Leaf Blower vs. Leaf Vacuum

Written by: Greenworks Blog Team


If you're wondering how you'll clean up all the fallen autumn leaves in your yard – don't despair! Two versatile yard tools can help you do the job quickly and efficiently: a leaf blower and a leaf vacuum


These simple tools can tackle leaves, grass and other yard debris, as well as tasks like cleaning your garage and gutters. While both tools serve similar purposes, a few differences make each tool a great addition to your landscaping arsenal. Let's learn more about the benefits and unique features of leaf blowers and leaf vacuums. 

Leaf Blower vs. Leaf Vacuum: What's the Difference?

Leaf Blowers

Leaf blowers are a fan favorite for all seasons – and for good reason! Leaf blowers use forced air to move leaves, grass clippings and other debris.  They're versatile too – leaf blowers can tackle large areas like lawns, driveways and sidewalks, or blast small nooks and crannies like flowerbeds, rock piles and underneath patio furniture. 


 While they're great for blowing debris into specific areas and large piles, leaf blowers won't actually remove the debris – meaning that depending on the task, you might still be on the hook for cleanup and removal. 

Leaf Vacuums

Opposite in operation, a leaf vacuum uses suction to collect leaves, grass clippings and other debris. It draws air in through a nozzle and into a collection bag where the debris is stored for easy disposal.


Leaf blower vacuums have several benefits, including the ability to collect and dispose of debris quickly and efficiently. Extra awesome? Some models of leaf vacuums can also mulch leaves into smaller pieces for easier disposal. That said, the collection bag requires frequent emptying for larger jobs. 

Man using Greenworks leaf blower

Leaf Blowers vs. Leaf Vacuums: At a Glance

Leaf blowers and leaf vacuums are powerful tools that can make yard cleanup easy, but there are some differences to consider based on your needs.

  • Leaf blowers use forced air to move leaves and debris, while leaf vacuums use suction to collect and store them.

  • Leaf blowers are faster and more efficient for clearing large areas of leaves and debris, while leaf vacuums are better for precision work and collecting debris in a bag.

  • Leaf blowers are better for larger yards and tougher debris, while leaf vacuums are better for smaller yards and more delicate areas.


Woman putting battery in Greenworks leaf blower

Choosing the Right Airflow for the Job

When picking between a leaf blower or a leaf vacuum, it's important to consider air volume – better known as the cubic feet per minute (CFM) that each model can blow. Greenworks offers a range of leaf blowers starting from 180 CFM up to 824 CFM. The higher the CFM, the larger the area you can cover. 


If you're used to measuring wind speed in terms of miles per hour (MPH), Greenworks makes it simple by listing all MPH speeds on our leaf blowers. Whether you need 90 MPH or 180 MPH blowing power, a Greenworks leaf blower can handle the task.

Man using a Greenworks backpack leaf blower

Need Professional Leaf Blowing Power?

Greenworks backpack blowers are an excellent alternative to traditional gas-powered blowers. They provide the same powerful performance without the need for fuel and maintenance. Unlike gas-powered blowers, these backpack blowers are environmentally friendly and do not emit harmful gases.


Sometimes, yard projects require the removal of wet leaves and grass clippings, which can be challenging due to their weight and tendency to stick together. For these heavier tasks, it is recommended to use a higher CFM or MPH model, which can handle the job with ease.

The Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Battery Dual-Port Backpack Blower can easily move wet debris with up to 690 CFM or 165 MPH wind speeds. With dual 80V batteries and variable speed control, you'll get maximum runtime and performance. Plus, it's compatible with all Greenworks 80V batteries – meaning you can easily swap out and use in any tool on the 80V platform

Person using Greenworks 60V leaf blower to clear leaves off porch

Benefits of Battery-Powered Leaf Blowers & Leaf Vacuums

Battery-powered leaf blowers and leaf vacuums offer several benefits for everyday yard cleanup. These tools eliminate the need to mix gas and oil and don't require a long cord that can get in the way or restrict your mobility. Greenworks battery-powered tools are also eco-friendly and less noisy than traditional gas-powered tools, making them better for the environment and easier on your neighbor's ears. By using cordless electric models such as our battery-powered leaf blowers and leaf vacuums, homeowners can reduce emissions, save money, and make yard work more efficient and enjoyable.

Woman using Greenworks 40V leaf vacuum

Greenworks Innovation in Action

ECO-FRIENDLY OPERATION: Battery-powered tools reduce environmental harm by emitting no CO2 fumes. 

COST-EFFECTIVE: If you are looking for a cost-effective option for lawn equipment, then cordless electric leaf blowers and leaf vacuums are a great choice compared to traditional gas-powered models. No refueling, no maintenance cost, no stopping mid-project to run to the gas station. Pro tip – did you know you can use our Universal Gutter Cleaning Kit with any Greenworks leaf blower or leaf vacuum? Save money on gutter maintenance by doing it yourself. 

SIGNIFICANT NOISE REDUCTION. Battery-powered leaf blowers are quieter than traditional gas models, thanks to the lower decibel levels during operation. Greenworks leaf blowers feature TruBrushless™ motors that are highly efficient and long-lasting, resulting in less noise pollution. With a Greenworks leaf blower, you can enjoy a more peaceful environment while keeping your lawn and garden tidy.

Man using Greenworks leaf blower to remove leaves from roof

What Are Brushless Motors and Why Are They Better?

Greenworks TruBrushless™ motors are used across our range of battery-powered lawn and garden equipment and offer a more efficient, powerful, and durable solution over traditional brushed motors. Brushless motors use electromagnets to eliminate the need for carbon brushes which can wear out faster due to increased friction and heat build-up. This creates a more powerful, efficient, and long-lasting motor that delivers the power and performance of a traditional gas-powered engine. Combined with smart-sensing microchips that efficiently use available battery power, Greenworks TruBrushless™ motors are the secret to superior performance across the range.

Man using Greenworks leaf vacuum

How to Use Leaf Blowers and Vacuums for Mulching

One way to enrich and protect your yard for incoming winter weather is to use grass clippings or shredded leaves. This is called mulching – and great news, it has many benefits for your lawn and garden. Mulching helps your yard retain moisture, improves soil quality and can even prevent weeds from growing. 


Greenworks battery-powered handheld and backpack leaf blowers and leaf vacuums can easily make and spread mulch from fallen leaves around your yard. Pro tip: avoid wet leaves and adjust your speed accordingly to avoid over-blowing leaves. You can also use a cordless lawn mower to mulch up those leaf piles. 

Mulching leaves is a natural, cheap and nutrient-rich way to feed your lawn and garden before the cold weather arrives – and ensure it stays healthy until springtime. 

Woman using Greenworks 80V 800 CFM leaf blower

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to get a leaf blower or vacuum?

When it comes to choosing between a leaf blower and a leaf vacuum, it all boils down to your specific needs and preferences. A leaf blower uses a high-pressure air stream to move leaves and other yard debris from surfaces like your lawn, driveway or patio. On the other hand, a leaf vacuum operates like a lawn vacuum, sucking up the leaves and debris into a collection bag. While some Greenworks tools can perform both functions, it is important to consider which functionality you are most likely to use.

What is the difference between a leaf blower and a leaf vacuum?

The main difference between a leaf blower vs leaf vacuum is how they handle the collected leaves. A leaf blower simply moves the leaves to another location to a larger pile of leaves or a curb for pick up. A leaf blower with a vacuum mode collects the leaves in a bag which you can empty into a trash bin or compost pile. Some leaf blower vacs also have a mulcher/shredder feature which shreds the leaves into smaller pieces, reducing their volume and making them easier to dispose of or use as lawn fertilizer.

Do leaf vacuums really work?

Leaf vacuums can be a useful tool for cleaning up leaves in your yard. To use a leaf vacuum effectively, it's important to consider a few factors: - The type, size and moisture level of the leaves. Leaf vacuums work best on small, dry leaves and may have difficulty with larger, wet leaves. - Suction power and mulching ratio of the vacuum. If the leaves are too big or too wet, the intake tube can become clogged. - Capacity of the collection bag.

Are leaf blowers worth it?

Leaf blowers are a worthwhile purchase if you value convenience, speed and efficiency in clearing leaves and other debris from your yard. Compared to raking, using a backpack or handheld leaf blower can save you time and energy—especially if you have a large yard or lots of trees. Cordless electric leaf blowers can also reach places that rakes can't, such as under bushes, around furniture and along garden edges.

Man using Greenworks leaf vacuum

Leaf Blowers & Vacuums: Versatile Tools for Yard Cleanup

Choosing between a leaf blower and a leaf vacuum can be confusing, but both are great tools for your yard. The best one for your job depends on your specific needs. Leaf blowers are perfect for quickly clearing off leaves thanks to their higher speeds and air volume capabilities. On the other hand, leaf vacuums are better for precision DIY work and will give your lawn a polished look.


Greenworks offers a variety of models and options of leaf blowers and leaf vacuums, making them a reliable choice for your next yard cleanup project. With innovative TruBrushless motors and a 3-year limited tool warranty on all Greenworks leaf blowers and leaf vacuums, you can be confident that your lawn is in good hands.

Group of people with Greenworks tools

Written by the Green Team, a creative arm within Greenworks Tools.


Our team of writers, designers and content creators bring a breadth of experience and a touch of fun to all things tools. With an assist from the Greenworks product teams and technology experts, we’re here to provide helpful and engaging content to make your yard (and life!) beautiful.