Blowers

Backpack Leaf Blowers: The Ultimate Guide

Gas-Leaf-Blower-ReviewsGardener using a gas blower in a park

A godsend on those windy Autumn days or the rain-washed day after a storm or even Christmas days with light snow, leaf blowers are the perfect devices for a quick and easy garden-sprucing session. With so many options available on these handy and efficient tools, we’ve put together an equally handy and efficient guide to help you understand the “A to Z” and beyond of leaf blowers to make it easier for you while buying a backpack leaf blower!

The Top 5 Backpack Leaf-Blowers

 Husqvarna 350BTECHO PB -770TTroy-Bilt TB4BP
Engine Type2-Stroke2-Stroke4-Stroke
Power (CFM)692.17CFM756 CFM rating500CFM
Engine Size50.2CC63.3CC32CC
Weight22.5 pounds24.3 pounds21.8 pounds

Like we said, there are a million leaf blowers available today. Therefore, how do you know which one to pick? Well, we’ve made your job a little bit easier by giving you our top 5 picks to consider while picking up a leaf blower.

#1. Husqvarna 965877502 350 BT Backpack Leaf-Blower

Husqvarna 965877502 350 BT

Pros

  • A lightweight blower that weighs in at a mere 22.5 pounds and comes with an integrated backpack harness.
  • Ideal for both landscape professionals as well as homeowners.
  • Adjustable fan speed for easier handling with an “air purge” that helps with the easy starting of the tool.
  • 1 HP X-Torq engine for good power which increases fuel efficiency and reduces harmful exhaust fumes.
  • Comfortable to use, ventilated and comes with a load-reducing harness with wide shoulder straps and hip belt.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Relatively less noisy than other leaf blowers.
  • “CARB” compliant.
  • Contains a cruise control mode.

Cons

  • Tubes can be hard to take apart which makes storage difficult.
  • Doesn’t include a vacuum; only a blower is included in the design of the product.
  • Product manual is hard to understand.
  • A gasoline-powered leaf blower whose engine needs to be completely emptied before storage.

With a lot more positives than negatives, this lightweight leaf blower packs a huge punch for its size. Easily its best feature, Husqvarna’s patented 2.1 HP X-Torq engine can create gusts of air that blow with a force of up to 180 mph with 7500 RPM, meaning that everything from leaves to cut grass to even small or medium clumps of debris can be moved with ease. What makes it even better is the fuel economy, with 20% less fuel consumption which allows you to clear more with lesser fuel, and up to 60% reduced harmful emissions (in comparison with other standard 2-stroke engines).

Designed for long hours of use, the product also features an adjustable fan speed and a “cruise control” feature (that lets you stay at a particular fan speed for long periods till you want to change it), and an integrated harness that helps you handle this already lightweight leaf blower.

  • 1 HP 2-stroke patented Torq engine with a cylinder displacement of 50.2 cc, 7500 RPM, 350 BT, 1.6 kW, speed of 180 mph, and a 42.27-ounce fuel tank.
  • Lightweight at 22.5 pounds with an integrated harness.
  • Overall, a great product with more pros than cons that can run for hours and still last you a long time, with a 2 or 4-year warranty (the warranty is extended when the model is registered online) and easily one of the best products available in the market.

In fact, so good is the Husqvarna 350 BT that it has a rating of over 4 stars from all its users, with them praising its power, comfort and performance. At $314.99 on Amazon, this backpack leaf blower is well worth the investment!

#2. PB-770T ECHO Backpack Blower

PB-770T ECHO

Pros

  • High-quality 2-stroke engine (63 cc) that allows for airspeed of up to 234 mph.
  • Adjustable air-speed control adaptable to your cleaning needs.
  • Maximum air volume of up to 756 CFM which makes cleaning quick and easy.
  • Tube-mounted throttle with cruise control feature.
  • Heavy-duty dual-stage air filter that protects the engine against harmful debris or dust particles.
  • A leaf guard that shields the blower from debris.
  • Translucent fuel tank that allows easy fuel-monitoring.
  • Extremely user-friendly with padded shoulder straps, a ventilated backrest pad for hot weather, and anti-vibration design to reduce noise levels.
  • Interchangeable nozzle connections that increase the product’s versatility.

Cons

  • It is heavy, with a dry weight of 24.3 pounds.
  • Expensive, with a price of $499.
  • Users have complained about the product’s durability.

Our cup “runneth over with joy” at the amount of power this leaf blower provides. An absolute beast, this tool gives you an air-speed of up to 234 mph with its powerful 2-stroke engine, and maximum air volume of 756 CFM, making it easy and quick to remove any kind of medium to slightly bigger debris in addition to all your gardening leftovers.

Another thing that we dig about this tool is the comfort level users have experienced while using it. With an adjustable fan speed, padded shoulder straps and ventilated back pads that circulate air and cool you off during hot summers, this powerhouse of a blower definitely has a lot going for it!

  • A 2-stroke engine that runs on gasoline (without alcohol), with an engine displacement of 63.3 cc, an airspeed of 234 mph, an air volume of 756 CFM, and fuel tank capacity of 68.3 ounces.
  • Overall, another great product that is an absolute hurricane in terms of the kind of power it can give you! Though it may be pricey, its power is its main selling point and makes it a great pick.

With an overall rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon and users going nuts over this leaf blower’s power, this product is definitely worth the $499 you’ll be shelling out for it.

#3. Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC Backpack Blower

Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC

Pros

  • A 32-cc 4-cycle engine that delivers good performance.
  • Comfortable and convenient “Coolflex” backpack construction that keeps you cool and reduces fatigue.
  • “JumpStart” engine feature that does away with cords and the ensuing starting problems.
  • Blower speed of up to 150 mph and 500 CFM air volume.
  • Long flex tube that allows for easy maneuvering around objects.
  • Cruise control with a variable throttle.
  • Lightweight at 21.8 pounds.

Cons

  • A less powerful engine when compared to other standard leaf blowers which makes it ideal only for hard surfaces.
  • Engine starter is sold separately.
  • Users have complained about the product’s durability and difficulty in use after a long period of storage.

Though it may have an engine that isn’t too powerful, the nature, and the patented Coolflex backpack design (that reduces fatigue) enable operators to continuously use the product for long hours.

Another great thing about the product is the JumpStart technology, as well as the fact that there is also a separate SpringAssist engine starter in case the JumpStart technology doesn’t work.

  • 32-cc 4-cycle gas engine with a blowing speed of 150 mph and air volume of 480 CFM, and a compression release starting system and fully tensioned multi-material suspension system.
  • Perfect for homeowners, in a nutshell, the Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC is lightweight, durable, comes with a 2-year warranty, and can even be used for other purposes such as cleaning your roof or gutters.

With an overall rating of 3.75 on Amazon out of 5, this particular product has found a fan club in homeowners around the country, with people praising it for its ease of use and performance. At $249.99, the Troy-Bilt TB4BP is definitely worth it.

#4. Makita BBX7600N 4-Stroke Backpack Blower

Makita BBX7600N

Pros

  • 6-cc 4-stroke commercial duty engine that is powerful and fuel-efficient.
  • CARB compliant.
  • Easily accessible and replaceable large capacity air filter.
  • Padded shoulder straps and ventilated back panel with lumbar support, making it comfortable for the user.
  • Large capacity muffler that reduces the noisiness of the product.
  • No fuel mix required.
  • Mechanical automatic engine decompression that enables quicker starting of the machine.
  • Lightweight at 22.6 pounds and compact, for usage in smaller spaces.
  • An airspeed of 195 mph and air volume of 526 CFM.
  • Works well on both wet and dry leaves and debris.

Cons

  • Only one-year warranty.
  • Slightly expensive at $499 (manufacturing price) especially when compared to other similar models.
  • Not as powerful as other leaf blower models.

The most attractive feature of the Makita BBX7600N is definitely its 75.6-cc 4-stroke engine that is commercial grade, powerful and more fuel-efficient than other leaf blowers in the same class. This engine not only offers less noise and more run time, but no requires no fuel mixing which makes for some easy use and maintenance.

Another great feature is the tool’s decompression system which makes starting the engine smooth and quick. Additionally, the easily accessible drain plug and oil-filling port, and the oversized capacity air filter, only serve to extend the durability and efficiency of this leaf blower.

  • 6-cc 4-stroke engine that runs at 195 mph, 526 CFM, 3.8 HP (maximum of 7200 RPM), and a fuel tank with a capacity of 64.2 ounces
  • The Makita BBX7600N backpack blower is the perfect combination of power and durability, ensuring maximum performance. Letting you get the job done quickly, it is also fuel-efficient and even better, environmentally-friendly.

With a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon, the Makita BBX7600N has found many takers for its performance, minimal noise, easy start and 4-stroke engine, despite its pricey nature at $499.

#5. Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf-Blower Vacuum

Toro 51621 UltraPlus

Pros

  • Powerful engine with a speed of 250 mph.
  • Includes a vacuum as well as a blower.
  • Variable speed control in both blower and vacuum modes.
  • Includes a leaf shredder (patented Shredz-All shred ring that reduces mulched debris to lesser than half an inch) that turns leaves to mulch.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Works well on wet and dry leaves.
  • Easy to handle due to the well-distributed weight of the machine.
  • Three additional nozzles for the blower tube, increasing the versatility of the blower, and a well-designed leaf collection bag.

Cons

  • Cord-lock feature is loose due to which the device keeps unplugging.
  • Requires complete disassembly to change parts, such as taking apart the whole blower to switch nozzles.
  • Requires an extension cord.

The best part about the Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf-Blower, according to reviewers on Amazon, is that it is a combination of a leaf blower as well as a vacuum, with a leaf shredder that turns leaves to mulch. The best part is that it efficiently performs all three functions, making it one of the best tools to have in your garden shed!

What adds to the appeal of the product is its variable speed dial that lets you adjust speeds as per your cleaning needs and how well you can handle the machine.

  • 12-ampere engine with a maximum airspeed of 250 mph and air volume of 450 CFM.
  • Well-designed and well-made 3-in-1 tool that works efficiently, is easy to store, easy to use, and relatively less expensive.

With an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and a steal at $103.11, it’s not hard to see why the Toro 51621 UltraPlus leaf blower is one of the most popular in the market!

Leaf-Blower 101

It’s common to have a lot of questions when it comes to leaf blowers, especially if you’re new to using one. What kind to buy? How many types are there? How to maintain them? Questions are always good, especially when you find the right answer. We put together a list of the most common questions people have when it comes to leaf blowers, and their answers that could go a long way in helping you and your leaf blower be the next Joey and Chandler.

Types of Leaf-Blowers

Like we told you already, leaf blowers are as varied in number as the “kids next door”. Selecting the right one out of all these depends on various factors (which we’ll discuss later). Broadly speaking though, there are two main types of leaf blowers that are more or less equally efficient: electric and gas-engine models.

Electric or Gas?

When it comes to hand-held blowers, gas engines work the fastest and most efficiently. However, most gas blowers are heavy, expensive, and extremely noisy, making protective ear equipment a must! Along with this, additional costs are incurred on fuel and maintenance, as gas-engine blowers require more maintenance than electric blowers.

electric-leaf-blower-the-leaves-are-being-swirled-up
Man working with leaf blower: the leaves are being swirled up and down on a sunny day

Coming to electric blowers, a corded-electric blower is ideal for big jobs, such as landscaping in big areas or clearing out big areas, and is lighter, less expensive (unless cordless) and less noisy than its cousin. The main drawback though is that you always need to be close to a power outlet, as even the biggest electric leaf blowers come with only 100 feet of the power cord. Additionally, these devices are less powerful than gas-engine models, and if you have one that runs on battery or charging, this means limited run time till the charge runs out.

Now, let’s talk about the different types of leaf blowers available:

  • Corded Electric Blowers: Designed for single-handed use and typically weighing about 8 pounds, these blowers are extremely non-fussy and start easily, have no exhaust emissions and power similar to hand-held blowers. The main drawback, though, is the power cord, as we’ve already mentioned, which limits your movements, especially around obstacles. These tools can cost you anywhere between $30-110.
  • Cordless Electric Blowers: The perfect option for those who hate gas-engine models or corded blowers, these machines are lightweight, easy to handle, and run on rechargeable batteries. The downside, though, is that you’ll be compromising on some serious power and you have a limited run time. Cordless blowers can cost you anywhere between $150-300.
  • Gas-Powered Hand-held Blowers: Obviously powered by gas, these guys are the best bet if you want power. Though extremely noisy and on the heavier side, gas-engine hand-held blowers are better for sweeping your yard or loosening leaves than electric models. Typically with a pull-cord start, 2-stroke engines and weighing an average of 10 pounds, these blowers require a fuel-oil mix to get running. 4-stroke engines are also available but are heavier than the 2-stroke ones. On an average, these blowers cost $90-220.
  • Gas-Powered Backpack Blowers: More powerful than hand-held blowers and much heavier (17 to 22 pounds), these blowers may seem unwieldy initially, but pack a huge punch in terms of power. Worn like a backpack (thus, your shoulders and back support the weight), these blowers are less expensive than corded models and are seriously efficient, costing you anywhere between $160-480.
  • Gas-Powered Wheeled Blowers: Perfect for huge areas, these blowers come with 4-stroke engines that don’t require a fuel-oil mix, but can weigh over 100 pounds! This makes them highly unwieldy and hard-to-use, and let’s not even get to the part about how noisy they are! Best left to the professionals, gas-powered wheeled blowers can cost you anything from $280-800.

Certain hand-held blowers may also have a vacuum that sucks in debris, or even a metal impeller (leaf-shredder), which turn leaves into mulch (such as the Toro 51621).

A Quick Comparison

Backpack vs Hand-held Blowers

Choosing a backpack or hand-held blower depends a lot on the size of the area you’re looking to clean. Smaller yards may only require hand-held blowers as they have lesser power. Larger yards may need backpack blowers. The best part about the latter, though, is that it is available in many models and options, and also offers better mobility (with a wide-angle tube rotation), padded shoulder straps and backrest, and are less heavy, making them more comfortable to use.

handheld-gas-blower-picking-up-leaves

Backpack vs Wheeled Blowers

Again, the size of the cleaning area plays a huge role in this aspect. Wheeled blowers are heavier, more expensive and noisier, and are meant for use in large areas such as offices or big yards. The leaf blowers are the most powerful, but this also makes them tough to control, push, and store. Used by professionals, the need for a wheeled blower in residential areas is rare.

On the other hand, as we’ve already mentioned, backpack leaf blowers are perfect for home owners, but also for professional landscapers and contractors while working on a smaller area. They are also less noisy, less expensive, varied, easy to handle, quick and efficient.

How to Use a Backpack Leaf-Blower Efficiently

Using a backpack leaf blower is similar to using any other kind of leaf blower in terms of the usage and precautions required.

If you have a yard full of wet leaves, make sure you use your leaf blower on a day that isn’t windy or wet. Leaf-blowers, whether backpack or handheld, work best on debris like fallen leaves, grass, and small twigs. However, some may have powerful engines that even let you blow small or medium-sized clumps of clay or mud. You can also use your backpack leaf blower to blow light snow, cobwebs, or puddles of water on your driveway.

If you decide to blow leaves on a breezy day (though we still advise against that because really, who needs the extra work?), work with the wind rather than against it. Start by blowing debris from beneath your bushes or trees at the edge of the garden and work inwards to the middle. Divide your yard mentally and go section by section with many small piles rather than trying to make one huge pile.

Also, you could blow the leaves onto another medium to transport them, such as old sheets or tarpaulin sheets, when you don’t have to use lawn-and-leaf bags. Use a hand rake with your leaf blower for better results, or your blower’s vacuum mode (if it has one).

When working a hard surface, use lesser power as the debris moves more easily on hard surfaces and a lower power setting ensures that you don’t scatter debris and leaves everywhere.

Lastly, make sure you use fresh fuel that isn’t older than 30 days. Keep the air filter clean and free of obstructions, and the spark plug new with no signs of wear or distress or discoloration.

How Do I Store My Backpack Blower?

Backpack leaf blowers can either be stored on your garage floor (if you don’t mind the space it occupies), hung by the shoulder strap from heavy-duty hooks or closet brackets available at stores such as Home Depot, sturdy nails nailed into your garage wall, or even disassembled for easier storage (by taking apart the tube). If your leaf blower is gas-powered, ensure to check whether your leaf blower can be stored with the fuel-oil mix or completely cleaned. (It is recommended that you clean it out to keep the carb clean.)

What Are the Advantages of Backpack Leaf-Blowers?

Some of the advantages of backpack leaf blowers are:

  • They are available in many models, such as side hip-mount or right-tube mount, and are budget-friendly.
  • These leaf blowers come with settings that allow you to control the speed of the device’s airspeed.
  • Care and maintenance of backpack leaf blowers are easier than other types of leaf blowers.
  • Backpack leaf blowers are generally more powerful than hand-held blowers, with more air volume and airspeed.
  • The tubes can be removed for easier storage that occupies less space in your garage.
  • These blowers are highly comfortable as they have padded shoulder straps, ventilated or padded backrests or integrated harnesses that make it easy to bear the weight of the leaf blower. Some models even have an anti-vibration feature for easier handling.
  • Makes for some quick cleaning and easy portability.

Backpack Leaf-Blower Brands

Apart from the already mentioned brands, there are several other premium brands that offer backpack leaf blowers, such as Black+Decker, Stihl, Craftsman, Weed Eater, Ryobi, Hitachi and Homelite.

Why Won’t My Leaf-Blower Start?

A very common issue that most people face with their leaf blowers is that they don’t start! There are only three reasons that you may need to take care of to resolve this issue:

  • Air: A flow of air in and out of the engine is necessary for it to start and the air filter in your device is responsible for this. If the filter is dirty or clogged already, air can’t find its way into your leaf blower, causing starting problems. An exhaust blockage, caused by carbon build-up can also prevent your leaf blower from starting.
  • Spark Plug: A worn out or discolored spark plug can also cause starting problems, which can be remedied by replacement. Other spark issues may require professional attention.
  • Fuel: Fuel needs to flow in and out of your carburetor. Leaving fuel in your machine may cause the carburetor to block up and prevent your leaf blower from starting.

Sometimes, compression issues caused by leaks in the piston or crankcase can also lead to issues and may require professional attention.

What to Consider While Buying a Leaf Blower?

Some factors to consider while buying a leaf blower are:

  • The size of your property. Larger properties may require heavier and more powerful leaf blowers such as wheeler leaf blowers.
  • The kind of debris you need to blow, as bigger debris requires more power.
  • Noise is an important factor to consider, as gas-engines are extremely noisy. If you aren’t a fan of noise or live in a neighborhood with noise restrictions, then you’re better off picking an electric leaf blower.
  • Leaf blowers come with many special features such as controllable airspeed, vacuum and blower combination, comfortable straps or integrated harness, and different weights. Make sure to keep all this in mind as well as your needs to find the best match!

A Few Other Things to Keep in Mind

  • If reduced noise is a top priority, search for leaf blowers that have a noise-dampening technology, something that even certain gas-engine leaf blowers contain nowadays. The Husqvarna 350 BT is a great option in this case.
  • If you’re a professional landscaper, pick a leaf blower that is durable and productive.
  • An environmentally friendly leaf blower would definitely take the cake! A lot of leaf blowers these days take the environment into consideration by reducing harmful exhaust emissions as well as noise pollution. Look for leaf blowers that are more fuel-efficient, even if they are gas-engine leaf blowers.

A Few Tips to Look After Your Leaf-Blower!

  • Like we said, ensure you use fresh fuel. If you need to store away your leaf blower, make sure you empty the fuel as stale fuel can cause starting issues by blocking the device’s carburetor.
  • Clean the filter regularly with soapy water or replace it when needed.
  • Clean the screens inside your leaf blower with a wire brush.
  • Regularly check the health of your spark plug.

A Few Tips to Keep You Safe!

  • Ensure you protect your eyes with goggles while operating a leaf blower, especially those with high airspeed.
  • Use ear muffs or ear plugs to protect yourself against the noise. Also ensure that you take into consideration your neighbors and pets, taking into account the timings or noise restrictions of your area or community.
  • Keep the end of the leaf blower towards the ground and don’t point it at people or pets.
  • Cover as much of yourself as you can and wear gloves to keep away cuts, dirt, and burns.

The Take-Away

There’s no end to the handiness of a leaf blower. As you’ve probably seen by now, there are many, many varieties of leaf blowers, and sometimes, finding the right one is looking for the right needle in a stack of needles! Whether handheld, wheeled, backpack, gas or electric, each kind of leaf blower has its own special features to serve up.

Having said that, a backpack leaf blower is perfect because of its lightweight, inexpensive, comfortable, and versatile nature. Ideal for homeowners or professional landscapers, backpack leaf blowers are also less noisy, and some models are extremely environmentally friendly with reduced exhaust emissions. The products that we have reviewed are perfect examples of such leaf blowers! The best part? Backpack leaf blowers are extremely budget-friendly and don’t burn a hole in your pocket, but still, give you the same efficiency as other high-end types of leaf blower models.

However, the life of a product depends on its care and maintenance and leaf blowers are no exception. Now that we’ve eased your job of choosing the right product, ensure that you do your bit by maintaining them and caring well for them! Remember, air, fuel, and spark are the three golden words!

Rain, snow, or sun, leaf blowers are an extremely valuable addition to your garage toolkit. Therefore, ensure you put in the required amount of research and care in picking the right one and then maintaining it for maximum durability and productivity!

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