Leaf Vacuum Buyers Guide
Are you responsible for maintaining an outdoor area maybe a small lawn, patio or decking area. If you find the task of clearing leaves and other debris tiresome especially during the fall there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the leaf vacuum.
Leaf vacuums are a great addition to any tool shed arsenal. We all have our personal preferences on what makes a good garden vacuum, but you always want the absolute best blower possible, and so we’re here to help.
- What is a Leaf Vacuum?
- Recommended Leaf Vacuums
- What to consider before buying a Unit?
- Different Types of Leaf Vacuums/Blowers
- Outdoor Area Size
What is a Leaf Vacuum?
The vacuums purpose is quite clear to make tidying your garden both quick and easy without it becoming a chore. Most blower models are available with multi-functionality offering vacuum, blowing and shredding functions.
The Garden vacuums will come in various shapes and sizes and will make quick work of sucking up those stubborn leaves in all seasons giving you a great clear view of your outdoor area.
With all the vacuums on the market there are loads of options but common among all the collectors is that they are designed in such a way that they will not vacuum up either soil or pebbles. This functionality is a real draw if you want to show your flower beds in their full glory.
What are the key Considerations?
Before parting with any money you will need to consider an number of points that will affect you choosing the correct vacuum for your
Another consideration is the weight of the vacuum; since many models will be portable you may need to lift the vac for a sustained period of time so you need to ensure you will be capable of lifting the weight. If you think that you will strain your back and arms then ensure you pick a model that comes with a shoulder strap, the strap will help in reducing your fatigue.
The greatest consideration will often be the cost of the vacuum. If money is no option then you may consider purchasing single function models from reputable manufacturers whilst if money is a problem then you will find the best deals are found by purchasing multi-functioned vacs that include blower, shredder and vacuuming functions.
Some people love buying a specific tool to do a specific job since they feel it will do the job the best. However if you lack storage space you may be inclined to get a model that offers dual functionality.
Outdoor Area Size and Leaf Vacuums
Small Outdoor Areas
I would class a small garden as an area no bigger than 20 square metres. With an area this small it should be possible to clear leaves and debris with a handheld electric blower/vacuum. If you do pick an electric model with a cable ensure the cable is of adequate length to reach all corners of the outdoor area.
Large Outdoor Areas
The larger the outdoor are the greater the power you will need to clear the debris. The best suited vacs for this job are petrol leaf vacuums. They are portable, offer great power but can be noisier than their electric counterparts. There are numerous models to choose from but I would recommend a backpack model as the weight from the blower will be transferred to your back reducing fatigue.
Big Open Outdoor Areas
If you are lucky to have a big open area to look after then walking around with a portable blower will be a tough task. You would be better served by choosing a wheeled leaf vacuum/blower. They will make quick and easy work of big gardens and patio areas. And they often will come with substantial collection bags between 50 and 100 gallons.
Different Types of Leaf Vacuums and Blowers
Portable Handheld Electric Leaf Blowers
If a corded electric blower does not reach the nooks and crannies of your garden then you may pick the handheld mode. These are the quietest blowers so you will not be disturbing your neighbours. They are lightweight so should not strain you back. The portability suits the vac being used in small gardens and can comfortably clear areas using a jet of air. Operating such a blower is simple they generally have an on/off button. Like all portable equipment the model will only be as good as it battery. Most blowers will come with a lithium ion battery offering between 6 to 10 hours of use, but at high speeds the battery will need recharging at more frequent intervals.
Features to look out for in a handheld leaf Vacuum
- Check out the battery, try to go for a model with a lithium ion battery since it will provide both more power and a longer runtime
- Look out for what accessories come with the vac, ensure it comes with a narrow nozzle attachment so that you can clear leaves from all nooks and crannies
Corded Electric Leaf Vacuum
If you want more power than a cordless blower but do not want excess noise associated with a petrol blower then you could consider the corded Electric Leaf Vacuum. Like their cordless counterparts these models will operate quietly. Being corded they will not need to be rechardeg between tasks, so you can get a job completed in one go.
Features to look out for in a Corded Electric Leaf Vacuum
- Ensure the length of cable is appropriate to the size of the garden.
- You must have an adequately positioned power point to plug the blower into.
- You may need to invest in some ear defenders.
Gas/Petrol Leaf blowers
If you have a large garden you may want to invest in a petrol blower. They can generate greater air flow then electric models some upwards of 350 cubic feet per minute. This air flow will make easy work of clearing the area. However due to the nature of the machine it will be noisy. Another consequence of the motor and fuel is that the weight of the blower will be greater than an equivalent electric vacuum.
Features to look out for in a petrol leaf blower
- Look out for an ‘easy start’ model since they are much easier to get going than other petrol leaf blowers.
- A variable speed blower will help you to keep control of the leaves.
- Check that the model comes with a shoulder strap or harness to help reduce fatigue.
- Ear-defenders and goggles are a must.
- Consider a backpack petrol blower since the weight will be concentrated on the users back, reducing fatigue.
Wheeled/Push Leaf Vacuums
If you have a very large outdoor area then the corded blower will not have a long enough cable and the weight of the petrol vacuum will lead to certain fatigue. The best option in such a scenario is to pick wheeled machines that are supplied with large collection boxes. This makes the job of gathering leaves and other debris from large areas, quick and easy. These machines can either be towed behind or pushed like a traditional indoor vacuum. These tend to be the more expensive blowers.
Features to look out for in a Wheeled/Push Leaf Vacuums
- Size of the collector box
- Does the model offer multi-functioned operation including vacuuming and blowing.
Multi-Function Vacuums and Blowers
To save time and if space is at a premium you may want to invest in a multi-function blower/vacuum. These models will allow the collected material to be shredded into fine material. The shredding will allow for more for more waste to be collected in the same storage bag and the waste will be ready for composting. Depending on the type of vac you buy it can be as simple as flicking a switch to change the models function.
Best Leaf Vacuums
Below you will find a list of the top leaf vacuums/blowers on the market today. Don’t start salivating just yet, lets take a look at what’s on this guide.
Toro 51619 Ultra Blower/Vac
- Powerful vacuum/blower up to 250 mph
- Variable speed control for better control in both blower and vac mode
- Top rated air horse power degree degree for comparison purposes only.
- Performance claims based on controlled laboratory testing.
- Perfect for getting the leaves out of the yard.
- Unit is simple to operate.
- Easy to assemble.
- Very easy to use, you just have to plug it in. There is no bothering with gas or hard starting
- Some users have commented that it doesn’t come with a long cord but you can easily attach it to an extension cord so that it can reach further.
“Excellent, this thing will blow your socks off. If you don’t mind a little fumbling with an electric cord and planning your rout to clear the cord of obstacles I highly recommend it. I found the power to be more than adequate and controllable.“
Ken Cloverdale, Amazon Customer Review
“Shockingly powerful, it has a dial that directly and easily adjusts the speed. It comes with adjustable tips that can drive the velocity even higher. I have not needed them. The case is plastic but very tough. It feels sturdy but relatively light in my hands. I have not used it as a vacuum but probably will at some point. It has a nice leaf bag and vacuum nozzle. This is a very nice piece of equipment. I happily recommend it.“
E R Jones, Amazon Customer Review
“Top rated blower by CR. I purchased this for my mother and she absolutely loves it! She asked me to leave the following review: “even on lowest setting it powerfully pulls the leaves out of the bushes; so easy to use I can blow really fast: saves so much time; not heavy at all; I would recommend it to anyone & give it a 10+.”“
J Glass, Amazon Customer Review
The Toro 51619 Ultra Blower/Vac has been reviewed by 2853 customers on Amazon with an rating of 4.5/5.0. Click Here – See Price on Amazon
Black and Decker LSWV36 40V Lithium Ion Sweeper/Vac
The Black and Decker LSWV36 is small but it packs a punch. It features a lithium ion rechargeable battery which has a longer life cycle than Ni-Cad batteries and also holds its charge longer.
The battery life is more than enough for a single job, and with the press of a button you can find out how much power is remaining so there’s no need to blindly charge it every time. Click Here – See Price on Amazon
- Rechargeable 40v battery for easy use without extension cords
- Easily converts to vacuum mode for quick and easy vacuuming of debris from hard surfaces like patios, decks, garages and walkways
- Power Command controls speed for maximum run-time or maximum power.
- Blow tube has built-in scraper allows users to loosen matted leaves and stuck-on debris.
- Powerful 40-volt lithium ion rechargeable battery delivers the power with long run-time to complete the toughest jobs.
- Variable Power Command controls speed for maximum run-time or maximum power.
- Light Weight so can be carried for longer periods without causing fatigue
- Compact Design will make the vacuum easy to store.
- Relatively Low Noise so you should have no problems with neighbours
- Fast Charging Time (1-2 hours)
- A Long running time at about 30 minutes or so based on a full charge.
- Comes with Sweeping & Vac modes
- Switches from sweeper to vacuum in less than 2 minutes
- Some customers thought that the blower/vac was great but a somewhat pricey.
“I’ve been using it for just over 2 years as a leaf vacuum around my pool. I consider it one of my smartest purchases. Picks up virtually everything and dumping the collected mulched leaves from its bag couldn’t be easier. In frequent use, it’s only clogged twice and unclogging was not too difficult. The only thing I wish it had was a wide attachment like a vacuum cleaner that would let you vacuum a wider path.“
TL, Amazon Customer Review
“Five stars because I love the freedom of no cord. BUT: If you are a right handed user the intake is continually sucking your clothes into it if you are blowing.
Have to hold it away from your body a lot farther than is comfortable. Aggravating!!! Maybe Black and Decker could manufacture a right or left handed blower. Excellent battery. Lots of power.“
P Phillips, Amazon Customer Review
“I love this unit! Its actually lighter in weight than my old corded electric blower/vacuum. It has plenty of power and good battery life. Certainly better than dragging a 100′ electrical cord around. Though it doesn’t have the power of a gas model, you don’t have to mess with fuel, the noise, or the fumes. This was a good choice for me.“
Jacqueline Harris, Amazon Customer Review
The Black and Decker LSWV36 Sweeper/Vac has been reviewed by 810 customers on Amazon and has been given a impressive customer score of 4.1 out of 5.0. Click Here – See Price on Amazon
If you are keen at keeping your garden at its best then you may want to invest in a leaf vacuum to enable making tidying your garden both quick and easy. There is a huge array of leaf blowers and vacuums on the market so use the information to pick the best leaf vacuum for you.