STIHL BG 86
9.7 lbs. • 459 cfm • 154 mph • Right-side intake, left-side starter pull • 2-year warranty
The BG 86 shares our Best Overall award with the Echo below. This model costs a bit more and has a shorter warranty, but it’s a standout for power, vibration reduction and comfort. The primer bulb is designed to prevent flooding if you press it too many times. The washable air filter eliminates the cost of replacement filters.
STIHL BG 56 C-E
9.3 lbs. • 418 cfm • 134 mph • Right-side intake, left-side starter pull • 2-year warranty
This is the lightest blower of the bunch, but it’s powerful enough to do the job. It also has an innovative starter mechanism and a semiautomatic choke. Instead of a powerful jerking motion to get it going, it starts up with just one long, easy pull.
10.2 lbs. • 354 cfm • 191 mph • Left-side intake, right-side starter pull • 5-year warranty
Like its cowinner of our Best Overall award, this machine is a top performer. Despite its lower cfm and mph specs, it outperformed other models with higher air ratings. Plus, it incorporates a very effective rotational control design that keeps it pointed where you want it. The three-position handle is comfortable. Echo backs it up with an excellent warranty.
12.2 lbs. • 430 cfm • 200 mph • Left-side intake, rear starter pull • 2-year warranty
This Troy-Bilt model is the heaviest of all the handhelds, but it's priced right and powerful enough to handle most yards.