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The 6 Best Leaf Vacuums to Rid Your Yard of Autumn Debris

The right tools can make cleaning up your lawn this fall much more manageable. Instead of just raking or blowing your trees’ debris into piles, you can use a leaf vacuum to suck and mulch it up. After all, those leaves can be composted for a natural fertilizer for your yard, but you don’t want to wait until they get soak up rain water and suffocate the grass underneath.

Types of Leaf Vacuums and Features to Consider

“Leaf vacuum” is a bit of a misnomer, because—while leaf blowers only blow air—leaf vacuums can usually blow, vacuum, and mulch. Some have separate attachments for blowing and vacuuming, while others (like the Worx below) only require you to flip a switch to reverse the fan. And they run off of a variety of fuel types. Most of these options are corded electric, which may restrict mobility. Gas-powered options provide cord-free powerful operation but are louder and obviously require you to refill the gas tank. Battery-powered models will also be cordless and lightweight but have limited power and shorter run times.

No matter which kind of leaf vacuum you go with, you’ll want to consider specifications like their vacuuming and blowing power, as well as mulch reduction. Power can be determined by a combination of their air intake, measured by cubic feet per minute (CFM), and their speed of air vacuuming or blowing, measures by miles per hour (MPH). Keep in mind that some of these models have different air speeds and volumes depending on whether they’re blowing or vacuuming. The mulch ratio will also indicate how many bags it can reduce the leaves down to after mulching (ex. a 16:1 ratio means that the mulcher can reduce 16 bags of dry leaves down to 1).

How We Selected

To pick these six leaf vacuums, we surveyed the market and took into account consumer and professional reviews. We thoroughly evaluated each product based on its power and versatility as both a vacuum and blower, including specifications such as air speed (MPH), air volume (CFM), and mulch ratios. We also assessed their ease of operation, reliability, durability, and value to recommend not only the most powerful machines, but the ones that make fall yard care the easiest and most efficient.