An electric leaf blower that is able to double up as leaf vacuum is something that many gardeners find to be incredibly useful. Most models include a mulching function which means that you can quickly vacuum your garden debris, mulch it as it collects into the bag and then conveniently dump it ready for composting.
With these machines, you’ll still have the versatility to use them as a conventional blower for cleaning up or drying surfaces, like after you’ve washed the car or drying the patio after a rain shower. With prices ranging from a little more than $50 for a good quality corded model, they are super cheap, easy to use and require little to maintenance. There really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t own one.
Looking through the countless options available to you can be an arduous task and few will find the time to do all the research needed. So before you go out and buy one, take a look at our selection of the best leaf vacuums. We’ve taken the trouble to look for reputable blower/vacuums that offer exceptional value for money. We’ve looked into every aspect from price to function and also taken into account the experience of people who own and use them.
Best Leaf Vacuums for your Garden 2018
There are quite a few options on our list, so take the time to read this review and by the time you’re through, you’ll have a good idea of which one will suit you. There are different price options and the specs vary but they all have one thing in common. The Leaf vacuums that have made it onto our 2018 list have come highly recommended and offer the best bang for your buck. All you need to do is decide which one meets your requirements and fits into your budget.
1. GreenWorks 24322 G-MAX 40V 185MPH Variable Speed Cordless Blower/Vac
This is by far the most expensive model on our list. This is mostly because it is the only battery-powered leaf vacuum that we’re reviewing here. The cost of battery tool is going to be more expensive than an equivalent that uses a cord that plugs into an electric socket. Of course, the advantage of using a battery is the mobility it offers you. If your yard is too big to easily reach all the perimeters using an extension cord, your only option is gas or battery. These days, most people prefer battery because it’s quieter, easier to use and doesn’t require the maintenance and starting hassles of gas machines.
As far battery operated garden tools go, GreenWorks is one of the top brands and they have put a lot of effort into making their machines very energy efficient, as well as improving their battery technology to give you a really good working time between recharging the battery. The GreenWorks 24322 uses their G-Max 40V, 4AH battery which, combined with the DigiPro brushless motor gives an exceptional operating time. You could get as long as 60 minutes run time from the battery if you use it economically. Even if you’re making good use of the heaps of power at your disposal, you can easily work for 30 minutes or more on a single charge. With two batteries, you could complete most gardening tasks in a single go, by changing the battery halfway through.
It’s very light for a battery machine. Because of the battery, these tools will generally be a bit heavier than a corded machine with the same capabilities. None the less, the GreenWorks 24322 weighs only 5.6 LBS and is really comfortable and easy to use, thanks to the double handle design and soft grip on the main, upper, handle. It has a variable speed control that is within easy reach, you can toggle the power setting with your thumb. There’s no need to keep a trigger switch continuously depressed while you work.
It performs very well compared to other battery powered equivalents, being able to blast at 185 MPH at full speed with a 340 CFM air flow capacity. This is enough power to handle both wet and dry leaves. With durable air nozzles, you’re able to choose between a narrow-angle attachment for concentrated, high-speed blowing or a wider attachment that is better for blowing or vacuuming a greater area.
GreenWorks is renowned for producing gardening tools of the highest quality standard, so making this purchase can be done with confidence. The GreenWorks 24322 is backed by an amazing 4-year limited warranty. I’m familiar with their warranty agreement and I know that it’s one of the best. The limitations are very basic and it’s unlikely that anyone should have problems if you legitimately make a claim under the warranty. Another bonus is the wide range of GreenWorks products that share the same G-Max battery – everything from lawn mowers and trimmers to a chainsaw. This means that you can get a full range of garden tools that all use the same battery. This can be a massive saving on battery costs and very convenient.
2. Toro 51619 Ultra Blower/Vac
This is an extremely powerful leaf blower and vacuum combination, with the added bonus of a steel impeller mulching function. The Toro 51619 is worth every cent of its slightly above average price. Its performance is well above average and for those who require some extra power, this one will meet your expectations.
It has a superior mulching capability, thanks to the excellently designed steel impellers. The Toro 51619 is able to mulch 88% of all garden debris to less than half an inch – excellent for making your own compost effortlessly. Able to move the air at an astounding 250 MPH and a volume of 410 CFM, it should (quite literally) blow you away. You’ll be hard pressed to find another electric blower that can match this kind of power. With a narrow concentrator nozzle and a wide angle nozzle, you can choose between airspeed or air volume depending on the task at hand.
At 8.5 LBS with a very comfortable handle, using the Toro 51619 is a breeze. The variable speed control gives you infinite power control, though it’s not as convenient as models that use a toggle control or trigger switch. The power is controlled using a round dial below the handle. It’s not difficult to use but it does require two hands to adjust the speed whilst holding the machine. Other than this slight inconvenience, it’s made super easy to use and store. The bag has a bottom zipper that’s very durable and makes emptying the bag as easy as it gets. It has a clip for the power cable to prevent it from pulling loose and a cord storage hook that allows you to wind the cord easily along the length of the machine when storing.
Changing from blower operation to vacuum is also made incredibly easy with a quick-release latch. The Torro 51619 comes with an excellent array of handy attachments. Not only do you get both a wide and narrow-angle nozzle, like most blowers, but it also has a selection of reducer attachments that further reduce the nozzle orifice. This means that you can concentrate the, already very power airflow, to blast away even the most stubborn dirt.
With amazing power specs, a high-quality mulcher and excellent attachments, the Torro 516619 is hard to beat. It comes with a full 2-year warranty.
3. WORX WG518 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vac
This brand is known for their no-nonsense approach to gardening tools. Almost as solid as much more expensive brands, Worx tools are durable and tough enough for home users and offer great value for money. Simple technology, designed to get the job done with very few bells and whistles.
The Worx WG518 is almost as powerful as the mighty Toro that we just looked at, moving the air at 250 MPH with a volume of 400 CFM. It doesn’t have variable speed control but instead, a two position switch gives you the choice of 250 MPH top speed or 160 MPH low speed. It has a high-quality mulcher that’s also made from steel. It mulches at a ratio of 16:1 so you’re going to get compost-ready debris once it’s done doing the work for you.
The nozzle has an end attachment that will narrow it down for increased blowing power when needed. Its weight might be a little disappointing for those looking for a light machine. At 10.8 LBS, it’s a bit of a heavy-weight compared to many of the others. A well-designed handle does make it relatively easy to wield the heavier blower about.
If you’re looking for a basic leaf blower that also works as a leaf vacuum and mulcher with a fantastic level of power, the Worx WG518 is the one to go for. At a very reasonable price for a machine with kind of power, you really can’t go wrong. Quality is right up there with the best of them and it’s backed by a 3-year warranty with very few limitations.
4. BLACK+DECKER BV5600 High-Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher
Black & Decker is another brand that offers great value for money, offering tools with a reasonable spec level and good build quality. In most respects, the Black & Decker BV5600 is very similar to the Worx model that we’ve just looked at.
It also has a two-speed control with a maximum speed of 250 MPH (no specs are given for CFM, but I presume it will be very similar to the Worx model). It also has a steel mulcher with a 16:1 ratio. It doesn’t have the reducer nozzle and it’s a little heavier at 14.3 LBS. Though the extra weight is made more manageable with a better handle design, giving you the option to use it one or two hands, this will certainly help for people who find it to be a touch on the heavy side.
Where the Black & Decker is an outright winner is in its noise level of only 68dBA. No other electric leaf blower models give specs for sound levels, but I don’t think any can compare to the Black & Decker. To give you an idea of how quiet this is – an average conversational voice measures 65dB. So the sound of the BlacK & Decker BV5600 is at about the same level as a normal conversation. This is great for people who have fussy neighbors, quick to complain about even the slightest noise.
So, at a very similar price to the Worx WG 518, the Black & Decker BV5600 compares very closely with some better aspects and some that aren’t quite as good as its rival. It really depends on what is more important to you in terms of noise vs weight because they’re both equally good. The Black & Decker BV5600 comes with a 2-year warranty.
5. Ivation Leaf Blower / Vacuum / Mulcher
For a price that’s lower than the most of the others, the Ivation doesn’t make too many compromises. It’s a durable blower-vacuum-mulcher with steel impellers on the mulcher so it matches in terms of quality.
It’s slightly less powerful than the others with a single speed of 230 MPH. Its mulching ratio is slightly less impressive too at 10:1. It also doesn’t have a narrow-angle nozzle for power blasting. Considering the lower price tag, these specs are very reasonable.
For the rest, it compares well to any of the others, weighing around 10 LBS with a comfortable handle. The power is managed by a simple on/off trigger switch.
As a cost effective option with very similar specs to the others, the Ivation is a good buy. It should not be considered to be of lower quality because of its lower price, it’s a very basic well-built leaf blower/vacuum for those who don’t want to spend extra on the more advanced features and extra power of the others.
6. Black + Decker BV3600 12-Amp Blower Vac
The Black & Decker BV3600 has two speed settings – 180 MPH at low speed and 230 MPH at top speed. The mulch ratio is the same as the Ivation at 10:1. While not as quiet as the more expensive Black & Decker model, it’s only one decibel higher at 69 dBA and is still one of the quietest that you’ll find.
Weighing only 8.1 LBS with a two position handle set up, it must be one of the easiest to use. It has an anti-clog vortex impeller for mulching made from durable plastic, perhaps not as good the others that use steel but it should handle most garden debris with ease.
As the two cheapest options on the list, the Black & Decker BV3600 and Ivation Blower-Vacuums compare very well to one another. Choosing between the two will come down to personal preference. The steel mulching impeller on the Ivation may prove to be better if you have harder twigs in your garden debris. On the other hand, like the other Black & Decker, this one could win you over with its quiet operation.
7. Toro 51609 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed (up to 235) Electric Blower/Vacuum with Metal Impeller
At first, it may not seem worth considering the Toro 51609 if you compare it to the newer 51619 that we looked in the beginning of this review. This older model is not quite as powerful and it costs a bit more. For the rest, they are almost identical, with one difference. The Toro 51609 weighs a bit more – 10 LBS.
So why would you want to pay more for older technology that doesn’t quite match the power of the new one? The heavier weight comes with a more robust design, so the older model is somewhat tougher than the new one. In an effort to cut on cost and weight, some of the stronger materials in the old model have been replaced.
I’m not saying that the newer Toro is a load of junk, far from it. It’s just that the previous model is that bit more durable and there are those who prefer older, tougher technology. If you’re one of those who sees the value this, paying more for the older model will be worth it.
They look the same and have all the same features and attachments. The only difference is the weight, price, and power. The Toro 51609 has a top speed of 235 MPH and an air volume of 390 CFM compared to 250 MPH and 410 CFM for the new model. I’m sure most will prefer the new model but this one deserves a mention.