Fallen leaves can be a huge problem, and by ‘huge’ I mean the size of leaf piles and the number of trash bags you usually need to clear your yard. I used to rake, scoop, and haul too, but it annoyed me too much. Blowers simplified the task a bit, but they couldn’t set me free from bending to fill the bags.
Finally, I came across vacuum mulchers. These power tools make leaf mulching and yard cleaning simple as they set you free from bending, raking, and dealing with trash bags. In this article, I want to share the best leaf vacuum mulcher tools that I’ve tested so far.
Top 7 Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher Models
I tried to do my best to compare all the tools objectively. The draft listing included 15 devices, but I decided to exclude all but these 7 as they were either less cost-effective or offered fewer features than their closest competitors.
Some of the devices below can be interchanged, but I know that all of us have different budgets and leaf amounts. My leaf vacuum mulcher reviews will help you to see the difference.
1. WORX WG509 TRIVAC – Best Electric Leaf Vacuum Mulcher
WORX is a trusted US-based outdoor equipment manufacturer that offers a variety of quality tools. I like that these guys are concerned about the environment and struggle to make their tools powerful with minimal emissions or without them.
WG509 TRIVAC is a 3-in-1 tool that can blow, vacuum, and mulch leaves with an excellent 18:1 mulching ratio. It means that a default bag can be filled with up to 18 trashbags of leaves! Due to the all-metal impeller, the tool is durable.
The electric motor is corded and lets you benefit from 2 speed modes: 80MPH (133CFM) and 210MPH (350CFM). Such power is more than enough for anything. Due to the absence of batteries and a fuel-powered engine with a fuel tank, you can operate the mulcher holding it in one hand. The tool with an empty sack weighs just 9.3lbs. The full bag will be notably heavier than that, but such a low starting weight is an important feature anyway.
By the way, the bag has convenient straps for carrying it around on a shoulder. Other extras include a curved tube design that makes it easier to blow and vacuum in hard-to-reach places without the need to move objects.
It’s also very easy to switch between the blower and vacuum modes by flicking the large switch on the side. The 12” cord comes with a safety clip to prevent sudden interruptions. I recommend this device due to its simplicity, excellent price-power ratio, and low weight.
- lightweight design (0nly 9.3 lbs);
- one-handed operation is convenient;
- curved vacuum tube for better accessibility;
- powerful 12 AMP motor;
- high 18:1 mulching ratio.
Could be better:
- requires an extension cord.
2. Greenworks 40V – Best Cordless Leaf Vacuum Mulcher
Greenworks is the leader amongst manufacturers of battery-powered blowers and vacuums. The company was founded just 13 years ago, but it already has massive results on the market. My first tool from the brand was a cordless chainsaw in 2016. It satisfied me so much that I’ve decided to try other tools by the brand.
Unlike the device by WORX, this one doesn’t offer a 3-in-1 system. Instead, you can change the blower and vacuum nozzles and attach the mulch bag when necessary. As a result, the tool with an empty bag weighs just 5.6 lbs.
The combo of a 40V 4Ah Lithium-Ion battery and a brushless motor provides from 20 to 60 minutes of effective blowing/vacuuming at up to 185MPH (340CFM). Using a convenient dial-type trigger, you can easily scroll between 6 speeds. If the pile is too wet and heavy, push the turbo button to activate the jet mode. It drains the battery faster, but lets you get through tough piles much easier.
It’s an excellent solution for yards with a low/medium number of trees. Take it if you need a flexible power controller for vacuuming amongst delicate plants and dealing with rare tough piles. Working cordless is very comfortable.
- jet mode for tough leaf piles;
- up to 340 CFM;
- six speeds and a convenient switcher;
- up to 60 minutes of blowing/vacuuming.
Could be better:
- requires extra battery for uninterrupted operating.
3. TECCPO 12-Amp Leaf Blower Vacuum – Best Cheap Leaf Blower and Mulcher
TECCPO is a newborn power tool manufacturer. Similarly to Greenworks, the company managed to achieve excellent sales in a very short time, but their products are generally much cheaper. This corded tool always comes below $100, which makes it an attractive solution for occasional use.
This leaf blower is designed similarly to the solution by Greenworks. You have to attach the right nozzle to activate the blower or the vacuum, and it’s very easy to do. The tool is equipped with a powerful 12-AMP motor that has 2 speed modes.
The lower mode blows/vacuums at 170MPH(290CFM) and 250MPH(410CFM). The 2nd gear sucks in leaves very fast, so the large 10.6-gallon bag is really to the place! Due to these specs, the tool has a 16:1 mulching ratio. It’s not as high as WORX WG509 offers, but the price is also different.
I recommend this device for both small and large yards as it can easily tackle the majority of blowing and mulching tasks. You have to be a bit more careful with the impeller as it’s made of plastic, but the rest of the parts are really well-made and durable enough.
- 24-month warranty card provided;
- lightweight design;
- easy to convert;
- very affordable device;
- one-hand operation.
Could be better:
- plastic impeller;
- not the best for commercial use.
4. BLACK+DECKER BEBL7000 – Capacious Easy-Carry Leaf Vacuum
BLACK+DECKER is a 110-year-old American manufacturer of power tools. I haven’t seen this one in reviews of other professionals, so I decided to test it myself. As you can assume, the experience was good enough.
The first reason to try this tool was the backpack mulch bag. It was my first blower/vacuum with such a bag configuration. The bag appeared to be very convenient to wear and carry. It makes the weight of leaves less tangible. Due to the broad flap without zippers, you can empty it at no time and keep working.
Similarly to the majority of tools in the listing, this one comes with replaceable nozzles for blower and vacuum. On the one hand, this makes the tool a bit lighter, but on the other, you have to spend a bit more time switching between the modes, so planning is essential.
This model is equipped with a powerful corded motor that can reach up to 250MPH (400CFM), which is more than enough for heavy-duty tasks. There’s no way to adjust speed, but you can switch the power boost button to use the full RPM and blow away or vacuum large piles faster. If you need a powerful easy-carry device and you don’t care about speed modes too much, this one can become a good companion to you this fall.
- easy-to-carry backpack;
- 16:1 mulching ratio;
- up to 250MPH and 400CFM;
- light enough for one-hand operation.
Could be better:
- requires nozzle replacement.
5. Remington RM1300 Mulchinator 3-in-1 – Top-Rated Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher
You probably already know about Remington. This power tool manufacturer has been amongst industry leaders in the US and the world for over a century. Today, the brand holds the bar high and keeps offering competitive-quality tools for relatively low prices.
The RM1300 Mulchinator is the best alternative to WORX WG509, as it offers a similar 3-in-1 design that doesn’t require you to replace nozzles all the time. You can simply push the shift lever to switch.
In addition, the tool has a bigger wheeled vacuum tube that lets you push the device backward and forward without too much strain in your back and hands. While it’s not useful on grass, it makes vacuuming on hard surfaces much simpler.
This device is almost 2 times cheaper than a similar vacuum by WORX, so power characteristics are a bit less impressive too. It offers 10:1 mulching ability combined with up to 150MPH (350CFM) air flow. With a medium stock bag, the device is an excellent solution for yards with small and medium amounts of fallen leaves.
- toolless switching between vacuum/blower;
- attachable rolling nozzle;
- 2-year warranty;
- two speed modes.
Could be better:
- the bag is quite small.
6. TACKLIFE Leaf Vacuum – Excellent High-Capacity Vacuum
I was very surprised when I found that this brand is only 5 years old. Such a small team manages to create worthy instruments and makes them affordable. Their leaf vacuum is equipped with a powerful corded unit that can reach up to 175MPH for blowing and 495CFM for vacuuming. You can quickly switch between 5 speeds to achieve the needed effect on different surfaces.
The impeller is made of durable plastic and extra metal blades for better mulching. It might be not the best solution if you need superior durability, but it’s good for average mulching as it moves the mulch fast and without clogging. Finally, it has wheels on the vacuum tube for vacuuming hard flat surfaces.
- wheeled vacuum shaft;
- powerful engine;
- medium leaf bag;
- toolless nozzle changing.
Could be better:
- plastic impeller.
7. Sun Joe SBJ605E-RED 14-Amp – Great Commercial Leaf Vacuum Mulcher
Sun Joe is another young brand that offers high-quality electric gardening tools. I consider SBJ605E one of the best solutions for professional use as it offers a combo of a relatively low price with excellent characteristics. The conversion is made simple, while the metal impeller guarantees better sustainability to damage. The enlightened 14-AMP motor provides up to 250MPH and a 16:1 ratio. With 6 speeds, this tool lets you get rid of leaves fast. The package includes 2 tubes, a bag, and wheels for easier operating.
- powerful 14-AMP motor;
- six speeds;
- 16:1 reduction ratio;
- low-noise model;
- two-year warranty.
Could be better:
- I think the blower nozzle is easy to break.
What is a Leaf Vacuum Shredder?
Leaf vacuum mulcher or leaf shredder vacuum is a powerful outdoor vacuum cleaner with a built-in leaf mulcher. All vacuum shredders can suck in large amounts of fallen leaves and shred them at the same time. This gardening tool is the best substitute for rakes and numerous trash bags. All you have to do is carry the device around and empty the bag when it’s full.
Benefits of Mulching
First of all, mulching is much faster than raking and doesn’t strain your back that much. Second, the tiny pieces take notably less space and are much easier to dispose of. You can throw the mulch away when the bag gets full or use it as a complement to your compost pile, which is very useful for gardening.
Studies revealed an almost 100% decrease in dandelions and crabgrass in lawns where fallen leaves had been mulched and used as turf for three years in a row. Practicing this, you can reduce the population of weeds and save money on weed control remedies.
Mulched leaves keep the soil warm during the winter season and cooler when it gets hot. Moreover, they serve as a powerful natural fertilizer, which is also a useful tip to save up a bit. The decaying action of mulch provides the roots of grasses on your lawn with nutrients.
The mulch always biodegrades and disappears by spring, so such a practice is incredibly beneficial. I recommend you mulch the leaves and cover plant beds in autumn to synchronize plants’ life cycle with mulch biodegrading.
Related Post: Best Dump Carts for Lawn Tractor
Types of Leaf Vacuum Mulchers
There are 3 types of vacuum mulchers. Each of them includes both benefits and disadvantages, so I recommend you learn the differences to see what’s yours. As an ecology-concerned gardener kind, I prefer to minimize the use of gas-powered tools if it’s possible.
Gas-powered leaf vacuum mulcher is powerful and can survive rather long work sessions on a single full tank charge. On the other hand, it has multiple drawbacks that have lead to the mass adoption of electric machines. The payment for the power offered by gas-fueled blowers includes heaviness, expensive and time-taking maintenance, awful noise, and, of course, emitting and inhaling unhealthy air pollutants.
This type is my favorite. Corded electric models are usually the lightest and offer an uninterrupted process as you don’t have to recharge or refuel them. As a result, you can save quite a lot of time on that. On the other hand, the cord makes you a bit less mobile.
You’ll need a very long extension cord to serve a large yard! If your yard design makes it a problem to manage a cord, look for a battery-powered model. If you aren’t a fan of handheld options, there are also walk-behind leaf vacuum mulchers available.
Modern batteries can provide rather long one-charge sessions and usually don’t require too much time for recharging. However, I recommend you purchase an additional battery to avoid unwanted pauses. Two batteries are enough to keep working with short stops for battery replacement.
The best thing about such devices is their mobility. You can work even in the most remote corners of your yard. Cordless leaf vacuums can be notably heavier than corded, but rarely as heavy as gas-powered ones.
Features to Consider Before Purchasing
Before you decide which mulcher to buy, I’d be wise to learn about some more essential considerations. Independently from your yard size, you need the best value for money, and I want to help you figure out how to achieve it.
You already know that there are 3 power source types for vacuum mulchers. As you can easily assume, gas-powered models, consume the highest amount of your money during the year, while electric models are significantly less greedy or equal. Electricity is cheaper in any case.
Electric devices are also much easier to carry around. Most vacuum mulchers are handheld, so you should make sure that you can carry the tool without overstraining long enough to clear the entire garden.
If you worry that your electric tool will have a worse blowing and mulching ability, be attentive to the power definition of each model you look at. The vacuuming power should be high enough to suck in both dry and wet leaves independently from their amount.
The air flow is usually measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Personally, I usually look at amps to understand how powerful the machine is. For example, 12-amps is an excellent choice for most cases.
Mulching ratio & bag size
Mulchers reduce the size of the leaf pile you suck in. The mulching ratio defines how small will the pile become after mulching. You should look for the highest ration possible. The actual ratio depends on the design of blades as well as on how moist the leaves are.
Most models offer a ratio of between 10:1 and 18:1. Choosing the right bag size, you should consider the size of your yard. Take a bag that’s big enough to reduce the number of emptyings to a minimum, but small enough to avoid back overstraining.
Of course, the higher the top speed you have, the better, but it’s necessary to have an adjustment button if you want to avoid sucking in delicate plants and flowers. Most machines have it, but you should double-check anyway.
An impeller is a fan system that helps to shred the leaves. Unlike home vacuum cleaners, leaf vacuums don’t have filters to be protected from debris. That’s why small rocks, wood chunks, and even nuts can heavily damage the blades. A good metal impeller will be able to withstand potential dangers (do your best to avoid them anyway) and improve the mulching ratio.
How to Use Leaf Vacuum Mulcher Correctly
Using a vacuum mulcher, you should be attentive to avoid sucking in debris as they can damage the impeller. If you see leaves on gravel or similar surfaces, use the blower mode to relocate them before mulching. If you want to remove leaves from amongst delicate plants, you should either use the lowest speed or blow the leaves away first.
Thinking of when to start? The best time is when you still can see grass between the fallen leaves. You may need to repeat the procedure 2-3 times, but it’s better than struggling to remove large piles in one day.
Houseowners who ask me for professional advice and my readers frequently ask similar questions about vacuum mulchers. I decided to reply to these questions here to set you free from emailing me and googling for extra information on forums.
Is a leaf vacuum mulcher effective on wet leaves?
There’s actually much discussion around this question. Many gardeners are convinced that it’s better to rake wet leaves or wait until they get dry as wet leaves are heavy. Low-power blowers may not be able to deal with them. The same goes for vac mulchers.
But if your tool is powerful enough, wet leaves won’t be a problem unless you have difficulties with carrying a significantly heavier bag. Some models are compatible with wheel accessories for such cases. There are no significant benefits of vacuuming wet leaves, but you can do it if there’s no other option.
How do leaf vacuum mulchers work?
Leaf vacuum mulchers use airflow to suck in leaves and a rotating blade to mulch them. The mulch gets into a bag attached on the end of the tool. When the bag gets full, you can detach it, dispose of the mulch, and get back to work.
Can I use a leaf vacuum mulcher on gravel?
These devices aren’t designed for dealing with stones and twigs. They can simply break the mulcher. If you need to remove leaves from gravel, pebbles, or soil, then use the blower mode first to relocate the leaves on to the grass or other secure surfaces. While a single tiny stone won’t do anything, larger stones can damage the blade.
While most vacuum mulchers are quite cheap ($150 and below), you should pay attention to each model’s performance. Look for the one that’s light, powerful, and durable enough. I included different tool variations into my listing so that you could choose easier. My favorite one is WORX WG509 TRIVAC, as it includes all the needed specifications and durable construction. However, the rest of the items have their pros, too, so be attentive.
Have you used vacuum mulchers before, or would it be your first time? If the choice is too difficult, you can ask me for explanations in the comments section below the article. I will reply as soon as possible to help you out. For more reviews of power tools, stay tuned to my blog and add it to bookmarks not to miss the updates. I have many useful articles in the queue.