I have been testing out Ryobi’s Whisper-Series cordless leaf blowers, and they are in no uncertain terms the quietest cordless leaf blowers I have ever used.
Oh, they’re quiet blowers? That must mean they are weak and barely functional blowers, right? Wrong. In fact, that sentiment couldn’t be any more wrong – they are both highly capable and comfortable to use.
I have been using the Ryobi 18V blower, above, and 40V Max blower, below.
While not the most compact blowers I’ve used, that could be forgiven due to the quietness, at least partially made possible by means of foam dampening where the blower tubes connect to the motor housing.
Ergonomically, both of the Ryobi blowers are comfortable and easy to use.
Here are specs for both models:
Ryobi 18V Whisper Blower (P21100VNM)
- 18V battery
- Brushless motor
- 110 mph max air speed
- 410 CFM max airflow
- 54 dB noise level
- Weighs 7.2 lbs
Ryobi 40V Whisper Blower (RY40470VNM)
- 40V battery
- Brushless motor
- 125 mph max air speed
- 550 CFM max airflow
- 59 dB noise level
- Weighs 10.4 lbs
Ryobi describes the 18V blower as the industry’s quietest.
I was using both models again the other day, and my wife’s reaction pretty much sums things up – WOW, that really is whisper-quiet!!
How Do They Compare?
From the specs, the Ryobi 40V blower can attain a higher max air speed and airflow, and it’s a little noisier – but still extremely quiet.
Both models have a “turbo” button. They are quiet in normal operation, and just a little less quiet when turbo mode is activated to achieve maximum blowing performance.
The turbo mode seems to be more effective with the 40V model than the 18V, delivering a more noticeable increase in motor performance as well as noise level.
In addition to being quieter, the character of the operational noise is less jarring and shrilling than other blowers I’ve tested.
The lower noise betrays the performance of the blowers, but not for long. The quieter noise level might at first give the impression that the blowers wouldn’t be very powerful, but that soon changes to a sense of disbelief as they push piles of leaves across the lawn and driveway.
I have been struggling to declare a favorite. The 18V model is lighter, a little more compact, and quieter, while the 40V model is more powerful. While the Ryobi 18V and 40V cordless blowers have very similar geometries, I have found the 40V model to be balanced a little differently to where it is a tad easier to move around with. The handle also allows for a little adjustability.
The 18V blower seems better suited for periodic and lighter cleanup tasks, and the 40V blower for longer cleanup tasks that also require greater power.
Price-wise, the 18V kit is $169, and the 40V kit is $199.
The Ryobi 40V blower has a battery that works with their other 40V cordless lawn and garden power tools, and the 18V has a One+ battery that works with their other wide selection of cordless power tools and accessories.
Both kits include chargers and 4.0Ah batteries, This means the Ryobi 40V model has a 144 watt-hour battery, and the 18V a 72 watt-hour battery. In addition to being more powerful, the 40V blower is also going to have greater runtime.
I was hoping that a clear favorite would emerge. There is a size and performance difference between the two blowers, and enough distinction for normal users to lean one way over the other. So far, I really like using both, and am unable to recommend one over the other – they both receive my extremely strong recommendation.
I have found that I prefer using the 18V blower a little better, but have been using the 40V model quite a bit more in testing, because of its slightly better balance and higher power.
I suppose the blower a customer might choose will depend on whether they want a tool that’s compatible with their existing 18V batteries, or if they want the 40V tool for greater power and performance.
One more thing I liked about both blower kits is that the chargers hardly take up any space.
Last weekend, when I tried once more to resolve my sentiments towards the blowers, there was a near-deafening noise level outside, from 2 or 3 people around the neighborhood moving leaves around with gas engine blowers. I would say that everyone was looking my way to see how quiet the Ryobi blowers were, but they’re so quiet that I doubt anyone noticed or even heard me over others’ gas engine noise pollution.
Ryobi claims to be the #1 cordless lawn & garden brand, and with tools like these it’s clear to see why. Both provide quiet and very capable user experiences.
This is the first time I have ever used Ryobi cordless outdoor power tools, and it has left me with a very positive impression.
I’ll be testing both models a bit more, but so far I’ve got nothing negative to say about either of them.
Price: $169 for the 18V kit, $199 for the 40V kit