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 7 items) and created a buyer’s guide that will help you navigate through these choices. In this guide, we are going to take a look at leaf vacuums to help you find the best leaf vacuum of 2020.
If you are tired of the 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
Dimensions (inches): 45 x 9 x 14
Dimensions (inches): 18 x 18 x 7
Greenworks 40v Cordless
Dimensions (inches): 32.5 x 8.5 x 11
BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 (BV3600)
Dimensions (inches): 38 x 9.88 x 20.75
Husqvarna 125 Bx Gas
Dimensions (inches): 38.5 x 9 x 14
Dimensions (inches): 9 x 41 x 14
Black + Decker BEBL7000
Dimensions (inches): 15 x 21 x 11
Dimensions (inches): 15.6 x 20.8 x 9.9
8. Toro 51621 – Best Leaf Blower Vacuum For Homeowners
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.
7. Poolmaster 28300 – Best Pool Leaf Vacuum
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 an 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.)
6. Greenworks 40V – Best Cordless Leaf Vacuum and Blower
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.
5. BLACK + DECKER 3-in-1 Electric : Top Rated Leaf Blower
It functions as both a leaf blower and a vacuum to blow leaves and other debris away from your yard.
The attached bag does a good job of keeping the debris that you vacuum contained.
Capable of blowing at a speed of up to 230 mph, this blower works well in small yards and bigger spaces.
You can use it to both remove the leaves that fall from your trees and get rid of any other debris in your yard such as trash from your neighbors.
An anti-clog design comes in handy when you need to create mulch. It can grind the mulch down to the consistency that you need without the mulch clogging the impeller.
Weighing only 8.1 pounds, this leaf blower lets you work outside for as long as you want without any discomfort. As it runs quietly, you can work late in the day or early in the morning without disrupting others.
4. Husqvarna 125BVx 28cc 2-Cycle – Best Gas Leaf Blower And Vacuum
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.
3. Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Blower Vac – Best Leaf Blower Vaccum for Large Yards
It has quite a bit of power, and at 250 MPH, you should have no issues picking up leaves and other debris from your lawn.
The leaves that are collected are shredded to less than ½ of an inch and can easily be stored in the included bag.
The unit is designed with an impeller that is metal, so more than 88 percent of the debris will be cut into mulching sized pieces.
The vacuum can also be used as a blower if you want, and switching modes are easy to do. If you need more power, the blowing speed can be adjusted.
This is an electric model, so you may need an extension cord to reach your entire yard, but it does come with a concentrator that will help you focus the blower to get difficult to reach debris.
2. Black + Decker BEBL7000 – Best Leaf Vacuum/Mulcher
It is designed to be able to carry about two times more debris than earlier models.
The bag that carries the leaf litter is a backpack, which makes it more versatile, especially if you have a larger yard.
It functions as both a blower and a vacuum, so you can move the leaves to a pile with ease and vacuum them up.
With a blower that can function at 250 MPH and 400 CFM, this is quite a powerful option that will quickly be able to clean up your yard.
There is even a button on the device that you can press when you need just a little bit more power.
1. BLACK+DECKER Leaf Vacuum Mulcher – Best Budget Leaf Vacuum/Mulcher
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.
How To Choose A Leaf Blower/Vacuum?
Well, it depends on what you are looking for. On our list below you’ll find the 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 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.
Types of Leaf Vacuums
When you consider a leaf vacuum for your lawn, you are going to need to consider the size of the space that you need to clear to determine the best type of vacuum to get. In general, leaf vacuums fall into one of the following four types.
- Handheld Vacuums – Handheld models are versatile vacuums that are great for smaller jobs. They have a decent amount of power, but they can quickly become heavy.
- Backpack Vacuums – A backpack vacuum is a great option for anyone who will need to walk a bit to clear the leaves. It is much easier to carry this type of vacuum, and it offers quite a bit of power that makes it ideal for any size yard.
- Tow-Behind Vacuums – If you have a riding mower or a tractor, this type of vacuum can be attached to it and pulled across your lawn. Typically, they come with an attached hose to suck up the leaves, but you can also use it without the hose.
- Self-Propelled Vacuums – This type of leaf vacuum is great for anyone who has a large yard with a lot of hills. The engine of these models not only vacuums the leaf debris, but it also moves the front wheels on the unit so that it takes less effort to vacuum your yard.
Brands to Consider
When you are looking for a new leaf vacuum to clear your yard of leaf litter, there are quite a few brands to consider.
Of course, you do not need to purchase a top brand to get a quality leaf blower, but it is always important to check trusted brands to see if you can get a good deal.
Some of the brands to consider include:
How to Maintain a Leaf Vacuum
One thing to keep in mind when you purchase a leaf vacuum is that you are not likely going to be using it all year, so maintaining it is going to be vital if you want it to last.
If you have the option of storing it in a well-vented area, you can simply run it once a month to make sure that everything is running as it should.
If you need to store it where it cannot be run, you should take some steps to winterize it before the snow hits.
For gas models, you should combine a fuel stabilizer with the gas, run it a few minutes, and empty the fuel from the vacuum before storing it away.
Electric models only need to be kept in a location where the motor will not get wet or freeze.
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 buys 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.