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Best leaf blowers under $150

Cheapism.com took a look at some popular models and read through expert and owner reviews to determine which ones are best for consumers on a budget.

By Cheapism.com Oct 23, 2013 1:26PM
This post comes from Louis DeNicola at partner site Cheapism.com

Changing leaves and brisk breezes are pleasant signs that fall is here. But the falling leaves can also be a nuisance in the yard. That’s why an easy-to-use leaf blower is on many people’s seasonal shopping list, if not already in their garage.

 

A leaf blower & autumn leaves (© Roger Whiteway/Getty Images)An inexpensive, relatively quiet, and powerful blower can be elusive, though. Cheapism.com took a look at some popular models and read through expert and owner reviews to determine which ones are best for consumers on a budget.

 

Here are Cheapism’s top picks:

 

The Hitachi RE24EAP (starting at $130) is easy to start and extremely effective, according to the many positive reviews posted online. This powerful gas blower pushes 441 cubic feet of air per minute out the nozzle. Although it’s the loudest and heaviest unit listed here, at 8.5 pounds, owners say this model feels lighter and runs more quietly than they expected. One negative for some reviewers: The throttle has no locking mechanism, so they have to keep the trigger pressed down during operation.

 

The electric Toro Ultra 51609 (starting at $70) is the lightest (7.5 pounds) and quietest machine on this list. Yet it hardly lacks power, pushing out a higher volume of air at a greater velocity than some gas leaf blowers. It also does triple duty as a blower, vacuum, and mulcher. Reviews testify to its durability and value for the money, noting the metal impeller (versus plastic or nylon) for shredding leaves and other debris that users vacuum up. This model boasts a variable speed motor for precise control around landscaping.

 

Another electric blower, the Black & Decker LeafHog LH4500 (starting at $70), produces slightly less power, weighs about a half pound more, and is a little louder. But it features a pivoting nozzle for dispersing clumped-up leaves and makes many users happy, according to reviews. Owners exclaim it’s easy to handle, with a choice of two speeds, and even driveway gravel doesn’t faze the metal impeller. 

 

The Weed Eater FB25 (starting at $77) is a cheap gas-powered blower that’s relatively easy to start, reviewers say, with just a few pulls on the cord. The design wins praise, as the handle has been made to reduce vibration and the air intake is located on the bottom of the unit to reduce the chance of catching the user’s clothing. This is not an especially powerful machine, but a number of users have liked it enough to buy the same model again when an old one wore out after years of use. 

 

The electric leaf blowers mentioned above have cords that must be plugged in, so they’re useful only within range of a power source. For consumers with large yards and long driveways, a gas-powered unit may be the best choice, although buyers have to factor in the ongoing expense of fuel. Gasoline and oil must be mixed in the proper proportion for the two-cycle engines on these low-cost machines.

 

California allows gas blowers only if they meet emissions standards and many communities nationwide impose noise and other restrictions on leaf blowers. Be sure to check relevant laws before making a purchase.


More from Cheapism.com:



50Comments
Oct 26, 2013 8:55AM
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Echo or Stihl is still better and just a few dollars more...your choice buy them now or be sorry.
Oct 26, 2013 4:04AM
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Can get a rake for $10 and some exercise to lose the fat belly for free!  And if you have kids... well, you can get them moving for $10 each also and make it a family affair.  Then there are manual hedge clippers, hand weed clippers, even mowers you have to push... and snow shovels, paint brushes, widex and squeegies for the windows, ladders to get those gutters... just a bunch of things to get you out and breaking a little sweat and breathing some fresh air without a gallon of gas and ear and eye protection.  And a great big "whew" and a good feeling about yourself when you are done.  I suppose.
Oct 26, 2013 10:29AM
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Sold Stihl products for 20 years. Guess you could my sentiments Echo Lucky667. Stihl or Echo both the best. Red Max is also a great brand in gas powered blowers. I notice that in Central America the pros spend 1 month or more in wages for each piece of lawn maintenance equipment. Low wages and high duties make it unreasonable to buy less than the best and buy it once for the long haul. 
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WARNING:  I have two hairy dogs that shed.  I tried a leaf blower to blow all the hair from under sofas, chairs, refrigerators, etc. out the back door.  Very regrettable.  DO NOT DO THIS.
Oct 26, 2013 12:30PM
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it  is  fine  to  rake leaves  if  you  have   a  city lot...   if  you  live in  the country  and  have  1-2  acres  of  yard  with  mature  trees  you  will  be  raking   a  long  time.

 

 

go  with  a  stihl  blower... they  are  made  in the  U.S.   and  a  good  leaf  blowers.

Oct 26, 2013 2:46PM
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I have a Stihl BR320 blower that is going on 25 years now.  Aside from replacing the spark plug and fuel filter about once every 4-5 years, the only "maintenance" I've had to do is replace the starter ripcord ONCE, ($14 part), and replaced the head gasket ONCE ($6 part), both EASY to do, took me about 15 minutes to do the ripcord, and about 25 minutes to do the head gasket.

 

I'm not a mechanic by trade, I'm an IT/Electronics professional, and the maintenance is stupid easy.

Best brand in small engines/machines by far is Stihl.

Oct 26, 2013 12:26PM
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I  don't  know  much  about  leafblowers...  have  a  friend  with  mega  leaves...  I  help  her  with  fall  cleanup.  she  is  on  her   second  poulan  blower  if  I  were  to  buy  a  leafblower  I  would   spend  more  money...   $30-$50    to  get  a  better  blower... this  poulan  is  not  very  good
Oct 26, 2013 6:01PM
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I've had an electric Black and Decker unit for 12 years.  Don't use the blower much, but the vac is great as it shreds the leaves for my compost pile.  The only problem is it has a plastic impeller which has worn down over the years.  Glad to see the new ones have metal impellers. 
Oct 26, 2013 4:30PM
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Take it from a lawn care expert, don't waste money on cheep blowers that break down, buy a good quality one. I have worked with Stihl and Red Max. The Stihl BR400 was the best one they made, it was lite and worked good but the BR 600 sucked because the blower tube was to big and the engine did not have enough power.  The 400 is not available the way it used to be made in the 90's and early 2000's. Then there is Red Max. I have worked with the 7000, 7001, 8000, 8001 and the 8500 models, and I can tell you that for a homeowner the 6000 or 7000 is more than enough power and works great, only problem is that the 7000 is heavy.  If you maintain your equipment though you won't have a problem.  Recommend 93 octane with Amsoil synthetic oil to cut down on carbon problems and the ethanol issues. 
Oct 26, 2013 4:21PM
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How about a $5 rake.

Low maintenance.

No gas needed to store.

Gets you exercise rather than depending on that diet soda.

Oct 26, 2013 4:19PM
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i found one in someones trash no on and off switch i just plug it in and  it works
Oct 26, 2013 6:05PM
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"Consumers on a budget" should consider Black and Decker battery powered (18V) blower.  I'm a senior citizen and my B&D is working just fine after 5 years.  Leave the noisy, smelly, gas powered ones to the gardeners.
Oct 26, 2013 5:26PM
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I have a homelite that's 27 years old! The very first time I tried to start it the pull cord broke, man was I pissed!! Pulled it apart put back what was left of the cord about 1/2 of it and it has been good ever since!  
Oct 27, 2013 2:12AM
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i had a craftsman leaf blower and it worked good the first year then the next year it didn't work for some reason so i took it back to sears and by the time they fixed it i didn't need it. every craftsman weed wacker, lawnmower and leaf blower i've had worked for a year or two at the most and then wouldn't start again.
Oct 26, 2013 8:50PM
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I like the kind that sucks them up and grinds them up.
Oct 26, 2013 8:33PM
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I'm not sure I need one of these. I live in the desert- no leaves, and my gardner has a beaut, which he seldom uses.
When stuff blows into my yard, I use a long stick, with metal protrusions across the end. Simply pull it towards you, and magically, the paper and stuff is drawn into a pile. 
Does anyone have a tool which can pick up the pile? I'm stumped, and my gardener is away.

Oct 26, 2013 4:52PM
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I agree with the Weed Eater. It's price is good, it starts well, is light, and last a couple of years before it becomes difficult. I'm not into leaf blower service.
Oct 26, 2013 8:51PM
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I bought the  Toro Electric at least 10 years ago, fo I think $38 at the time. It has a 90 mph rating and does just fine. I live on 18 acres and have a few very long extension cords to get around but find it very adequate and always dependable. and convenient because you can take it in the house too....lolol.
Oct 26, 2013 6:56PM
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I have had a man just two weeks ago offer to mow my lawn and do some leaf cleaning. I was just sitting on the porch drinking a brew when he approached me with a mower and asked to  do the lawn plus some. I know a crack head when I see one so I said sure! Mow away! Paid him $5 bucks for a twenty dollar job, and he went at it like a wild man. Told him come back once a week till leaves done falling. He showed up with a gutter slut gal, said it was his wife and they both would  rake the lawn for $10. I agreed while watching them on the porch with a beer work like dogs; at least he did!; the gutter slut on two occasions was puking on my lawn as I was amused with just how bad off she was reckn withdrawing; I don't know!. So offered her a bottle of water and she refused it wanting to know if I had a beer instead. [Laughable] as I was addressing her saying no while I opened my second beer. Told her skank ars wait and got my $3 garage sale leaf blower out; plugged it in and said try this and gave her a beer to drink while doing it. Man can she do nothing more than stand there and look frozen at how to operate this on/off switch electric blower. So! paid him $10 and her a $20 on the side. Told her come back in two days and will pay you only to rake my leaves till done falling. She did and have paid her $50 in two work days. Weird she seemed to sober up after I paid her and returned just yesterday and raked again.... 
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