11 Sep Best Garden Vacuums And Leaf Blowers
The best vacuums for your garden are able to blow debris including leaves and twigs into a pile. They will also suck up the mess and then shred the leaves ready for them to be discarded or mulched to go onto the compost heap.
A standard garden rake will do the same job but you are going to be there for a very long time and also put in some seriously hard graft with a rake.
A good leaf blower and garden vacuum will make clearing the garden something that you can actually enjoy and you’ll get it done in a fraction of the time it will take with a rake.
Depending on your needs, you can go for just a simple leaf blower or you can opt for one that has a vacuum integrated as well so you can blow leaves and debris and you can also suck it up into a bag just like the vacuum cleaner you use inside your home.
Standalone leave blowers do serve a purpose in that they will gather together large quantities of leaves and other debris ready to be discarded.
If the area you want to clear is totally dry then standalone blowers can be a good solution but if its wet or damp then they will struggle to blow them into an area where they can be gathered up unless you have a commercial one with huge amounts of power.
Leaf blowers are excellent for wide open spaces and large area’s to group in order to group debris onto a smaller area but they are not so great in more delicate areas like flower beds for example.
The last thing you want to do is blast delicate plants and flowers with a leaf blower to get to any leaf’s or debris so using a multifunctional leaf blower that has a suction option as well is much better under these conditions.
Unfortunately the great British weather does not always provide us with perfect dry conditions so whilst leaf blowers work very well when everything is dry, leaves don’t tend to move much or very easily when they are wet and that’s when the vacuum option comes in handy.
These are the best garden vacuums and leaf blowers in the UK:
Vonhaus 3 in 1 Leaf Blower, Garden Vacuum And Mulcher – Best Budget
This is the runaway winner if you want something cheap and effective for small to medium-sized spaces. Perhaps you need to clear your garden and driveway half a dozen times a year and you simply do not want to spend a small fortune on something to help you do the job.
It is very easy to spend hundreds of pounds on just a standalone leaf blower but this budget corded option combines a leaf blower, vacuum and leaf shredder all in one, compact easy to use device.
It’s corded so you need to bear that in mind when working out if you can manage the area you want to clear with the 10-metre cable it comes with and you can easily add an extension for further reach.
The 3000-watt motor is a lot more powerful than some of the more expensive cordless options ensuring that it’s not just going to blow your leaves around but will move them all quickly in the direction you want them piled up in.
It changes into vacuum mode with the flick of a switch and it comes with a handy set of wheels so you can literally wheel it across the surface and suck up all the leaves into the good size 35-litre bag it comes with.
You also get a shoulder strap to use for prolonged use but it’s unlikely you’ll need it because this is a very lightweight product at just under 4kg
The mouth needs to be close to the ground to suck up the leaves but that’s what the rollers are for to make it easy for you and it far exceeds what you would expect at this price point.
It also shreds the leaves as it sucks them up into the bag so you can dispose of them easily or add them to the compost heap.
Excellent value for money if you want something quick, easy and effective and you are fed up spending hours in the garden with a rake.
WORX Cordless Air Turbine Leaf Blower – Best Standalone Leaf Blower
There are better leaf blowers out there but our recommendations are based as much on value for money as performance and for value for money this is hard to beat.
This is for larger gardens and spaces where you don’t want to get involved with cables but you do want something powerful that’s going to get the job done.
There are two power settings to preserve battery life and the lowest setting will deal with many batches of dry leaves but for other debris and damp or wet conditions, maximum power will pretty much deal with anything with 74mph of airspeed.
You do need to be aware that if you use it permanently on high power then you’ll only get about 12 minutes of battery life before you need to recharge which is why the option with a spare battery is recommended for long periods of use. With a spare battery you can expect 30-40 minutes of use depending on your usage between low and high power.
A lightweight, cordless, compact, powerful and effective leaf blower at a very good price
Bosch Corded Blower, Vacuum and Shredder – Best branded all in one
If you feel more comfortable with a well-known brand rather than a company you have never heard of then this Bosch universal garden tidy is a well made, robust blower and vacuum that will quickly clear your garden of debris and will last for years.
Bosch makes a vast array of products ranging from washing machines to drills and they have a good reputation for quality and they have a lot of money to spend on research and development so when they bring a product to market you can normally trust that it will do a good job of what it’s intended for and this is certainly the case in this instance.
One of the most noticeable things about this model is how quiet it is compared to the others we researched and tested. By their very nature, leaf blowers are going to make a racket and be noisy but it is surprising how much noisier some are than others and this is the quietest on our list.
Boch has gone out of the way to incorporate sound silencing into the design and this results in just 99 decibels when in use which is about half the average of the others.
Quiet doesn’t mean less effective though as despite the low cost this is powerful enough to blow large quantities of dry and wet leaves and small debris as well.
It easily converts into a vacuum by just flicking a switch and changing the accessory piece that fits onto the main unit. It weighs 7kg which isn’t super light but it comes with a strap so you can take the weight on your shoulder for extended periods of use.
It is corded but that means you get excellent blow and suction power and you can use it for as long as you need but it is best suited to small to medium-sized gardens and driveways/patios
Terratek Cordless Leaf Blower – Best small and lightweight
This is almost like a large handheld vacuum cleaner but it blows instead of sucks and for the price it does a fantastic job.
Products only make it onto this list if they fulfil the criteria of both quality and value. There are more powerful blowers than this one but not for the very low asking price this is going for.
If you want small and light and you want something that’s going to save you hours of raking time and you don’t want to get tangled in cables then this fits the bill.
You get 120mph of airspeed so its plenty powerful enough to deal with most gardens and it weighs just 1.6kg and is only 83cm long so it’s easy to hold and manoeuvre.
For a cordless model its great value for money for something that will replace the rake and broom.
McCulloch backpack leaf blower – Best for covering large areas
If you have a very large garden and land that needs clearing and you want something that is going to deal with the very toughest of environments then this super powerful leaf blower from McCulloch leaves nothing behind.
An incredible 220mph of airspeed ensures that leaves wet or dry will move in the direction you want them to be piled up ready for disposal. Grass, leaves, twigs, light branches and whatever other debris you want moving will all be dealt with easily.
It is petrol-powered so you’ll never need to worry about the battery running out and it has variable power so you can control it to specifically deal with individual areas.
For large open areas you can blast it on full power and for flower beds turn it right down so that you only displace the leaves in between and not all the flowers as well!
Corded Or Corded leaf vacuum?
The best value for money lies with leaf blowers that are corded so it just depends on how big the area is that you need to deal with.
For smaller areas a corded option is fine and most of them come with a 10-metre cable that is easily extendable with an extension cable that will cover most small to medium sized patios and gardens.
For larger areas cables will become more of a hinderance so you can opt for either battery power or petrol power.
Petrol is best left for commercial use because although you’ll never have to worry about the battery running out they are a bit smelly with the fumes coming out and bit of a faff to be messing about with filling up with petrol as and when required.
Battery powered leaf blowers and vacuums are a bit more expensive but you get all of the benefits of corded models with no cables and none of the hassle of the petrol-powered models.
For ease of use and to cover bigger areas battery powered is better but for smaller areas corded is cheaper and just as effective.
Is a petrol garden vacuum better than battery?
If you don’t want to be concerned with battery life or the possibility of the battery running out mid-use then with petrol power you will never run out of power and if you run out of petrol it will only take you a few minutes to refill it.
However, unless you have really large areas to cover then a battery-operated garden blower and vacuum is less hassle, there are no fumes from the petrol motor and a decent one will last at least 30 minutes before it needs recharging.
What’s the runtime like?
With a corded model, you can use it for as long as you like because it is plugged into the wall so you can use the blower and vacuum your garden till your heart’s content.
With petrol-powered models you can easily use them for 3-5 hours at a time before having to refill and battery-powered models can last from 20-60 minutes before the battery dies depending on how much you are prepared to spend.
Waste bag capacity
You don’t want to be emptying the bag every 5 minutes so look for a bag that has a 20-litre bag capacity or greater otherwise it will just fill up too quickly and make the task in hand take longer than you would like.
If you are going to be using your garden vacuum for extended periods of time then you don’t want to be putting any unnecessary strain on your arms or wrists so choosing one that is light yet powerful is important if you have weak wrists.
Anything under 4kg can be classified as light and up to 7kg is manageable.
Cheap corded models can have the same amount of power as much more expensive cordless garden vacuums because most of them run on lithium-ion batteries which are really expensive to make.
As a general rule, the more you are willing to pay for a cordless model then the better the suction power will be.
Garden vacuums work on the same principle as cordless vacuum cleaner you use in your home. You get the best suction from the premium brands such as Dyson or Shark and its no different with blowers and vacuums for outdoors use.
Will a wet and dry vacuum pick up leaves?
They certainly will so if you have a multi-purpose wet and dry such as George then you can put it to use in your garden to clear up the leaves and other small debris.
If you are going to go down that road then make sure you choose a dry day as these types of hoovers are not made specifically for outdoor use but they will certainly be able to deal with a lawn full of leaves.