Toro 51621 UltraPlus Variable-Speed Leaf Blower Vacuum
Best electric leaf vacuum mulcher
This three-in-one machine makes it easy to get rid of dead leaves, grass clippings, and debris.
1 Toro 51621 Review
Do you love to keep your yard clean but don’t really love to rake grass clippings or dead leaves? Then you should add the Toro 51621 to your garden tools kit. This effective leaf vacuum mulcher can suit all your needs.
It’s powered by a reliable 12 amp motor with variable speed, and is capable of outputting up to 410 CFM in vac mode and 250mph airspeed. Whether it’s vacuuming or blowing, you can clean your driveways and walkways quickly and effortlessly.
What makes it stand out, though, is the metal impeller and bag combo designed to capture leaves alone, not dust or debris. Whether you need some mulch for a flowerbed or the vegetable garden, the high-power leaf shredder can easily provide it.
Easy operation is ensured by intuitive controls, not to mention the excellent balance and low weight – two features that reduce user fatigue. Powerful, reliable, and easy to use, this is by far the best leaf vacuum mulcher you can buy.
WORX WG512 Trivac 2.0 Electric 3-in-1 Vacuum Blower/Mulcher
Best value for money
Weighing less than 12 pounds, this leaf vacuum mulcher is incredibly easy to use with one hand.
2 WORX WG512 Review
Appealing to those who mostly need a leaf vacuum and mulcher rather than a leaf blower, the WORX WG512 knows how to bring true value for money. It doesn’t blow strong blasts like our best in class, but it impresses with a 600 CFM airflow, while it can still blow at 70mph.
Switching between functions is made easy by a knob, and you can expect outstanding power delivered by a 12 amp motor.
Another highlight is its mulching efficiency. It can quickly convert large leaves and debris in nourishing mulch or organic material to add to your compost pile. It’s also lightweight and easy to handle, and comes at a price that won’t break the bank.
Husqvarna 125BVx 952711902 28cc 2-Cycle Gas Handheld Leaf Blower/Vacuum
Best gas leaf vacuum mulcher
A powerful gas engine delivers high power and all the mobility you need for heavy-duty applications.
3 Husqvarna 125BVx Review
Are you a professional landscaper, or do you have a big property and need a leaf vacuum mulcher? Then the Husqvarna 125BVx might fit the bill. This capable machine comes with a 28cc 2-cycle gas engine that outputs 425 CFM and up to 170mph of air velocity, just what you need to sweep or gather loads of leaves.
Like our best value, it has a 16:1 mulch capability, turning 16 bags of leaves in just one. Needless to say that this feature increases the bag capacity, helping you finish even the biggest tasks easily.
Our favorite feature, though, is the cruise control that allows you to set the desired airspeed for easier handling. Despite being a gas-powered tool, it’s ergonomic and comfortable, while the smart start with auto-return stop switch is another highlight.
Sure, you’ll have to drop some cash for all these features, but this is the best commercial gas leaf vacuum mulcher you can find.
Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Leaf Blower Vac
Best for low budgets
An affordable yet impressively capable tool that’s perfect for smaller yards.
4 Toro 51619 Review
The Toro 51619 is nothing but the smaller – and cheaper – brother of our best in class. It appeals to those on a budget, but don’t just assume it’s less powerful. In fact, the two tools share most features, from the 12-amp motor to air velocity and volume.
What makes them different is the debris reduction. The Toro 51619 has a rate of 88% leaf reduction, far less than the 97% of the 51621.
It also comes with fewer attachments, missing the shred ring and oscillating nozzle. As such, it’s slower at shredding leaves and more suitable for smaller yards.
Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher 2021 Buying Guide
What is a leaf vacuum mulcher?
A leaf vacuum mulcher is a landscape care machine designed to suck up leaves and turn them into mulch. To do this, it comes with an impeller with chopping blades and a collection bag you can use to gather the leaf particles instead of spreading them on the lawn.
Despite its name, leaf vacuum mulchers usually have a third function too, that of a leaf blower. This feature is designed to speed up the landscape maintenance process.
Types of leaf vacuum mulcher
Like most landscape tools, leaf vacuum mulchers are manufactured for either residential or commercial use. Depending on your needs, you can choose from:
- Handheld leaf vacuum mulcher: Perhaps the most popular model. This type looks just like a regular leaf blower, but it can also vacuum in the leaves and shred them. They are typically lightweight, easy to handle, and – depending on the power source – suitable for all kinds of tasks, from light to heavy-duty.
- Backpack leaf vacuum mulcher: Similar to the handheld, it comes with shoulder straps that allow you to wear the engine and mulch bag on your back. This design is usually preferred by professional landscapers who have to clean large plots of terrain day by day.
- Walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher: This design is usually employed for commercial leaf vacuum mulchers, although many models are also suitable for home use. Design-wise, this machine is similar to a walk behind lawn mower or string trimmer and is a better choice for those with large yards, impaired people, or the elderly.
- Tow behind leaf vacuum mulcher: This is the best leaf vacuum mulcher for landscapers or homeowners with yards larger than an acre. As its name suggests, it attaches to your riding lawn mower or zero turn mower, and it can tackle even the heavier jobs.
Leaf blower vacuum mulcher power source
Regardless of the type of leaf blower mulcher you like, you can typically choose from three power sources:
- Gas leaf vacuum mulchers: Are powered by either 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines running on gasoline. They are powerful, fast, and effective. You can use them anywhere and for as long as you like, but they are loud and polluting.
- Electric leaf vacuum mulchers: No doubt, the more environmentally-friendly versions of the gas variety, they can usually output the same airspeed and air volume. They are less noisy and cleaner, but your range will be determined by the length of the power cord.
- Cordless leaf vacuum mulchers: Defined by many as the best leaf vacuum mulchers around, they are usually as performing as the gas ones, but the runtime is limited by the batteries. Usually, you’ll get about 30-60 minutes of runtime, so they are more suitable for small to mid-sized yards.
Leaf vacuum mulcher vs. leaf shredder. What is the difference?
Leaf mulcher vacuums and leaf shredders do more or less the same thing, but at different scales. Most people looking for leaf vacuum mulchers usually need a handheld tool for a smaller property or lighter jobs.
Leaf shredders are either walk behind or stationary machines designed to shred leaves and turn them into fine particles you can use either as mulch or for making compost. Those looking for heavier duty machines can even invest in chipper shredders designed to shred leaves as well as brush, logs, and branches.
While stationary leaf shredders work wonders in turning leaves into fine clippings, you’ll have to gather them with a leaf blower or rake.
What air velocity and air volume should a leaf blower mulcher have?
The performance of your leaf vacuum mulcher is determined by the airspeed and air volume it can move. The airspeed determines how fast you can vacuum or sweep away the vegetal material and debris.
The air volume, expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM), determines either how far away you can push the leaves when you use the blower mode or how much air the motor draws in when used in vacuum mode. Depending on the size of your yard, you should look for:
Small yards up to ¼ acres
Mid-sized yards up to ½ acres
Large yards up to 1 acre
How to use a leaf blower vacuum?
A leaf vacuum blower is a versatile machine, but you should learn how to use it properly if you want to make the most out of it. Here are the most important steps:
- Learn how to switch from blower to vacuum mode. Depending on the model, you will probably have to turn off the machine and plug the tube into the opposite side of the fan. Some manufacturers use quick-hooking systems, whereas others will require you to use tools for this operation. The best leaf vacuum blowers, however, allow you to simply turn a knob to switch between functions.
- Start your tool in leaf blower mode and gather all leaves in a pile, avoiding any areas where this operation could damage other plants, such as around bushes or flowerbeds.
- Switch to leaf vacuum mode and attach the collection bag if you don’t want to spread the mulch directly onto the lawn. Vacuum in all the leaves as you would normally do with a vacuum cleaner, working your way around bushes, flowerbeds, and hard to reach areas. The mulcher will do the rest for you, shredding the leaves into fine particles.
- Dispose of the mulch, add it to your compost pile, or spread it on the lawn or vegetable garden.
- Clean the leaf vacuum mulcher as instructed by the manufacturer. That’s it!
What features to look for before buying a leaf vacuum mulcher
Different yards and gardens have different maintenance needs, so no leaf vacuum mulcher will be the best for everyone. If you want to get the best possible deal, check out the features below:
- Variable speed: This feature will allow you to switch from top speed for fast leaf gathering on lawns, decks, patios, and driveways to slower speeds needed for cleaning the areas around flowers and bushes.
- Reduction ratio: This number tells you how small the particles of leaf or debris will be. The best leaf vacuum mulchers should have a reduction ratio of at least 16:1, meaning that it can turn 16 bags of leaves into 1 bag of mulch.
- Nozzle design: Finding the best nozzle is often a hassle, as you should find the right balance between its width and size of the opening. A narrower, longer nozzle can easily reach in most areas, but a too small opening will make it harder to vacuum up the leaves gathered in a pile.
- Ergonomics: Besides the above, you should also consider the ergonomics of the tool. The best leaf vacuum blowers are lightweight, well balanced, and easy to handle.