Picking The Best Leaf Vacuum for 2018
So you are looking for an easier way to clean up your yard without having to rank, bag and pile up your leaves.
Leaf blower vacuums are on the front line of clearing up debris. The first recorded use was in Japan sometime during the 19th century when gardeners employed bellows to clean mossy ground. Echo introduced a backpack engine-powered duster and sprayer in the 1950's. People began to dismantle this machine to get to the powerful blower. Echo manufactured the first gas-powered handheld blower in 1978. Electrolux introduced an electric variable-speed leaf blower in 2003. By the late 2000s, cordless battery blowers took advantage of powerful lithium-ion and NiCad batteries.
Today's models are very versatile blower vacuums that can gather and mulch leaves before bagging them, which allows the user to both avoid the chore of collecting and also aid in the process of composting.
Top Leaf Blower Vacuums & Mulchers
- Superior blowing and mulching proven by controlled laboratory testing
- Powerful up to 250 mph degree. 350 CFM blow mode and 410 CFM Vac mode
- Vacuum tube, bottom-zip bag, cord storage hook, shred-all shred ring and time-saving oscillating...
- Variable speed control for better control in both blower and vac mode
- The 12 amp motor operates a 3-in-1 blower, vacuum and mulcher all in one
- 250 mph blower with 2 Speed selections
- Can grind up to 16 bags of mulch down to one
- Easy-change between vacuum and blower, Decibel : 68 dBA
- Brushless motor provides your tool with longer run-time, more torque and more power. This leads to...
- Variable speed offers up to 185 mph to make clean up of major debris easy and efficient.No-Load...
- Blower/Vac capability provides a versatile use to get your yard work done without the need for...
- Powerful enough to handle wet and dry leaves
Toro 51621 UltraPlus
5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5
Black & Decker BV6000
3.5 out of 5
HOW WE RATED THE LEAF BLOWER VACUUMS
We conducted extensive research to provide you with reviews of the superior leaf blower vacuums available on the market today. We read and compared hundreds of online reviews, and the particular merits of each model were taken into consideration.
- What are the pros and cons of each leaf vacuum/blower/mulcher?
- Which machine is more reliable or has a better warranty?
- Does the leaf vac have any unique features worth mentioning?
- Does it have a good instruction manual?
- Finally, what is the cost of each leaf vac and does its performance and features warrant its higher price tag?
Read on to find out the relative pros and cons of leaf vacuums that are highly rated. We utilize a star system for our ratings, with 5 stars being the highest possible rating given. Hopefully, our analysis of each leaf vacuum/blower/mulcher will be helpful in steering you toward a well-informed purchase decision.
A variety of warranties are available for the 5 models of leaf vacuums covered today. Black & Decker provides a two-year limited warranty on their high-performance blower/vacuum/mulcher. Toro offers a two-year full-coverage warranty. Greenworks provides a limited 4-year warranty.
POWER (MPH & CFM)
Both MPH (Miles Per Hour) and CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) affect the output of your leaf vacuum. MPH tells you how fast the blower air is moving (useful when you're moving heavy debris). CFM tells you what volume of air is moving through the blower. It's usually the case that if a blower has a higher MPH, then its price tag will also be higher. However, we suggest that a leaf blower that has higher CFM and a lower MPH might be the better buy. Faster air speed doesn't equate to better blowing. The CFM pushing power determines the real power of the blower with its capacity to push debris and leaves out of the way.
Vacuum mulching can save you a great deal of work over the years. Instead of raking, bagging, and a trip to the landfill or a compost pile, a mulcher can help to simplify those chores. Mulching reduces approximately 10 bags of leaves into just 1 bag of mulch. Mulched leaves are also more prepared for composting because the overall size and surface area of each piece are decreased, and that makes it simpler for microorganisms and beneficial bacteria to digest them.
Bagging has improved dramatically over the years, and now many machines come with a reusable empty leaf bag that is lined with disposable bags that are a snap to tie up and throw away. Some of these 3-in-1 machines can mulch 16 leaf bags into only one bag!
Bagging leaves and debris is an eco-friendly way to handle your lawn debris. You'll never have to blow your excess leaves out into the street or rake them into large piles ever again. Of course, the best thing you should do with your leaves is to mulch them. Studies show that mulching your grass and leaves for 3 years will result in a large decrease in crabgrass and dandelions in your yard.
EASE OF USE
Instead of using a multitude of different garden equipment - a mower, rake, separate mulcher, etc., why not turn to the most time-saving equipment available - a leafer / vacuum / mulcher? These super convenient machines change from one function to another with a simple nozzle switch or lever.
Here's a checklist for ease of use that you can follow when purchasing a leaf vacuum:
- Make sure you have easy access to a fan area so you can clear blockages simply
- Test your machine in the store to make sure it doesn't vibrate too much
- Your vacuum/mulcher should have comfortable handles
- You'll need a blower vac with a trigger lock that will allow you to operate the machine without having to hold down the trigger constantly
WHY BUY A LEAF VACUUM & MULCHER?
Leaf blower vacuums are very useful for removing small quantities of leaves and debris from tight spots, in any location where it would be difficult to use a leaf rake. They are great for cleaning up your driveway and sidewalk in addition to cleaning your yard. A high-quality blower is an essential machine, but why buy 3 machines instead of 1 when there are now excellent combination blower/vacuum/mulchers available for a very reasonable price?
New leaf vac combos let you switch quickly between vacuuming, blowing, and mulching. A mulching blower can rapidly convert a huge pile of leaves and debris into a much smaller bag of mulch that is compost-ready that you can either spread in the garden or take to a nearby waste facility.
Shredding leaves can typically reduce the volume of waste by a 16 to 1 ratio, which means that you'll be able to clean up a large yard filled with leaves and end up with only one bag to dispose.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A LEAF BLOWER VAC
If you are looking for a leaf blower vac that is relatively quiet and does not emit fumes, stay clear of gas-powered models.
Choose a battery leaf blower if you have a larger area to cover. You will enjoy excellent range and mobility since there won't be a cable to hold you back. Battery powered vacs are less noisy. They will be a little heavier because of the battery pack, and they'll have to be frequently recharged. Just remember that a rechargeable battery has a runtime limit of one hour tops and you'll have some downtime waiting for the battery to recharge.
Choose a corded electric blower if you want one-handed use, inexpensive cost, zero exhaust emissions and push-button starting. Their power approaches that of gas blowers, so if you have a smaller yard and a power outlet that's within 100 ft. of your work area then a corded model can be ideal for you.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE MODELS
There is a perfect leaf vac out there for all tastes and every budget. On the less expensive side are smaller blowers. The Black & Decker High-Performance Vac/Blower/ Mulcher (BV5600) offers excellent value for your money, for under $100. It features a 2-speed control and a steel mulcher but comes in at a heavier weight of 14.3 pounds. This weight alone will make it hard for some people to operate.
On the slightly more expensive side, there are very powerful blower, vacuum, and mulcher combinations. Our most expensive leaf vac is the Greenworks 24322. Its higher cost is because this machine is the only leaf vacuum in this list that is battery-powered. Batteries are more expensive than a machine that plugs its cord into an electric socket. You will have a lot more mobility using a machine with a battery than with a corded model. In addition, battery powered tools are more comfortable to use and very quiet.
BEST SELLING & TOP RATED BRANDS
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?
The leaf vacuums that we are reviewing here today range in price from $50 to $150, with a median price of $82. Do you have a smaller yard doesn't need all the bells and whistles? A corded model will cost less than a battery powered model. If you don't need a mulcher, a less expensive option is to buy a leaf blower or a leaf vacuum instead. A light, compact unit might have less power than a larger model and should be cheaper.
After a comprehensive study of leaf vacuum/blower/mulchers in the marketplace today, we highly recommend the Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum & Variable-Speed with Metal Impeller. This all-around tool is extremely powerful, works reliably, and has a relatively lightweight (8.8 pounds) space-saving design. It can comfortably be used with either one or two hands. Its variable speed knob allows you to adjust airflow from barely a trickle up to 250 MPH. There are 3 additional nozzles for enhanced versatility. Its mulching capacity is excellent, increased by its solid metal impeller, and it can reduce your total volume of leaves by 96%, depending on the condition and type of material that you are mulching. Finally, it has a comfortable fitting leaf collection bag and stores easily.