5 Differences between 20V and 40V battery-powered leaf blowers

Teaser image showing two different colored fields to illustrate the existence of differences between 20V and 40V leaf blowers The particular terms indicate it already. The central difference between 20V Max and 40V Max appliances is the battery (resp. the battery voltage). Popular battery leaf blowers are by now operated with lithium-ion batteries – usually with 20- or 40V. By comparison, the battery of a shaver has 1.2- or 2.4V; drills often have 10.8- or 14.4V. But 20V- and 40V leaf blowers do not only differ in terms of used batteries. There are also other areas, e.g. size and weight or performance.

Performance

The performance of electronical devices is measured in watts. A unit „watt“ is so to speak the counterpart of a unit „horsepower“ at classical petrol engines. Take a car, for example. The more horsepower it has, the faster it goes. It’s very similar in the case of battery-powered leaf blowers. The more watts a battery leaf blower has, the higher is usually its maximum air speed. Generally, 40V appliances have a higher average power in watts than 20V devices (hence they can achieve a better performance).

Size and weight

If high performance shall be achieved, a robust overall solution is needed. Take the car again. On the one hand, a Ford Expenditure is a brawny car with an extremly powerful engine. On the other, a Ford Focus has a much smaller engine and is moreover „slenderly“ designed. Logically, a higher overall performance can be achieved with the Expenditure than with the Focus.
For battery-powered leaf blowers it’s pretty much the same. You generally can achieve a higher performance with a 40V Max blower than with a 20V Max tool. However 40V devices are also heavier and less handy. For example, you just need to compare the technical details of the battery blowers of Dewalt. The US manufacturer offers both – a 40V leaf blower (Dewalt 40V Max XR) as well as a 20V tool.

Battery technology

The relevant measure in context of battery technologies is the running time. It is depedent of the energy amount that can be stored in a battery. The energy is measured in watt hours (wh). It is calculated by multiplying the battery voltage wih the capacity (in ah). The following example illustrates it: A 20V and 40V battery feature a capacity of 4.0 ah each. Hence the batteries can store energy of 80 wh (20V) respectively 160 wh (40V). That means the higher the voltage, the more energy can be stored.
The actual battery life in hours can then be calculated by dividing the amount of storable energy / consumed energy (watt hours / watts). Although 40V battery blowers typically consume more energy than 20V appliances, they usually still reach longer running times. For example, the 40V blower from Oregon can be operated for up to 90 minutes in eco mode.

Charging technology

The larger the capacity of a battery, the longer it logically takes to fully recharge the battery. The charging current is given in amperes. 40V chargers usually have higher charging currents, than 20V chargers. Nevertheless, it normally takes longer to fully recharge a 40V battery than a 20V battery.

Price

For sure, a high performance and long battery life comes at a price. Therefore, a 40V Max battery blower solution usually costs much more than a 20V Max solution. Firstly, the 40V device is more expensive due to the more powerful engine. For example, the Ryobi 40V jet fan blower starts at around $170 (tool only). In contrast, 20V devices usually cost less than $100. Secondly, there are higher acquisition costs as 40V batteries have a bigger energy storage than 20V appliances (which logically leads to higher costs).

Conclusion

On the one hand, 40X Max battery operated leaf blowers have more power than 20V Max appliances and the 40V Max batteries usually last longer. On the other hand, 20V Max battery leaf blowers are lighter and handier as well as cheaper to buy. In our opinion, 40V Max appliances are ideal for users who often use the blower and for longer periods of time. The cheaper 20V Max devices are especially a good investment, if the battery-powered leaf blower is used seasonally or rarely.

Technical DataOregon BL300 (40V)Black + Decker LSW20 (20V)
Performance
Max. air speed132 mph120 mph
Max. air volume507 cfm120 cfm
Ergonomics
Weight (tool only)6.2 lbs3.7 lbs
Max. noise level65 db(a)< 66 db(a)
Technology
Battery rangeLi-Ion 1.3 ah
Li-Ion 2.6 ah
Li-Ion 4.0 ah
Li-Ion 6.0 ah
Li-Ion 1.5 ah
Li-Ion 3.0 ah
Li-Ion 4.0 ah
Voltage40 Volt20 volt
Electricity use1.3 ah: 50 wh
2.6 ah: 104 wh
4.0 ah: 160 wh
6.0 ah: 240 wh
1.5 ah: 30 wh
3.0 ah: 60 wh
4.0 ah: 80 wh
Charging times (standard charger)*1.3 ah: n/a
2.6 ah: 120 min
4.0 ah: 240 min
6.0 ah: n/a
n/a
Charging times (fast charger)*1.3 ah: n/a
2.6 ah: 30 min
4.0 ah: 60 min
6.0 ah: 90 min
1.5 ah: 45 min
3.0 ah: 90 min
4.0 ah: 120 min
Table 1: Comparison of selected 20V- and 40V battery powered leaf blowers