Got leaves in your yard? See which leaf blowers do the best job

Don't Waste Your Money

(WXYZ) - Autumn leaves are a beautiful sight.  But once those leaves hit the ground, they're a nuisance!  Consumer Reports tested 57 leaf blowers to find which do the best job cleaning the lawn.

Got leaves?

A leaf blower can sweep them into a tidy pile.  Consumer Reports just tested dozens of them!

Testers used this enclosure to see how fast the blowers worked, timing how long it took to clear the area.

They embedded leaves in the lawn and covered them with sawdust to check how well the blowers loosen debris.

For smaller yards, electric handheld blowers are an easy-to-use choice--as long as you can reach a power outlet.

Peter Sawchuk of Consumer Reports said, "our tests showed that some of the electric-powered blowers moved leaves nearly as fast as the best gasoline blowers, but at half the price."

A top pick is Toro's Ultra Blower Vac.  It's a Consumer Reports Best Buy at 75 dollars--and an extra bonus, it can vacuum leaves,too.

If you need to go a distance, gas-powered blowers let you move around without a cord.

"In our tests, the top gas blowers got the job done fast," Sawchuk said.  "But they need fuel and require maintenance."

For 150 dollars, the Husqvarna 125-B is a Best Buy.  And it's not as noisy for the neighbors as many of the other gas blowers.

Another option- a backpack blower.  It shifts the weight from your arms to your shoulders.

"Backpack blowers do cost more, but if you have a large area to clear, having the weight on your back makes it much easier," Sawchuk said.

Consumer Reports recommends a Ryobi as a Best Buy.  At 200 dollars, it has a small fan that's mounted sideways, making it function like a bigger blower.

One caution about the Ryobi backpack blower is that it's among the loudest leaf blowers tested.  But Consumer Reports says nearly all leaf blowers can damage your ears, so be sure to wear hearing protection whenever you use them.

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