For many people, the fall is hands down the most beautiful time of year.
Or perhaps I should say, leaves down.
Because while it might offer a stunning array of colors during this magical time, clearing up everything a tree sheds can be a real chore. Especially if you need to keep your walkways or driveway clear of debris.
With that in mind, it’s time to graduate from the backbreaking work of raking up mountains of leaves from your property.
It’s time to purchase one of the best commercial leaf vacuums available today.
Read on to discover which option is right for your needs, with a buyer’s guide thrown in to help you choose.
Don’t take my word for it, these machines are unbeleafable…
- Top 12 Best Commercial Leaf Vacuums 2023
- Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Blower
- Black+Decker Electric Leaf Blower & Mulcher
- Worx WG512 3-in-1 Electric Vacuum
- Black+Decker 2-in-1 Blower and Vacuum
- Remington RM2BV Gas Leaf Blower
- Poulan Pro 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower
- Ryobi Cordless Leaf Vacuum/Mulcher
- Husqvarna 125BVx Leaf Blower/Vacuum
- Echo 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower Vacuum
- Greenworks Cordless Leaf Blower/Vacuum
- Patriot Products CBV-2455H Leaf Vacuum
- Billy Goat KV600 Lawn and Litter Vacuum
- How to Choose the Best Commercial Leaf Vacuum for Your Needs
- Should I get a leaf blower or vacuum?
- What is the lightest garden vacuum?
- Will a leaf vacuum pick up rocks?
- Can I vacuum my artificial grass?
- Can I use a leaf vacuum to pick up leaves from my gravel?
- Do leaf vacuums work on wet leaves?
- Will a leaf vacuum pick up pine needles?
- Do I need to use safety gear with a leaf vacuum?
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Top 12 Best Commercial Leaf Vacuums 2023
Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Blower
Up first, we have this budget-friendly option from US-based gardening company, Toro. It’s a combination of a leaf blower and vacuum, with up to 250 mph blower capabilities, from a new, larger, metal impeller that also improves mulching.
The kit comes with the base unit, vacuum tube, zip bag, power insert, concentrator nozzle, and cord storage hook, so you’re ready to go right out of the box.
Weighing 8.5 lbs, and offering a variable speed control in both blow and vac modes, this corded machine is a versatile tool that will suit most homeowner’s garden vac needs and will reduce 88% of mulched debris into less than 1/2-inch.
- 3-in-1 tool.
- Excellent price point.
- Quick-release catch for conversion.
- Easy-to-store in the vacuum bag.
- Very highly rated.
- Not as powerful as more expensive models.
Black+Decker Electric Leaf Blower & Mulcher
You’ll nearly always find a Black and Decker entry in a review such as this, and I’ve gone for this 3-in-1 electric leaf blower, vacuum, and mulcher kit.
Backed with a 12 Amp motor, it offers a 250 mph blower with a two-speed function, while the heavy-duty vac is ideal for picking up leaves, grass clippings, twigs, pine needles, and other lawn debris that can look unsightly around your yard.
It’s capable of grinding 16 bags worth of mulch down into one and comes complete with the blow tube, vacuum tube, an easy empty reusable collection bag, and concentrator, all while offering 50% less noise for a more comfortable user experience. The unit weighs 8.1 lbs.
- Great price.
- High-impact metal fan.
- Built-in cord retainer.
- Shoulder strap.
- Very highly rated.
- Not really suitable for more heavy-duty yard work.
- Better as a blower than a vacuum.
Worx WG512 3-in-1 Electric Vacuum
Worx have been making a name for themselves down the years for offering superb quality, budget-friendly power tools, and equipment. This Trivac 3-in-1 machine was honored as the product of the year by British publication DIY Week back in 2011, and they’ve only gone from strength to strength since then.
Featuring a blower, mulcher, and vacuum, the innovative design switches between each tool with the simple twist of a dial. Weighing 8.8 lbs, it will provide high-capacity air volumes, with a metal impeller that will mulch 16 bags into one.
Two speeds allow extra control depending on the surface and where you’re working, and the easy-release bag provides a no-mess collection solution.
- Award-winning product.
- Affordable price.
- Cord retention lock.
- Ergonomic design for one handed use.
- On the heavy side.
- Can still be a little tricky to maneuver.
Black+Decker 2-in-1 Blower and Vacuum
Next up we have another Black and Decker offering, this time the first cordless product with a 40 Volt lithium-ion battery that is compatible with other tools in that range. Allow yourself the freedom to roam your yard without being hampered by a cable, as you easily clear debris from hard surfaces like patios and driveways.
It’s certainly one of the lightest machines in the review weighing in at just 6.9 lbs when in vacuum mode, and as such it’s a joy to use without too much fatigue setting in. The blower offers up to 120 MPH speeds, while the low-noise design keeps ears happy.
With adjustable, power command controls to switch between maximum output and battery life, you have complete control over the run time and performance.
- Built-in scraper
- Super lightweight.
- Soft-grip handle.
- Highly rated.
- Some have described this as “not recommended for fallen leaf clean up” which kind of defeats the purpose.
- Not suitable for heavy-duty work.
- No use on lawns.
Remington RM2BV Gas Leaf Blower
Moving into more powerful (and louder) territory now with the first of our gas-powered leaf vacuums.
The Remington RM2BV is a 2-in-1 blower and vacuum, powered by a 27.cc two-cycle engine that offers high-velocity air at a maximum of 205 MPH with 450 cubic feet per minute for shifting larger debris as efficiently as possible.
A spring-assisted coil gets things going with quick-start technology, and the 10-to-1 mulching ratio compacts waste to ensure less emptying and a more economic performance. The variable throttle with cruise control gives you complete control over the air stream and allows that trigger finger a much-needed rest.
- Comfort, over-moulded handle.
- Two-cycle oil included.
- Translucent fuel tank.
- Extended output nozzle.
- Lightweight for a gas machine.
- Vacuum bag can be a bit temperamental.
Poulan Pro 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower
Next in line is this 25cc, two-cycle, gas-powered leaf blower and vac kit from Poulan Pro. Capable of up to 230 MPH, with an airflow of 450 CFM, this is a powerful little unit that offers a generous 16 to one mulching ratio.
The soft-touch handle significantly reduces vibrations, so you’re not shuddering all over your yard during extended operation, while the fuel-enriched carburetor and spring-assisted starting system get you going in no time. The trigger operated control offers variable speed, as well as cruise control to allow the machine to do the work.
Ideal for year-round yard clean up, The BV25 is super easy to use and is great value to boot.
- Durable, well-built construction.
- Decent amount of power.
- Difficult to switch to vacuum.
- Mixed ratings around the web.
Ryobi Cordless Leaf Vacuum/Mulcher
We return briefly to the battery-powered units now with our first Ryobi inclusion. The Japanese company is known for its eclectic range of power tools, and this adds another string to their well-stocked bow.
Powered by a 40-Volt lithium-ion battery with charger included, you can get 30-gallon bags of mulch on a single charge with a 2-in-1 vacuum and mulcher for serious cleanup. The durable metal impeller shreds debris from 16 bags down to one, so you can make short work of a lawn full of leaves come the fall.
A variable speed dial ensures you can cover more delicate areas such as flower beds, and the system is compatible with over 40 Ryobi tools in the same range. The unit weighs 12.7 lbs.
- Dedicated vacuum and mulcher.
- Adjustable wheels for maneuverability.
- Gas-like power.
- Fade-free performance until the end of the charge.
- Quiet operation compared to gas.
- Very highly rated.
- The wheels aren’t the most durable.
- Can get heavy when full – a shoulder strap would have been helpful.
Husqvarna 125BVx Leaf Blower/Vacuum
As a power tool manufacturer, the Swedish company Husqvarna needs little introduction. Probably most famous for their excellent chainsaws, they also do a mean line in just about any kind of garden and outdoor machine you will ever need.
This is their powerful, 28cc, two-cycle handheld blower and vac, offering 425 CFM of airflow that can reach up to 170 MPH. The internal mulching knives reduce debris at a 16 to one ratio, while the engine shares the same smart-start technology as Husqvarna’s extensive range of gas-powered machines.
An auto-return stop switch resets to the on position for easier re-starts, and the variable speed throttle and cruise control lets you adapt to your work area and take the effort out of the operation.
- Adjustable tube length.
- Air purge.
- Intuitive, easy-to-use controls.
- Lightweight for a gas machine.
- Large fuel tank volume.
- Attaching the vacuum bag can be a challenge.
Echo 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower Vacuum
It’s fitting that following hot on the heels of the Swedes is US company Echo, and you should have a look at this Husqvarna vs Echo Trimmer article to see these two heavyweights go head to head there.
Echo’s version of the gas leaf blower and vac offers a 25.4 cc, two-stroke engine, that can reach up to 165 MPH with 391 CFM airflow. The unit can be easily converted into a vacuum, with a two-bushel collection bag with a built-in rear zipper for easy waste disposal.
The throttle has full cruise control at your fingertips, and the long intake tube ensures you don’t have to stoop low to pick up debris. The pro-fire electronic ignition gets you started, and it weighs in at 12.6 lbs.
- Translucent fuel tank.
- Easy-to-attach bag.
- The small bag fills up a little too fast.
Greenworks Cordless Leaf Blower/Vacuum
Eco-friendly company Greenworks offers another battery-powered leaf vacuum/blower combo with a 40 Volt power pack and charger included. Capable of up to 185 MPH with a variable speed blower, the brushless motor provides longer running times with torque and power equivalent to gas.
Ideal for managing a quarter of an acre, it’s got the strength to handle both wet and dry leaves – which is a real bonus if you’ve ever struggled with damp debris in your yard.
It will give you up to 60 minutes of run time, with six speeds to choose from to maximize efficiency.
- Push button start.
- Turbo option.
- Quiet operation.
- Super lightweight.
- Highly rated.
- Heavier in vacuum mode.
Patriot Products CBV-2455H Leaf Vacuum
Now we’re talking. If you want to really suck up those backyard leaves then this is the machine for you.
Powered by a Honda engine, this Patriot Products walk-behind tool is a 3-in-1 vacuum, chipper, and blower. If any lawn debris is giving you serious grief, simply open the chipping cone to dice them into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Clear a 24-inch swath with a single pass and get the job done in no time – perfectly suited for larger yards and gardens.
It converts to a blower with the flip of a handle, and the Honda engine ensures a smooth, fuel-efficient operation that’s fully CARB compliant.
- Engine name to trust.
- Durable, 10-inch wheels.
- Great for pine needles.
- Ideal for heavy-duty clean up.
- Very expensive.
Billy Goat KV600 Lawn and Litter Vacuum
Finally, we have the Billy Goat. If you want to take your garden vacuuming to the next level, you’ve come to the right place.
This offers a whopping 190 cc’s of power with a Briggs and Stratton engine, which turns a large, five-bladed impeller to slice and dice anything unlucky enough to be sucked into it.
The variable height adjustment for hard surfaces or turf work is a useful touch, and the large, hard-bottom mesh turf bag is durable and practical for handling a large load. Marine-style claps replace the zippers for easy dumping, while the 27-inch clearing swath is perfect for maintaining larger areas.
- Heavy-duty clean up.
- Quality design and build.
- Reputable manufacturers.
- Hose kit included.
- Overkill for smaller properties.
How to Choose the Best Commercial Leaf Vacuum for Your Needs
There’s a lot of factors to consider before making a purchase of your first leaf vacuum. And even if it’s not your first, below you’ll still find some handy hints and tips on what to look out for.
Why Use a Leaf Vacuum?
Back in the day, parents and grandparents would likely have to rake up garden debris by hand – which is probably one of the most backbreaking chores you can do around any property.
This is particularly true if you were surrounded by wooded acres, in leafy neighborhoods, or anywhere deciduous trees would dump their yearly blessing on your sidewalks, driveways, patios, gutters, and lawns.
Not so since around the end of the 1970s, when the Kioritz Corporation of America patented the first leaf blower, and then changed their name to Echo in 1978.
As you might expect, sales of this new technology went through the roof from all the brands who jumped on the bandwagon, and millions of aching backs around the world breathed a sigh of relief.
As with most outdoor power tools (and indoor, for that matter) you have a choice of power supply options each with their advantages and disadvantages.
Corded electric models are usually the cheapest and lightest products, but you’re limited in range and maneuverability with an extension cable necessary to power the unit.
Battery powered leaf vacuums allow you much more freedom and are usually the quietest of the power options. However, a strong leaf vac will use a lot of power and you might find yourself running dry of juice regularly.
Gas-powered machines are usually the most powerful option, but they’re nearly always the loudest, and give off fuel emissions. They also require more maintenance, with more components and parts that can fail.
When it comes to selecting the right power source for your leaf vacuum, the best way to make a decision is to base it on the size of your property.
Small to medium-sized yards should use corded or battery-powered units, while larger areas are more suitable for gas to tackle.
As with all vacuums, indoors and out, you want to believe it’s going to have the suction power to lift whatever it is you’re trying to remove from any given surface.
This value can be difficult to quantify, as even if you purchase something from a hardware store, you’ll not actually get the chance to test it out until you’re back home.
And purchasing an expensive vacuum that doesn’t pick up a bit of fluff is one of life’s most infuriating experiences.
Always check user reviews, research the model you’re interested in, and specifically make note of any mention of how strong the suction power is.
And where you can’t test the machine for yourself, I recommend searching for demonstration videos online – they’re the next best thing to having the unit in your hands.
You might think that the higher the miles per hour rating a leaf blower has – the better it’s going to perform. Big numbers in this department are there in an attempt to impress.
The fact is, this isn’t always the case. Sure, it might be grand to have a machine that is effectively dishing out a tornado, but you’re more than likely not going to need that.
For most yard work and leaf blowing needs, anything over 70 mph is going to do the job – with the additional benefit of being much easier to control.
In this instance, sometimes less is more.
Having said that, high-powered blowers are often required for more heavy-duty jobs. It’s up to you to figure out what will be suit your needs.
These combination blower/vac models may or may not also incorporate a mulching impeller, usually made of metal or plastic.
If the product you’re researching offers this as a feature, it will likely list a mulching ratio.
This might vary from 16:1, 12:1, 10:1, or derivatives thereof. This is supposed to be how many bags of debris the machine can reduce into just one bag.
I would suggest you take these figures with a pinch of salt. Manufacturers have a habit of inflating such numbers to get you to spend your money, and they’re nearly always inaccurate when it comes to actual practice.
One thing you will notice is that with most leaf vacuums, the bags fill up so fast that it becomes a chore just to empty them. This can become a messy, time-consuming task.
Perhaps this is why most users prefer to rely on the leaf blower function alone.
Unfortunately, noise level in a leaf vacuum or blower can be a bit of a problem.
I say a bit, as there are a number of cities around the US alone that have either banned or restricted their use.
It is therefore in everyone’s best interests to consider the decibel level of a leaf blower/vac before purchasing, especially if living in a built-up residential neighborhood.
Thankfully, the technology has advanced significantly, and in particular cordless models offer vastly reduced noise levels of up to 70%, compared to previous versions.
Once again, I heartily recommend searching for video reviews online of the product you’re interested in, so you can at least hear what you’re getting yourself into before you splash the cash.
There’s little worse than finding a machine that ticks all the boxes, only to fire it up at home and it sounds like an aircraft taking off.
It’s important to consider the size of the collection bag when you’re purchasing a leaf vacuum, and getting the balance right will make life a lot easier for you.
Too small, and you’re going to be undertaking a lot of messy emptying. This can really slow you down when you need to stop and start all the time.
Too big, and the weight of the bag and machine will become very heavy and you’ll struggle to control the power tool.
Additionally, look for vacuums that have a solid bag-to-machine connection. All too often reviewers complain about this particular feature, and having a quality coupling in this department can make a huge difference to your user experience.
Leaf vacuums can come with a variety of nozzle shapes and sizes, some with additional features to help get the job done.
A wider, rounded nozzle is more preferable for garden vacuums. They might come with wheels located at the end which can help support the weight of the machine and assist with maneuvering around your garden.
Some vacuum nozzles might also be fitted with a built-in scraper – so you can easily dislodge any debris that is stuck or fixed to the ground.
Leaf blowers tend to have a narrow nozzle, similar to a duck’s beak. This focuses the air flow in an accurate direction and gives you more control over where you’re attempting to send leaves or other material.
Combo machines might offer both nozzles as part of a kit – like many of the 3-in-1 tools in this review.
The best commercial leaf vacuum mulchers can be very expensive, especially if you’re looking at the real industrial-class machines.
However, there are some bargains to be had at the lower end of the scale, particularly if you don’t have a lot of property to cover. Quality leaf vacuums for smaller yards and gardens are abundant.
Always buy the best you can afford without breaking the bank, and suit the tool to the size and type of job it needs to do.
Should I get a leaf blower or vacuum?
Why not get both?
Combination machines are readily available (with many included in the reviews above).
However, having a dedicated machine can sometimes perform better.
A leaf blower can quickly clear surface debris, and this can be advantageous when it comes to saving time.
But this material still needs to be deposited somewhere, which is where a vacuum has the edge, as you can completely clear the area of waste and then add it to your compost pile.
And speaking of, have a look at these practical compost tumblers – so you can collect and add all your garden waste and turn it into the black gold.
What is the lightest garden vacuum?
The lightest garden vacuum in this review is the Black and Decker LSWV36. At 6.5 lbs, it’s one of the lightest leaf vacuums on the market.
Be careful when examining the weight of leaf vacuums, as it will change depending on if you’re using it as a vac or a blower. Leaf vacuums tend to be heavier – but it might not state this as the unit’s operational weight.
Will a leaf vacuum pick up rocks?
Not likely. More powerful vacuums will probably pick up small stones, gravel, and other such material, but a rock is a bridge too far.
This is a good thing – you certainly don’t want this kind of debris getting sucked up into the workings of the machine, as it’s a sure-fire way to destroy the impeller and provide you with an expensive piece of useless junk.
Can I vacuum my artificial grass?
While artificial grass has the advantage of being a lot easier to maintain than live turf, it can be a little more tricky when it comes to cleaning debris.
This is because most artificial grasses contain infill, which is used to ensure the fake blades stand up, return to this position after pressure is applied, and prevent the surface looking like a carpet.
This could be anything from sand to tiny rubber pellets, or similar product.
As such, using a vacuum on this might not be the best idea as you will suck this micro material right up into the bag.
This is where it’s much more beneficial to use a leaf blower – but on a low-speed setting. Alternatively, clearing artificial grass by hand is probably the safest option.
Can I use a leaf vacuum to pick up leaves from my gravel?
This is a tricky one, as you do run the risk of sucking up the stones – depending on their size, and the strength of the vacuum.
If you can, run a trial in a small area with the power on low (if your vacuum has a variable speed setting) and see if the machine will lift the leaves and not the gravel stones.
Failing that, clearing leaves from gravel the old-fashioned way is advisable. Check out the video below for more tips on clearing gravel walkways and driveways.
Do leaf vacuums work on wet leaves?
It depends on the strength of the vacuum. As wet leaves are much heavier than dry, you’re not going to shift them unless you have a powerful vacuum or blower at your disposal.
This is where a gas-powered machine will come out on top every time. However, they will still likely clog the impeller and bag, and make the tool difficult to use and carry.
Wet leaves pose a real problem for garden maintenance. Many professionals suggest mulching them first with a good lawnmower with a gator blade.
Break them down as much as possible before attempting a vacuum. When in doubt, once again it might be best to go back to the rake.
A word of caution – you should never attempt this on very wet, soaking leaves – even with the most powerful garden tools. It’s best to wait it out as you risk seriously damaging your equipment.
Will a leaf vacuum pick up pine needles?
The right leaf vacuum should be able to pick up pine needles – but it’s best to double-check with the manufacturer is it has this ability in its locker.
Certainly, the more powerful vacuums in the above review offer this feature – but lesser models will likely clog and give out.
Do I need to use safety gear with a leaf vacuum?
While they’re not the most dangerous of garden power tools, it is recommended you take some precautions when using leaf vacuums or blowers.
Don’t wear open-toed shoes or sandals, keep your arms and legs covered, and most importantly, it’s advisable you wear eye protection.
Using a pair of good-quality gardening gloves will not only protect your hands, but it will be a more comfortable user experience and keep blisters at bay – especially on longer jobs.
And if you’re using a gas-powered leaf vac/blower, then I recommended using ear protection. Even exposure to such noise for a short time can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Clearing your property of garden debris can be hard work, and if you live in a leafy neighborhood, you’re going to need all the help you can get when those trees start to shed.
I hope this review and guide has helped you choose the best commercial leaf vacuum for your needs.
Personally, I’d go with the Ryobi. It’s got a ridiculous amount of quality reviews – and being battery operated it’s environmentally friendly – which is always a plus point.
Let me know which machine you would choose and why.