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Expert Shopper Lawn & Garden

How do leaf vacuums compare to leaf blowers?

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

How to choose

When autumn leaves have fallen, many people skip the rake and turn to blowers and vacuums for yard cleanup. Leaf blowers and vacuums are powerful, efficient and durable. But they serve distinct purposes, and they each have advantages over the others that are important for users to consider when making the right purchase.

Shop this article: Toro UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum, EGO Power+ Cordless Leaf Blower and Greenworks Cordless Blower

What do leaf vacuums and leaf blowers have in common?

The biggest advantage to either a leaf blower or vacuum is that they are not a rake. They will protect your back against the common injuries and strains that come with raking.

They also are much faster at removing a large amount of leaves or yard debris compared to raking. Blowers and vacuums are powerful and designed to tackle yard waste efficiently.

Keep in mind that both blowers and vacuums cost a lot more than a standard rake, and both machines will still spread leaves or dust as they operate. For most people, the cost and leaf discharge is worth it to get their yard cleaned up quicker and keep their back healthier.

What makes leaf vacuums a better choice?

Leaf vacuums are excellent for making mulch that can be put on flower beds or other areas. They are environmentally friendly by reusing grass and leaves.

They also are easier on your body since many come with a shoulder strap and attached bag for the clippings. This distributes the weight over the body's foundation versus the one-sided, weight-bearing tensions of blowers.

If you have small areas or delicate plants to work around, vacuums are gentler and can remove debris without harming your landscaping. They also fit into tighter spaces and are more precise. You will have less debris blown around with vacuums.

A unique advantage of leaf vacuums is they are excellent at removing insects and garden pests from leaves and plants. For anyone who doesn't want to use insecticide on their landscaping, leaf vacuums can help control the pest population.

What makes leaf blowers a better choice?

If you have a large property, leaf blowers are a better choice since the powerful jet propulsion can push a large amount of leaves quickly, cutting down on your operation time. This is especially true if the leaves are wet since vacuums struggle with any kind of yard waste that isn't dry.

Leaf blowers also are best when you are in a hurry. If you need to clear a small area like a walkway or patio, you can be done in a matter of minutes.


Q. Are leaf vacuums and blowers noisy?

A. Yes, gas leaf blower and vacuum units are loud. Many consumers wear earplugs while using the machines to protect their hearing. If you are concerned with the noise of a blower or vacuum, consider the growing number of electric models that deliver significant power at a much lower decibel level. Using the nozzles that come with your blower or vacuum at a lower speed will also decrease the overall noise output.

Best leaf blowers

EGO Power+ Cordless Leaf Blower

This variable-speed brushless motor on this cordless leaf blower comes with a turbo button for extra power. The battery time is over 90 minutes. This EGO leaf blower is an excellent choice for anyone needing power without a gasoline engine.

Greenworks Cordless Blower

This lightweight cordless leaf blower can reach speeds of 150 mph. It comes with a battery and charger. The Greenworks leaf blower is ideal for small, light-duty cleanup around the house at an affordable price.

WORX Electric Leaf Blower

This powerful but quiet Worx leaf blower has two speeds: one for pavement and one for an open lawn. Weighing only 6.4 pounds, this is a surprisingly powerful electric leaf blower that is easy to maneuver. It is great for residential use.

Best leaf vacuums

Toro UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum

This three-in-one machine features a leaf blower, vacuum and shredder. The Toro leaf vacuum has variable speed control and a bag designed to capture leaf particles. It is affordably priced for anyone wanting to try this equipment for the first time.

Black and Decker Leaf Blower and Leaf Vacuum

This powerful Black and Decker leaf blower and vacuum can mulch up to 16 bags down to one. It comes with two leaf bags. The electric leaf vacuum is ideal for vacuuming grass clippings, pine needles and other lawn debris.

Craftsman Leaf Blower/Leaf Vacuum and Mulcher

The powerful 12-amp motor on this Craftsman leaf blower vacuum is designed for the toughest yard waste. It converts between a blower and a mulcher without needing any tools. The backpack collection bag has a wide opening.

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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