Best leaf blowers

October 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fall is here, and with it comes falling leaves. But have no fear, Consumer Reports put 29 leaf blowers to the test and can tell you which saves you the most work and the most money.

Don't be fooled by the infomercial for the Worx Tri-Vac WG 500. It looks like the plug-in electric blower has what it takes to keep a smaller piece of property well manicured. The infomercial says the Worx Tri-Vac is a "superior blower, a powerful outdoor vac, and a heavy-duty mulcher, all in one tool." But Consumer Reports' tests showed that it does none of them well.

Instead, consider the plug-in Toro Ultra Blower 51599. It's top-rated and a Consumer Reports Best Buy for $70. It was very good at sweeping and was extremely easy to use.

For added mobility, gas-powered blowers pack power without the cord. Consumer Reports recommends the Stihl BG55, for $150. It combines impressive leaf blowing and easy handling.

If you have a large piece of property, a backpack blower makes the job much easier. It is more expensive, but you'll find that the extra convenience is worth the money. The Craftsman 79401 is a relatively low-priced backpack blower for $250. And it's a solid performer. But it might be wise to spend a little more and get the Husqvarna 150BT. While it's more expensive at $300, it delivers a lot more oomph and is quieter, too.


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