Best Gas Leaf Blower for 2021

Matt By Matt April 14, 2021

Upgraded Gear is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you when buying using a link on our site.

leaf blower

A gas leaf blower is a powerful machine that can save you hours of work. It's an excellent choice for a variety of tasks, including leaf cleaning in the fall, mulching leaves, and blowing snow in the winter. You can even use its powerful blowers to dry your car or truck!

To create this article, we spent hours researching product data and user reviews for different gas leaf blowers. After reviewing the data, we've compiled a list of our top picks.

Tip: If you need help, then we recommend skipping ahead to our buying guide which lists important things to consider when purchasing a gas leaf blower.

Best Gas Leaf Blowers: Our Top Picks

Makita BHX2500CA Leaf BlowerMakita BHX2500CA Leaf BlowerBest OverallAir Speed: 145 mph blower speedAir Volume: 356 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 24.5 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Husqvarna 360BT Backpack Leaf BlowerHusqvarna 360BT Backpack Leaf BlowerBest for Large YardsAir Speed: 232 mph blower speedAir Volume: 631 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 65.6 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Husqvarna 125BVX Leaf BlowerHusqvarna 125BVX Leaf BlowerBest Vacuum MulcherAir Speed: 170 mph blower speedAir Volume: 425 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 28 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Poulan Pro PPBV25 Leaf BlowerPoulan Pro PPBV25 Leaf BlowerBest Lightweight BlowerAir Speed: 230 mph blower speedAir Volume: 450 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 25 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Husqvarna 150BT Backpack BlowerHusqvarna 150BT Backpack BlowerMany High RatingsAir Speed: 251 mph blower speedAir Volume: 434 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 50.2 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Echo PB-580T Backpack Style BlowerEcho PB-580T Backpack Style BlowerExtreme PowerAir Speed: 216 mph blower speedAir Volume: 517 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 58.2 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Echo PB-2620 Leaf BlowerEcho PB-2620 Leaf BlowerGood ErgonomicsAir Speed: 172 mph blower speedAir Volume: 456 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 25.4 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis
Echo PB-255L Leaf BlowerEcho PB-255L Leaf BlowerLow Noise DesignAir Speed: 191 mph blower speedAir Volume: 354 cfm airflowEngine Displacement: 25.4 ccVIEW LATEST PRICERead Our Analysis

More Details on Our Top Picks

  1. Makita BHX2500CA Leaf Blower

    The Makita BHX2500CA is the best gas leaf blower for the money, according to our research. It has a 24.5 cc four-stroke engine, a maximum air speed of 145 mph, and a maximum air volume of 356 cfm. The BHX2500CA weighs in at 9.8 lbs, and it has a large 17.6 fluid ounce fuel tank. A four-stroke engine, unlike a two-stroke engine, does not require the mixing of oil and gas. So forget about the need for multiple gas cans with varying fuel ratios. Another advantage of this design is the large muffler, which reduces noise. Makita rates it at only 67 db(A), which is extremely quiet!

    • Air Speed: 145 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 356 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 24.5 cc
    • Brand: Makita
    • Engine: 4 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.6 fl oz
    • Weight: 9.8 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Fuel-efficient engine
  2. Husqvarna 360BT Backpack Leaf Blower

    Husqvarna 360BT Backpack Leaf Blower

    Best for Large Yards

    Shop Now at Amazon

    The Husqvarna 360BT leaf blower is ideal for large yards. It's a backpack model with a 50.2cc engine, a top speed of 232 miles per hour, and a maximum air flow of 631 cubic feet per minute. It weighs 23.2 pounds, which is more than many handheld blowers, but the weight is distributed evenly across the user's shoulders and back. The 360BT has many of the same features as the 150BT, but it has many upgrades because it is part of Husqvarna's commercial line. The 360BT has an adjustable harness, low vibration technology, cruise control, and an ergonomic handle, among other features. Overall, it's an excellent choice for a large yard and long-term use.

    • Air Speed: 232 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 631 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 65.6 cc
    • Brand: Husqvarna
    • Engine: 2 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 74.4 fl oz
    • Weight: 23.2 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Better Fuel Economy
  3. Husqvarna 125BVX Leaf Blower

    Husqvarna 125BVX Leaf Blower

    Best Vacuum Mulcher

    Shop Now at Acme Tools

    One of the best gas leaf blowers with a vacuum is the Husqvarna 125BVX. It has a 28-cc 2-stroke engine, a top air speed of 170 mph, and a maximum air volume of 425 cfm. It has a large fuel tank and weighs 9.6 pounds, which is about average for a handheld gas leaf blower. The sound pressure at the operator's ear, according to Husqvarna, is 94 dB. (A). It also has a cruise control feature and a variable speed throttle to reduce hand fatigue. Finally, the blower has an adjustable tube length for better ergonomics, as well as an auto-return stop switch.

    • Air Speed: 170 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 425 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 28 cc
    • Brand: Husqvarna
    • Engine: 2 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 fl oz
    • Weight: 9.6 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Large Vacuum Bag Capacity
  4. Poulan Pro PPBV25 Leaf Blower

    Poulan Pro PPBV25 Leaf Blower

    Best Lightweight Blower

    Shop Now at Amazon

    The Poulan Pro PPBV25 gas leaf blower is one of the lightest we've found. The blower is powered by a two-stroke engine with a displacement of 25 cc, a maximum air speed of 230 mph, and a maximum air volume of 450 cfm. The fuel tank is average in size, and the blower weighs about 9 pounds. In addition to shredding leaves in the fall, the Poulan Pro PPBV25 has a vacuum and mulching capability. In terms of construction, the PPBV25 has a soft touch handle and reduced vibration, indicating that ergonomics were a priority in the design.

    • Air Speed: 230 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 450 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 25 cc
    • Brand: Poulan Pro
    • Engine: 2 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.9 fl oz
    • Weight: 9 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Comfortable Soft-Grip Handle
  5. Husqvarna 150BT Backpack Blower

    Husqvarna 150BT Backpack Blower

    Many High Ratings

    Shop Now at Northern Tool

    The Husqvarna 150BT is one of the best-rated leaf blowers among consumers. It has a massive 50.2 cc displacement, a top air speed of 251 mph, and a maximum air volume of 494 cfm. The fuel tank is much larger than a comparable handheld model because it is a backpack leaf blower, and it holds 42.27 fluid ounces of fuel. We like this model because, despite being in Husqvarna's consumer line, it is a significant upgrade over most handheld models.

    • Air Speed: 251 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 434 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 50.2 cc
    • Brand: Husqvarna
    • Engine: 2 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 42.27 fl oz
    • Weight: 22.5 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Trusted brand
  6. Echo PB-580T Backpack Style Blower

    Echo PB-580T Backpack Style Blower

    Extreme Power

    Shop Now at Amazon

    If you need a lot of power, the Echo PB-580T is a great option. It has a 2-stroke engine with a displacement of 58.2 cc, a top air speed of 216 mph, and a maximum air volume of 517 cfm. This backpack leaf blower also has a large fuel tank, holding 62 fluid ounces! We also like its Posi-locTM pipe connectors, a vented back pad for improved air circulation, an automotive-style air filter, and a leaf guard. The PB-580T also has a four-point vibration reduction system and a padded backrest.

    • Air Speed: 216 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 517 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 58.2 cc
    • Brand: Echo
    • Engine: 2 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 62 fl oz
    • Weight: 22.7 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Increased blowing power
  7. Echo PB-2620 Leaf Blower

    Echo PB-2620 Leaf Blower

    Good Ergonomics

    Shop Now at Amazon

    The Echo PB-2620 is a simple to use leaf blower with a user-friendly design. It has a 25.4 cc 2-stroke engine, a top air speed of 172 mph, and a maximum air volume of 456 cfm. The PB-2620 has a large fuel tank for a handheld model, holding 20.3 fluid ounces. This leaf blower is also one of the quieter models, with an Echo rating of only 70 decibels (A). This blower also has round and flared-end tubes, a secondary handle for improved handling, durable filters for higher performance in dusty conditions, and a rubber grip for increased comfort and reduced vibration.

    • Air Speed: 172 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 456 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 25.4 cc
    • Brand: Echo
    • Engine: 2 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 20.3 fl oz
    • Weight: 9.8 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Chrome-plated cylinder
  8. Echo PB-255L Leaf Blower

    Echo PB-255L Leaf Blower

    Low Noise Design

    Shop Now at Acme Tools

    Echo's low noise leaf blower, the PB-255L, is rated by the company at only 65 db(A)! Despite its low-noise design, the PB-255L has a professional-grade 25.4 cc engine, a maximum air speed of 191 mph, and a maximum air volume of 354 cfm. The blower weighs 10.2 pounds and has a fuel capacity of 16.9 fluid ounces. An ergonomic 3-position top handle, a rubber grip, grouped controls for easy access, a flared-end pipe, and Echo's trademarked Posi-loc pipes round out the features.

    • Air Speed: 191 mph blower speed
    • Air Volume: 354 cfm airflow
    • Engine Displacement: 25.4 cc
    • Brand: Echo
    • Engine: 2 stroke
    • Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.9 fl oz
    • Weight: 10.2 pounds
    • Additional Feature: Ergonomic Handle

Gas Leaf Blower Buying Guide

Autumn is a particularly lovely season. You'll want to spend as much time outside as possible as the leaves begin to change colors. However, dealing with large piles of leaves on a weekend isn't always enjoyable. Instead of raking for hours on end, you can buy a gas leaf blower and finish the job quickly. It's a wise investment that will pay off in the long run.

Important Considerations When Buying a Gas Leaf Blower:

  • Type of Gas Blower
  • Air Speed and Volume
  • Noise
  • Weight
  • Vacuum Mulcher
  • Brand
  • Engine Size and Type
  • Variable Speed Control Triggers
  • Nozzle Design
  • Ergonomics
  • Storage
  • Warranty
  • Extra Considerations

Types of Leaf Blowers

The first thing to consider when purchasing a gas leaf blower is the type of blower to buy. There are several types of gas blowers on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation.

Handheld Leaf Blowers

  • Lightest and most compact, usually weighing under 10 pounds.
  • But more than an hour of use can exhaust your arms.
  • Best for small yards without too many trees.
  • Compact design and requires the least amount of space for storage.
  • Typically designed for non-commercial use.
  • Some models include a vacuum and a mulching feature.
  • Available in gas, corded, and battery power.
  • Usually less expensive than backpack blowers or walk-behind models.

Backpack Leaf Blowers

  • Heavier than a handheld blower, usually weighing between 15 and 30 pounds.
  • But easier to carry for long periods of time because the weight is distributed across your back and shoulders.
  • Designed with powerful motors for heavier-duty jobs.
  • Best for large yards with many trees.
  • Larger gas tank.
  • Mulching is not available.
  • Available in gas and battery power.
  • Usually more expensive than handheld blowers but less expensive than a walk-behind model.

Walk-Behind Leaf Blowers

  • Designed for manually pushing across a lawn.
  • Impractical to carry but easy to maneuver on wheels.
  • Usually the most powerful out of the three types of gas-powered leaf blowers.
  • Best for extreme power and larger yards.
  • Requires the most storage space.
  • Usually, the highest-priced of the three blower types.

Air Speed and Volume

After deciding on a type of blower, the next question to ask is how strong of a blower do you need?

Factors that Determine Leaf Blower Strength:

  • Air speed - measured in miles per hour (MPH) and indicates the speed air passes through the nozzle.
  • Air volume - measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and indicates how much cubic feet of air pass through the nozzle per minute.

In a practical sense, the higher the leaf blower's air speed, the easier it is to move a wet or stuck pile of leaves. And the higher the air volume of a leaf blower, the easier it is to move a large pile of dry leaves.

Gas Leaf Blower Air Volume Comparison:
ModelAir VolumeAir Speed
Husqvarna 360BT631 cfm232 mph
Echo PB-580T517 cfm216 mph
Echo PB-2620456 cfm172 mph
Poulan Pro PPBV25450 cfm230 mph
Husqvarna 150BT434 cfm251 mph
Husqvarna 125BVX425 cfm170 mph
Makita BHX2500CA356 cfm145 mph
Echo PB-255L354 cfm191 mph

Factors that Influence Air Speed and Air Volume:

  • Impeller speed
  • Impeller blade length
  • Impeller blade rotation angle
  • Engine displacement
  • Nozzle size

The best gas leaf blower would have a high air volume and a high air speed. However, realistically, you may want to consider other factors when purchasing a blower. Why is this the case? As air speed and volume increase, so do the price, weight, and noise.

Noise

Let's be honest: most leaf blowers are loud. Some leaf blowers exceed 100 decibels (dB), while the quietest models are as low as 64 dB!

Comparison of Noise Levels:

  • 50 decibels is the sound of a jet plane taking off at 25 meters and will rupture your eardrum.
  • 110 decibels is a steel mill and will severely damage your hearing after only an hour of exposure.
  • A typical lawnmower is 100 decibels and can seriously damage your hearing after 8 hours of exposure.
  • 80 decibels is as loud as a food blender and can potentially damage your hearing after 8 hours of exposure.
  • A normal restaurant conversation at 60 decibels should not cause hearing damage.

The comparison table above demonstrates why it's always a good idea to wear hearing protection when using a gas leaf blower, even if it's a low noise model. However, the main reason to consider noise when purchasing a leaf blower is due to noise laws. Some cities have laws that outright prohibit the use of gas leaf blowers or models that exceed a certain noise levels.  Models with decibel levels above 100 decibels or just above 80 decibels may be prohibited in your city. It is entirely dependent on where you live. If you're lucky, your city doesn't have a law prohibiting the use of these machines.

Another thing to look into is whether you live in a HOA and whether they have any rules regarding leaf blowers. Some homeowner associations are quite strict and prohibit the use of gas blowers at any noise level. Other associations may simply limit the number of hours you can use a leaf blower (ex., between 12 pm and 4 pm). If you are unsure, contact your HOA and ask some questions.

Weight

If you've never used a gas leaf blower for more than 60 minutes, you might not realize how heavy they are after extended use. A lot of it is dependent on your specific situation. Carrying a 10-pound leaf blower for 30 minutes shouldn't be difficult if your fall leaf cleanup is quick, depending on your health.

If, on the other hand, you intend to spend several hours blowing leaves, opt for a backpack design. Despite the fact that a backpack leaf blower weighs twice as much as a handheld model, the weight is distributed across your back rather than your arms. This is why most heavy-duty commercial leaf blowers are only available in backpack models, as they are easier to carry for extended periods of time.

Gas Leaf Blower Weight Comparison:
ModelWeight
Poulan Pro PPBV259 lbs
Husqvarna 125BVX9.6 lbs
Echo PB-26209.8 lbs
Makita BHX2500CA9.8 lbs
Echo PB-255L10.2 lbs
Husqvarna 150BT22.5 lbs
Echo PB-580T22.7 lbs
Husqvarna 360BT23.2 lbs

Last but not least, if you intend to purchase a leaf blower with a vacuum and mulcher, keep in mind that as the bag fills up, the weight increases. A gas leaf blower with a full bag can weigh up to 20 pounds in most cases. After filling and emptying the collection bag several times, your arms and back will be sore. If it all seems too much, you might want to consider investing in a lawn vacuum.

Vacuum Mulcher

Another factor to consider when purchasing a leaf blower is whether it has a vacuum mode and a mulching feature. This feature is only available on handheld gas models, limiting your options. This feature is not available in a backpack or battery-powered blower.

Now, what you need to know about mulching blowers is they all have a reduction ratio. The reduction ratio on a leaf blower is usually 16:1 and it means the blower can take what would be 16 bags of leaves and shred them down to one bag. It saves you from wasting bags, and getting rid of one bag is much easier.

If you decide to buy a blower with a mulching feature, be careful not to suck up any rocks or large sticks. This can cause damage to the impeller, especially if it is made of plastic. If this is a concern, you should consider purchasing a mulching blower with a metal impeller for increased durability.

While you're considering these options, consider whether you need a tool-free conversion. Some mulching blowers require tools and a little elbow grease to convert from a blower mode to a mulching mode. It shouldn't be a deal breaker if tools are required, but it's better to know what you're getting yourself into ahead of time.

Leaf Blower Brand

As a buying consideration, the brand of a leaf blower should most likely be in the middle of the pack. Any model from any manufacturer can be a lemon. So, while there is no surefire way to ensure you get the "best" brand, there are some well-known brands that have been around for a long time:

Gas Leaf Blower Brands:

  • Husqvarna
  • Poulan Pro
  • Hitachi
  • Echo
  • STHIL

Engine Size and Type

The engine on a gas leaf blower is a big consideration, but not necessarily for the reason you think.

The engine of a leaf blower is crucial in determining the machine's air speed (MPH) and air volume (CFM). The engine's power is measured in cubic centimeters (cc) and indicates the engine's ability to push air and fuel through its cylinders. However, when examining the specifications of a leaf blower, pay attention to the MPH and CFM rather than the cubic centimeter displacement.

The most important factor to consider, the "big" factor we mentioned, is whether the engine is a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke. What's the distinction? The practical distinction is that a 2-stroke engine requires mixed fuel (oil and gas), whereas a 4-stroke engine uses straight gas and has a separate oil tank.

Is this really that big of a deal? It depends. For some, combining gas and oil is a chore. You'll need a separate gas can, the right oil, and the right amount of oil mixed with the right amount of gas. Some 2-stroke engines necessitate a 20:1 ratio, while others necessitate a 40:1 or 50:1 ratio. What if you have a two-stroke weed eater with a different ratio? You'll also need a separate gas can for that machine!

What should you do? Well, it's kind of up to you. Here are some options.

How to Deal with Gas and Oil for a Leaf Blower:

  • Avoid having to mix your gas by purchasing a leaf blower with a 4-stroke engine. The disadvantage is that there are few options because not many blowers have 4-stroke engines.
  • Purchase a 2-stroke leaf blower, as well as pre-mixed gas. The disadvantage is that pre-mixed gasoline costs three times as much as regular gasoline.
  • Purchase a 2-stroke leaf blower and mix your own gas. We've already discussed the drawbacks of this approach, but once you've done it a few times, it's really not that difficult.

At the end of the day, the best advice is to pick the option the makes the most sense for your needs. It's also worth noting that a 4-stroke engine has a higher fuel efficiency than a 2-stroke engine.

Gas Leaf Blower Engine Comparison:
ModelEngine
Echo PB-255L2 stroke
Echo PB-26202 stroke
Echo PB-580T2 stroke
Husqvarna 125BVX2 stroke
Husqvarna 150BT2 stroke
Husqvarna 360BT2 stroke
Poulan Pro PPBV252 stroke
Makita BHX2500CA4 stroke

Variable Speed Control Triggers

Another factor to consider when purchasing a gas leaf blower is the number of speed options available on the machine.

Common Gas Leaf Blower Speed Options:

  • Single-speed
  • Two speed (high speed and low speed)
  • Variable speed (high, low, and anywhere in-between)

The advantage of a two-speed leaf blower over a single-speed blower is that you can lower the speed to save gas and reduce noise when you don't need full power. It should still have enough power to move a ton of leaves at a slower speed, eliminating the need for raking.

A variable-speed leaf blower is a step up from a two-speed blower in that it allows you to adjust the speed to the desired amount on the fly. For the majority of people, this is the best option.

Nozzle Design

A manufacturer can design a leaf blower with a flat nozzle (also called a duckbill) or a round nozzle. Some blower models come with both in the box, but other models might only include one option.

A flat nozzle can be used as a broom to sweep leaves from your lawn or to clear leaves from your driveway. It reduces air volume out of the nozzle but increases air speed and control over a round nozzle.

A round nozzle has the opposite effect, lowering air speed while increasing air volume. A round nozzle's higher air volume makes it an excellent choice for moving a large number of leaves across a larger area at once.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics is another factor that you might want to consider when shopping for a leaf blower. Most ergonomic features add to ease of use and make it easier to operate the blower for extended periods of time.

  • Shoulder Strap - A few of the handheld gas leaf blowers include an optional shoulder strap to distribute weight across your shoulders rather than just your arms. It's a hybrid of a handheld device and a backpack model.
  • Backpack Harness - Most commercial blowers and some consumer models include a backpack harness, which evenly distributes the weight across your shoulders and allows for extended use.
  • Extra Hand Grip - Most handheld blowers come with an extra hand grip, allowing you to hold it with both hands and relieve some of the strain on your main arm.
  • Vibration Reduction - Several of the more expensive blowers include proprietary vibration reduction technology that is designed to reduce the blower's vibration feedback on the operator.
  • Rotational Control - A leaf blower produces a gyro effect, which can quickly lead to operator exhaustion. A model with rotational control technology can dampen this motion and help reduce fatigue.
  • Cruise Control - A leaf blower with cruise control allows you to set the speed and then release your hand from the trigger. It may not seem like much, but having to squeeze a trigger for an hour hurts.
  • Adjustable Tube Length - The power of a leaf blower quickly dissipates at the tube exit. A longer tube, or one that extends, provides more power where it is needed while also preventing you from having to bend over.
  • Easy Starting - Some gas leaf blowers have an easy start feature that reduces the number of times you must pull the cord.

Storage

You might also want to consider your storage and space needs when shopping for a leaf blower. Usually, a handheld blower has a detachable nozzle, reducing the blower's overall footprint when stored.

Obviously a larger blower, such as a backpack model or a walk-behind blower, will take up more space. If you are limited in space and your garage is already full of tools, you might want to plan ahead.

Warranty

The final factor to consider when purchasing a leaf blower is the length of the warranty. Some brands provide a 2-year warranty, while others provide a 5-year warranty. However, the devil is in the details. If the warranty is an important factor in your purchase decision, you should put on your reading glasses and read what it covers. A leaf blower warranty, for example, is unlikely to cover a clogged carburetor.

Some manufacturers provide options for extending the warranty. A manufacturer, for example, may require you to purchase a special branded oil or fuel mixture on the same receipt as the leaf blower. Each manufacturer's website usually explains these programs, so be sure to check it out.

Extra Considerations

Here are some final things that you might want to consider before you buy a leaf blower:

  • Clear Visible Fuel Indicator - Some blowers have a visible fuel indicator, which makes seeing how much fuel you have left very easy.
  • Nozzle Attachments - Buying a leaf blower that includes a round and flat nozzle ensures that you're ready for any job. If the model doesn't include both, then check online. You can usually find an aftermarket converter kit.
  • Gutter Cleaning Kit - Some models feature a gutter cleaning kit as a separate purchase.

FAQs on Gas Leaf Blowers

In addition to our buying guide for a gas leaf blower, we'd like to address some of the most frequently asked questions about these machines. If you have a question that we haven't addressed, please contact us. We'll do our best to get it answered and include it in this article.

How Does a Gas Leaf Blower Work?

A gas leaf blower is a simple machine that draws air in through an impeller and pushes it out through a blower tube.

The engine turns the crankshaft, which drives the machine's impeller. A leaf blower impeller resembles a circular disc with fan blades attached to one side. The impeller draws in air from the outside and forces it through the blower tube as it rotates.

When the leaf blower is set to mulching mode, the impeller sucks in the leaves, shreds them up, and expels them into an attached collection bag. Because the impeller is in charge of mulching the leaves and moving the air, rocks should not enter the vacuum tube because they could damage the impeller.

Is a Gas Leaf Blower the Right Choice?

If you're in the market for a leaf blower, then you have three choices in terms of power:

  • Cordless Leaf Blowers - Gas Powered
  • Corded Electric Blowers
  • Cordless Leaf Blowers - Battery Powered

The type that will work best for you will depend entirely on your needs and situation.

Cordless Leaf Blowers - Gas Powered

The advantages of using a gas leaf blower include maximum power and a long run-time. It's also the only type of leaf blower with a vacuum and mulching feature.

The main drawbacks are the environmental impact and the carburetor. One of the most common causes of failure on a gas leaf blower is a clogged carburetor. Using a pre-mixed gas oil mixture that does not contain ethanol is one way to reduce this risk. But overall, a gas leaf blower is the cordless blower of choice.

Corded Electric Blowers

The benefit of using an electric corded leaf blower is it can last forever. It doesn't have batteries that wear out, it doesn't require oil, and it doesn't have a carburetor that can gum up.

The disadvantages are its low power and limited range, which is determined by the length of your extension cord. This type of blower will need a long outdoor extension cord as well as an outlet. But come on… having to untangle an extension cord is one of life's least fun jobs.  Who really needs that?

Cordless Leaf Blowers - Battery Powered

A battery leaf blower has the advantage of having a powerful electric blower that can often match that of some gas models, as well as the longevity of a corded electric model. It's also environmentally friendly, and as long as your battery is charged, you can get up and running in seconds.

The drawbacks are its limited runtime and battery life. A battery-powered blower can typically run for 15 to 60 minutes on its rechargeable batteries. Charging can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. The main issue with battery-powered blowers is cell degradation. The battery will be dead in a couple of years, and finding a replacement may be impossible.

How Long Should a Gas Leaf Blower Last?

With proper care and maintenance, you can expect a gas leaf blower to last around 1,000 hours on average. The best way to extend the life of a gas leaf blower is to use fuel with the lowest ethanol content possible. If you intend to leave the blower unused for several months, another trick is to add a fuel stabilizer to it.

How Loud is a Gas Leaf Blower vs. an Electric Leaf Blower?

The average decibel level for gas leaf blowers is around 80, which is typically louder than comparable electric and battery models. Some gas leaf blowers, on the other hand, can reach up to 100 decibels, while others can only reach 64 decibels. It is entirely dependent on the model.

Electric leaf blowers are typically quieter than comparable gas models, with an average noise level of around 70 decibels. You must still wear hearing protection, but the noise level may be lower than certain laws or restrictions in your city.

What Safety Equipment Does a Leaf Blower Require?

When operating a gas leaf blower, it is critical to use all of the necessary safety equipment. You should always follow the instructions for your leaf blower, but here are some common-sense precautions to take:

  • Hearing Protection - Always wear some type of hearing protection. Some gas blowers are so loud that they can damage your hearing in less than an hour.
  • Eye Protection - You should also wear approved eye protection to prevent dust and debris from getting into your eyes.
  • Breathing Protection - A dust respirator may be necessary for certain circumstances, especially if you have allergies.
  • Avoid Loose Clothing - Avoid wearing clothing or jewelry which can get caught in the impeller and sucked into the machine.

What Kind of Gas Does a Leaf Blower Use?

A gas leaf blower typically runs on unleaded 87 octane gas containing up to 10% ethanol. If your blower has a 2-stroke engine, you must mix the gas with the appropriate amount of oil before adding it to the machine. If you have a blower with a 4-stroke engine, you can skip this step and just put the gas straight into the leaf blower.

Now, if you only use your leaf blower a few times per season, we strongly advise you to spend the extra money and buy non-ethanol premixed gas. It's more expensive, but it's already mixed to the proper ratio and can help extend the life of your engine. The main issue with using ethanol in gasoline is that it can clog the carburetor and dissolve the rubber seals and gaskets in the engine.

Making your own fuel is an alternative to purchasing pre-mixed fuel. However, go the extra mile and add a stabilizer to the gas. A fuel stabilizer can help mitigate the negative effects of ethanol on the engine of your blower.

How to Make Mixed Gas for a Leaf Blower?

It may seem daunting at first, but it's actually really easy to make mixed gas for use in a leaf blower with a 2-stroke engine.

Step 1 - Buy an Empty Gallon Gas Can

The first step to making mixed gas for a leaf blower is to get a gas can. Buy a one-gallon can because it makes calculating the mix easy. Also, a leaf blower doesn't use much gas. If you were to use a five-gallon can, the gas will probably go stale before you finish using it. Always avoid using stale gas because it can hurt your blower's engine.

Step 2 - Buy 2-Cycle Oil

While you're at the store getting a gas can, you'll also need to pick up some 2-cycle oil. It usually comes in little four-ounce containers, and you'll probably need to buy two of them. The brand doesn't matter.

Step 3 - Buy Stabilizer

In the same aisle as the 2-cycle oil, you can probably also find a container called stabilizer. Toss one of those in your shopping cart too. Also, don't forget to buy the obligatory beef stick on the way out.

Step 4 - Buy a Measuring Cup

One last tip to all the guys out there: it's not a good idea to "borrow" your spouse's measuring cup to measure out the oil when you get home.

Save yourself the argument and pick up a plastic measuring cup when you're at the store. Just make sure it has increments in ounces because you might need anywhere between 2 ounces to 6 ounces of oil.

Step 5 - Fill the Gas Can with One Gallon of 87 Octane

The next step is to go to the gas station and fill the can with a gallon of fresh 87 octane. Most new small engines require 87 octane but check your leaf blower's manual if in doubt.

Step 6 - Add the Correct Amount of Oil to the Gas Can

You have your gas, bottles of 2-cycle oil, and stabilizer. Before you don your lab coat and act like a mad scientist, you need to figure out what ratio of gas to oil your blower requires, so check your manual.

If you add too much oil, it will create a smoky exhaust and lead to carbon buildup, disabling your blower. But if you add too little oil, the engine can overheat, seals can fail, and you can ruin the engine.

Common Mix Ratios for Small Engines:

  • 20:1 ratio needs 6.4 oz of oil per gallon of gas.
  • 30:1 ratio needs 4.3 oz of oil per gallon of gas.
  • 40:1 ratio needs 3.2 oz of oil per gallon of gas.
  • 50:1 ratio needs 2.6 oz of oil per gallon of gas.

Use your manual to figure out the correct ratio for your engine, measure out the oil, and add it to the can. After it's added, you can shake it if you want, but not more than three times.

Step 7 - Add the Correct Amount of Stabilizer to the Gas Can

The last step in mixing gas is to add the stabilizer. You can skip this step if you want and start using the fuel that you just mixed. But adding a stabilizer will reduce the harmful effects of the ethanol in the gas on your leaf blower's engine.

Read the label on the bottle of stabilizer you purchased to determine the correct amount to use for one gallon of gas. Then mix it using the same measuring cup you used to mix the oil.

Step 8 - Use the Mixed Fuel in Your Leaf Blower

You're now ready to go. The gas should last you most of the season. At the end of the season, it's recommended to winterize your blower (see how below).

How to Drain Oil from a Gas Leaf Blower

It's very simple to drain the oil from a 4-cycle gas leaf blower. Remove the oil cap and pour the contents into a container. At a local hardware store, you can usually find empty containers for oil and other waste liquids. You can keep the container containing the used oil until your city's waste collection day. Most cities provide waste collection at least once a year, and you can usually bring old oil, paint, and other hazardous materials to be disposed of for free.

Because a 2-cycle engine uses mixed gas, you don't need to drain the oil. Draining oil is only required for leaf blowers with 4-cycle engines because they do not use mixed gas and have a separate oil tank.

When using your 4-cycle leaf blower, keep an eye on the oil level, adding oil as needed and replacing it at the manufacturer's recommended intervals. Most 4-cycle leaf blowers use SAE 10W-30 oil and require an oil change after the first 20 hours, then every 50 hours. Always consult your owner's manual for the most up-to-date information on your specific blower.

How to Winterize a Gas Leaf Blower?

To winterize a gas leaf blower, run it dry or discard the old fuel, then add fresh fuel with stabilizer and run it for about five minutes to get the new fuel through the carburetor and fuel lines.

If you want to be extra cautious, look for a small drain screw on the bottom of the carburetor on your leaf blower. Some models have a screw that can be removed to drain excess fuel and leave the unit completely dry for the winter. Just make sure to turn off the fuel switch or the carb will fill back up.

Pro Tip: Using fresh gas mixed with a stabilizer is the best way to winterize a leaf blower. But what do you do with the rest of the gas in the can? It will go stale over the winter and can damage your engine if used in the spring. So the trick is to use a can of premixed gas to winterize your blower. That way, you won't have any leftovers and will be ready to kick off the season strong.

How to Fix a Gas Leaf Blower that won't Start?

It's hard to diagnose a leaf blower that won't start without seeing it, but here are some of the most common reasons why your leaf blower might not be starting:

  • Restricted Carburetor - The carburetor might be gummed up by old fuel. You can try a carb cleaner spray or buy a new carburetor.
  • Bad Spark Plug - A spark plug is a wear and tear item that frequently needs replacement. The rule of thumb is to change it out each year, and this might fix your problem.
  • Flooded Engine - Sometimes, the engine won't start because it's flooded. You might have to wait a few minutes or remove the spark plug and dry off any excess fuel. If you remove the spark plug and it's not wet, then the engine probably isn't flooded.
  • Clogged Fuel Lines - In addition to ruining your carburetor, old gas can also clog up your fuel lines. You can try a fuel line treatment or replace the entire hose.
  • Clogged Spark Arrestor - Check to see if your blower has a spark arrestor. A clogged spark arrestor will need cleaning or replacement for the machine to work.
  • Dirty Air Filter - If your leaf blower is equipped with an air filter, check to make sure it's not dirty. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and, in extreme cases, prevent your blower from starting.

What Other Ways Can You Use a Leaf Blower?

A leaf blower has many more uses besides just blowing leaves in the fall. Here are some of the more interesting ways to use a leaf blower:

  • Clearing Light Snow
  • Quickly Drying a Car
  • Clearing Cob Webs
  • Cleaning a Dryer Vent
  • Cleaning Gutters
About the Author
Matt
Matt is an engineer and outdoor enthusiast. He believes that one of the greatest pleasures in life is being outside and working hard. In his spare time, he enjoys working on new projects and home improvement.
ABOUTCONTACT
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

The information provided on this website is provided for information purposes only. We make no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, adequacy, legality, usefulness, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information, or about anything else. Any reliance you place on the information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Read more in our terms of use.

UpgradedGear is owned and operated by 

Copyright 2021