Forum home Tools and techniques

Leaf vacuum - any good or just all ' wind & puff'

young codgeryoung codger Posts: 529
edited February 2022 in Tools and techniques
I am considering a leaf vacuum-not seriously considering :) , yet. Well not until the knowledgeable people on here have advised me. 

Not interested in the type that blows as well as sucks. Well, unless the price is right. I only need the vacuum facility. It is solely for leaves-thousands of them every autumn. I  feed the 3 composters with them throughout the year, amongst other materials.

Any advice will be appreciated.  :)


  • If any of the areas have small sized gravel or pea shingle etc., be aware that some of that will get sucked-in too, and likely damage the impeller.  If the areas are paved or grass, you should be OK.  I bought a cheap one on a whim, but I don't think I've used it more than twice.. :/
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you Bob-good point to watch out for. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    I had one like this, Fantastic as the disc on the front comes off and a hose can be attached. 
    I also had a blower vac, but only used it to blow. The collection bag was just too small and needed constant emptying.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,301
    I've had a Black & Decker Blower/sucker for about 20yrs.
    I had a gravel drive and my neighbour has a huge oak.
    Occasionally a bit of gravel got through that was stuck between leaves, but otherwise it just dropped back out. I'd guess it was designed that way.
    It served its purpose.
    I never used it for leaves elsewhere in the garden and rarely used the blowing function.
    It does chop the leaves up on the way to the bag too and they break down into leaf mould faster than whole oak leaves

    The only problem I've had is when I forget to zip up the bag after emptying it and it can be a while before I realize that there's' a trail of chopped leaves behind me...
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,908
    edited February 2022
    My OH has a machine that both sucks and blows. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

    If the leaves are dry, he says that blowing them into a place where they are corralled and can be put into buckets and bins and then added to the compost is good. If wet, blowing is a waste of time. The advantage of blowing is that the weight of the machine does not increase as you work. Plus, the blower can stay up in the air. You don’t have to bend over so much.

    Sucking works on wet leaves but the leaves get compacted in the bag, become heavy and stick together. Emptying the wet bag can be tedious. It also gets heavy and the harness digs into your shoulders. Plus, the sucker only works if it’s kept very very close to the leaves, so some bending over is involved.

    Also, electric ones with a lead are quieter and don’t fill the air with the smell of petrol.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,283
    edited February 2022
    I have a cordless leaf vacuum/blower and only use the vacuum function because it's too fiddly to change functions!  It is very thirsty on power - the battery needs recharging after about 10 minutes' use.  (For comparison, the same battery when fully charged would allow me to cut both my lawns about 3 times!)  However, not having to negotiate round a cable makes it easy to use.  I never use it on wet leaves and any small stones are usually rejected automatically.  It is quite noisy so I try to use it when my neighbours are out but it's quick and much easier than a broom and dustpan! (Although the latter technique can be therapeutic if you just want to be outside and feel useful!)  This GW article may help you: Best Leaf Blowers and Leaf Blower Vacuums 2022 - BBC Gardeners World Magazine.  Good luck!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695
    We use the blower to direct leaves on to the lawn from the borders, and then use the mower to chop them up , and second pass to mow them up . Then then go in a big builders bag to make leaf mould.  Using the vacuum method just fills up the small bag too quick and you are forever empytying it.
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,245
    I asked a bloke who was chasing leaves around a car park with a blower why he didn't just use a broom. He told me that he wished they'd let him.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • I bought an electric leaf blower/vacuum years ago. I used it a few times then gave up on it, it’s somewhere in the shed. By the time I got it out the shed, unwound the extension cord then used it, emptied bag, used it again, moved the cord etc (and it was heavy, not that easy to move about and had to be almost on the ground to collect anything) tidied cable away and put it back in the shed I would of had the job done in half the time with a rake and a big trug, which is my method now. Can you tell I am not a fan. A cordless one may be better though.
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,245
    I've got a food processor. Used it twice and it has lived in a cupboard for years. Some gadgets might do the actual task quicker, but that's not the whole story. The set up, clean up and put away needs to be factored in as well.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
Sign In or Register to comment.