Ryobi Compact Blower Review PSBLB01B


I don’t often come across compact blowers, particularly in a market where the fiercest competition seems to center on who can develop the most FEMA-worthy model. We’re talking about hurricane winds, huge CFMs, and, ultimately, impressive Newtons. But big and bad isn’t always the best. After all, David won the day over Goliath, right? With that in mind, when I got word of the Ryobi 18V Compact Blower (PSBLB01B), it was a no-brainer. I had to get my hands on one.

However, I didn’t just want to put this tool to the test. I wanted to see if a compact model is worth buying, even for those who already have a blower in their arsenals.

Ryobi 18V Compact Blower Background

ryobi compact blower specs
Ryobi Compact Leaf Blower with the full 20-inch extension.

Interestingly, the PSBLB01B is a small tool with performance specs that belie its size. Running on a high-efficiency brushless motor and an 18V (2.0Ah) battery, it can generate an output of 220 CFM and speeds of up to 140 mph.

Now, if you’re looking to level everything in your path, then a compact model isn’t what you need, at least not for jobs that require that kind of force.

Key Specs

  • Model: Ryobi PSBLB01B
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Battery: 18V (4.0Ah) Lithium-ion
  • 222 CFM, 140 mph
  • Noise level: 54 dB (at the ear)
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Weight: ~4 lb

That said, Ryobi assured us that this compact blower is the go-to choice for tackling small messes and tidying up in areas like garages, decks, porches, patios, and truck beds. For added versatility, it comes with two extension tubes (for up to 20 inches of reach) and flat and speed-tip nozzles.

Editor’s Note: For a few of our tests, we ran the blower with Ryobi’s 2.0Ah battery.

Ryobi 18V Compact Blower Performance Notes

Initial Impressions

ryobi cordless leaf blower pistol gripryobi cordless leaf blower pistol grip

Normally, I don’t like to tip my hand this early in a review, but, in this case, I don’t see any way around it. I liked this tool from the moment I took it out of the box, and I mean that literally.

The grip is super comfortable both in texture and contour, and the tool itself is very light (even for a compact system). It’s about 4 pounds with the 18V (4.0Ah) battery inserted. No doubt, Ryobi scored solid points out of the gate in our initial ergonomics assessment.

However, this model is not the brand’s first foray into the compact blower market, but it is an improvement. Compared to its predecessor, the top-handled P2109, the PSBLB01B is a step up on several fronts.

For one, its pistol grip is superior, especially considering the tool’s weight. It not only enhances its maneuverability, but it also makes for a more compact unit (45% more compact than the P2109, according to Ryobi).

Overall Performance

ryobi compact leaf blower overall performanceryobi compact leaf blower overall performance

I wasted no time getting Ryobi’s compact blower out on the test track. And they weren’t kidding when they said that it’s ideal for quick cleanups.

In terms of power, the PSBLB01B is impressive. I’ve used and tested a lot of blowers, and Ryobi’s compact model actually gives some of its standard-size competitors a run for their money.

Ryobi PSBLB01BRyobi PSBLB01B
Both extension tubes and the speed-tip nozzle attached.

After a series of windy days, the front porch had its fair share of stray leaves and helicopter seeds, some of which were wet and, therefore, stuck to the cement. Before starting, I attached both the extension tubes for maximum reach and the narrow speed-tip nozzle for concentrated airflow. The latter helped to blast away the sticky debris.

Long story short, I had the area looking tip-top in just under three minutes (yes, I timed it).

ryobi compact blower attachmentryobi compact blower attachment
Both extension tubes and the flat nozzle attached.

Next, I switched to the wider flat nozzle to increase volume. This creates a push-broom effect–very useful for blowing out both of my garage bays. Again, the Ryobi compact blower made quick work of the mess.

Finally, I had porch furniture in need of some tidying. For this job, my 11-year-old son removed all the attachments and took care of business. (As an aside, if you didn’t already know that he was holding a compact blower, you might have mistaken it for Ryobi’s first hairdryer.)

His impression mirrored mine. The PSBLB01B has plenty of power; it’s easy to maneuver; and it’s comfortable to hold.

Ryobi 18V Compact Blower Design Notes

In all of our tests, two design attributes consistently stood out from the rest: Dimensions and noise level.

ryobi PSBLB01B design notesryobi PSBLB01B design notes

Because of this model’s size and weight, its potential applications are virtually limitless. Thanks to its compact design, you can use this blower in tight spaces. What’s more, anyone can use it–even my five-year-old daughter.

ryobi 18v compact blower noise levelryobi 18v compact blower noise level

But, perhaps most striking, is how quiet it is. You can literally run this blower while you have a conversation with someone. At full throttle, we measured roughly 54 dB at the operator’s ear. That’s nearly 10 dB lower than some of the quietest blowers I’ve tested.

The Final Word

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that I wanted to see if a “compact” blower is truly capable of performing in ways that a standard-size unit couldn’t. Well, after running the PSBLB01B, I can confidently say that, yes, Ryobi has created a compact blower that you should add to your OPE fleet, even if you already have a standard-size unit.

Think about it this way. Even if you already have a vacuum cleaner, having a “dust buster” unit on hand can be a Godsend, especially if you have kids or pets. The same goes for the PSBLB01B–it’s ease, comfort, and convenience in one device.

Based on our experience, Ryobi hit a home run with this one.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic, easy to control
  • Quiet
  • Versatile and convenient

Cons

  • No notable drawbacks (when used for the appropriate applications)

Ryobi 18V Compact Blower Price

This blower retails for $149 as a kit (PSBLB01K) and includes a 4.0Ah battery, charger, two extension tubes, and two nozzles. You can also buy the bare tool (PSBLB01B) for $99.


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