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A walk-behind leaf blower is a smart choice if you've got a serious leaf problem and need a faster way to handle it. You can find one to fit any budget, including residential models for use on a couple of acres. If you need extra power or you're a commercial landscaper, then you can upgrade to a commercial model.
To create this article, we spent hours researching product data and user reviews for different walk behind 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 walk behind leaf blower.
|Billy Goat Walk Behind Leaf Blower (F601V)||Best for Residential Use||Displacement: 205 cc||Air Velocity: 200 mph (just under)||Total Price: $$||VIEW LATEST PRICE||Read Our Analysis|
|Billy Goat Walk Behind Leaf Blower (F902H)||Best for Several Acres||Displacement: 262 cc||Air Velocity: 200 mph (just under)||Total Price: $$$$||VIEW LATEST PRICE||Read Our Analysis|
|SuperHandy 7HP 212CC Jet Sweeper||Excellent Value||Displacement: 212 cc||Air Velocity: 200 mph||Total Price: $||VIEW LATEST PRICE||Read Our Analysis|
|Billy Goat Walk Behind Leaf Blower (F1302H)||Best for Commercial Use||Displacement: 393 cc||Air Velocity: 200 mph (just under)||Total Price: $$$$$||VIEW LATEST PRICE||Read Our Analysis|
|Merry Mac Debris Blower (LB1450ICEZM)||Low Noise Level||Displacement: 305 cc||Air Velocity: 200 mph||Total Price: $$$||VIEW LATEST PRICE||Read Our Analysis|
More Details on Our Top Picks
Best for Residential UseShop Now at Acme Tools
The Billy Goat F601V is a great walk-behind leaf blower for smaller yards. It features a Briggs & Stratton engine with a displacement of 205cc and air speed just under 200 MPH. It also includes a 16-blade closed face fan. We like that this blower is reasonably priced but still shares many of the high-end features on Billy Goat's commercial models. Some of these features include an Aim-N-Shoot with fingertip controls, rust-free lightweight housing, and a folding handle for compact storage.
Best for Several AcresShop Now at Acme Tools
The Billy Goat F902H is the perfect walk-behind leaf blower for medium-sized yards with several acres. It includes a Honda engine with a displacement of 262 cc and air speed just under 200 MPH. As with all the Billy Goat blowers, it features their Aim-N-Shoop nozzle to direct airflow where you need it most using ergonomic hand controls. Additional features include thicker padded handles for increased user comfort, a compact and light-weight design, and a long engine warranty.
Excellent ValueView Latest Price
The SuperHandy leaf sweeper is one of the best walk-behind leaf blowers if you need power on a budget. The specifications include a displacement of 212 cc, air speed of 200 MPH, and air volume of 2,000 CFM! That's a lot of air at a little price. The SuperHandy leaf blower also features an industrial-size 13.5-inch metal impeller, 4-cycle engine, and all-steel construction.
The price point is fantastic, so what is left out compared to other higher priced models? A name brand motor, lightweight construction, low noise, and an adjustable nozzle using hand triggers. Is that worth the price difference? It depends. We probably wouldn't buy this for commercial purposes. But if you're a homeowner who needs an occasional fall cleanup, this may be the best choice!
Best for Commercial UseShop Now at Acme Tools
The Billy Goat F1302H is a commercial grade walk-behind leaf blower with power to spare. It features a Honda engine with a massive 393 cc displacement and an air velocity of just under 200 MPH. It's perfect for landscapers, schools, parks, municipalities, and golf courses. Highlights include an Aim-N-Shoot nozzle to direct airflow using ergonomic hand controls and a 16-blade closed fan with twice as many blades. The model is also available with an optional self-propelled upgrade.
Low Noise LevelShop Now at Amazon
The Merry Mac LB1450ICEZM is a well-designed debris blower with a powerful motor and lightweight construction. The blower specifications include a max air speed of 200 MPH, max air volume of 2,000 CFM, and displacement of 305 cc, which is good power for large properties and commercial jobs. Another benefit of the Merry Mac is its lower noise level, reported being around 71 decibels. Hearing protection is still required but the blower is a quieter experience for the neighbors. Also, a tow-bar addon is reportedly available but we could not find where to purchase it.
A walk-behind leaf blower is one of the best power tools for commercial landscapers and homeowners with several acres and lots of leaves. If you're shopping for a particular model, then there are several factors that you should consider before you buy. If you keep some of these things in mind, you'll have no problem finding the best walk-behind leaf blower for your needs.
Important Purchasing Considerations:
An engine in any outdoor tool, especially a leaf blower, is an important consideration and there are several things you should know when choosing a particular model.
Engine Displacement - The engine displacement, measured in cubic centimeters (CC), indicates its capacity to push air and fuel through the cylinders. In many cases, the CC determines the CFM and is useful where the CFM is not listed.
Stroke - Small engines come in two flavors: 2-stroke and 4-stroke. The main difference is that a 2-stroke engine needs mixed fuel, whereas a 4-stroke engine uses gas straight from the pump. Some people think 2-stroke engines are a pain, especially if you have multiple small engines in your garage that require different mix ratios. Fortunately, almost every walk-behind leaf blower uses a 4-stroke engine, so you don't have to worry about mixing any fuel! An added bonus is that most 4-stroke engines are quieter.
Brand - The brand of an engine in a walk-behind leaf blower is important, but not necessarily a deciding factor for everyone. A Honda and a Briggs & Stratton engine are both powerful motors and considered reliable choices. They offer better performance than unbranded engines and have good performance all around.
|Billy Goat F601V||205 cc|
|SuperHandy Sweeper||212 cc|
|Billy Goat F902H||262 cc|
|Merry Mac LB1450ICEZM||305 cc|
|Billy Goat F1302H||393 cc|
The first thing to consider when shopping for a walk-behind leaf blower is power output. The power output of just about any leaf blower is determined by both air speed and air volume.
Which is more important: CFM or MPH? Suppose you were shopping for a handheld leaf blower. In that case, we'd recommend focusing on both MPH and CFM. A higher air speed makes it easier to move a wet or stuck pile of leaves while a higher airflow volume makes it easier to move a large pile of dry leaves.
But since you're looking for a walk-behind model, you should prioritize CFM over MPH. Most walk-behind leaf blowers are designed for commercial use in larger areas with lots of leaves. So you'll need the greater performance and volume of air moment that comes from a higher CFM.
Another thing to think about is how much the machine weighs. Unless you want to spend a fortune, most walk-behind leaf blowers are not self-propelled (unlike a lawnmower). So you'll have to push it and wheel it across your lawn.
But how long can you push a walk-behind blower without getting tired? It depends on your overall health and ability, but it's usually about an hour for most people. The upside is that these machines are designed with powerful blowers to make quick work of tough jobs. As an example, some of the most powerful backpack leaf blowers barely reach 1,000 CFM whereas an average walk-behind blower is just getting started at that airflow level. So your time to finish the job can easily drop in half!
The other thing to consider is whether the blower has air-filled rubber rear tires. A set of good rear tires can lessen the load and make the blower feel much lighter.
A final way some models cut weight is by eliminating the all-steel construction and replacing it with plastic. It's rust-free and can easily shave off 10 pounds.
|Billy Goat F601V||95 pounds|
|Merry Mac LB1450ICEZM||115 pounds|
|SuperHandy Sweeper||130 pounds|
|Billy Goat F902H||140 pounds|
|Billy Goat F1302H||152 pounds|
The most common type of walk-behind leaf blower is a push-type that moves by your sheer willpower and determination. You can upgrade to self-propelled (like your lawnmower), but it's a big jump in price. So unless you're a commercial landscaper and constantly tackling big jobs, a manual push blower is probably the better choice.
Let's face it; leaf blowers are loud and they make a lot of noise. A powered walk behind blower isn't as loud as a commercial backpack model, but they are generally louder than battery blowers. Their noise levels can range anywhere between 71 decibels and 95 decibels.
Comparison of Noise Levels:
Let's break the bad news first. You need to wear hearing protection when using a walk-behind leaf blower. Even the quietest models easily exceed 60 decibels.
The real reason to compare noise levels is because of neighbors. You don't want to tick off your neighbors (unless you do). But if you run a landscaping company and want good word of mouth, you probably won't get it with a bunch of loud machines running at 9:00 AM.
The air discharge chute on a walk-behind leaf blower is an important feature to consider if you have a large yard. A basic model has a simple non-directional exhaust port that blows air out its side. The next step up is a model with a rotational discharge chute that pivots to blow air up or down. Some blowers even feature hand controls to adjust the rotation during operation.
Another optional feature on some walk-behind leaf blowers is an attachment to convert the side discharge chute into a 90-degree front discharge chute. A front discharge blows air in front of the machine and makes it easy to blow large piles of leaves exactly where you need them to go. It's not necessarily faster, but it gives you better control.
The standard construction on a walk-behind leaf blower is either plastic or metal. You might think an all-metal housing is only found on higher-end models, but you’d be mistaken. Many high-end leaf blowers feature an all-plastic housing to save on weight and prevent rust. Is it worth it? Probably. You don't have to worry about cracking the plastic because a walk-behind leaf blower doesn't touch anything; it just rolls along the ground. The possibility of cracking the housing is virtually zero during normal use.
Is there a downside to constructing a walk-behind leaf blower out of plastic? The only thing we can think of is possible durability issues 30 years from now. Assuming you're not using the machine for commercial applications, a leaf blower with a Honda or Briggs & Stratton engine could last a long time. But how will the plastic hold up in thirty years? That is undetermined, but in 30 years you'll have got your money's worth out of it.
Storage requirements for most walk-behind leaf blowers are similar and they don't require a lot of floor space in your garage or pole barn. One difference that sets some models apart is a fold-down handle. Unscrew two clips or push a button and the handle collapses down on itself. A fold-down handle doesn't save on floor space, but it does help with overhead storage requirements during the off-season.
Another way manufacturers set themselves apart is by incorporating ergonomic features into their walk-behind leaf blowers. Here are some of the more common ease of use features you might find on different models:
Front Swivel Wheel - Swiveling front wheels make turning a walk-behind leaf blower easier. Without a swivel wheel, you'll need to tilt it up, so it's resting on the back wheels and then rotate the machine. It's not difficult, but it's also not the most efficient solution.
Thicker Padded Handles - A set of padded handles and rubberized grips is another ergonomic design choice on some popular brands. It helps reduce vibration and keeps your hands silky smooth (okay, that last part was a joke).
Discharge Chute Hand Controls - The Billy Goat line of walk-behind leaf blowers (along with several other brands) offer hand controls to adjust the discharge chute direction during operation. Your back will thank you because you don't have to bend over as much.
Adjustable Height Handles - If you're tall, you might appreciate a walk-behind leaf blower that features adjustable heigh handlebars. You can change the height of the handlebars to an ideal level and reduce potential back pain.
Tube Tires - A pair of tube tires makes pushing these heavy-duty blowers a lot easier. Whether you need to move it across a paved surface such as a parking lot, or rough terrain, you can't go wrong with inflatable tires.
The brand of anything, including a walk-behind leaf blower, is important. But unless you're buying some no-name model, most leaf blower manufacturers make good quality machines. We don't have a "best" brand that we recommend, but we can list some well-known brands that have many satisfied customers.
Common Walk-Behind Leaf Blower Brands:
The warranty of a walk-behind leaf blower may be important to you. It's usually separated into three categories: 1) a warranty on the engine, 2) a warranty on the housing, and 3) a warranty on everything else.
The engine warranty is probably the most important because you can usually DIY fix the other stuff. If you still have concerns, you might want to reach out to the manufacturer and inquire where you can get service if something goes wrong. The last thing you want is to ship the motor across the country and wait six weeks for repairs.
In addition to our guide on buying a walk-behind leaf blower, we also want to answer some commonly asked questions about these types of machines. If you have a question we haven't answered, then please drop us a line. We'll try to get it answered and add it to this article.
Leaf blowers come in several different types and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. It's not uncommon to own more than one type depending on your needs.
The main advantage of a walk-behind leaf blower is its ability to move lots of dried leaves fast. So if you have a serious leaf problem, then you should strongly consider adding one to your lawn care tool collection. You can also use it for other purposes, including general yard cleanup and as a snow blower for light snow in the winter months.
Now you need to realize that you're still going to need a way to pick up the leaves after you've blown them into a large pile. You could use a leaf shredder, blower vacuum with a shredding feature, or even a lawn vacuum.
Keeping up with regular maintenance is the best way to protect your investment after buying a new walk-behind leaf blower. Every model is different but most share common things that should be performed every so often.
Common Maintenance Items:
Oil Change - The best thing you can do for any small engine is changing out the oil on a regular basis. Usually, a first oil change is required after the first 10 to 20 hours (check your manual). After the first oil change, it's less frequent and it doesn't take a long time. Usually, you can change out the oil in under 15 minutes if you already have extra oil on hand and a spare drain pan.
Air Filter - Some manufacturers recommend changing out the air filter every 25 hours. It's not difficult at all and usually requires just unscrewing the cover on the old filter and swapping in a new filter.
Winterization - A commonly overlooked step in maintaining a small engine is proper winterization. The best thing you can do for your leaf blower's engine is to ensure it ends the season with a tank full of fresh gas with added stabilizer.
Spark Plug - Routine maintenance also includes checking the spark plug and replacing it after a certain number of hours. Just make sure to keep the required gap distance when installing a new spark plug.