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Ryobi 18V Cordless Leaf Blower Review: 110 MPH Jet Fan Handles Any Yard

Big on airflow but short on battery life.

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $179
Ryobi 18V brushless leaf blower
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Leaf blowers are an invaluable tool for those looking to keep their yard, garden, or driveway clean of debris and leaves. And these days, no one wants to deal with gas tools or trip over power cords. That’s why I chose this Ryobi Cordless 18V leaf blower from Home Depot, making the job easier than ever.

The Ryobi One+ 18V brushless leaf blower is a high air volume output and relatively quiet machine with no cords, a lightweight design, and an 18V (4Ah) rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It takes the hassle out of yard work and makes cleanup faster than an old-fashioned rake.

With the fall months finally here, prepare to deal with dead leaves, debris everywhere, and yard work. For those considering a cordless power tool like the Ryobi blower, this quick review will go over the specs, if it makes the job easier, battery life, and everything you need to know. And if you already own a few Ryobi tools, I’ll briefly mention why I chose this model over some of the bigger and more powerful 40-volt Ryobi options.

Here's What We Like

  • Tons of power and airflow
  • Removable nozzle for easy storage
  • Compatible with over 260+ Ryobi tools

And What We Don't

  • The squeeze trigger gets tiring
  • Battery life could be better
  • Larger nozzle means air isn't as direct

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What’s in the Box

Ryobi 18V leaf blower removable nozzle for storage
Cory Gunther / Review Geek
  • Main blower body
  • Detachable blower barrel
  • 18V (4Ah) rechargeable battery
  • Charger
  • Manual and warranty card

Before we begin, it’s important to note that not all Ryobi tools come with a battery or charger. The Ryobi “One+” line has over 260 products and tools using the same battery connection. As a result, you’ll often find a tool like this leaf blower labeled as “tool only” at a discount for those that already have a set of batteries.

However, unless the price is significant, I’d recommend buying the combo anyway, as you can never have too many battery packs. Plus, now I have a second charging bank to top off two of my six battery packs simultaneously.

As you can see from my image above, there isn’t much in the box. All you’ll get is the blower unit, the detachable barrel (if your model offers it), and the manual. Then, if you get one with a battery and charger, you’ll get those, also. This package comes with a charger, but it’s currently busy topping off another 4Ah battery I’ll use on my impact drill for truck maintenance.

Specs & Airflow

Ryobi leaf blower in a yard
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

  • Length: 31.44″
  • Height: 14.87″
  • Width: 8.07″
  • Weight: 7.0 lb
  • Battery: 4 Ah (72 Wh) Lithium-ion
  • Maximum air speed: 110 MPH
  • Air volume: 350 CFM (cubic feet per minute)
  • Noise rating: 62 dB
  • Motor: Brushless electric

This Ryobi blower is on the high-end when it comes to cordless and brushless machines in the 18V line. That’s because it has a large brushless electric motor that’s more efficient than older tool styles, blows air up to 110 MPH, and doesn’t get too loud doing it. Some models are far louder, while Ryobi has a “whisper” line that’s not as capable but won’t irritate the neighbors.

So, why did I choose this instead of one of the more powerful 40V models? Well, I already have over a dozen Ryobi One+ tools and 18V battery cells. This means I can swap the battery between any tool. Not only are the 40V models bigger, stronger, and better, but they’re also heavier and more expensive. Plus, the battery would only work with the blower. I didn’t want that.

If this is your first power tool, it might be worth considering the more powerful 40V line and building your set around that platform. However, the vast amount of 18V Ryobi tools are hard to beat, so choose wisely.

This specific Ryobi (RY40460) blower has more than enough airflow to handle most jobs. The Brushless electric motor offers increased power and performance and has blowing power similar to gasoline units. I also like that the trigger offers variable speeds to control the airflow around vehicles, windows, or other obstacles during my honey-do chores.

How Does It Perform?

Ryobi 18v leaf blower in use
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Setting up the Ryobi takes about 10 seconds, then you’ll need to charge the battery. It came out of the box around 70%, so the battery indicator didn’t take long to show full. Then, I connected the removable barrel to the body, connected the battery, and got to work.

So, how does it perform? Pretty great. It’s so fast and effective that I almost enjoy doing yard work, and now I don’t have to worry about letters from the pesky HOA.

Thankfully, I don’t have a huge yard here in Las Vegas, but two trees in front destroy my desert landscaping rocks. If I don’t blow them off every few weeks, they look messy and unkept.

The Ryobi One+ 18V blower did exactly what was expected of it, and that’s cleaning all the leaves without blowing away the rocks. It has enough power to blow wet leaves during our rare rainstorms, yet it’s not so powerful that it’ll blow rocks and other debris into the road. Even with a light breeze, a nice circling motion of my wrist kept the leaves blowing where I wanted them to go.

And for those who have never used one of these, making circle motions or quick wrist snaps helps control everything. Don’t just aim and pull the trigger. Eventually, you’ll see a line of how far out the air goes, and you can remove leaves and debris in clean rotating sweeps.

Delivering 110 MPH of air out of the jet fan was more than enough for the job. I could easily blow leaves over 5ft away, direct them into the road, then blow a nice pile to pick up with a shovel. It did exactly what I wanted, quickly and without too much noise. Sure, there are quieter models, but there are also some extremely loud blowers. This is a good middle ground.

Honestly, I only have one minor complaint. I’d prefer a better handle angle, so it’s directed at the ground easier. It’s only about 7 lbs, so it’s not too tiring, and I don’t need a shoulder strap during use. That said, I did switch hands once to give my wrist a break.

Battery Life & Charging

Ryobi battery indicator
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Perhaps the biggest question is battery life. How long will a cordless leaf blower last without gasoline or a power cord? Can it handle an entire yard? Well, that depends on the size of your job.

The Ryobi 18V leaf blower has a runtime of around 18-20 minutes with the included 4Ah battery, which isn’t super long. And if you happen to own a few smaller battery packs, expect even less. However, that’s 20-minutes straight, and I don’t know about you, but I use my leaf blower off and on during yard work.

I cleaned the entire front yard, cleaned the base of 6-7 bushes, and removed any leaves down the porch walkway and driveway on a single charge. It had more than enough juice to get the job done. All Ryobi battery cells have an indicator with four LEDs to check battery life. I still had one bar remaining. It would have died if I had to do the backyard, too. Thankfully, I have several Ryobi batteries, so that’s not a concern.

The 4Ah battery with this unit takes about 2 hours to fully charge. If you have a large yard, you’ll want to buy an extra battery or two, even if they’re expensive. I recommend getting them during a holiday sale like Black Friday or Home Depot’s annual “Ryobi Days” sale.

Should You Buy a Ryobi Blower?

Ryobi leaf blower up close
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Ryobi’s 18V brushless leaf blower is powerful, easy to use, lasts long enough to get the job done, and is relatively affordable. While it has few features, the variable speed trigger is a nice touch, and I love the battery indicator lights. I don’t need anything fancy when doing yard work, so it performed great for my home.

So, should you buy one? Again, that depends on your needs, yard size, and if you already have anything from the Ryobi line. I’m biased, as I own over 20 Ryobi products and countless battery packs. I love the versatility the platform provides. As Home Depot says, tools like the Ryobi leaf blower are “How Doers Get More Done,” and I couldn’t agree more. In that case, yes, you should buy one.

If you’re looking for a fairly affordable leaf blower, there are plenty of options in this price range. The Ryobi 18V blower offers a lot of air power for the price, and it’s not overly loud. Plus, you can always use the battery and charger with your next Ryobi tool purchase.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $179

Here’s What We Like

  • Tons of power and airflow
  • Removable nozzle for easy storage
  • Compatible with over 260+ Ryobi tools

And What We Don't

  • The squeeze trigger gets tiring
  • Battery life could be better
  • Larger nozzle means air isn't as direct

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »