Electric vs Gas Leaf Blower – Which Should You Go For?

If you’re not raking in money, please miss me with the raking, right? No one even rakes in money with an actual rake, much less rake in leaves. It’s too much hard work, and that’s what leaf blowers are for.

But then leaf blowers come in different shapes which is why the electric vs gas leaf blower debate is a common one.

But whether this is your first investment or you’re looking to replace an old one, you want to weigh your choices properly before making a decision. Electric and gas leaf blowers each come with their strong points and drawbacks. They, certainly, aren’t interchangeable.

So which should you choose?

Don’t worry; this article covers everything you need to know and more.

Now, let’s power through this article. It’s sure going to be a blast! Pun definitely intended.

Man holding leaf blower among fallen leaves

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Electric vs Gas Leaf Blowers – The Basics

What Are Electric Leaf Blowers?

This is pretty straightforward. Such a leaf blower is typically corded and is best suited to smaller yards. It’s also great if you’re one to use a leaf blower only during the fall.

As you can tell, a corded leaf blower would be quite convenient but there’s always the battery-powered option.

Now, before you get too excited, battery-powered leaf blowers do not deliver on power. However, they are more convenient and you have to ensure that they stay charged.

You can check out this video where a battery-powered leaf blower and a plug-in electric leaf blower are put to the test.

What Are Gas Leaf Blowers?

Gas leaf blowers come with convenience but, of course, at a cost. They are more expensive than electric leaf blowers. Plus, you’re going to have to buy fuel too.

Okay, before we get into the main comparison. You have seen how leaf blowers work and it’s possible this isn’t what you want. Leaf vacuums work like vacuum cleaners, but for yards. For more, check out our article on the best leaf vacuums, or start with our article comparing leaf blowers vs vacuums.

Heads Up: Performance-Wise, This Isn’t Much Of A Debate

I’ll be real with you, an electric and a gas leaf blower are, by and large, equally effective. Especially if you’re talking about the handheld models common among homeowners, picking a gas-powered blower over an electric will not come down to performance.

It is true that most professionals often use gas models rather than electric ones. But wouldn’t you be slightly irritated if your guy comes in asking you where they can plug in their equipment? Exactly.

8 Factors To Consider When Choosing Electric vs Gas Leaf Blowers

All that said, there are 8 factors you want to consider before choosing an electric or gas-powered leaf blower. They are:

  1. Power
  2. Maneuverability
  3. Noise
  4. Emissions
  5. Weight
  6. Cost
  7. Maintenance
  8. The size of your yard

Alright, let me walk you through each of them. Stay close.

Power

If power is what you want, a gas leaf blower is what you should get. Just as it is with machinery, the bigger the machine, the more powerful it is. Gas-powered leaf blowers just do the work much better and much faster than their electric cousins.

So, are electric leaf blowers any good? Of course, they are. Electric leaf blowers might not give as much power as gas models, but some of them do come close. But then again, to get those extra-powerful electric models, you must be ready to pay more.

The good thing, though, is that it is highly unlikely that a homeowner would need uber-powerful machinery to tend their yard.

Maneuverability

When it comes to maneuverability, the gas vs electric leaf blower debate is easily concluded.

Gas blowers are, obviously, much easier to maneuver than electric leaf blowers which have to remain plugged in at all times.

A plugged-in electric leaf blower can only give you about 100 feet of leeway. And we’re looking at a straight line from the power source.

True, there are cordless electric leaf blowers but those things can be quite puny for yard work. The best they can do, at least until the technology advances, is to clear leaves from hard surfaces such as driveways.

So, if maneuverability is most important to you, go with a gas-powered leaf blower.

Person on stairs blowing leaves off

Noise

The gas vs electric leaf blower noise comparison is really about choosing the lesser evil. Leaf blowers make a lot of noise so much so that, in many neighborhoods, their use is largely restricted.

Still, electric leaf blowers are less noisy than gas leaf blowers. The difference, though, is only slight at best.

If noise is a big factor for you, then do not even think of relying on the decibel rating of any leaf blower. Manufacturers can and do say anything.

A better idea would be to actually start the machine and see if the noise is something you can tolerate. However, since leaf blowers are well-known noise machines, be sure to use ear protection when working with one.

Emissions

Generally, leaf blowers are not known for their emissions. But as you might guess, a gas-powered leaf blower would definitely give off some smoke.

How much smoke a gas blower gives off typically depends on the efficiency of its engine.

Now, there are four-cycle engines and two-cycle engines. Two-cycle engines are not as efficient as four-cycle engines. So, in the end, they emit more smoke than four-cycle engines, making four-cycle gas blowers the cleaner option.

In fact, some four-cycle gas blowers are so clean, they pass California’s emission laws. And we all know how tough those are.

Obviously, the greener option between the gas and electric leaf blowers would be the electric blowers. In fact, there are current talks on banning gas-powered leaf blowers altogether in many parts of the US. So, for the greenies, the electric leaf blowers might be more your speed.

Weight

There’s no competition here, guys. Electric leaf blowers are lighter than gas-powered leaf blowers. And that adds up, why?

Well, check it. With a gas leaf blower, you’re carrying not just the machine but a gas engine, not forgetting all the fuel. This, of course, adds up real fast.

Hence, usually, where an electric blower can weigh between 4.5 pounds and 9 pounds, a gas blower typically begins at 8 pounds and can get as heavy as 12 pounds.

If you decide to make things easier by going for a backpack gas model, you already know there’s no free lunch. You’re going to have to pay for that little convenience.

And since you’re here, you can check out our picks for the best backpack leaf blowers currently on the market.

Man with backpack leaf blower

Cost

Again, there’s no contest here. The electric leaf blower easily steals the crown again. In fact, gas models can sell for more than twice the starting price of an electric leaf blower.

To give you perspective, you can get some electric leaf blowers for as low as $30. Gas models, on the other hand, can start from $80 and can get as expensive as $500. In comparison, the most expensive electric leaf blower costs around $150.

But before you go scrambling for the next electric leaf blower to save cost, there is a tiny catch. An electric leaf blower means that you’re going to need an extension cord, and a long one for that matter.

You want to buy a quality extension cord with the appropriate amperage for your leaf blower. This is very important, guys. If you skimp on the quality of your extension cord, your machine won’t get sufficient juice. If your machine does not get sufficient juice, it’s only a matter of time before it revolts against you.

So, keep that in mind.

Nonetheless, even together with purchasing an extension cord, electric leaf blowers are still typically the more affordable of the two.

Maintenance

If you just sighed at the word “maintenance,” sorry but gas-powered leaf blowers aren’t for you. Those guys are not exactly zero-or low-maintenance.

For one, you’d have to buy and refill gas regularly. Then, there’s the changing oil aspect as well. If you’ve got a two-cycle engine, you’d be mixing the oil in with the gas. If you’ve got a four-cycle engine, you’d be changing the oil regularly.

And, yeah, don’t forget the spark plug and those other seasonal maintenance procedures required as well, like during off-season storage.

If you get an electric leaf blower, you don’t have to go through the “psychological trauma” that’s also known as maintenance. But don’t forget that you’d also be forfeiting the power and convenience that gas leaf blowers provide you.

But a truly zero maintenance leaf collecting version is only a rake! We’ve actually reviewed the pros and cons of rakes vs leaf blowers.

The Size of Your Yard

If you have a small or even a medium-sized yard, you might not need a gas-powered leaf blower. Yes, the temptation of power can be intoxicating. Trust me, I know. But really, save yourself some money (and maintenance hassle) and go for a corded electric leaf blower.

If your yard is large, on the other hand, the choice is obvious. A gas leaf blower does not only supply more power, it easily reaches more parts of your yard than a corded electric leaf blower.

Of course, you’d have to consider the city in which you live. There are cities considering banning the use of gas leaf blowers. You wouldn’t want to invest money in something that could take you to prison in a few months. Just saying.

Now, don’t even think about battery-powered leaf blowers. Those don’t supply enough power and are constantly in need of a recharge. How does the idea of clearing the leaves in your yard in several rounds sound? Yeah, exactly.

Summary

We’ve just looked at the consideration factors for choosing between a gas-powered leaf blower vs an electric one. In the same breath, we’ve also seen the pros and cons of electric leaf blowers as well as the pros and cons of gas leaf blowers.

But before you go, one small tip on choosing nozzles. The wide, flat ones do a better job corralling leaves than the round nozzles which are better for sweeping up stubborn debris.

Did this article help? Let me know which you’d be getting in the comment section, no?

Happy mowing (and blowing)!