In a nutshell

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award winner for best performance, this is a great choice if you’re after something that packs a punch, but is light and easy to manoeuvre. With three speed settings, a run time of up to 80 minutes on the low setting, and a relatively short charge time of 45 minutes, this was one of the top performers in the test. Part of the Makita LXT 18V cordless tool system, the battery and charger are compatible across the range and it comes with an extendable three year warranty.

What we tested

  • Preparation
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Handling
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Performance
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Value for money
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
Overall Rating
A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.


  • Long, narrow nozzle for directional blasts
  • Air speed 68m/s
  • Three speed settings, plus additional pressure trigger to further control power
  • Run time from 12 to 80 minutes depending on setting
  • Speedy charge time of 45 minutes
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Battery position helps the overall balance
  • Compatible with over 270 Makita cordless tools in the LXT range
  • Removable nozzle for storage
  • Three year warranty


  • No charge level indicator on battery
  • Expensive – but it is good value

What’s the Makita DUB186Z 18V cordless leaf blower like?

This cordless leaf blower weighs the same as others in the group we tested, like the Stiga SAB 100AE, but its compact design and long, narrow nozzle makes it feel more manoeuvrable and easier to reach awkward corners. The 5Ah 18V battery delivers plenty of power and it has three different power settings – low, medium and high – and offers further control with the pressure trigger switch that must be held down to use. It copes with both wet and dry leaves on grass, in borders and on paths on the low setting, which is gentle enough to tease fallen leaves out of shrubs and plants. The medium setting copes with larger amounts of leaves, and the varying levels of pressure at this setting allow you to collect them tidily. At full speed, it effortlessly shifts stubborn well-trodden debris from in between paving slabs. The soft-grip handle, together with the position of the battery, which slots in underneath it, helps balance the leaf blower, making it comfortable to use for longer periods of time.


Who’s the Makita DUB186Z 18V cordless leaf blower most useful for?

The Makita DUB186Z is ideal if mobility is an issue, because it’s one of the lighter models we tested and has a compact body and thin nozzle. The combination of power, long run time and short charge time help this leaf blower cope just as well in large gardens as it will with patios and backyard.

Is the Makita DUB186Z 18V cordless leaf blower good value for money?

It’s in the mid-range of the tools we tested, but performs really well – one of the best we tested, with three control settings and variable power within those settings. A one-year plus warranty and easy to store design makes this a super cordless tool that’s good value for money.

Buyers' guide to leaf blowers:

Lumbered with lots of leaves? Check out our test of the best gardening gloves to collect them in comfort, and while you’re at it, why not learn how to make leaf mould – a super compost and soil conditioner – as well as how to make your own leaf mould bin.

For more cordless garden tools, read our best cordless lawn mowers, best hedge trimmers and best pressure washers guides.


This review was last updated in October 2021. Unfortunately, prices change and things go out of stock so we apologise if anything has changed.

Product Specifications

NameMAKITA DUB186Z 18V Leaf Blower
Leaf blower typeBlower
Powered byBattery
Battery charge time45min(s)
Battery life80min(s)
Air flow68mdivs