Backpack Leaf Blowers Buyer's Guides

Best Backpack Leaf Blower-Models Packing Power: 2020 Buyer’s Guide

spring cleaning

Whether you own a large property or you’re a professional landscaper, hauling around a leaf blower can be serious backbreaking work after just half an hour, which is why buying the best backpack leaf blower can be a true lifesaver and one that will save you plenty of pain and discomfort as you work in the yard or on the job. Even the lightest power tools can feel like they weigh over a hundred pounds after you’ve been carrying them around for more than an hour.

Because of this, backpack blowers are quickly becoming the go-to style of choice for many pros, but landscapers aren’t the only people that can benefit from using this type of blower.

So, if you’re interested in exploring the world of backpack leaf blowers and you want to learn more about the many benefits they have to offer, then you can take advantage of this in-depth buyer’s guide I’ve created.

I’ve also dedicated several hours to testing out the leading models, narrowing it down to my top six picks, each of which earned high marks in a variety of areas.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the models that made it onto my list, their best features, and how they rated.

Backpack Leaf Blower Comparison Chart

Product Engine Type CFMWeight Rating
Husqvarna Backpack
Leaf Blower

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2-Cycle 692.1722 LBS
Poulan Pro Backpack
Leaf Blower

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2-Cycle 47522 LBS
Makita Backpack Blower

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4-Cycle 51619 LBS
CRAFTSMAN Backpack
Leaf Blower

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4-Cycle 46017.6 LBS
Husqvarna Backpack Blower

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2-Cycle 63123 LBS
Husqvarna 580BTS
Leaf Blower

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2-Cycle 20625.80 LBS

Husqvarna 965877502 Backpack Leaf Blower


Our Rating: (5/5)

The X-torque engine is designed to minimize exhaust emissions by as much as sixty percent, while increasing fuel efficiency by twenty percent. User comfort is improved by preventing the arm from being pulled down thanks to the offset handle. The low-vibration dampeners between the chassis and the engine reduces vibrations, further improving user comfort. It features an idling speed of 2200 RPMs. The included harness features an ergonomic harness that’s heavily padded and designed to fit the contours of the user’s body. This model also features cruise control with a variable speed options, for easier handling. The CFM rating comes in at 692.17. Weighing in at twenty-two pounds, the heavy weight of the blower is still manageable, even with extended use, thanks to the heavily padded ergonomic harness.

Pros

  • Ergonomic harness
  • High CFM rating
  • Low-vibration dampeners
  • Cruise control
  • Variable speed

Cons

  • Difficulty throttling up

Conclusion

This blower is designed for both home and professional use. The engine is designed for increased power and improved fuel economy, in addition to reduced emissions. The controls and harness are ergonomically designed for ease of use and high capacity. This two HP model is capable of generating wind speeds that are up to 180 miles per hour, which is enough power to even move large wet debris. The design itself promotes comfort, for a longer use time.

Poulan Pro PR48BT Backpack Leaf Blower


Our Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

This model features a 48 CC two-stroke engine, complete with a rugged, heavy-duty frame that’s designed to place the weight of the blower on your shoulders and back, evenly distributing the weight. The cruise control allows you to lock in the perfect speed, based on what type of debris you’re blowing, in addition to current wind conditions. The lightweight design allows for longer use, in total comfort. This blower features a high CFM rating at 475, which is pretty impressive. This type of power will allow you to blow larger debris, effortlessly, even in high wind conditions. This model is a great buy for both home and commercial use.

Pros

  • High CFM rating
  • Lightweight
  • Cruise control
  • Ergonomic harness

Cons

  • Difficult to start

Conclusion

The heavy-duty frame features an ergonomic, load-reducing harness, providing superior comfort and an optimal fit, minimizing strain and reducing fatigue. The variable speed control and cruise control settings will give you the power to choose the correct level of air to use based on environmental conditions and the type of debris you’re blowing. It’s very obvious that this model is specifically designed with user comfort in mind, cleaning efficiency, and power.

Makita EB5300TH Leaf Backpack Blower


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’ve used Makita power tools in the past, then you’re already familiar with its level of quality and the unique and powerful tools that they produce. Their latest backpack blower is one of their best-selling models for all the right reasons.

For faster and easier starts, this blower features mechanical automatic engine decompression. The shoulder straps are highly adjustable and designed for improved fit. No tools are required to adjust the handles, so you’ll enjoy fast and easy adjustments. The large capacity air filter is easily accessible and replaceable. This model is clean burning and fuel efficient, featuring a max air speed of 184 miles per hour, offering a max air volume of 516 cubic feet per minute. The anti-vibration mounts between the engine and frame do an excellent job of improving user comfort. The compact design and low weight make this one of Makita’s best-sellers. The padded back panel and straps are designed for user comfort, while the large capacity muffler works to significantly reduce noise during use.

Pros

  • Cruise control
  • Large capacity air filter
  • Highly adjustable shoulder straps
  • Anti-vibration mounts

Cons

  • Price

Conclusion

This model is very beginner-friendly, lightweight, and powerful. It comes with variable speed control, easy starts, and an ergonomic harness, all of which help to improve user comfort, even during extended use. This well-built and powerful blower will get the job done easily, even if you’re dealing with large and/or wet debris. The motor is designed with power and efficiency in mind, which you’ll notice quickly as you’re able to easily blow around debris in windy conditions.

CRAFTSMAN BP410 32cc Backpack Leaf Blower


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The blower features a high-performance four-cycle engine with a CFM rating of 460. Since this is a four-cycle model, you won’t have to mix oil and gas. Engine oil is included with this package, which will be a plus for any buyer. The multi-material fully tensioned suspension system distributes weight evenly between the hips and shoulders. This will significantly help to improve user comfort. The electric start makes it much easier to cold start this motor, which is a big deal for users who live in colder climates. The blower is also designed with variable speed throttle for ultimate control during use and an ergonomic tube mounted lever that’s highly accessible.

Pros

  • Ergonomic tube mounted lever
  • Fully tensioned suspension system for even weight distribution
  • Electric start
  • No need to mix gas and oil

Cons

  • Leaks oil from carb filter

Conclusion

This model comes loaded with all of the right bells and whistles and is priced affordably. It’s also comfortable to wear and use for an extended period of time, does an excellent job of moving heavy debris efficiently, and comes with a higher than average CFM rating, so you know this blower is tough.

Husqvarna 360BT Backpack Blower


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model comes with an X-Torq engine that’s designed to improve fuel efficiency, while reducing emissions by as much as sixty percent. The blower’s design focuses on minimizing arm strain while utilizing full blow force. The offset handle makes the blow force more manageable. While the efficient fan design and X-Troq engine deliver high airflow and air speed.

This is a commercial-style model, but the intuitive design also makes it very beginner-friendly. This model is designed for even the most demanding tasks and provides an excellent performance, low emissions, and great fuel economy. The adjustable handle and wide shoulder straps also go a long way toward improving user comfort, especially when compared to other models in this price bracket.

Pros

  • Ergonomic harness
  • Cruise control
  • Fuel efficient
  • Low emissions rating

Cons

  • Difficult to start

Conclusion

This is a blower that will be right at home on the job, but it’s also a great choice for the homeowner with a large property.

The powerful engine, adjustable design and high air speed, combined with its low emission rating and improved fuel efficiency make this one of the best-selling models on the market. It’s a great buy for the homeowner or pro on a tight budget and it offers a reliable and consistent performance, which is what every buyer is looking for.

Husqvarna 580BTS Leaf Blower


Our Rating: (4/5)

Like other models by this manufacturer, this backpack blower comes equipped with the X-Torq engine that’s designed to reduce harmful emissions by as much as sixty percent. The fuel-efficient engine makes this blower a good choice for the pro, yet the intuitive controls and ergonomic design also make this model a must for homeowners with large properties. The air purge feature will remove air from the carb, while the comfort handle is easy to adjust and features a soft-grip handle for improved comfort. The centrifugal air cleaning system will remove large debris and dust particles before it can reach the air filter. This minimizes the need to clean the air filter and also extends its life significantly.

Pros

  • Fuel efficient
  • Comfortable harness
  • Soft-grip handle
  • Intuitive controls

Cons

  • No way to clean or adjust the carburetor

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affordable backpack blower that offers more power, improved fuel efficiency, and a design that makes it easy to use, then your search is over. This model features high air speed and heavy airflow, making it easy for this model to blow around heavy or wet leaves and other types of debris. The pro-quality air filter system promotes hassle-free use and a longer runtime. The ergonomic harness, complete with a wide shoulder strap and hip belt design makes this model more comfortable to use.

Backpack Leaf Blower Buyer’s Guide

If you need a solid blower that you can use for more than thirty minutes at a time, then a backpack style model is a great option. Traditional blowers offer many benefits, but their heavier design can quickly tire you out.

If you want to enjoy all the benefits of a gas-powered leaf blower and carry the weight of it on your back instead of using just arm strength, then this type of blower is a great option. These blowers shift the weight of the engine onto your back, so the weight is distributed evenly, working to improve user comfort. There are many other benefits that come with using this type of leaf blower that I’ll go over below.

Benefits of Backpack Leaf Blower

sweeping leaves

  • These models come with adjustable shoulder straps and a heavily padded design that will improve user comfort.
  • These blowers are designed to deliver some serious power, in addition to flexibility. If you want to use full blast power or a gentle blow, choose a model with variable power settings.
  • You won’t experience the same type of pain and discomfort that you will with a traditional blower since these models are lighter and worn on the back.
  • They are also more affordable compared to traditional blowers
  • The surprising amount of power these blowers offer makes them very versatile and allows you to use them even when the yard is wet.

Other important Features

Now that you know more about the benefits this type of leaf blower offers, let’s take a look at the important features you need to look for, based on your lawn maintenance needs.

This power tool allows you to remove grass cuttings and leaves, in addition to other types of debris in your yard and around the home. These blowers are ergonomically designed so they’re a better choice for prolonged use compared to traditional blowers.

However, there are many different models to choose from, each with various features. You should know how to pick out the best model for you, based on your needs.

Engine Design

All models will rely on a gas engine for their power. This means that the engine in your blower will have either a two-cycle or a four-cycle engine.

Two-Cycle

A two-cycle model features a higher weight to power ratio. Some models may be able to pack approximately twice the power into the same space as a standard four-cycle blower, which is what makes them such an attractive option for people who want to get their work done quickly.

These engines feature fewer moving parts compared to a four-cycle model, which helps to keep down the weight. This will be an important consideration if you need to wear the blower for long periods of time. While this type of motor can be more comfortable, due to its low weight, a four-cycle model can also be comfortable since they tend to run cooler.

Four-Cycle

Four-cycle models are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, which means you won’t burn through as much fuel with this style, like you will with a two-cycle model. The four-cycle is also quieter, which can also impact how comfortable you feel when you’re blowing leaves.

Throttle Controls

Every model will come equipped with a throttle that will allow you to control power output. This will be crucial for regulating fuel consumption and will help you save some power to move the most stubborn and heaviest pieces of debris in the yard.

Different models will feature different positions for the throttle.

Air tube mount: This style is mounted to an arm that will extend from the frame of the blower.

Tube-mounted: This location offers the advantage of being placed right on a handle that a user will already need to hold in order to direct the nozzle. Since this type offers better control, they’re the most common type you’ll come across.

Ergonomic Design

A model that features an ergonomic design provides support to the movements of the body so that the person who uses it can avoid injuries caused by repetitive movements. Some manufacturers know that people can spend a significant amount of time using their blower. Because of this, they will include features that can help improve user comfort, such as:

  • Anti-vibration mounts
  • Adjustable handles
  • Padded or rubberized handle grip
  • Adjustable hip belt
  • Padded back panel and straps

Additionally, the throttle in the tube-mounted style is designed to keep the user’s wrists and hands in a natural position, which will reduce fatigue and injury.

CARB Compliance

Just like a standard gas-powered blower, these models are equipped with an engine that has to meet certain standards that have been placed by the California Air Resource Board, in order for the blower to be sold in that particular state.

These standards for fuel emissions were designed to help eliminate the air pollution problem in that state. Four-cycle engines are very efficient and more likely to meet these standards. However, even if you don’t live in California, searching for a blower that’s CARB compliant will help you to do your part for the environment by reducing your fuel consumption.

Air Flow

The volume of air produced in a minute will be measured in cubic feet per minute. The higher the cubic feet per minute rating, the more powerful the blower can push the leaves. Models with a high rating will often have wider nozzles and will blow out a larger volume of air. Typically, you’ll come across options such as five or six hundred CFM. Choose a model that offers the highest rating possible. Blowers that allow you to change the airflow are rare, but they do exist. These variable speed trigger blowers also offer plenty of power.

Air Speed

The speed that air is expelled from a blower is measured in miles per hour. This MPH rating indicates how powerful the blower can clean the area in less time. Usually you’ll find models with a rating of 100MPH or 200MPH. Look for a model with the highest rating for the best performance.

Engine Power

These power tools are meant to be powerful enough to allow you to quickly and easily clean leaves and debris from your yard. You can find the power rating for these models mentioned in either HP or CC. Backpack style models will have a CC rating of forty to fifty, or an HP rating of two or three. Obviously, a higher rating will be better, regardless of how the power is measured.

Noise

The noise rating will be measured in decibels. A higher decibel rating means a louder engine. Make sure you always check out the decibel rating before you buy. Look for a model with a rating of sixty-five decibels or less. Usually, these models will produce more noise compared to an electric power tool, so you can expect any model you come across to be pretty noisy.

Tank Size

Before you buy, make sure you check if the size of the tank is big enough to handle the job you need it to. Instead of needing to fill the tank up with fuel each time, which can increase your down time, make sure the tank is large and up to the task.

Go for a model that features a transparent fuel tank so you can keep a close eye on the fuel level.

Weight

Weight will also be important, since you may be carrying this power tool on your back for several hours. Since it’s gas-powered, you can expect the blower to have some serious weight to it. Heavier models will make you feel uncomfortable and sore at the end of the day, regardless of whether the straps are padded or not. Check the weight of the blower to get a clear idea of how comfortable it will be, especially if you’re planning to wear it for more than an hour at a time. Models can weigh anywhere from ten up to forty pounds.

Variable Speed Settings

If you have delicate plants in your yard and you want to remove leaves out of a flowerbed, without disturbing the plant life, then a model with variable speed settings is a must. Switching the settings to low will prevent any damage to your plant. Variable speed control settings will basically give you more control over the air flow as you clean.

Anti-Vibration Design

Since it’s worn on the back, the leaf blower’s engine is placed close to the body, so you’ll feel all of the vibrations. In the long run, it can harm your shoulders and back. Because of this, I recommend choosing a model that comes with an anti-vibration harness, which is designed to minimize vibrations, making you feel more comfortable during use.

Cruise Control

Cruise control on a blower works the same as cruise control on a car. Once you’ve reached the perfect speed, you can switch on the cruise control which will keep the engine at the same speed, operating so you don’t have to keep holding onto the throttle.

Balance

It’s always wise to choose a model that comes with some ergonomic features. These are the features that will allow you to work in total comfort so you can maximize your output.

Before you buy, check that the model comes with:

  • Padded hip belt and shoulder straps
  • Adjustable torso length. Models that have this type of adjustability will minimize fatigue and stress placed on the body.
  • Wide shoulder straps will allow for even weight distribution.
  • Breathable shoulder straps or harness. Breathability is important since carrying a heavy blower on your back can promote excessive sweating.

Nozzle

Nozzles are either flat or round. A round nozzle will work the best for blowing larger debris. Flat nozzles are a good choice for blowing and sweeping motions. Some models may come with interchangeable nozzles. These special attachments will allow you to switch based on your task.

Air Filtration

Choose a model that comes equipped with air filters. These filters can help to prevent clogs.

Having an air filter in your blower will prevent your blower from choking in dusty conditions. Models that come with two filters will be the most efficient. Make sure you also check the size of the filter. The larger they are, the more blowing time you’ll get.

Make sure you stay on top of keeping the filter clean and always check it prior to use. No one wants their leaf blower choking up in dusty condition or constantly stalling due to clogs.

Trouble Firing it Up

Before a blower is put on your back, you need to fire up the engine. If the engine is slow to start, then this process can be pretty annoying. This often happens with gas-powered models. If you’re not able to get the blower started after a few pulls, then it can also indicate that there’s something wrong with your blower. If you properly maintain the blower, then you won’t have to worry about this issue, although gas-powered engines can also be slow to start in colder temperatures.

Maintenance Needs

Because these blowers are gas-powered, they require regular maintenance in order to work smoothly. Premixed fuel is required, and you must use the type that is specified by the manufacturer to ensure the engine continues to run in perfect condition. The warranty conditions usually specify that you must use the required premixed fuel to prevent voiding the warranty.

Warranty

Some models will come with a two to three-year warranty, while higher priced models will offer a five-year long warranty. Models with the longer warranty will obviously be the best option. Low-priced models may only come with a twelve-month warranty. Pay close attention to the warranty requirements. As I mentioned above, most manufacturers will require you to use a specific premixed fuel. If you fail to use the instructed fuel, you will void the warranty.

How To Use a Backpack Leaf Blower

To keep your leaf blower in perfect working order, always ensure that you’re using it correctly by first reading the included user’s manual. After reading the user’s manual, the first step is filling up the fuel tank. Most models will use a 50:1 gas and oil solution. Be sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning which fuel to use. You will also need to determine the right type of oil to use if you own a two-cycle blower, since two-cycle oil is often required for most models. If you have a four-cycle blower, then you must use regular gas, however, it will not require gas unless specified. Before use, check that the fuel tank is full. Now, you’re ready to use the blower.

Place the blower on a flat area to start it up and check that the vents are clean and free of debris and dirt. Next, find the switch located near the throttle, then switch it on to start. Adjust the choke knob to place the lever on the starting position, based on whether the engine is already warm or you’re doing a cold start. If the engine’s cold, then you’ll need to turn the knob to the right. If the engine’s already warm, turn it to the left. After you’ve adjusted the levers and knobs correctly, then fire up the engine. To do, you’ll pull the starter cord. Be sure that you pull it slowly until you feel it engaging, then you can pull on the cord tightly. In some cases, it can take several pulls, however, you must show some patience here, allowing the cord to begin slowly. When the engine fires up, you may need to run it for several minutes before use. It may also feel warm when you pick it up and put it on. Once it has been adjusted correctly, then you can begin working. If you’re dealing with windy conditions, then you will need to first determine what direction the wind is blowing and begin working in that direction to make your job easy and more efficient.

Safety Tips

When using a blower, you must also follow certain safety precautions and use the proper gear to safeguard your legs, arms, eyes, and ears. Make sure you wear safety goggles to protect the eyes from debris getting into your eyes and to protect them from any blowback. Use earplugs to protect the ears from the loud noise emitted by the blower, since prolonged exposure can damage your hearing. Cover your legs and arms during use to ensure that they’re safe from debris and dust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Backpack Leaf Blowers Worth it?

Small handheld models are easy to carry, but they don’t offer the type of power most buyers are looking for. While backpack models are heavier, they will not cause arm and hand fatigue since they’re carried on the back and shoulders. This will make it easier to use your blower for a longer period of time.

How Many CFM Do I Need for a Leaf Blower?

If you have a property half an acre or larger, then I recommend a model with a four hundred to seven hundred CFM rating.

What’s More Important in a Leaf Blower MPH or CFM?

CFM. A blower with a higher CFM rating will come with a heavier, larger motor and more HPs. While you may end up with a heavier model, you can move more leaves in a fraction of the time.

Do I Need a Backpack Blower?

If you’re looking for a power tool that can make cleaning up yard debris fast and easy, then this type of blower is a great choice. These high-powered tools are very efficient and can easily blow large and small debris, and even snow, making them very versatile.

Are Battery-Powered Leaf Blowers Any Good?

Medium-sized battery powered models are much lighter than a standard gas-powered blower, which is why you can often work with them for longer. They also don’t require nearly as much maintenance as gas powered models. However, in terms of power, they are seriously lacking. If you’re not in need of a heavy-duty blower, and comfort during use is a priority over power, then a battery powered model can be a better choice. If you have a large property and need a powerful model that can make your job fast and more efficient, then go with a gas-powered blower.

Final Thoughts

The best backpack blower is powerful, easy to use, and allows you to choose the level of air used based on the type of debris you’re dealing with. It should also be a manageable weight, since you may need to wear it for several hours when you’re cleaning the yard or if you’re using this model for work. The guide I’ve created and the products I’ve tested are both designed to help you find the perfect model based on your yard maintenance or work needs. The guide itself includes all the important information you need to know to make an informed decision to choose a good backpack leaf blower that’s designed to last.