Best Leaf Blower Vacuum Review
Kaktus.net Best Leaf Blower Vacuum Review – Yard work can be daunting. Without the proper gardening tools, keeping your yard and walkway clear of fallen leaves can become a tiresome (and sometimes frustrating) task.
Once you’ve cleared and gathered all those beautiful fall leaves using the best leaf blower for your yard, then comes the tedious chore of getting rid of them.
While leaf vacuums are not designed to tackle big piles of leaves, the best leaf vacuums are designed to make leaf and debris removal easy, so owning a good quality leaf vacuum can help seriously cut down on time spent clearing your yard or walkway. Leaf vacuums are also helpful for keeping porches, patios, and decks tidy as trees shed their last leaves of the season.
Some models (and aftermarket attachments) have curved nozzles specifically designed for blowing or sucking leaves out of your gutters, too. And don’t rush to store your tool at the first sign of winter, either: The blower function can be used to clear a light dusting of snow from decks, patios, and walkways, buying you a little time before you have to break out your snow blower.
Convertibility: If you’re looking to purchase an all-in-one tool that’ll help you combat fallen leaves and debris, you may want to consider one of the many engines that can convert between leaf blowing, vacuuming, and mulching.
Vacuuming power: The power of a leaf vacuum is determined by how much air it is able to take in, which is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and how quickly it does so, which is measured in miles per hour (MPH). The ideal combination of the two measurements depends on the nature of the vacuuming work.
Blowing power: Like vacuuming power, blowing power is decided by a combination of airflow (CFM) and speed (MPH). The power of a blower is measured by how much air a blower is able to push out and how fast it does so. Convertible engines often have similar vacuuming and blowing power, but it’s important to know both when purchasing a convertible machine.
Best Leaf Blower Vacuum
Mulcher reduction ratio: This is the ratio between the number of bags of leaves that the vacuum encountered and the number of bags that the leaves were reduced to through mulching. Most mulchers have a reduction ratio of either 10:1 or 16:1.
Conversion switch vs.
different attachments: It’s important to consider the ease of converting between different capabilities when purchasing a convertible tool. Some convertible vacuums/blowers/mulchers are equipped with a switch that allows them to convert from function to function. Other machines come with different tubes or nozzles that you have to attach and detach in order to convert.
If you want to buy the most effective leaf vacuum you can lay your hands on, buy a lawnmower. Seriously. A mower is more powerful than a handheld leaf vacuum, holds far more debris and supports its debris bag on a frame, so you don’t have to carry it. It also covers an area more quickly than a leaf vacuum.
Finally, it does a far more uniform job of mulching the debris it collects. On what do I base that radical opinion? Decades of product testing for Popular Mechanics, and 50 years of gathering leaves by every method imaginable—both by hand and by power.
So why bother with a leaf vacuum? First things first, it does more than collect leaves. It picks up conifer needles and cones, small pieces of plastic and paper litter, twigs, acorns, and other nuts. It can snatch debris out of a corner where a sidewalk or lawn meets foundation wall.
You can even take an electric model into a garage, to clean out cobwebs and dusty corners. Furthermore, leaf vacuums work on paved surfaces, another place where a lawnmower performs poorly, and they grab leaves out of flower beds and between shrubs—more places where a mower can’t reach.
Given that, our team set out to determine the best leaf vacuums on the market right now. You’ll find the results of our testing below, after some advice and things to keep in mind when shopping for a leaf vacuum of your own.
Best Leaf Blower Vacuum
Things to Consider
In deciding between gas and electric leaf vacs, it comes down to this. Gas-engine machines are far more powerful than cordless and more resistant to clogging, especially when pulling in twigs and wet leaves.
They are certainly far more mobile than corded machines. If you’re working a small, manicured yard, corded and cordless are perfect. For a large lawn, especially where you have to remove nuts, twigs, pine cones, and pine needles along with the leaves, go with a machine powered by a gas engine.
Also, note that air movement speed and volumes stated by manufacturers usually refers to blowing, not vacuum mode. There is no standard test for vacuuming lawn debris, and air movement is only part of the story. How well a machine does at vacuuming has a lot to do with the material you’re removing, its shape, friction, and dampness.
Also, the data for the mulching ratio for these machines strikes us as irrelevant. When you spill out a leaf vacuum’s debris bag and inspect it closely, you’ll notice most of the leaves are only partially shredded.
And this shouldn’t be surprising. What accounts for the reduction in the pile’s size has as much to do with flattening and packing created by forcing the leaves into the bag as it does by the partial (and in some cases, complete) shredding created by the machine’s impeller.
Tips for Vacuuming
The first thing you notice about gathering leaves with a vacuum is that wet leaves and leaves mixed with pine needles or twigs can stop them dead in their tracks. These machines work best on clean, dry, uniformly sized leaves. Next, you learn that they’re too slow to clear an area. First, blow or rake the leaves into piles, then vacuum them up.
Best Leaf Blower Vacuum
How We Tested
First, we selected researched and selected five of the most promising blower-vacuum combination machines. Three are powered by gas engines, one is cordless, and one is corded.
We selected only machines from manufacturers with a proven track record in our tests: Echo, Greenworks, Husqvarna, Stihl, and Worx. We ran our test on dry, freshly fallen hardwood leaves, acorns, pine cones, and pine needles. We also did extensive testing on damp and wet leaves, as well as damp and wet mixed debris such as a combination of pine needles, leaves, and twigs. We cleared lawns, a parking lot, the curb line of a commercial building, and the perimeters around garden beds. Here’s how the testing shook out.
- GreenWorks 24322 G-MAX 40V 185MPH Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac
This is by far the most expensive model on our list. This is mostly because it is the only battery-powered leaf vacuum that we’re reviewing here. Best Leaf Blower Vacuum The cost of battery tool is going to be more expensive than an equivalent that uses a cord that plugs into an electric socket. Of course, the advantage of using a battery is the mobility it offers you. If your yard is too big to easily reach all the perimeters using an extension cord, your only option is gas or battery. These days, most people prefer battery because it’s quieter, easier to use and doesn’t require the maintenance and starting hassles of gas machines.
As far battery operated garden tools go, GreenWorks is one of the top brands and they have put a lot of effort into making their machines very energy efficient, as well as improving their battery technology to give you a really good working time between recharging the battery.
Best Leaf Blower Vacuum The GreenWorks 24322 uses their G-Max 40V, 4AH battery which, combined with the DigiPro brushless motor gives an exceptional operating time. You could get as long as 60 minutes run time from the battery if you use it economically. Even if you’re making good use of the heaps of power at your disposal, you can easily work for 30 minutes or more on a single charge. With two batteries, you could complete most gardening tasks in a single go, by changing the battery halfway through.
It’s very light for a battery machine. Because of the battery, these tools will generally be a bit heavier than a corded machine with the same capabilities. None the less, the GreenWorks 24322 weighs only 5.6 LBS and is really comfortable and easy to use, thanks to the double handle design and soft grip on the main, upper, handle. It has a variable speed control that is within easy reach, you can toggle the power setting with your thumb. There’s no need to keep a trigger switch continuously depressed while you work.
Best Leaf Blower Vacuum
It performs very well compared to other battery powered equivalents, being able to blast at 185 MPH at full speed with a 340 CFM air flow capacity. This is enough power to handle both wet and dry leaves. With durable air nozzles, you’re able to choose between a narrow-angle attachment for concentrated, high-speed blowing or a wider attachment that is better for blowing or vacuuming a greater area.
GreenWorks is renowned for producing gardening tools of the highest quality standard, so making this purchase can be done with confidence. The GreenWorks 24322 is backed by an amazing 4-year limited warranty. I’m familiar with their warranty agreement and I know that it’s one of the best.
Best Leaf Blower Vacuum
The limitations are very basic and it’s unlikely that anyone should have problems if you legitimately make a claim under the warranty. Another bonus is the wide range of GreenWorks products that share the same G-Max battery – everything from lawn mowers and trimmers to a chainsaw. This means that you can get a full range of garden tools that all use the same battery. This can be a massive saving on battery costs and very convenient.
- Toro 51619 Ultra Blower/Vac
This is an extremely powerful leaf blower and vacuum combination, with the added bonus of a steel impeller mulching function. The Toro 51619 is worth every cent of its slightly above average price. Its performance is well above average and for those who require some extra power, this one will meet your expectations.
It has a superior mulching capability, thanks to the excellently designed steel impellers. The Toro 51619 is able to mulch 88% of all garden debris to less than half an inch – excellent for making your own compost effortlessly.
Able to move the air at an astounding 250 MPH and a volume of 410 CFM, it should (quite literally) blow you away. You’ll be hard pressed to find another electric blower that can match this kind of power. With a narrow concentrator nozzle and a wide angle nozzle, you can choose between airspeed or air volume depending on the task at hand.
At 8.5 LBS with a very comfortable handle, using the Toro 51619 is a breeze. The variable speed control gives you infinite power control, though it’s not as convenient as models that use a toggle control or trigger switch. The power is controlled using a round dial below the handle. It’s not difficult to use but it does require two hands to adjust the speed whilst holding the machine. Other than this slight inconvenience, it’s made super easy to use and store. The bag has a bottom zipper that’s very durable and makes emptying the bag as easy as it gets. It has a clip for the power cable to prevent it from pulling loose and a cord storage hook that allows you to wind the cord easily along the length of the machine when storing.
Changing from blower operation to vacuum is also made incredibly easy with a quick-release latch. The Torro 51619 comes with an excellent array of handy attachments. Not only do you get both a wide and narrow-angle nozzle, like most blowers, but it also has a selection of reducer attachments that further reduce the nozzle orifice. This means that you can concentrate the, already very power airflow, to blast away even the most stubborn dirt.
With amazing power specs, a high-quality mulcher and excellent attachments, the Torro 516619 is hard to beat. It comes with a full 2-year warranty.
- WORX WG518 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vac
This brand is known for their no-nonsense approach to gardening tools. Almost as solid as much more expensive brands, Worx tools are durable and tough enough for home users and offer great value for money. Simple technology, designed to get the job done with very few bells and whistles.
The Worx WG518 is almost as powerful as the mighty Toro that we just looked at, moving the air at 250 MPH with a volume of 400 CFM. It doesn’t have variable speed control but instead, a two position switch gives you the choice of 250 MPH top speed or 160 MPH low speed. It has a high-quality mulcher that’s also made from steel. It mulches at a ratio of 16:1 so you’re going to get compost-ready debris once it’s done doing the work for you.
The nozzle has an end attachment that will narrow it down for increased blowing power when needed. Its weight might be a little disappointing for those looking for a light machine. At 10.8 LBS, it’s a bit of a heavy-weight compared to many of the others. A well-designed handle does make it relatively easy to wield the heavier blower about.
If you’re looking for a basic leaf blower that also works as a leaf vacuum and mulcher with a fantastic level of power, the Worx WG518 is the one to go for. At a very reasonable price for a machine with kind of power, you really can’t go wrong. Quality is right up there with the best of them and it’s backed by a 3-year warranty with very few limitations.
- BLACK+DECKER BV5600 High-Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher
Black & Decker is another brand that offers great value for money, offering tools with a reasonable spec level and good build quality. In most respects, the Black & Decker BV5600 is very similar to the Worx model that we’ve just looked at.
It also has a two-speed control with a maximum speed of 250 MPH (no specs are given for CFM, but I presume it will be very similar to the Worx model). It also has a steel mulcher with a 16:1 ratio. It doesn’t have the reducer nozzle and it’s a little heavier at 14.3 LBS. Though the extra weight is made more manageable with a better handle design, giving you the option to use it one or two hands, this will certainly help for people who find it to be a touch on the heavy side.
Where the Black & Decker is an outright winner is in its noise level of only 68dBA. No other electric leaf blower models give specs for sound levels, but I don’t think any can compare to the Black & Decker. To give you an idea of how quiet this is – an average conversational voice measures 65dB. So the sound of the BlacK & Decker BV5600 is at about the same level as a normal conversation. This is great for people who have fussy neighbors, quick to complain about even the slightest noise.
So, at a very similar price to the Worx WG 518, the Black & Decker BV5600 compares very closely with some better aspects and some that aren’t quite as good as its rival. It really depends on what is more important to you in terms of noise vs weight because they’re both equally good. The Black & Decker BV5600 comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Toro 51609 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed (up to 235) Electric Blower/Vacuum with Metal Impeller
At first, it may not seem worth considering the Toro 51609 if you compare it to the newer 51619 that we looked in the beginning of this review. This older model is not quite as powerful and it costs a bit more. For the rest, they are almost identical, with one difference. The Toro 51609 weighs a bit more – 10 LBS.
So why would you want to pay more for older technology that doesn’t quite match the power of the new one? The heavier weight comes with a more robust design, so the older model is somewhat tougher than the new one. In an effort to cut on cost and weight, some of the stronger materials in the old model have been replaced.
I’m not saying that the newer Toro is a load of junk, far from it. It’s just that the previous model is that bit more durable and there are those who prefer older, tougher technology. If you’re one of those who sees the value this, paying more for the older model will be worth it.
They look the same and have all the same features and attachments. The only difference is the weight, price, and power. The Toro 51609 has a top speed of 235 MPH and an air volume of 390 CFM compared to 250 MPH and 410 CFM for the new model. I’m sure most will prefer the new model but this one deserves a mention.
- Black + Decker BV3600 12-Amp Blower Vac
This is Black & Decker’s option for a more affordable variant and can be classed together with the Ivation as lower powered, cheap leaf blower combined with a leaf vacuum and mulcher.
The Black & Decker BV3600 has two speed settings – 180 MPH at low speed and 230 MPH at top speed. The mulch ratio is the same as the Ivation at 10:1. While not as quiet as the more expensive Black & Decker model, it’s only one decibel higher at 69 dBA and is still one of the quietest that you’ll find.
Weighing only 8.1 LBS with a two position handle set up, it must be one of the easiest to use. It has an anti-clog vortex impeller for mulching made from durable plastic, perhaps not as good the others that use steel but it should handle most garden debris with ease.
As the two cheapest options on the list, the Black & Decker BV3600 and Ivation Blower-Vacuums compare very well to one another. Choosing between the two will come down to personal preference. The steel mulching impeller on the Ivation may prove to be better if you have harder twigs in your garden debris. On the other hand, like the other Black & Decker, this one could win you over with its quiet operation.
- Ivation Leaf Blower / Vacuum / Mulcher
For a price that’s lower than the most of the others, the Ivation doesn’t make too many compromises. It’s a durable blower-vacuum-mulcher with steel impellers on the mulcher so it matches in terms of quality.
It’s slightly less powerful than the others with a single speed of 230 MPH. Its mulching ratio is slightly less impressive too at 10:1. It also doesn’t have a narrow-angle nozzle for power blasting. Considering the lower price tag, these specs are very reasonable.
For the rest, it compares well to any of the others, weighing around 10 LBS with a comfortable handle. The power is managed by a simple on/off trigger switch.
As a cost effective option with very similar specs to the others, the Ivation is a good buy. It should not be considered to be of lower quality because of its lower price, it’s a very basic well-built leaf blower/vacuum for those who don’t want to spend extra on the more advanced features and extra power of the others.