Best Backpack Gas Leaf Blowers (2019)
When the fall season rolls around and the leaves start to drop from the trees, it becomes harder to keep your lawn and pathways in order. A leaf blower can make for a far quicker clean-up job than simply using a manual rake. However, there are many leaf blowers available, so narrowing down the choice can be difficult. Below, we have deliberated on the top five backpack gas leaf blowers out there to help you choose one.
Our pick for the best backpack gas leaf blower is the Echo PB-770T. It's not cheap, and it's the most powerful blower in this comparison, also one of the quietest. The PB-770T also has a long 5 year warranty for residential use.
The Husqvarna 350BT is a close second in our opinion, mainly missing out due to it's higher noise levels. Echo really have been at the forefront of the effort to reduce leaf blower noise levels.
If you don't plan to spend hours at a time using your blower, maybe you should consider a hand-held blower instead of a backpack model. Take a look at our review article on the top gas powered handheld models.
Best Backpack Gas Leaf Blowers In Comparison
#1 Echo PB-770T - Best Backpack Gas Leaf Blower
This is, hands down, the best backpack gas leaf blower for domestic use. We love its power, long run-time between fills, and low noise.
- Max. Air Flow 765 cfm
- Max. Air Speed 234 mph
- 73 dba ANSI
- 63.3 cc 2-stroke Engine
- 68.3 oz Fuel Tank
- 23.8 Lbs.
Filling up the Echo PB-770T with gasoline is straightforward. The gas tank is easily accessible without the need for any dismantling; though the tank is tucked away, the nozzle is angled outwards for easy access. Once fired up, the engine purrs quietly while idling, yet still runs considerably more quietly than many competing gasoline models, despite being far more powerful than many of the models we’ve looked at below.
For the most part, the design of this backpack is extremely comfortable. Built into the lower back of the backpack is thick padding, which helps to soften the weight of the engine against your back. Air vents are styled into this padding, which allows air to flow through and prevent your back from being heated too much by the gasoline engine.
Echo have done more than any other manufacturer to really address the noise problems associated with leaf blowers. All of their leaf blowers are have been designed to reduce noise as much as is practical, while still being light weight and affordable. Surprisingly, many of their gas leaf blowers are quieter than most electric leaf blowers on the market. The former VP of Echo runs leafblowernoise.com - he goes into a lot of detail about the efforts to reduce noise during his time at Echo.
This leaf blower comes with a 5 year warranty for home use, and 2 years for commercial use.
The most common complaint with the PB-770T is it's sensitivity to ethanol in gasoline.
With the increase in ethanol blended into gasoline over the last few years, users have reported problems with these blowers if an ethanol-gasoline blend has been used. According to users, the safest option to avoid these problems is to make sure you only ever use gasoline without ethanol.
This YouTube video demonstrates the Echo PB-770T:
WE DON'T LIKE:
#2 Husqvarna 9658775-02 350BT
The 350BT is almost as good as our first choice, just missing out due to it's higher noise levels
- Max. Air Flow 692 cfm
- Max. Air Speed 180 mph
- 50.2 cc, 2.1hp 2-stroke Engine
- 42.3 oz Fuel Tank
- 22.5 Lbs.
- CARB compliant
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The Husqvarna 350BT blower weighs in at just under 23 pounds, which for a backpack model is reasonably mid-range. That said, the extra padding on the wide shoulder straps distributes this weight well, meaning that the machine feels lighter than it is. General consumer consensus seems to be that this is a comfortable blower to carry around on your back.
In terms of its design and component choice, the machine is well built and designed to last across multiple seasons, providing maintenance is carried out. In general, it's extremely powerful, not only moving a great deal of air, but also producing a highly effective blast radius from its blowing tube. It's effective on both dry and wet leaves, as well as sticks, dust, and other lightweight debris.
This leaf blower comes with a 2 year warranty from the manufacturer.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#3 Husqvarna 9666294-02 570BTS
A commercial product on the premium end
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- Max. Air Flow 768 cfm
- Max. Air Speed 236.2 mph
- 65.6 cc, 4 hp 2-stroke Engine
- 24.7 Lbs.
The Husqvarna 570BTS backpack blower is powered by a 2-cycle 65.6 cc X-Torq engine, which can reduce exhaust emissions by up to 60% and can increase fuel efficiency by up to 20%. It has a huge gas tank with a volume of 74.4 fluid ounce which ensures an extended run time. A choke and air purge for easy start is also featured in this unit. It also has cutoff, throttle and cruise control on the handle. The air filter is located at the top, which is quite accessible.The 4 hp at 770 cfm and 236 mph is extremely powerfu, it has been reported to be ablt to move around gravel pieces as well.
The unit is very well designed and deals with vibration wonderfully due to the energy absorbing motor mounts that are placed between the motor and the backpack frame. The handle on top enhances portability, it is offset to a side making it comfortable as well. And the harness has ventilated padding to reduce fatigue and increase amenity.
If you are an individual looking to buy a product good enough to give a professional finish, the 570BTS is the one to buy.
Husqvarna covers this product with a 2-year warranty.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#4 Poulan Pro 967087101
The Poulan Pro 967087101 is powerful but fuel-hungry
- Max. Air Flow 475 cfm
- Max. Air Speed 200 mph
- 48 cc 2-stroke Engine
- 22 Lbs.
- CARB compliant
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Made in the USA, the Poulan Pro 967087101 48cc backpack blower is targeted at the homeowner or consumer who is looking for a non-commercial blower to tackle fall leaves and other lawn debris around the home. Indeed, consumers have found that it’s well-suited to picking up not only leaves, but grass, sticks and other debris, too.
This blower is well-equipped with a 2-cycle engine that produces a great deal of power, achieving speeds of up to 200 miles per hour; the maximum airflow is rated at 475 CFM, which is how the machine is so able to pick up even larger debris with ease. Even wet leaves are movable.
Some of the defining characteristics of this machine are within its range of features, which improve usability. For example, it features a heavy-duty and durable frame, as well as a cruise control setting that allows fine-tuned speed adjustments, too. The handles are ergonomically-designed soft-grip, which improves comfort over prolonged periods of use. What’s more, the shoulder straps are contoured and oversized for comfort, better spreading out the load of the machine and engine.
This leaf blower comes with a 2 year warranty from the manufacturer.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#5 Makita EB7650TH MM4
The product with a world class cooling system
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- Max. Air Flow 706 cfm
- Max. Air Speed 206 mph
- 75.6 cc, 3.8 hp 4-stroke Engine
- 24.1 Lbs.
- Mechanical automatic engine decompression for quick and easy starts
The Makita EB7650TH MM4 backpack blower includes a 75.6 cc 4-stroke engine that delivers 3.8 hp and is mainly targeted towards commercial use. The 4-stroke engine that ensures that oil and fuel do not mix and the mechanical engine is decompressed that promises quicker and easier starts. Moreover, the MM4 technology means less emission, which is a definite advantage over 2-stroke engines. The fuel tank is 64 fluid ounce in volume, enabling the machine to run for over an hour at a go.
The shoulder straps on this unit are padded which retains their shape at all times. It also has a ventilated and padded back panel for added comfort. The unique cooling system lies behind the user and works by pulling air through the intake as the blower runs.
The unit has an adjustable tube which the user can regulate according to their preference. It comes with a flat nozzle, a 70 mm and a 60 mm nozzle. The discreet tube mounted trigger serves as a center of gravity and enhances the portability. To reduce vibration, makita deployes a heavy duty anti-vibration mount between the frame and the engine.
The product comes with a 1-year warranty without any coverage for the parts.
WE DON'T LIKE:
Handheld or Backpack, which to buy?
This question comes to mind almost instantaneously after deciding on the power source. Which is better, handheld or backpack? Well, the answer is: you decide! Both have their perks and drawbacks depending on the following criteria:
When it comes to comfort, handheld ones provide more of it than backpacks, given you have a good posture and smaller yard. Backpack leaf blowers are more suited for working over larger areas and longer period of time.
Handheld leaf blowers tend to have a lower power than their backpack counterparts since they have to be 'held by hand' and thus ought to have lighter parts. And this accounts for the relative low power. Again, as stated above, handhelds are more suited for smaller yard work, where even this low power attribute will be adequate. For larger yards, backpack it is.
A lower power subsequently means lower fuel capacity which basically means it can cover a smaller area. Thus, handheld leaf blowers having a smaller fuel capacity, and backpacks having a higher one, reiterates the above points.
To sum it up, if you have a small yard and require less intense tasks, handheld leaf blowers will do the job. For larger yards and surface areas, or for commercial and professional use, you're best off buying a backpack leaf blower.
What Makes A Good Gas Leaf Blower?
There are several factors to consider when buying a gasoline-powered leaf blower
You should now have a good idea of whether you need a handheld gas leaf blower, for small-scale yard work, or a larger backpack gas leaf blower for large yards, or commercial business use. Below, we’ll look at what makes a good blower.
Air volume is one of the most important criteria. Gas leaf blowers are available with air volumes from around 350CFM (cubic feet per minute) to over 700CFM; more is better (though an ultra-high CFM figure is not usually needed for domestic blowers)
Air speed is also important - though it is easier for the manufacturer to play games with this feature (if they supply a small nozzle with the blower & rate the air speed with this nozzle attached, the air speed through the small nozzle will be high, but the blower will not be able to move much air at this speed).
Nozzle size and design
Nozzle design will vary from model to model. Some machines are able to easily direct the flow of leaves and other debris, whereas others may appear uncontrolled in their airflow. Look for a narrow nozzle, which should help direct the blast more easily; this way, you can create piles instead of disorganized chaos.
Though this is a feature that will set you back more, consider picking up a gas leaf blower that has support for leaf mulching. You don't want to spend all your time handling wet, heavy leaves once you've blown them into a pile. Instead, it's far easier to kick the machine into reverse and suck the leaves up, mulching them into compost.
Comfortable design features
Comfort is very important when it comes to leaf blowers. For handheld models, this means focusing on a blower that has well-designed, ergonomic handles, preferably those with contoured design and padding. For a backpack leaf blower, you should ensure that it has padding on the back, as well as substantial shoulder padding. Your back and shoulders will thank you for this later.
Compact when stored
There's normally a reasonably limited window in which you'll need regular access to your leaf blower. Once fall ends and all the leaves are gone, you'll likely need less frequent use of the machine. Therefore, it's ideal to have a blower that can be stored easily in a compact manner. Particularly with a backpack blower, consider whether any parts of the machine can be disassembled temporarily, or folded down.
Maintenance / Cleaning
How to look after your new leaf blower, so it works as well as it can, and lasts as long as possible
Maintenance and cleaning of your gasoline-powered leaf blower is important if you’re going to make the most of its potential lifespan. Gas blowers require more maintenance than electric models, so for the avoidance of doubt, here’s a quick list of advice:
- First, read your owner's manual. Take note of any tips on cleaning and maintaining that specific model of blower
- Drain your motor of any gasoline as soon as the season comes to an end. Dispose of the gasoline and use fresh gas at the beginning of a new season
- Ensure that an appropriate level of oil is maintained at all time. What's more, check the oil regularly for contamination; floating debris or clouded, a dark black color is a sign that it's time to change the oil
- Regularly inspect the air filter, and either clean or replace it regularly, depending upon the advice for your specific gasoline blower.
How do i store a backpack gas leaf blower?
This is a rather curios and specific question we came across regarding gas leaf blowers. But a good one nonetheless. We tried to answer it below as precisely, yet comprehensively, as possible. Regardless of the duration of storage (unless it's just for a day), follow the steps mentioned here for properly storing your machine.
1) Remove all leaves and debris. Run the blower in both blow and vacuum mode for some time while constantly alternating between the two modes. This gets rid of every last bit in the blower. If your unit lacks the vacuum feature, skip this step.
2) Remove all fuel. This step is for long term storage. When gasoline sits stagnant for a long time, the various liquid parts making it up start to separate and disintegrate, forming a toxic sticky remnant. This is not only harmful for the machine but also adds up to the cost of maintenance. So, when you intend to store away the blower for a season, drain out all the fuel as much as possible. Then run your machine for some time until it dies on its own. This confirms all the fuel has been used up.
3) For the insides. Take out the spark plug from the engine and add a tiny amount, about 2 cc, of motor oil inside. Then slowly pull the starter cord a few times so that the insides of the engine has the oil circulated. Then reconnect the spark plug. If you decide on leaving the spark plug disconnected, mask the connector with some tape to prevent oxidation.
4) Discard the engine oil (applicable for 4-stroke engines only). Drain out all the engine oil through the drainage port and collect in a container. Discard it as per local regulations.
5) Wipe clean. Using a plain damp cloth, give the exterior a good wipe to remove all the dirt. Putting away a tool as is without cleaning may leave stains over time. You can also apply a film of oil on the surface by wiping it with a lightly oil soaked cloth. This oiling step prevents oxidation and is optional, but cleaning the exterior after every use is a must.
6) Store in a dry place. This generic statement is seen on almost all packaging. Machines are especially susceptible to moisture as they speed up corrosion or rust formation. Therefore it is imperative to store tools and machines in dry places to ensure no moisture can get to it. Covering up the machine with a waterproof layer also helps, and it prevents dust accumulation as well.
These are the basics for storing away a gas leaf blower for a prolonged period of time. For regular purposes, you can skip steps 2 to 4, but steps 1, 5 and 6 is highly recommended.
A few pointers to help you stay safe when using your blower
Gasoline leaf blowers needn’t be a safety concern, though there are some general pieces of advice to follow. For your own personal safety, you should always wear ear protection, as gasoline engines tend to be very loud. You should also aim to avoid directly breathing in the exhaust fumes.
As you will be creating dust, you should always wear a filter mask. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from flying debris. Although cordless blowers are quieter than gasoline models, you should still wear hearing protection when using power tools.
Don't let children use the blower, or be within 50 feet when you are using it.
For the sake of the environment, you should be sure to responsibly dispose of drained gasoline and oil, as ground contamination can lead to polluted natural water sources. This includes being careful to place a tarp on the ground when draining your machine.
Make sure you read the manual that comes with the blower, for any safety information specific to that model.
Occasionally faults are discovered after a product has gone on sale, usually requiring the product to be recalled by the manufacturer.
There were no recalls listed for any of the leaf blowers mentioned here at the time of writing (March 2019). However, it's always a good idea to check the latest information at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website before buying any large, expensive or potentially dangerous product.
Do you own any of the leaf blowers mentioned here? Did you choose a different one? Let us know in the comments!