The 5 Best Leaf Vacuums for Yard Cleanup

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If you need to purchase the simplest leaf vacuum you may lay your palms on, purchase a lawnmower. Seriously. A mower is extra highly effective than a handheld leaf vacuum, holds much more particles and helps its particles bag on a body, so that you don’t have to hold it. It additionally covers an space extra shortly than a leaf vacuum. Finally, it does a much more uniform job of mulching the particles it collects. On what do I base that radical opinion? Decades of product testing for Popular Mechanics, and 50 years of gathering leaves by each methodology possible—each by hand and by energy.

So why trouble with a leaf vacuum? First issues first, it does greater than accumulate leaves. It picks up conifer needles and cones, small items of plastic and paper litter, twigs, acorns, and different nuts. It can snatch particles out of a nook the place a sidewalk or garden meets basis wall. You may even take an electrical mannequin right into a storage, to scrub out cobwebs and dusty corners. Furthermore, leaf vacuums work on paved surfaces, one other place the place a lawnmower performs poorly, and so they seize leaves out of flower beds and between shrubs—extra locations the place a mower can’t reach.

Given that, our staff got down to decide the very best leaf vacuums in the marketplace proper now. You’ll discover the outcomes of our testing under, after some recommendation and issues to remember when searching for a leaf vacuum of your personal.

Things to Consider

In deciding between gasoline and electrical leaf vacs, it comes right down to this. Gas-engine machines are much more highly effective than cordless and extra proof against clogging, particularly when pulling in twigs and moist leaves. They are actually much more cell than corded machines. If you’re working a small, manicured yard, corded and cordless are good. For a big garden, particularly the place you need to take away nuts, twigs, pine cones, and pine needles together with the leaves, go together with a machine powered by a gasoline engine. Also, word that air motion velocity and volumes said by producers often refers to blowing, not vacuum mode. There is not any normal check for vacuuming garden particles, and air motion is barely a part of the story. How nicely a machine does at vacuuming has so much to do with the fabric you’re eradicating, its form, friction, and dampness.

Also, the information for the mulching ratio for these machines strikes us as irrelevant. When you spill out a leaf vacuum’s particles bag and examine it intently, you’ll discover many of the leaves are solely partially shredded. And this shouldn’t be shocking. What accounts for the discount within the pile’s dimension has as a lot to do with flattening and packing created by forcing the leaves into the bag because it does by the partial (and in some instances, full) shredding created by the machine’s impeller.

Tips for Vacuuming

The very first thing you discover about gathering leaves with a vacuum is that moist leaves and leaves blended with pine needles or twigs can cease them lifeless of their tracks. These machines work greatest on clear, dry, uniformly sized leaves. Next, you study that they’re too gradual to clear an space. First, blow or rake the leaves into piles, then vacuum them up.

How We Tested

First, we chosen researched and chosen 5 of probably the most promising blower-vacuum mixture machines. Three are powered by gasoline engines, one is cordless, and one is corded. We chosen solely machines from producers with a confirmed observe report in our exams: Echo, Greenworks, Husqvarna, Stihl, and Worx. We ran our check on dry, freshly fallen hardwood leaves, acorns, pine cones, and pine needles. We additionally did intensive testing on damp and moist leaves, in addition to damp and moist blended particles comparable to a mixture of pine needles, leaves, and twigs. We cleared lawns, a car parking zone, the curb line of a business constructing, and the sides round backyard beds. Here’s how the testing shook out.

Editors’ Choice

Stihl SH 86 C-E

stihlusa.com

$289.95

Weight: 12.2 lb. (with tube and bag) | Engine: 27.2 cc | Air: 430 cfm, 154 mph | Fuel: 50:1 gasoline/oil ratio

The Stihl earns Editors’ Choice by providing a mixture of leaf-pulling energy and resistance to clogging, even with damp, moist, and blended particles. Its tubes are straightforward to mount (align the marks on the blower and the tube, push the items collectively, and switch the big plastic mounting nut). Detaching the tube to change again to blower mode takes extra work, although. You need to push a screwdriver via a slot within the housing to have interaction a versatile mounting tab as a way to unlock the tube. It’s not troublesome, but it surely took us a couple of tries earlier than we acquired to be quick at it. The assortment bag slips off the discharge tube simply, and its massive zipper opens the bag shortly. Demerits? We can’t consider one. This is a tremendous, dealer-only product.

Best Value Gas

Echo ES-250

homedepot.com

$199.00

Weight: 12.2 lb. (with tube and bag) | Engine: 25.Four cc | Air: 391 cfm, 140 mph | Fuel: 50:1 gasoline/oil ratio

The Echo is an excellent machine and nearly as clog-resistant because the Stihl. It dealt with dry and uniform particles shortly and simply, gobbling it up at full throttle, shortly filling its bag. It solely fell behind the Stihl within the blended particles and damp particles exams. But, frankly, the distinction in energy between the 2 is small. Conversion from blower to hoover is quick and straightforward. In this respect, it was the very best of the three gas-engine machines. To take away the vacuum tube, grip the big plastic lugs molded into tube and twist it off. The particles bag, held with a big Velcro strap, is straightforward to mount and empty. The machine acquired just one small demerit, and that was for the fixed-position sliding on/off change. Our expertise reveals {that a} momentary rocker change is healthier as a result of after the machine is switched off, the change routinely springs again to Start. We inadvertently went to restart the Echo within the off place after we remembered to change it to on.

Easy to Start

Husqvarna 125BVX

Weight: 12 lb. (with tube and bag) Engine: 28 cc | Air: 445 cfm, 217 mph | Fuel: 50:1 gasoline/oil ratio

The Husqvarna may be very nicely constructed, begins extraordinarily simply (with one pull), and handles dry leaves with a vengeance. It did clog, nonetheless, when gathering damp blended particles, comparable to oak leaves and pine needles. We have been mystified by that, because it has greater than sufficient air circulate. We suspect that its vacuum tubes, that are barely narrower and longer than others, would be the culprits. A deal breaker? No. We did have a beef, nonetheless, with its bag attachment, which is via a heavy-duty spring sewn into the bag’s collar. Its grip on the discharge tube is so tenacious that after connected, the bag can’t be simply eliminated. You find yourself lugging the stuffed bag and the machine to dump the shredded contents. Given {that a} bag of shredded particles weighs wherever from 5 to 12 kilos (based on our exams), that’s inconvenient.

Fastest Conversion

Worx WG514

homedepot.com

$129.99

Weight: 9.6 lb. (with tube and bag) | Motor: 120 volts, 12 amps | Air: 620 cfm, 70 mph

This Worx is, palms down, the best machine to change from blower to hoover. Its tube stays put. You merely flip a dial on the machine’s facet to rotate the motor 90 levels. Easily slip the vacuum assortment bag into place over the impeller; simply press on the bag’s small spring-loaded collar and launch when it’s seated. We timed it as taking lower than 20 seconds. It’s a superb piece of engineering. And this Worx is not any slouch in terms of scooping up dried leaves. Its 12-amp motor is as much as the job. Still, it received’t compete with the gas-engine machines, notably with damp particles or when a great deal of twigs are blended. Also, you do discover that wire drag as including to the machine’s weight as soon as its bag begins filling up, and with dried consistently-shaped leaves, it may possibly fill that bag in minutes. The backside line: We see the Worx as an excellent match for a small, intensively manicured yard the place wire drag is stored to a minimal and also you spend most of your time cleansing leaves from between shrubs by vacuuming or blowing.

Best for Small Jobs

Greenworks 24322

amazon.com

$243.34

Weight: 9.eight lb. (with 4.0-Ah battery, tube, and bag in place) | Motor: 40 volts | Air: 340 cfm, 185 mph

The Greenworks proves how far 40 volts will take you right this moment.  A good distance, because it seems. We ran out of leaves earlier than its battery ran out of juice. We see this machine as filling a task together with the trimmer and mower—the mower handles the grass and a few leaf bagging, the trimmer cleans up the sides. You blow the remaining leaves right into a pile and shortly change to hoover mode by flipping down the impeller hatch, detaching the blower tube with a easy press on the detent. Then click on the oval-shaped vacuum tube into place over the impeller. The particles bag has a stubby collar on it that clicks into place the place the blower tube was positioned. Vacuum up the leaves, and also you’re executed. This is a superb little blower-vac, however we don’t see it as being quick sufficient for a yard stuffed with leaves. It did show ultimate, nonetheless, for small cleanup.

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