What is a Backpack Blower
The fall is a nice season, isn't it? The air isn't sweltering hot anymore, there is a carpet of beautiful leaves under your feet. But this idyllic picture is not so attractive if you are the owner of a detached house and it's your duty to clean the area around it from all the leaves and debris. A backpack blower will be an indispensable tool which can do all this difficult job! This gardening tool is designed to make cleaning much faster and easier. You won't need any additional equipment. The blower will easily remove different kinds of debris such as leaves and grass cuttings. Some models of the blowers can even be used for removing snow in winter!
There are other models of blowers: handheld and wheeled tools but the most popular are backpack blowers. In our review, we are going to focus on this type of blowers and highlight the most important features to consider while picking the best backpack blower.
If you need to cope with lots of leaves on a large area, such as a park, for example, consider our review of gas leaf blowers.
We'd also like to recommend taking a look at leaf vacuums that have a special bag for storing leaves.
What Features to Compare
Backpack blowers can be divided into 2 types: electric and gas-powered leaf blowers. Electric blowers are either corded (powered from the mains) or cordless (battery-powered). In general, electric backpack blowers are less powerful than gas-powered ones; moreover, a corded electric blower can't be used without an extension cable, which imposes certain limitations on their usage. However, electric backpack blowers have a major advantage - they are eco-friendly and operate without much noise. In their turn, gas leaf blower models are more powerful, more efficient, and very mobile. You can clear the area non-stop, having breaks only for refuelling. The only disadvantage is the noise but a set of hearing protectors can be a solution. Wherever you live, never use your leaf blower too early and too late in order not to disturb your neighbors.
Power and Performance
The performance of a backpack blower depends on its engine power. While talking about gas-powered models, it is necessary to keep in mind that one important criterion of their efficiency is a number of working cycles (strokes) of the engine. In conventional gardening tools, there can be 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. The first ones are good due to their small size and weight, as they don't have a complicated valve system. The blowers of the second type produce less noise and don't require mixing gas with oil. As usual, electric backpack blowers are powerful enough as the efficiency of electric motors is higher than that of gas-powered engines. However, there are some other important features that you need to consider. For example, find out the maximum air speed (MPH) and the air flow per minute (CFM). The higher these figures are, the more efficient the cleaning will be.
Usability and Autonomous Operation
Corded electric models have, actually, unlimited operating time but their main disadvantage is a limited range. You will agree that using an extension cord is inconvenient, particularly if you have a really big yard or garden. So, such electric backpack blowers are useful for small yards. As for cordless tools, gas-powered blowers provide a better operation than battery-powered electric units. That's because the battery needs to be recharged and it takes some time while a gas-powered model needs only to be refuelled and it is ready to use again within seconds. Thus, before purchasing a backpack blower, you need to consider how much time clearing up your yard might take and after that decide what type of blower would be most convenient exactly for your needs. Dimensions and weight are equally important. Corded electric models are the most lightweight. Compared to gas-powered models, their engines are fairly compact. Also, corded electric backpack blowers are lighter than battery-powered ones. Of course, gas-powered models are the biggest and heaviest; their engines consist of many metal moving parts, they have lots of other additional parts, such as gas tank, starter, tailpipe, etc.
Powerful yet Quiet
Let's have a closer look at the popular Makita backpack blower which is produced in two versions - electric and gas-powered. Here we are going to focus on the latter. Makita blower has a 4-cycle gas engine (75.6 cc) that creates a powerful airflow (526 CFM) at a speed of 195 MPH. Such engine can blow all leaves and debris away really efficiently. It can move even small stones! The efficiency of this tool is beyond any question. But we were also surprised at how quiet the Makita backpack blower is! The noise level is just 74 dB thanks to the noise damper. Nevertheless, we recommend you to purchase hearing protectors.
In general, this very model is good for cleaning a mid-sized area covered with lots of leaves and other kinds of debris, and your neighbors won't suffer from a loud noise when the blower's running.
Everything in its Place
This tool is very powerful so you might ask whether it's convenient to use it or not. Certainly, it is! First of all, this backpack blower is equipped with a vented back panel and wide padded straps to provide an operator with comfort. These features are very important for a durable use. It is also equipped with an automatic decompression system, allowing a simple and quick engine start. The joystick's handle is adjustable. The trigger is covered with a soft surface to reduce vibrations, it also has a cruise-control system that allows adjusting the speed, so you won't need to keep on pressing the button. It is also very comfortable and easy to fix the model. Oil filling port and oil drain plug are easy-to-access. You won't have any problems when replacing the filter or the ignition plug. This model has a high capacity air filter for better dust capturing. The 64.2 fl oz gas tank gives you up to 60 minutes of continuous operation. So, this model is a perfect pick for professionals or for those who need to clear large areas. Another notable feature is its comparatively small weight. It is only 22.6 lbs, so your shoulders and back will not be loaded too much. To sum up, we'd like to say that this tool will become an indispensable garden equipment for clearing up your yard. Your lawn will always look beautiful and neat!
More Products to Consider
We recommend you to consider purchasing one of the headband hearing protectors from here. This two-in-one device will protect both your ears and eyes.
Makita 4-Cycle Engine Oil will help you extend the lifespan of the tool.
Safe for You and for the Environment
Let's have a closer look at the DEWALT backpack blower. It has a brushless 40V electric engine. Sometimes, battery-powered leaf blowers are beaten in terms of power by gas-powered models but this DEWALT is surely on the verge of modern technologies and it shows excellent efficiency. The CFM rate it delivers is 450 CFM and the speed of the air flow amounts to 142 MPH, so the motor can move all kinds of debris. Thus, this electric backpack blower can be a strong rival against gas-powered models. But, in our opinion, another feature is even more important. The electric engine is eco-friendly and very quiet. Also, it boasts a low level of vibrations and doesn't produce much noise. Using the unit is absolutely harmless for the environment. Yet we still recommend you to purchase protective earmuffs and glasses.
What About Two Batteries in One Tool?
You'll definitely enjoy all the benefits this electric backpack blower has got to offer! The handle is very comfortable and there are several buttons on it. Thus, you can start and stop the engine, adjust the speed, etc. The start button is worth a few more words. Older mechanical models never start easily but this model has an electronic system which guarantees an easy and quick start of the tool. The battery gives an operator around 30-40 minutes of continuous operation, which is enough for moving the main debris. There is also good news for you! This model has a place for an additional battery. So, in case the first battery runs out of charge, you can switch to another one and keep on cleaning the territory by pressing the same start button. In conclusion, you'll enjoy the quiet and efficient operation of the tool, which has also a 3-year warranty. Moreover, having two batteries instead of one, your blower becomes even more autonomous, so you'll have more time for clearing up.
More Products to Consider
We recommend you to get an additional DeWALT 40V Max 7.5 Ah Battery which can double the runtime of your blower.
Don't forget to use an earmuff hearing protector that will defend you from noise produced by the blower.
Consider a 3M Eyeglass Protector since it is very important to protect your eyes from different particles in the air.
You Should Consider It
So, the next model in our review is the Husqvarna 350 BT gas-powered backpack blower. What unique features does it have? We must say, that having very similar specification compared to Makita BBX7600N, its price is much lower. That is due to its 2-stroke 2.1 HP engine which provides the air flow of 494 CFM at the speed of 180 MPH. The engine is Husqvarna's own development; it belongs to one of the company's new series of engines - the X-Torq. Its unique design reduces exhaust emissions by 60% and enhances engine efficiency by 20%. Thus, you save up on fuel and protect the environment. Finally, this backpack blower has a useful button which removes the air from the fuel-oil system and carburetor, making engine start very simple and fast. This model is worth purchasing!
Lower Vibration, Higher Efficiency
Analyzing technical specifications of this backpack blower, we have noticed a variety of important features that make the tool very convenient in use. First of all, we'd like to highlight its padded straps and soft back panel which provide maximum comfort for your back and shoulders. The handle is adjustable, so you can grip it comfortably and firmly. The handle has a speed control button, cruise control button (which allows fixing the speed level), and stop button. LowVib® dampers considerably reduce vibrations.
We hope it's rather clear that this backpack blower is a perfect pick for daily clearing. It will be able to clean your lawn very quicky and efficiently. And the price is rather affordable!
More Products to Consider
We strongly recommend you to get a pair of Husqvarna Professional Headband hearing protectors.
Your eyes require protection too, so have a look at these shooting safety glasses.
Troy-Bilt TB4BP EC
What About Blowing Snow Away?
This is a gas-powered Troy-Bilt backpack blower that has a 1.3 HP 4-stroke engine that provides the air flow of 500 CFM at 150 MPH. In our opinion, it is one of the most ergonomic yet powerful leaf blowers, designed for a buyer who wants to save money. The noise level might be a disadvantage, though. So, we strongly recommend you to purchase a set of hearing protectors. The tool can easily move leaves, grass clippings, dust, and even small stones. Also, the Troy-Bilt leaf blower can remove a 1-inch layer of snow but you should keep in mind that the fuel consumption increases if the temperature falls below 32°F.
We would like to draw your attention to additional benefits this model offers. Firstly, it's the JumpStart™ function which provides an extremely simple and fast ignition of the engine. The starter charge takes approximately 6 hours, then you can use it about 60 times. After using this electronic starter, you are likely to start advertising this backpack blower to your friends and neighbors! One more benefit is soft padded straps for your shoulders and belt. The weight of the leaf blower is really small - just 15 lbs. Thus, it's easy to use the tool for long and you won't feel exhausted.
More Products to Consider
Keep your hands clean with a Glove-Blue Latex Palm.
We recommend you to purchase safety glasses which will perfectly protect your eyes from dust and small debris as well as from the UV rays.
Protect your ears with lightweight сomfortable ear protectors.
Leave Mixing Oil and Fuel in the Past
If you've been searching for a reliable and very powerful assistant at a moderate price, be sure you've found one! It is Echo gas-powered backpack blower! The tool is equipped with a very efficient 3.8 HP 4-stroke engine which pushes amazing 756 CFM of air flow at 234 MPH. Therefore, no mixing of oil and gasoline for a better cleaning is required. Never miss out on the latest technologies! This model is capable of moving a 2-inch layer of snow, which makes the tool handy in winter too! And this powerful gas-powered backpack blower doesn't make much noise while running, so you won't get any troubles with your friends even if you decide to do some cleaning in the morning.
Unbelievably Long Warranty Period
Now we are going to share our opinion on ergonomics of this backpack blower. No problem at all! First of all, the Echo blower has a convenient Posi-Loc' system which provides convenient connection and disconnection of the blowing tube. It has an easy-to-use tube mount throttle, extra-flexible tube, wide angle of tube rotation. The fuel tank has the capacity of 68.3 fl oz and it's transparent so you always know how much gasoline is left. It is very comfortable to carry the blower as it has a padded backrest and shoulder straps. Moreover, the Echo backpack leaf blower boasts an exclusive vented back pad, providing perfect air circulation, which is really important in warm weather. The straps can be adjusted and there is even an additional strap that connects the main one to each other.
More Products to Consider
Have a look at Wells Lamont winter gloves with touchscreen capability. They will warm your hands in cold weather and you will even be able to use the touchscreen of your smartphone.
1. Leaf Blower Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. May 2016.
2. How to Choose and Use a Leaf Blower, This Old House.
3. How to Choose a Leaf Blower, The Nest.
4. Gwen Bruno How to Choose a Leaf Blower, SFGate.
5. Choosing the Best Leaf Blower or Leaf Vacuum for Your Needs, HomeAdvisor.
6. Steven Ericson What is the Best Blower for the Money, Quora. December 8, 2014.
8. Doug Mahoney The Best Leaf Blower. The Sweethome. October 19, 2015.