Are Electric Leaf Blowers Quieter?

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Leaf blowers have made it easier than ever to clear leaves and other debris. The one drawback though is the noise. Anyone who has been around a gas blower knows how loud it can be, but the question is, are electric leaf blowers less noisy? If you are planning to buy a blower, this is information you must know.

Electric leaf blowers have an average decibel level of 65, which is quieter than gas models that are in the 80-90 range. The most silent leaf blowers however, are battery powered which can go as low as 56 dBA.

How Loud is a Leaf Blower?

This is a comparison of the average noise of different leaf blowers. There a few things to keep in mind when going over this chart however.

The more powerful the blower, the higher the decibel. A corded blower with a 65 dBA is ideal for light to medium work. There are more powerful corded blowers with better CFM and MPH specs, but the decibel level goes up. This applies to gas and cordless / battery powered models too.

Table. Leaf blower decibel comparison

Leaf Blower TypeDecibel RangeCPM MPH Weight
Electric corded 65-105 dBA150-700 65-270 3-12 lbs.
Battery backpack64-76 dBA580-690135-146 3-25 lbs.
Battery handheld60-65 dBA 70-700 52-200 4-14 lbs.
Gas walk behind 75-109 dBA1000-1500160-200 65-70 lbs.
Gas backpack 90-112 dBA430-890 145-238 17-25 lbs.
Gas handheld69-74 dBA400-550125-205 9-14 lbs.

Electric and battery powered blowers are not as powerful as gas models. A heavy duty corded blower for example, cannot match a heavy duty gas model. However these gas blowers are also the noisiest.

These are the average noise levels. Manufacturers have released blowers which are lower than the average (see the next section in this post). However, those are specialized tools aimed at professional or commercial use and not as widely available. The typical leaf blower sold for homes have a slightly higher decibel level.

Capacity assumes the blower has been properly set up and used. For instance, the gas must be mixed properly for a gas powered model to run at optimum level.

The specifications given here is for general information only. You can get an idea of where to start, but the best way to compare noise levels is by checking the technical specification of each leaf blower.

What is the Quietest Leaf Blower?

The most silent electric leaf blower is the Stihl BGE 61 at 64 dBA. A lot of corded blowers have an average dBA rating of 65, which is considered to be the acceptable noise level for these garden tools.

The quietest leaf blower is the battery operated Stihl BGA 100 at 56 dBA. This backpack blower is designed for professional use.

The quietest gas leaf blower is the two-stroke engine Echo PB-255 LN at 64 dBA. By comparison, most gas blowers are in the 70-90 dBA range. If you do not mind the noise and need power, the Husqvarna 360BT is a solid option.

Table. Quietest electric and gas leaf blowers .

TypeMake and ModelDecibel
ElectricStihl BGE 6164 dBA
GasEcho PB255LN65 dBA
GasEcho PB760LNT 65 dBA
GasStihl BR 500 65 dBA
GasEcho PB760LNH 65 dBA
GasEcho PB265LNT 65 dBA
GasStihl BG 66 L 65 dBA

Electric leaf blowers overall are quieter than gas models. It is true that Echo and Stihl have made – and continue to make – 65 dBA gas blowers, but a lot of gas leaf blowers are still at 9-90 dBA.

But battery powered blowers are even quieter, with many cordless units at 60 dBA and below. For instance, Sthl has three blowers below 60 dBA: the previously mentioned BGA 100, the BGA 200 and BG 57. Ryobi also has a couple of cordless models under 60 dBA, the RY 40440 and 40470NWM, both running at 59 dBA. Another one we recommend is the Ryobi One+ 18V as it does not compromise on performance.

Table. Quietest battery leaf blowers

Make and ModelDecibel
Stihl BGA 100 56 dBA
Stihl BGA 200 59 dBA
Ryobi RY40440 59 dBA
Ryobi 40470NWM 59 dBA
Stihl BGA 57 59 dBA
Makita XBU03SM1 60 dBA
Stihl BGA 45 60 dBA

If leaf blower noise is important to you –and your neighborhood- make sure to check the specifications before you buy. All the major brands list the specs of each blower on their website for easy reference.

How is Electric Leaf Blower Noise Level Measured?

It is measured in decibels at a distance of 50 feet from the leaf blower. So if a leaf blower is labeled at 70 dBA that means it is 70 decibels loud from 50 feet away. Every six dBA is twice as noisy as before, so an 80 dBA blower is twice as loud as a 74 dBA model.

The closer you are, the louder it gets obviously. This is why you should wear ear protection when using one.

Image Credit: Leonora Enking

This is the standard noise level measurement used for all leaf blowers, whether it is gas, electric or battery powered. A typical electric blower is 65-70 dBA whereas most 2-stroke gas models are at least 80 dBA. This makes a huge difference for anyone who is standing 50 feet away.

And for the one using the leaf blower, any noise level reduction will be welcome. If every six decibels the noise is doubled, think of the difference between a 65 dBA electric blower and a 90 dBA gas model.

Why are Leaf Blowers So Loud?

Leaf blowers are loud because the noise produced by the engine travels far and maintains its volume. Adding to the noise is its fast spinning blade fan, and combined they produce a high pitched sound.

Have you noticed how the sound of a subwoofer travels far and wide? Blower engines work the same way except the sound is annoying. The noise level is equal to a motorcycle, but blower emit a higher pitcher which humans find irritating.

Another reason is air is coming out the highest velocity. At this point the blower is at its peak capacity and is no longer capable of accelerating. A good analogy is when you are driving fast with the windows open and you hear the air.

Gas engines also vibrate which contribute to the noise. As the cylinders oscillate and the fuel goes through combustion, the engine vibrates and makes a lot of noise. Electric leaf blowers do not use this engine however, which is why they are quieter.

Are Electric Leaf Blowers Really Quiet?

Electric leaf blowers are getting quieter all the time, as are battery and gas powered models. So yes, there are quiet electric blowers available today.

The noise level also depends on the type of blower you use. As a rule, backpack blowers are noisier than handhelds but more powerful. In every case that is going to be tradeoff, sound for power.

Gas leaf blowers have made a lot of strides but electrical models are still quieter. But the difference between the two is not a lot. As technology improves, we can expect blowers – gas, electric and battery – to become even quieter.

The goal is to have a leaf blower that is powerful and quiet. And a lot of manufacturers are making huge strides in this regard. Even now as pointed out here, a lot of leaf blowers are becoming more powerful while keeping the noise level down.

In the meantime, you should take steps to reduce the noise produced by your leaf blower. Aside from buying one that has a low dBA, you should use it as far from people as possible. The minimum distance is 50 feet, but if you can go further than that, the better.

The other thing is to never use your leaf blower when people are asleep in your neighborhood. Nobody wants to be awakened by the sound of a noisy blower so you should avoid this.

Clan and maintain your leaf blower. If you do not, all kinds of problem can come up. The engine can stall, smoke and so on. This will produce even more noise pollution so maintenance is key.