The right tools can make cleaning up your lawn this fall much more manageable. Instead of just raking or blowing your trees’ debris into piles, you can use a leaf vacuum to suck and mulch it up. After all, those leaves can be composted for a natural fertilizer for your yard, but you don’t want to wait until they get soak up rain water and suffocate the grass underneath.
Types of Leaf Vacuums and Features to Consider
“Leaf vacuum” is a bit of a misnomer, because—while leaf blowers only blow air—leaf vacuums can usually blow, vacuum, and mulch. Some have separate attachments for blowing and vacuuming, while others (like the Worx below) only require you to flip a switch to reverse the fan. And they run off of a variety of fuel types. Most of these options are corded electric, which may restrict mobility. Gas-powered options provide cord-free powerful operation but are louder and obviously require you to refill the gas tank. Battery-powered models will also be cordless and lightweight but have limited power and shorter run times.
No matter which kind of leaf vacuum you go with, you’ll want to consider specifications like their vacuuming and blowing power, as well as mulch reduction. Power can be determined by a combination of their air intake, measured by cubic feet per minute (CFM), and their speed of air vacuuming or blowing, measures by miles per hour (MPH). Keep in mind that some of these models have different air speeds and volumes depending on whether they’re blowing or vacuuming. The mulch ratio will also indicate how many bags it can reduce the leaves down to after mulching (ex. a 16:1 ratio means that the mulcher can reduce 16 bags of dry leaves down to 1).
How We Selected
To pick these six leaf vacuums, we surveyed the market and took into account consumer and professional reviews. We thoroughly evaluated each product based on its power and versatility as both a vacuum and blower, including specifications such as air speed (MPH), air volume (CFM), and mulch ratios. We also assessed their ease of operation, reliability, durability, and value to recommend not only the most powerful machines, but the ones that make fall yard care the easiest and most efficient.
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Worx WG509 TriVac 3-in-1 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum
12 amp | 18:1 mulch ratio | 210 mph | 350 CFM | 11 lb.
This corded Worx TriVac is a multi-talented blower, mulcher, and vacuum that switches easily between those modes with just a flip of the switch—no need to fiddle with extra attachments or tubes. Its speed control adjusts the air flow from 75 up to 210 miles per hour. And the TriVac mulches leaves and debris into 1/18th of their original size, the smallest on this list. We also like its angled nose, which makes it easier to clean up hard-to-reach places such as under decks and patio furniture.
Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Blower Vac
12 amp | 250 mph | 350 CFM (blower); 410 CFM (vacuum) | 8.5 lb.
The Toro Ultra Blower offers plenty of power and versatility for just $70. Like the Worx, this corded vacuum also has blower and mulching capabilities with variable speed control. It can blow air up to 250 miles per hour, and Toro claims the metal impeller can mulch 88 percent of debris down to smaller than half an inch. Though transitioning between blowing and vacuuming isn’t quite as easy as with the Worx, the Toro does have a quick-release latch to remove and exchange the blower with the vacuum tube. Easily store it by packing all the components into the mulch bag and hanging it in your shed or garage.
Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum
12 amps | 250 mph | 350 CFM (blower); 410 CFM (vacuum) | 9 lb.
If you want more efficiency than the budget Toro 51619, consider the 51621 UltraPlus, which costs just $20 more. While it has the same air speed and volume, it’s a more effective mulcher, able to churn 97 percent of debris down to less than half an inch. That also means that, thanks to the metal impeller and shred ring, you won’t have to stop vacuuming to unload the mulch bag as much as the Ultra. Toro also adds an oscillating nozzle kit to this model that helps sweep more air from side to side without the need to move your wrist, making it the most efficient option for under $100.
Black + Decker BEBL7000 Blower/Vacuum
12 amp | 16:1 mulch ratio | 250 mph | 400 CFM | 11 lb.
This Black and Decker is the only leaf vacuum on our list that comes with a zipper-free backpack to make carrying and emptying your mulched leaves easier. It boasts similar air speed and volume to the Toro, and it also has separate blower and vacuum tube attachments. You can’t adjust the speed like with the Worx and Toro, but the 250 mph blast should be suitable for blowing around flower beds and powering through wet leaves.
Husqvarna 125BVx 2-Cycle Gas Blower Vac
28cc with a 17 fl. oz. gas tank | 16:1 mulch ratio | 170 mph | 470 CFM | 9.6 lb.
With an output of 1.1 horsepower, this handheld Husqvarna certainly provides the strength that you’d expect from a gas-powered machine. Yes, those tend to be louder and heavier, but the 125BVx, at a hair under 10 pounds, is just as light as electric alternatives. Plus, the cordless design makes it easier to tote around your lawn, and Husqvarna designed the handle in line with the tube to reduce strain on your wrist. While it’s also more expensive than electric options, that’s because it comes with features like easy start and an adjustable blowing tube and fan speed.
Greenworks 24322 40-Volt Blower Vac
40 volt | 10:1 mulch ratio | 185 mph | 340 CFM | 5.6 lb.
We’re fans of Greenworks’ power equipment, and this blower vac is no exception. You’ll pay slightly more for cordless convenience compared to corded electric blowers, but it’s still cheaper, cleaner, lighter, and quieter than gas-powered options. The company claims that one charge will last for up to an hour of use, perfect for light-duty jobs in the yard. It’s only compatible with Greenworks’ 40-volt batteries, but if you already own other tools from the brand, it’ll be a great addition to your cordless collection.
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