While leaf maintenance can be extremely annoying; the job is made easier with a leaf mulcher —and if you're looking for one, why not go for the best leaf mulcher you can afford? Leaf mulchers reduce leaf waste by as much as ten times and make the waste more conveniently compostable. Here are a few tips on what makes the best electric leaf mulcher and a few reviews to help you decide on one of your very own.
As the name suggests, a leaf mulcher is a machine that enables you to slice and dice your leaves and other lawn debris into small pieces, in order to make disposal easier. These machines can be attached to a vacuum, enabling you to suck up and mulch debris from your lawn, or can function as pure stand-alone mulchers.
Removing and mulching leaves uncovers your lawn and flower beds. This is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also exposes your garden to sunlight and pollen, vital for their good health. Similarly, removing the leaves from your lawn in the fall/winter exposes your garden to rain/snow. This ensures that the plants receive the moisture they need, but also allows them to breathe.
Leaves left in the snow/rain will also rot after a while, which looks unpleasant and may do some harm to your garden. Removing leaves from your lawn has been said to prevent the spread of dandelions, crabgrass and other weeds which feed on the leaves. Finally, the mulched leaves are an excellent natural compost, aiding in the growth of your lawn.
As leaf mulchers developed from existing garden appliances, there isn’t a standard rule as to what they should contain. The main differences are as follows:
Both your vacuum and vacuum free mulchers can come with a bag/basket for storage of the mulched leaves, or can exclude this. Those without bags are designed to deposit the mulched leaves back onto your lawn where it can immediately begin serving as compost. This is fine for smaller lawns but when you are dealing with many leaves, you may appreciate the additional control afforded by a bag.
Mulchers are powered in one of three ways. The gas-powered models are traditionally older and, whilst usually heavier, are more dependable as they don’t rely on electricity or batteries. They do tend to struggle with overheating. Corded mulchers can be both vacuum and not and are usually the least noisy of the options available. They are limited to areas with power and extension cord access, which can be a hassle. Finally, battery mulchers are flexible and mobile, but a lot less heavy than the gas models. While traditionally the most expensive, the prices of these machines have gone down, and they are now competitive.
These are the two main examples of mulchers when purchasing one of your own. The stand-alone mulchers are traditionally (although not always) stronger and able to handle heavier-duty jobs. The vacuum mulchers are more convenient, allowing you to service your lawn from a stray leaf perspective all in one go. Whilst it may seem like the vacuum option is the easy choice, the truth is that the stand-alone, heavier duty mulchers may be better suited to some needs, particularly those with smaller gardens with hardier debris.
While this is a common refrain from those who claim electric mulchers are a professional only appliance, the truth is neither of these products does the same job as an electric mulcher. Ordinary vacuum cleaners are typically bulkier than mulcher vacuums. The pipes are also inadequate for handling larger particles and will typically get clogged.
Small bugs are also usually sucked up with the leaves and debris, making using the vacuum for the house a nightmare later. Leaf blowers too don’t give you the results of a mulcher. They are merely designed to create piles of leaves. The leaves still need to be mulched if they are to be left outside. Otherwise, they need to be collected and transported. As they are not mulched, this can take several bags/trips.
The Black and Decker BV5600 is the best of not one, not two but three worlds. It acts as a high-quality blower, outdoor vacuum and leaf mulcher, all in one compact and mobile design. It’s powerful 12-Amp motor makes light work of all three of its functions. It is also surprisingly quiet when in use, making it a dream for yard work on the weekend as it won’t annoy your neighbors.
Its 16:1 leaf mulching ratio is one of the most impressive around. It also comes with two-speed selections, allowing you greater control and therefore efficiency with your lawn maintenance tasks. Its built-in cord retainer is a great addition, and keeps the cord locked and stable whilst the device is being used. The BV5600 has a high impact fan, which can run quite hot whilst in use. Always wait at least ten seconds before dissembling, to allow the fan to cool down and stop moving.
This lightweight, stand-alone leaf shredder is extremely portable and child’s play to use. Weighing in at only 17lbs, the Flowtron LE-900 is small and compact and can be placed wherever it is needed. Its built-in carry handles lend itself well to the mobile nature of the device.
As a leaf shredder, the Flowtron LE-900 works flawlessly, reducing waste to up 1/30th of its original surface area and weight. The Flowtron is not limited to mulching leaves but can also deal easily with pine needles, paper, grass clippings and thatch. The shredder’s lightweight design and rotating head make storage easy.
The Earthquake 9060300 is an industrial strength mulcher/shredder that is surprisingly cost effective for a machine this powerful. While it can be used at home, it is designed and happy accomplishing more rigorous mulching jobs. It can handle branches (with diameters as big as three inches across), as well as leaves and bushes, converting the debris into usable chipping and compostable mulch.
The design is simple to setup and use and the machine comes with two debris bags, making waste disposal easy. The wheels make the machine easy to transport on the job, and the massively powerful engine and 20:1 mulching ratio will make this machine the envy of all of your friends. While it can be loud at times and much heavier than traditional home mulcher, if you often find yourself with bigger tree and bush waste, this machine is for you.
The Worx 13-Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher packs a lot of power into its simplistic design. It seamlessly minimizes your unwanted leaves up to an eleventh of their original surface area. The 120 Volt, 13-Amp motor powers a bladeless mulching system that makes light work of any and all leaves thrown at it.
It also effortlessly and automatically converts your unwanted leaves to mulch, which can be used as high-grade natural fertilizer. The controls are extremely basic and easy to use. The no-nonsense Worx Electric Leaf Mulcher is the perfect tool for anyone looking for something to mulch leaves effortlessly.
The Worx WG518 is dependable and reliable, managing the bulk of your leaf related disposal with ease. The well-designed 12-Amp motor circulates air between 160 and 240 mph, ensuring that leaves or other garden obstructions are removed or vacuumed effortlessly. Shifting between these three functions couldn’t be simpler with the big intuitive button.
The WG518 is a combination blower/mulcher and vacuum and performs all three of these tasks as well as any of the standalone machines. Its two-speed engine allows you to fine-tune the power needed, giving you the option of taking on more particular tasks. The Worx is very well-designed, with the wide vacuum pipe and included mulching bag attaching and detaching easily and intuitively, without the need for a tool. All in all, a fine machine that anyone would be happy to own.
Leaf maintenance is one of the most taxing tasks facing a home gardener. Adding an electric mulcher to your tool shed lightens your load and ensures that leaves are not the hassle they can appear to be. Whilst there are a variety of electric mulchers on the market, the clear winner is the Black and Decker BV5600 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher.
This grinding bad boy operates as a 3-in-1 blower, vacuum and mulcher and effortlessly accomplishes each of these tasks with aplomb. Its powerful motor grinds up leaves to 1/16th their original size, whilst the two-speed motor allows for fine tuning of speed for more delicate work. The Black and Decker BV5600 is a fan favorite thanks to the easy-change option. This machine is perfect for anyone looking for a versatile yet powerful mulcher/vacuum.