Top Leaf Blowers, Vacuums, Mulching Lawn Mowers, Wood Chipper

Reviews of Some Staples of Leaf-Removal Equipment, Yard Clean-Up Tools

Image of a Black & Decker leaf blower.
Leaf blowers are useful in fall landscape maintenance if used correctly. David Beaulieu

Fall leaves are nice when still on their trees, but not so much after they fall -- when you must rake them or remove them with leaf blower-vacuums. These reviews on leaf-removal equipment give options for fall clean-up. Compare features before purchasing equipment. Each of the options has its pros and cons.

Which option you choose could depend on your physical capabilities, your property layout, or your environmental concerns. Even your personality plays a role: Leaf blowers, for example, are...MORE noisy, so quiet types may prefer to rake.

  • 01 of 05

    Gas leaf blowers cost more, weigh more, and pollute more than electric leaf blowers. So are they worth it? Click the link to see what this reviewer has to say about a 4-cycle Craftsman model. This review will help you make up your mind as to whether or not gas leaf blowers, broadly speaking, are best-suited to your needs. A model with a horsepower of 200 is reviewed as an example. The Amazon product linked to in the section title has a horsepower of 210.

  • 02 of 05

    Electric leaf blowers have distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared to gas-powered models. Leaf blowers / vacs are often the first leaf-removal option people try when they are tired of raking leaves. Leaf blowers and vacuums are cheaper than some of the options presented below, but they are also more work.

    The earliest model of these leaf blowers from Black & Decker reviewed by this author was the Leaf Hog BV2500. Black & Decker has since upgraded these leaf blowers to the...MORE BV4000, BV4500, BV5600, etc. The reviews of the older models are still worth reading, since they serve not only as product reviews but also as introductions to buying and using leaf blowers.

    The newest model reviewed so far is the BV6000 Leaf Blower, which is shown in the photo.

  • 03 of 05

    This lawn equipment option obviates leaf removal altogether. Instead of using leaf blowers, simply shred up leaf debris into smaller pieces with a mulching lawn mower and leave them where they fall. The shredded leaves are allowed to return to the lawn as mulch, rather than being removed.

    Alternatively, use a bag attachment and dump the leaves in a compost bin or use them as mulch in a garden bed. The specific equipment reviewed here is battery-powered, giving it advantages under some conditions,...MORE but disadvantages under others. The best battery-powered lawn mower reviewed so far is a Stihl product (it is superior to the Remington product shown in the picture). In the review of the Stihl mower, you will learn the trick behind making battery-run models easy to use.

  • 04 of 05

     Anyone who has taken on the task of leaf removal knows that the job does not truly end even when you have dealt with the last leaf. For example, using a leaf blower blows more than leaves around -- it blows a lot of dirt around, too. When that dirt gets all over your driveway, patio, walkway, etc., you may want suitable equipment to clean it up. Enter the Shop Sweep vacuum reviewed here.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Durability and power head the list of desirable features for wood chippers. This Troy-Bilt wood chipper / shredder has both. It has tough steel blades to grind up all that coarse debris, and it is powered by a 10 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. Feel confident feeding branches up to 3 inches thick into the hopper or chipper chute. This wood chipper is also good for shredding leaves that you have raked up. Sometimes, only 5.5 / 6.5 horsepower models are available.