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The best leaf blowers 2024: Recommended options based on our extensive testing

A selection of leaf blowers

Don’t break your back raking leaves from the lawn and driveway. We’ve tested the best leaf blowers to find the right one for you

Clearing up fallen leaves or grass cuttings is one garden job that few of us enjoy, especially when the weather is cold and damp. Luckily, the best leaf blowers make short work of the task, creating big piles of garden detritus ready to be scooped into the garden waste bin.

And if you opt for a leaf blower that doubles as a garden vacuum, you can suck the leaves and clippings up and mulch them in a jiffy, so they’re perfect for composting.

Over the last four years, I’ve tested over a dozen leaf blowers and garden vacuums using my driveway and my front and back gardens as a test lab. You’ll find my recommendations shortlisted below, including inexpensive leaf blowers suitable for smaller gardens, versatile garden vacuums and super-quiet cordless models that can help you clear up without making a racket. And if you need more advice on what to buy, you can find it in the buying guide that comes afterwards.

Best leaf blower: At a glance

Best leaf blower for smaller gardensBosch ALB18 Li (~£81)Check price at Amazon
Best cordless leaf blower and vacuum comboWorx WG583E (~From £180)Check price at Amazon
Best quiet leaf blowerRyobi 18V One+ HP Cordless (~£150)Check price at Ryobi
Best cordless leaf blower overallBosch AdvancedLeafBlower 36V-750 (~From £125)Check price at Amazon

How we test leaf blowers

We put cordless leaf blowers through their paces by using them to drive and gather a range of leaves on both tarmac driveways and a pair of lawns. We test them against a mix of large wet tree leaves, smaller shrub leaves and dry hornbeam and beech hedge clippings, to see how well the blowers cope with different materials and moisture levels.

We also record noise levels while operating on the highest power setting. Meanwhile, we evaluate how easy it is to handle and control the blower, and, with the blower/vacuum models, how simple it is to switch between modes and how effective any vacuuming and mulching features are.

Finally, with cordless models, we test how long the battery lasts from a full recharge, and how long it takes to charge it up again from empty.

READ NEXT: Best cordless lawn mowers

The best leaf blowers you can buy in 2024

1. Bosch ALB18 Li: Best for smaller gardens

Price when reviewed: £81 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… clearing clutter from the average lawn and driveway
  • Not so great for… larger gardens or thick drifts of wet leaves

At just 1.8kg, the Bosch ALB18 Li is one of the lightest leaf blowers around. I could easily use it one-handed, yet it delivers plenty of oomph – enough to clear a small garden of all but the most stubborn wet leaves. The long, narrow nozzle is a godsend for hard-to-reach areas, making it easier to sweep around garden objects and direct any leaves towards a pile. The 2.5A Power 4 All Lithium battery lasts for around 12 to 15 minutes and takes up to 90 minutes to charge.

Those with a larger garden might want a blower with slightly more stamina, but it’s more than enough to clear the average front lawn and driveway or tackle a larger area in a couple of stints. It’s also quiet and easy to store, especially as you can easily detach the blower tube while not in use.

Key specs – Type: Leaf blower; Power source: Battery; Weight including battery: 1.8kg; Blow speed: 210km/h; Battery and charger included: Yes; Battery compatible across manufacturer’s range: Yes; Warranty: 2 years

2. Flymo PowerVac 3000: Best high-power leaf blower and vacuum combo

Price when reviewed: £73 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… dealing with thick piles of leaves and clippings without a pause
  • Not so great for… larger plots, unless you have a long extension cable handy

The Flymo PowerVac 3000 comes with a cable attached but beats the cordless models on blowing and vacuuming power. It has enough to tackle the toughest jobs, with its 3,000W motor pushing air through at speeds of 310km/h. Wielding the Flymo, I had no problems blasting damp leaves from a lawn and driveway, and it could even shift soggy piles of heavier debris.

Get it hoovering, meanwhile, and it’s just as effective, shredding garden waste down to tiny fragments, with a compression ratio of 16:1. Combine that with a 45-litre bag and I found I could gather up a big pile of leaves, suck them up and shred the lot using just the one tool.

It’s heavy at 4kg, and noisy, too, hitting around 83dB at full blast. Still, that isn’t a level that some ear protectors won’t happily block out. The only things that really count against the PowerVac 3000 are the hassle of the cable and the fact that converting it from one form to another is a bit of a pain; I had to detach the blower tube and a fan guard then fit the bag and vacuum tube every time I switched.

Key specs – Type: Blower and vacuum; Power source: Mains; Weight: 4kg; Blow speed: 310km/h; Collection capacity: 45l; Cable length: 10m; Warranty: 1 year

3. Bosch UniversalGardenTidy: Best cabled leaf blower and vacuum combo

Price when reviewed: £95 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… clearing and collecting loose or soggy leaves and debris
  • Not so great for… convenience, as you have a trailing cable to consider

This is another blower/vacuum combo where the transformation from one function to the other gets a little tiresome. You attach the slimline nozzle to the exhaust for leaf-blowing duties or fit a larger pipe and bag to the intake when you want to start vacuuming. The process takes a few minutes and involves attaching or detaching the handle that supports the weighty vacuum tube. Nevertheless, it’s worth it, as you get a dual-purpose garden tidying machine that does both jobs well.

It’s a class act on both counts. I found it surprisingly quiet in leaf blower mode, thanks to Bosch’s ProSilence technology, yet it still made short work of blowing loose leaves around and lifting any damp ones off the lawn or driveway. As a vacuum, it can then mulch the leaves and twigs to pack more into the 45-litre bag, while repelling dirt and moisture to keep the collected debris reasonably dry.

I felt it light enough to be used without much strain on my shoulder, but it also feels fantastically well built. True, it doesn’t have the convenience of the cordless models or the raw grunt of the Flymo PowerVac, but the UniversalGardenTidy makes clearing leaves easy, to the extent that it’s almost fun.

Key specs – Type: Blower and vacuum; Power source: Mains; Weight: 3.4 to 4.7kg; Blow speed: 165-285km/h; Collection capacity: 45l; Cable length: 10m; Warranty: 1 year

4. Worx WG583E: Best cordless leaf blower and vacuum combo

Price when reviewed: £180 (tool only), £300 (with battery and charger) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… easy clearing and vacuuming without a cable
  • Not so great for… stamina, unless you’re using Eco mode

The Worx WG583E has a similar design to the Flymo PowerVac and the Bosch UniversalGardenTidy but with two big differences. First, the conversion from blower to vacuum and back feels easier; you can switch them over in a couple of minutes without much hassle. Secondly, there’s no trailing cable. It’s a beefy little beast, hurling out huge amounts of air on its highest power setting to send leaves flying across the lawn. Then, when I switched to vacuum mode it would suck up great piles of them in seconds, then neatly shred and compact them so that they barely filled the 35-litre collection bag. Big, damp leaves aren’t a problem, and it even tackled patches of moss thrown down by the local seagulls, along with clippings from a short conifer hedge.

The downside here is battery life. At full power, I could practically see the indicator running down, and I was lucky if I got more than 10 minutes of vacuuming. However, by engaging Eco mode I could double that lifespan and still pick up or blow dry leaves. It’s still worth having a spare set of batteries with this one, and it works best when you have some other Worx cordless tools so that you can share a few batteries between them.

Key specs – Type: Blower and vacuum; Power source: 2x 20V Max batteries; Weight: 2.9 to 3.8kg; Blow speed: 335km/h; Collection capacity: 35l; Cable length: N/A; Warranty: 1 year

5. Ryobi 18V One+ HP Cordless Brushless Whisper Blower: Best quiet leaf blower

Price when reviewed: £150 (tool only) | Check price at Ryobi

  • Great for… garden tidying without the usual racket
  • Not so great for… shifting the thickest and wettest leaves

Part of Ryobi’s One+ battery ecosystem, the Whisper-series blower comes close to doing what it says on the tin. 80.7db is nobody’s idea of a whisper, but it’s quiet enough not to upset your neighbours or scare nearby pets. It’s no louder than your average cordless lawn mower, which is useful, because the quieter it is, the more likely you are to use it, while tiring vibrations are minimal as well.

Weighing in at just 2.5kg without a battery, and no more than 3.7kg with a 4A battery installed, I found it light enough to use for more than the 15 to 20 minutes it takes for the battery to run dry. While there’s no shoulder strap, the ergonomics are first-rate, so you don’t need one – even if you’re attempting to work the 610m2 maximum coverage Ryobi claims. The only flies in the ointment are a lack of a “cruise control” function, meaning you need to squeeze and hold the trigger, and the fact that airflow isn’t quite as focused as some rivals, making it tough to dislodge some stubborn, thick and soggy leaves.

Still, with its 179km/h blow speed, I found it made short work of most leaves, twigs and assorted debris, including sawdust from a recent DIY project. And when you’re done, the nozzle detaches at the push of a button, ready for storage.

Key specs – Type: Leaf blower; Power source: Battery; Weight: 2.5kg; Blow speed: 177km/h; Battery and charger included in the price: No; Battery compatible across manufacturer’s range: Yes; Warranty: 3 years

Check price at Ryobi

6. Worx WG543E: Best compact cordless blower

Price when reviewed: £144 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… super-powered gusts and easy storage
  • Not so great for… keeping leaves under control as you blast

This Worx leaf blower is so light and compact that it’s hard to imagine it blowing the skin off a rice pudding. I could easily use it one-handed and, with the telescopic nozzle at its least extended, it’s just under 80cm long. Yet the clever design uses air amplifier technology to drive more air through the tube than you might expect, at speeds of up to 209km/h. This gives it more than enough puff to separate soggy leaves from a lawn or driveway, and scatter dryer leaves in all directions. It’s worth switching down to the lower power setting just to give you a better chance of driving them into some kind of pile. Still, the extra force was brilliant for clearing debris off my wooden decking, or even drying off the car after a wash.

Worx sells the WG543E with a 4A PowerShare battery and charger, and this will give you enough charge for a good 20 minutes of blasting, or slightly more at the lower power setting. You can also use other Worx PowerShare batteries; make sure you double check which batteries you buy as the most common 2A units will only deliver half that lifespan. It might be small, but don’t underestimate it: this compact, convenient blower can get the job done.

Key specs – Type: Blower; Power source: 1 x 20V Max batteries; Weight: 1.79kg; Blow speed: 209km/h; Collection capacity: N/A; Cable length: N/A; Warranty: 1 year

7. Gardena PowerJet 18V P4A: A great all-round cordless blower

Price when reviewed: £79 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… quiet and comfortable removal of your garden clutter
  • Not so great for… not much. It’s a good all-rounder

The PowerJet 18V P4A delivers plenty of power for shifting leaves from a sodden lawn or driveway, but it’s a blower that makes life easy on the arms. I found the well-balanced body and top-mounted handle and trigger made it easy to manoeuvre and keep blasting away. With a noise output of just under 75dB at maximum power, it’s also surprisingly quiet. The neighbours won’t hate you every time you get it out.

The Gardena works with standard 18V Power For All batteries, and while I didn’t expect much from the 2A battery I tested with, it maintained a solid 25 minutes of blowing leaves around my lawn and driveway before it started to sputter out. The detachable precision nozzle is a nice touch; you can use it to persuade adamant leaves or piles of debris to move on from your grass or borders. After use, removing the main nozzle is a pretty simple manoeuvre, making for easier storage. If you don’t have an existing Power For All kit then you’ll need to budget a further £60 to £90 for a battery and charger, but even then this cordless blower is excellent value.

Key specs – Type: Blower; Batteries: 1 x 18V Power For All, 2A or 4A; Dimensions: 92 x 26 x 16cm; Weight: 2.8kg; Blow speed: 100km/h; Collection capacity: N/A; Warranty: 3 year

8. Bosch AdvancedLeafBlower 36V-750: Best cordless blower overall

Price when reviewed: £125 (tool only), £230 (with 2A battery and charger) | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… powerful airflow, comfort and control
  • Not so great for… keeping costs down

Bosch’s cordless blower is more potent than its specs suggest. At its maximum power setting, I found that even the most unyielding, wettest leaves couldn’t stand against its force. Leaves entangled in low-lying plants around the driveway were hurled free into a pile against the wall, while larger, soggy leaves were shifted from their spots. Yet, with the help of its easy under-thumb power dial on the handle, I could still reign in the power to deal with lighter leaves or gather what I had collected into a manageable pile. It’s a remarkably easy tool to work with.

At just under 90dB, it’s a little noisier at its maximum setting than some cordless leaf blowers, and also a little heavier at 2.9kg. Luckily, the ergonomic handle and well-balanced design meant that I could still comfortably operate it single-handed. It works with Bosch’s 36V Power For All batteries instead of the more common 18V variety, and the 4A battery I tested it with survived around 25 minutes of fairly strenuous garden maintenance. If you’re not overly fussed about vacuuming and mulching your leaves, this is the best cordless leaf blower you can buy.

Key specs – Type: Blower; Batteries: 1 x 36V Power For All, 2A or 4A; Dimensions: 81 x 25 x 21cm; Weight: 2.8kg; Blow speed: 100-200km/h; Collection capacity: N/A; Warranty: 1 year

How to choose the best leaf blower for you

What should I look for in a leaf blower?

Essentially, leaf blowers are a fan in a casing that allows you to blow your leaves into a convenient pile for disposal. Arriving in a range of shapes, sizes and power ratings, from lightweight models perfect for a small garden that you can use one-handed, through to heavy, powerful machines that you will see being used in parks, at the roadside or in school grounds, for example.

These larger leaf blowers are particularly suited to clearing big piles of wet leaves, with their extra oomph delivered by more powerful motors or engines. For the average gardener, though, something more compact should be fine. But don’t choose anything too weedy; the last thing you want to discover is that the model you’ve bought is capable of clearing only half of your leaves.

If you want the ultimate in functionality, look for a garden blower vac. These combine the most useful benefits of a leaf blower with the convenience of a garden vacuum. They can blow leaves into a handy pile, or suck them all up at the flick of a switch – although some are more fiddly to use than others.

Some models even offer a mulching function, meaning you’ll fit more garden waste into your bin or bin bag. With such garden vacuums and convertibles, you need plenty of power to suck the waste in, a solid, leak-proof bag and – ideally – a durable blade that can chomp through your leaves and clippings without taking any damage.

For more on garden vacuums, we have a separate page dedicated to the best garden vacuums.

Which is better – corded or cordless?

Corded blowers tend to be lighter and more powerful since there is no battery to carry and fewer constraints on the motor. However, cordless models have improved dramatically over the past few years, thanks to more efficient motors, lighter batteries and streamlined designs. Naturally they have a huge advantage in that you can take them anywhere without running out of cable. Instead, your biggest worry will be running out of charge, so make sure the battery life covers your needs.

Cordless blowers are also more expensive, particularly if you need to invest in a battery and charger, too. However, there are models that may work with the batteries and chargers of your existing garden or power tools. Models from Bosch, Worx or Ryobi, for example, offer batteries that work across their range of products. What’s more, some manufacturers have joined forces around a battery standard, so that if you buy a leaf blower that uses Bosch’s Power 4 All battery, you can share batteries and chargers with compatible equipment from Gardena and Flymo.

For really big gardens, or areas with lots of heavy, stubborn wet leaves and other debris, your best bet is a petrol-powered blower. These come in handheld or backpack models, but they can be heavy, noisy and expensive – and the engine needs regular maintenance.

What else should I look out for?

Never underestimate the importance of good ergonomics. A heavy blower with poor weight distribution won’t be an issue in a small garden, but if you have a big area to clear then it will become tough on your arms, back and shoulders. Look for straps or grips that ease the burden. Similarly, models that vibrate a lot can be uncomfortable to use, and some leaf blowers can be incredibly noisy; you will need ear defenders and understanding neighbours.

These aren’t the only practical considerations. Is the blower easy to start and use? How easy is it to store? If it’s a vacuum or convertible, how easy is it to empty the bag or collector? Some models have collapsible tubes and detachable nozzles, which can help if you’re short on shed space, but be warned that these can be a nightmare to get on and off.

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