Best Brushless Blower

I was very impressed with this blower. My current champion of blowing is the Greenworks brushless 40v blower. The Greenworks is full featured with a tube and bagger that lets it mulch leaves, and has a positively huge 40v 4ah battery on it. The DeWalt performs similarly however, while being smaller with a lighter/smaller tool battery… in fact it outlasted the Greenworks.

One thing I really see when comparing the two is that the Greenworks has a long necked-down tube with the statement “185 MPH” on it… what they fail to mention is the CFM which probably isn’t that great. The DeWalt, on the other hand, has a large tube all the way out and the output covers a much greater area.

They both have similar overall output/usefulness, and both have roughly the same sound level… the Greenworks has more of a “classic” blower sound, while the DeWalt, with its’ turbine/jet style setup, has more of a high pitched buzzing sound.One thing I really liked on the DeWalt is the instant-on trigger versus the Greenworks. To start the DeWalt, just squeeze. To start the Greenworks you have to push the power button, push the turbo button (to get full power), THEN dial up a speed on the wheel (there’s not a trigger).

Here’s a real-world battery test. I timed both blowers at full possible speed and what I judge to be comparable outputs. DeWalt blower on full throttle, Greenworks on full, plus “turbo” button engaged.

Greenworks run-time: 12:17
Dewalt run-time: 19:23
So, yeah, the DeWalt ran for half again as long.

The Greenworks was left cooling down while I used the DeWalt all over the back yard. After the test was complete, both batteries were warm but not hot and the cutoff on both was electronic/immediate. They also both started out on the chargers with overheat/cooldown warnings on the charger before they would charge. That seems a common theme with li-ion battery setups.

Pros:

  • great run-time especially considering the tiny battery it uses
  • wider/larger coverage while providing similar “oomph” as a comparable blower that is necked down
  • no power-on and turbo buttons… pull the trigger, get instant-on full power.
  • compares favorably/reasonable with a tool that is double the power/voltage.

Cons:

  • no extra features/options.
  • This is just a blower, nothing more.
  • Not really a con depending

This Greenworks G-MAX 40V 2 AH Lithium-Ion Cordless Leaf Blower is a great replacement for your gas powered or electric blower for those small to medium size projects around your yard. Perfect for sweeping and gathering leaves and debris, this blower will get the job done quickly and efficiently without the hassle of gas powered products such as gas pull start cords, spilling gas or running out of gas. The variable speed dial offers up to 150 MPH, this blower offers the power necessary to clean your yard without damaging your eardrums or your relationship with your neighbors. With this Lithium-Ion blower, you can focus on maintaining your yard rather than your tool, it is easy to use and very low maintenance. Just recharge the battery when needed and store in a safe area is all it takes to keep this reliable and robust tool going. With up to 35 minutes of run time, you can complete a project with one charge. If there is a need for more, this tool is also compatible with our GreenWorks G-MAX 4 AH battery for additional run time. This blower is efficiently designed with a 2-piece blower tube, which adds more control while sweeping and gathering, making it a great addition to your GreenWorks Tool shed.

This worked much better than expected. I like the adjustable speed and freedom of a cordless design. I was able to blow off the front driveway, front sidewalks, 2 side door porches, the back sidewalks, and the back patio in 10 minutes… Used to take an hour because of the extension cords with my old blower. I have more control with the GreenWorks blower over where the debris is blown/ easier clean up.>> Using a speed setting of 1.
My old 210 MPH corded blower blew away the leaves, my gravel. and punched a holes in the dirt. The Greenworks lasted about 25 minutes on full speed or 45 minutes varying the speed while I was testing the battery capacity.
PROS
  • Lightweight and easy to use

CONS

  • Little slow to start

Greenworks  Cordless String Trimmer & Blower  STBA40B210

GreenWorks GMAX 40V system offers a wide range of easy to use tools for the homeowner & those who just want more power. This 12″ cordless string trimmer features an front mount motor for optimum balance. Light weight & easier to use, it has a variable Speed trigger for power on demand, 12″ cut path, .065 line diameter auto feed head for easy line advancement. Designed for ease of use & comfortable operation without the hassle of gas. The 40V axial blower features a variable Speed trigger & cruise control for optimized control. With 110 mph & 390 CFM, blowing leaves has never been so easy. Compatible batteries currently include a 2Ah (model 29462) & 4Ah (model 29472) battery & charger (model 29482). the 2Ah battery charges within 1 hr. So you can get back to work & finish that job. The 4Ah battery charges within 2 hours.

This is a true WEED WHACKER! It’s the bomb–it does not play around. It whacks everything in its path, be warned. I love it — cuts my work time in half compared to my Ryobi whose battery just quit on me. With a replacement battery costing $150, I decided to just buy a new machine, and I’m glad I switched. I think the double line makes a big difference, and the battery recharges in 2 hours. I’ve been using it about 3 weeks with no problem so far. Be careful not to get too close to plants like lillies with heavy leaves; they get caught in the mechanism and really pull at the motor, probably shortening its running time–and they can gum the whole works up (I used to have to stop and take things apart to get them unwound from the wheel of my Ryobi), but this one just shakes it off if you move it in time. It is long, as some have mentioned, but that means I can reach under bushes easily. I can handle it fairly easily, and I’m a 5′ 6″, 130 lb, 71 year old woman with not very strong arms. This GreenWorks product is A+ in my book .

Worx Turbine 12 Amp Corded Leaf Blower

The WORX WG520 Blower is a High capacity air volume blower with TURBINE fan technology that delivers a powerful performance with up to 600 CFM. With air speeds up to 115mph and a variable-speed control system allows this blower to tackle any job. The dynamic airflow design forces air in a streamline motion to deliver consistent and powerful results. The 600 CFM is in line with the air volume moved by a some professional backpack blowers, so you know you can get the job done.

This is the most powerful handheld electric blower available. If you’re serious about getting the job done quickly, this is the baseline. The next power tier is a gas backpack blower at five times the cost, then an even more powerful backpack, and then four-digit specialty tools from companies like Billy Goat. I bought the Worx because I didn’t want to spend three hours raking a half-acre of grass.

My trial run was an hour of continuous use with matted wet leaves and driveway sand. It quickly became apparent that to be efficient, a blower has to move leaves without being on top of them. Blowing from six inches just makes everything scatter as piles build up. You end up crisscrossing the section you just cleared to deal with the strays. The further your breeze carries, the more direct the flight path of the leaves. This range, and the ability to scour stubborn leaves from the ground, comes from air speed (MPH). At the same time, though, you need a big enough wall of air to move more than one leaf at once. That comes from the size of your pipe opening. The two in combination determine your total air volume over a given span of time, or CFM (cubic feet per minute).

In physics-land (with spherical cows and turbulence-free pipes, spared from the icy hand of marketing), CFM is the best measure of a blower’s power and work capacity. MPH, you can change by varying the size of the pipe; a smaller pipe makes a smaller column of air moving at a faster speed (and more impressive advertising), which is why a lot of consumer-class blowers have tiny nozzles. (I’m looking at you, Sun Joe SBJ601E.) CFM stays the same regardless of nozzle size. In theory.

In practice, trying to cram air quickly into a tiny hole tends to reduce CFM, so blowers that optimize for speeds over about 150 MPH tend to be less efficient relative to their fuel or electricity consumption. Still, if you know either value and the size of the pipe, you can calculate the other (assuming the manufacturer isn’t misleading you by quoting CFM at the fan and MPH at the end of the pipe). To get CFM from MPH and the radius of a round pipe, the calculation is (radius^2)*(mph)*(1.92). That’s (1.69^2)(110)(1.92) for this blower’s 110 MPH and 3 3/8″ pipe, with the result arriving right at the rated number of 600 CFM.

Anyway, the Worx has enough volume and speed to blow mounds of wet leaves from six feet and dry ones from ten or more. It’s impressively powerful. I was switching arms every few minutes as they wore out from the backward force. Only some really baked-on mud would have benefited from a pipe-reducer attachment. Thanks to ape-like proportions or the secure fit of my spandex leaf-blowing onesie, clothing suction from the rear-directed air intake hasn’t been a bother.

ALTERNATIVES:

I almost bought Toro’s highly-rated “Ultra” combination blower to minimize bagging, but the vacuum functionality didn’t seem that useful in videos. Maybe it’d be adequate to clean an enclosed deck area or a small yard with a scattering of dry leaves. For a larger yard, it looks like a time sink relative to a standalone mulcher. Likewise the blowing capacity, which, at 410 CFM, trails the Worx by quite a lot.

Cordless tools were also tempting. There’s a 20V DeWalt people seem to like that’s rated at (a perhaps optimistic) 400 CFM. Because it’s a similar design to the Worx, we can compare power directly. DeWalt’s standard battery is 20V (or so we’ll stipulate; it’s closer to 18V) and 5 amp-hours, so we’re looking at 100 watt-hours total output. 15 minutes of runtime translates to a sustained draw, best case, of 400W. Assuming 90% efficiency in the brushless motor, that’s 360W actually moving air. (When new. Expect a performance drop over time and battery replacements by year three.)

Compare this Worx: 12 amps at 120V equates to 1440 watts sustained, in this case feeding a 2-pole AC/DC motor that’s perhaps 55% efficient. 12A is close to the maximum a household device can reasonably expect from a typical 15A socket. Even with nearly half of our power lost to heat and noise, the remaining 790W is over double what the DeWalt can manage: at any given moment, the Worx is doing twice the work. Things go pear-shaped when you try to equate power and blowing efficiency across disparate fan types, but there’s no two ways about it: for like blower designs, current batteries can’t compare to a fully-leveraged power socket.

And what of gas blowers? The handheld versions have around 1 HP with CFM from 450 to 500. They’re usually tuned for higher MPH than the Worx, so they’re likely to be a little better with wet leaves and a little worse with dry ones. Backpack blowers up the displacement and make between 1.5 and 5 horsepower. The models that you might find on the back of a professional landscaper can manage nearly 1000 CFM with speeds around 200 MPH. That’s a considerable difference, but you pay for it at the checkout and in weight: figure 10 pounds or so for a handheld (relative to 7ish for this unit, plus some cord) and 20 or more for a backpack.

ACCESSORIES:

* A motor this powerful benefits from a thick (low gauge) cord for longer runs. You lose a bit of performance with thinner cord.

The generic orange 50-foot extension everyone has is 16-gauge. Feeding a 12A load for 50 feet, it’ll have a voltage drop of about 5V. Heavier 14-gauge loses 2.5V on the same run, and industrial 12-gauge, only 1.5V. The scale is linear, so if you double up that 16-gauge cord for a 100-foot run, you’ll lop off 10V.

How’s that play out here? From a short and fat cable (that the cheesy plastic strain-relief piece won’t actually accommodate; just tie a granny knot over the two plugs instead), we’d expect a 1440W draw (12A * 120V, or a bit less because the house wiring itself has some drop). Losing 5V drops the total to 1380W. That’s about what I found when I tested the Worx with a watt meter.

12ag / 3 ft = 1423W
14ag / 100 ft = 1352W
16ag / 50 ft = 1351W
16ag / 50 ft + 14ag / 100 ft = 1280W

Minimum draw from the progressive thumb dial was 260W.

For shorter runs, disconnect extensions you don’t actively need. Every cable dissipates a percentage of the energy it carries to heat. As above, skinny cables lose more. Coiled on the ground and coupled with a high-load device like the Worx, they can build up enough heat to start melting insulation, which tends to cause sheepish expressions and insurance claims.

* It’s loud. Loud enough to merit hearing protection. On an A-weighted scale (approximating human hearing), it makes 82 dB on low and 91 dB on high, outdoors from three feet. Indoors or near a boundary wall, volume jumps by 10 dB and subjectively doubles. While the sound character emulates a vacuum, my Shark only measures 72 dB indoors; you’d have to run over a rat’s nest of lamp cords to make one this loud. Amazon has a number of comfortable muffs for less than a Jackson that’ll keep your ears intact.

You can find electric blowers with more toys, but none that’ll get the job done as fast as this one. It’s a bargain at the asking price. I’ll update if I catch any reliability problems.

Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Blower Vac, 250 mph