Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley
Have you ever wondered are battery powered leaf blowers any good at blowing leaves? Battery powered leaf blowers are great leaf blowers. I own three RYOBI cordless leaf blowers that handle 95% of the leaf blowing, driveway sweeping, and garage cleaning at my home.
Cordless leaf blowers have become more and more popular for homeowners in recent years. That is mainly due to the brushless motors and higher-capacity lithium-ion batteries that are available today.
The combination of these two items has made battery powered leaf blowers not only good but great for the average homeowner.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Leaf Blowers
- 2 Which Type of Leaf Blower Is Best For You?
- 3 How To Choose A Battery Powered Leaf Blower
- 4 Cordless Leaf Blower Pros and Cons
- 5 Cordless Battery Leaf Blower vs. Gas Powered Leaf Blower
- 6 Summing it Up: Cordless Leaf Blowers get the Job Done
Types of Leaf Blowers
Electric Leaf Blowers: Corded and Cordless
You can break the electric leaf blowers into two separate groups.
Corded Leaf Blower: Corded leaf blowers are electric leaf blowers that require a direct connection from the leaf blower to the household power outlet. These blowers have been around for a long time, and they work well for small to medium-sized yards where you don’t mind hauling an extension cord around with you from place to place.
These blowers are primarily lightweight handheld models that are relatively inexpensive to purchase.
Cordless Leaf Blower: Cordless leaf blowers are also electric, but rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power them in various voltages and Amp hour capacities.
Recent advancements in battery capacity and electric motors have now made electric leaf blowers a viable alternative for a gas leaf blower in all but the most extreme circumstances.
A Cordless leaf blower can be either handheld or backpack-style leaf blowers. They are not inexpensive, and prices can rival high-end gas leaf blowers.
Gas Leaf Blowers
Gas leaf blowers have been around for decades. The design has not changed much over the years.
A small internal combustion engine powers gas leaf blowers. These blowers are generally robust and are tried and true leaf clean up outdoor power tools.
Gas leaf blowers come in several different configurations: handheld, backpack, and wheeled blowers. Handheld and backpack gas leaf blowers are the most common. Wheeled leaf blowers are generally used by commercial landscape companies or individuals with large areas that need to be cleaned.
Which Type of Leaf Blower Is Best For You?
The best leaf blower for you depends on how much money you want to spend, what amount of leaves you need to remove, and where you live.
All of these items are important in choosing a leaf blower for your home.
Where you Live and Types of Leaves
If you live in a small suburban home with a small lawn and few trees, then a corded electric leaf blower might be perfect for you.
Now, if you have a home that is a little larger than you need to take care of but doesn’t have a considerable amount of leaves to clean up, then a cordless battery powered blower might be your best choice. Most suburban homes meet this recommendation.
If you have a large property with a large number of trees and leaves, where you will have to run the leaf blower for hours on end, then a gas leaf blower would be your best choice.
Leaf Blower Cost
Leaf blowers come in a wide range of prices. From $50 – $600 or more
Corded Leaf blowers are going to be your least expensive option. You can find an excellent corded blower for under $100.
Cordless battery powered leaf blowers are going to be your next most expensive option. They start around $150 and go up to $500 for the more powerful blowers with multiple large batteries.
One thing to keep in mind with cordless leaf blowers is if you have the battery already, the cost of the tool by itself is relatively inexpensive. Batteries are the most expensive part of the tool.
Gas powered leaf blowers come in a wide range of prices, with most starting over $100 and going well over $600 for high end backpack blowers.
How To Choose A Battery Powered Leaf Blower
I think you need to consider a couple of things when choosing a battery powered leaf blower: the MPH and CFM numbers, blower configuration, and tool manufacturer.
MPH and CFM
When looking at any type of blower, the MPH and CFM numbers are essential. MPH (miles per hour) is the speed at which the air blows out of the blower. CFM (cubic feet per minute) is the amount of air being pushed out of the blower.
Think of it this way; MPH is what gets the leaf moving. CFM is how far the leaf is moved. CFM, to me, is the more important number. I want to push the leaves as far as possible to limit my time to move the leaves around. I would look for the highest MPH and CFM numbers I could afford.
Leaf Blower Configuration
There are two types of leaf blower configurations for battery powered leaf blowers.
Handheld blowers are the leaf blowers most people are familiar with. They also tend to be less powerful and less expensive than backpack blowers. Weight is an essential factor; make sure the handheld blower is comfortable to hold with a single hand and is easily maneuverable.
Backpack blowers are generally more powerful but more expensive as well. They are easier to carry around as well. If you have a good amount of leaves or your leaf blowing tasks take a reasonable amount of time, then a backpack blower would be a good option for you.
Trust me, and your arms will thank you later.
Leaf Blower Manufacturers
All major electric outdoor tool companies produce a battery powered leaf blower. Most produce dozens. This is important because each company uses a different type of battery.
Batteries can only be used on that companies leaf blowers. Meaning you can’t use your RYOBI battery on your EGO leaf blower. So if you have already bought into a particular brand of tool, you might want to stick with that brand’s leaf blower models.
I have stuck with RYOBI. The first battery powered outdoor tool was an RYOBI 40-volt string trimmer, so I naturally chose to stay in that line of tools because I already had a few 40-volt RYOBI batteries. Like I mentioned earlier, the tools themselves are not expensive. The included batteries are where the price jumps. Here are a few of the different leaf blower manufacturers:
Cordless Leaf Blower Pros and Cons
- no extension cords to trip over
- no need for gas
- low maintenance
- comparable performance to gas models
- ease of use
- they are expensive compared to corded models
- the runtime can be limited based on the battery used
- need multiple batteries to be useful
Cordless Battery Leaf Blower vs. Gas Powered Leaf Blower
When comparing cordless and gas powered leaf blowers, you have to look at a few different factors, but the main differences are maintenance, weight, noise levels, runtime, and ease of use.
Performance numbers these days between battery powered leaf blowers and gas leaf blowers at specific price points a negligible. Meaning there is a parity in performance at this point.
Cordless Battery Powered Leaf Blowers
Maintenance: electric blowers don’t have much maintenance, other than charging the batteries and keeping the blower itself clean.
Weight: Cordless blowers are generally much lighter and easier to handle than their gas counterparts. The battery is the heaviest piece of the tool. I will say my RYOBI backpack blower when loaded with two batteries, is not light, but it isn’t as heavy as my gas backpack blower.
Noise Level: Cordless leaf blowers are quieter than gas leaf blowers, and you can even choose not to wear hearing protection on many models since they are so quiet.
Runtime: Battery leaf blowers only run as long as the battery allows. If you only have one battery, you will need to recharge it before continuing your task. I highly recommend at least two batteries for your leaf blower, the more the better.
Ease of Use: Talk about simple operation. Attach a battery and pull the trigger. Doesn’t get much more straightforward than that.
Gas Powered Leaf Blowers
Maintenance: gas blowers require routine maintenance. To maintain top performance, you have to keep fuel and store it, change fuel filters, air filters, and spark plugs.
Weight: Gas powered blowers are generally much heavier than electric models. The small engines are heavy and make handheld models almost unmanageable after a few minutes and make backpack blowers that much heavier.
Noise Level: Gas leaf blowers are louder than electric leaf blowers, and you should not operate a gas leaf blower without some type of hearing protection. The combination of air noise and engine noise makes for a loud experience.
Runtime: As long as you have fuel on hand, gas blowers will run forever. If you have a large area to clean that will take multiple hours, a gas leaf blower is hard to beat.
Ease of Use: While they are not as easy to operate as a corded or cordless electric leaf blower, they are difficult to handle.
You do have to start the engine (if you can start the engine if you own one, you know what I am talking about) and adjust the choke, then you can operate the blower.
Summing it Up: Cordless Leaf Blowers get the Job Done
Truth be told, the days of the gas leaf blower are numbered. With the performance gains of battery powered leaf blowers in the last few years, the idea of not using one to handle your leaf blowing tasks is not a good option.
Battery powered leaf blowers get the job done an affordable price and great performance, what else needs to be said.