[DFW Feature]Consumer Reports

DFW Feature

The latest news from Consumer Reports magazine

Consumer Reports: Best Leaf Blowers

By Consumer Reports
|  Monday, Oct 28, 2013  |  Updated 12:13 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Consumer Reports puts leaf blowers to the test. Which are better for your back and the best price?

Deanna Dewberry, Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports puts leaf blowers to the test. Which are better for your back and the best price?

advertisement

Autumn leaves are a beautiful sight. But once those leaves hit the ground, they’re a nuisance! A leaf blower can sweep them into a tidy pile. Consumer Reports just tested 57 leaf blowers to find which do the best job cleaning the lawn.

Testers measure how fast the blowers work. They embed leaves in the lawn and cover them with sawdust to check how well the blowers loosen debris.

For smaller yards, electric handheld blowers are an easy-to-use choice as long as you can reach a power outlet. Tests showed that some of the electric-powered blowers moved leaves almost as fast as the best gasoline blowers, but at half the price. A top pick is Toro’s Ultra Blower Vac. It’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy at $75, and an extra bonus is it can vacuum leaves, too.

Gas-powered blowers let you move around without a cord. In Consumer Reports’ tests, the top gas blowers got the job done fast! But they need fuel and require maintenance. For $150, the Husqvarna 125B is a Best Buy. And it’s not as noisy for the neighbors as many of the other gas blowers.

Another option is a backpack blower. It shifts the weight from your arms to your shoulders. Backpack blowers cost more, but if you have a large area to clear, having the weight on your back makes it much easier. Consumer Reports recommends the Ryobi RYO8420 as a Best Buy. At $200, it has a small fan that’s mounted sideways, making it function like a bigger blower.

One caution about the Ryobi backpack blower: It’s among the loudest leaf blowers tested. But Consumer Reports says almost all leaf blowers can damage your ears, so be sure to wear hearing protection whenever you use one.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out