6 Best Backpack Leaf Blowers for Homeowners, According to a Landscaper

Updated: May 23, 2024

I tested the most powerful backpack leaf blowers that can make quick work of mountains of leaves. Here are my favorites.

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Best Backpack Leaf Blowers For Homeowners According To A LandscaperALEX K FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

Backpack leaf blowers are the best tools for quickly moving massive piles of leaves across large properties. You probably hear these blowers from your neighbors or nearby landscapers. They are everywhere because they are the fastest way to recover a lawn, parking lot or park from leaves and debris that pile up in the fall.

Backpack blowers often get a hard time for being noisy, and for good reason, too. But when I compare the sound of a handheld gas blower to a backpack blower, I’ve found there isn’t much of a difference. As I learned by testing all of these blowers out on my lawn, some of the newer electric models are pretty darn quiet.

The feeling of wearing a backpack blower is one of ultimate power, and the only thing I can think of remotely close is a jetpack. This power can help shave off hours per weekend and, cumulatively, days of raking leaves across your lawn. Even comparing a backpack blower to a handheld leaf blower, the power of the handheld blower is way beneath that of a backpack blower.

For most homeowners, a backpack blower is a luxury item. However, if you have an acre of land or a lot of trees on your lawn, a backpack blower is necessary. Here are my favorites that I’ve tested.

Stihl Br 600 Backpack Leaf Blower
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Best Overall Backpack Leaf Blower

Stihl BR 600 Backpack Leaf Blower

Pros:

  • Extreme power and speed
  • Comfortable straps
  • Easy to start
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Heavier than other options
  • Loud

The first time I used the Stihl BR 600 backpack leaf blower, I thought it was a jet pack. I had always used a handheld leaf blower and was used to how those felt and performed in my backyard (which gets tons of leaves). My mom had one of these, and I’ll never know why, but she gave it to me. Holy guacamole.

After putting on the Stihl BR 600, I immediately became a backpack blower user for life. At 238 mph, the speed coming out of this blower is faster than the highest wind speed ever recorded from a hurricane. Yes, putting on the BR 600 is like putting a hurricane on your back. It is powerful, easy to start, and will last you for many years with the proper maintenance schedule.

Craftsman Bp510 600 Cfm Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
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Best Backpack Blower for Large Yards

Craftsman BP510 600-CFM Gas Backpack Leaf Blower

Pros:

  • Anti-vibration system
  • Extremely powerful
  • Comfortable strap system
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Very loud

Another blower with serious power output is the Craftsman BP510 backpack leaf blower. The blower is great for large yards because it is a bit lighter than the Stihl BR 600, yet it still has much power. At 600 cfm, the wider nozzle tip enables you to push big piles of leaves across your lawn.

Craftsman also boasts about how this backpack blower was created with comfort at the top of the list. Comfort is a big deal when you have a large yard because you’ll inevitably wind up carrying this machine on your back for hours. The anti-vibration and chest strap harness systems help keep you balanced and feel more comfortable during the job.

Husqvarna 150bt Gas Backpack Leaf Blower
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Most Powerful Backpack Leaf Blower

Husqvarna 150BT Gas Backpack Leaf Blower

Pros:

  • Extremely powerful
  • Comfortable hip belt and extra padding
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Requires yearly maintenance
  • Can't return if used with gas

At 765 cfm and speeds of up to 270 mph, the Husqvarna 150 BT is one of the most powerful backpack leaf blowers on the market. Husqvarna is known for its super popular and powerful chainsaws and zero-turn mowers, so I’m not surprised that the 150 BT is the king of power in the residential leaf blower space.

As Husqvarna’s best-selling backpack blower, the 150 BT is still relatively lightweight and comfortable. To make it easy to use for extended periods, Husqvarna included a hip belt and extra padding on the back of the blower. Husqvarna backs up this blower by enabling a 5-year warranty if you buy their preferred fuel.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Battery Backpack Blower
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Most Versatile Backpack Leaf Blower

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Battery Backpack Blower

Pros:

  • Versatile battery system
  • No maintenance
  • Customizable

Cons:

  • Not much runtime

The Milwaukee M18 backpack blower has a unique look and provides some decent power–although not the most on the market. From Milwaukee, I generally expect professional-level power, but this one is much more aimed at residential use. I love using Milwaukee products because the same 18V battery that powers their hand tools can also power this backpack blower. Not only does this save me a ton of money on buying new batteries, but it also frees up the most valuable piece of real estate in my garage—electrical outlets!

After testing this myself, I reached out to Milwaukee and heard from Tony Buxton, Director of Product Management for Milwaukee Tool. He said, “Our M18 Fuel Backpack Blower can be fully customized to the operator’s unique needs—users can optimize weight and runtime based on their needed application. With Milwaukee’s fully compatible M18 battery line, users can complete a full day’s work using just one battery system.”

Wild Badger Power Super Duty 190 Mph 550 Cfm Backpack Leaf Blower
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Best Budget Backpack Leaf Blower

Wild Badger Power Super-Duty 190 MPH 550 CFM Backpack Leaf Blower

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Great functionality

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as other options
  • Not a recognizable brand

I’ve used a few Wild Badger products now, including their chainsaw, which I loved, and their 18-inch lawn mower, which was just okay. Their backpack leaf blower comes at a stellar price and packs some decent power. This blower has all the bells and whistles you would expect from some of the bigger blowers, including an excellent hand control system that lets you fully control the speed and a cruise control function that holds it in place.

The Wild Badger blower is also very lightweight, weighing under 20 pounds, making maneuverability and longevity for finishing the job much higher than some heavier blowers. For the price, this one is difficult to beat. And I know what you’re thinking—if it is low priced, is it unreliable? Wild Badger backs this blower up with a three-year warranty. Not bad!

Greenworks 80v Backpack Leaf Blower
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Best Battery-Powered Backpack Leaf Blower

Greenworks 80V Backpack Leaf Blower

Pros:

  • Battery can be used with other tools
  • Very lightweight
  • Durable motor
  • No maintenance

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Limited runtime

The Greenworks 80V backpack blower was my introduction to backpack leaf blowers. To date, it is still the best battery-powered backpack blower that I have used. The blower boasts 610 cfm and up to 180 mph, making it more powerful than several gas-powered backpack blowers on the market. One thing I love about having this 80V backpack blower is that I can use the same 80V Greenworks battery system across dozens of their tools.

My favorite part about this blower is using it to blow leaves. It can run on high for about 15 minutes, which is generally all most homeowners will need. It is extremely lightweight, at about 8 pounds, without a battery, making it hardly noticeable to carry around. The backpack blower also has minimal vibration, given the lack of a gas engine or many of the other components found in a gas blower.

Best Backpack Leaf Blowers For Homeowners According To A Landscaper
ALEX K FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

What to Look for When Buying a Backpack Leaf Blower

Before purchasing a backpack leaf blower, thoroughly evaluate your decision with a few key decision points. Here are mine:

  • Power source: Gas has always been the dominant type of backpack leaf blower, but electric has made significant strides. If you are okay with less power but no maintenance, a quieter experience, and not smelling like gas, then an electric leaf blower may be the best option.
  • Weight: Backpack blowers can get heavy and strain your back. Don’t buy more power than you need to keep it as light as possible.
  • Yard size: I wouldn’t buy a backpack blower unless I had a yard larger than ¼ of an acre or had significant annual leaf accumulation.
  • Maintenance schedule: Look at the yearly maintenance schedule on the blower. Some leaf blowers have intense maintenance schedules, whereas others have fewer requirements when it comes to maintenance.

Why You Should Trust Us

We have personally tested dozens, if not hundreds, of leaf blowers, including backpack blowers, corded electric blowers, cordless blowers, and gas-powered handheld blowers. Basically, if it pushes out air, we have used it and put it to the test. Even my wife’s hair dryer has been put to the test.

As a former landscaper, I developed a unique love for lawn tools after using them every day for years. With my deep love for lawn tools, I became an absolute leaf-blower snob. Now, we spend our days testing lawn mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers and more. Much of our time is spent using new blowers and comparing them to see which one reigns supreme.

Sound like a crazy job? It is.

How We Found the Best Backpack Leaf Blowers

I found the best backpack leaf blowers by testing each one in my yard over the course of a decade. Every blower on our list has been personally tested by me in my backyard. I have also included many of these blowers in head-to-head tests on my YouTube channel, where I have these two face off against each other, handheld blowers, and even smaller electric backpack blowers.

For backpack blowers, I use a testing methodology focused on how many leaves can be moved across my lawn. I start with a pile of leaves and debris in one pile and see how long it takes to get every leaf to the other side. That helps me complete a consistent and repeatable task with each backpack blower.

One of the more eccentric ways I have tested leaf blower power is by strapping them in opposite directions on a spinning office chair and seeing which one would spin the chair—a proxy for which has more power. It got a little wild and a lot more dangerous.

But these are the lengths I am willing to go so that you can buy a better leaf blower.

FAQ

Best Backpack Leaf Blowers For Homeowners According To A Landscaper
ALEX K FOR FAMILY HANDYMAN

What is a good cfm and mph for a backpack leaf blower?

A good cfm for a backpack blower is over 500 cfm, and a nice mph to blast away leaves is over 150 mph.

Are backpack leaf blowers worth it?

If you have a large yard or many leaves—a backpack leaf blower is an excellent investment.

What is the most powerful backpack blower?

The Stihl BR600 Magnum is one of the most powerful backpack blowers on the market.