Top 10 Best Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers, Blowers for 2020
Garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are 3-in-1 units that can be rather useful to people needing a single cleaning tool in order to keep the backyard clean from leaves and similar debris.
Garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers differ in power source, size, motor strength, air speed, air volume and similar details, and before buying such unit, one has to know what kind of garden leaf vacuum, mulcher and blower is actually required.
Published: January 10, 2020.
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Features and Specifications of Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers
Most important garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers features include air speed, air volume, unit weight, impeller type, speed control, mulch bag capacity, power source etc.
Air Speed - the faster the air at the blower's nozzle, the larger the force of the air flow. However, faster air flow also required stronger motors and cause higher noise levels. Air speed is usually given in miles per hour (mph), although it may be also given in kilometers per hour (km/h) and meters per second (m/s).
Maximum air speed varies and is usually between 80 and 250+ mph.
Air Volume - while air speed is important for creating 'force' on the leaves and other debris, the larger the air volume the larger the surfaces that this air is pushing away. Hence, it is important to find the balance between the air speed and air volume - some units sacrifice one of the to increase another one.
For example, leaf blowers for dry leaves may benefit from somewhat slower air speed, but they increase the air flow. On the other hand, leaf blowers for wet leaves and other similar dirt benefit from fast air speed, even if that means somewhat smaller air flow.
Air volume is usually given in the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) and it varies between 200 and 500+ CFM.
Unit Weight varies between 3-4 pounds for entry level models to 10+ pounds models that are powerful enough to tackle with wet leaves, branches and similar heavy debris. Also, units with larger mulch ratio (for example 10:1, 16:1) feature heavier steel impellers that tend to increase the weight of the units.
Impeller Type - fans, turbines or impellers are optimized not only for creating the air flow required for blowing or vacuuming, but also for shredding vacuumed debris, requiring the use of stronger materials (usually steel, although there are also models with impellers made from tough and durable plastic). Also, impeller blades are usually much sharper than impeller blades of 'just' garden leaf blowers.
Speed Control allows the user to set air speed as required, depending on the type of dirt being cleaned. Increasing the air speed (and air volume) doesn't always mean cleaning the debris faster, and it also may increase the noise. Speed control of most units has at least 2 different settings, with some models offering 5-6 speed settings or even fully variable air speed.
Mulching Ratio is usually given for shredding dry leaves and it is usually in the 4 to 20 range. The larger the ratio, the more dry debris may be shredded and stored into the collector bag - powerful units with metal impellers easily achieve 1:16 mulching ratio, allowing the user to collect large piles of debris and vacuume them into the collector bags.
Power Source - most common types of garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are electric corded, electric cordless and gas powered units, with all of them having their own advantages and disadvantages.
For keeping home backyards clean, most common type is electric corded, but with the advances in lithium ion batteries, electric cordless models are gaining in popularity.
Corded vs Cordless vs Gas Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers
Electric corded, electric cordless and gas powered leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers have their own strength and weaknesses.
Electric corded garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers depend on the presence of mains power and long power cord that transfer the electric energy from the wall power socket to the unit itself.
As long as the mains power is present and as long as the power cord is thick and long enough, electric corded garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are able to operate.
Their main advantages: they are not noisy during operation, they are rather lightweight units, they are affordable, powerful units easy to use and maintain.
Main disadvantage is the need of the user to pull the power cord around.
Electric cordless garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are powered by the energy stored in onboard lithium-ion battery.
Since there is no power cord to pull around, electric cordless units may operate as long as there is energy left in the battery. And when the battery is discharged, battery may be quickly replaced by another, fully charged battery.
Operating time of the cordless units depends on the operating mode and set speed. When these units are operating as garden leaf vacuums/mulchers, they operate at the maximum speed with operating time on the single battery charge being shortest - usually between 10 and 30 minutes.
Electric cordless garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are very quiet during operation, they are easy to use and maintain, they are somewhat heavier than corded units due to the onboard battery, and when the speed is set to the maximum, they are almost as strong as corded units - just remember that such operation can significantly shorten the operating time on the single battery charge.
Cordless units may be purchased as 'bare tool' - tool without the battery and the charger. This option is highly recommended for people already having standardized batteries and chargers from reputable brands.
When purchasing the cordless garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers with batteries and chargers, initial price may be somewhat higher, but all subsequent purchases may be of 'bare tools', saving money in the long run.
Gas powered garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are strong and powerful units, fully autonomous regarding the presence of mains power, chargers, batteries and similar.
Gas powered units are usually powered by gas two- and four-stroke engines, and they may be much stronger that electric units, especially commercial units.
However, these units also release smelly smoke and fumes during operation, although not as much as years ago. Also, they generate more noise than electric units and are more maintenance intensive units.
Personally, if you are looking for backyard garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers in urban area go for electric units (corded or cordless). But, if you need a really powerful unit that is independent from other power sources and you (or your neighbors) don't mind somewhat more noise and fumes, go for gas powered garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers.
Best Electric Corded Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers
Electric corded garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are very popular tools, manufactured in many versions by practically all most popular brands on the market.
1. Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum
Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum is powered with 12 Amps motor, being able to generate air speeds up to 250 mph (400 km/h, 112 m/s) and air flow in the blower mode up to 350 CFM and 410 CFM in vacuum mode.
Speed control is variable, allowing the user to set air speed as required.
Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum weighs 8.9 pounds (~4.0 kg) and is easy to carry around and use using single hand, although the best control is achieved using both hands.
High-speed metal impeller shreds at least 97% of leaves in particles smaller than 1/2 inch (~1.27 cm), allowing the user to collect large amount of debris, before needing to empty the mulch bag.
If required, additional accessories may be ordered for use with Toro 51621, including Gutter Cleaning Accessory Kit, Leaf Collector, Spring Bucket etc.
Toro 51621 comes with 2-year warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, check Toro 51621 UltraPlus Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
2. WORX WG512 Trivac 2.0 Electric 3-in-1 Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum
WORX WG512 Trivac 2.0 is 3-in-1 corded unit, powered by 12 Amps motor being able to provide respectable 600 CFM, but at somewhat smaller maximum air speed of 75 mph (120 km/h, 33.3 m/s).
Motor's no load speed is 16500 RPM.
WORX WG512 Trivac 2.0 is intended for cleaning mostly dry leaves and similar lighter debris, but in larger quantities.
Unit weighs 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg) and is easily controlled even with one hand.
Collector bag capacity is 1.2 bushels (~11.2 gallons, 42.3 liters) and thanks to 16:1 mulch ratio, it is able to quickly collect and store large amount of debris.
WORX WG512 Trivac 2.0 comes with 2-year limited consumer warranty, which may be extended to 3-year warranty by egistering online within 30 days of purchase.
For more reviews and recommendations, check WORX WG512 Trivac 2.0 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
3. BLACK+DECKER BV6600 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, Mulcher
BLACK+DECKER BV6600 is another corded, electric, 3-in-1 unit powered by 12 Amps motor.
Air speed is variable between 140 and 250 mph (~224 - 400 km/h) allowing the unit to clean even wet/moist leaves and similar debris.
Mulching ratio is 16:1, and thanks to large collector bag (1.5 bushels, ~14 gallons, ~53 liters), BLACK+DECKER BV6600 is able to collect and store large amount of debris before the need to empty the collector bag.
Considering its features, with just 8.1 pounds (~3-7 kg) BLACK+DECKER BV6600 is relatively lightweight unit, being able to be used easily with just one hand.
During operation, noise levels are up to 68 dB, which is very good for such unit.
BLACK+DECKER BV6600 comes with 2-year limited warranty against defects in material and/or workmanship.
For more reviews and recommendations, check BLACK+DECKER BV6600 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
4. Greenworks 24022 Electric Leaf Blower/Vacuum
Greenworks 24022 Electric Leaf Blower/Vacuum is electric, corded, 3-in-1 unit, powered by 12 Amps motor.
It is able to generate maximum air speed of 230 mph (~370 km/h, ~102 m/s) and it features maximum air flow of 375 CFM - it can easily clear even heavier debris, including moist leaves, branches and similar.
With 9.26 pounds (~4.2 kg), Greenworks 24022 is not the lightest unit on the market, but its ergonomically designed grip allows the user to easily operate the unit with just one hand.
Conversion from blower to vacuum and back may be done quickly and easily. Greenworks 24022 comes with 1 bushel (9.3 gallons, 35.2 liters) mulch bag, which may store large amount of shredded leaves and other debris, thanks to the 14:1 mulch ratio.
It features 2 speed settings that may be used in both modes (blower, vacuum), although when used as the vacuum, maximum speed is recommended.
Greenworks 24022 Electric Leaf Blower/Vacuum comes with 4-year warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, check Greenworks 24022 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Best Electric Cordless Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers
Cordless garden leaf vacuums/mulchers/blowers are very popular tools for quick and regular cleanups around homes, in workshops, garages and similar.
With so many models on the market, the best course of action is to go for the models of reputable brands that also manufacture broad range of cordless tools that may be powered with the same set of batteries, decreasing the costs in the long run.
1. Greenworks 24322 Cordless Leaf Blower/Vacuum
Greenworks 24322 Cordless Leaf Blower/Vacuum is powered by Greenworks G-MAX 40V 4.0 Ah lithium ion battery, being able to store ~144 Wh of energy.
Unit is powered by brushless motor with maximum air speed of 185 mph (~296 km/h, 82.3 m/s) and maximum air flow of 340 CFM.
Speed is variable (6 speed settings), allowing the user to prolong the operating time on the single, fully-charged, battery. When the battery is discharged, just replace the old battery and put in new, fully charged battery in matter of seconds.
Single 40V 4.0 Ah battery stores enough energy for the unit to be able to collect 4-4.5 bags of dry leaves and similar debris.
Also, conversion from the blower to vacuum and back can be done rather quickly.
Greenworks 24322 weighs only 5.6 pounds (~2.6 kg) and is easily used with the single hand.
For more reviews and recommendations, check Greenworks 24322 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
2. BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 Lithium Blower/Vacuum
BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 Lithium Blower/Vacuum is cordless, 3-in-1 unit being powered by Black+Decker's 40V 1.5 Ah battery being able to store 54 Wh of energy.
Maximum air speed is 120 mph (192 km/h, 53.3 m/s) allowing the user to easily clean dry leaves and similar lighter debris - green, moist or even wet leaves may be collected as well, but due to the somewhat weaker air flow (in terms of speed and volume), collection of such debris is somewhat limited.
During operation, BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 is rather quiet unit, producing less than 65 dB.
Unit's weight depends on the mode - as leaf blower it weighs just 5.4 pounds (~2.45 kg), and as leaf vacuum, it weighs just 6.9 pounds (~3.13 kg).
Collector bag capacity is 0.5 bushels (~4.65 gallons, 17.6 liters) and with 6:1 mulch ratio, BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 can collect decent amount of debris in the collector bag, before the user has to empty it - remember, this is a cordless unit!
Note that blower tube features built-in scraper, allowing the users to loosen matted leaves and stuck-on debris.
For more reviews and recommendations, check BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
3. Sun Joe iONBV Cordless Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher
Sun Joe iONBV Cordless Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher is another unit powered by 40V lithium ion battery (SunJoe IONMAX). By default, unit comes with 4.0 Ah battery which is able to store ~144 Wh of energy.
Maximum motor power is 700 watts.
Unit feature variable speed (6 settings) with the maximum air speed of 200 mph (320 km/h, 89 m/s) ensuring that the unit can collect even moist/wet leaves and similar debris, although the best results are achieved when collecting dry leaves.
Maximum air flow is 300 CFM, which is rather good result considering maximum air speed and the fact that this is cordless unit.
Maximum battery operating time is ~55 minutes, but when the power is increased, so is the operating time on the single battery decreased.
Impeller is designed to achieve mulch ratio of 1:17 which is excellent, however, impeller is made of tough plastic (not steel), so one should be careful when vacuuming in order to avoid hard objects like branches as much as possible.
Collector bag capacity is 16 gallons (1.72 bushels, 60.6 liters), ensuring that the user may collect large amount of debris without interruptions.
Unit weighs 8.7 pounds (~3.95 kg) and can be controlled with just one hand, although the best control is achieved using both hands.
Sun Joe iONBV Cordless Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher comes with 2 year warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, check Sun Joe iONBV Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
4. KIMO Cordless Leaf Blower
KIMO Cordless Leaf Blower comes in two very similar versions, KIMO 6001-4.0 and KIMO 6001-2.0, which are practically identical units differing only in the battery: KIMO 6001-4.0 features 20V 4.0 Ah battery being able to store 72 Wh of energy, while KIMO 6001-2.0 comes with 20V 2.0 Ah battery being able to store 36 Wh of energy.
KIMO 6001-2.0 is older, but nonetheless, very popular model. However, KIMO 6001-4.0 is gaining in popularity, thanks to its larger battery and thus longer operating time.
KIMO 6001-4.0 is basically cordless leaf blower with basic vacuuming capability and NO mulching feature. But, it is cheap, rather reliable unit and is commonly used as basic cordless blower model for cleaning around the homes, in the garages, cars and similar.
As vacuum cleaner, it may be used for picking up smaller, dry debris.
Thanks to the its larger battery, KIMO 6001-4.0 can operate up to 30 minutes on the single battery charge, which is excellent result for 4.9 pound (2.2 kg) cordless unit.
For more reviews and recommendations, check KIMO 6001-4.0 Cordless Leaf Blower Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Best Gas Powered Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers
Gas powered leaf vacuums/mulchers/blowers are maintenance intensive units, but they are independent regarding power source (just be sure to have enough fuel and some additional parts, if required). Most of gas powered units are designed as powerful leaf blowers, but some of them are true 3-in-1 units.
1. Husqvarna 125BVx Handheld Leaf Blower/Vacuum
Husqvarna 125BVx Handheld Leaf Blower/Vacuum is powered by 28 ccm 2-stroke engine, with maximum power output of 1.1 HP (~820 watts).
Maximum air flow is 470 CFM, with the maximum air speed using flat nozzle of 170 mph (272 km/h, 76 m/s) and the maximum air speed using round nozzle of 130 mph (208 km/h, 58 m/s).
Fuel tank volume is 18.5 fl oz (~0.55 liters) with the fuel consumption of 575g/kWh.
Motor's idle speed is 3000 RPM and maximum speed of 8000 RPM.
Husqvarna 125BVx weighs 9.6 pounds (~4.35 kg) which is rather lightweight for gas powered units.
Mulch collector bag capacity is ~1.83 bushels (17 gallons, 64.5 liters) and thanks to the 16:1 mulch ratio, it can store large amount of collected leaves and other similar dirt.
Noise level is 109 dB, with the noise level measured at operator's ear of 94 dB - having hearing protection during the use is a must ...
For more reviews and recommendations, check Husqvarna 125BVx Handheld Leaf Blower Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
2. Poulan Pro PPBV25 Handheld Leaf Blower/Vacuum
Poulan Pro PPBV25 Handheld Leaf Blower/Vacuum features 2-stroke 25 ccm engine, and is capable of maximum air speed of 230 mph (~368 km/h, ~103 m/s) and the maximum air flow of 450 CFM.
Poulan Pro PPBV25 weighs hefty 17 pounds (~7.7 kg) and it does require some power to be used and/or carried around.
On the other hand, many users claim that due to its weigh, Poulan Pro PPBV25 is more stable cleaning platform than other, lighter units.
Noise levels may reach up to 107 dB and hearing protection is a must have during operation.
Mulch ratio of 16:1 allows the user to collect plenty of dry dirt into the collector bag, before it needs to be emptied.
Poulan Pro PPBV25 comes with 2-year warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, check Poulan Pro PPBV25 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Long Story Short: Garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers can be of the great help when cleaning your backyard, garage, driveway and similar surfaces.
Gas powered units are independent from electricity of any kind, but they are also the most maintenance intensive units.
Cordless leaf vacuums/mulchers/blowers are the least noisy units, but they tend to be the weakest, with the operating time being limited by the amount of energy stored in the onboard battery.
Corded leaf vacuums/mulchers/blowers depend on the presence of mains power and their range depends on the length of power cord, but they offer long operating time, low noise, good performances ...
When choosing the best garden vacuums/mulchers/blowers, consider your own personal needs and preferences - after all, what is good for us doesn't have to be good for You and vice versa ...
Whatever You do, be sure to read the manuals, and stay safe - leaf vacuums/mulchers/blowers are not toys, on the contrary..