Best & Worst leaf blowers from Consumer Reports Magazine

Don't Waste Your Money

Autumn leaves are a beautiful sight. But once those leaves hit the ground, they're a nuisance!

Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine just tested 57 leaf blowers to find which do the best job cleaning the lawn.

Testers used an enclosure to see how fast the blowers worked, timing how long it took to clear the area.

They embedded leaves in the lawn and covered them with sawdust to check how well the blowers loosen debris.

For smaller yards, electric handheld blowers are an easy-to-use choice--as long as you can reach a power outlet.

Peter Sawchuk of Consumer Reports said, "our tests showed that some of the electric-powered blowers moved leaves nearly as fast as the best gasoline blowers, but at half the price."

Top Picks

A top pick is Toro's Ultra Blower Vac. It's a Consumer Reports Best Buy at $75 --and an extra bonus, it can vacuum leaves,too.

If you need to go a distance, gas-powered blowers let you move around without a cord.

"In our tests, the top gas blowers got the job done fast," Sawchuk said. "But they need fuel and require maintenance."

For $150, the Husqvarna 125-B gas powered blower is a Best Buy. And it's not as noisy for the neighbors as many of the other gas blowers.

Another option- a backpack blower. It shifts the weight from your arms to your shoulders.

"Backpack blowers do cost more, but if you have a large area to clear, having the weight on your back makes it much easier," Sawchuk said.

Consumer Reports recommends a Ryobi backpack model as a Best Buy. At $200s, it has a small fan that's mounted sideways, making it function like a bigger blower.

One caution about the Ryobi backpack blower is that it's among the loudest leaf blowers tested. But Consumer Reports says nearly all leaf blowers can damage your ears, so be sure to wear hearing protection whenever you use them.

As always don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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