Best leaf vacuum mulchers – Reviews and buying guide

Having a beautiful garden is all about patience and a great amount of hard work. In addition to choosing the color burst of flowers, planting them and decorating the garden with everything you can think of, you need to make sure it is well-groomed, healthy and leaf-free. In this regard, you may need to use various tools in order to clean it throughout the seasons.

What do you do when the back yard is filled with leaves and your time is limited? If your gardening tools arsenal contains a leaf vacuum/blower, it’s really easy to handle this task. Such device can feature either an air-suction or blower function, acting as a giant vacuum cleaner of natural debris. The market is packed with various such machines and you have plenty of options to choose from. Starting with the engine, the feeding hole and ending with design and ergonomics.

The best leaf vacuum mulchers in 2017 (reviews)

The following devices are the best leaf vacuum mulcher on the market:

  • Toro 51619 Ultra 12 amp
  • Worx Trivac WG500
  • Patriot Products CBV-2455H
  • Merry Mac Walk-Behind
  • Black & Decker BV5600
Photo Model Air Velocity Best Feature Price
Toro-51609-Ultra-12-amp-Variable-Speed-leaf-vacuum-mulchers Toro 51619 Ultra 12 amp 250 mph 88% debris reduction Check Price
Worx-WG500-12A-210-MPG-Electric-Blower-Vacuum Worx Trivac WG500 210 mph Lightweight and well-balanced Check Price
Patriot-Products-CBV-2455H-leaf-vacuum-mulcher Patriot Products CBV-2455H NA Table Check Price
Mac-Walk-Behind-leaf-vacuum-Chipper Merry Mac Walk-Behind 160 mph Handles small branches and wet leaves Check Price
BLACK-and-DECKER-BV5600-leaf-vacuum-mulcher Black & Decker BV5600 250 mph Self propelled Check Price

Households who are still trying to determine the best leaf vacuum mulcher are in great luck right now. We have picked some of the best leaf mulching devices that you can get right now, starting with the cheap ones that are suited for home usage (entry-level) and finishing with the big guns, the vacuum mulchers that can be used on larger areas (like a golf course or a stadium). But before getting there, let’s start with the first one…

Toro-51609-Ultra-12-amp-Variable-Speed-leaf-vacuum-mulchers
Toro 51619 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed leaf vacuum mulcher

This light mechanic leaf vacuum mulcher was designed and created by Toro and it is the perfect choice for those who need something cheap and reliable. The mulcher has 3 functions: blow, vacuum, and leaf shredder that works great for all situations. The variable speed of the rugged metal impeller gathers and mulches the debris into fine dust. This vacuum mulcher blows @ 255 cfm and the vac mode is set @ 410 cfm. This commercial leaf mulcher is an upgraded version to the previous Toro 51609 Ultra so you can expect enhanced performance and better mulch compression.

Watch Toro 51616 Ultra Video Review
Pros:

  • Variable-Speed between 112 mph and 250 mph
  • 3 in 1: leaf blower, lawn vacuum mulcher and leaf shredder
  • At the moment I am updating this article, it is priced under $100 which is a real bargain
  • 88% debris reduction
  • Small and easy to use. It allows various holding positions
  • The package contains a bottom dump zipper that is very useful
Cons:

  • Many users complained about the variable switch nob
  • Sometimes, the vacuum can get clogged
Worx-WG500-12A-210-MPG-Electric-Blower-Vacuum
Worx Trivac WG500 12A / 210-MPG Electric Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher

Worx is well established in the Yard & DIY Tools community and they have been producing great portable leaf vacuums for some time now. The image above is representative for this particular gardening tool, since you can get a clear idea on its main advantage: this leaf vacuum device can be manipulated with ease by anyone, even by a senior. There is also a blow function that works like a charm, but you can also use the switch and set it back to vacuum mode. The bagging ratio is somewhere between 8 to 1 and 12 to 1, so it’s the perfect choice if you plan to clean larger areas. Worx Trivac WG500 weights 8.4 lbs.
Watch Worx Trivac WG500 Video Review
Pros:

  • Lightweight and well-balanced, it can be operated single-handledly thanks to the 6 position switch.
  • Up to 18 to 1 ratio of fine mulch.
  • 3 in 1: vacuum, blower and mulcher.
  • Electric, there’s no need to fill it with gas.
  • 210 MPH / 350 CFM adjustable air flow.
  • The box contains a 1.2 bushel capacity collection bag for vacuum mode.
Cons:

  • Wet or moist leaves tend to stick inside the propeller.
  • The On/Off switch feels difficult to engage especially with a pair of gloves.
Patriot-Products-CBV-2455H-leaf-vacuum-mulcher
Patriot Products CBV-2455H Leaf Vacuum/Chipper/Blower

While we get on a higher position in our list, we find this gas powered mulcher that represents the perfect solution for larger areas like a mini-golf course, tennis court or a large public garden. Although the price is not as cheap as the other devices in the list, you will learn that all the reviewers were pleased with this product. The leaf mulcher can clean a wide 24-inch path in a single pass, so it’s more effective than the previous devices and… Patriot Products CBV-2455H is portable. You don’t need to worry about fallen branches, since this powerful machine will shred them in no time without any problems. The blower function is just as reliable as the vacuum one, and you will probably need to take a step back when you will activate it for the first time.
Watch Patriot Products CBV-2455H Video Review
Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Features Honda’s GX series commercial engine which is all about high performance.
  • Compared to other machines in this list, this one can handle small branches.
  • The impeller is well constructed and durable.
  • Can handle even wet leaves.
  • The path is 24 inch wide which makes it perfectly for large gardens.
Cons:

  • The pull is a bit heavy, starting for the first time can be a little tricky.
  • Once the bag gets full of mulched leaves, it may be a bit difficult to push.
Mac-Walk-Behind-leaf-vacuum-Chipper
Merry Mac Walk-Behind Chipper/Vacuum

This is the ultimate leaf vacuum mulcher capable of chopping everything that’s in its way. The 80-mph powerful suction is able to gather all the leaves, grass clippings and additional lawn debris that you may encounter in your way. One reviewer said that after 7 years of using Merry Mac Walk-Behind, it’s still new and reliable. So, if you do decide to buy this one, you can expect to use it for at least 5 seasons. It’s the perfect choice for larger projects.
Pros:

  • Air Velocity (MPH): 160
  • 11 ft.-lbs. Gross Torque
  • Self propelled. 3 forward speeds plus reverse.
  • Powerful suction & large collection bag
  • It will chip up to 3 inch branches
  • The path is 25 inch wide which makes it perfectly for large gardens.
Cons:

  • Manual starter; sometimes it can be difficult to start.
  • It features an entry level engine.

BLACK-and-DECKER-BV5600-leaf-vacuum-mulcher
Black & Decker BV5600 leaf vacuum mulcher

The last device from our list is an electric corded hand held leaf vacuum mulcher from Black & Decker. You should probably be happy to learn that, at the moment I am writing these words, it is the cheapest from the list and it is packed with attractive features. The manufacturer brags on the fact that it is 50% quieter than the previous model and can reach air velocity speeds up to 250 mph. Also, compared to the previous models, this one is made from better and durable plastic. It also packs a built-in cord retainer and a collection bag. If you decide to buy Black & Decker BV5600 then you should know that it can handle leaves, twigs, grass clippings, pine needles and various lawn debris. Thanks to its all in one function, you can use it as a blower, a vacuum or a leaf mulcher.

Watch Black & Decker BV5600 Video Review
Pros:

  • 3-in-1: blower, vacuum and mulcher
  • 250 mph blower with 2 Speed selections
  • 16:1 mulch ratio
  • Built with strong plastic components
  • Light and easy to used with the shoulder strap
  • The cheapest from this list
  • Easy to assemble and switch from blower to vacuum
  • The new design is more sturdy and durable
Cons:

  • Sometimes the wet leaves get stuck in suction tube. Even so, the device is easy to snap apart and back together
  • When in vac mode, the flow of air blows close to your face.

Things to consider before buying a leaf vacuum mulcher

With all these features that are available, it may get quite difficult to choose the device that best suits you. Some people use as a decisive factor the amount of leaves that accumulate periodically around the house and the size of the courtyard. But even so, few people know where to find leaf blowers with all the specs needed at a good price. To cover all of these adjacent topics, we have compiled this shopping guide, explaining briefly the most emblematic capabilities of the best leaf vacuum on the market.

Engine type
The engine can be gas-powered or electric. If it is going to be used in public areas or in areas where there is no electrical power, a gas-powered blower is the best choice. The advantage is large autonomy, mainly since it is not depending on a fixed energy source. The gas engine used in these machines is robust and powerful enough to provide frequent use without premature wear. The same selecting criteria should be applied by owners of large yards, where large amounts of leaves accumulate more often. For those who use the device occasionally, for limited areas, we recommend an electric leaf blower. You will be able to find enough affordable products that can generate 2500W of power, which is really good in terms of efficiency.

Power Supply
Are you focused on the money you will spend operating the device? In this case you should probably opt for an electrical vacuum mulcher, but do not forget to check the length of the power cord and the thickness of the extension cord. For domestic use, a device with an electric motor is perfect. If you want a bigger gun, you will probably have to go for a gas-powered machine.

The surface and the quantity of leaves
Selecting the perfect mulcher depends on the configuration of your garden. There are wheeled blowers, backpacks and handheld models. Large amounts of leaves should be processed by self propelled machines, which have a configuration similar to that of a lawn mower. Most of them feature a very powerful gas-powered engine, placed behind a ventilation pad. Don’t forget that these devices are usually large and they need more storage space. Also, their engines needs to be maintained every once in a while. If you have a medium yard that accumulates reasonable amounts of natural debris, you will be better with a handheld vacuum mulcher. It will meet all the challenges without any problems and it does not need much technical knowledge from your part.

Important functions
Regardless of what you decide to buy (a commercial leaf vacuum or a home use device), it must offer the option to adjust the air jet and / or suction speed. It should also feature a fast on / off button for unwanted scenarios. It’s obvious that you will use it at various speeds. Depending on the debris, the job may require a stronger flow of air. Make sure all these are included in the machine you select.

Design and special features
The following aspects are to be accounted if you want to buy an ergonomic and easy-to-operate machine: engine air vent, the way it is handled, shoulder strap, suction / blow nozzle shape, the storage volume of the collection bag. Be sure to decide on a model that has the ventilation slots located in the rear, opposite to the nozzle. You don’t want the engine exhaust to be felt by the user’s clothes. A soft rubber grip is much appreciated. Some models even offer a main handle and a control handle. There are two types of nozzles: circular and flat. Keep in mind that the flat is useful to more accurately direct the flow of air and leaves, and the circular one provides more airflow power and is used when you want to remove the dead leave remains attached to grass / soil. If you want to buy a self-propelled vacuum mulcher, make sure the suction path has at least 24 inch.

Final Verdict

These are not the only leaf mulchers, vacuums and blowers that you can find on the market in 2017, but they are among the best money can buy. I hope that this article offers a clear idea on what you need and how much money you should spend on such a device. Just remember that if the mulcher you are planning to buy is electric, you will also need a long electric power cord and maybe a storage reel with stand in order to work with it properly. If you plan to use the leaf vacuum mulcher for larger areas (like a huge lawn or for a golf course), then you should probably get a large vacuum mulcher that is powered by gas. Oh, and buy a pair a gloves and protective glasses. Safety is really important, right?

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