What Size of Leaf Blowers Do I Need? (Explained for Beginners)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

There are varieties of leaf blowers on the market today. It can be quite confusing to choose one and know it is the perfect choice for you.

You do not want to spend quite a lot of money on a tool and then realize it is not for you.

The size of leaf blower you need depends on the kind of work you are doing. Smaller models are good for small yard jobs.

While the bigger ones are more suitable for professional work.

This article will discuss how to choose a leaf blower. In the end, you’ll be able to figure out exactly what type of blower you need. 

How Do I Choose A Leaf Blower?

What Size of Leaf Blowers Do I Need

There are several factors you have to consider before choosing a leaf blower. They include:

  1. Type of Blower

There are different types of blower designs. Each design has been made for a blowing activity. They are more suited to various tasks than the others.

The three major types of leaf blower include:

  • Handheld leaf blower: A handheld leaf blower is ideal for porches, gazebos, and any small lawn. This is due to its agility, adaptability, and lightweight. 

It lacks the capacity to clear heavy particles. However, it can manage light snow, dust, and sawdust without becoming clogged.

If you are looking to get a blower for a small yard job then this is perfect for you. 

  • Backpack leaf blower: The back pack blower gives you more power and a longer run time. 

It is ideal for garages, large shops, and fields with a lot of ground to cover.

Wet leaves, twigs, pebbles, and metal shavings are easily blown away by this model.

  • Walk-behind leaf blower: This model is used for jobs that require a lot of power and to be completed quickly. 

It is more suitable for a professional crew. It easily blows away leaves, heavy paper and cardboard, and other garbage that has been left on the ground.

  1. Power Source

The way power is generated in the leaf blower is also an important factor you should consider. As of present, leaf blowers are either gas powered or electric powered. 

  • Gas Powered Leaf Blower: gas powered leaf blowers are the traditional types that have been used since blowers were designed.

Gas blowers are reputed to be more powerful on the average. However,  they are also the most difficult to maintain. 

They are also very loud compared to the electric models.

They can come in 2 stroke or 4 stroke engines. 2 stroke engines often require a mixture of gas and oil before it is poured into the engine.

4 strokes on the other hand does not require the mix. 

  • Electric Leaf Blowers: although not as strong as the gas blowers, electric models are quiet and will also get the work done. They can come either as corded or battery powered (cordless) 

The corded models are often connected to a power source and you can use it as long as it is plugged in.

However, mobility is often hampered as you can only work within the length of the cord.

Cordless models on the other hand rely on batteries. Most batteries on the market often last between 30 mins to over an hour. 

  1. Type of Power

This refers to the Cubic feet per minute (CFM) and Miles per hour (MPH) of the blower. The volume of air that flows out of the leaf blower’s tube in one minute is measured in CFM. 

The number of CFMs represents how far the fan pushes the leaves in a specific area.

MPH is the speed of the air as it exits the leaf blower.

A leaf blower with a high CFM rating will undoubtedly blow more air. It is also capable of blowing off additional debris and materials.

Both measures are important. However, a blower with a higher CFM is more likely to be powerful than one with a higher MPH.

  1. Noise Levels

Gas leaf blowers might be powerful however, they can be a serious pain when it comes to their noise levels.

If you plan to use the blower in a residential and quiet area, it is best for you to go with an electric leaf blower.

Due to their high noise levels, gas blowers are getting banned in cities. You should take your neighbors into consideration. 

You do not want them complaining about your machines’ noise every time you bring it out to use. 

  1. Features and Attachments

A leaf blower can come as a basic tool with no extra attachments or features which is just fine. 

However, these features can make all the difference while you are working.

Depending on the kind of job you are doing some attachments you should look out for include:

  • Vacuum/Mulcher option 
  • Gutter cleaning extensions
  • Leaf collection bags
  • Blower head kits

For the features, your leaf blower should be able to offer you some or all of the following:

  • Extra handgrip for handheld models
  • Nozzle design- go with a flatter design
  • Speed control
  • Easy shutoff switch
  • Adjustable air deflector

These features typically provide convenience and extra safety on the job. 

  1. Maintenance 

Gas powered models are typically harder to maintain than the electric types. Generally look out for a model that is easy to maintain. 

The parts should be available readily when you need to repair them. Warranty is also important. The manufacturer should be able to offer 1 to 2 years warranty on the blower. 

Here is an article I wrote on are leaf blowers bad for your health

How Strong Of A Leaf Blower Do You Need?

The strength of the blower you’ll need depends on the kind of work you have to do.

As we have outlined above, handheld blowers are good for indoor jobs. 

They are not so strong but they can move leaves and small debris. Backpack blowers are more powerful and are good for garages and larger yards.

If you have large landscaping needs however, then you should go for a walk behind a leaf blower model.

What Is A Good Cfm For A Leaf Blower?

Leaf blowers come with a variety of features including the CFM and MPH.

The size of the area you intend to cover with the leaf blower is a good determinant of the CFM that is suitable for you. 

If you have a small yard and only want to cover a few areas, such as your porch or driveway. a leaf blower with a CFM range of 200-400

If you need to cover a larger area, such as an acre or more, a leaf blower with a CFM of 400 to 700 will suffice.

Leaf blowers with CFMs in this range are incredibly powerful and can manage debris whether wet or dry.

Walk behind leaf blowers are often more powerful and can come with CFMs of up to 3000. However they are often quite noisy.

What Size Leaf Blower Should I Get? 

The size of leaf blower that you should get is dependent on the area of land you are using it for.

Like i mentioned earlier, there are 3 major sizes which include; handheld, backpack and walk behind types. 

If you are a homeowner with a small yard, it will make sense for you to go with a small handheld model.

It will be extremely ridiculous if you were to use a walk-behind model in that setting.

Backpacks are good for people who have to work on larger yards and lawns. Walk behind types are for the professionals.

They are often seen in city parks and other large areas that require landscaping. 

Also check out this article I wrote on are leaf blowers bad for bees?


Planning to purchase a leaf blower is a good decision.

Leaf blowers help to cut our work time in half as opposed to working with rakes to clear leaves.

It can be quite complicated and that is why we have outlined the various factors you have to consider before buying your leaf blower. 

You should not take your decision in a hurry. Leaf blower buying requires some thinking and consideration.

When you have made the best choice, then you can go out and get it. 

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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