Choosing a new leaf blower is unfortunately a much more confusing process than you might expect. You don’t want to spend too much and get a powerhouse that you don’t need, but you also want something powerful enough to do the job.
If you already know that you want something from Makita’s 18V LXT series, then you’ve made the first important decision. Let’s go through the next ones and find you a power tool.
Makita’s Most Popular Leaf Blowers
|Weed whacker & blower kit
|Low power blower kit
|Lower power blower, tool only
|High power blower kit
|High power blower, tool only
|High power, 36V, dual battery, kit
|High power, 36V, dual battery, tool-only
Best Makita Blower For Driveways
If you need to blow leafs, mulch, and general light debris from a driveway or sidewalk, then you need something relatively light duty. You can save yourself some money, noise, and get a longer battery life by going with the standard cordless blower kit, the XBU05. Expect to spend under $300 on the XBU05ST1 kit (include a 5 amp-hour battery and a charger or about $120 on the tool itself (sold as the XBU05Z).
Best Makita Blower For The Garage
If you are cleaning sawdust and leaves out of your garage you need a targeted airflow without too much power. It’ll also help to keep noise to a minimum. This same blower will work with walkways and clearing leaves off a patio or porch as well.
For the garage, you’ll want the XBU06Z, which is the low power 18V, single-battery blower with a long down-to-the-floor attachment which is perfect for blowing out targeted areas in the garage.
Best Makita Blower For Leaves
If you want to move around leaves and blow them (possibly when a bit wet) off your lawn, then you need more power and more CFM, so you’ll want the Makita XBU03SM1.
This is the most suggested Makita leaf blower for people with decent-sized lawns and a solid amount of tree cover because it’s big enough to get the job done but keeps the price down well below that of the pro-grade blower. This model will run for about 8 minutes on its high setting when using the included 4 Ah battery, or about 10 minutes with the 5 Ah battery that most of us Makita owners have (probably attached to an impact driver).
You can usually find the XBU03Z, which is just the high-power blower with no battery or charger, for under $200, which is a lot of leaf blower for the money. Seasonal holidays will find the price dipping to around $150.
The Best Makita Blower For Large Lawns
Got a lot of landscaping to do? You should not only get the power you need but upgrade to a dual-battery design. Professional homeowners will want the Makita XBU02PT 36V, which has all the power of the XBU03, but has two battery packs for twice the run time.
The Best Mulcher/Blower Combination
If you get a lot of leaves and you are going to want to compost them (or minimize trips to the town dump) then you will need a mulcher as well. This basically means upgrading to a pro-grade blower and then getting the 3-in-1 attachment. This means you’ll have a blower, vacuum, and mulcher in one.
Sounds useful right? Unfortunately this means a much more expensive tool and one that’s a good deal heavier, usually tipping the scales at a bit over 10 pounds.
If you want the pro-grade combo tool then you’ll want the XBU04PT, which will run you about $400 on a special or closer to $500 at the normal price.
Technically you can get a lighter duty blower with a mulcher, which would be the Makita XBU07Z, which is the light-duty blower with a mulcher bag for under $200, but reviews of this tool are mixed as it’s quite limited on suction power and the battery life is typical under 15 minutes.
Makita XBU02PT vs. XBU04PT
If you are comparing the two top-of-the-line 36V (dual 18V LXT battery) blowers from Makita, things get even more confusing. The two models have exactly the same description “36V (18V X2) LXT® Brushless Blower Kit (5.0Ah)”… so why do they both exist?
To be clear, they use the same brushless motor and they have the same output (473 CFM of air at 120 MPH), they use the same dual-battery setup, and produce the same amount of noise (61 db(A)). The only difference on paper is that the XBU04PT is slightly heavier. Again, why do they make them both?
Clearly the XBU04PT has a small base on the bottom and a more square design. But is that it? Not at all.
With the XBU04PT, you can convert the blower into a vacuum or mulcher, so long as you purchase the required attachment(s), namely the:
- Vacuum Attachment 191P37-5
- Blower Nozzle 183R06-2
- 3-Stage Telescoping Blower Nozzle 459798-0
You can do the same 3-in-1 blower, vacuum, mulcher function with the less popular XBU07SM1, which is basically the XBU05Z with a large front nozzle and wheels attached to the end in order to make it easier to move around (without having to carry the entire load).