Best Backpack Blower On The Market

In this article I will look at which is the best leaf blower backpack in the medium and large size range category.

Leafblowers in general 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 and edging the lawn and the obvious clearing up leaves!

Before we look at the best leaf blower backpack, let me give you a quick overview of the different types and capabilies of leafblowers used in gardening

Hand held leaf blowers

These are when the fan and motor are mounted directly to the handle. They are usually the smallest and lightest to move around.

Within hand held leaf blowers you can get an electric motor powered blower which has a lead attached to the unit.

There is also a battery powered leafblower, powered by a battery similar to those found on hand tools such as drills and impact drivers.

There are also small engine powered hand blowers.

Usually the best bet for a hand held blower is the cordless battery type ones as they are lightweight and are not going to be used for very large areas. The engine type are a little heavy and noisy to have hanging from your arm and the electric motor via power lead is restrictive.

Backpack leafblowers

These are most powered by a gas engine although some are now being made with a large 80AH battery backpack.

These are the most common sized blower as they pack a good punch with their wind output and are not that much more expensive than the small handheld blower.

The benefit of this size is that it will perform well on almost all jobs- big and small whereas the smaller blowers are limited to small jobs.

It will be this type of blower that I will be discussing in this article.

Wheeled blowers

These are high output large machines which mainly contractors use to bulk gather leaves on large grass areas like playing fields and park areas. Some large homes may have one too, but they are not very easy to move around, store or run. A wheeled blower can produce up to four time more air than a backpack blower and is really good at clearing large areas of ground from leaves, grass clippings and other debris.

How To Use A 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.

  1. 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
  2. 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 operating manual for this exact figure.
  • Make sure the lid is screwed on tight after refueling.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Now look for the fuel priming bulb around the carburetor- this yelloe/clear ball will prime the carburetor with fuel to make starting the engine easier. Give it three or four pushes before starting.
  4. You are now getting closer to starting the engine but first as a point of safety do these last few checks
  • Are you in a fit healthy state – operating a backpack blower when tired is not a good idea as they can be take a lot of energy to use.
  • 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 footware to prevent sharp object 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.

Best Backpack Leafblower

I have picked 5 models of mid range sized backpack blowers (around 50cc engine size) and i have then reviewed 5 of the large sized backpack leafblowers (engine size around 75cc) 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/environments.

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

1. Husqvarna 350BT

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The Husqvarna brand of garden tools have a very good reputation and this blower looks like another quality product after reading many reviews on 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 the blowers have similar specs but that does not mean they are all the same. You will 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 reliable information. In some cases the better brand will have lower specification 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 given rule, i am just making 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. I would choose the Makita first because it is also a very good brand, equally as good as the Husqvarna but mainly because the Makita has a really good 4 stroke engine. I would always choose a four stroke engine because it is so easy to start, 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 dont have to mix petrol for it.

2. Poulan Pro 48cc

 

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Poulan is owned by the Swedish company Husqvarna, and in this model the Poulan Pro is aimed at the more upmarket versions, although i’m not quite sure why you would buy the PoulanPro when 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 is one of the most important figures relating to this product. After reading many reviews this blower has an even mix of people saying it worked well, hand plenty of power and the other half saying it had problems starting, running poorly and bad customer service and 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 and only use it sometimes and price is the most important factor for you then this may be a good bet. 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 bitten by cheaper tools in the past and 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, its 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.

4. Echo PB580T 58.2cc

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The Echo is a close 3rd to the Husqvarna. A lot of people have made many positive reviews about this blower. Most notible was the high wind power they experienced with it, which does not surprise me as it has the largest engine in the group. This would give it the capability to produce the most wind as it takes a lot of power to drive the fan inside.

Specification:

  • Engine: 4 Stroke, 58cc, gas powered.
  • Weight: 22.5lbs
  • Wind Speed/CFM: 215mph/510cfm
  • Noise level: 70dB

The Echo had the highest wind speed at 215 mph which again would ring true with the many reviews i have read. The weight is a little on the high side and some users felt it was a little less comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

The GOOD POINTS about this blower are:

  • This blower has a high powered 58.2cc engine
  • It has a metal wear ring to protect the blower pipe from damage
  • It has a vented back pad which helps to circulate air around the user for user comfort.
  • It has a leaf guard to prevent leaves and debris out of the fan guard
  • Ergonomic design
  • Translucent fuel tank
  • Well sized machine for private or commercial work.
  • Many users reported highly positive remarks about the quality of the machine and how much power it has.

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

  • It is a two stroke engine – although it is a good engine.

All in all this machine would be a good purchase and should serve you well for a long time. Many users had very positive comments about this powerful blower.

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 silence of operation is required – such as in elderly residential areas or where schools operate. The other areas where this blower would be good is if there area you had to clear is not large in area, but required a good force to shift and 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.

Large Size Leaf Blowers

1. Echo PB770T

 Our first review is of this backpack-style leaf blower designed to blend performance and convenience for fast and easy yard cleanup.

 Features and Specifications

This 63.3cc 2-stroke engine requires a 50:1 fuel to oil ratio, and the manufacturer recommends using a minimum octane rating of 89. It has variable speed air control – allowing the operator to adjust the power settings to their needs – with a maximum air speed of up to 234 MPH and air volume of up to 756 CFM (cubic feet per minute); the throttle is conveniently mounted on the tube and offers cruise control. The PB770T also has a heavy-duty, dual-stage air filter mounted to the side along with a leaf guard to help protect the engine and blower from dust and debris. The leaf blower also offers many user-friendly features such as a 68.3 oz. capacity fuel tank which is translucent for easier monitoring of fuel levels, anti-vibration design to reduce noise levels, padded shoulder straps for comfortable use, and a ventilated backrest pad to keep the operator comfortable in hot weather. It also offers interchangeable nozzle connections for added versatility.

Pros & Cons

  • This leaf blower is lightweight and easy to carry due to its backpack design
  • The engine is powerful enough to clear leaves, grass, and even small stones
  • There are some reports of engine problems: stalling, breaking down, or carburetor clogging (Remember to always use the recommended fuel, which is ethanol-free, as ethanol may contribute to these engine issues)

My Impressions

The Echo PB770T was very comfortable to wear, as the padded straps and back pad distributed the weight well. I assembled the until, filled it with premixed fuel made specifically for Echo 2-stroke engines, and it started easily and cleared my ½-acre lawn in a very short time; I felt very little vibration during use, and especially enjoyed the ease of air-speed control. I think perhaps the carrying handle could be padded for easier transport, and I worry that the plastic components may not stand the test of time.

My Findings

This is an excellent blower overall and I would recommend it to any homeowner with a large property to clear, or even to a commercial user. It runs quietly and is very powerful though it is lightweight and easy to carry. The user-friendly features and interchangeable nozzles make this model an excellent choice for any operator looking for a backpack leaf blower. For more information click here to view the blower on Amazon.

2. Redmax EBZ8500

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Redmax, a subsidiary of Husqvarna, is an industry leader in commercial power blowers, given their wide selection and excellent performance in the field; next, we’ll be reviewing their EBZ8500 backpack blower.

Features and Specifications

This blower has a Strato-Charged 2-stroke engine which requires mixed gas and oil, and provides high power output with ultra-low emissions. If delivers 75.6cc and 4.4 horsepower, producing a maximum air speed of 206 MPH and tube air flow slightly over 900 CFM. The fuel tank has a 77.8 oz. capacity, which is larger than that of the average backpack leaf blower. The Max Cooled contoured back pad uses air pulled by the fan housing to cool the operator on hot days, and the wide straps help distribute the nearly 25 lb. unit weight very comfortably.

Pros & Cons

  • This blower is extremely powerful and can easily be used for commercial work
  • It’s very fuel-efficient at 464 gallons per kWh
  • It easily moves leaves, grass, rocks, and even snow
  • This engine is louder than most, at between 100 and 110 dB
  • At high power, some users reported that the motor mount bolts vibrated out of position and into the fan compartment, damaging their fans and/or motor assemblies.

My Impressions

This is one powerful blower! It allowed me to complete several hours’ worth of raking in no time at all. The engine consumed little fuel during my task, so I had no need to stop and refuel, though a commercial user would probably have to fill the tank at least once daily. I was quite lightweight for its size and easy to control. I had no issues with the bolts, though I didn’t use the blower continuously for long periods, and almost never at full throttle, as it wasn’t necessary to tidy the leaves and debris on my property. Having used it, I can see why this Redmax blower is favoured by commercial operators.

My Findings

Though I would definitely recommend this blower to anyone with multiple properties or one very large yard, it may deliver too much power for the occasional user or the average homeowner. Also, as it’s considerably louder than most of its competitors, I would recommend using ear protection if operating this blower. This is a serious piece of kit and should be used with care.

3. Makita EB7650TH

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Our next leaf blower to be reviewed is this Makita backpack blower; it was engineered for commercial use and is considered one of the best in its class, as it combines excellent features with powerful performance.

Features and Specifications

The EB7650TH, unlike our previous blowers, is powered by a 4-stroke engine, eliminating the need to mix fuel and oil; its 75.6cc, 3.8 HP engine delivers commercial duty performance with air speeds up to 200 MPH and a maximum air volume of 670 CFM. It uses mechanical automatic engine decompression for quick and easy start, and has a fuel tank capacity of 64 oz. It also offers several features for the ease and comfort of the operator such as heavy-duty anti-vibration mounts between the frame and engine,an engine muffler for quieter operation, padded shoulder straps engineered for improved fit which allow multiple adjustments and retain their shape for easy re-shouldering, tool-less handle adjustment for quick positioning of the handle, a large grip positioned optimally for easier transport, and a padded back panel with ventilation.

Pros & Cons

  • The 4-stroke engine is more convenient than a 2-stroke, eliminating the need to purchase or mix fuel to a 50:1 fuel to oil ratio
  • It’s lightweight at only 24.1 lbs
  • This blower easily moves grass and leaves, acorns and pinecones, and even small rocks (be careful where you aim!)
  • Multiple users reported that their blowers did not perform satisfactorily, breaking down within weeks of purchase and after limited use, or requiring multiple pulls to start the engine, which would stall after 20-30 minutes of use

My Impressions

I had no difficulty starting this blower, and found that it performed well – without the whine of a 2-stroke engine – and was able to keep clearing swaths even when I walked at a fast pace. It was powerful enough to push a patch of loose topsoil along with the other debris, and I wonder what other property cleanup tasks I could take on with this blower.

My Findings

This blower would be a good choice for the operator preferring a 4-stroke engine, and it has excellent features and specifications with plenty of power. Though I haven’t personally experienced any difficulties, I would hesitate to recommend it due to the potential for mechanical failure. On the other hand the few reported incidences of failure don’t necessarily indicate a severe risk overall. If the operator were to regularly verify and maintain it, and avoid using it at maximum power for long periods, this Makita leaf blower could very well be an excellent tool.

4. Husqvarna 580BTS

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Next, we’ll be looking at Husqvarna’s most powerful commercial backpack blower; the 580BTS is designed to handle demanding tasks while delivering the best incomfort for the operator.

Features and Specifications

At 25.8 lbs, this 75.6cc, 4.3 HP leaf blower is still lightweight, though one of the heavier backpacks we’ve reviewed. It has a fuel capacity of 87.9 oz. and fuel consumption rate of 440 gallons per kWh. The 580BTS has a high-efficiency fan design and powerful X-Torq® engine which reduces harmful emissions by up to 60% and increases fuel efficiency by up to 20%; it delivers a maximum air speed of 206 MPH, with the air flow in the pipe moving at 908 CFM. It has a low vibration level but, at approximately 100 dB, is loud enough to warrant wearing ear protection. A centrifugal air cleaning system removes larger dust and debris before it can reach the commercial grade, 2-stage intake air filter, which results in longer operating times between filter cleanings and improved engine life. Husqvarna also designed this blower to be ergonomic and comfortable for the user: it has an easily adjustable soft-grip handle, an ergonomic harness and adjustable handles with cruise control, and can be operated at full blow force with minimal arm strain.

Pros & Cons

  • The engine is powerful enough to blow wet or dry leaves, as well as nuts, sticks and small branches
  • The harness is easy to adjust, very comfortable, and perfectly designed to distribute the weight
  • The unit is very durable – it’s built to last through years of hard use
  • Some operators reported difficulty starting the engine, requiring 5 or more pulls
  • Some users find the position of the throttle control and the stop button awkward

My Impressions

This blower was extremely comfortable to wear, regardless of the weight. It was powerful enough to clear a forest-edged property with over 20 oaks trees in a quarter of the usual time, and can move any small debris quickly and cleanly.

My Findings

I cannot recommend this blower enough! Husqvarna has designed a tool powerful enough for the professional landscaper, yet simple enough for a first-time operator to use with no difficulty. This backpack unit is built to last, and it high-efficiency and ergonomic features are definite pluses. If you’re shopping for the best blower for heavy-duty jobs or even occasional use, I would definitely suggest test-driving the 580BTS.

Shindaiwa EB802

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We reviewed this smaller backpack blower made by Shindaiwa, which is a brand manufactured and distributed by ECHO Inc.; they are known for optimum performance and durability.

Features and Specifications

This 2-stroke, 79.2cc backpack blower weighs approximately 25 lbs and has a 68.3 oz. fuel tank; the padded harness distributes the weight well, and the overall unit size is smaller than the other leaf blowers we’ve reviewed, which makes it seem quite lightweight. The maximum air speed of the round pipe is approximately 202 MPH with a top air volume of 695 CFM, though the turbo pipe can deliver up to 243 MPH at 618 CFM. This blower has a hip-level control lever, rather than the pistol grip controls we’ve become used to; it has a cruise control option but very little anti-vibration shock control. Though it registers at 101 dB for the operator, at 50 feet, the Shindaiwa EB802 drops to 78 dB.

Pros & Cons

  • High air speeds and volume
  • No ergonomic options
  • No active cooling system for the operator

My Impressions

I found that this blower didn’t quite compare to the others I reviewed; it did have some nice features: I like the control system and that is wasn’t as bulky as its competitors, but it wasn’t nearly as powerful nor did it have as many user-focused features.

My Findings

Though the Shindaiwa blower does not quite measure up to the others we looked at, it is still a high-quality tool and should not be disregarded. It is a commercial-grade tool and delivers enough power to clear a large property, and its more nimble design is a plus for an operator seeking a lightweight backpack, while the narrower tube makes it easier to direct the debris.

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