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best leaf vacuum mulcher

Top 5 Leaf Vacuum Mulcher Machines: Pros, Cons, Features

July 27, 2021 / 0 Comments

Our expert editors independently review, test, and recommend products to help you make an informed decision. We may earn commissions on purchases made from our product links.

Last year, we were stuck with a huge yard full of leaves and no mulcher to help us. Since then, our team’s mission has been to find the best leaf vacuum mulcher on the market. We reviewed numerous products and researched their features, and we can finally share the results with you.

All the products we listed come with several great features. You’ll be able to use them to blow, vacuum, and mulch leaves. They are primarily corded-electric design, but we also included a gas-powered option for people who don’t want to mess with cables.

Start reading to find out the key features, pros, and cons of our five favorite products. When you’re done with the reviews, remember to go over the buyer’s guide to help you make a better purchasing decision.

Spoiler Alert! The Toro 51612 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum is our top pick because of its affordability, lightweight design, powerful performance, and convenient bag design. If you’re looking for a great mulcher, we recommend opting for the Toro 51612 machine. 

Top 5 Leaf Vacuum Mulcher Machines

  PRODUCT  
Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum
  • Weight: 8.9 lbs.
  • Speed: 250 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 410 CFM vac mode, 350 CFM blow mode

 

View On Amazon →Check Our Review
WORX WG518 12 Amp 2-Speed Leaf Blower, Mulcher & Vacuum
  • Weight: 10.8 lbs.
  • Speed: 250 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 400 CFM

 

View On Amazon →Check Our Review
BLACK+DECKER 3-In-1 Electric Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, Mulcher
  • Weight: 8.1 lbs.
  • Speed: 250 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 400 CFM

 

View On Amazon →Check Our Review
BLACK+DECKER BV3100 3-In-1 Electric Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, Mulcher
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Speed: 210 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 300 CFM

 

View On Amazon →Check Our Review
WORX WG509 TRIVAC 12 Amp 3-In-1 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum
  • Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Speed: 210 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 350 CFM

 

View On Amazon →Check Our Review

Review Of The Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher Products

Best Overall: Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum

The 3-in-1 Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum is a versatile product you can use to blow, vacuum, and shred leaves. It’s one of the top-trending products online, so we wanted to try it before delivering a detailed review. With over 3,500 happy customers, this machine is the best leaf blower vacuum mulcher you can get.

Key Features
  • Weight: 8.9 lbs.
  • Speed: 250 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 410 CFM vac mode, 350 CFM blow mode 

The Toro 51621 UltraPlus vacuum mulcher is a variable speed control machine that allows you to set the speed to your needs. If you’re working during quiet hours or around flowers you can use lower speeds, and when you want to clean your entire yard fast, you can use higher speeds.

This is a machine that promises a 97% mulching ratio, and it’s one of the best choices when you want to clean small and medium-sized outdoor areas. The ratio is quite impressive, and we were more than surprised by how efficiently the Toro mulcher shreds leaves into tiny pieces.

Another huge pro is the leaf bag has a zipper on the bottom, making it easier for you to empty it. There is no need to take it out and then reattach it again. 

Pros
  • The leaf bag has a bottom zipper for easier use
  • Comes with an oscillating tube you can use to clear wider surfaces
  • The concentrator will help you reach the hidden corners of your yard
  • Has a lightweight design you can easily carry in your hands
Cons
  • Has an extension cord, but you have to buy it separately
  • If you want to cover large areas, you’ll need to move the extension cord around the yard more often

The Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blowing Vacuum is reasonably priced and has a great handheld, corded design for people with small and medium-sized yards.

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Easiest To Use: WORX WG518 12 Amp 2-Speed Leaf Blower, Mulcher & Vacuum

The WORX WG518 machine is one that was recommended to our team by many friends. When we decided we’d be reviewing products to find the best commercial leaf vacuum mulcher, we immediately tested this 3-in-1 machine. After cleaning yards with more than 10 different products, this one made our top five list.

Key Features
  • Weight: 10.8 lbs.
  • Speed: 250 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 400 CFM

The mulching ratio of this machine is 94%, or in other words, 16:1. This isn’t the product with the highest mulching ratio; however, it’s pretty powerful, and you won’t need to stop often to empty your bags.

Although the WORX WG518 Leaf Blower, Mulcher & Vacuum has only two speeds, it is still an excellent purchase. Our team prefers variable speeds, but the two that this product offers are enough for people who don’t need to clean large areas. The lower speed is quiet, while the higher one is more powerful and helps you finish the entire yard very fast.

Pros
  • You can switch from blowing to mulching with a single touch
  • Product is powerful with a speed of up to 250 MPH
  • Design is lightweight and easy to carry
  • More affordable than most other options
  • It’s a three-in-one machine that can blow, vacuum, and mulch
Cons
  • Only has two speeds, which can be limiting in some cases
  • The second speed is a little louder compared to other vacuum mulchers

This corded-electric mulcher is an affordable purchase that is so easy to use. With a single touch of a button, you can transfer from blowing to mulching leaves. It’s perfect for beginners who don’t have experience with these devices. 

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Best Power & Lightweight: BLACK+DECKER 3-In-1 Electric Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, Mulcher

If you’re looking for a powerful machine that will take care of your large yard with ease, then you should consider the BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, Mulcher. Compared to other powerful mulchers, this one is lighter to carry, which means you won’t feel exhausted after taking care of a large area. 

Key Features
  • Weight: 8.1 lbs.
  • Speed: 250 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 400 CFM

This machine comes with a 16:1 mulching ratio. In other words, it can transform 16 bags of leaves into a single bag. The high-impact metal fan of the mulcher works tirelessly to prevent clogging of the machine, even when you’ve been using it for a while.

The bag is large enough to fit a lot of mulch, and it’s simple to empty once it’s full. However, one of the downsides that we noticed is that the collection bag is lower in quality compared to other brands. 

Pros
  • Comes with an EZ Empty Reusable Collection Bag that’s large and makes it easy to dump the mulched leaves
  • Has a high-impact metal fan that prevents clogging
  • Variable speed system you can adapt to your needs
  • It’s lightweight, and you can cover large areas with ease
Cons
  • Offers several extensions and tools, but you need to buy them separately
  • It’s a little louder compared to the less powerful model we review below

Everyone looking for a powerful, but lightweight 3-in-1 mulcher, blower, and vacuum, should look into this model. It’s pretty easy to carry, comes with a large bag, and it’s perfect for people who can’t carry heavy weights but want a powerful device. 

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Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER BV3100 3-In-1 Electric Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, Mulcher

The Black + Decker BV3100 Electric Leaf Blower is the most affordable find on this list. Despite its low price, it showed impressive performance, although its airflow capacity is slightly lower compared to other alternatives.

Key Features
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Speed: 210 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 300 CFM

This product’s mulch ratio is 10:1. This is a slightly lower number compared to the other products on our list, but we still found it collected a lot of leaves before we had to empty the bag. It’s powered by a 12 amp motor that does a great job of leaving your yard clean.

You need to remember this is the most affordable product on the list; that’s why the speed and mulch ratio are slightly lower. Still, it’s the perfect machine for small yards or people who won’t use it very often.

One of our favorite features is the Anti-Clog Vortex Impeller that prevents the machine from clogging. You’ll find it very useful if you want to finish your entire yard without having to unclog the machine.

Pros
  • It has an extremely lightweight design you can carry around with ease
  • Thanks to the Anti-Clog Vortex Impeller, the machine doesn’t clog
  • It’s simple to use and clean
  • You can use it to clean large yards because it’s lightweight
Cons
  • The manufacturer doesn’t recommend you use it on wet leaves
  • It only has two speeds
  • Lower mulch ratio compared to other products on this list

After testing the BLACK + Decker BV3100 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower, we can safely say it’s the best affordable option on the market. It’s also the most lightweight product we tried, making it perfect for large yards.

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Best Mulching Ratio: WORX WG509 TRIVAC 12 Amp 3-In-1 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum

The WORX WG509 TRIVAC 3-In-1 Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum is a device with a high mulching ratio that will help you cover large areas without having to empty bags frequently.

Key Features
  • Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Speed: 210 MPH
  • Air Flow Capacity: 350 CFM

The WORX WG509 TRIVAC machine has three functions: blowing, mulching, and vacuuming. The mulching ratio of this device is 18:1, which means you won’t need to empty it more often. 

In addition, it’s equipped with a conversion switch that lets you go from one function to another within seconds. No matter what function you’re using it for, this three-in-one product is easy and comfortable to use.

Pros
  • Three-in-one design that blows, vacuums, and mulches leaves
  • Conversion switch allows you to go from one function to another within seconds
  • Easy to maneuver with one hand when on blowing mode
  • Has a large, reusable bag
  • Has an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable even though it’s heavy 
Cons
  • It’s quite heavy
  • It’s not suitable for very large outdoor areas
  • It only has two speeds

This WORX machine might be last on our list, but that doesn’t make it a bad purchase. On the contrary, it has a high mulching ratio, ergonomic design for easy use, and a curled lip on the end of the tube to help you reach various spots.

Buyer’s Guide For The Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher

These factors below will help you make an educated decision when buying your next mulcher. Just like your home needs an excellent vacuum cleaner, your yard needs a great vacuum mulcher. 

Price

The bigger the leaf vacuum mulcher is, the more it will cost. Also, if it comes with many features, you can expect it to be more expensive. Before setting a budget, think about how often you’ll use this product.

If you’ll only need it occasionally and you don’t want to spend a lot, a low-budget machine will do the job. However, if your goal is to use it often and you need a commercial-grade product, then you should opt for the more durable, expensive alternatives.

Thankfully, our team managed to find many mulchers that are available at affordable prices and feature fantastic quality. Even if you opt for the most affordable one, you’ll use it for many years.

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Power Source

Another thing to think about is the machine’s power source. Vacuum mulching machines can be corded, gas-powered, and battery-powered

While gas-powered machines can be more powerful, they also require you to buy gas to power them. Alternatively, corded and battery-powered machines may be less powerful overall, but they won’t require you to buy gas frequently.

However, there are still more differences to keep in mind. Below, we’ll get more into detail about the three types so it will be easier for you to choose the best solution for your yard.

Corded

As the name suggests, corded machines come with a cord you need to plug into an electric outlet. Since you’ll be using the vacuum mulcher outdoors, the chances are you’ll need a long extension cord. Before purchasing a product, think of the area you’ll need to cover, and check the length of the cord to make sure it’ll reach all areas of your yard.

Some machines will have a long enough cord to help you clean large yards, while others will have a shorter cord, and you’ll need to add an extension cord to help you finish the job. People who don’t have any conveniently placed electric outlets near their yard should go for a gas-powered or battery-powered design.

The best thing about corded machines is they’re easy to maintain. There is no need to change a battery or fill them with gas. All you need to do is find an electric outlet and start taking care of your yard.

Also, in some cases, corded vacuum mulchers can be less powerful compared to gas-powered machines. This isn’t always the case, so you’ll have to check the specifics for each product you’re interested in.

Gas-Powered

When you need a powerful machine to take care of large spaces, you should opt for a gas-powered vacuum mulcher. In general, gas-powered machines will do the job much faster compared to mulchers that use the other two power sources.

The downside of using gas-powered vacuum muclers is they require a lot of maintenance. Some people avoid them entirely because they release foul-smelling fumes harmful to the environment. But if this isn’t as much of a concern for you and you want to find the most powerful option, your choice should be gas-powered.

Battery-Powered

Battery-powered machines are perfect for people who hate cords and want to stay away from bulky gas-powered mulchers. You won’t have to struggle with cords around the yard, and you’ll find it much easier to cover a large area with a more lightweight machine.

A huge benefit of batteries is you can take the machine as far as you need to without having to look for an extension cord. However, these designs can be less powerful compared to corded and gas-operated machines.

Once you’re done with a battery-operated vacuum mulcher, you need to charge it. If you forget, you won’t be able to use the machine the next time you need it. If you don’t mind chargeable designs, this power source is your best bet.

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Weight

Weight is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when shopping. Walking around your property with a heavy machine will be very tiring. Although there isn’t a design as light as a feather, there are still plenty of fairly lightweight options to choose from.

When it comes to the weight of your next vacuum mulcher, you might need to compromise between how heavy it is and how powerful it is. Commercial-grade designs tend to be heavier, but they also do the job faster.

If you can’t lift heavy objects, choose the most lightweight mulcher. It will make the entire experience much easier, and you won’t feel sore for the next couple of days.

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Speed Adjustment

In general, there are two different types of speed adjustments in vacuum mulchers. The first type is designed with two speeds, while the second type features several speeds to choose from.

When you first start looking at leaf machines, the speed adjustment might not mean a lot. But, if you want a design that won’t wake up the entire neighborhood, you should know the differences between the two types.

Machines with variable speeds are easy to adapt precisely to your needs. These designs are quieter if you use lower speeds and become a little louder when set on the highest speed. They’re also great because you can use them for the entire yard without mulching your flowers.

When you need to be careful and avoid damage to flowers, plants, and crops, just use a low speed to vacuum the leaves. When you just want to clean the grass, it’s safe to use a high speed. Higher speeds are more powerful and preferred for larger areas.

The two-speed designs are simpler and don’t offer too much versatility. The lower speed will be quieter, while the higher will be louder.

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Mulch Reduction Ratio

The mulch reduction ratio is the number of bags filled with leaves the machine will convert into one bag of mulch. In other words, this ratio speaks for the machine’s efficiency in terms of how well it can shred leaves into dirt. The higher the mulch reduction ratio is, the better.

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Number Of Features

These machines can feature several uses in one simple design. All of the vacuum mulchers that we listed are 3-in-1 designs. These aren’t just leaf vacuums or mulchers, but you can vacuum, blow, and mulch with the same machine. 

Another essential feature is the nozzle. It’s recommended you get a machine that comes with several nozzles and other tools because it will make your job much easier.

For example, if you need to vacuum the leaves in your yard but want to cover all the corners, you’ll need an extension specifically meant for that job. The more nozzles and tools a machine has, the more functions it will have.

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Bag Size

All the leaves the machine will vacuum will go inside the bag attached to the mulcher. The bigger this bag is, the more leaves it will fit. In other words, if your new mulcher has a bigger bag, you’ll have to empty it less frequently.

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FAQs

Is a leaf mulcher worth it?

Yes, a leaf mulcher is a worthy investment. The products we’ve suggested vacuum, blow, and mulch leaves, which means you can own a single device that will help you do three jobs. Even the most affordable mulcher on the list is better than having to add a mulching blade to your mower.

After the device mulches the leaves, it gathers them in a bag that is easy to open and empty. You can now decide whether you want to put these leaves somewhere else in your yard or get rid of them right away. Either way, the final result is a clean yard that is amazing to look at.

Conclusion

Picking the right vacuum mulcher takes time. To spare you from going over thousands of reviews, we tested many products and shared our honest experiences. A great mulcher should come with a big bag, have a lightweight design, be easy to clean and have a high mulch reduction ratio.

The Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum is our favorite because it’s lightweight, powerful, easy to empty, has a high mulching ratio, and has variable speeds. When you add the excellent price, you’ll understand why this is our top pick.

If you have any comments or first-hand experiences with vacuum mulchers, please post them below or share your pictures via our social media.

About Maricel Dee

Maricel Dee is a writer & blogger on all things home improvement. When she's not writing on her favorite home improvement topics, you can find her immersed in her own home projects.

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