What to look for when shop for the best leaf vacuum mulcher:
If you need to take care of your lawn but tired of raking all those leaves and bending over to scoop them into bags, leaf vacuum mulchers could be your best friends. They can pick up and mulch these leaves. Mulching not only facilitates bagging leaves but also gives you hearty mulch for free. You may have wondered what is the best leaf vacuum mulcher in the market. At leafmulcherguide.com, we reviewed a few most popular leaf vacuum mulchers to help you find your ideal one.
Top 3 Leaf Vacuum Mulchers Quick Comparison
What are the key features:
Mulching reduction ratio
For example, you have a leaf vacuum with a mulcher reduction ratio of 10:1. That means 10 bags of dry leaves after mulching could fit in one bag. Apparently, you want this ratio as high as possible.
Gas or Electric
Gas mulchers run on gas. It gives you freedom to walk around your big lawn. It is usually more powerful and heavy. With gas powered mulchers, you probably need to spend a bit time maintaining and winterizing an engine. In general, please do not leave the gas in the tank for a long time. It could damage leaf mulchers. If you use the leaf vacuum mulcher for your lawn once a year, the gas mulcher probably is not for you. You may want to go for electric one.
Most of the electric ones are with power cord. Obviously, your yard can not be too big unless there are power outlets everywhere, which is not that practical. There are few electric leaf vacuum mulchers that have lithium battery. Now, you can carry them around in your yard without the restraint of power cord. However, those units are usually less powerful than the corded ones. Whether buy gas or electric ones, you have decide which suits you best in your situation.
Metal Impeller or Not
Most of units nowadays come with metal impellers. They are usually more durable than plastic impellers. Also, vacuum mulchers with metal impeller are usually not as easily got clogged as the ones with plastic ones.
CFM and MPH
CFM stands for Cubic Feet Per Minute of airflow. MPH is for miles per hour. These two number describe how powerful your vacuum or blower is. Apparently, the higher those numbers are, the more power your unit is.
You will carry this thing around in your backyard. Ideally, you want it to be as light as possible. But, it often trades off with motor power.
Top-Rated Leaf Vacuum Mulcher Reviews:
Having said all these, let us look at a few top rated leaf vacuum mulchers in the market.
Toro 51609 Ultra Blower/Vacuum/Leaf Mulcher (updated version 51619)
Toro offers a line of products that is a combination of leaf vacuum, mulcher and blower, 3 in 1 unit. The Toro 51609 Ultra is one of the most popular products from this line. Its powerful vacuum makes it easy to remove the leaves from the back yard. In terms of its mulching reduction ratio, it reduces the size of leaves up to 16 to 1 ratio with its metal impeller. The unit could be easily converted from vacuum to blower mode, which requires no tools. The Ultra moves air at the maximum speed of 235 mph. Furthermore, its power is adjustable to suit different needs. This could be useful when close to the edge of the lawn. The Toro Ultra does what it says. It has been very popular and received lots of positive reviews from communities. We highly recommend this product. It should be noted that Toro starts to offer a slightly upgraded model, the Toro 51619 Ultra.
If Toro 51609 or 51619 is a little too expensive for you, Toro 51618 might be a good candidate for you to look into. The Toro 51618 super model features 225 mph maximum airspeed and up to 10:1 mulching ratio. It is less expensive and lighter but less powerful than the ultra model. If you want something packed with more power. Then, you might want to check out Toro 51621 UltraPlus (the product link).
WORX WG509 Electric TriVac Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum
The WORX WG509 has a 12-amp motor with a maximum air volume of 350 cfm and a top speed of 210 mph. It weighs about 8.4 lbs. It is very good at picking up and mulching dry leaves. The mulching ratio is up to 18:1 for its leaf mulcher. With a press of one button, you can then take off the nozzle to access impeller if necessary. To switch between vacuum and blower mode is pretty much effortless with a lever. No assembly needed. This is a big plus when compared with other models from competitors.
If WORX WG509 is a bit beyond your budget, you take a look at the less expensive WORX WG505. The WORX WG508 model is another option you may want to explore. It offers a slightly more mph (up to 240 mph) with the price of WG505. It comes with a trade-off though. WORX WG508 needs a bit assembly to do the conversion.
Black & Decker BV3600 High Performance Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher
Black and Decker has been a strong player in the field of power tools for a long time. The BV3600 has been one of its most popular leaf vacuum mulcher solutions. For mulching or shredding, it can grind up to ten bags of leaves down to one. The 12 amp motor is also capable of max 230 mph speed. Changing to vacuum model is easy and requires no tools .
One common question about BV5600 series is what is the difference among BV5600, BV6000 and BV6600. First of all, they are all very similar, power and performance wise. But, BV5600 or BV6000 offers two speed selections while BV6600 has a variable speed selection. BV6000 and BV6600 come with a disposable leaf bag system when BV5600 does not.
This is a lightweight (relatively speaking among gas powered devices) gas powered unit. It offers 470 CFM for vacuum and 170 mph top air speed. The product is geared more to customers that need the freedom that the gas powered devices can offer and yet do not care about power too much. Husqvarna 125BVx has a plastic impeller but with added metal cutter. Its reduction ratio of the leaf mulcher is up to 16:1. Its motor is very easy to start. Overall, this is a reliable product backed by 2 year warranty. One thing should be noted though that in general you need to take extra care of gas powered devices. Please do not leave gas in tank for a long time. It can eventually do damage to your unit.
Black and Decker LSWV36 40V Lithium Ion Sweeper/Vac
Black and Decker LSWV36 runs off a 40-volt lithium battery. It is cordless, light and easy to carry around. It only weights about 5.4 pounds for sweeper configuration and roughly 6.9 pounds in vacuum mode. It blows up to 120 mph. Apparently, it is not as powerful as those corded or gas powered ones. But, it could be perfect for you if you only need to clean driveways and usually those hard surfaces off the leaves or grass clippings.
Obviously, the LSWV36 from Black and Decker is not for everyone but could be somewhat attractive to those who are willing to trade off power for the portability.
Need Commercial Leaf or Lawn Vacuum with Mulching?
Most of people come to this site looking for regular leaf vacuum mulchers. But, you may have a very big lawn to care for. The regular ones may not cut it. Here is a very popular brand for professional lawn mulchers for your reference. Definitely not cheap though. Check the price by yourself. You will be surprised how much they actually cost. Here is the Billy Goat KV600 (walk behind model).
So which model is the best leaf vacuum mulcher?
Apparently, it depends on your situation. For electric units, the Toro 51609 (updated version 51619) Ultra could be the best leaf vacuum mulcher for you in general. It is reliable and does what it says. Having said that, if you prefer easy switching between vacuum and blower mode, the WORX WG509 could be your choice. Black & Decker has also been a strong player in this area. For gas ones, you might want to explore brands like Husqvarna.