Getting a leaf vacuum can save you hours of work and gallons of sweat (Got told to remove that reference. Kept it. Boom) … But getting the wrong one (too heavy, too small a capacity, too noisy, etc) will leave you feeling like you should have just stuck to raking after all.
This article is about how to pick the best leaf vacuum for your needs. We’ve compiled it after weeks of dedicated research and general nerding. About leaf vacuums. Some call it sad, but we call it smart.
First Let’s Clarify Something: Leaf Blower? Leaf Vacuum? Combo?
What is a leaves blower or a leaves vacuum,? Well, the name is quite self-explanatory. A leaf blower is a machine that, well, blows leaves. The goal of a leaf blower is to move the leaves away from your yard or to a pile. Meanwhile, a leaf vacuum sucks up the leaves and you dispose of the leaves when the bag is full. A combo has blowing and vacuuming, all in one package.
A blower can move leaves a lot faster and is usually less expensive. However, there are a few downsides. For one thing, a leaf blower could kick up dust and debris, sending you into a coughing fit. A leaf blower also moves the leaves to a pile, but then you have to find a way to dispose of the leaves Unless there’s a place to blow the leaves off of that’s not the road or the neighbor’s yard, disposing of the leaves is a hassle and a vacuum makes it easier.
Oh yeah, and there’s the leaf mulcher. This shreds the dry leaves into mulch, which is great for our gardeners. This is also known as a garden vac or a leaf vacuum and mulcher. A leaf vacuum and mulcher can help you take care of these pesky leaves. For this article, we’ll look at the best in leaf vacuum and blower needs.
#1: WORX WG518 12 Amp 2-Speed Leaf Blower, Mulcher & Vacuum (Best Value – All-Purpose)
This leaf blower wins the best value and the best overall because of two things. One, it’s cheap. As of this post, it goes for a good price on Amazon com. Second, it does it all. Why choose between a vacuum or a blower when you can do both?
This vacuum has a speed of 250 MPH, making it quite powerful for the price. Often, you’ll have to pay much more to get those speeds. Also, it’s electric with a powerful metal impeller. Back in the day, electric leaf blowers were underpowered and couldn’t hold a charge. They may have lacked a metal impeller and instead used cheap materials. Nowadays, an electric leaf blower can be just as powerful and last a long time, and they use higher quality materials.
Reviews of this product have been stellar at 4.3 out of 5 stars. Most reviewers love its lightweight feeling and how it can get the job done. A vocal minority disliked the product due to the vacuum clogging up and some cheapness in how it felt.
#2: Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum (Best Machine)
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If you’re looking for a pure leaf vacuum, this one has you covered. One reason it’s the second best is that it has variable speeds or you can cruise control it to your preferred speed. You can cruise control this leaf vacuum up to 250 mph! Also, this leaf vacuum is highly rated and has a shredding metal impeller.
Reviewers love how powerful this leaf vacuum is and how it shreds every other one out there. Many are impressed at its electric power, saying it’s one of the best leaf vacuums in that regard. Also, this leaf vacuum is praised for how long it lasts.
Some reviewers were a little more critical. Some say it ischeaply made, or they had problems with it breaking down. With any leaf vacuum, you may run into defective units, so be warned.
#3: Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Jet Blower (Best Electric Blower)
One reason why you may buy this one is that it has a clear battery life based on variable speed. On the lowest speed, it can go well over an hour. At its highest speed, it goes for about 12 minutes. You may be intimidated by the highest of its variable speed, but it comes with a rapid charger.
This allows you to charge it in about half an hour, and that’s why it’s the best electric. Other electric, cordless blowers can take hours to charge, but this doesn’t.
Reviews average about 4.4 stars, with many customers saying it’s one of the best electric leaf blowers out there. Praises include its battery life and its power. With that said, there are some criticisms. Some say the battery is underpowered and the customer service isn’t very good. However, this is the minority.
#4: Sun Joe SBJ597E-SJB 6-Amp 155 MPH Electric Leaf Blower (Best Low Cost)
Do you only have little money in your pocket? You may feel like there’s no way you can find any powerful, easy to use leaf blowers for that price. However, you’re luckily mistaken. The Sun Joe currently goes for an extremely cheap price on Amazon Prime, with prices varying slightly depending on what color you choose. Also, it has good reviews.
Despite its cheapness, the airspeed is about 150 MPH. Reviewers have said it’s one of the best leaf blowers for the price, giving you a lightweight, easy to use machine. Some people have had criticisms, such as it being too loud, or making too much dust.
Also, the product is corded, so make sure you have a long extension cord should your yard be big!
#5: Husqvarna 965877502 350BT (Best Gas Blower)
This leaf blower uses gas, and it’s much more expensive. However, if you need a big job and a leaf blower that’s used by the professionals, this one has you covered. While the airspeed is a little lower, it’s a case of quality over quantity. Also, there is a variable speed. Variable speed allows you to control how far the leaves blow, which can be useful in many situations.
With its harness, this is the epitome of easy to use, and its ergonomic design will have users coming back for more. It has a backpack feature, which is used in professional landscaping, but it’s quite convenient, too.
The reviewers feel the same way, too. Most reviewers praise its power and ease of use. They say it’s reliable and one of the best blowers out there. However, some people had problems. Mainly, a few reviewers said the machine would not start, and some people had trouble with customer service.
What About the Cheapies? Our Best Leaf Vacuums Under $X
#1: Best Under $4o: BLACK+DECKER Electric Leaf Blower, 7-Amp
Black+Decker is a big name for products like leaf blowers and other home improvement goodies. Some may think Black+Decker is expensive, but this is not the case at all. The Black+Decker device is highly rated. While it doesn’t reach 250 MPH, it still has an impressive 180. Also, the Black+Decker is corded, but with its cord retention, you won’t have to worry much about it getting in the way. Always trust Black+Decker to deliver.
#2: Best Under $30: Greenworks 24012 7 Amp Single Speed Electric 160 MPH Blower
This is your standard electric blower, but it’s highly rated and does the job. The blower is recommended for smaller yards, and it seems to be quieter than others. It doesn’t have any fancy bells and whistles, but it’s designed to get the job done. Read some of its reviews and see if it’s for you.
#3: Best Under $20: Homestock Electric Corded
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This one is similar to the Sun Joe, where it provides a quality blower for cheap. It almost reaches 250 MPH, too, going to 210. It’s a blower that is known for its simplicity. Nothing fancy; just plug it in, hit the button, and you’re good to go. Despite the cheap price, it has good reviews on Amazon.
#4: Best Pure Leaf Vacuum: WORX WA4058
If you need a pure vacuum this one is for you. What makes this vacuum unique is its hose. It has a tube that transfers the leaves to its collection bag. This unit is quite cheap, with most budgets being able to afford this vacuum. Also, it’s quite powerful at what it does. If you’re looking for something good, this is for you.
Buying Decision: Gas Leaf Vacuum or Electric?
When you pick a machine to vacuum or blow your leaves, you may wonder whether to pick a gas leaf blower vacuum or an electric leaf blower vacuum. Should you go a little greener while blowing leaves, or stick to tradition?
A few years ago, we’d recommend a gas leaf blower vacuum. The problems of a leaf blower vacuum that used electricity were that they were underpowered or couldn’t hold a charge if you went the cordless route.
However, the recent line of electric devices is much more powerful. Meanwhile, a gas leaf blower vacuum is noisy, expensive, and although some of them cut emissions, they still pollute the air.
So overall, we have to go with electricity. While gas still has its fans, we can’t deny how well electric vacuums and blowers have been in the past few years. And we only expect them to get better.
How Does a Leaf Blower Work Anyway?
If you want to know how blowers work, first you need to understand what centrifugal force is. This is when a frame rotates fast, and it creates energy. Leaf blowers take advantage of this, and they use a narrow passage to get the air out fast and in a powerful fashion. This creates air that can easily blow leaves away.
Also, how long to complete a blowing or vacuuming session? This may depend on what type of blower vacuum you have, how powerful it is, and the size of your yard. There’s no straight answer.
Any other tips we can give you? Well…
How do you empty a blower vacuum?
Most will have a collection bag. You just empty the collection bag when it’s full. If it doesn’t have a collection bag, there should be another place where leaves gather. In this case, you should empty the leaves if you see that the blower is starting to be less powerful.
What Happens If I Get a Defective Machine?
Getting a defective leaf machine can be a pain. However, before you leave a negative review, try to use Amazon’s return policy. You may be able to get a replacement.
If the machine broke down after the return window, look at the warranty. Most products should have a yearlong or longer warranty to replace any defective parts should you be able to. Always look up the warranty to make sure that it’s long enough.
If you’re still wondering what you can do, you can contact customer service and see what they can do for you. Chances are, they’ll be able to make it right if they are a reputable company.
What Type of Gas Should I Use?
A modern gas-powered unit doesn’t use anything special. You just need 87 unleaded. Older units may have required you to go premium, but you’re just wasting your money at this point. However, read the instruction manual and make sure you’re purchasing the gas you need.
My Battery Keeps Running Out!
If your battery keeps running out, you should make sure you’re utilizing it correctly. You may not need the full speed, and when you use its maximum power, of course, the battery will run out. If it’s not that, then it may be something else, such as an older battery. You may need a replacement. If your battery is new, contact customer service.
Make sure you charge it before every use as well.
Can I Use The Blowing Mechanism for More Than Leaves?
Yes! You can get creative with it when it’s not the season to blow leaves. For example, you could use it to clean your car or clean the gutters in your home. Some people don’t even use these machines for leaves, but to clean other parts of their yard, such as gutters.
Can I Leave the Leaves (Whew) in My Yard?
It doesn’t hurt. A leaf naturally decays and helps give food to your yard. However, many people don’t like the look of them, hence the vacuums and blowers. A mulcher is your best bet if you want to get rid of leaves, but you want to be environmentally conscious about it.
Also, make sure you choose a blower vacuum that can last you for your entire yard!
What’s the History Behind These Devices?
Blowers and vacuums are actually not that old in the grand scheme of things. The origin is Japanese in nature. In 1947, the Kyoritsu Noki Company invented a fogger that was a backpack. This design soon evolved, and when the company reached America, it soon developed its first leaf blowing device in 1977. So it’s only a little over 40 years.
Verdict: Your Best Leaf Vacuum
So let’s take a look at which blowers and leaf vacuums work the best. Let’s look at the top three to determine this.
If you want a leaf vacuum, blowing device, and a mulcher, go with the WORX WG518 12 Amp 2-Speed. This is our top choice, as it’s one of the best leaf vacuums for the job.
If you just want a pure leaf vacuum, go with the Toro 51621 UltraPlus.
Finally, if you want an electric blowing machine, the Greenworks Pro 80V Cordless Brushless Axial Blower is what you’re looking for.
If you’re at home more, you might as well take care of your lawn. A happy lawn equals a happy family, or something like that. Having landscaping tools such as blowers and vacuums can ensure a great lawn for years to come. We hope this guide helped you in choosing the best one for the occasion. Pick your favorite and get to sucking.