Fall is coming; the winds are blowing, and the leaves are falling. I like autumn, and I love watching leaves changing color and falling. But, someone is going to have to pick up those leaves, right?
In my family, that someone is me! This year I decided to equip myself with more modern tools.
Specifically, I decided to buy a leaf vacuum. I was shocked when I started looking for the best leaf vacuum; some are vacuums, and some are blowers, some are cordless, some run on gas, etc.
So, I picked one for each category (total of 5 items) and created a buyer’s guide that will help you navigate through these choices.
If you are tired of old-school & pain-in-your-back way of raking leaves, perhaps you should read this article.
Before we proceed to our list, first we need to answer some common question and establish parameters according to which you’ll be able to select the best vacuum/blower/mulcher.
The Benefits Of A Leaf Vacuum
First and foremost, all products on our list (except for the Poolmaster 28300) can blow, vacuum, and mulch.
You can use blowing mode to chase away the leaves from your property and force them on your neighbor’s property (just kidding!) Jokes aside, blowing mode is excellent if you don’t necessarily need to collect the leaves but just move them away to clear a driveway or sidewalk.
Vacuuming mode helps you collect leaves and tiny branches/twigs. However, these machines weren’t designed to collect twigs, branches, and sticks, so please, try to avoid that practice.
And then there’s the mulch function, which works in pair with the vacuum mode.
Generally speaking, a leaf vacuum will use a metal mulch blade to shred the leaves into tiny pieces to save space in the bag.
Mulching allows more efficient and relaxing vacuuming because you won’t have to empty the bag as frequently as you otherwise would.
Easy Comparison For Best Leaf Vacuum
Are Batteries Required
15.6 x 20.8 x 9.9 in
45 x 9 x 14 in
18 x 18 x 7 in
32.5 x 8.5 x 11 in
38.5 x 9 x 14 in
The BLACK+DECKER (BV6600) is a cost-effective solution for your leaf problems.
It is powered by electricity and can reach the max speed of 250 mph. The BV6600 is a 3-in-1 machine because it can mulch, vacuum and blow.
It is reasonably lightweight, weighing roughly 14.85 pounds. It is also compact and is useful for cleaning yards, narrow sidewalks, driveways, and so forth.
The product comes with vacuum and blowing tube, as well as with a reusable and easy-to-clean leaf bag.
The BV6600 is equipped with a strong mulching metal fan that allows it to shred leaves and thus conserve bag space.
It also features two different speed options, allowing you to use it for both light and heavy-duty jobs.
The good news is that this vacuum/mulcher/blower deals well with dry and wet leaves. However, it may struggle a bit with twigs and smaller branches (they may clog the tube.)
While it isn’t as convenient as cordless leaf vacuums, it is powerful, consistent and efficient.
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Toro 51621 – Best Leaf Blower Vacuum For Homeowners
The Toro 51621 is a 250 mph leaf blower and vacuum with variable speed controls and various useful attachments.
My favorite attachment was the ring shredder, which worked great with an integrated metal impeller.
I’ve noticed that these two segments would reduce roughly 90% of the collected debris to just half an inch.
The oscillating nozzle was also cool; it would move back and forth and blow the leaves without your wrist assistance.
Note that you should always use a power insert (another attachment) when you want to collect wet leaves. Should you vacuum dry leaves, then you can use a primary tube.
While it is excellent that you receive all of these attachments, which means that the switching between them can be annoying.
The cord is also a bit clunky to manage because it likes to slip out of the built-in cord hook and unplug (but this is manageable.)
The Toro 51621 is extremely quiet, quieter than most other gas and electric leaf vacuums. And it deals well with dry and wet leaves, as long as you use the right attachment.
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Some of you guys have pools, correct? Well, the Poolmaster 28300 is a tiny machine that keeps your pool leafless.
This 15-inch (in diameter) vacuum has eight water jets with which it attracts leaves and then shreds them to pieces (literally!)
The vacuum moves with the help of multi-directional wheels, which you can use to collect the leaves that are on the pool’s bottom. Of course, you would need to buy a telescope for that.
The vacuum also comes with one reusable bag that connects directly to the vacuum’s neck.
The vacuum and its handle are made of quality ABS; it is durable and robust. Note that the item comes with a mesh bag, and some particles and leaving creatures (such as bugs) will escape the mesh.
All in all, the Poolmaster 28300 is a very peculiar product and excellent inexpensive alternative to otherwise expensive pool vacuums and cleaners.
We should also point out that this vacuum works with a standard garden hose, and with standard size pole (telescopic pole for pools.)
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Greenworks 40V – Best Cordless Leaf Vacuum and Blower
The Greenworks is the most convenient leaf blower on our list because, well, it is cordless!
The vacuum is reasonably simple to use; you have on/off button, speed-changing wheel (6 different speed options) and a Turbo mode.
It comes with 40V Lithium-Ion battery and features a built-in battery life indicator that displays battery status to you.
This unit works better as a blower than as a vacuum. Why? Well, this unit runs for about 45-60 minutes on regular power but only 15-20 minutes on turbo mode.
The problem is that vacuuming almost always requires that you use turbo mode. You can solve this by buying an additional battery if such a thing is necessary.
And don’t get me wrong; the unit works as it should! It is sturdy, durable and very light, definitely the right option for those who seek convenience.
I was surprised by this unit’s power because my experience tells me that cordless leaf vacuums are often less potent than corded or gas leaf vacuums, and I’m glad that the Greenworks proved me wrong.
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The Husqvarna leaf vacuum/blower is the most massive, loudest and the most expensive unit on our list.
So why would you buy it? For starters, it is the most potent unit on our list! Secondly, it is the most robust and durable item on our list. And thirdly, it mulches leaves like a true herbivore.
And for those that worry about its environmental effect, the Husqvarna is CARB compliant. It comes with an HH filter, which you can wash with just a bit of soap and warm water.
The unit is easy to use, featuring a simple on/off button, flexible blowing tube, and quick-starting design.
It is also easy to control, thanks to the well crafted and padded grip. The Husqvarna did struggle a bit with wet leaves, but only when I used the vacuuming mode.
It starts easily thanks to the air purger that helps you remove any excess air out of the fuel system.
All in all, the Husqvarna is good for those that seek powerful blower and dry-leaf vacuum. Don’t forget that this is a gas blower, which is why you’ll need to protect your ears accordingly.
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How To Choose A Leaf Blower/Vacuum?
Well, it depends on what you are looking for. On our list below you’ll find corded electric, cordless electric and gas vacuum. Naturally, each comes with its own flaws and benefits.
Corded Leaf Vacuum
Corded leaf vacuums are my personal favorites. Why? Corded electric vacuums they are more powerful than a cordless vacuum (generally speaking,) but less noise and greener than gas vacuums.
Yes, they aren’t as convenient as the cordless leaf vacuums (gas or electric), and you will have to drag that cord alongside you, but I never had too many problems with that.
Cordless Leaf Vacuum
Cordless leaf vacuums can be electric or gas. Electric ones tend to be less powerful and durable, but lighter, quieter and more convenient.
However, the biggest problem I have with cordless electric leaf vacuums is the battery system.
These items are supposed to be convenient, but is it convenient when you have to buy an additional battery and swap them when they are drained? I did find an excellent electric cordless vacuum (made by Greenworks), but that’s like 1 in 10.
Gas leaf vacuums are expensive, loud and bulky; but if you want to get the job done most rapidly and efficiently, then go with the gas vacuums.
I don’t use them only because I don’t need a heavy-duty blower/vacuum. But, I would use it if I had a bigger backyard or for professional purposes.
Blower Or Vacuum?
Do you need a blower or a vacuum? Take the Greenworks cordless electric leaf blower as an example. It is convenient, lightweight, sophisticated, and so forth.
It runs for 60 minutes, but on regular mode. This regular speed/power mode isn’t sufficient for vacuuming, which is why you need to switch to Turbo mode. However, turbo mode drains the battery in 15 minutes.
So, the Greenworks is better for blowing than for vacuuming. You can use it for vacuuming too, but only if you manage to vacuum all the leaves in 15 minutes (it takes me roughly 30 minutes to clean my backyard, driveways, and sidewalks.)
Again, you need to think about your preferences and choose accordingly. I needed a good mulcher/vacuum, which is why I bought the BLACK+DECKER Leaf Vacuum Mulcher.
I use the blowing mode to create major piles of leaves, and then I mulch them to pieces. But maybe you don’t need that.
Things To Consider
Naturally, considering the things we already mentioned (type and purpose.) The move on to price and see if a specific model fits your budget.
And please, don’t just buy the most expensive unit and think that you got yourself a great deal! Instead, choose rationally and consider the benefits of each particular item.
Another thing you need to consider is the weight of these items. If you have weaker hands or some medical condition that doesn’t allow you to carry heavy things, then go with the lightest item.
If you want to exercise, go for the more massive units (seriously, vacuuming leaves is a good exercise!) And though this might sound too obvious, if you need a pool vacuum, go with the Poolmaster 28300.
I said right from the get-go that BLACK+DECKER BV6600 is my favorite unit. Why not? It is inexpensive, reliable and powerful.
It is suitable for vacuuming, mulching and blowing, and it comes with plenty of useful attachments. Now if I had a pool (which I don’t’), I would go with the Poolmaster.
If I wanted convenience, I would go with the Greenworks cordless leaf blower, and If I had a giant yard, then I’ld buy the Husqvarna leaf blower.
So, even though the BLACK+DECKER BV6600 is my personal favorite, that doesn’t mean it will be your personal favorite, capiche?
Use the knowledge you obtained in this article, and you’ll undoubtedly find the best leaf vacuum for your needs.