Canstar Blue’s 2020 leaf blower review compares Ryobi and Ozito on their reliability & performance, fuel economy & battery life, maintenance & servicing, ease of use, noise levels, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Huffing and puffing over a messy backyard or shed? Then maybe it’s time clear out all the grass clippings, wood dust, sticks, bark and other bits and pieces with a new leaf blower. When it comes to curating the perfect Aussie backyard, there’s plenty to consider. There’s the mowing, the trimming, the fertilising, the irrigating, and then the natural elements which can wreak havoc on your hard work! But, while you can’t do anything about weather turns, you can deal with the aftermath with the right tools.
To help you find a leaf blower that doesn’t suck (or does, depending on what you need), we asked nearly 300 Aussies about the leaf blower they purchased and used in the last two years. Respondents rated brands on reliability & performance, fuel economy & battery life, maintenance & servicing, ease of use, noise, value for money and overall satisfaction. Manufacturers which received the minimum sample size of 30 responses are featured in our report.
Ryobi cleaned up best in our latest ratings, after it earned five-star reviews across all categories.
Here are the best leaf blowers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2020 review:
Ryobi made a clean sweep in this year’s ratings, earning five-star reviews across the board.
Ozito also clearly blew away plenty of Aussies when it came to fuel economy & battery life and ease of use, after similarly rocking five-star ratings in both categories. Although it trimmed a little too much off its overall score since taking the top spot last year, eventually landing on four stars overall.
Japanese brand Ryobi is one of the leading brands when it comes to gardening and landscaping, as well as power tools and different types of outdoor equipment. It offers a wide variety of products, such as pressure washers, generators, shredders, drain augers, measuring tools, batteries & chargers and leaf blowers. Ryobi is exclusively available through Bunnings. The range mostly includes electric models, both as individual units and kit options.
Ryobi’s One+ series is the brand’s largest leaf blower range, with prices typically starting from $89.98 for the Ryobi 18V One+ Workshop Blower which provides three speed levels and a 200km/hr maximum air speed. The Ryobi 18V One+ Brushless Blower Vacuum ($239 RRP*) is one of the most expensive options in the line, and is designed for vacuuming dry leaves and grass. The 18V blower vac works with a 201km/hr air speed and comes with a 35L bag capacity.
Other Ryobi blowers include:
Ryobi earned a solid five-star rating across the board, including for value for money and overall satisfaction.
Australian brand Ozito offers a wide variety of different power and garden tools, ranging from cordless drills to sanders, from chainsaws to lawn mowers and of course, leaf blowers. Sold exclusively through Bunnings, Ozito’s range features electric models, and provides one of the widest line-ups on the market.
One of the models you can find is the Power X Change Cordless Blower (PXCBLS-018). It’s equipped with an 18V battery, capable of producing 210km/hr air speed. It also has a lightweight 1.35kg design. If you’re after something with a bit more grunt to it, the Ozito Power X Change Cordless Jet Blower includes two 18V batteries and a Turbo Boost function.
In addition to traditional leaf blower models, Ozito also offers a number of blower-vacuum options. This includes the 3-in-1 Electric Blower Vacuum-Mulcher, which contains a 45L vacuum bag and a 15:1 mulching ratio. The entire range, including individual models and kits, usually costs between $29.98 and $199.
Other Ozito blowers include:
Ozito earned five-star reviews for fuel economy & battery life and ease of use, before landing on a respectable four stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories. The only exception was noise while operating, where it got three stars.
While only two brands qualified for our ratings, there are a number of other brands available on the market for you to choose from. Here are a few of the major brands you’d likely find at your local retailer.
Known for its range of power tools, Black & Decker also produces a number of garden tools to help you tackle any DIY or lawncare job you have around the house. Primarily available in electric models, a Black & Decker leaf blower can be picked up from hardware and power tool retailers.
The 18V Cordless Leaf Blower is Black & Decker’s introductory model, and features a soft grip handle for comfort and control, along with a 209km/hr power output to help you clear a path. Weighing in at only 1.7kg, it also features a Power Boost function to help you tackle those bigger jobs, ideal for those who are looking to spruce up the lawn without going overboard. Black & Decker’s range includes a 2500W Blower Vac – which features a 40L bag and 310km/hr output – as well as a 36V Blower Vac, which comes equipped with a 7:1 mulching ratio, as well as multiple modes if you’re looking to switch between power or running time.
Another familiar face in the power tool and yard equipment market, Japanese brand Makita offers a number of tools and models for Aussies to choose from. Its leaf blower range includes both petrol and electric models, with some suited for smaller backyards, while others are better suited for those looking to clean every corner and crevice.
Makita’s range includes 18V and 36V models, with the introductory 18V model including a three-stage air selection to help you breeze through your chores list, as well as an optional vacuum kit available if you’re looking to step up your mulching game. Makita’s petrol models range between 25CC and 75CC engines, with the more powerful models coming as the backpack variety, making them easier to carry around the yard. With the 75CC leaf blower weighing almost 12kg and providing a 1.9L fuel tank, it’s not for the faint of heart, but may be just the ticket if you’ve got plenty of lawn to tidy.
Operating in a number of industries, Bosch’s consumer goods range features power tools and gardening equipment, including lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers. While it may not offer the range as some competitors, Bosch may be suitable for those who aren’t looking for all the bells and whistles.
Bosch’s leaf blower range includes an 18V and 36V cordless model, both of which weigh under 2kg and have an airflow speed of over 200km/hr, meaning it still packs a punch despite the lightweight design. The 18V model has a run time of up to 17 minutes, while the 36V could operate for over half an hour, ideal for all but the largest lawns. Bosch additionally offers a number of charging stations and batteries as optional extras if you need a bit of extra juice to tackle a big project.
While at first glance all leaf blowers look to do the same thing, there are a few differences that you should be aware of before you head on down to your local store. In addition to how they’re powered (electric versus petrol models), leaf blowers are also categorised as handheld, backpack or walk behind models, with each suiting different workloads.
Handheld models will likely be what you picture when you think of leaf blowers, and what you’d likely see when your over-enthusiastic neighbour gets stuck into their yard-work early on Sunday mornings. Handheld models are just that – handheld – and are generally the lightest option available, but can still pack a punch to help clear any debris.
Backpack models are larger leaf blowers that sit on your back – just like a backpack. These will generally have larger engines, and therefore weigh heavier than handheld models. That’s why wearing this type of leaf blower on your back is likely to be a bit safer and more comfortable experience, instead of holding it in your hands. You’ll generally see these in the arsenal of lawn care businesses, or for those who have plenty of work to do.
As the same suggests, a walk behind leaf blower is a leaf blower that you… walk behind. While not a common variety of leaf blower, these models may be worth looking into if you’re not keen on carrying anything, although you may have to pay more if you’re after a leaf blower on wheels.
An offshoot of the handheld leaf blower, instead of blowing the leaves and debris away, the blower vacuum sucks up any leaves or grass clippings into an attached bag, similarly to how a vacuum cleaner works. The benefit of this is that you can then dispose of the leaves, grass clippings or other debris as you like, instead of simply blowing it away, only for it to potentially blow back with any gust of wind. Most models will also include a mulching function, allowing you to mulch leaves into compost to help freshen up your garden.
As with any purchase, which leaf blower you decide to take to the checkout will be dependent on a number of factors, including how big (and messy) your yard is, how often you’ll be using the leaf blower, whether or not you’d like a mulching feature, and how much money you’re willing to spend.
According to our latest survey, Australians spend an average of $170 on their leaf blowers. One in four (25%) purchased the same brand of leaf blower as their other yard tools, while 13% opted for a leaf blower that came in a packaged deal.
Our research also found that most Australians use their leaf blower weekly (32%) or fortnightly (29%). Fewer people pick up their garden tool monthly (20%), with only a handful using their leaf blower on a daily basis (7%). So, it might be more cost effective to opt for a multi-functional blower to help tackle different types of messes that have built up over time. Almost one in three (30%) respondents said they own a combined leaf blower and vacuum, while 19% of those we surveyed picked up a leaf blower with a built-in mulcher.
But make sure to do a bit of research in advance before deciding which leaf blower you’d like to take home.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
*Prices taken from respective retailers and Bunnings, correct as of September 2020.
Photo credits: Smileus/Shutterstock.com, Diamond Bitzer/Shutterstock.com, Rj lerich/Shutterstock.com, Welcomia/Shutterstock.com, VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com.
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new leaf blower in the last 2 years – in this case, 291 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.