Best leaf blowers

FRESNO, Calif.

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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