How do you make tidying your garden less of a hassle? Are the tools you’re using to clean leaves and other plant debris from your yard not working for you? We can help you solve that problem.
Vacuuming doesn’t have to be confined to the walls of your home. Investing in one of the best leaf vacuums will lessen the load of keeping your property clean, both inside and out.
What Is a Leaf Vacuum?
You shouldn’t use a residential vacuum to clean up leaves. Chances are high that it will suck them with no problem, but it could easily clog your machine (1). Instead, use a vacuum designed specifically to clean up leaves, soil or other green waste without the risk of damage.
So how are domestic and lawn vacuums different? In truth, their mechanics are the same. Leaf vacuums work with a high-speed fan, powered by a motor — just like their indoor counterparts.
The fan connects to an air-input hose, and an exhaust hose. Suction happens when the fan creates air in a small compartment between the two (2). It’s the design that makes the most difference.
Home vacuums push dirt through a filter and deposit it in a dust container or bag. Leaf vacuums collect and send garden waste straight to a large bag for easy disposal. Their tubes are significantly larger because of this, and that’s why they won’t clog.
What Can You Use a Leaf Vacuum For?
Leaf vacuums are a godsend but they still have their limits. Using one incorrectly could dampen its suction or ruin its mechanics. So, keep the following in mind to optimize yours:
- Avoid odd or heavy debris: Some heavy-duty leaf vacuums may be able to handle such debris. But for use around the home, it’s best to avoid it. Stones, rocks, twigs and branches can cause blockages or damage in your vacuum and its bag.
- Don’t touch the ground: Don’t use a leaf vacuum the same way you would use a floor vacuum. If it hits the ground, vibrations could cause scrapes or cracks that could weaken your hose’s integrity. Plus, they look bad too.
- Litter depends on the model: It’s not a good idea to assume that your leaf vacuum can handle plastic, glass, trash or other inorganic litter. The best thing to do is to first check the specifics of the model to make sure. If you’re uncertain and risk it anyway, you could break or block your vacuum.
- Blowing? Maybe: A leaf vacuum and a leaf blower are two different things, but your chosen model could function as both. Not all leaf vacuums have this capacity, though, so check the machine’s specs before you buy it. It’s a useful bonus you may save money on.
- Mulching: Some leaf vacuums can mulch the leaves they collect. This saves space in the bag and spares you the effort of doing it yourself. So if you’re a serious horticulturist, the mulching ratio is worth looking out for. For example, 10:1 means that the vacuum mulches 10 bags of dry leaves into one bag. Note, however, that mulching makes your leaves denser, and therefore the bags will be heavier.
- Vacuuming wet leaves: You shouldn’t go around vacuuming puddles with a leaf vacuum, but damp or soggy leaves are typically safe to pick up with one. Still, always check your machine’s specs before you try it, to avoid damaging your vacuum.Damp leaves are also easier to mulch, so try to find a machine that can do both.
Why Should You Buy a Leaf Vacuum?
Leaf vacuums are excellent, but maybe you’re still on the fence about buying one. If that’s the case, here are some facts that might sway you:
- Better for the environment: Leaf vacuums can be greener than raking and standard blowers because they reduce your usage of plastic trash bags. The bags attached to leaf vacuums also make dumping or disposing of leaves simpler, more convenient and less wasteful.
- They minimize effort: Raking uses a lot more effort than vacuuming does, and it can be more difficult too. We know the struggle of raking against the wind or having pets or kids disturb leaves you’ve tidied. A leaf vacuum saves you energy and time, and they’re much more efficient than rakes and blowers.
- Budget-friendly: Leaf vacuums don’t cost a frightening amount of money. In fact, they often cost less than your average domestic vacuum. Compare our recommendations to see for yourself. So, if you choose a multi-purpose machine, you could save even more on attachments and tools.
- Easy to operate: They may seem like mean machines, but leaf vacuums are lightweight and extremely easy to work with. There’s no learning curve, very little (if any) set-up and maintenance is as simple as it is with traditional vacuums.
How to Choose the Best Leaf Vacuum
It’s almost time to go shopping, but first, consider what you’re looking for in a yard vacuum. Some features may even save you cash in the future. The sort of machine you buy will depend on your yard, and what you need it for.
To make sure that you’re buying the best leaf vacuum for you, ask yourself the following questions.
What Features Does It Have?
It’s worth it to browse through the product specs of machines you’re interested in. That’s the easiest way to determine a vacuum’s value for money. It also shows you how much use you’ll get from it.
For example, some models come with reusable bags, and others will have disposables. Some may be corded, others cordless.
Don’t choose a vacuum with fancy features just because of hype. It’s so much better to pick one that will work for you. Otherwise, you might waste money on something you don’t like.
Which Type of Motor Suits You?
You have a choice in your leaf vacuum’s motor. Electric motors are cheaper, but not as powerful and sometimes not as versatile as you’d like. Gas motors are worse for the air, but are stronger and usually more portable.
It’s self-explanatory, but the biggest difference is that gas motors use fuel and therefore do not need to be plugged into a power source. Electric motors either need to be plugged in or charged before you can use them.
Most electric motors are corded, but there are cordless options on the market. Gas motors, in comparison, are better for heavy-duty work. However, they do release smoke, which could be unpleasant to work around.
Is It a Multi-Purpose Vacuum?
If you’re looking to save even more energy, get a multi-purpose leaf vacuum. These are ones that mulch your leaves, function as blowers and manage damp organic waste.
Chances are, these features won’t cost you extra and if they do, it won’t be exorbitant. Buying a multi-purpose machine saves you the money you’d otherwise spend on different machines.
How Large Is Its Capacity?
Do you need a leaf vacuum for a little lawn or a football field? You have a choice in your leaf vacuum’s size and capacity too. These two specs typically go hand in hand when determining what sort of debris a leaf vacuum can manage.
A small, handheld leaf vacuum probably won’t be able to pick up branches or stones. An industrial-grade backpack leaf vacuum, on the other hand, might.
So, for home use, there’s no need to overdo the size of your machine. A small vacuum with strong suction will be more effective than a large one that barely sucks.
Size Is Everything
The Best Leaf Vacuum Reviews of 2020
We’ve read a ton of product specs and customer reviews — spending hours so you don’t have to! We have five recommendations for you, based on efficiency, size, value for money, features and customer feedback. These are the best leaf vacuums we could find.
1. Toro Blower/Mulcher Vacuum
Customer feedback supports Toro’s claim that it’s the number one electric blower brand. This multi-purpose lead vacuum walks the talk, with strong capacity in vacuuming, blowing and mulching.
It gives you air speeds of up to 235 miles per hour. Built-in is a serrated metal impeller for more efficient leaf shredding. Alongside it is a variable speed motor, which means that you have control over how hard this machine works.
It’s a heavy-duty model that can tackle debris, sticks and heavy leaves. Its mulching capacity can reduce your load up to 16 times its original size. Plus, it comes with a two-year warranty.
Why We Love It
High Mulching Capacity
This model has one of a kind serrated blades that work well at shredding leaves. It could reduce waste up to 16 bags down to one. This saves space and plastic trash bags and is a fantastic environmentally-friendly option.
No Assembly Needed
You do not have to assemble or dismantle anything to switch between the vacuum, blower and mulcher properties of this model. A quick-release latch makes it easy. It’s less hassle and saves you time.
Included with this leaf vacuum are tube attachments for various purposes. You’ll receive a power insert for easier collection of leaves, and a concentrator to move debris out of tight spots. You also get a heavy-duty canvas replacement bag.
Keep In Mind
Not for Wet Leaves
Users recommend only using this vacuum on dry leaves. Customers note that wet leaves easily block the blades of the mulcher in this machine. It could also slow down suction, or reduce mulching capacity.
Note that some customers say that this machine won’t work unless the leaves are thoroughly dry. Even a little bit of damp or moisture could interfere with the machine’s effect.
|Air speed||Max. 235 mph|
|Features||Variable air speed control, quick release latch, cord storage hook, electric motor|
|Accessories||Heavy-duty replacement bag, power insert, concentrator|
2. Worx Blower/Mulcher Vacuum
This model’s specs are on par with our top choice, and it saves you money as well.
You can choose between two speeds to better manage light and heavy loads. It functions as a vacuum, blower and mulcher.
With a mulching ratio of 16:1, you’ll save the same amount of space and waste as the first. It matches the maximum air speed of 250 miles per hour and weighs the same 7.5 pounds.
It seems the only difference is the attachments. With this one, you get a leaf collection bag as well as a concentrator nozzle.
Why We Love It
Customers are pleased with this budget alternative to more popular models. Feedback is excellent, and users are impressed with its efficiency, power and capacity. We like that it saves you a few dollars, without compromising its quality.
There are no complicated locks, switches or dials on this vacuum. Switching between modes is effortless, and attaching or disconnecting the bag and attachments is simple. Users say that they are happy with how little fuss this machine requires.
Satisfied customers say that the mulching capacity with this vacuum is extremely efficient. It works even on heavy debris, twigs and damp leaves. We can all appreciate this vacuum’s power, and it saves some extra effort in preparation.
Keep In Mind
The collection bag included with this vacuum is smaller than that of our top choice. You may have to spend a little extra time on maintenance during cleaning. That said, customers are still happy with this vacuum’s usability.
|Air Speed||Max. 235 mph|
|Features||Two-speed control, electric motor|
|Accessories||Leaf collection bag, concentrator nozzle|
3. Remington Ambush
Here’s a great option if you’re looking for a cordless leaf vacuum. This gas-powered machine can give you air speeds of up to 205 miles per hour, and functions as a blower and mulcher too. A great feature is the variable speed and cruise control.
Patented QuickStart technology brings about effortless operation. The mold handle gives you more comfort, reduces vibration and stabilizes the vacuum. This model comes with a large leaf collection bag and has a mulching ratio of 16:1, matching our top choice.
Its translucent tank is a big help in maintenance and monitoring the vacuum’s fuel. There’s also an extended nozzle that gives you extra reach, reducing effort and strain while you use it.
Why We Love It
Cordless and Handheld
This model runs on gas so there’s no need to plug it in to an electrical power source. It’s a versatile option with greater ease of use, reach and convenience than corded vacuums. It’s lightweight and easy to carry and maneuver.
You can control the speed and consistency of this vacuum’s power. This is handy when dealing with different loads. You can switch it to accommodate light and heavy messes without losing stability or efficiency.
It’s helpful that you can easily monitor how much fuel you have left. Maintenance is easier, and you won’t be surprised by unexpected cuts in power. It also makes it easier to gauge how much fuel you consume during use, to prepare for runs with it.
Keep In Mind
A downside to gas motors is that you have to handle the fuel. There are precautions you should take to avoid hurting yourself, ruining your machine or damaging your health. You’ll have to take extra care to make sure you’re using the gas safely and correctly.
|Air Speed||Max. 205 mph|
|Features||Variable speed control, cruise control, gas motor, translucent fuel tank, mold handle|
|Accessories||Large capacity leaf collection bag, extended output nozzle|
4. Black and Decker 3-In-1 BV6600
You get a lot out of this multi-purpose leaf vacuum. It matches the specs of our top choice, and you get some extras thrown in. The maximum air speed is 250 miles per hour, and its mulching ratio is 16:1.
One notable feature, however, is the noise reduction. It’s 50 percent quieter than previous Black and Decker models and operates at only 68 decibels. There’s also variable speed control, suitable for both delicate and heavy work.
The built-in cord retainer holds the cord in place for more stability, preventing power cuts while you work. This model uses an EZ-Empty reusable collection bag, making it a green option that saves you money and time.
Why We Love It
We like the EZ-Empty reusable bag that comes with this vacuum. It’s designed for ease of use, so your maintenance time is reduced too. The high mulching capacity also means that you’ll waste fewer trash bags as well.
Leaf vacuums can be loud and frustrating to deal with, but this model keeps noise levels down. It runs at 68 decibels, much quieter than other models. You can tidy in peace, without disturbing those around you.
The cord retainer makes a difference in the versatility and maneuverability of this vacuum. You don’t have to worry too much about accidentally disconnecting the machine, and it won’t cut out while in use. It gives you consistent cleaning and is a great feature for a corded vacuum.
Keep In Mind
Unlike other models, this vacuum doesn’t switch easily between its different modes. So, you’ll have to attach different tubes for vacuuming and blowing. Customers don’t mind this too much, but it’s worth noting the extra bit of preparation needed.
Bag Isn’t Durable
Though the EZ-Empty bag is an environmentally-friendly option, some customers have commented on its strength (or lack thereof). They’ve reported rips, tears and flimsiness. Still, buyers are satisfied with Black and Decker’s customer service in replacing faulty bags.
|Air Speed||Max. 250 mph|
|Features||Variable speed control, electric motor, 68-decibel motor|
|Accessories||EZ-Empty reusable collection bag, vacuum tube, blow tube, concentrator|
5. Black and Decker 3-In-1 BV3100
This Black and Decker leaf vacuum is the best choice for you if there’s no need for heavy-duty work. Its capacity is slightly less than others, but it’s more than enough for small yards, tasks and loads. With it, you’ll reach air speeds of up to 210 miles per hour, and it has a mulching ratio of 10:1.
Though it’s made for moderate loads, you still get a choice of two speeds. So you can switch between light and heavy loads. It functions as a blower too and comes with a vacuum tube and blow tube to switch between the two modes.
Why We Love It
Like our other Black and Decker choice, this vacuum will produce less noise when in use. It runs at 69 decibels, so you won’t have to deal with an overbearing racket while you clean. Since it’s best for residential cleaning, this reduction is handy for you and those around you.
It doesn’t lack the sophistication of stronger models. So, you still get speed control to better manage different loads. Though it’s best suited for moderate work, it can still be adjusted to handle heavier debris. It works well on light piles too.
This vacuum only weighs 7 pounds and is the lightest of our favorites. It’s easy to hold, carry and move, so you’ll save energy and effort when you use it. Customers note that this machine is ergonomic and easy to handle.
Keep In Mind
The collection bag with this vacuum is smaller than users hoped it would be. This isn’t a problem so long as you use it as intended — for moderate or light loads. It will give you a little more maintenance though, so be prepared.
|Air Speed||Max. 210 mph|
|Features||2-speed control, electric motor, 69-decibel motor|
|Accessories||Standard collection bag, vacuum tube, blow tube|
6. TECCPO 3-in-1
This model may not be as popular as others, but the customer feedback it’s received so far is excellent. It has all the features you need for efficient yard vacuuming. Even better, you can use it as a blower and mulcher too.
It’s ergonomically designed and can reach air speeds of up to 210 miles per hour. It can hold 40 liters of dirt and is excellent on both wet and dry leaves. The mulching ratio is 16:1, and it includes four vacuum tubes for precision and versatility.
Why We Love It
Forty liters is more than enough for residential use. Maintenance is reduced, as is the need for trash bags. It’s a green option that saves you time and effort.
It weighs a little bit more than others, but you won’t strain your back or arms while using this vacuum. The ergonomic design means more comfort and easier utilization for you.
You can use this model to manage both wet and dry leaves. We like that this vacuum does everything — vacuuming, mulching and blowing all types of debris.
Keep In Mind
This brand doesn’t have as much street credibility as others do, so more feedback may be needed. For now, customers are pleased with this vacuum and reviews are almost perfect.
|Air Speed||Max. 210 mph|
|Features||Variable speed, wet/dry capacity, shock resistance|
|Accessories||Collection bag, 4 vacuum tubes, bag strap|
Another lesser-known model, this gas vacuum is handy for small jobs. It reaches a maximum air speed of 165 miles per hour. Plus, it works as a vacuum, mulcher with a ratio of 12:1, and a blower.
It’s ergonomically designed to reduce user fatigue, and it incorporates a locking collar for stability during operation.
Why We Love It
Easy to Use
Customers note that this vacuum is easy to get going and consistent once it’s running. There is no hassle to operate it, and users complement its engineering.
The lock function built into this vacuum comes in handy. It keeps the vacuum tubes in place, giving you more control and precision while you use it.
This vacuum is designed to reduce user fatigue and strain. Combined with the features mentioned above, this makes a wonderful vacuum for light work. You won’t struggle to hold, carry or operate it.
Keep In Mind
Since it’s a gas model with a smaller capacity than others, you will have to spend a little more time maintaining it in between use. However, this doesn’t detract from its efficiency and is well worth the extra effort.
|Air Speed||Max. 165 mph|
|Features||2-stroke engine, locking collar, curved blowing tube, variable speed|
|Accessories||Powerhead, tubes, collection bag, oil|
|Toro Blower/Mulcher||Customer Favorite||7.5 lbs||Yes||Yes||Max. 235 mph||Heavy-duty replacement bag, power insert, concentrator|
|Worx Blower/Mulcher||Budget Alternative||7.5 lbs||Yes||Yes||Max. 235 mph||Leaf collection bag, concentrator nozzle|
|Remington Ambush||Gas Leaf Vacuum||12.58 lbs||Yes||Yes||Max. 205 mph||Large capacity leaf collection bag, extended output nozzle|
|Black and Decker BV6600||Value for Money||8.1 lbs||Yes||Yes||Max. 250 mph||EZ-Empty reusable collection bag, vacuum tube, blow tube, concentrator|
|Black and Decker BV3100||For Moderate Work||7 lbs||Yes||Yes||Max. 210 mph||Standard collection bag, vacuum tube, blow tube|
|TECCPO 3-in-1||Newcomer||8.76 lbs||Yes||Yes||Max. 210 mph||Collection bag, 4 vacuum tubes, bag strap|
|Echo Blower/Mulching||For Light Work||12.6 lbs||Yes||Yes||Max. 165 mph||Powerhead, tubes, collection bag, oil|
Leaf vacuums are the most efficient way to clear organic debris from your lawn, driveway, yard or garden. You’ll save an immense amount of both time and effort if you invest in one. They’re far more efficient than other manual garden tools, like rakes or garden brooms.
These vacuums don’t cost too much, and usually come equipped with everything you need to make the most of outdoor cleaning. They’re generally better for the environment and are easy to operate too.
We shared our picks of the best leaf vacuums, but we’d love to hear which one is your favorite. Do you see one you like? Let us know in the comments.