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Top five leaf blowers

By Adelaide Gray

We round up the top-scoring leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs in five different categories to help you find the best one for your garden.

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Find the best leaf blower or leaf blower vac for you

Our tests have uncovered big differences in quality across the full range of leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs on the market. 

We’ve Best Buy leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs for less than £100.

All of the leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs in the table below have gone through our rigorous field testing, so you can be sure they’re the best of the bunch for clearing your patio and borders of fallen leaves, and are also easy to use. Take a look at our top picks of leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs in the table below.

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Top five best leaf blowers and blower vacs

Ryobi 18V Cordless Blower OBL 1802
Typical price £130.00
Which? score 73%
Reviewed Jun 2012
Best Buy
Lawn blow:
3 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Weight in blow mode:
Member exclusive
Collection bag capacity:
Member exclusive

This little Best Buy is so light and easy to use that for clearing leaves off a patio or your borders it can't be beaten. The narrow nozzle is great for getting into awkward spaces, and Ryobi seems to have got the power level just right. So although it will clear the leaves, it won't batter your plants. It's easy to use one-handed, and the big latching switch is very easy to flick on and off.

Bosch Cordless Leaf Blower ALB 18 LI
Typical price £85.00
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Jun 2012
Best Buy
Lawn blow:
3 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Weight in blow mode:
Member exclusive
Collection bag capacity:
Member exclusive

The narrow nozzle of this leaf blower is great for getting into nooks and crannies, and makes it fairly easy to direct leaves where you want them to go. It also means that this blower is good for other fiddly tasks, such as cleaning the bottom of your lawnmower or blowing any debris from your garden shed. It's comfortable and simple to use; the trigger switch is easy to hold down, and it's very quiet.

Stihl SHE 71
Typical price £95.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Sep 2014
Best Buy
Lawn blow:
4 out of 5
Shred:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Weight in blow mode:
Member exclusive
Collection bag capacity:
Member exclusive

This is a very effective vacuum and blower. As a blower, it's light and is easy to use one-handed. It's very powerful and can move a lot of leaves quickly. It's comfortable to use as a collector, too. The only downside is the fiddly change from blow to vac mode which involves reconfiguring the machine.

Stihl SH56 CE
Typical price £230.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Sep 2014
Best Buy
Lawn blow:
5 out of 5
Shred:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
3 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Weight in blow mode:
Member exclusive
Collection bag capacity:
Member exclusive

This is a powerful petrol leaf-blower vac that has loads of great features to make using it easy. Although you have to reassemble it to use as a leaf vacuum, it's a simple job. The vacuum function has strong suction that can deal with a lot of leaves quickly - it's a professional-quality machine and this is reflected in the price.

Stihl Cordless Blower BGA 85
Typical price £387.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Jun 2012
Best Buy
Lawn blow:
3 out of 5
Convenience:
3 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Weight in blow mode:
Member exclusive
Collection bag capacity:
Member exclusive

It's heavy and expensive but very powerful, so this leaf blower can shift a covering of leaves in minutes. It has a wide nozzle, so you have to rely on the powerful blast of air to chase leaves out from around obstacles, but if you're piling up leaves on a large lawn or drive, it has the power and battery life to do the job. It's simple to use but much heavier and noisier than other cordless models.

Worst leaf blowers

Although it's fun to blow dry leaves around the garden, and many leaf blowers can deal with this admirably, the great British weather often means that your leaf blower or leaf blower vac will have the more difficult challenge of damp leaves to deal with. 

Some leaf blowers and vacs just can't handle damp leaves; they aren't strong enough to unstick them from a soggy lawn or patio, or get easily clocked up if they suck damp leaves up. 

Here we choose three leaf blowers that have been uninspiring in our tests.

Some of the worst leaf blowers

Einhell BG-EL 2500/ 2 E
Typical price £50.00
Which? score 53%
Reviewed Sep 2014
Lawn blow:
2 out of 5
Shred:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Weight in blow mode:
Member exclusive
Collection bag capacity:
Member exclusive

You might not expect much from a leaf-blower vacuum that only costs £50, but we found that this one tends to block with damp leaves when sucking them up, and also isn’t powerful enough to blow stuck-down leaves off a patio.

Flymo Scirocco 3000W
Typical price £80.00
Which? score 51%
Reviewed Sep 2014
Lawn blow:
2 out of 5
Shred:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
3 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Weight in blow mode:
Member exclusive
Collection bag capacity:
Member exclusive

This blower has a wide nozzle, making it hard to direct the jet of air. It has problems trying to move stuck down leaves and the handle is not comfortable to hold.

We review more leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs than anyone else

We test around 3,300 products every year, from washing-up liquid to cars. When testing leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs, we measure how well each one clears leaves from hard surfaces such a patio and a gravel drive, as well as borders and lawns. We time how long it takes to clear the leaves, how well it collects the leaves in vac mode, and how easy it is to use.

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