Backpack Leaf Blowers vs. Handheld Blowers: Which is Right for Your Garden?

It is utterly overwhelming when it comes to buying a leaf blower. The novice buyers are always confused when choosing between a handheld leaf blower and a backpack leaf blower.

This article gives a quick overview of what is good and what is bad about these two types of leaf blowers. We have judged several models of both types of leaf throwers on various parameters to provide this guide.

Handheld vs. Backpack- Quick Comparison

handheld vs backpack leaf blower

In a hurry? Just in case you are in a rush to buy a leaf blower for the upcoming fall season, herein is a quick recap.

Pros : Handheld
  • Good for small lawns.
  • Lightweight.
  • Suitable for use in tight areas.
  • Perfect match for cleaning jobs after hedge work.
Pros : Backpack
  • Excellent for large yards.
  • Covers large areas.
  • Can move large piles of leaves quickly.
  • Large fuel storage capacity.
Cons : Handheld
  • Not powerful enough for bigger jobs.
  • Hard to hold for long to move large piles of leaves.
  • Covers small areas.
  • Not suitable for cleaning driveways.
  • Does not perform well near closed doorways.
Cons : Backpack
  • Need to take off and start when it stalls.
  • Produces louder noise.
  • Heavier.
  • Requires more storage space.
  • Requires a lot of effort to carry.


Usage Comfort and Convenience

It may seem convenient to use a backpack model that you can easily carry on your shoulders during the cleaning operations. The backpack model with a powerful but heavy motor is best suited for cleaning larger yards with piles of leaves.

Nevertheless, if you need to run the machine for long hours, it can cause immense backache. They are comparatively heavier than the handheld machines. So if you have back pain complications avoid using a backpack model. It may worsen your dilemma.

Machine Strength

If your tool blows small piles of leaves, it means you will need more effort and time to clean the entire landscape. A powerful machine can blow out air faster with greater intensity. The rate at which the machine can concentrate and release the air in a single direction is measured in miles per hour (MPH) and the leaves/debris clearance rate is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

Handheld leaf blowers are good for small yards. They can do a good job in a fenced-in small lawn. But you have a large garden area with too much debris to remove every day, go for a backpack model with a powerful motor.

Fuel Consumption

This is one aspect where you may have difficulty in dealing with the handheld leaf blowers. These machines have a smaller fuel tank but consume more fuel to release more power to move large volumes of leaves. Most models use fuel very quickly. If you want to clean a vast area, you may need to fill the fuel tank several times.


The usability of the machine depends largely on the type of machine you are using on a specific ground. For instance, a powerful backpack blower will send all the leaves to your neighbor’s lawn if you have a small backyard. Conversely, a basic handheld model may seem under-performing if you use it to clean a big lawn daily.

Both of them are good but designed for different jobs.


Last but not the least storage is also a decisive factor when buying garden equipment. You need a safe storage area to keep your leaf blower.

If you have a small garage space, lodging a large machine along with all other gardening tools can be a tough chore. In that case, you may go with a model with a small compact design.

Can You Move Wet Leaves With Backpack or Handheld Leaf Blowers?

Both backpack leaf blowers as well as handheld models cannot move the wet leaves. If it rains, you may have problems moving the leaves with these tools. This is one aspect to take note of when choosing your machine.

For people residing in the rain-prone zones may consider choosing a wheeled leaf blower for removing the wet leaves. They generally have a larger and powerful motor for strenuous jobs on bigger yards. For a small backyard, you can use rakes during the wet days.


There is no specific model or type of leaf blower suitable for cleaning the leaves from a landscape garden. Choosing the best model depends on your lawn area, budget, comfort, and ease of use.

However, if you are looking to purchase a leaf blower, go for a lightweight machine that takes less effort on your part to do the job quickly and efficiently.

But electric or gas – which type of leaf blower you should choose? Read this article for your help.