As more and more people are retiring their old gas-powered leaf blowers for superior electric alternatives, they are finding a growing number of brands with different power, capabilities and price points.
Today we take a look at the two of the highest-powered 40cc-equivalent hand-held options: The EGO LB6504 56V ($379) — that my neighbor recently purchased — and my own year-old Greenworks 80V ($199-299).
A little background first. I’m in the Greenworks 80V battery ecosystem because I have a lawnmower and snowblower that use the same batteries. Since the Greenworks batteries are all compatible, I’ve since purchased an 80V chainsaw and weedwacker standalone — and didn’t have to repurchase batteries. Sharing batteries makes electric tools cheaper than gas. But also ties you into ecosystem silos, which can be frustrating.
The Greenworks batteries and the charging system seem fine and have kept going at a similar charge capacity for years.
Overall, I like Greenworks products and particularly their electric drivetrains. The issues I’ve had with their products have been related to the durability of the parts, not the electric batteries or motor. Some problems I’ve had include the a broken snow throw tube on the snowblower, and a loose blade on the lawnmower.
This fall, I upgraded my 20V Black and Decker leaf blower with a Greenworks 80V that I saw on sale for a great deal from 9to5Toys / Electrek’s Green Deals. The B&D was fine for cleaning off the shop floor or the deck, but really wasn’t meant for yard work.
My neighbor’s EGO
After doing some research and polling, my neighbor Dave opted to go for the EGO 56V leaf blower. We’ve been quite fond of EGO products here, reviewing the lawnmower very favorably. Anecdotally, other friends and neighbors also have had good experiences with EGO electric products.
EGO also has a robust battery ecosystem based around its 56V technology. The line includes many of the same mowers, hedge trimmers, weed wackers, etc. that Greenworks does, although it does not offer a snow blower.
Electric leaf blower prices
First of all, the big difference here is price: The Greenworks 80V is $140 for the tool alone and with 2Ah battery is $200. Meanwhile the EGO 56V is almost double at $220+ for the blower alone and $340 for the tool with the battery. The battery, however, is a 5Ah battery which means that it has 280Wh vs. the Greenworks 80V x 2Ah = 160Wh of capacity.
EGO has a 2.5A model that is only $220 which might have made a better comparison, to be fair.
I own a few 4Ah (320Wh) Greenworks batteries as well as 2Ah batteries, but both fit inside the Greenworks leaf blower and get about 15 minutes of high speed blowing with the 2Ah batteries, and as you’d probably expect, close to 30 minutes with the 4Ah batteries.
EGO 56V vs. Greenworks 80V batteries
56 vs 80 Volts aren’t as important here as is total watt output and watt hours of storage. In this case, the higher voltage Greenworks has a lower output.
In terms of speed, air power is measured in Cubic feet/Minute or CFM and wind speed:
- Greenworks tops out at 500 CFM and 125 MPH wind speed
- EGO touts 650CFM and 180 MPH wind speed
Dave tells me he gets over 30 minutes of usage with the EGO on normal but about half that with the turbo mode – which sounds about right. I get about 22/45 minutes of full power from the 2Ah/4Ah Greenworks which is a function of battery size and less overall output.
EGO vs. Greenworks
This morning we met to have a little showdown. He tried my Greenworks and I tried his EGO. Some notes after spending some time with each:
- Noise: Both of these are quieter and have much less vibration than a gas powered equivalent but we’d still recommend some ear covering or noise cancelling headphones. EGO is higher RPM/pitched.
- Power: At full speed, both are about the same power, though the EGO has another level with its “Turbo” Spinal Tap 11 mode. Greenworks has 3 speeds and an on/off button while the EGO has a dial for speed, a trigger for on and another top trigger for Turbo. Advantage EGO.
- Balance: The Greenworks, even with the small battery, is rear-heavy, meaning that the nose will naturally tip up. The EGO, on the other hand, is very balanced, even slightly nose heavy, which is where the leaf blower should naturally be pointing. Way less forearm work.
- Charge indicator LEDS: Both batteries have a charge indicator though the Greenworks only has 3 LEDS compared to the EGO’s 5. Also the EGOs turn red when you are about at 15%.
- Size: Both are about the same overall size, but Greenworks is slightly shorter and lighter. Both have latches for hanging on a wall.
- Start Speed: The EGO starts immediately while the Greenworks takes several seconds to get blowing after pushing the trigger. This is an important metric as you start and stop frequently.
- Battery Charging: EGO has a fast charging battery system that charges the battery about half hour – almost as fast as you can use it (meaning you could charge 2 batteries while using one and never need to stop). Greenworks batteries only have one charging speed but that is 30 mins for the 2AH and an hour for the 4Ah.
- Cost: The Greenworks is significantly cheaper overall and on a per watt hour battery basis. But is also lacking in features and power.
- Warranty: EGO is 5 years limited and Greenworks is 4 years.
Our town has recently been flirting with a gas-powered leaf blower ban. People hate the noise, smell and pollution that neighborhood residents are inflicting on each other. But there is concern that electric powered leaf blowers can’t keep up with gas in either output or usage time.
As Tesla has shown in the automobile market, electric is superior to gas. This is true in leaf blowers as well. Want more power? The ones we looked at today are equivalent to 40+ccs. Anything bigger gas powered requires a backpack. EGO and Greenworks both have backpack models too! Want to run longer? Just buy a few more batteries and pair with fast chargers. Easy and not expensive, particularly when you consider the same batteries can be used for just about every yard tool. No trips to the gas station or garage/shed smells either.
So who won this battle of the neighborhood electric leaf blowers? Sadly for me, I’m going to have to give it to Dave, whose new EGO is now the toast of the town.
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