A leaf blower makes light work of clearing fallen leaves from the garden in autumn. There are certain spots that need to be kept free of leaves – paths and steps, for example, to prevent them becoming slippery, the lawn (which will not thrive with a blanket of leaves on top of it), and garden furniture.


Fallen leaves in the garden are a big asset, so redistribute them or reuse them wisely. Leaves are great for providing shelter for wildlife, and will also rot down, adding their nutrients to the soil, just as they would on the forest floor. So blow them under a hedge or onto a shady border, where they can work their magic. You can also turn autumn leaves into leaf mould, which makes a wonderful soil conditioner for the garden. Just add the wet leaves to a black plastic sack with some holes punched in it and wait a year or two.

For a lower tech alternative, check out our recommended rakes and leaf grabbers.

Sure, you could rake them all up by hand…

Cordless versus corded

The first consideration in picking your blower is whether to go corded or cordless.

Corded blowers are usually less expensive than cordless options and will deliver consistent and powerful service all day. Of course there’s the inconvenience of swinging around a power cable (of occasionally questionable length) to contend with, but it’s up to you as to how much of a hardship this will be.

A cordless blower lets you wander free with no tangles.
A cordless blower lets you wander free with no tangles.

Cordless blowers are more hi-tech. Using the latest lithium batteries (go for units of 4Ah or 5Ah to deliver the power and run time you need) they’ll clear a large lawn on a single 4 or 5 hour-long charge with no strings attached.

Cordless blowers are often lighter and easier to manoevre, too.

Petrol leaf blowers versus electric leaf blowers

Petrol blowers on the other hand will run all day long, but do be aware of messy fuelling (2-stroke motors require careful, safe mixing of oil and petrol) and high noise levels. And if burning fossil fuels is a no go for you, then petrol – of course – simply isn't an option.

Petrol blowers give power and freedom all day long. But beware noise and fiddly fuelling.
Petrol blowers give power and freedom all day long. But beware noise and fiddly fuelling.

The sweet-spot for electric is if you’ve already invested into a manufacturer's battery ‘system’ and already own batteries and a compatible charger from an existing purchase. That way you can often go for a ‘body only’ or ‘bare’ option blower, buying just the business end and re-using your power components (battery, charger, or both) to save cash. Just be sure to check that the blower is compatible with your existing battery but – generally speaking – if it’s the same make and voltage (18V being the most common) then you’re on the right track.

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And you can always save more cash by buying look-alike compatible batteries and chargers from more affordable makes, but this usually comes with a hit to power and run time. You get what you pay for.

Garden vacuuming and more

Watch for features such as ‘brushless’ too. A brushless motor has less moving parts (that don’t rub together) and so should last longer and give better performance and battery life too.

Also ‘scraping’ actions. A blower’s scraper mode gives a more powerful, sharper, focussed, ‘turbo boost’ mode that will take moss and mould off smooth surfaces, allowing you to use your blower for basic patio cleaning etc.

The final consideration is that that – at last – after years of simply blowing, the latest models also offer vacuuming too. So rather than simply shifting the leaves into an off-garden pile or compost heap or for placing in a garden bin, you can collect them in a bag in one fell swoop.

However, vacuuming performance is often not as powerful as blowing and requires much more careful (i.e. slow) use to do properly. Make sure that the bag is a generous size, but be aware that the bag of wet leaves can soon become heavy.

A vacuum bag attached below the vac will get bulky and heavy pretty quickly.
A vacuum bag attached below the vac will get bulky and heavy pretty quickly.

The best leaf blowers to buy in 2023

Here’s our pick of what’s out there, covering all the bases and providing something for every lawn size, preference and ability.

DeWalt DCV100-XJ 18 V Li-Ion XR Compact Cordless Blower

DeWalt DCV100-XJ 18 V Li-Ion XR Compact Cordless Blower

DeWalt make a huge range of professional level tools all of which use their XR-branded 18V battery units and charger. It’s therefore an easy ‘family’ to buy into, with a single purchase including battery and charger allowing you to make subsequent matching buys without. Of course running five tools of a single battery will eventually lead to its own inconvenience, but you can take your time to decide how many batteries is enough for your needs.

Their DCV100-XJ is an amazingly lightweight unit, coming in at just 1.3Kg and it comes with two nozzles for increasing the length and focus of the jet of air produced. It also doubles as an inflator/deflator for blowing up airbeds and the like, making it a bit of an all-rounder.

The ‘bare’ unit is particularly keenly priced, but you can get it in a full ‘with battery and charger’ bundle too.

Ryobi RY18BLXA-140 18V ONE+ Cordless Brushless Blower Kit

Ryobi RY18BLXA-140 18V ONE+ Cordless Brushless Blower Kit

Highly regarded in the gardening space, Ryobi offer a huge range of chainsaws, mowers, strimmers and electrical effort-savers that all use their (clearly branded) ONE+ battery system. So going cordless in your garden (and treating yourself to lots of new toys) has never been easier. Other manufacturers take note.

On the blowing front the Ryobi RY18BLXA is their well-priced, mid-level brushless model with scraper mode. It weighs 3.6Kg and comes complete with a simple clip on high-speed nozzle to increase the pressure/air-speed should you need a little more oomph at the business end.

And this set includes one ONE+ 4.0Ah battery and charger in the box – so everything you need to get started.

Or – if you already own a Ryobi ONE+ power unit – you can get it body only for significantly less.

VonHaus 3 in 1 Leaf Blower - 3000W Garden Vacuum & Mulcher

VonHaus 3 in 1 Leaf Blower - 3000W Garden Vacuum & Mulcher

This one does the lot – and at an amazing price. It’s a blower, a vacuum and – thanks to it’s mulching capabilities – not only packs more leaves in the bag by chopping them finely while you’re vacuuming – at a ratio of 10:1 – but the resultant fine leaf mould is perfect for instant inclusion in your compost.

The 3000W of power makes it among the most powerful blowers in our selection but – as ever – vacuuming is a more delicate and time consuming process than merely blasting the leaves around.

It also comes in a surprisingly small package – perfect for the eco-sensitive – but as a result does require some basic assembly to get up and running.

Being a corded unit, that’s help keep the cost down to bargain level and it’s all ready to go out of the box with no batteries or charging or fuel required.

There’s the inconvenience of plugging it in and trailing a wire, of course, perhaps making it better suited to smaller gardens, but the included 10m lead is generous and an extension lead can of course give you greater range if required.

Stihl BG86CE Petrol Blower

Stihl BG86CE Petrol Blower
Stihl BG86CE Petrol Blower

If you seriously need extra oomph and infinite portability – and burning fuel doesn't pique your eco worries – then a petrol blower is an option. All the freedom of a battery-powered cordless model – so feel free to wander around parkland… fields… allotments… anywhere remote where you need to tame some leaves – with non of the power and lifespan concerns. This Stihl model will comfortably blow all day on a single top-up and packs pro-level power to get the job done.

Of course there’s the issue of noise, and the small matter being sure to safely top it up with petrol and oil, but both stresses have been reduced to a minimum. It’s carefully engineered to keep irritating whines and vibration down and simple inexpensive ear protectors will keep you 100% safe.

As a two-stroke motor it does require the purchase of 2-stroke oil to mix with your regular from-the-garage unleaded, but there are measurers and containers to make this as unfussy and mess-free as possible. And Stihl’s own branded two-stroke fuel is easy to add (and a tankful lasts an age) if you’re not at ease mixing your own.

If you need the power to shift mountains of wet leaves then there’s only one way to go.

DeWalt DCMB562P1 XR Brushless Axial Blower

DeWalt DCMB562P1 XR Brushless Axial Blower

If you’re looking for the most modern and hi-tech take on electric leaf blowing and scraping we need to get back to DeWalt who’s range-topping DCMB562P1 features ‘axial’ technology to whip up a storm.

Looking more like a laser-canon than a garden tool, its heavier than some, at 5Kg, but that’s due to the unique Aerospike Concentrator that condenses the airflow and increases its speed, meaning that it’s instantly ready to offer scraper action without the need for any extra attachments or modes.

Its scraper action is a boon for clearing paving and patios and can even shift stones, soil and gravel from an over-spilled driveway. So rather than reach for that low-tech broom, why not give it a blast instead?

Part of DeWalts XR 18V family, it's ready to fit in with your existing DeWalt tools and comes in ‘battery and charger included’ form so one box does it all.

Hyundai HY4B76 Petrol Leaf Blower

Hyundai HY4B76 Petrol Leaf Blower

Bring out the big guns… The Hyundai is our pick of the keenly-priced backpack models, placing all the weight of the unit on your back rather than your arms, meaning you can comfortably work all day without arm fatigue. A simple pistol grip allows you to aim and fire at your leafy target and while the 12Kg total weight sounds imposing, once strapped on it’s easy to forget and get on with leaf blasting with the absolute minimum of bulky intrusion.

It’s man and machine in perfect harmony. And – bonus – it’s more than a bit ‘Ghostbusters’ too, right?

And while it is a petrol unit – which brings eco-worries with it – this is a 4-stroke motor (rather than 2-stroke) and so a) doesn’t have that same shrill 2-stroke buzz – so less noise – and b) doesn’t require any special fuel or mixing with oil. Simply fill it up from your petrol station jerry can and you're all good.

Perfect for all larger and leafier gardens or parks.

WORX WG518E Air Turbine Corded Leaf Blower

WORX WG518E Air Turbine Corded Leaf Blower

The WORX unit brings you the air-blasting power of a petrol blower with the lightweight swing-ability of a much sleeker model. It’s corded so best bring along your extension lead (and be prepared for the occasional knot) but that only means zero worries about lifespan and no dirty/smelly/noisy petrol to worry about.

It’s 4.3Kg which isn’t the lightest, but is a good indication of the 120mph plus air-shifting power on board and once again, you plug it in and go – no ‘hidden’ costs for batteries and chargers.

If you need the power and can handle the cable, it's well worth a look.

Makita DUB363ZV Brushless Blower and Vacuum

Makita DUB363ZV Brushless Blower and Vacuum

Want a cordless blower and vacuum with all of the pluses and no minus? This Makita could be the one, being part of the toolmaker’s giant range incorporating everything you need for indoor and outdoor maintenance.

The DUB is of course entirely cordless – delivering the portability you need – and, by virtue of being electric, there’s no two-stroke racket or fuel to worry about. Instead the power comes from not one but TWO of Makita’s 18V power packs, meaning 36V of power and air displacement right up there with the petrol blowers.

And there’s the power to vacuum too, with a large, shoulder slung bag catching the mulched product of your labours.

The only downside is that it only comes without batteries and charger and – requiring two batteries – means that your outlay and charging times just doubled. However, if you’re already invested in Makita-world and possess their 18V batteries and charger, then adding their top of the range blower to match is a bit of a no-brainer.

Bosch Home and Garden 06008B1070 Universal Garden Tidy

Bosch Home and Garden 06008B1070 Universal Garden Tidy

Delivering a premium brand and performance, the ability to blow and vacuum and doing it all at a great price means that we had to recommend the Bosch for smaller and medium gardens.

They’ve worked hard to reduce the noise level to below 100dB (99dB, in fact) with their ‘ProSilence’ system and well-thought out additions such as a larger, less clog-able nozzle when vacuuming and a robust metal (rather than plastic) fan mean that it’s built to last.

Unlike the Makita above, the leaf bag isn't shoulder slung, so that 1800W 4.7Kg unit will get heavier as you vac. But the three speeds for blowing and vacuuming mean that you can vac on gravel – lifting leaves and moss – without hoovering up most of your driveway too.

It’s a corded unit (8m in length) which – as we’ve discussed – has both its advantages and disadvantages. And if you need more power for larger jobs there are 2300W and 3000W versions too.

Milwaukee M18 FBL-0 18V Leaf Blower with 2 x 5.0Ah Batteries & Charger

Milwaukee M18 FBL-0 18V Leaf Blower with 2 x 5.0Ah Batteries & Charger

You may not be familiar with the Milwaukee brand but – surprise – they’re big in the States, offering a huge range of power tools for professionals that are known for their built-to-last, no-nonsense approach to getting the job done.

Their simple take on the blower therefore couldn’t be simpler. Its in-line design with air intake and outlet in a single channel (with the motor mounted within) means minimum design fuss, with great balance and maximum air speed. It’s as fast as the petrol models with 120mph airflow at the higher of its two speeds.

And there's no cord and no petrol. AND this pack offers TWO 5.0Ah batteries and a fast action charger meaning that it basically overcomes the one drawback of high-powered cordless by delivering a non-stop way to clear even larger gardens without running out of juice. Just change packs at the half-way line.

Buy the Milwaukee M18FBL-0 from ManoMano RRP: £126

What's the difference between a leaf blower and a garden vacuum?

A leaf blower is a tool designed to blow leaves and debris away from your garden or driveway. In contrast, a garden vacuum is a tool that can suck up leaves and debris, and often includes a mulching function. Some leaf blowers also have a vacuum function, allowing them to convert from a blower to a vacuum depending on your needs.

What to consider when buying a leaf blower

When it comes to choosing the right leaf blower for your needs, there are a few critical factors to consider.

Petrol Leaf Blowers

Petrol leaf blowers are the most powerful option and are ideal for larger gardens or commercial use. They're also cordless, allowing you to move around freely. However, they're heavier than electric leaf blowers and require regular maintenance and fuel, and they're also harmful to the environment, as they produce fumes.

Electric Leaf Blowers

Electric leaf blowers are generally less powerful than petrol leaf blowers but are suitable for smaller gardens. They're also quieter and lighter, making them easier to handle. However, they require a power source and may not have the same power as a petrol leaf blower.

Cordless Vs Corded Leaf Blowers

When it comes to leaf blowers, you can choose between cordless and corded models. Cordless leaf blowers are powered by rechargeable batteries and offer greater mobility and convenience. They are also quieter than petrol models, making them ideal for use in urban areas. However, they tend to have less power than corded models, and their battery life may limit their runtime.

Corded leaf blowers are powered by electricity and offer more power than cordless models. They are ideal for large gardens or areas with lots of leaves and debris to clear. However, they have a limited range of movement, and you’ll need to be near a power outlet to use them.

Variable Speed Controls

Variable speed controls are an essential feature of any leaf blower. They allow you to adjust the blower’s speed to suit the task at hand. For example, when clearing leaves from delicate flower beds, you’ll want to use a lower speed to avoid damaging plants. When tackling a large pile of leaves, you’ll need a higher speed to get the job done quickly.

Nozzle Size

The nozzle size of a leaf blower determines the air volume and speed. A narrow nozzle will produce a faster, more concentrated jet of air, making it ideal for moving heavy debris like wet leaves. A wider nozzle will produce a broader stream of air, making it more suitable for lighter tasks like clearing grass clippings.

Mulching Bags

Mulching bags are an essential feature to look for when purchasing a leaf blower. These bags are designed to collect and shred leaves into small pieces, making it easier to dispose of them. This feature is especially important if you have a large yard with lots of trees that produce an abundance of leaves. The mulching bags come in various sizes, so it's essential to choose the right size depending on the volume of leaves in your garden.

Comfort Features

When shopping for a leaf blower, comfort features are important to consider. Look out for a lightweight blower that is easy to handle and manoeuvre and an ergonomic design with a non-slip grip for comfortable operation. Also consider noise level, low vibration to prevent discomfort and fatigue during extended use, and adjustable handles to customize the height and angle to suit your preference.


A leaf blower is an incredibly handy tool for the keen gardener, and we hope our roundup has provided you with the knowledge and expertise to choose the perfect model for your needs from our extensive list! If you're looking for more tools, why not check out our roundup of the best garden multi-tools?


Daniel GriffithsDigital Editor

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest home and entertainment brands in the world. He is a serial house-renovator and home improvement expert, taking on everything from interior design and DIY to landscape gardening and garden design.