Banish leaves from every corner of your garden with our pick of the best cordless blowers and blower/vacuum combos
Like a neat lawn and driveway? Tired of raking up mountains of soggy leaves? Well, there’s a new generation of cordless leaf blower that’s going to make your life a whole lot easier.
Forget the massive tubes with backpacks that your average council gardener might be wielding; thanks to advances in cordless motor and battery technology, the latest blowers are smaller, lighter and easier to handle. They have the power to blast wet leaves and debris from the ground, alongside battery life to help you clear a sizable plot. They’re quieter than the old petrol or mains-powered models, too, have a lower environmental impact and – to be honest – they’re just fun to use.
So before we reveal our pick of the best leaf blowers available to buy right now, read our guide on how to choose the right model for your budget and needs.
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How to choose the best cordless leaf blower for you
There isn’t actually that much to your average cordless leaf blower; just a big motor and fan attached to a tube, through which you can blast air at fallen leaves and other bits of lightweight garden debris. You may have some speed settings or safety controls to think about, but they mostly all work in the same way. You just point your blower at the leaves, pile them up, then get rid of them at your leisure; preferably before the wind picks up.
The exceptions are the dual-purpose leaf blowers/garden vacuums that – as you can probably guess – suck in the leaves and debris after clearing. These generally pull the leaves into the fan, which then chops them up into a finer mulch on their way into a collection bag. The resulting mulch can then be emptied onto your compost heap or into your garden waste bin, with the chomped leaves occupying a fraction of the space. Most cordless leaf blowers tend to be blowers rather than blower/vacuums, but there are some useful exceptions.
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What features should you look out for?
Look for an ergonomic design that will be comfortable for you to carry. A surprising number of models can be wielded single-handed, while the convertible blower/vacuum models tend to require two-handed use.
Most cordless leaf blowers use an 18V motor and matching battery, but if you have a big garden or a tree that sheds a lot of heavy leaves – a horse chestnut, beech, sycamore or maple, for example – then you might want something with a bit more oomph. In this case, a 36V or 40V motor should have you covered. Check for the maximum blow speed, usually specified in metres per second or kilometres per hour. The more lightweight models might start at around 160km/hour, while powerful models might go up to 250km/hour or more. That extra bit of blasting power can be handy when you’re trying to separate drifts of heavy, rain-soaked leaves from a flower bed or tricky corner.
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What about battery life?
The final thing to consider is battery life. It takes quite a lot of power to keep a fan spinning at the speed required, so many cordless leaf blowers will bundle in a 4A battery to ensure you have enough charge to get around a medium-sized garden. However, some models might ship solo – in which case you need to buy a battery and charger separately – or in a lower-cost bundle with a 2A battery. The latter should deliver enough charge for 15 to 20 minutes of hard work, which might be sufficient for a smaller garden; but if not, budget for a bigger battery or prepare for a recharge halfway through.
To help, more and more manufacturers are now standardising around one battery system, which means you can share batteries and a charger across a range of tools. This is worth thinking about if you have or plan to buy a cordless strimmer, hedge trimmer, mower or other garden tool. Some manufacturers have even joined a battery alliance, such as Bosch’s Power For All system. This means that 18V batteries used in a Bosch tool will also be usable in some Gardena, Flymo and Husqvarna tools.
How we test cordless leaf blowers
We put our cordless leaf blowers through their paces by using them to drive and gather a range of leaves on both tarmac driveways and lawn. 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 we record noise levels while operating on the highest and lowest settings. We also 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. Finally, we test how long the battery lasts from a full recharge, and how long it takes to charge them up again.
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The best cordless leaf blowers you can buy in 2024
1. Bosch AdvancedLeafBlower 36V-750: Best cordless blower overall
Price when reviewed: From £144 | Check price at AmazonBosch’s cordless blower is mightier than the specs might suggest. At its maximum power setting, even the heaviest, wettest leaves couldn’t hold against its tempest. Tricky leaves entangled in low-lying ground cover plants around the driveway were blasted free into a pile against the wall. Yet with its easy under-thumb power dial on the handle, you can notch it back to tackle lighter leaves or shape what you’ve collected into a manageable pile. It’s a fantastically easy tool to work with.
It’s a little noisier at its maximum settings than some leaf blowers, measuring just under 90dB for noise, and it’s also a little heavier – although the well-balanced design and ergonomic handle mean you can still comfortably use it single-handed. It works with Bosch’s 36V Power For All batteries rather than the more common 18V variety, and the 4A battery we tested it with lasted for around 25 minutes of tough garden clearance before sputtering out. If you’re not too bothered about vacuuming and mulching, this is the best cordless leaf blower to 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
2. Worx WG583E: Best cordless vacuum/blower combo
Price when reviewed: From £157 | Check price at AmazonThe Worx WG583E is a convertible vacuum/blower. With the slimmer of its two nozzles attached to the fan out-take, it will blast away at leaves with the best of them; but remove that nozzle and attach the wider, two-part wheeled pipe to the intake, and you’re equipped to suck them in and chew them up.
The conversion from blower to vacuum and back feels surprisingly easy and, where some cordless blowers can feel weedy, this one’s a beefy little beast, hurling out huge amounts of air on its highest power setting to send leaves flying across your lawn or driveway. Switch to vacuum mode and it will suck up great piles of them in seconds, then neatly shred them and compact them so that they barely fill the 35-litre collection bag. Big, damp leaves aren’t a problem, and the WG583E even tackled patches of moss thrown down by the local seagulls and conifer clippings from a hedge. And while it’s noisy, it’s far from terrible, with sound levels at around 72dB.
The downside here is battery life. At full power you can practically watch as the indicator runs down, and you’ll be lucky to get more than 10 minutes of vacuuming from a pair of 2A batteries. Engage Eco mode, however, and you can double that lifespan and still pick up or blow dry leaves. Despite some tough competition from the Karcher (below) this is the cordless vacuum/blower to buy.
Key specs – Type: Blower and vacuum; Batteries: 2 x 20V Max, 2A; Dimensions: 115 x 26 x 80cm Weight: 2.9 to 3.8kg; Blow speed: Up to 209km/h; Collection capacity: 35l; Cable length: N/A; Warranty: 1 year
3. Gardena PowerJet 18V P4A: Best cordless blower for smaller gardens
Price when reviewed: From £90 | Check price at AmazonThe PowerJet 18V P4A sits in-between the Bosch AdvancedLeafBlower and the lightweight Worx blower below, delivering plenty of oomph for tackling hard-to-shift leaves from a soggy lawn or driveway, but in a blower that’s still very easy on the arms. It’s surprisingly quiet as well, with a noise output of just under 75dB at maximum power.
This one also works with Power For All batteries, although this time of the lighter 18V variety. While we expected little stamina from the 2A battery with which we tested this model, it held up for a good 25 minutes of hurling leaves around the lawn. We also liked the clear LED charge indicator and detachable precision nozzle, which you can use to persuade stubborn leaves or piles of debris to shift from your grass or border. It’s also fairly simple to remove the main nozzle for storage. If you don’t have an existing Power For All kit then you’ll need to budget £60 to £90 extra for a battery and charger, but even then this blower is great 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
4. Worx WG543E: Best compact cordless blower
Price when reviewed: From £95 | Check price at AmazonThe WG543E is so light and compact that it’s hard to imagine it blowing the skin off a rice pudding; you can easily use it one-handed and, with the nozzle at its least extended, it’s 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. In fact, it’s worth switching down to the lower power setting just to give you a better chance of shaping the leaves into some kind of pile. It’s also great for clearing debris off your decking, or even drying off the car post-wash. Noise levels aren’t a problem, either; we measured the output at around 69dB.
Worx sells the WG543E with a 4A PowerShare battery and charger, which delivers enough charge for a good 20 minutes of blasting, and slightly more at the lower power setting. You can also use other Worx PowerShare batteries, although the most common 2A units will last only half that lifespan. It might be small, but don’t underestimate it: this compact, convenient blower can get the job done in style.
Key specs – Type: Blower; Batteries: 1 x 20V Max, 4A; Dimensions: 78 x 17 x 12cm; Weight: 1.79kg; Blow speed: 209km/h; Collection capacity: N/A; Warranty: 1 year
5. Kärcher BLV 18-200: Best cordless combi vacuum/blower for ease of use
Price when reviewed: From £185 | Check price at AmazonKärcher’s vacuum/blower doesn’t need any tricky configuration; just flick a switch and it shifts from blowing leaves away to sucking them into its wide tube. It’s a well-designed unit, weighing in at just 3.5kg, and has little wheels to help support it while you’re busy catching every last leaf. The 45-litre bag and built-in mulching mean you’ll probably run out of charge before you need to empty the machine. You better wear some ear protection, though, since this unit can put out over 100dB at full tilt.
The BLV 18-200 can’t match the most powerful blowers for leaf-blasting force, so you might struggle with soggy piles of debris or drifts of large wet leaves. However, press a button and it will jump into a boost mode, which should get all but the worst bits moving. This is one of the more expensive options here, especially as you have to pay extra for the battery and charger, which will set you back a further £110. However, it shares the same battery and charger system as Kärcher’s other cordless garden tools, so if you’ve already got those, this one’s a no-brainer.
Key specs – Type: Blower and vacuum; Batteries: 1x 18v Max, 2.5A; Dimensions: 124 x 38 x 17cm Weight: 3.5kg; Blow speed: Up to 200km/h; Collection capacity: 45l; Warranty: 1 year