In fall, don’t you sometimes wish all it’d take to clear your yard of fallen leaves is a snap of the fingers for the leaves to magically disappear. Using the very best leaf vacuum mulcher is the closest you can come to that. But instead of snapping fingers to get started, you get a trigger or button to power the motor. And instead of instantly disappearing leaves, you’d have to spend some time ridding your yard of leaves and other debris. But trust us, this beats using a rake; it is fun, and takes about half the time to complete the job.
This guide is a review of the best leaf vacuum mulchers or leaf blowers currently on the market. This is a very useful guide because choosing a great product with so many mediocre leaf blowers flooding the market can be challenging. A comprehensive buying guide outlining how to get the perfect leaf blower when faced with different models is also part of this guide.
10 Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher: Product Review
The Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum is a powerful leaf vacuum mulcher and blower that comes with a very respectable airflow of 350 CFM in the blow mode and 410 CFM in the vacuum mode. This allows you to easily blow leaves into a pile, out of tight spaces, or vacuum them. It features a ‘shred-all’ shred ring that works seamlessly with a metal impeller to reduce over 95% of mulched leaves and other debris to less than half an inch in size.
The mulcher function is also very easy to use. The integrated oscillating nozzle automatically sweeps the air back and forth creating a wider blowing path on hard surfaces wider without tedious wrist movement. There is a blower tube that is perfect for dry leaves while a power inset is included for heavier, wetter leaves.
The design also features a concentrator that allows users to deal with leaves tightly nestled in hard-to-reach areas such as crevices and corners, a cord storage hook for easy storage of the electric cord, and a bottom zip vacuum bag that can also be used to store the various components and accessories.
- Easy switch between vacuum and blower functions
- An oscillating nozzle that creates wider blowing path
- Easy to use variable speed control
- Attachments for improved versatility
- Impressive mulch ratio
- The shoulder strap might be too short for tall folks
- Reduced efficiency when vacuuming wet leaves
In some circles, the Greenworks leaf blower and vacuum is a reference when it comes to efficiency in the yard and garden cleaning business using power tools. Considered one of the most powerful leaf vacuum mulchers in this price range, it is designed with excellent built quality and performance to match. It weighs just 4.6 lbs easily making it one of the best lightweight leaf vacuum mulchers ensuring it can be operated one-handed conveniently.
Powered by a 40V 2.5Ah Lithium-ion battery, it delivers a runtime of up to 18 minutes enough for a full vacuuming session. And with the quick charge function, users can start another cleaning session without wasting too much time. Moreover, the battery is compatible with other Greenworks battery-powered tools.
Other awesome features included a turbo button that delivers maximum power, a concentrator nozzle for easy dispersal and removal of leaves and debris in tight spaces, a USB port to charge your portable electronic devices, and an improved airflow of 500 CFM moving at a speed of 120 Mph for a powerful leave-clearing performance
- Clearing performance
- Power bank for charging portable electronic devices
- Fast recharging time
- Convenient speed trigger for regulating airflow
- Battery cross-compatibility with other Greenworks power tools
- Limited accessories
The Black+Decker BV3600 leaf blower and vacuum is proof that a leaf vacuum mulcher doesn’t have to be an expensive tool. It is a basic unit with a performance that is designed to wow you. Easily retrofitting as a leaf blower, vacuum, and leaf mulcher, it comes with a dual-speed control that allows for additional versatility in gardens and flower beds.
In vacuum mode, the powerful suction can effortlessly pull both wet and dry leaves thanks to the 180 – 230 mph airspeed and 385 CFM blowing power. The nose tip is fairly large enough for surprisingly large leaves to get sucked in. The overall performance rests on the durable 12 amps electric powered engine with a comparatively low noise output rated at 69 dBA
It comes with a 1.5 bushels carry bag that is considered more than enough for small to medium-sized yards. The bag can be detached with ease in case there is a need to empty it. The front handle is designed for ultimate convenience. You can easily hold it with either one of both hands. In either case, a comfortable grip is guaranteed that would not result in back, shoulder, or even hand pains. Also, the decent 10:1 mulch ratio can efficiently reduce a huge pile of leaves into a small, easily manageable size for disposal while the unique Anti-Clog Vortex Impeller prevents clogging during operations.
- Very affordable
- Can be used with one or two hands
- Anti-clogging feature
- Accessories to expand the basic functionality
- Relatively short intake tube; tall users have to stay in a bent position during operations
- Tendency to overheat on humid days
The Worx WG509 Trivac is another power tool that effortlessly combines all the functions of a powerful leaf blower, vacuum, and mulcher in one unit. Easy to use and store, the lightweight leaf blower and vacuum is designed with a maximum airspeed of 210 mph (starting from 80 mph) that combines with a CFM of between 210 and 350 for fast leaf blowing or vacuuming of leaves. The conversion to vacuum from the blower mode and vice versa doesn’t get any easier with the one-touch button.
Depending on the nature of the task, you can use one or both hands to operate the unit. Plus, the dual-speed adjustment is a convenient feature that allows you to decide the force or speed to use. This is important in preventing damage to delicate plants and flowers.
The metal impeller in the mulcher is one of the most outstanding features of this machine. Its two-stage mulching process cuts and chops leaves and other debris into very tiny bits. The 18:1 mulch ratio means it can chop 18 bags of leaves to just a single bag of mulch to be stored in the attached 1.2 bushel bag.
- Very affordable
- Lightweight and maneuverability
- Mulch ration converts 18 bags of leaves to a single bag
- The ergonomic design makes for easy one-handed use
- Tube design gets into hard to reach places easily
- Small twigs can stall the impeller
- Inefficient moist leaves handling
If you want to be pleasantly amazed by how far a 40V, 4Ah Lithium-ion can go in terms of running time, confidently stake your money simply on the Greenworks 40V Brushless Blower & Vacuum. A whopping 21 minutes is the operational time on a fully charged battery: enough time to clear your yard of leaves and debris. This is the equivalent of about 4.5 bags of leaves in a single charge. The cushioned overmold handle and the lightweight would ensure that fatigue is kept at bay for the entire duration.
This unit is all about cutting-edge technology and all-round efficiency. It features an innovative brushless motor technology that delivers up to 80% engine durability, relatively less noise, and vibration for enhanced comfort. The ergonomically-designed unit features a wind speed of 185 mph and 340 CFM for hassle-free blowing and vacuuming of leaves.
Other outstanding features include a cover that protects your finger or other objects getting into the spinning impeller during operations, a variable speed dial with up to 6 different speed selections to suit a variety of tasks, and battery compatibility with up to 40 Greenworks power tools for fans of Greenworks products,
- Long runtime
- Performance, Power, and durability due to brushless motors
- Variable 6-speed selection dial
- Battery compatibility with over 40 Greenworks power tools
- Easy blower to vacuum conversion
- Leaves are likely to get stuck where the pickup tube narrows
- Poorly designed charger
The WORKX WG512 Trivac is an upgraded version of the WG509 reviewed above. So you’d have to shell out a bit more money for it. It is worth it though considering this is a WORKX product, one of the leading brands when it comes to power tools with a solid pedigree for making affordable products with premium features.
The WG512, like its predecessor, can be switched easily from the vacuum to the mulching mode by simply turning a dial. But unlike the WG509, it comes with a slightly lesser mulch ratio of 16:1. That is impressive any way you look at it though seeing you could turn 16 bags of leaves into just the single bag of mulch to use in your compost or garden. The efficiency of the machine rests on the 12 amp electric motor combined with a 600 CFM blowing and vacuuming power. The rather modest airspeed of 70 mph shows that when it comes to the best leaf vacuum mulchers, CFM trumps.
And talking about the mulching function, the unique design allows you to switch to the mulching mode without removing the tube or needing any tools. The metal impeller and shredder blades make short work of leaves and debris chopping them into tiny bits to be stored in the 1.4-bushel collecting bag. It also helps that at just 10 lbs, the unit is light enough for just about anybody to use with one hand.
- Easy to use
- Lightweight for easy control and one-handed operation
- Great mulch ratio
- Metal impeller and shredder
- Dual speeds setting for different types of tasks
- Electric cord limits area that can be covered
- Suction tube is short. Tall people have to stoop which can be painful over time
If you are looking for a multifunctional handheld leaf blower, vacuum, and mulcher that comes with the convenience of a gas-powered engine, stake your money on the Husqvarna 125BVx. Being a gas-powered leaf vacuum mulcher, you don’t have to worry about electric cords getting in the way or have concerns about enough battery juice to complete the job. Yard size won’t be an issue with this unit; and you can easily refill the gas tank and start over with the simple starting mechanism. It comes with an air pressure of 425 CFM which is quite a statement in terms of cleaning performance. The impressive stats include a mulch ratio that allows you to reduce about 16 bags of leaves and debris to just a single bag. The unique Air Injection Centrifugal air cleaning feature ensures that the performance remains consistently top-notch with its anti-wear capability.
This handheld gas powered leaf blower is surprisingly lightweight making one-handed operations possible. Other awesome features you’d love include the variable speed control for handling a variety of tasks, auto-return power switch for easier starting, adjustable blowing tube length for best performance, and very intuitive controls.
- Low engine noise level
- Great design with easy starting function
- Variable speed throttle with cruise control
- 16:1 mulching ratio
- Liable to clogging with damp leaves and debris
- Collecting bag is not easy to detach
If you are looking for the best budget leaf vacuum mulcher, the BV3100 by Black+Decker should be your number one choice. The multifunctional unit comes with lots of useful features to make it a great addition to your collection of garden power tools. Designed to vacuum leaves from your yard or garden, it can also blow them into a neat pile or cut the vacuumed leaves with the shredder reducing them to a tenth of their original size. This 10:1 mulch ratio means it can reduce bags of leaves to one bag of mulched material.
In the blower mode, it features 2 settings that allow you to switch between 150 mph and 220 mph depending on the job at hand. Essentially, you get to pick a speed to match more delicate areas of the yard to avoid subjecting them to the full power of the blower. And in vacuum mode, the 12 amp engine delivers more than enough power to pull in leaves effortlessly. Switching between is quite convenient and you don’t have to use any tools to do it.
The lightweight, easy to control leaf blower also features a cord retainer to keep the electric cord out of your way during operations, a 1-bushel bag to store mulched leaves, and a moderate noise footprint of just 69 dBA; even without a pair of earmuffs, you should be okay.
- Leaf bag is easy to empty
- Easy to control and maneuver
- Dual speed selection for different tasks
- Not recommended for wet leaves
- Plastic impeller affects mulching efficiency
This 4-in-1 unit by Sun Joe is the ultimate power tool for cleaning and mulching leaves scattered around your yard quickly and efficiently. The sleekly designed machine packs more than enough power in a lightweight body easily turning yard cleanup into a fun and exciting task.
It features a powerful 14 amp electric motor capable of generating an airspeed of 250 mph that easily converts into an efficient mulcher with a 16:1 mulch ratio. The tons of leaves in your yard can disappear to a manageable size quickly. And you don’t have to worry about how fast or how efficient the mulcher is. Made from high, impact-resistant metal, the odds are low you’d find a better and more durable shredder in this price range.
The tool also comes with an easily switchable tube design featuring a sturdy gutter cleaning PVC tube that extends the blower’s reach up to 15′. You’d never need a ladder to clean your gutters again with this blower. Also, there is a two-speed setting to match the wind speed to the task at hand. All you have to do is simply flip a switch and you are good to go. And the standard 2-year warranty that comes with all Sun Joe power tools underlines the reliability and long-lasting service you would get.
- Gutter cleaning extension tool
- Awesome airspeed and mulching radio
- Durable and rugged components
- Versatile tool
- Great bang for the buck
- Comparatively noisy
- Disappointing blower action especially for large piles
For excellent performance when it comes to leaf vacuums, blowers, and mulchers, this SuperHandy 3-in-1 leaf vacuum is hard to beat. The corded electric leaf vacuum mulcher comes with a 12V, 12 amp motor that delivers up to 220 mph airspeed for outstanding results as reflected in the awesome 380 CFM of air volume to easily suck in or blow leaves into a neat pile.
Built to last with an ergonomic handle that provides a high degree of comfort, switching between modes is seamless and requires no extra tool. Its two-stage impeller with a 14:1 mulch ratio stands out for its effective debris collection and mulching.
The well-designed handle combined with the relatively lightweight built to ensure you can clean your yard, lawn, or garden without unnecessary fatigue even with one hand. This makes it great for both light cleanups around garden beds or for taking care of tougher tasks like blowing out stuck-in debris in tight spaces using the concentrator nozzle.
- Powerful and very affordable leaf blower
- Ergonomic handle for convenient one-handed use
- Controls are all within easy reach
- Great mulch ratio
- Powerful 2-speed electric motor
- Leaf collection bag looks flimsy
- Some might find it noisy
- Plastic Impeller
Buying Guide: Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher
The first stage to getting the best leaf vacuum mulcher that works best for you is mostly about knowing the best products in the market like those found in the reviewed products above. However, there are a bunch of factors to consider when shopping for just the model that is best for you.
In this section, we would walk you through all the important leaf blower and mulcher buying considerations you need to keep in mind.
When shopping for a good leaf blower, two terms that pop up regularly are CFM and MPH. Together, these determine the clearing and vacuuming efficiency of you the product.
CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute, is a measure of the volume of air that is expelled through the unit in one minute. For instance, 250 CFM implies that in 60 seconds, the unit would expel 250 cubic feet of air via the leaf blower nozzle.
MPH, miles per hour, on the other hand, refers to the speed or how fast the air moves in and out of the unit within an hour. Or just like a car, the mph refers to how far the expelled air from the leaf blower would travel in an hour if the speed remains unchanged.
The critical question for a buyer is what to prioritize between CFM and MPH? Imagine a scenario where the MPH is as high as 200. But if the volume of air escaping the nozzle in a minute (CFM) is low, you want to conclude that the leaf blower won’t be very effective. This is because the expelled air won’t have enough force to do a good job of quickly and efficiently clearing leaves.
That said, a decent wind speed (MPH) is critical for generating enough force (CFM) to clear the yard of leaves in as little time as possible.
Without going into details, the takeaway point is this: the most important between the two is the CFM. The higher the CFM rating of the product, the more effective it is.
CFM ratings of good leaf blowers start from 200 to about 450 for standard-sized yards or gardens. But if your yard or property is large, you’d be looking at getting a product with at least a CFM of 400. To be clear, there are products with CFM ratings of up to 700 that are used on really large yards.
If the above explanation is too much to unpack, simply link the CFM to the size of your yard using the guide below:
- For small yards less than an acre: 200 – 400 CFM
- For medium-sized yards more than an acre: 400 – 700 CFM
It isn’t a coincidence that the best handheld leaf vacuum mulchers are relatively lightweight; you can even operate them with one hand. This is an important factor in terms of control and maneuverability. If the leaf blower is heavy, fatigue and cramps might set after using it for a while.
However, you could invest in models that are slung over the shoulders like a backpack. For commercial uses or large yards, it is more practical to get models designed for heavy-duty tasks. The best ones are mounted on wheels for convenient mobility.
Another crucial factor you need to keep in mind when choosing a suitable leaf vacuum mulcher is the mulching ratio. Also known as the reduction ratio, it is an indication of the shredding capability of the leaf blower.
This is a cool feature you don’t want to ignore especially when you are dealing with tons of leaves. It refers to how many bags of leaves the product can shred into a single bag.
For instance, a mulching ratio of 10:1 indicates that the shredder in the machine can reduce 10 bags of leaves to a single bag of shredded leaves. The higher the ratio, the smaller the shreds. It is recommended that you get a unit with a high mulch ratio if you want to compost the shredded leaves because smaller shreds tend to decompose faster.
Because the shredding function is largely due to the leaf blower impeller, it is generally accepted that metal impellers do a better job than impellers made of plastic. Also, metal impellers are more durable.
The best portable leaf vacuums for yard cleaning usually come with a reusable collection bag. Try as much as possible to stay away from products with small or flimsy-looking bags. With small bags, you’d have to pause vacuuming the leaves frequently to empty them. And of course, flimsy bags fall apart pretty easily.
While some collection bags are designed to be worn over the shoulders, the products in this review have collection bags attached to the leaf blower. The sizes range from about 1 to 1.5 bushels (8 – 10 gallons in terms of volume of dry leaves or debris). Shoulder-draped collection bags have larger volumes.
Finally, when choosing a unit with a mulching function, ensure that the bag fits in snugly and tight. This is necessary because mulching produces lots of dust.
The ability to vary the airspeed, and invariably, the force of the air being expelled is important if the places that need clearing include leaves lodged in fragile areas such as flower beds. This is because the flowers might be harmed when exposed to the full force of the blower at the maximum speed.
While many leaf blowers come with dual speed settings, many others feature more than two variable speed settings. The leaf blower speed adjustment feature can also be linked to the vacuum feature allowing you to adjust how fast the leaves are sucked in.
Leaf blower motors are either brushed or brushless. Brushless motors are increasingly becoming popular in modern power tools like leaf blowers.
If you have to choose between the two, and it comes down to the type of motor, always opt for the unit incorporating a brushless motor. The benefits of brushless motors include:
- Increased reliability
- More durable
- Minimal maintenance
- More efficient
- Less heat production
- Lower noise levels
Like most power tools, handheld leaf blowers are powered by either battery (cordless leaf blowers), electricity (corded electric leaf blowers), or gasoline (gas-powered leaf blowers).
- Gas powered leaf blower – These are perfect for large yards of over one acre. The larger engines deliver more CFM and MPH figures making them suited to heavy-duty tasks. They are more mobile than other types of leaf blowers with longer runtime. But they are generally more expensive and less environmentally friendly due to the fumes and the high noise levels. Their maintenance cost is also higher.
- Electric powered leaf blower – They are low-maintenance machines compared to gasoline powered leaf blowers. They are also easier to start, quieter, and you don’t have to deal with fumes. But, due to the electric cords, you can only use them close to a power source making them more suited to places like patios, decks, driveways because the electric cords limit mobility. The larger versions though can be useful for clearing yards less than three-quarters of an acre in size.
- Battery powered leaf blower – The best models are mostly powered by Lithium-Ion batteries. They also have better mobility than the corded version but the runtime is limited by the battery’s charge. Though mobility is not limited, it is advisable to have a fully charged spare battery handy if a single battery cannot complete the task. They are also easy to start and comparatively eco-friendly.
The number of different tasks a model can execute is another factor to keep in mind. There are basic leaf blowers that are designed to clear the yard of leaves and other debris only. But if the primary aim of purchasing one is to cut down the time it takes to clean up your property, aiming for a model that can accomplish more than a single task is important.
All the products in this review tick this box. One product is a 2-in-1 model that can either blow or vacuum leaves. The rest are 3-in-1 units that also have a mulching feature integrated into the design.
Your final choice, when it comes to versatility, might ultimately rest on personal preference and budget because there is a bump up in cost with additional functionalities.
The best leaf blowers usually come with accessories like tubes with wider nozzles, concentrator tubes for tight areas, crevice nozzles, and much more.
These accessories expand the functionality and efficiency of the product allowing you to use it for multiple tasks. With them, you could quite easily clean tight spaces, perform various types of indoor and outdoor cleaning, clean car interiors, and much more.
When looking at the included accessories, make sure each one can easily be attached and detached without needing extra tools.
FAQ: Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher
Do Leaf Vacuum Mulchers Work?
Yes. Using the best leaf vacuum mulcher is a very convenient power tool to clear your yard of leaves. And if you have a compost dump, the mulcher function is great means of disposing of the easily decomposable mulched leaves.
Is it Worth Buying a Leaf Mulcher?
Leaf blowers and mulchers are increasingly becoming a necessary tool in suburban homes. With so many designs on the market, there is a great model for every budget range and task.
Considering what a leaf mulcher does and the convenience, there is no question that it is a worthy investment especially if you purchased any of the very best models.
What Should I Look for in a Leaf Mulcher?
Getting a leaf mulcher that is the right fit for you depends on several factors. As well as all the factors discussed in the buying guide above, additional things to quickly assess include a comfortable handle, easy-to-use and access controls, easy startup, and easy access to the mulcher compartment for cleaning and maintenance.
You could also look for online reviews from users. Always bet on products with consistently positive reviews from reputable online stores.
What is the Best Garden Leaf Vacuum?
A combination of factors determines the best garden leaf vacuum. Tagging one product ‘the best leaf vacuum’ is not so straightforward because what works best for some users might be disappointing in other situations.
But, you want to make sure the leaf vacuum has an impressive CFM and MPH so it can easily blow or suck in leaves. Other things to look out for include a solid built quality for durability, and how versatile the product is.
And keep in mind that if you have a big yard, the best product for you is a gas-powered unit or a premium handheld battery operated leaf vacuum.
Can You Use a Leaf Vacuum on Wet Leaves?
Wet leaves are notoriously difficult to deal with using a leaf vacuum. However, many of the best products come with adequate force to evacuate wet leaves from your yard. But, chances are, you’d need to frequently carry out maintenance on the machine to remove the leaves stuck inside.