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Best Leaf Mulchers of 2020

Best Leaf Mulcher Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
WORX WG430

WORX WG430 13-Amp Foldable Bladeless Electric Leaf Mulcher

Best electric leaf mulcher

This capable leaf mulcher can help you get rid of large piles of leaves in no time.

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1 WORX WG430 Review

If you have a big yard with lots of trees or shrubs and need the best leaf mulcher around, check out the WORX WG430. This electric leaf mulcher can help you get rid of huge piles of leaves in the blink of an eye, thanks to its 11:1 mulching ratio.

What this means is that it can transform 11 bags of leaves in just one – undeniably, effective management of large-volume yard debris.

Its greatest highlight is the bladeless mulching system that makes use of professional-grade, .090 mulching line. Similar to a string trimmer, the mulcher can shred leaves and other vegetal material, such as weeds or grass clippings, and you’ll never have to worry about blade sharpening or maintenance.

Shredding power is delivered by a 13-amp motor and the use of 24 cutting lines at the same time, while a bag support ring makes it easy to fix a plastic or paper bag under the hopper, for effortless gathering.

Quick to assemble and dismantle and efficient enough to shred 53 gallons of leaves per minute, the WORX WG430 is the best leaf mulcher for both homeowners and professionals.

Best value
Sun Joe SDJ616

Sun Joe SDJ616 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Great value for money

An advanced motor cooling system reduces the amount of dust by diverting the air away from the shredded debris.

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2 Sun Joe SDJ616 Review

Packing quite a few best-in-class features but coming at a more affordable price, the Sun Joe SDJ616 is undeniably the best leaf mulcher for most homes. Like our best-in-class, it impresses with a bladeless shredding system that uses heavy-duty weed eater line.

With a capacity of 55 gallons of leaves per minute and a 16:1 reduction ratio, this mulcher/shredder is perfect for much more than residential yards. You can also use it in an orchard or park, for both fall and early spring cleaning.

It can also deal with a variety of yard debris. You can use it to shred leaves, mowed grass, thatch, as well as pine needles. What makes it unique is a control dial that allows you to shred both wet and dry materials.

We also like that it’s bag-ready, so you won’t have to spend additional time to gather the shredded pile. No doubt, true value for money.

Also great
Sun Joe CJ603E

Sun Joe CJ603E 15-Amp 1.7-Inch Cutting Diameter Electric Silent Wood Chipper/Shredder

A more heavy-duty chipper shredder

This electric wood chipper/shredder is perfect for heavy-duty yard and ranch cleaning.

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3 Sun Joe CJ603E Review

If you’re after a versatile leaf mulcher that can do much more than shredding leaves, the Sun Joe CJ603E might fit the bill.

More than a leaf mulcher, this is a wood chipper/shredder designed for turnings leaves, small branches, twigs, and even brush and branches into easily disposable debris or organic fertilizer.

Unlike our top picks, it comes with a blade instead of string trimmer line. This feature, combined with the 15-amp motor delivers outstanding shredding power; indeed, the machine is capable of shredding through all branches of up to 1.73 inches in diameter.

Suitable for big yards, it also boasts a 21:1 reduction ratio and comes with convenient 7-inch wheels and ergonomic handle for easy mobility.

The unit is stable on all terrains, very easy to start, and comes with collection bag hooks. All that you need for seamless heavy-duty cleaning if you don’t mind its higher price.

Best budget
YARD FORCE YF8000

YARD FORCE YF8000 YardForce Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Best for small budgets

Individually adjustable legs enhance stability and operation safety on all terrains.

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4 YARD FORCE YF8000 Review

The YARD FORCE YF8000 leaf mulcher is a cheap yet dependable product that appeals to homeowners on a budget. Design-wise is similar to our best in class. It has a large hopper and uses .095-inch trimmer line to shred leaves, grass clippings, and other vegetal materials.

Like our best value, it can shred both wet and dry yard debris, including thatch and wet leaves, all sorts of dry leaves, as well as pine needles.

It’s compatible with both plastic and paper collection bags, and weighing under 15lbs, it’s also easy to transport.

Not only it’s affordable, but it also features a wealth of accessories, including ten shredder replacement lines, a bungee cord, goggles, and a hand rake set. What else could you want for the price?

What is a leaf mulcher?

As its name suggests, a leaf mulcher is a machine designed to shred leaves into small pieces that are easier to dispose of or that you can use as mulch for your lawn, flowerbeds, or garden.

Depending on its type, a leaf mulcher can be used for much more, though. Some of the best leaf mulchers are powerful enough to shred leaves, thatch, twigs, brush and underbrush, pine needles, as well as other types of yard and household debris.

Types of leaf mulchers

Various people have various needs, that’s why manufacturers came up with two main leaf mulcher designs, freestanding and handheld.

Freestanding leaf mulchers

They are the most common type, consisting of a hopper and shredding system fixed on legs. They may or may not have mobility features, such as handle and wheels, and are powered by either gas or electricity.

  • Electric leaf mulchers: Can be divided into corded and cordless, but apart from this, they have similar features. These machines usually use string trimmer cutting line to shred yard debris into small pieces. Most models are corded, powered by motors between 13 and 15 amps, and are usually ideal for shredding dry leaves. Some of the best electric leaf mulchers, though, are powerful enough to also shred wet leaves, thatch, and pine needles.
  • Gas leaf mulchers: Are more powerful than their electric counterpart, and usually come equipped with steel blades rather than weed eater Usually used by professionals, these commercial leaf shredders are typically strong enough for cutting twigs, underbrush, wet yard debris, etc. However, they are more expensive and louder than an electric machine, not to mention their negative impact on the environment.

Handheld leaf vacuum mulchers

Basically a hybrid between a leaf vacuum and a mulcher, they are perfect for smaller properties. You can easily collect, shred, and dispose of the yard debris in a single pass, saving yourself a lot of effort. While they can usually deal with dry leaves alone and have limited capacity, they could be your best bet if you only have to take care of a small suburban yard.

Gas vs. electric leaf mulchers. Which is best for my yard?

It really depends on your needs. If your yard consists of mostly lawn with few trees, an electric leaf mulcher will do the job while saving you some money. For a bigger yard with lots of trees, an orchard, or if you usually deal with various yard debris, including underbrush, thatch, and twigs, a gas leaf mulcher is undeniably a better choice.

Leaf mulcher vs. wood chipper/shredder. What is the difference?

Since the two machines serve more or less the same purpose, it’s legit to ask yourself what is the difference between a leaf mulcher – especially the gas-powered variety – and a wood chipper/shredder.

In a nutshell, the latter delivers heavier-duty, commercial capabilities. It is ideal for homeowners, too, especially if you have lots of trees and hedges that need pruning at the end of the warm season. Besides the materials a leaf mulcher can shred, a chipper shredder can also shred:

  • Thick brush and underbrush
  • Large twigs
  • Branches
  • Logs or wooden boards (depending on the unit’s size)

What is the best leaf mulcher reduction ratio?

The reduction ratio is a number used by manufacturers to tell you how efficient the leaf mulcher is. You’ll see it expressed like this: reduction ratio 12:1. In this example, it means that the shredder can turn 12 bags of yard debris into just one bag. While defining the best reduction ratio isn’t easy, you should usually aim for:

Reduction ratio

Application

10:1

Smaller yard with few trees and typically light yard debris.

11:1 – 15:1

Mid-sized yards or areas with more trees, but light yard debris consisting of mostly leaves and mowed grass.

Over 16:1

Larger yards, areas with lots of trees, as well as heavy yard debris including wet leaves or grass clippings, thatch, underbrush, brush, twigs, and branches.

Can a leaf mulcher shred paper or cardboard?

If you’re interested in organic gardening and have a compost pile, chances are you’ll want to add unused paper and cardboard to it. However, entry and mid-range shredders using trimming lines rather than blades usually won’t be able to chop these materials.

A gas leaf mulcher with metal blades or an electric wood chipper, however, will be able to shred both paper and cardboard effortlessly. Remember to skip glossy, magazine paper, though, as the chemicals in it could damage your lawn or vegetable garden.

Features to look for in the best leaf mulcher

With so many variants to choose from, deciding which machine to buy could be daunting. If you want to be sure that you’ve picked the best leaf shredder for you, don’t forget to check the following features.

  • Capacity: An important thing to check before buying is the shredding capacity, expressed in gallons per minute. If you have a small property with few trees, a capacity of about 15-20 gallons per minute should suffice. For heavier-duty chores, go for a capacity of at least 50 gallons per minute.
  • Power: Electric leaf mulchers are usually equipped with motors between 13 and 15-amps. All are powerful enough to shred piles after piles of fallen leaves, but the more powerful they are, the fastest you can get your job done.
  • Portability: If you have a large yard or need a leaf mulcher for professional use, look for a unit with wheels and handles that is easy to move.
  • Storage: Make sure the unit you want is easy to assemble and dismantle; this will make it easier to store away when not in use.
  • Ergonomics: Some of the best leaf mulchers come with adjustable height legs that allow you to assemble them at an ergonomic height. If possible, you should really consider getting a shredder with this feature to avoid back pain.

Best Leaf Mulcher for the Money

Best value
Sun Joe SDJ616

Sun Joe SDJ616 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Great value for money

An advanced motor cooling system reduces the amount of dust by diverting the air away from the shredded debris.

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