Are Electric Leaf Blowers Better Than Your Old Gas Leaf Blower?

I’m sorry to be the one to tell y’all, but Leaf blowers aren’t the coolest products that come with a motor on them. They just aren’t. However, if you have ever used a weak, sorry excuse for a leaf blower, then you know just how important it can be for your sanity to invest in a decent one. If deciding between gas or electric cars was hard, now we have to start deciding between gas or electric lawn care equipment too. So, are electric leaf blowers better than your old gas leaf blower? Let’s figure it out. 

Man blowing leaves
Leaf blower | Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Electric vs. Gas Leaf Blowers

Thankfully, the argument of gas vs. electric leaf blowers is a fairly open one. There are strong pros and cons for each. The decision really comes down to the job you need to do. 

According to Garden Tool Expert, much like electric lawn mowers vs. gas lawn mowers, electric leaf blowers are quieter and require less maintenance but often have shorter running times and require time to charge. 

On the other hand, gas leaf blowers are often more powerful and can run longer but are noisy and require more maintenance. 

So, how are we supposed to choose? Again, it all comes down to your specific needs. 

Pros and Cons of electric leaf blowers

electric leaf blower in France
A maintenance employee of the city of Paris uses an electric leaf blower | FRANCOIS GUILLOT

Pros:

  • Weight – Electric leaf blowers are typically considerably lighter than their gassy counterparts. In fact, generally speaking, gas leaf blowers are near twice the weight of the average electric blower.
  • Noise – I enjoy the distant sounds of lawn care in the summer. It’s pleasant. However, not everyone agrees, and even I can get ornery if it lasts too long. The quietness of electric leaf blowers is a major draw for many customers. If you live closer quarters with your neighbors, having an effectively silent leaf blower certainly won’t hurt your chances of being invited to the cookout. 
  • Mobility – Due to the often smaller size and weight of the electric blowers (as long as you don’t have a chorded one), electric leaf blowers can be easier to move around, thus opening up the number of uses for your blower.
  • Environment – Above all else, the biggest benefit of electric leaf blowers is the sustainability of our environment. Not only is gasoline in high demand these days, causing more pollution, but many “gas” blowers are also two-stroke engines that require a mix of oil and gasoline. These engines produce even more noise and pollutants. 

Cons:

  • Limited run time – Electric motors require, well, electricity. This is provided by either plugging the blower into a socket or charging a battery before use. Given the restraints of a chorded blower and the time restraints of the battery-powered blowers, run time is a real annoyance for many electric leaf blower owners. 
  • Power – Electric leaf blowers, as a rule, are less powerful than their dino-powered competitors. This is one of the best examples of why you should pick a blower based on the job you need to do. An electric blower is fine if you have a small yard with few trees. However, if you have a bigger piece of property that is heavily wooded, the electric models will more than likely disappoint you on the power front. 
  • Reliability – Despite the fact that gas blowers will require more maintenance overall, look no further than warranties to see which product is more trusted by the manufacturer. Garden Tool Expert says that while warranties vary from product to product, it is typical to see five-year warranties on gas blowers. Meanwhile, a typical electric leaf blower warranty might only last for eight months. 

Pros and cons of gas leaf blowers

Pros:

  • Simplicity – Many gas leaf blowers are powered by two-stroke engines. While these are messy and primitive, they are simple. That simplicity translates into long-term reliability, ease of use, and DIY repairs. 
  • Power – Two-troke engines are known for packing a lot of punch in a small package. The airflow provided by these models far surpasses any other power source.
  • Backback design – Although these blowers weigh considerably more than the electric blowers, the larger gas blowers often have backpack straps attached, making mobility easy. 

Cons:

  • Noise – Two-stroke gas leaf blowers are loud. Many people find the sound grating and obnoxious. 
  • Environment – The electric blower’s biggest strength is the gas blower’s greatness weakness. If there weren’t already enough reasons to not want to rely on gasoline, now gas prices can make lawn care cost real money. 

What’s the best leaf blower?

At the risk of being anti-climactic, the “right” choice only comes down to you, your needs, and your budget. The bottom line is that you must measure your workload before knowing the best leaf blower for you. If power and hard work are what you need, go for the old gas hogs. But, if you can get away with an electric blower and want to contribute to using fewer fossil fuels, the electric blowers can provide a great deal of value.

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