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DEWALT DCBL790M1 Review

The DCBL790M1 is priced like a top-tier model but couldn't really compare to their performance in our tests
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Price:   $300 List
Pros:  Exceptionally ergonomic, not too noisy
Cons:  Expensive, so-so power, mediocre battery life
Manufacturer:   DEWALT
By Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman  ⋅  Jul 11, 2019
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58
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Power - 50% 5
  • Battery - 25% 5
  • Ergonomics - 15% 8
  • Noise - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The DEWALT DCBL790M1 is Discontinued as of October 2019

Overall, the DEWALT DCBL790M1 finished just behind the top group of products, leaving it without an award. It failed to impress in our most significant metrics — power and battery life — significantly holding it back. While it is one of the easiest and least fatiguing cordless blowers to use and one of the quietest, it is priced comparably to the top products, making it quite hard to recommend.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The DCBL790M1 finished just behind the Snapper 82-Volt Max and ahead of the Ryobi RY40460. Both of these blowers are quite a bit less expensive and more powerful, with all three having similar battery performances. The DEWALT is more ergonomic and quieter but its significant price increase over the other two makes both the Snapper and the Ryobi much better bargain buys.

The well balanced Dewalt DCBL790M1 leaf blower.
The well balanced Dewalt DCBL790M1 leaf blower.

Performance Comparison


To pick out which cordless leaf blowers we were willing to bestow awards upon, we first bought all the most promising models currently on the market and tested them head-to-head. We grouped our tests into four weighted categories, with the DCBL790M1's performance in each test explained in the sections below.

The DCBL790M1 was only average in power.
The DCBL790M1 was only average in power.

Power


Comprising a whopping 50% of the final score for the DEWALT, our trio of blower strength tests are our most important assessments. We measured the height the DCBL790M1 could levitate a beach ball, its maximum range at moving sand, and its overall effectiveness at clearing different types of rubbish. As mentioned above, we weren't particularly impressed with this cordless blower's performance, awarding it a 5 out of 10 when it came to power.

Floating the inflated beach ball to a height of around 4' or so, the DEWALT did fairly well compared to the other products in this test.

We could easily reach and knock the beach ball out of the air stream with this model.
We could easily reach and knock the beach ball out of the air stream with this model.

It also didn't have a particularly impressive range, with this blower only able to clear sand up to just shy of 11' (129 inches) from the nozzle — quite a bit less than the almost 20' of the top blowers.

We were not impressed with this well-known models performance in this test.
We were not impressed with this well-known models performance in this test.

The DCBL790M1 is relatively average when it comes to clearing mixed debris. We set to work clearing some of our parking areas with the DEWALT, which was covered in leaves, lawn clippings, dirt, sand, and small pebbles. It can move the lighter items a fair distance but we still had to do quite a bit more walking compared to the best models. It also totally struggled with larger pebbles or when the pine needles clumped together, only really able to move them at point-blank range.

Battery


Our second group of tests dealt with the battery life and recharge time of the DEWALT. This accounts for 25% of its total score, with this blower delivering another lackluster set of results, earning it a 5 out of 10.

The battery compartment is at a nice angle  making it easy to insert/remove the battery.
The battery compartment is at a nice angle, making it easy to insert/remove the battery.

The DCBL790M1 runs on a nominal 40-volt battery system and includes a single 4 amp hour battery. For this test, we started this cordless leaf blower with a fully charged battery, then timed how long it lasted.

Unfortunately, this blower didn't have the most impressive battery life, only lasting for 17 minutes and 44 seconds, which is less than half of the operating time that the top products had. For our second assessment of this metric, we timed how long it took to recharge a totally dead battery with the included charger.

The charging station and battery for the DCBL790M1.
The charging station and battery for the DCBL790M1.

The DEWALT did charge a bit faster than average, only taking an hour and 26 minutes or so in our test.

Ergonomics


Next, we rated and compared the ergonomics and ease of use for each cordless leaf blower, which is responsible for 15% of the final score for the DCBL790M1. It did quite a bit better in this metric, earning an 8 out of 10. This was based on the DEWALT's weight, its balance and grip, ease of access to its controls, and where its air intake is.

The DCBL790M1 had a nice  comfortable handle to hold onto.
The DCBL790M1 had a nice, comfortable handle to hold onto.

The DCBL790M1 is a bit on the larger and heavier side, weighing in at almost ten and a half pounds with its battery installed.


However, the DEWALT is almost perfectly balanced, maintaining an essentially ideal blowing angle with no effort at all on your part. The grip is fine to hold but is a bit on the larger side, so could be a bit more difficult to hold for those with more petite hands.

The DCBL790M1 is one of the heaviest models tested  but well balanced.
The DCBL790M1 is one of the heaviest models tested, but well balanced.

The intake is on the right side of this blower, which can be a bit frustrating if you use it in your left hand, as it will occasionally try and suck in your pants if they are on the baggier side.

Your clothing might get sucked in with side mounted intakes!
Your clothing might get sucked in with side mounted intakes!

This cordless blower does have cruise control settings and a trigger interface.

The cruise control lever on this model was easy to press no matter which hand you are using.
The cruise control lever on this model was easy to press no matter which hand you are using.

Noise


Our final metric focused on the noise level produced by the DCBL790M1, which constitutes the remaining 10% of its total score. We measured both the sound level for the user with the blower on its most powerful setting and the noise for someone standing 50' away. The DCBL790M1 again did quite well, meriting an 8 out of 10.

The DEWALT generates about 90 dBa of noise for the user, which isn't necessarily the quietest model we have seen. However, our judges liked that the tone of the DCBL790M1 is super mellow and it lacks a high-pitched whine that many other blowers had.

Some models are much louder than others.
Some models are much louder than others.

The sound does attenuate a bit at some distance away, only causing 82.9 dBa for a bystander 50' away.

Value


Regrettably, the DEWALT is a terribly value, having a price tag that is comparable to the top models but finishing in the middle of the group overall.

Clearing off pine needles scattered about on a local bike path.
Clearing off pine needles scattered about on a local bike path.

Conclusion


The DEWALT is a decent cordless leaf blower but we are a bit reticent to recommend it due to its relatively weak performance in our power and battery metrics.

Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman