Which? Gardening has recently tested and reviewed 11 leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs so you can see which ones will help you tidy your garden quickly and easily. Four leaf blowers or leaf blower vacs did so well in our tests that we’ve awarded them Best Buy recommendations.
You may not want to admit it, but the end of summer is here. However, autumn is a great season full of jumpers, pumpkin-spice lattes and golden leaves. And though golden leaves are great in theory, you don’t want them blanketing your garden.
Which leaf blower or leaf blower vac you choose will depend on your needs – including the size of your garden and how much leafy debris you need to shift. Below, we explain the differences between petrol, corded and battery-powered leaf blowers and leaf-blower vacs, and have picked out a few interesting models.
If you already know which kind of leaf blower or leaf blower vac you’re after, head over to our Best Buy leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs to find the right tool in your price range.
Leaf blower or leaf blower vac?
A leaf blower will blow leaves from your patio, grass or borders. You can use the leaf blower to shepherd leaves and debris into a pile, which you will then need to pick up and dispose of.
If you want a tool that can switch from leaf blower to a vacuum that will also suck up and chop leaves to make them quicker to compost and save you the bother of picking them up, then you will need a leaf blower vac.
Battery powered, corded or petrol?
- Battery-powered leaf blowers are light and easy to use − perfect for a quick tidy-up of small areas.
- However, the battery charge doesn’t last long. Testing them with the standard battery, we have failed to find one that lasts for longer than 20 minutes, although higher-capacity batteries are available. This means they won’t be suitable for huge jobs.
- Corded leaf blower vacs are great if you have lots of leaves you need to shift, as they can be used without stopping. With an outdoor extension lead, you can reach large areas with your corded leaf blower vac.
- Corded leaf blower vacs have a vacuum that will suck up leaves and cut them down for quicker composting.
- The best corded leaf blower vacs will also work on driveways, and won’t suck up the gravel with the leaves.
- As an extra bonus, they’re usually the cheapest kind of leaf blower vac.
- As these leaf blower vacs use petrol, there are no cables to limit your range and they don’t have the same time constraints that a battery powered leaf blower has.
- Petrol leaf blower vacs are generally going to be able to tackle bigger jobs, so are better suited than other models to large gardens.
New leaf blowers for 2017
We’ve picked out some interesting new leaf blower models for 2017, so you can get an idea of the kind of options that are available before you go to buy:
Ryobi OBL1820S 18V One+ Cordless Blower
This Ryobi cordless leaf blower is part of Ryobi’s One + system. The range is a collection of power tools –from chainsaws to drills to this leaf blower – that take the same, interchangeable 18V battery. Costing about £145, this leaf blower is a bit on the pricey side.
Head over to the Ryobi OBL1820S 18V One+ Cordless Blower review to see how it handles getting damp leaves out of borders and off grass and patios. We also tested the battery to see how long it lasts and how quick it is to charge, to give you a better idea of whether this tool is worth the price.
Webb WEEBV260 Electric Garden Blower & Vacuum
This corded electric leaf blower vac is from manufacturer Webb. Available from £68, it’s an option if you aren’t looking to spend a lot on a new garden tool.
We took this leaf blower out in our test gardens to try this leaf blower vac out. Did it impress us with how it tackled piles of fallen leaves in our test garden? Head over to the review of the Webb WEEBV260 to find out.
If you need a powerful machine to tackle a big garden clean-up, you might have considered the Cobra BV26C petrol-powered leaf blower vac. At £130, the Cobra is a reasonable price for this type of leaf blower vac.
We reviewed the Cobra BV26C to see how it handles when tackling leafy patios, borders and grass. We also take note of how much noise it makes and how heavily it vibrates so you can get an idea whether this will be a suitable leaf blower vac for you.
Along with the three models above, we have also reviewed eight more leaf blowers and leaf blower vacs:
- Black & Decker GW2500 cordless battery powered leaf blower, £65
- Grizzly Tools ELS 2614-2E corded electric leaf blower vac, £80
- Ryobi RBV3000CESV corded electric leaf blower vac, £100
- Worx WG505E cordless battery powered leaf blower, £80
- Mitox 280BVX petrol leaf blower vac, £199
- Black & Decker GWC1820PC cordless battery powered leaf blower, £114
- Worx WG546E, cordless battery powered leaf blower, £100
- Stihl Compact Cordless Blower BGA 56 Set, £178