Even at their quietest, leaf blowers are enough of an annoyance in residential neighborhoods that you'll want to finish the job quickly. The best handheld models in Consumer Reports' leaf blower tests deliver ample power for blowing and sometimes vacuuming up leaves. And they do so without disturbing the neighbors too much.
You can’t say the same for the beefiest blowers, which are backpack and wheeled models—the contractor’s choice. Here’s a rundown on some of the best from our tests in each category, and some you’re better off passing up.
The “LN” in the name of the Echo PB-255LN, $200, stands for low noise, but the greater attraction of this model is its stellar power for sweeping and loosening leaves. We also liked the spring-assisted starting and five-year warranty. But other models had as much power for far less. The Husqvarna 125B, $150, scored about the same and is lighter, and newly tested models such as the Hitachi RB24EAP and the Jonsered B2126, both $140, also packed plenty of blowing power.
Skip the Homelite UT26HBV, $100. Although it handled well, it was mediocre or worse on other measures, including sweeping, loosening, and vacuuming