Consumer Reports: Leaf Blower ratings

September 25, 2012

Autumn has arrived and if you're not much for raking, Consumer Reports set out to see which leaf blowers won't blow your budget and still do the best job keeping your lawn leaf-free!

Tests of 29 blowers show the best choices put power before pizzazz.

You may have seen infomercials for one particular plug-in electric blower: "The Worx Tri-Vac is a superior blower; a powerful outdoor vac, and a heavy-duty mulcher, all in one tool."

Instead, Consumer Reports says, consider plug-in Toro Ultra Blower, model 51599. It's top rated and a Consumer Reports Best Buy for $70. It was very good at sweeping and extremely easy to use. For added mobility, gas-powered blowers pack power without the cord.

Consumer Reports recommends Stihl model BG 55, for $150. It combines impressive leaf blowing and easy handling.

If you have a large piece of property, a backpack blower makes the job much easier.

"It is more expensive," according to Peter Sawchuk of Consumer Reports, "but you'll find the extra convenience worth the money."

Also, Craftsman model 79401 is a relatively low-priced backpack blower for $250 and it's a solid performer.

Consumer Reports says if you're thinking about getting a backpack blower, consider spending a little more for the Husqvarna, model 150BT. While it's more expensive at $300, it delivers a lot more oomph and is quieter, too.

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