Gas vs. Electric: Picking the Right Leaf Blower

Speed, convenience, budget—all are important considerations when weighing gas vs. electric. 

In the handheld category, gas blowers are still the fastest way to clear a yard full of leaves. But the best corded-electric blowers are powerful enough for many big jobs, though you’ll have to stick within 100 feet of a power outlet (most outdoor extension cords top out at that length).

Gas handheld leaf blowers go anywhere, but they weigh and cost more than corded electric—and they’re noisier. They also require fueling and maintenance. Cordless-electric versions offer less power than gas models and limited runtime per battery charge. But these units are light, typically weighing in at less than 10 pounds.

Backpack blowers typically cost more than handheld blowers, but they offer more power and transfer weight from your arms to your back and shoulders. Backpacks tip the scales at 22 pounds. 

Got lots of leaves and a level property? Wheeled blowers pack the most power by far. They also take up the most storage space, can be tough to push and control, and bear the biggest price tags of all these categories.

Some handheld blowers also inhale yard debris via a vacuum, a feature that comes in handy for sucking up leaves as they fall or for taking care of stragglers. But their relatively small tubes limit how much you can vacuum at once.

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