Brushless String Trimmer Shootout! DeWALT, Toro, STIHL, Troy-Bilt. Skil weed wacker

SKIL 40V PWRCORE Power Head System Review: 2023

SKIL’s 40V PWRCORE Power Head System is brand new to the market. SKIL has been around for quite some time, but is just now getting into the Power Head System game.

And there’s never been a better time. There are a ton of power head attachment capable systems flooding onto the residential lawn care market. Here’s why: they’re super convenient and can save you a ton of money.

We’ve had the chance to review a few weed eaters with attachments that are all a part of a power head system, and SKIL has just made our list.

Today, we will deep dive into a bunch of features that make this thing pretty nice. We also have a corresponding YouTube video that shows it in action.

Why we review lawn tools

The reason we started this website in the first place was because we had so much trouble trying to find reasonable, understandable, honest reviews for lawn equipment. And it’s not cheap! After hours and hours of research, trying products and returning them, and messing up our yards – we started this site.

As guys who had to learn the hard way, we want you to know exactly what you are signing up for before you purchase a piece of equipment. That’s why we are committed to providing honest, easy-to-understand reviews that mean something.

What to look for in a battery-powered attachment system

If I would have read this article a few years ago, I would have made a different decision and likely saved hundreds of dollars. But I learned the hard way and want to make sure you don’t have to.

DeWalt String Trimmer 2 Year Review

Here are the things I look for in a battery-powered attachment system:

A brushless motor

The first time around, I bought a brushed motor and I deeply regretted it a few months later. The main difference between brushed and brushless motors is how electricity is transferred from the battery to the motor. Brushed motors have a process that relies on friction. I quickly realized this when the palm of my hand was getting extremely hot while using the attachment system.

Brushless motors run cooler, more efficiently, provide more torque, and last longer. They are quickly becoming the gold standard in battery-powered lawn tools – but not everyone has caught up.

Universal attachments

Some of these weed eater attachment systems have the ability to take on any attachments. That’s a benefit to those of us that are looking to save money or have an existing attachment system that’s broken but the attachments work just fine. You can find attachments on marketplace or other second-hand stores for a way cheaper price.

A high performing weed eater

Don’t just buy a weed eater with attachments because it is attachment capable. Buy a battery-powered weed eater that freaking dominates and also has the ability to add attachments.

Good attachments

If I don’t mention this, I will get an email from one of you saying “you didn’t say to buy one with good attachments” so here you go. Obviously you want an attachment system that can accommodate high performing attachments that you will actually use. Avoid bundles that give you attachments that aren’t as good as the individual tools. The goal is to replace your other tools, not supplement them with an additional cost.

SKIL PWRCORE 40V Attachment Capable Power Head: Features

The SKIL PWRCORE 40V power head system that we got came with both weed eater and edger attachments, although more are likely to come soon. I expect a pole saw, cultivator, and snow blower attachment at least to be added in the next few months.

Let’s take a dive into our experience with the weed eater and edger attachments on the SKIL PWRCORE 40V system.

Usability and handling

The SKIL Power Head comes with a nice molded rubber grip that feels super comfortable to use, almost like a pistol grip. One thing that I immediately noticed and liked was the safety feature. While I wouldn’t normally want a safety feature on my Power Head, it has the ability to move left and right to accommodate the primary hand of any user.

The D-loop handle is pretty common on most premium power head systems, but I like that this one is slightly more adjustable to accommodate differences in height and hand position.

Connecting the attachments into the power head is a breeze. You simply pop it into the head (there’s an arrow that shows you how to use it), then tighten it. Assembling the power head with each attachment was super simple as well.

Best Battery String Trimmer. EGO vs. Kobalt vs. SKIL (Review)


It also comes with a variable speed trigger that lets you have complete control over the speed of the motor. On top of that variable speed trigger, there is a power switch that lets you move between levels 1 and 2 to have even further control over the speed and power of this unit.

One huge callout for this weed eater attachment is that it has a 16 inch cutting swath, which is comparable to some commercial weed eaters and definitely puts it in the higher range of residential weed eaters.

One thing that struck me immediately was how small the weed eater string was that came with this tool. It honestly looked like dental floss. We replaced it immediately, but found that.095” (the best size) string didn’t fit – so we had to settle for.080” string.

Once the string was replaced, this thing had some decent power. The weed eater performed nicely, but so did the edger attachment. Fortunately, the edger attachment is a universal one and can fit any power head system. At a 9” radius, this edger attachment is pretty heavy-duty.

The edger attachment can easily get down to 3 inches underground to help trench up the borders of your yard. It is easy to change the height on for anyone looking for a more shallow edging.

Battery life

One thing I like about this SKIL PWRCORE Power Head System is that it comes with a Power Jump charger. It supercharges your battery for the first 15 minutes of the charge, meaning it does 30% battery capacity upfront. And when you connect it, you’ll notice that it goes into overdrive and even makes noise trying to get the battery some instant juice.

The overall runtime claim is about 50 minutes on a fully charged battery. We put that to the test. Our classic zip-tie system on the trigger and safety (it was hard to do) held them down so that we could see how this thing does on full blast of the lower power setting 1. It lasted for about 28 minutes before giving out.

After fully charging it again, we set it up on level 2 and ran it at full blast, where it lasted for about 23 minutes. Not bad, as we anticipated much more battery drain on the level two power setting.

Once the battery was totally dead, we timed how long it took to fully recharge – took about an hour and a half despite the advertised hour.

Cost and value

The PWRCORE Power Head System from SKIL comes in at right around 200 and comes with the weed eater head. Fortunately, it comes with a two year battery warranty and five year tool warranty.

One thing I like about this power head and describe it as a “high value” tool is that it comes with a brushless motor. This is how SKIL is able to put such a good warranty on this system.

Final Review: SKIL PWRCORE 40 Power Head System

This new power head system from SKIL has a lot to like. The brushless motor, large cutting swath, and universal attachment system at a relatively low cost make it a high value tool.

But they also made some claims about run time and battery charge time that were just plain false. And while this power head system has the capability of becoming really powerful, the fact that we couldn’t fit a higher, more appropriate-sized weed eater string made us feel like it couldn’t reach its full potential.

This is a MUST BUY if you already own the SKIL 40V battery and/or have a bunch of universal attachments as you can save a lot of money.

But if you are in the market for a new power head system and want to start from scratch, I’d research another like this EGO Multi-Head Power System.

Brushless String Trimmer Shootout! DeWALT, Toro, STIHL, Troy-Bilt

This article is a review of four of the best cordless string trimmers available right now. The Toro Power Plex, STIHL FSA 90 R, Troy-Bilt C.O.R.E., DeWALT Flex-Volt. I also talk about the new EGO carbon fiber shaft trimmer.

I’ll admit it – I’m one of the people who would love to see all small lawn garden gas engines disappear. In particular the cheap homeowner string trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and even chainsaws. I’ve owned way to many of them over the years and they have always been notoriously hard to start, noisy and don’t last long. In the last 15 years even if you do find one that is better than most – the engines have been regulated to the point where they have no power for all but basic tasks. Because of that, I’ve spent the last five years watching the cordless, battery-powered string trimmer market come of age. As homeowners, we are finally getting quality trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and other equipment for our normal suburban lawns that will do the job better than the small gas engines. In my opinion, there are now a few on the market that will tackle any of your tasks and last for years.

Right to left: STIHL, Toro, Troy-Bilt, DeWALT, Husqvarna Gas for comparison.

I purchased these brushless trimmers myself. I’m not sponsored by any of the brands so it helps me to stay completely objective in my reviews.

There are well over 75 different cordless string trimmers on the market right now and after reading all the specifications and reviews I purchased 4 models for this article. The models I purchased are the Toro Power Plex, STIHL FSA 90 R, Troy-Bilt C.O.R.E., DeWALT Flex-Volt. All of these are designed to replace your gas trimmer. All use the latest high tech brushless motors to give you the most power and battery efficiency. I’ll keep this article simple and only go over what I like and don’t like about these trimmers.

Most of the links in this article will take you to Amazon. My readers and I have been having just the best luck buying cordless string trimmers from Amazon. If a model is available directly from Amazon or a reputable seller on Amazon I will offer you a buy link. Amazon literally is the best place to buy anything online. The delivery is swift, and if there are any issues with the shipping or the item Amazon takes care of it immediately. Buy at Amazon

By the way, Just assume that if I send you to a website to “read more and buy” I’ll make a small commission from the sale. (That’s how I make the money to operate this site)

The Best Trimmer Line? I like this trimmer line for all string trimmers:

If you don’t have a lot of experience using string trimmers or you have weak wrists I suggest buying the round line. I use round line myself.

The trimmer line below is edged and cuts the best but the edges can “catch” and cause your trimmer to stray into areas you don’t want to be trimmed.

Number One – Toro PowerPlex Brushless String Trimmer Review

Buy Here: Toro PowerPlex 51482 Brushless 40V Lithium-Ion 14″ Cordless String Trimmer, 2.5 Ah Battery Charger Included

Of the 4 trimmers, I bought the Toro is the one I grab the most often.

Toro has been fairly slow to come out with a competitive cordless string trimmer. Why? Because they never jump on the latest trend without spending hundreds of hours researching and testing their prototypes. You can be assured that the item they offer is good, reliable and ready to last you a long, long time.

The Toro 14 inch brushless is different from the rest. It’s designed for a suburban homeowner who needs a well built, easy to operate, lightweight trimmer. Many homeowners just want a good trimmer that is very easy to use, is lightweight, trims their lawn well and can cut down the occasional 3-foot weed they missed. With the battery, it is less than 9 lbs. They don’t need a 14 lb monster trimmer to go out in the back 40 and knock down an acre of horseweeds.

What I really like about the Toro

  • Extremely efficient brushless motor. The speed is controlled with a trigger just like your older gas powered trimmer so you can trim around delicate areas. This trimmer is very quiet.
  • Lighter than all the other trimmers I handled. The quick adjust handle will let both short and tall people use this trimmer any time. You will not need to use a carry strap for extended use. It is balanced very well with just enough weight in the head so it’s very easy to trim accurately around delicate plants and landscaping.
  • Heavy duty dual line head for efficient cutting. It uses the standard.080 line and can accept the rounded, twisted and edged varieties. You can wind your own or buy pre-wound spools.
  • Excellent quality. Toro has engineered every part of this trimmer to last.
  • Foldable for transport in your car trunk. The only straight shaft trimmer on the market that easily folds up.
  • At least 45 minutes run time. I can trim my entire one acre landscaped yard twice on one charge. Included T90 battery charges in just an hour.
  • This trimmer is part of a system that includes a 480 CFM 150 MPH leaf blower, 24-inch hedge trimmer, 13-inch single line trimmer, 14-inch chainsaw, and double capacity T180 battery.

The Elephant In The Room: Toro’s Battery Size.

From Justin: I am concerned about battery life which is my only hesitation the Toro’s low watt-hour T90 battery.

My Answer: The Toro is very efficient and I can get 40 minutes or more of run time out of the T90 battery. Remember you don’t need to leave it running like you do with a gas model when you walk from one area to the next to trim. It also trims very well at half-throttle so the battery can last even longer.

If it takes you longer than that to trim just slap the battery on the charger and have a cup of coffee. You don’t have to charge the lithium battery fully each time you use it. Plus when you are done you can leave the battery on the charger. It won’t hurt the battery at all.

Justin: You know, I hadn’t considered that the unit is not running at all times. You have completely changed my view on what 40 minutes of battery life actually means!

  • So, the T90 battery is great for a string trimmer and hedge trimmer but the T180 (5 AH) is a better choice for the leaf blower and chainsaw. I would like to see a purchase option for the blower and chainsaw with the T180 Battery.

Batteries: DeWALT FlexVolt, Troy-Bilt 40v, Toro Power Plex, STIHL AP300

Number Two – STIHL FSA 90 R Brushless String Trimmer Review

STIHL makes four cordless string trimmers with removable batteries. In addition, they make two separate battery series. The AK series is designed for homeowners. The AP series is designed for large acreages and commercial operators. The FSA 90 R I choose for this test is the top-of-the-line commercial version. I purchased it with the AP300 battery/charger.

Why? Because I needed one “standard” to judge all the others by. In addition, I’ve used the commercial gas series STIHL trimmers for years and think I the trimmer head they use is one of the best on the market.

What I really like about the STIHL

  • With the AP100 battery, it weighs just a few ounces more than the Toro PowerPlex.
  • Has many battery options ranging from a 100 WH for homeowners to a huge backpack battery for all-day commercial use.
  • Uses the same commercial trimmer head the gas engine models use. It will last the life of the trimmer and then some.
  • It has a speed limiter dial on the handle. You can dial down the top speed and it will trim your weekly work well and the battery will last all day. Most reviewers don’t get the dial is for economy and/or speed control around delicate plants.
  • Tremendous cutting power. Even when cutting 8-foot prairie grass I could not get this trimmer to slow down. It also does an excellent job of not wrapping around the head when cutting tall grass.
  • This trimmer is part of a system that includes other trimmers, chainsaws, blowers, hedge trimmers and steel-deck walk-behind mowers.

No, this is not a “quick load” head. You will have to read the instructions to load new line on it the first time. Take your time to learn how to load it and it will be easy after that. BUT! It always works and never acts up. Remember, this head is their commercial head and even in the worst conditions and abuse, it will last.

Here is a video showing you how to load the head. FYI – you don’t need a screwdriver to push in the buttons. The buttons are designed for your thumbs.

What I don’t like about the STIHL

  • Most expensive cordless trimmer on the market.
  • You must go to a local dealer to purchase.
  • There is no suggested pricing online so you don’t know if you are getting a good deal from your local store. STIHL MAKES you shop different dealers to make sure you are getting a fair price.

Intermission: Is a brushless string trimmer right for you?

Before I discuss the remaining trimmers I want to say: The best brushless string trimmer right now for most people is the Toro Power Plex and the best brushless string trimmer on the market is the STIHL FSA 90 R but it may not be the best trimmer for you.

If you just need a trimmer for weekly mowing tasks I actually suggest getting a trimmer to match your cordless drill batteries. For about 100-150 you can get a bare tool DeWALT 20 volt, Ryobi 18 volt, or Milwaukee 18 volt. These are all quality, brushless motor string trimmers and they will do the job well for you. Don’t fall for the hype of having to have a separate high voltage battery for your yard tools.

Number Three – EGO Power Carbon Fiber Shaft Trimmer

What about EGO Power ? I’m going to go through the EGO in the video below. EGO gave everyone on YouTube with a thousand subscribers or more a free one over the last three years so the older models have been covered to death. For 2018 they have introduced two completely new lines of trimmers …again… and I just finished this video on the new EGO carbon fiber shaft trimmer.

The EGO is not my first choice for most homeowners but if you want a complete system – walk-behind, trimmer, blower, chainsaw, edger, etc they are worth comparing to the other models in this article. EGO Power at The Home Depot

Number Four – DeWALT Flex-Volt Brushless String Trimmer Review

DeWALT currently makes 3 string trimmers. a 20-volt MAX, 40 volt commercial and 60 volt. I’ve used all three and I decided the 60 volt Flex-Volt was the one I should buy for this test.

What I really like about the DeWALT Flex-Volt

  • I like that it uses the same batteries as the FlexVolt tools. If you already have the batteries you can save 100 and just buy the bare tool.
  • It has the most power of the three DeWALT string trimmers. power than the Toro PowerPlex and a little less power than the STIHL FSA 90 R. It has plenty of power to cut down tall weeds.
  • Conventional – dual line head.
  • It’s balanced well. It’s about 4 lbs heavier than the Toro PowerPlex but for most people, you can trim your entire lawn without it getting too tiring to use.
  • The head accepts both.080 and.095
  • This trimmer is part of a system that uses the same Flex-Volt battery for both hand tools and lawn tools. At this time it does NOT include a walk-behind mower.

What I don’t like about the DeWALT Flex-Volt

  • It’s noisy. DeWALT has chosen to use a brushless motor and a gear reducer. The gears are noisy compared to the other brushless trimmers I tested here.
  • The trimmer head works very well but winding new line takes practice. Sticking the line through the holes in the housing can be a pain. I wish it had the drop in slots like the STIHL.
  • All the other brands use a sealed aluminum housing for the motor on the trimmer head. The aluminum dissipates the heat during use, The aluminum design is very rugged and you can use it under any conditions. For some unknown reason, DeWALT decided to use a steel housing and use air vents to cool the motor. Yes, that’s how they make all their hand tools but what made them think that was a good idea on a string trimmer! What. I know DeWALT uses vents and fans on all their hand tools to cool the motor. But this really doesn’t make sense on a string trimmer. You have to clean air vents on the trimmer head every time you use it and DeWALT also states “Do Not Get the Head Wet!”

Number Five – Troy-Bilt C.O.R.E Brushless String Trimmer Review

I am a big fan of the CORE Technology electric motor so when MTD purchased the company a few years ago I was hoping they would take it to the next level and design a complete line of cordless tools around the motor.

C.O.R.E. is an actual technology not just some advertising lingo that sounds good.

  • The battery life is phenomenal. The CORE uses load sensing electronics to keep the trimmer running at an optimum speed. When you are trimming weekly growth it uses very little power but get into the high weeds and it automatically senses the extra load and supplies more current to the motor.
  • It’s heavier than the Toro PowerPlex or STIHL FAS 90 R, but comes with a built-in snap ring for a harness.
  • The trimmer head is built very strong. I’d guess that it’s the toughest residential head on the market. It is an easy load head (more on that later)
  • This trimmer is part of a system that includes a self-propelled steel deck mower, blower, and hedge trimmer.
  • I personally didn’t get along with the trimmer head. It’s a quick load head but for some reason, I could not get it wound correctly and I always ended up with a bird’s nest. I don’t see any reviews with the same problem though – maybe it’s just me.
  • With great power – comes greater weight. This trimmer was the heaviest of the bunch but it also has the longest run times and the battery can also power a self-propelled walk-behind motor. No need to buy additional higher capacity batteries for the mower.
  • It’s balanced like a gas trimmer. There is more weight on the rear than on the head. so when you are walking from one landscape bed to another using one hand the head pops up. Although it’s like your gas trimmer it’s not as efficient because you have to push the head down each time you start to use it. Is that really a problem? Maybe it’s just me….

The trimmer head and I didn’t always get along

Load sensing panel with the boost button


As expected the entire cordless trimmer market is a mess and full of advertising hype and misinformation. Many of the reviewers don’t understand the terminology of battery tech so they are mistakenly using max voltage or amps as their deciding factor in which models to promote. It’s not volts or amps – it’s Watt-Hours.

Other reviewers are sponsored by a brand or getting free stuff to review and that is skewing the results. Here are two articles that explain what is important to know about the batteries.

How To Replace Weed Eater Line | STIHL String Trimmer

Today I’m out in the yard doing some work trimming things up and I’ve run into a little snag: I’ve run out of line in my weed eater.

Replacing the line in a weed eater is a common maintenance item when it comes to lawn and garden. I have a few tips to share that can make the job easier.

My trimmer is a STIHL FS 55 R with a C 25-2 auto-cut trimmer head. Even if you have a standard trimmer head, keep reading! I’ll be going over two methods to replace the line in a weed eater that covers both models.

Reloading a STIHL String Trimmer: Step-by-Step Guide

The object of this tutorial is a STIHL string trimmer, which we more commonly refer to as a weed eater, weed whacker, or weed whip.

You can see that on my auto-cut C 25-2 trimmer head we still have some line on one side and the other is completely out.

STIHL is a popular brand of string trimmer. They have a good reputation when it comes to lawn care equipment because their products are durable and easy to use.

In this step-by-step guide, I’m going to show you two different ways to replace the trimmer string in a STIHL FS 55 R weed eater. Both of these methods work for the C 25-2 auto-cut head. The second method works for the more common (standard) 25-2 trimmer head.

brushless, string, trimmer, shootout, dewalt, toro

Rather watch than read? Check out this 11-minute video.

Alternatively, you could use a flathead screwdriver; there’s a little slot on the side of the casing to open the trimmer head that way.

Now that the cover’s off, I’ll grab the center section, which will pull right out.

This center section of the head is a spring-loaded spool that holds the trimmer string.

You can see that one channel has a little bit of line left in it and the other is empty.

Thickness and Length of Weed Eater Line

The string I’m using is.105 thickness. It’s a 24-foot length, which will give me 12 feet of string in each channel.

If you use a thinner line, you’ll be able to fit more linear feet in each channel. For example, with a thickness of.95, you can get about 16 linear feet in each channel.

How to Replace Weed Eater Line: Method One

For our first method of reloading line into our STIHL weed eater, we’ll use a convenient feature of the C 25-2 trimmer head. This feature enables us to replace the weed eater line from the outside of the head.

Note: Method One works for the STIHL C 25-2 trimmer head. It won’t work if you have a standard flat cylinder trimmer head that you bump on the ground to feed out the line.

Before loading in the new line, we want to remove any remaining line. To do this, I’ll just pull on it until it detaches from the spool.

Now I’ll put the center section (spool) back into the trimmer head housing and put the cover back on, matching up the two little tabs.

Before loading the string, I want to make sure that the line above the word “LINE” on the cover of the trimmer housing is lined up with the circle on the central disk of the spool. Just rotate the central disc to align these things.

Turning the trimmer head sideways, I’ll insert some of the string into the hole. Note that I won’t precut the string when using Method One.

You might have to work the line a bit as you feed it in. You should feel a little resistance as it enters.

Now insert the other end of the length of string into the other hole of the trimmer head. (Remember that I didn’t cut the string beforehand.)

Next, manually rotate the central disc of the spool clockwise. This will start feeding the line into the channels.

Keep turning until only about 5 inches of string remain exposed (it will take a little while), then cut the string.

Don’t worry if the two ends of the string aren’t exactly even lengths. When you start up your weed eater, the steel cutter on the guard will cut the string to the correct length.

Super easy. Also the preferred method for the STIHL C 25-2 trimmer head.

How to Replace Weed Eater Line: Method Two

Method Two is the more common method for replacing weed eater line. This is the method to use for the regular 25-C STIHL trimmer head. You can also use it to reload the C 25-2 but isn’t as fast or convenient.

With the cover and central section (spool) of the trimmer head removed, you’ll want to detach any remaining string. (Refer back to the “Opening the Trimmer Head” section for notes on how to remove the cover.)

IMPORTANT: Keep the cover within easy reach.

Loading the First Chamber

I’m going to load the new line into the top chamber of the spool first. For Method Two, I cut my line ahead of time into two equal pieces.

First, I’ll feed the line into one of the holes.

Note: The line needs to be wound in a certain direction. This is indicated by an arrow on the spool.

You’re going to wind the string by hand around the cylinder in the direction indicated by the arrow. You’ll want to work with some care to get the line nice and tight. I also try not to overlap the line so that I can fit in the maximum amount. You should be able to easily fit 12 feet of.105-thickness string inside this chamber.

When you’ve got about 5 inches of line left, click it into place in the notch on the side of the spool.

This is an important step. If you don’t do this, the string will unravel and all your hard winding work will be lost.

Loading the Second Chamber

To load the other chamber, I usually start with a hole on the opposite side of the spool.

Again, I’ll seat the string in the hole and start winding it by hand in the direction indicated by the arrow for that chamber, taking care to wind tightly and without overlapping. As before, when about 5 inches are left, I’ll secure the string by pressing it into the notch, this time on the opposite side of the string I already loaded.

Reinserting the Spool into the Trimmer Head Casing

To reinsert the spool now loaded with string into the trimmer head casing, we need to line up the notch where the string is emerging with the slot in the casing.

Holding the spool securely in place (recall that it’s spring-loaded, so I’m pushing down pretty hard), I’ll pull the string out of the notch and lead it through the slot.

Then I’ll do the same with the other side.

Remounting the Cover of the Trimmer Head Casing

To remount the cover, I’ll keep the pressure on the spool inside the casing with one hand and grab the cover with the other. Keep in mind this part of the process can be a little tricky because the spool is spring-loaded.

Bringing the cover up to the casing, I’ll put the thumb of the hand holding the cover through the hole to keep the spool in place so I can free my other hand.

Now I’ve got both hands available to manipulate the cover and line it up, but I’m always keeping pressure on the spool with one thumb.

Once the tabs of the cover are lined up, snap it into place and make sure it’s locked in.

How to Replace Weed Eater Line: Final Check

As a final step, you might want to tug a bit on the strings. There should be resistance.

If the line pulls out easily, something’s wrong. In that case, you’ll want to disassemble and recheck everything. It likely means the line is wound in the wrong direction.

How to Replace Weed Eater Line: Conclusion

In this tutorial, we covered two different methods for replacing the line in a STIHL FS 55 R weed eater.

Both methods are pretty easy but the C 25-2 trimmer head is a lot easier to load using Method One, where we installed new line through the exterior holes. That’s the major difference between the two trimmer heads, and really what the C-model is designed to do.

Related Article: How to Get Great Deals on Seasonal Items

For tips on how to get great deals on seasonal items like weed eater line, have a look at our article on Home Depot Clearance Price Tag Secrets.

Got other home repair projects to tackle?

For other home repair projects, please check out our YouTube channel.

The 8 Best Cordless Leaf Blowers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Sarah is a writer who loves researching and testing tech and Smart home products. She’s been an e-commerce writer since 2020, mainly covering gaming, home tech, streaming, and pop culture content. Her writing has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Business Insider, People, and more.

Andrew Hughes is a certified arborist, member of the International Society of Arborists specializing in tree heal care, and reviews tree content on The Spruce’s Gardening Review Board. He founded and runs Urban Loggers, LLC, a company offering residential tree services in the Midwest and Connecticut.

Nick Blackmer is a librarian, fact checker, and researcher with more than 25 years’ experience in consumer-oriented content.

If you dread the inevitable leaf-raking that comes with fall, you may want to consider investing in a cordless leaf blower, which can help reduce the hassle of your fall-time yard work and let you roam around your yard without having to worry about cord management.

Speaking on the benefits of cordless leaf blowers (specifically battery-operated options), Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter, says: “Although cordless leaf blowers are less powerful than corded or gas-powered models, there is virtually no maintenance to perform other than charging the batteries. They’re perfect for clearing leaves from small yards or yards with very few leaf-shedding trees.”

We tested 27 electric leaf blowers (including 17 cordless) in our Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, where we methodically evaluated each unit’s ease of assembly and use, battery life, noise levels, and effectiveness. We tested for effectiveness under a range of scenarios, timing how quickly each leaf blower cleared dry leaves from a patch of grass, dry leaves from a patch of concrete, and damp leaves from a patch of grass. We also tested to see if each blower had the strength to move 0.25-, 0.5-, and 1-ounce trimmer line weights, as well as the precision to easily wrangle leaves in a box we drew with chalk on concrete. After our lab tests, we continued testing 10 models in our homes across the country for six months to evaluate their long-term durability and performance.

Best Quiet

RYOBI 550 CFM 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Whisper Series Jet Fan Leaf Blower

We love how quietly the Ryobi 40V Brushless 125 MPH 550 CFM Cordless Battery Whisper Series Jet Fan Blower with 4.0 Ah Battery and Charger operates. While its product description says it has a noise rating of 59 dB, our personal measurement with a decibel meter showed its noise rating to be 40.2 dB. We also confirmed the same decibel rating while testing in one of our homes. We also found it to be just as powerful as some gas models.

Despite its quiet operation, the unit offers a good amount of power in the form of a 550 CFM airflow capacity and a 125 mph airflow speed. In our lab tests, the Ryobi cleared a patch of grass from dry leaves in 27 seconds and from damp leaves in 28 seconds. It was significantly quicker at clearing the patch of concrete from dry leaves, finishing the job in just 11 seconds.

We also found the machine easy to start up, with the single press of a button. We did have some discrepancies in maneuverability, with our lab results describing the blower as easy to heft, while in a real-world scenario, we found this blower difficult to manage. “When my husband uses it, he doesn’t quickly notice any fatigue or issues with its weight,” our at-home testing team member said. “He is a bigger, stronger guy. When I carry it, it does seem heavy to me, and the weight of the battery makes me tire faster. This may not be a great choice for smaller people.”

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The battery was another issue for our at-home testing team member, saying she got only 15 minutes from a charge. “Anyone using this should definitely invest in at least one more battery,” she said. She also found the chute somewhat long, which she said made it sometimes not very maneuverable in tight corners. These discrepancies could be due to our team member’s height, but we still find them to be valuable Комментарии и мнения владельцев for any shorter users searching for a leaf blower. Again, those downsides don’t keep us from recommending this as an affordable, quiet solution to keep your yard tidy when the leaves fall.

How It Performed Long-Term

Although we had some usability issues since our at-home testing team member was shorter, we still appreciate this blower’s overall design and powerful motor after several months of regular use. The Turbo Mode is especially handy for cleaning off big piles of leaves as well.

Price at time of publish: 199

Maximum Air Speed: 125 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 550 CFM | Weight: 9.7 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 59 dB

Best Variable-Speed

WORX WG584 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor

The WORX 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor lets you choose from an airflow capacity of 300 to 470 CFM and from an airflow speed of 60, 69, 80, or 95 mph. We appreciated that the unit was so lightweight and surprisingly quiet for the amount of power it had. It cleared the patch of grass with dry leaves in 12.9 seconds, which was the fastest clocked time among all the other models on this list for that specific test. It cleared the patch of grass with damp leaves in 52 seconds and the patch of concrete with dry leaves in a considerably faster 12.7 seconds.

This unit is made up of three pieces. While we had no issue following the assembly instructions and finished setting the leaf blower up in less than two minutes, we struggled a bit when attaching the final piece. We wish this unit allowed us to have better control over the airflow, since we were unable to round up the leaves in the box we drew with chalk on a concrete sidewalk. However, we were pleased with its power, as it easily pushed each trimmer line a 10-foot distance. We were also pleased with its long battery life, and we never noticed a decline in power during use.

How It Performed Long-Term

After six months of regular use, we think this leaf blower is a great, inexpensive tool. While it may not be the best for precise jobs, it’s variable speed and lightweight design make it an effective and comfortable option for quickly clearing your yard of leaves.

Price at time of publish: 220

Maximum Air Speed: 95 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 470 CFM | Weight: 7.3 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 102.1 dB

Best Backpack

Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower

We initially had some hesitancies about the efficacy and overall comfort of backpack blowers, but this model from Greenworks completely dispelled any doubts. This backpack blower is comfortable to wear, easy to use, and expedites the leaf-clearing process. This model also was quieter than some other backpack leaf blowers we tested. It has a trigger-activated variable-speed throttle and a cruise control option that provides constant airflow as needed. We especially appreciated the multiple power options during lab testing, since the trigger offers more precise airflow, but the turbo mode and cruise control have a lot of power behind them.

Greenworks estimates that the fully charged 2.5Ah battery lasts only around 18 minutes if run continuously at its highest speed. We noted it ran far longer during our at-home testing because we were able to blow an entire backyard multiple times before recharging. This blower also has a charger that quickly restores power to the battery in just 45 minutes.

Despite its variable speed, this model still isn’t the most powerful of those we tested—its maximum air speed is 145 mph, and maximum airflow is 580—but it works well in smaller yards. However, we loved using this backpack blower and think it’s a great alternative to traditional leaf blower models.

How It Performed Long-Term

While a backpack blower may not be best for every yard, we think this backpack blower is a great compromise for homeowners with smaller yards. “This was the easiest year of picking up leaves I’ve ever had!” our at-home testing team member said. We enjoyed using this blower to not only clear leaves but also blow debris off a back deck and front porch.

Price at time of publish: 350

Maximum Air Speed: 180 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 610 CFM | Weight: 14.64 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 87 dB

Best Gas

Echo 2-Stroke Cycle Handheld Leaf Blower

The Echo Gas 2-Stroke Cycle Leaf Blower manages to be a powerful gas model—with an airflow capacity of up to 453 CFM and an airflow speed of up to 170 mph—without being too loud, too unwieldy, or too high maintenance. We’d like to note that we have not had a chance to test this blower in our lab or at home, so our assessment is based on research alone. This model has a 70 dB noise rating, an 8.6-pound weight, and, according to users, manageable maintenance and cleaning requirements. Since this is a gas model, regular maintenance is required to keep it functioning properly, which is something to consider before purchasing it. Also note that a shoulder harness is not included with this leaf blower, though the unit does have shoulder harness points, so you have the option of buying a harness separately and attaching it to the leaf blower.

The unit relies on a recoil start (so you need to pull a cord to start operating it), but users say it’s a quick, easy, and fairly smooth start-up process. Further contributing to its user-friendliness is a translucent tank that allows you to easily monitor your fuel levels as you operate the unit, as well as an air filter that’s made to help keep the engine clean. It has a curved tube as well, which is designed to mitigate strain placed on your arms and wrist and thus help prevent them from quickly growing weary. There’s also a cruise control mode, which can help further minimize the taxing nature of your yard work.

Price at time of publish: 249

Maximum Air Speed: 125 mph | Maximum Air Volume: 450 CFM | Weight: 6.7 pounds | Motor Type: Brushless | Noise Rating: 66 dB


After using our meticulous testing methodology to evaluate and compare 27 leaf blowers, our top pick is the Ryobi ONE 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower. The model is light enough to easily operate with one hand and powerful enough to quickly clear leaves under different circumstances, ultimately offering a well-rounded design at a good price point. If you’re looking for a backpack model, the Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower is our favorite. The unit is comfortable to wear, and it also has a substantial 610 CFM airflow capacity and a speedy recharge time.

Other Options We Tested

Litheli 40V Cordless Leaf Blower: We didn’t have any trouble using this blower during our dry and wet leaf tests and the trimmer line tests, but we found that its trigger “lock” was confusing to use. You had to press down on the lock button while still holding the trigger, which made continuous operation a bit tiring, rather than providing relief. This blower was also very loud and did not neatly blow the leaves in one direction compared to other models we tested. CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Blower: As much as we appreciated this blower’s compact size, it took twice as long to accomplish all of our tests because it lacked blowing power. If the fishing lines fell into cracks in the sidewalk, this blower was unable to blow them out of the cracks, and we noticed our arm was feeling fatigued from trying to angle the blower in so many different ways.

How We Tested the Cordless Leaf Blowers

The Spruce tested 27 leaf blowers in The Lab, including 10 battery-operated cordless models. We followed a detailed testing methodology in order to properly test and evaluate each product’s effectiveness, battery life, ease of use, portability, noise level, and value. We provided ratings for each attribute based on our personal experiences with each unit, and we included the best performing units in this roundup. We timed how quickly each leaf blower could remove different types of leaves from different types of landscapes to test their effectiveness. We measured noise levels with a decibel meter, and we measured each unit’s weight when judging portability. We considered both noise level and portability in practical terms, too, noting whether the noise was tolerable or if the unit could be operated with one hand. When assessing battery life, we looked to see if the power output remained steady and if the battery life started to dwindle while in use. We considered how easy it was to access the controls, change between speeds and various attachments, and maneuver the device when rating ease of use. When it came down to value, we considered whether each unit offered too little, just enough, or more than expected for its price point. For our test, we spread out 0.75 pounds of leaves on a 10-foot by 10-foot patch of grass. Using the highest mode available for each leaf blower, we timed how quickly we were able to clear the leaves from the area. With each leaf blower, we performed this test again on the grass but using 0.75 pounds of damp leaves, and one more time on a patch of 10-foot by 10-foot concrete using dry leaves. In order to test if the units were garden-friendly, we spread out leaves around plants in a garden bed. Using each unit’s lowest setting, we used the units to clear the leaves from the garden and noted if their airflow caused any damage to the plants. When applicable, we tested a unit’s vacuum or mulching function as well. We also gathered leaves in a dense pile to test suction power and counted how many times we had to empty the leaf blower’s bag. At the end of our lab testing, we used the 10 cordless models in our homes across the country to evaluate their performance over time.

What to Look for in a Cordless Leaf Blower

Power Source

Cordless leaf blowers are powered by either gas or electricity. Electric blowers tend to weigh less and produce less noise and air pollution, but they can overheat and generally aren’t as powerful. Gas-powered products, on the other hand, pack a punch when it comes to force, but they emit a number of gas pollutants and their maintenance is a little more complicated.

Yard Size

When thinking about how powerful a leaf blower you need, consider the size of your yard. If you have a large space with lots of trees, you’ll need a high-powered product with a high CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating—this means you’ll be able to move leaves and debris faster and more efficiently. Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter explains that “CFM measures the cubic feet per minute or volume of air coming out of the blower. You can think of it as the ‘size’ of the airflow. Bigger air will move more leaves at one time.’” He says a 500 CFM airflow capacity works well for typical residential yard work, but also says anywhere between a 300 CFM to 400 CFM airflow capacity is acceptable if you’re working with a smaller yard that doesn’t have too many trees. With an airflow capacity of 610 CFM, the Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Backpack Leaf Blower can move the greatest volume of air compared to all the other models in our roundup.

Speed Settings

Some leaf blowers have only one speed—which might work if you have a small yard and are mostly clearing away dry leaves. However, if you want to use your leaf blower for tougher jobs, you’re better off getting a variable-speed blower that you can adjust as needed. Our top pick, the Ryobi ONE 18V 100 MPH 280 CFM Cordless Battery Variable-Speed Jet Fan Leaf Blower, is a variable-speed model that lets you choose from different speed settings. However, our pick for the best variable-speed leaf blower is the WORX 40V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power Share with Brushless Motor due to its handy and comprehensive range of settings for airflow speed and airflow capacity.

The main benefit of a cordless leaf blower is that you won’t be tethered to an extension cord during operation. With a corded leaf blower, you have to worry about finding an electrical outlet, finding an extension cord, and navigating around obstacles with the power cord. With a cordless leaf blower, you can get started more quickly and have unlimited mobility. Many cordless leaf blowers are also fairly lightweight, making them easier to handle.

In general, most battery-powered leaf blowers will last 20 to 30 minutes per charge. However, there are several variables that will affect how long a cordless leaf blower lasts. Gas-powered models will naturally last longer than battery-powered units, and they can be refueled immediately. The type of battery and speed at which your blower is operating will impact the runtime, as well. (In particular, running a leaf blower on its highest setting will drain its battery extremely quickly.) Looking at long-term life span. Biermeier warns that “most cordless leaf blowers aren’t considered heavy-duty models.” He says you can “expect about an 8 to 10-year life span before plastic parts wear down,” and for battery-operated models, depending on how frequently you use your leaf blower, “you’ll likely have to replace the batteries every few years.”

If you have a battery-powered cordless leaf blower, you’ll typically need to charge it after every use. Most models have a fairly limited runtime, so it’s best to start out with a full charge every time—otherwise, you run the risk of running out of battery power before you finish cleaning your yard. Also keep in mind that you may be able to conserve battery power by pulling out a rake for smaller, fast clearing jobs.

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Why Trust The Spruce?

Sarah Toscano is a freelance writer for The Spruce, specializing in all things related to home tech and Smart home gadgets. With the exception of one model, all of the cordless leaf blowers listed in this roundup were tested in The Lab, where product testers followed a detailed testing methodology to assess each unit’s features. Toscano carefully researched the one model that wasn’t tested, as she read through pages of customer reviews, scoured discussion forums, and analyzed the product’s specs to evaluate the leaf blower.

Toscano also consulted with Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and Certified Lead Carpenter, to learn more about the features, uses, and benefits of a good cordless leaf blower. Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, assisted in refreshing this article with our latest long-term testing results. She also reviewed our product picks and highlighted several tested products that didn’t quite make our final list.

What Is The Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.