the Ego and the quiet nature of the Ryobi, but it makes up for it with a nearly 30-minute run time, roughly the same as the Ego. The Worx uses two smaller batteries, instead of one giant one, like the Ego and Ryobi, so it’s considerably lighter than the others, making it the most maneuverable of the cordless models we tested. Because it uses two 20-volt batteries, the batteries are compatible with Worx’s smaller DIY tools, like their drills and saw, but for power tools, the Worx line isn’t as robust as either the Ego or Ryobi.
If your property is more than an acre and has densely wooded areas, and if you often need to blast a heap of leaves 100 feet across a field, we suggest the Stihl BR 350. You can certainly find more powerful blowers, but after we conducted a test of the Stihl against four competitors and put it through four years of long-term field testing by pro landscapers, our experts agreed that the midrange BR 350 has all the power anyone would really need. The BR 350 is chock-full of smart design features, such as an upward-oriented gas fill and a well-protected gas cap. It also has a convenient spot for placing your hand while you’re pull-starting. The Stihl is gas powered, so you’ll have to properly use, store, and maintain a two-stroke gas engine (and diagnose and fix any issues that arise). It’s powerful and totally portable, but you truly need to have a lot of ground to cover to justify purchasing this blower. It’s also available only at authorized Stihl dealers, not online.
Everything we recommend
Why you should trust us
We’ve been testing and evaluating leaf blowers since 2014. In that time, we’ve consulted with two landscapers—Kevin Walker of K.G.W. Services in Carlisle, Massachusetts, who conducted some of our testing, and Chad Crosby of West Michigan Lawn Services—in interviews. We’ve also had a long conversation with Dan Pherson, a product manager at Stihl USA, and we’ve gotten the input of other manufacturers such as Toro and Ego.
I’ve been using leaf blowers seasonally for at least 16 years—long before I began working on this guide in 2014. I own a 16-acre property in rural New England that is loaded with maples and oaks, so leaf blowing is a crucial part of my winter preparation. I’ve also written guides to lawn mowers, string trimmers, and snow blowers, so I have a good understanding of what makes a solid piece of outdoor power equipment.
Who this is for
If you live on less than a quarter acre, clean up after only one or two trees, and don’t mind a workout, we recommend a rake. If raking is more labor than you’re willing to deal with, a leaf blower is a better choice.
Leaf blowers not only work faster than rakes and take less effort but can also perform many tasks that rakes and mowers can’t. Blowers can clean pine needles from a gutter, blow dust out of your garage, clear grass clippings from a driveway, or get leaves out of thick ground-cover plants like vinca or pachysandra. They can even clear light dustings of snow.
Another way to deal with leaves is to use a lawn mower with a mulching function. These mowers can slice and dice leaves into small pieces, leaving the bits behind to compost and provide nutrients to your lawn. This gets to be a big task for a mower, and only the best ones, such as the gas-powered Honda HRX217VKA, can do it really well. And leaf mulching clears only your lawn areas—you still need something for clearing walkways, flower beds, and stonework.
Leaf blowers can be loud, so learn your local regulations regarding their operation. Some cities and towns have full-on leaf-blower bans, and others allow leaf blowing only during selected times. For example, Arlington, Massachusetts, allows just one gas-powered blower per 6,000 square feet, to be operated only 30 minutes at a time, with 15-minute breaks in between. Other communities adhere to maximum decibel levels. For general etiquette advice, Stihl has a guide to safe and courteous leaf blowing that’s worth a look.
How we picked
You can find several prominent styles of leaf blower to choose from: corded, cordless, and gas powered. Each has a unique set of trade-offs that make it ideal for different circumstances, but we think corded models are the best fit for most. They need to be tethered to an outlet, so they might not be as maneuverable as other options, but they cost the least, have limitless run time, require almost no maintenance, emit a not-so-irritating sound, and issue zero emissions, all of which are major concerns for cordless and gas blowers. We’ve also been very impressed with their power—the best corded models are on a par with or better than many gas blowers.
Cordless blowers provide power similar to that of corded models but offer a much higher degree of maneuverability. The big downside is the run time and charge time, and it’s a dealbreaker if you have a large property or a ton of trees. In run time, the best models we’ve found top out at around 30 minutes, but most are in the 20- to 25-minute range. Couple that with a charge time of around 90 minutes (at least, usually more), and it potentially means a lot of starting and stopping, unless you have either a small lawn or a second battery (which can get expensive). On the good side, cordless models are generally the quietest blowers. As Stihl’s Dan Pherson told us, “When it comes to low noise, it’s tough to beat lithium-ion cordless.”
Gas blowers, which were once the standard, are falling out of favor as cordless models gain efficiency. But they’re still ideal for a large lawn with a lot of trees. We prefer backpack gas blowers to handheld gas blowers: Engines are heavy, so by relocating the weight to your back, backpack blowers can offer a bigger, stronger engine and a larger gas tank for longer run time without putting any strain on your arm. For the most part, backpack models start in the $250 range and rise to more than $500; the small to midsize models generally cost less than $350, so they’re typically more expensive than comparable corded or cordless blowers. As for the drawbacks, gas blowers are loud and stinky, and they require proper off-season storage; you also have to mix gas and oil precisely to fuel them up. Concerns over emissions (and noise) have led many cities and neighborhoods to restrict or ban gas-powered leaf blowers entirely.
We need to stress that, in looking at blowers, you shouldn’t put too much stock in the airspeed (mph) and air volume (cfm, cubic feet per minute) numbers that manufacturers use to try to sell their blowers, regardless of the style. According to Pherson, “Velocity helps lift the leaves, the volume helps blow them away.” The problem is that there is no standardized way to measure blowers’ airflow stats—some companies record them from the end of the blower tube, while others measure air coming directly off the motor, inflating the numbers. That said, for comparison purposes, they’re really only a starting point.
After finding several options delivering adequate power, we turned to other ease of use factors to distinguish one model over another. We wanted to recommend an accessible lineup of leaf blowers, including options that are easy to use by a wide range of people of various abilities. That meant we sought models with versatile handle and grip options, a light and manageable weight, and good enough balance to make the blowers easy to control without a struggle during extended use.
“When it comes to low noise, it’s tough to beat lithium-ion cordless.” —Dan Pherson, product manager, Stihl
How we tested
We did the majority of our testing, specifically of the corded and cordless blowers, on a rural property in New Hampshire. The approximately 2-acre lawn is surrounded by, and dotted with, oak, maple, ash, and apple trees, all of which have leaves that drop in the fall. We used the blowers around flower beds, cobblestone steps, and stone walls, as well as in dense ground cover like pachysandra and vinca. We also took the blowers into the woods to test them on the dense, damp mat of pine needles and leaves that make up the forest floor. Through this testing, we kept an eye on the ease of the controls, the weight of the machines, and the overall ergonomics, looking subjectively at how far we could move leaves and how easily the air helped us steer the leaf pile around.
Run-time tests were done on all of the cordless blowers. We fully charged their batteries, then set them to high and waited until each one died out and recorded the time.
We tested the gas-powered models with help from Kevin Walker, a landscaper with 31 years of experience, and two of his crew (Anthony, with nine years of experience, and Justin, with 12 years of experience). These models included the Husqvarna 130BT, Husqvarna 350BT, Ryobi RY08420A, Stihl BR 200, and Stihl BR 350.
To test these gas blowers, each landscaper fueled up, started, and used each blower for an extended period of time, and all three inspected each unit from tip to tail. We also looked at the decibel readings of each blower using a Triplett SoniChek sound meter. We discovered that the blowers all measured similarly in terms of decibels but that different tones were either more or less annoying.
Our pick: Toro PowerJet F700
Corded blowers meet most people’s needs because they’re powerful, lightweight, free of emissions, and low maintenance. After six years of testing, our pick is the Toro PowerJet F700, which combines gale-force air movement with a smartly designed handle, an essential feature with such a strong and unruly blower. Compared with the other leaf blowers we tested, the Toro showed no problems getting under a bed of thick, damp, matted leaves and pine needles on the forest floor. With the blower tubes in the same position, the Toro pushed leaves at least 2 feet farther than most other blowers we tested. You can use the Toro’s variable-speed control one-handed, so you can easily tone down the airflow when you’re going around flower beds or dusting out a garage. The long curved handle lets you adjust the angle of the blower, lessening wrist strain. The design also includes a front pommel grip, which we found useful in our tests particularly at the highest speeds, where the power of the blower could get a little intense. Typically costing under $60, the Toro F700 is reasonably priced for a blower of this caliber.
A leaf blower starts with its ability to move air, and that’s where the Toro is so successful. Running the Toro at full speed feels a little like being pulled down a sidewalk by a leashed dog chasing after a squirrel—gaining control can take a moment or two. Once we got the hang of it, though, and directed it toward the leaves, they didn’t stand a chance. Tested against the other corded and cordless leaf blowers, the Toro has impressive air-moving power, lifting and launching wet, matted leaves with ease and blasting them farther than nearly all of the others. Only our runner-up recommendation, the Worx WG521 Turbine 800 Leaf Blower, is stronger, but the handle isn’t as good as the Toro’s.
The round open end of the blowing tube is 3¾ inches in diameter—really, it’s like a cannon—so the airstream of the Toro casts a wide net and is ideal for open-lawn leaf moving. All of this means faster work and less overall time spent moving leaves. Most other blowers have smaller-diameter nozzles, which are nice for precision work but take more effort and more back-and-forth sweeps to clear a lawn.
The Toro is also easy to operate. The interface is one-handed and consists of a single thumb dial that turns the blower on and off and adjusts the speed. There is no trigger that you need to hold continually; it’s either off or on. Toro has put the dial to the right side of the handle (when you’re looking at it from the top), which actually makes it a little awkward for a right-handed person but offers benefits when you use a two-handed grip. In addition, the handle is curved, which makes it easy to direct the blower down in front of you.
The Toro also adds a pommel grip at the top of the handle, which is helpful given the power of this blower. The extra piece allows for a comfortable two-handed grip, which we ended up using a lot ourselves. With both hands on the tool, we found that the positioning of the power dial made more sense (for right-handed people), as it’s easy for the lead hand to reach and operate.
Overall, the control setup is intuitive, and it offers you the ability to reduce the airflow quickly if you’re cleaning out a flower bed or around a recently mulched tree. Even if you’re using the blower just to sweep dust out of the garage, using less air will prevent a giant dust cloud.
Like any leaf blower, the Toro is loud. But because it doesn’t have a gas engine, it sounds more like a really, really loud hair dryer, which, minus the heating coil, is basically what it is. We found during testing that the noise of an electric motor is very different from the irritating high-pitched whine of a two-stroke engine, even if the decibel readings are in the same ballpark.
The Toro F700 typically sells for less than $60, which is a great price, especially in comparison with those of other high-end electric blowers, most of which come with a leaf-mulching function and usually run closer to $80. We like that the Toro is powerful but also stripped down, which not only lightens it but also reduces the overall cost. If you have no plans to use a mulcher, why pay for that?
The noise of an electric motor is very different from the irritating high-pitched whine of a two-stroke engine.
But when you’re calculating the overall price, keep in mind that if you’re starting from scratch and in need of the full 100 feet of maneuverability, you’ll need to drop an additional $40 to $50 on an extension cord. Toro recommends at least a 16-gauge cord for 25 feet, a 16-gauge cord for 50 feet, and the heavier 14-gauge cord for 100 feet. I can say from experience that a 100-foot, 14-gauge cord is extremely unwieldy and difficult to wrap up—and sadly, capable of taking out an entire flower bed.
A great companion to this leaf blower
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The biggest downside to the Toro is that the air intake is at the rear, so for all the air that’s blasting out the nozzle end, an equal amount is being sucked in through the back. Because of this back-end positioning, the blower can easily pull clothing against the intake cover. In our tests, during normal use with the blower at our side, this wasn’t a problem, but when we passed it from side to side or did any other operations that put the blower directly in front of us, a shirt sometimes got sucked against the intake cover—easy enough to deal with, but annoying once it happens a few times (don’t worry, the cover is substantial enough that clothes won’t get pulled into the fan). You just have to get used to keeping the blower farther away as you move it around your body.
The leaf-moving power of the Toro is immense, but because it comes with only the single wide-end nozzle, you have no way to pinpoint the airflow for clearing out things like stone walls or gutters. It works best with wide, swinging arcs, and for blasting leaves across the yard. But for smaller shifts back and forth, such as under a rose bush, you’re fighting the blower’s power, and it can get a little tiring.
Runner-up: Worx WG521 Turbine 800 Leaf Blower
If the Toro PowerJet F700 isn’t available, we also like the Worx WG521 Turbine 800 Leaf Blower. This blower is actually more powerful than the Toro, but the handle design makes it difficult to wrangle. According to Worx, this blower blasts a whopping 800 CFM of air. We couldn’t verify those numbers (or the numbers on any other blower), but during testing, this one was clearly the champion of the leaf-moving sweepstakes. On the flip side, the handle is small and there is really only one way to grip it, so a lot of strain is put on the forearm, especially at the higher speeds. The blower is controlled with a three-speed thumb dial that is easy to reach and turn.
Also great: Ego LB6504 Power+ 650 CFM Blower
To go beyond the limits of an extension cord, we recommend the Ego LB6504 Power+ 650 CFM Blower. In our tests, it had among the longest run times and was the most powerful cordless blower we tested. Its more focused airstream was even a little better than that of the Toro and Worx corded models at lifting wet, matted leaves.
The Ego offers easy one-handed controls and a turbo button that can add a boost of power if needed. Be warned, though: At around 10 pounds, it’s nearly double the weight of the Toro. Typically sold for around $300, the Ego is also one of the priciest cordless blowers. Even with those drawbacks, however, we think the benefits are there. Not only does the Ego leaf blower offer extended run time and excellent power, but the included 5.0 Ah battery is also a good starting point if you decide to buy into the Ego system, which we’ve had success with. We currently recommend the company’s string trimmer and lawn mower. The batteries on these tools are all interchangeable, so once you have a battery, you can purchase the other tools without batteries at a reduced price. This replaces our previous pick, the Ego LB5804 Power+ 580 CFM Blower, which has a little longer run time but is less powerful.
The most important factor for a cordless blower is its run time. In our tests, the Ego LB6504 provided about 27 minutes while set on high. The only other blowers that lasted longer were our previous pick, the Ego LB5804, which clocked in at just over 30 minutes, and the Worx WG584 40-Volt Power Share Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower—both are less powerful. We tested the three head-to-head-to-head and were able to get more done with the LB6504 in the same amount of time. The Ego battery fully charges up in about 110 minutes.
That long run time won’t mean much without adequate power—fortunately, the Ego has quite a bit of that too. Among the cordless tools in our tests, it was the most powerful. The Ego had little difficulty lifting and pushing piles of damp, matted leaves. A turbo button is available for adding a blast of power, though at the cost of battery life.
The nozzle end of the Ego measures just less than 3 inches, which splits the difference nicely between open-lawn leaf blowing and having the ability to clean out a stone wall or a gutter.
The controls are nice and slightly changed from the previous Ego models. With the LB6504, the speed dial turns the blower on and off, instead of just setting the power. So with this model, there is no need to constantly hold the trigger if you’ve set the dial. The trigger can still be used independently, but for open yard blowing, we liked just setting the dial and not having to put any energy toward the trigger.
Along with the other cordless blowers we tested, the Ego LB6504 proved to be quieter than the electric models we looked at. Although our decibel readings were similar across the two types of blowers, the sound of the Ego was much easier to take than the electric models.
The cordless Ego has a couple of drawbacks, namely weight and cost.
First, the weight: At around 10 pounds, it’s a load. This model is heavier than most other cordless blowers, and it tops the corded Toro by around 4 pounds. We found the weight noticeable but not unmanageable. To compensate for the Ego’s weight, we probably switched hands more often than with the other blowers, but at no point were our arms and wrists too exhausted to go on (the Ego does have a spot for clipping a shoulder strap). Looking over the reviews of the Ego LB5804 (our previous pick, which weighs about the same), we found similar sentiments, with many reviewers mentioning the weight but still giving the blower a high rating. But we also saw reviews from a handful of people who simply found the Ego too heavy for them or their spouse to manage, so if you have limited arm strength, it’s something to consider.
Much of this weight comes from the large battery, which leads us to the second downside: the cost. Typically about $300, the Ego is not cheap or even average priced. It’s expensive. It costs more than any other handheld cordless blower we’ve found. The majority of this cost lies in the large 5.0 Ah battery, the very element that gives the tool such strong power and such a long run time. Buying the battery by itself sets you back about $250. But while no other cordless models we found were priced like the Ego, none of them performed like it either, with such a combination of run time and power.
If you’re thinking about getting this model, it makes sense to look at the purchase as if you’re buying into Ego’s lineup of battery-powered outdoor power tools, which includes string trimmers, mowers, and chainsaws. All of these tools operate on the same battery, making this leaf blower an easier choice if you already have (or plan to buy) those other tools, which you can purchase at a lower cost without a battery or charger.
Also great: Ryobi 40V 550 CFM Jet Fan Blower
If you need a cordless leaf blower but the Ego LB6504 is unavailable or over your budget, we also like the Ryobi 40470VNM 40V 550 CFM Brushless Jet Fan Blower. It was among the least expensive cordless blowers we tested, but it had plenty of power and was in the mid-range for run time at about 18 minutes. What sets it apart from the rest is that it’s very quiet, even for a cordless blower, and the handle is adjustable, which really helps with the ergonomics. Known as model RY40470VNM at the time of our test, and also RY40480VNM-2B in its two-battery configuration, these models replace our previous pick, the now-discontinued Ryobi RY40460 40V 500 CFM Jet Fan Blower.
As for run time, the Ryobi clocked in at roughly 19 minutes (on high), about eight minutes less than the Ego. It’s a powerful blower, but not as strong as the Ego, so even if the two models had the same run time, you wouldn’t be able to do as much with the Ryobi, but we had no problem moving leaves across a lawn with it. The Ryobi does have about a 2.5-hour charge time, on the long side for a cordless blower.
The Ryobi is extremely quiet, eliminating all of the whine associated with leaf blowers. This is a notable feature, especially now that more and more of your neighbors are likely spending a lot of time at home. We never considered the other cordless blower to be loud, but after having used the Ryobi for a bit, they sounded squealy. The Ryobi creates the sound of moving air and that’s about it.
The handle of the Ryobi is another high point. It’s on an adjustable pivot, so it can be locked in whatever angle you want. The Ego, with its adjustable handle, tends to tip forward, so wrist effort is needed to tip it up. With the ability to lock in the angle of the blower body, we could nearly eliminate all wrist strain. It’s a nice design that was especially appreciated by our taller testers. This feature also works to offset the heavy weight of the Ryobi, over 10 pounds by our measurement.
For downsides, other than not having the overwhelming power or run time of the Ego, the Ryobi has the rear intake, which can pull in clothing as the blower is passed in front of you. The intake is protected by a plastic grid, so it’s not a huge deal, but we found it a slight annoyance.
The Ryobi blower runs on a 40-volt battery that’s compatible with other 40-volt Ryobi tools, including the company’s string trimmer, which we’ve had good experiences with. Overall, we’ve found the Ryobi 40-volt systems to include a solid selection of capable tools, but none of them have power or ability on a par with that of their Ego counterparts. They do tend to be less expensive than the Ego tools, so if you’re looking for a budget-friendly line to buy into, Ryobi’s 40-volt series would be a nice choice. Note too, however, that these 40-volt batteries are not compatible with Ryobi cordless tools such as drills and saws.
Also great: Worx WG584 40-Volt Power Share Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower
Another cordless option we like is the Worx WG584 40-Volt Power Share Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower. This blower achieves its 40 volts of power through two 20-volt batteries that both attach to the blower. Charging these would be an inconvenience, but the dual port charger is capable of filling both batteries at the same time. The Worx isn’t as powerful as the Ryobi or the Ego, but under normal leafy conditions it has no problems moving leaves. It has a very long run time and, at almost 29 minutes, it exceeds the run time of our Ego pick. Also, because the 20-volt batteries are so small, the Worx blower is very, very light. Our measurement put it at a little over 7 pounds, about 3 pounds lighter than the Ryobi.
A last thing to consider with the Worx is that its 20-volt platform is fairly large and includes a lot of smaller hand tools, like drills and saws. But when it comes to yard tools, the selection is not as complete as Ryobi’s. There are some interesting items like a robot mower, but for an overall complete package, Ryobi has more to offer.
Also great: Stihl BR 350 gas-powered backpack blower
If you’re working on more than an acre with lots of wooded areas, or if you’re blowing leaves a good distance to the treeline, we recommend the Stihl BR 350. Of all the gas blowers our landscapers looked at, this was the one model they universally loved. It’s loaded with smart features, and as landscaper Kevin Walker said, “This one out-blows everything.”
You can find more powerful blowers, but this midsize model offers all the blowing power you’d ever need.
The fact that the BR 350 moved leaves better than the other backpack blowers set it ahead of the pack, but all of the small touches in the overall design were what especially appealed to Walker and his crew. The gas fill is oriented upward as opposed to at an angle, making for an easy, spill-free pour; the gas cap has a hard plastic ridge around it, protecting it from bumps; and the top of the tool is the perfect shape for placing a hand while you’re pulling the starter. None of the other blowers we looked at combined such power with such smart features.
You can find more powerful blowers than the Stihl BR 350, but as far as Walker is concerned, this midsize model offers all the blowing power anyone would ever need.
The BR 350 weighs 22½ pounds, which is a good amount of weight to carry around. If that’s too much, you can step down in size and power to the Husqvarna 130BT. Comparing that blower with models of a similar size, Walker and his crew liked the 130BT for its ample power, manageable weight, and relatively quiet operation. But it took longer to move leaves than the Stihl BR 350.
Walker and his crew have used the Stihl BR 350 for more than four years, and it has continued to be well received. Walker told us that it “has been a great workhorse and definitely a crew favorite for larger work areas where a lot of distance needs to be covered.” When he first looked over the unit, he mentioned its higher-pitched noise, but he told us that none of his crew members have mentioned that issue since.
What to look forward to
The Ryobi 404100 advertises a CFM of 730, making it the strongest cordless leaf blower we’ve tested. It also has a more streamlined design than the Ryobi 40470VNM, our current Ryobi pick.
The Worx WG585 moves air at a rate of 620 CFM, which is on the high side of available cordless blowers. The tool is powered by two 20-volt batteries and it comes with a dual port charger for convenience. It also has a telescoping shaft which may make it more compatible with a wider variety of body types.
We tested a number of additional blowers and dismissed others before the testing phase.
The Worx WG520 was a previous pick of ours, but both the Toro F700 and the newer Worx WG521 are more powerful.
DeWalt’s DWBL700 12-amp handheld blower was a previous runner-up pick that offered premium features at a premium price (typically over $100). We prefer the low cost and high performance of the Toro F700.
Although the Toro 51619 Ultra Blower/Vac is a popular model, it has a tedious system for switching out the reducing nozzles that requires the removal of the entire blowing tube and the guard that protects the underside of the blower. On top of that, the variable-speed knob is so far from the handle that you need to operate it with a second hand.
The Stihl BGE 61 costs more than the Toro F700 and doesn’t appear to have their air-moving power.
The Ego LB5804 Power+ 580 CFM Blower was our previous cordless pick, but it doesn’t match the power of the latest Ego blower, the LB6504. It has the longest run time of any cordless blower we’ve tested, about four minutes more than the LB6504, but we were able to get more done with the stronger blower. The price difference is minimal, so we prefer the LB6504.
About $100 cheaper than our cordless blower pick, the Ego LB5302 is an option if you’re okay settling for less power and half the runtime of our pick. But we think the extra power and convenience of the larger battery is worth the extra cost for most people.
The Ryobi RY40440 40V Brushless Backpack Blower, with its 5 Ah battery, lasted 22 minutes but didn’t seem to have a whole lot more power than the Ego model we recommend. It has two battery ports, so you can drop a second battery in and it will run on them sequentially for a longer total run time. It’s a nice feature, but it requires a buy-in on the Ryobi cordless system.
We also tested the Ego LB6002 Power+ 600 CFM Backpack Blower, which got about 26 minutes on full power. It currently costs about $300. There’s no question that the backpack offers convenience in handling Ego’s large and heavy 5.0 Ah battery, but we’re not convinced that the weight shift of the backpack is necessary for less than a half hour of blower run time.
The Oregon BL300 had a short run time of just over 13 minutes on high.
Stihl also has a cordless blower, the BGA 85, but we did not test it due to its exorbitant price. Just the tool alone, with no battery or charger, currently costs about $300. To get the rest of the package, you need to drop another $200, making it a $500 purchase.
We tested the Stihl BR 200 small backpack blower, and although our landscapers liked the power, they didn’t like the noise. The BR 200 let out a high-pitched, ear-withering squeal that was impossible to ignore even with our hearing protection on. The BR 200 also typically sells for $50 more than the similar-size Husqvarna 130BT. Given the noise, Kevin Walker’s crew found that added cost hard to justify.
At first, Walker and his crew liked the looks of the Ryobi RY08420A 42cc Backpack Blower, praising it for its ergonomics and general ease of use. That, combined with positive reviews from Popular Mechanics and other sites, led us to choose this model as a budget pick in our 2014 guide. Unfortunately, this blower has not held up well during long-term testing: After only a few months of using this model, Walker reported, his crew began to avoid it due to problems starting a hot engine.
The BR 200 let out a high-pitched, ear-withering squeal that was impossible to ignore.
Which to get, the Stihl or Echo backpack leaf blower? The Stihl BR 600 has a stronger engine with better fuel consumption. But, the Echo PB-580T has a bigger fuel tank and is less noisy. No matter which one you get, you are guaranteed to get quality!
Are you in the market for a new leaf blower? Can’t decide which one to get – the Stihl vs Echo backpack leaf blower?
The first thing I would say is that you are on the right track! Stihl and Echo are two of the best brands you can buy. They both sell high-quality outdoor power tools with outstanding performance.
But which is better? The Stihl or Echo backpack leaf blower?
To determine which is better, I will compare two of their most popular models, the Stihl BR 600 and the Echo PB-580T .
Through my research, I have found that Stihl BR 600 is overall a better solution for most homeowners. It is stronger, lighter, and has a bigger engine.
But that is not all! Keep on reading! You can find the whole review below!
The Stihl Vs Echo Backpack Leaf Blower – Up Close
Stihl Backpack Leaf Blower: Review
You have probably heard of the Stihl brand. You may even have one of their powered tools in your garage already! This doesn’t come as a surprise. Stihl is one of the leading brands in the outdoor power tool and equipment industry.
Stihl has a long history. It is a German company founded in 1926 and they have a major global headquarters in Virginia, employing more than 1,900 locals. Besides leaf blowers, Stihl also manufactures chainsaws, tillers, garden shredders, trimmers, and the list goes on.
Today, I will focus on the Stihl BR 600 backpack leaf blower. I chose this model because it is very similar to the Echo PB-580T. This way, the comparison will be fair and square.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the features.
Design & Ease Of Use
Stihl is known for making backpack leaf blowers that feel good to use, which is exactly what you want in your leaf blower. You know you will be wearing your backpack leaf blower for an extended period of time time, so you want a unit that feels comfortable on your back.
The Stihl BR 600 is lighter than the Echo PB-580T and weighs only 21.6 lbs, so it won’t break your back or strip you of your energy just by carrying it around. This is a huge advantage.
On top of that, all Stihl backpack blowers and sprayers have an adjustable support harness that distributes weight across the back and shoulders, so you will feel comfortable wearing your machine.
Stihl backpack leaf blowers have a multi-function control handle located on the tube and all of the controls are located on a single handle for easy access, so you can finish a job without having to let go of the handle. This design feature makes the Stihl backpack leaf blower hassle-free and easy to operate.
Another design quality that you will appreciate is the anti-vibration system. It reduces the vibration of the gas engine when fully operating. This decreases fatigue and ensures a comfortable working experience.
I do have to mention, though, that the Stihl BR 600 is a bit noisier than its competitor. It produces 75 dB of noise, which is comparable to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Luckily, this unit won’t hurt your ears.
Watch this complete review of the Stihl BR 600:
The Stihl BR 600 is a gas-powered leaf blower, so the machine requires a combination of fuel and oil to operate properly, just like the Echo PB-580T.
The Stihl backpack leaf blower features a 47.3 fl oz fuel tank and a 4-Mix 4-Stroke engine with a displacement of 64.8ccs. The engine produces 2.8 kW of power, so you can rely on it to get you through some rough cleaning jobs.
Most importantly, Stihl leaf blowers start quickly, thanks to the purge pump primer. This feature enables you to prime the carburetor with fuel for easier starting. You can’t flood the engine, even if you push the primer button one too many times. It only takes one to two pulls to fire up the engine.
The Stihl backpack snow blower also has a built-in stop switch, which allows you to turn off the engine with a simple press of the button. The machine automatically returns to the start setting and is ready for the next use. Pretty amazing!
All Stihl backpack leaf blowers are well known for their performance. The Stihl BR 600, in particular, puts out 677 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air. CFM is a measurement of air volume and it tells you how many cubic feet of air comes out of the nozzle every minute.
You also have to look at the speed of air coming out of the leaf blower. The air coming out of the Stihl BR 600 reaches a max of 238 mph. This machine has the power to move large piles of leaves and possibly even small sticks and rocks.
This leaf blower has many uses. It can be turned into a gutter cleaner and used for snow removal too! No wonder why it is so popular amongst homeowners.
Click here if you want to know more about the leaf blower CFM vs MPH.
Watch this video to see the Stihl BR 600 in action:
- Bigger and stronger engine than Echo’s
- Easy start
- Higher CFM than Echo blower
- Higher MPH than Echo blower
- Multi-function control handle
- Built-in stop switch
- Anti-vibration system
- Adjustable support harness
- 2 year limited warranty
- Smaller fuel tank
- More expensive
Echo Backpack Leaf Blower: Review
Echo is a company that doesn’t need a detailed introduction. They have been manufacturing high-performance products with commercial quality for over 70 years.
The company started with a simple hand-held crop duster, and now they sell a whole assortment of powered tools on a global level. Today, I will focus on their backpack leaf blower PB-580T .
Let’s take a look at its features.
Design & Ease Of Use
The Echo PB-580T is a backpack leaf blower. This means that you can carry the machine on your back, so your hands won’t get fatigued during the intensive work. This is just one of the perks of owning a backpack leaf blower over a handheld model.
All Echo backpack leaf blowers are designed with comfortability in mind. They are very comfortable, dare I say even more than Stihl blowers. Here’s why …
The Echo PB-580T features a vented back pad that allows air to circulate around the user. This means your back won’t sweat as much in hot weather.
You also get a padded backrest and shoulder straps with this particular model to keep you comfortable during the whole operation. Rest assured, these straps won’t dig into your skin and leave you sore.
The Echo backpack leaf blower also features a vibration reduction system that will protect you from the engine shaking. With this machine, you get an opportunity to work safely and comfortably.
The Echo PB-580T will spare your and your neighbor’s ears too! It’s pretty quiet compared to other leaf blowers on the market and only emits 70 dB of noise.
Just like the Stihl backpack leaf blower, this one, too, features a tube-mounted throttle for easy access and operation. You can operate the whole machine with only one hand and have the other resting.
Most importantly, this Echo backpack leaf blower is lightweight. It weighs only 22.6 lbs, but this is slightly more than its competitor. The last thing you want is to carry around a heavy and bulky machine that will run you down. You won’t get any work done!
Check out this video for a visual review of Echo PB-580T:
The Echo PB-580T has a reliable 2-stroke gas-powered engine with a displacement of 58.2ccs.
All I can say is, the engine performance won’t disappoint you. It works longer thanks to the bigger 62 fl oz fuel tank, so you can tackle some exhaustive clean-up jobs with this machine just in one go.
Echo backpack leaf blowers have an amazing level of performance — the newer models especially! They are so powerful, they can be used in commercial settings andmove heavy piles of leaves, dry or wet. They are also ideal for the maintenance of large properties and public parks.
But most of us are looking for a solid blower for home use, and that’s why I picked the Echo PB-580T . It is your go-to personal leaf blower.
Let’s see how well this Echo backpack leaf blower does its job!
The Echo PB-580T puts out 517 CFM of air through the nozzle and can reach a maximum airspeed of 216 mph. This is more than enough for yards one acre in size and bigger.
Click here to find out if this is a good CFM for a leaf blower!
- Cheaper than the Stihl BR 600
- Strong, reliable engine
- Easy start
- Tube mounted throttle
- Vented back pad
- Padded harness
- Vibration reduction system
- Less noisy
- Bigger fuel tank
- 5-year consumer warranty
- Lower CFM than the Stihl model
- Less MPH than the Stihl
- Heavier than the Stihl
Stihl Vs Echo: Features Face To Face
It is safe to say that both backpack leaf blowers are equipped with high-quality engines. Their power and performance are almost the same. Almost! The Stihl BR 600 has a slightly better 4-stroke engine with a displacement of 64.8ccs. The Echo PB-580T has a 2-stroke engine with 58.2ccs.
This means that the Stihl backpack leaf blower is more powerful. The engine’s power instantly translates to a better CFM and MPH, which I will talk about shortly.
I also can’t go on without mentioning the amazing fuel consumption of the Stihl BR 600. A study conducted by an independent research firm found that the Stihl BR 600 Magnum backpack leaf blower is up to 38.4 percent more fuel-efficient than its competitive peers. This just shows you how amazing the Stihl engine is.
The clear winner of this round is the Stihl BR 600. Its engine is stronger, more powerful, and has better fuel consumption.
Fuel Tank Size
Always check the fuel tank size when buying a leaf blower. You don’t want to buy a unit that can barely hold any gas or the machine will die on you before you are halfway done cleaning your yard.
You definitely won’t run into this problem if you buy the Echo PB-580T. It has a big fuel tank that can store 62 fl oz of gasoline. You will have enough gas to finish your whole yard without any stops for refills.
The Stihl BR 600 also has a decent-sized fuel tank measuring 47.3 fl oz. Still, it doesn’t come close to Echo’s reservoir.
The clear winner of this versus battle is the Echo PB-580T. It has a bigger fuel tank that supports longer clean-up jobs.
Blowing Performance (CFM/MPH)
What’s a leaf blower worth if it can’t blow? Hardly anything! That’s why blowing performance, measured in CFM and MPH, may be the most important thing to look for in a leaf blower.
You don’t need a unit with the highest CFM number. You should consider the size of your yard and how much organic waste it produces. Both backpack leaf blowers I am reviewing today are ideal for properties up to one acre in size.
With that said, the Stihl BR 600 takes the cake when it comes to blowing performance. It has higher CFM and MPH. It puts out 677 cubic feet of air per minute and blows at the maximum speed of 238 miles per hour. The Echo PB-580T blows at the rate of 517 CFM and the speed of 216 mph.
The clear winner of this round is the Stihl BR 600. It has a stronger and faster blow.
Are Echo backpack blowers any good?
Echo backpack blowers are good becausethey have incredible performance and strength. They can be used in home and commercial settings. They are lightweight, comfortable, and easy to operate.
Are Stihl backpack leaf blowers any good?
Stihl backpack leaf blowers are good because of their highquality and performance. Their leaf blowers pack a punch despite being lightweight. They are easy to start and have outstanding blowing capabilities.
Stihl Or Echo: Guaranteed Quality
There is one clear winner in this battle, and that is you! No matter which backpack leaf blower you pick, you are guaranteed to make your landscaping easier and more fun!
If you still can’t decide between Stihl vs Echo backpack leaf blower, follow these last guidelines.
Buy Stihl BR 600 if:
- You have lots of trees in your yard.
- You need a stronger leaf blower.
- You would like to save on gas.
- You can afford it.
Buy Echo PB-580T if:
- You don’t need as much blowing power.
- You don’t like making too many stops for gas refills.
- You don’t want to disturb your neighbors.
- You are on a budget.
Last update on 2021-10-15 at 11:29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Blower stihl leaf
The Stihl BGA 57 is part of the Leaf Blowers test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Leaf Blowers models like the BGA 57 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Sweeping Denotes speed of moving leaves.
Loosening The speed of removing embedded leaf particles from a lawn.
Vacuuming How quickly models picked up leaves and how finely they mulched them.
The day before, one weekend, I came home drunk (and I then lived with my parents). And the father, as usual, postponed the spanking until later because he saw no point in dealing with the drunk (all the same, drunks forget everything!). The next day, of course, I sobered up, but I didn't go to the institute, for some reason my stomach hurt badly. After returning from work, dad came up to me and told me to get ready for the spanking.
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