When it comes to lawn maintenance, we often think of riding mowers or lawn tractors, but there’s more you can do for your lawn than just that. Leaf blowers offer a way to clean up your yard by removing leaves and other debris after you’re done cutting the grass.
There are quite a few types of leaf blowers to choose from, including gasoline, battery, and electric models and handheld and backpack styles, Consumer Reports shows. So we’ve narrowed down the choices to gasoline backpacks because they’re easier to carry for larger jobs, and you don’t have to deal with batteries or a cord.
Husqvarna 350BT backpack leaf blower
Husqvarna is a popular brand for lawn care, including its line of lawnmowers. With a score of 84 out of 100, the Husqvarna 350BT excels at sweeping and loosening, which means it can move a pile of leaves quickly or get stubborn leaf particles loosened up from the lawn and moved in a short amount of time.
CR’s testers say this model is easy to handle and control, and it doesn’t make enough noise to bother your neighbors. However, it’s loud enough that you would need ear protection while operating it. Another great perk: When trying to get a larger area of debris, you can set the speed to a fixed position to avoid having to press the switch constantly.
The price for the Husqvarna 350BT with a 50.2-cc motor ranges from $329 to $412, depending upon where you purchase it at. It can cost more, so be sure to shop around to find the best price.
Stihl BR-200 backpack leaf blower
This model follows behind the Husqvarna by only one point and rivals it pretty closely. The Stihl BR-200 gas-powered backpack leaf blower gets 5 out of 5 from Consumer Reports for sweeping, loosening, and ease of use. Its powerful 27.2-cc engine makes this model relatively loud, so you should wear ear protection while operating it. However, from a distance, it isn’t quite as noisy.
The price for this Stihl leaf blower is about $280, slightly lower than the Husqvarna 350BT. Bonus: It also comes with a two-year warranty.
Husqvarna 150BT backpack leaf blower
This Husqvarna leaf blower scored 82 out of 100 from Consumer Reports. It packs a 50-cc motor, providing enough oomph to move leaves fast, including stubborn ones. And weighing only 22.6 pounds, it’s easy to handle and simple to use.
Like the other models CR reviewed, the Husqvarna 150BT is also noisy up close, but it’s not too bad the further you get from it. As for price, expect to pay around $300 for it, depending on where you shop.
Stihl BR 350
The most powerful gasoline backpack leaf blower on the list is the Stihl BR 350, boasting a 63.3-cc motor. Like the previous models, it moves leaves quickly and efficiently. And at only 22 pounds, this model is easy to haul around your yard.
The Stihl BR 350 leaf blower costs around $350, one of the more expensive models on the list. However, if you shop around, you might be able to find a lower price.
One final note: The above four gasoline backpack leaf blowers are two-cycle motors, which means you have to provide the right amount of oil/gas mix to run them. If you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can find a top-notch one in any of these four that Consumer Reports recommends.