Autumn leaves look beautiful on the trees but when they fall down, making paths and patios slippery and clogging up drains, they can be a real pain. If you already know what you want, head over to our leaf blower and leaf blower vac reviews.
If you’re thinking of buying a leaf blower or a leaf blower vac these are the top five things you should consider.
1. Blower or blower vac?
Leaf blowers just blow the leaves around so you can move them from paths and borders into piles for picking up. You can get powerful petrol machines for big jobs, down to light battery machines, great for tidying up a patio or border. But if you want a blower vac that collects the leaves as well then you should look at a petrol or corded electric model – we haven’t found a cordless battery leaf blower vac that’s up to the job.
2. Switch or disassemble?
If you have a few leaves you want to get rid of then a blower vac with parallel tubes that lets you switch between blow and vac mode at the flick of a switch is the most convenient option. These are often the cheapest type of leaf blower vac. However a lot machines lose power between the blow and vac modes. You can avoid this by buying a machine that converts from blow to vac by moving the blow tube and attaching a collection bag.
3. Metal mulching blades
A lot of leaf blower vacs have solid, hard plastic mulching blades for cutting up leaves. However these can chip if you accidently suck up a stone. The best leaf blower vacs have metal blades to chop up debris. Which ever type you choose, make sure you can get quick and easy access to the mulching blades as even the best machines can block and you’ll have to clear the leaves away.
If you’ve not got much storage space then look for a leaf blower vac that has a tube that can collapse or be removed for easy storage. Leaf blowers are all pretty bulky though so it might be worth trying alternatives first such as a stiff brush and leaf scoop.
5. Collection bag
If your leaf blower vac has a flimsy collection bag any water from damp leaves is likely to leak out and give you a damp leg. It’s worth looking for a machine that has a large collection bag made of thick material and a big zip to help with emptying. This will ensure you can collect a lot of leaves quickly and empty them out easily before too much water leaks through. Some machines have plastic flaps to protect your leg from getting damp, but we found these quite cumbersome.