We’re in the heart of autumn. While this means lovely foliage forming a patchwork of the environment in many areas, it also means a daily fight to keep your lawn clean of fallen leaves. You may rake and bag them, but there’s a better way to use dead leaves—and save some plastic from the garbage. Invest in a leaf mulcher, which will chop them up and allow them to be utilized in your compost pile or garden, converting something that was once useless into free fertilizer.
Top Best Leaf Mulchers to Clean Up Your Lawn in 2021
Few views are as magnificent as the crimson and gold colors of falling leaves, but when you have to rake and bag them repeatedly throughout the season, they might lose their allure. However, if you leave dry leaves in your yard, they might get moist and soggy, increasing the danger of grass disease. Raking leaves is a time-honored ritual in many communities, but by shredding the leaves in a leaf mulcher, you may reduce their volume greatly and, if desired, utilize the shredded material to mulch around your perennial plants. The ideal leaf mulcher for your needs will be determined by the number of leaves that pile in your yard, the size of your yard, and how you choose to collect the leaves. Read on to learn what to look for when purchasing a leaf mulcher and why the products listed below are some of the best leaf mulchers on the market for reducing your time spent on yard maintenance this year.
Leaf Mulchers of Various Types
We asked Test Editor Roy Berendsohn, our resident home improvement expert, for advice on leaf mulchers. “Generally, there are four types of leaf mulchers,” he explained, “handheld, walk-behind, stationary, and ride-on, and they all operate differently.”
Handheld: These are best suited for little activities, such as cleaning between shrubs, but bigger materials, such as sticks or acorns, can easily clog the system. Handheld leaf mulchers can be powered by either gas or electricity (via a cord or battery). The bag will also become heavier as you suck up leaves, necessitating frequent emptying, which might be inconvenient if you’re attempting to clean a wide area. “Look for a machine with a large-diameter nozzle to allow for enough airflow while resisting clogging,” advises Berendsohn.
“Walk-behind: Berendsohn compared these to “yard vacuums” since they collect debris as you push them along your grass. These mulchers may have a hose to reach smaller areas, but they are best suited to vast open expanses of land. “In this category, big engines reign,” Berendsohn explains. “This is a high-torque operation that necessitates a large engine to pull in and shred everything the machine encounters.
” Stationary: These function similarly to woodchippers but are significantly less powerful and are powered by a cord or fuel. They can handle some tiny branches, but if you want to chop up larger chunks of wood, you’ll want to go with a tractor-powered Power Take-Off (PTO) type. “Larger motors and bigger engines provide greater torque but also produce more noise,” adds Berendsohn. “Be cautious while feeding branches into leaf mulchers, since a knot or twisted branch can quickly jam the chute.” Most stationary mulchers feature two chutes: one for leaves and one for branches. Depending on how patient you are with pouring waste into them, they will work with any size yard.
Consider a ride-on leaf mulcher. Consider a ride-on leaf mulcher. If you already have a lawn tractor or a ride-on lawnmower, consider a ride-on leaf mulcher. They attach below or on the rear of the bike and collect leaves as you ride. These are perfect for vast areas with a lot of leaves since they can handle heavy loads and you only have to guide.
How We Selected and Rated Them
We chose these leaf mulchers based on Berendsohn’s experience, our understanding of the product industry, and 5,500 user ratings. Our Consumer Score is the proportion of people that gave the product four out of five stars on retail and review sites like Amazon, Walmart, and manufacturer’s pages.
Greenworks 40V Leaf Vacuum
With a length of only 32 inches, this leaf vacuum is great for getting into hard-to-reach nooks and crevices. It can operate for up to 21 minutes on a single charge, which isn’t much but should be adequate to clear up a small garden or sidewalk. It also works as a leaf blower, making it a terrific two-in-one tool for the fall. Customers commended its suction power, saying that it had enough suction even at the lowest level, as well as its mulching ability, which allows you to load up to 4.5 bags of garbage on a single charge. Greenworks also provides a four-year tool and two-year battery guarantee, which is excellent—especially for a tool under $350.
Worx WG509 TriVac
Despite the fact that it is classified as a leaf blower, this instrument also has a vacuum and a mulcher attachment. And, unlike many leaf blowers, which need some disassembly to move from blower to mulcher and back, the WG509 lets you effortlessly switch between the two modes with the flip of a button. It is tiny enough to fit under porches and into small areas. It’s also very powerful for its size, with an 18:1 gearing ratio and a top speed of 210 mph in an 8.6-pound compact. The quick-release tube makes emptying the bushel collecting bag simple.
Billy Goat TKV650SPH Leaf Mulcher
This Billy Goat walk-behind is not a cheap purchase. However, if you’re looking for a lawn vac that can handle about anything your yard can throw at it, it’s well worth the money. It has powerful suction, which critics quipped might “suck up your cat if you’re not cautious.” It’s designed to take on leaves, flowerbeds, and sticks that may be cluttering your yard, and the 12:1 mulching ratio—along with the 40-gallon bag—allows you to cover big areas without pausing to unload. It can, however, be difficult to manage. The TKV650SPH weighs around 140 pounds and surges forward with great force, making it difficult for some users to steer and control.
Worx WG430 Leaf Mulcher
If you’re searching for a low-cost approach to clean up your lawn this fall, the WG430 is an excellent choice. It won’t break the bank at around $220, yet it operates far above its price range, mulching up to 53 liters of leaves every minute. It features an 11:1 chop ratio and weighs only 20 pounds, making it simple to transport and store while being heavy enough to stand on its own. Customers were thrilled with its mulching skills, claiming that it could easily manage the remnants of their garden as well as some tiny sticks.
DR Power Premier 200 Leaf Mulcher
If you already have a ridable lawn mower or lawn tractor, an attachable leaf mulcher is a way to go—especially if you have a large piece of land. This mulcher can contain up to 200 gallons of leaves and is simple to dump by unbuckling the back closures and releasing the lock lever from the front while tilting the collection in the back. The shredder is best suited for leaves, but it can also take smaller sticks, leaving your land clean and uncluttered. You may also take the collector out and use the trailer to transport items around your home. It’s worth noting that pulling it on level terrain requires at least a 12-hp engine, and 14 horsepower if there’s any type of gradient.
DR Power Wood Chip Shred Premier 300
This DR Power mulcher packs a powerful blow. As a woodchipper, it effortlessly accepts leaves, sticks up to three inches thick, weeds, and even pinecones, breaking them down into composting mulch. While it is a fixed type, it includes handles that make it easier to move. Yet, it weighs 126 pounds and maybe fairly heavy. Reviewers were delighted with the shredder’s and chipping capabilities, although they cautioned against putting too much in at once because it may become clogged very easily.
Landworks Electric Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher 15-Amp 1800 Watt
If you want an eco-friendly, user-friendly, and long-lasting leaf mulcher and leaf chipper in one that can help you rapidly handle the problem of those massive mounds of yard trash and leaves, the Landworks Electric Wood Chipper and Shredder is another excellent alternative that is reasonably priced.
The leaf mulcher’s total capacity
The number of leaves that a leaf mulcher can handle and process in its machine bowl or hopper is referred to as its capacity. Choose a tool that can manage your individual demands, based on the number of leaves and twigs you regularly deal with in the autumn, as well as the size of the outside space you need to clean. Obviously, a greater capacity machine will help you to clean up your lawn, garden, or driveway far faster than a smaller capacity machine. Also, if you intend to compost the mulch for your gardening or lawn requirements, pick a tool that can create the amount of compost you require for your farm or garden.
Options for adjusting the speed
The power of the leaf mulcher is vital, but the ability to modify its pace is an additional feature to look for. In rare circumstances, depending on the dryness and kind of leaves being shredded, you may need to slow down the operation to avoid clogging and allow for effective shredding. Choosing a garden tool that allows you to vary its pace based on your demands is thus a really excellent idea.
The blade’s design and quality
A leaf mulcher with a stronger, higher quality blade will shred and mulch the leaves far more quickly and efficiently than one with lesser quality blades. High-quality blades limit the chance of clogging throughout the shredding process, saving you time and effort. Some of the garden tools on our list employ cutting lines rather than blades, which is a safer option. If you want the greatest results, get a mulcher with at least 25 cutting lines.
The leaf mulcher’s adaptability
Multifunctional tools offer advantages and disadvantages. Purchasing a leaf mulcher that also functions as a leaf blower and leaf vacuum will save you money over purchasing three different equipment. Some 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 equipment, on the other hand, feature less powerful mulchers than standalone devices. You may also choose a machine that can handle bigger twigs, branches, pinecones, and acorns in addition to leaves. These are larger and more expensive, but they will save you a lot of time and work when it comes to cleaning up the garden, lawn, or other outdoor space in the fall. Some of these mulchers can handle tiny twigs and branches as little as 1.5 inches, while others can chip and shred heavier branches as thick as 3 inches and even more.
Features of Safety
Given that the bulk of these instruments contain sharp blades, your and your family’s safety is critical. Examine the specifications and reviews for the leaf mulcher you’ve chosen to see how frequently it clogs and how simple and safe it is to unclog. It is also important to select a machine that automatically turns off when there is a blockage, or when the hopper is open or removed. This reduces the possibility of injury while cleaning or using the instrument.
Size and portability
We have picked instruments in a variety of sizes. Some are portable and weigh less than 10 pounds, while others are substantially larger but feature wheels and handles for mobility. The size and weight of the leaf mulcher you pick is determined by whether you need to handle and move it. It makes sense to buy a lighter and more portable mulcher that also functions as a leaf blower and vacuum. If you have a considerable amount of leaves and debris, you should probably invest in larger and heavier-duty equipment that can handle more serious mulching duties.
Alternatives for power
Our selection of leaf mulchers for 2021 includes corded electrical equipment, cordless battery tools, and a gasoline-powered alternative. Each form has advantages and disadvantages. Electrical and battery-powered tools are more environmentally friendly, create fewer toxic gases, and are quieter. However, gasoline-powered devices are often more powerful, but they may be loud and release toxic fumes. Additionally, gasoline-powered leaf mulchers need more maintenance than other varieties. Although corded electrical leaf mulchers provide continuous power, you are limited by the power cable. Battery-powered ones are more portable, but their capacity is limited, and you’ll need to recharge them or buy an extra battery if you don’t want to disrupt your productivity. Electric and battery-powered equipment are more ecologically friendly than gasoline-powered ones. In addition, you may pick a leaf mulcher that comes with a reusable bag to help save the environment, or you can use paper bags to avoid plastic waste.
Given that you will most likely only use the leaf shredder for one or two seasons of the year, it is critical to consider where you will keep it the rest of the year. Some leaf mulchers are rather heavy and huge, whilst others are foldable, light, and compact. So, before purchasing a leaf mulcher or any other garden equipment, consider how much space you have in your garage, shed, or another storage area for more tools.
Overall, whether you have a backyard, a lawn, a garden, or another outside space that has to be cleaned up from leaves and garden debris, especially in the fall, a handy instrument like a leaf mulcher will come in handy. It will significantly reduce the volume of your garbage, making disposal easier and more ecologically beneficial. In addition, instead of buying mulch, you will be able to manufacture your own high-quality mulch and utilize it in the spring to feed those plants and protect them from weeds. Some of the models we’ve chosen for you are multi-purpose instruments that can assist you with the complete leaf cleaning, collection, shredding, and packaging procedure.
There are also some that can chop wood and bigger branches. As you can see, a leaf mulcher is a really useful garden item to have. It will save you a lot of time, work, and energy while cleaning up your outside environment.