Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Cordless Leaf Blower

An untethered machine can help you reach areas you can’t reach while plugged in and make easy work of everyone’s least favorite chore.

If the thought of raking your yard brings groans—and memories of aching shoulders—you’re in luck. New models of cordless leaf blowers can turn this dreaded chore into the most fun you’ve ever had on yard day. These powerful machines blow with the literal speed of a hurricane, clearing leaves and debris from yards, driveways, decks, and patios in no time at all. Compared to raking, bagging, and seeding, just about anyone would raise their hand and sign up for leaf blowing, so make the right choice. There’s a lot of instant gratification in blowing leaves. When you’re ready for perhaps the most fun job in the yard, here are three things to think about when choosing a cordless leaf blower.

Comfortable to Use

This machine has a locking trigger to minimize arm fatigue. DEWALT

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The powerful lithium-ion batteries that run most cordless leaf blowers are convenient, but models vary widely in how long they will run on a given charge. Some may operate as little as 10 to 12 minutes on high, while others can crank up the hand-held hurricane speeds for nearly an hour. Read the fine print to make sure you’re buying a machine tailored to your space.

Power Option

This model is strong enough to blow heavy, wet greenery. Greenworks

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Given their self-contained nature—the unit holds both the motor and the power source—cordless leaf blowers can weigh more than typical plug-in models. The trade-off is the ability to work in every distant corner of the yard where you might not have access to common 120V power.

Lightweight and Quieter

This model generates only 60 decibels, which makes it a great choice for neighborhood use. Greenworks

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One of the knocks against gas-powered blowers was their ear-splitting volume and noxious fumes. Even corded blowers can scream like the devil. With their brushless motors and high-output fans, cordless leaf blowers often crank out far fewer decibels. But models vary, so compare noise output before buying if you live in close quarters with neighbors.