Best Backpack Blower On The Market: 5 of the best mid-sized blowers

In this article, I will review 5 of the best mid-sized backpack leaf blowers on the market. This is a beginner’s guide to highlight the differences in 5 similar blowers.

Leafblowers are a very useful tool to have around a garden. They can be used for a wide range of tasks such as clearing up hedge trimmer cuttings, tidying up grass clippings after mowing or edging the lawn. Not forgetting clearing up leaves!

Before we look at the 5 best leaf blowers, let me give you a quick overview of the different types and capabilities of leafblowers used in gardening

What is a backpack leafblower?

These are often powered by a gas engine although some are now being made with a large rechargable battery.

Backpack blowers are the most common sized blower as they have high wind output and are not much more expensive than the smaller handheld blower.

The benefit of a backpack blower is that it will perform well on almost all jobs- big and small. Whereas the smaller handheld blowers are limited to small jobs.

It will be these backpack-type blowers that I will review in this article.

Pre start up checks on your gas backpack blower

Before you start using your backpack blower you’ll need to do a few checks on it before reaching for the pull cord to start it.

  • If it is a 4 stroke check the oil level using the dipstick or sight glass – two strokes do not have lubricating oil in their engines – this is added to their fuel
  • Next, you’ll need to add fuel to the fuel tank.
  • If it’s a 4 stroke you can just go ahead and pour in unmixed unleaded fuel.
  • If its 2 stroke, you will need to add 2 stroke oil to the gas before filling it into the tank of the blower. Generally speaking the figure for this fuel to oil mixture is 50:1 that is 50ml of regular unleaded gas to 1ml of two-stroke engine oil. Check your operator’s manual for this exact figure.
  • Make sure the fuel tank lid is screwed on tight after refueling.
  • Take a look around the machine to check there are no parts hanging off around the engine or operating controls on the handle of the machine.
  • Set your throttle control at the handle according to your operating manual. Usually in cold weather or if the machine is only being started for the first time after a long time without use it is beneficial to set the choke to ON. Then after the engine has fired you can put the choke OFF. The choke is used to enrich the air fuel ratio to make starting easier.
  • Now look for the fuel priming bulb around the carburetor- this yellow/clear ball will prime the carburetor with fuel to make starting the engine easier. Give it three or four pushes before starting.
  • You are now getting closer to starting the engine but first, as a point of safety do these last few checks

Safety first

  1. Are you in a fit healthy state – operating a backpack blower when tired is not a good idea. They can take a lot of energy to use.
  2. Do you have the proper safety equipment at hand to use this? The PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) I advise people using a backpack blower would be: Ear Defenders, Protective Glasses, Gloves, and Safety Boots or some form of leather footwear to prevent sharp objects from being blown into your feet.

You are now ready to start the engine. With the blower on the ground set your throttle to position ON and pull the cord until it starts. Next lift the blower onto your back and adjust the straps so it is in a comfortable position. When you have fastened the buckles you are ready to begin.

5 of the best backpack leaf blowers on the market

I have picked 5 models of mid-sized backpack blowers (around 50cc engine size) to show you the difference in performance and to discuss their pros and cons. This should allow you to make a better choice when picking the best for your tasks/environment.

I will add a table at the end to make a comparison of their features easier.

1. Husqvarna 350BT

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Husqvarna garden tools have a very good reputation for quality. This blower looks like another quality product. I have read many great reviews about it and i myself have owned many of their tools.

Quick Specification:

Engine: 2 Stroke, 50.2cc, gas powered.

Weight: 22.5lbs

Wind Speed/CFM: 180mph/494cfm in pipe.

Noise level: 72dB

All five of these medium-sized blowers have similar specs but that does not mean they are all the same.

You may find that two machines with similar specs can perform very differently when in use. Usually, you will find the more established brand will have more reputable information.

In most cases, the better brand will under spec their figures on paper but the machine produces more in real life. Again this is usually the reverse for cheaper brands where they over spec on paper and under perform in reality.

This is not a hard and fast rule, i just wanted to make you aware of what i have noticed over the years.

The GOOD POINTS about this blower are:

  • This blower is powerful for its size and weight (180mph wind speed)
  • High fuel efficiency thanks to the new X Torque engine
  • It has a well balanced feel when in operation
  • It is easy to use- the controls are not complicated
  • This blower is easy to start in cold weather
  • Has a high quality feel to the whole machine
  • Ergonomic design
  • Translucent fuel tank
  • Perfect size for small or large jobs private or commercial

The NOT SO GOOD points about this blower are:

  • It is a two stroke engine and I prefer to use 4 stroke- this a very minor negative point and is soley my own personal opinion.

I would rate this blower second in my choice out of the five I have chosen. My favourite is the Makita, but I love their tools. The Makita has a really good 4 stroke engine. I would always choose a four-stroke engine because it’s easier to start than a 2 stroke. Especially when the machine gets older.

I have found two-stroke engines get increasingly difficult to start as they age. It is also a lot nicer to use a 4 stroke tool as it operates at lower engine revs and you don’t have to mix petrol for it.

2. Poulan Pro 48cc

 

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Poulan is owned by the Swedish company Husqvarna. Poulan Pro is aimed at the budget market. Although the original Husqvarna does not cost much more and has a proven track record.

Specification:

  • Engine: 2 Stroke, 48cc, gas powered.
  • Weight: 22lbs
  • Wind Speed/CFM: 200mph/no figure listed
  • Noise level: 73dB

For some reason, I can’t find the CFM value for this blower, which is odd when it’s one of the most important figures relating to this product.

My conclusion after reading many reviews is this blower has an even mix of people saying it worked well and had plenty of power. The other half have said it had problems starting, ran poorly, and had bad customer service. Quite a few saying they wish they had spent more for a better blower.

I think this is the take-home advice for this blower. If you don’t care so much about tools and only use them sometimes this may be ok for you. But for those who want more and take pride in their machines, I would give it a miss.

I should like this machine more, but I have been burned by cheaper tools in the past. For the value of a few extra dollars I would get a more proven machine.

Just think of it like this…you decide to go out to do a job in the garden, you have probably decided to do this job a few days before hand. The weather is perfect, you have a spare hour and you are actually looking forward to getting outside and being productive.

You bring out your tool for the job and you start pulling the starter cord…and pulling, pulling, pulling, pulling…rest, and pull some more- 15 minutes later still no joy. Suddenly the good morning or afternoon has left you feeling frustrated and angry.

That’s why I always advise to buy the best you can- peace of mind and reliability are so good.

The GOOD POINTS about this blower are:

  • It represents value for money
  • This blower is powerful (200mph wind speed)
  • It is easy to use- the controls are not complicated
  • Ergonomic design
  • Translucent fuel tank

The NOT SO GOOD points about this blower are:

  • It does not have a high quality feel to it
  • Some of the switches are slightly flimsy
  • Reviews online suggest it can have issues

3. Makita EB5300TH

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This blower has all many of the features i would look for in a machine-

  • Reputable Manufacturer/ Brand
  • 4 stroke engine made by reputable manufacturer
  • Plenty of reviews mostly positive
  • Are its features among the best in the group

Specification:

Engine: 4 Stroke, 52.5cc, gas powered.

Weight: 19.7lbs

Wind Speed/CFM: 184mph/516cfm

Noise level: 70dB

The Makita has the lowest noise level of all the models. Which I would have expected as it is a 4 stroke. The engine is the second largest of the group-this allows it to perform so well.

It has the highest CFM output in the group and it is the lightest in the group. Many people have complimented the Manufacturer in their reviews saying it was light, comfortable to wear, and very silent to use.

The GOOD POINTS about this blower are:

  • This blower has a beautiful 4 stroke engine
  • It starts flawlessly every time
  • This blower is one of the most silent to use other than the battery powered blowers. I would prefer to listen to the Makita 4 stroke than the battery blower.
  • High fuel efficiency
  • It has a very well balanced feel when in operation
  • the controls are laid out in a very ergonomic fashion
  • This blower is easy to start in cold weather
  • Has a high quality feel to the whole machine
  • Ergonomic design
  • Translucent fuel tank
  • Perfect size for small or large jobs private or commercial
  • It is the lightest in the class

The NOT SO GOOD points I would make about this blower are:

  • None

It is a combination of these features and the good reviews people have made online plus my own personal experience of Makita that makes this machine my No.1 choice.

5. Dewalt DCBL 590 X1 40V Max Lithium Ion Backpack Leafblower

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I have included a battery powered leaf blower in my list to introduce this relatively new concept and compare it with similar output machines of a more traditional gas powered construction.

Specification:

  • Engine: 40 volt 7Ah battery.
  • Weight: 22.8lbs- with one battery. The extra battery is 4.2lbs giving a total weight of 27lbs.
  • Wind Speed/CFM: 142mph/450cfm
  • Noise level: 63dB

The surprising thing about this blower is it’s quite resonable  CFM of 450 as it is a battery powered machine. I would like to see how sustainable that figure is as the battery starts to lose charge.

The GOOD points about this blower are:

  • It is hands down the quietest blower in this list.
  • It has a reasonable CFM of 450 for a non gas powered blower.
  • A battery powered blower should be cleaner to keep in your shed and have less chance of oil spills or gas fumes than the gas powered equivalent.
  • It should have a lower servicing interval and cost than gas engine powered blowers.

The NOT SO GOOD points are:

  • It has a poor wind speed of 142mph- which is comparable to some smaller hand held blowers.
  • If you are spending 200-300 dollars, why not buy something which performs the best for that money.
  • One battery only lasts for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • It takes 2 hours to charge one battery.
  • It is also the heaviest with two batteries at 27lbs.

I do not want you to feel this is a negative review against the battery blower. This machine will be perfect for gardens where the silence of operation is required. Such as in elderly residential areas or where schools operate.

Another point where this blower would be good is if the area you had to clear is not large, but required a good force to move the leaves. Especially if one battery was enough to finish the job. There is also a three year warranty on the blower which should be expected as it has no gas engine to maintain and service.

Your personal circumstances will determine whether this machine is for you or not.