Best Blower Vacuum Mulcher

Best Blower Vacuum Mulcher – People have the idea that using a leaf vacuum is a lot like vacuuming indoors, as if you just move smoothly along leaving a clean path behind you. It’s not that simple. If that’s what you want, a lawn mower with a bag works better. Leaf vacuums do have their place in cleaning up yard debris in the great outdoors, but it’s up to you to find their optimal use.

Our test results show they are more effective at removing leaves from hard surfaces than a lawn. For example, they work well at removing leaves from concrete, pavers, flag stone, brick, and asphalt.

ROUND UP

1.Schröder Leaf Blower

The Stihl earns Editors’ Choice by offering a combination of leaf-pulling power and resistance to clogging, even with damp, wet, and mixed debris. Its tubes are easy to mount (align the marks on the blower and the tube, push the pieces together, and turn the large plastic mounting nut). Detaching the tube to switch back to blower mode takes more work, though.

You have to push a screwdriver through a slot in the housing to engage a flexible mounting tab in order to unlock the tube. It’s not difficult, but it took us a few tries before we got to be fast at it. The collection bag slips off the discharge tube easily, and its large zipper opens the bag quickly. Demerits? We can’t think of one. This is a fine, dealer-only product.

2.Echo X692000190

The Echo is an outstanding machine and nearly as clog-resistant as the Stihl. It handled dry and uniform debris easily, gobbling it up at full throttle, quickly filling its bag. It fell behind the Stihl only in the mixed- and damp-debris tests. But, frankly, the difference in power between the two is small. Conversion from blower to vacuum is fast and easy. In this respect, it was the best of the three gas-engine machines.

To remove the vacuum tube, grip the large plastic lugs molded into tube and twist it off. The debris bag, held with a large Velcro strap, is easy to mount and empty. The machine received only one small demerit, and that was for the fixed-position sliding on/off switch. Our experience shows that a momentary rocker switch is better because after the machine is switched off, the switch automatically springs back to Start. We inadvertently went to restart the Echo in the off position when we remembered to switch it to on.

3.Husqvarna 545119801

The Husqvarna is very well built, starts extremely easily (with one pull), and handles dry leaves with a vengeance. It did clog, however, when gathering damp mixed debris, such as oak leaves and pine needles. We were mystified by that, since it has more than enough airflow. We suspect that its vacuum tubes, which are slightly narrower and longer than others, may be the culprits. A deal breaker? No.

We did have a beef, however, with its bag attachment, which is by means of a heavy-duty spring sewn into the bag’s collar. Its grip on the discharge tube is so tenacious that once attached, the bag cannot be easily removed. You end up lugging the filled bag and the machine to dump the shredded contents. Given that a bag of shredded debris weighs anywhere from 5 to 12 pounds (according to our tests), that’s inconvenient.

4.WORX WG514

This Worx is, hands down, the easiest machine to switch from blower to vacuum. Its tube stays put. You simply turn a dial on the machine’s side to rotate the motor 90 degrees. Easily slip the vacuum collection bag into place over the impeller; just press on the bag’s small spring-loaded collar and release when it’s seated. We timed it as taking less than 20 seconds. It’s a brilliant piece of engineering.

And this Worx is no slouch when it comes to scooping up dried leaves. Its 12-amp motor is up to the job. Still, it won’t compete with the gas-engine machines, particularly with damp debris or when loads of twigs are mixed. Also, you do notice that cord drag as adding to the machine’s weight once its bag starts filling up, and with dried consistently shaped leaves, it can fill that bag in minutes.

5.Greenworks 40V

The Greenworks proves how far 40 volts will take you today.  A long way, as it turns out. We ran out of leaves before its battery ran out of juice. We see this machine as filling a role in conjunction with the trimmer and mower—the mower handles the grass and some leaf bagging, the trimmer cleans up the edges.

You blow the remaining leaves into a pile and quickly switch to vacuum mode by flipping down the impeller hatch, detaching the blower tube with a simple press on the detent. Then click the oval-shaped vacuum tube into place over the impeller. The debris bag has a stubby collar on it that clicks into place where the blower tube was located.

6.Toro 51621

We haven’t used this Toro yet, but if it’s anything like its predecessor, it’s an air-moving beast. An important design feature that distinguishes this machine from its competitors is that it has a metal impeller, not one made from high-impact plastic.

We didn’t notice any impeller breakage on our vacuums, but when given the choice of metal versus plastic for this part, we’d opt for metal for its durability. Other features we find attractive here are its dial-adjust speed control and a wide-mouth zippered opening on its debris bag to facilitate dumping.

7.BLACK+DECKER

We haven’t tested this blower vac, but with a long track record of testing other similar products from Black+Decker, we see it as being a likely choice for folks who need the dual-capability of a low-cost blower vac. Its manufacturer is known for its inexpensive homeowner-grade products that hit a sweet spot in terms of performance and  price.

These are not heavy-duty products (you have to look to the company’s DeWalt brand for that). On the other hand, for many homeowners, they’re a good fit to get the job done. Here’s what you get for your money: a metal impeller powered by a 12-amp motor, high- and low-speed selection, and tool-free changeover from blower to vacuum.

WRAP UP

Best Blower Vacuum Mulcher – To some degree, they work on decks but, you’ll find it’s easier to blow off leaves and debris rather than trying to pull out material that’s stuck between deck boards. Vacuums work pretty well on small patches of grass, but for larger areas, you’ll find it more effective to rake up a small pile and then vacuum that up. They also work well at getting leaves out of corners, removing them from between bushes, and from behind outdoor objects, such as a central air conditioning unit.

michel
Vacuum
Logo