Raking the dried leaves out of your front lawn and garden is no easy task. If you have larger trees in your garden, there’s a chance you may have to blow the leaves away every few days or at least once every fortnight.
Now, hiring a professional gardener is not something everyone can afford. But if you can get your hands on a convenient garden vacuum and leaf blower, that you can easily use by yourself, that’s half the battle won.
The following are three options I came across while researching garden vacuums.
Read on as I go through the special features of each garden vacuum.
Top Rated Garden Vacuums In 2019
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Bosch ALS 2500
Bosch ALS 2500
A powerful and versatile garden vacuum and blower from Bosch, the ALS 2500 ensures a spectacular clean that requires very little effort from your end. It also has an adjustable handle and a padded shoulder strap so you can clean for a long time without any discomfort. The collection bag has a capacity of 45 litres and has a zip and a second handle so it can be emptied easily. There are several things this Bosch product has to offer. The following are some of the enduring features that I came across in the course of my research:
- Powerful Motor: The machine has a powerful 2500W motor, which offers an 800m3/h1 volume flow rate. The blower also has variable speeds that can go up to 300 km/hour. This means that you carry out a variety of cleaning tasks, big or small, without any trouble. The powerful motor and blower take care of most of the groundwork. All you have to do is point it in the direction of the debris.
- Two-In-One: There are two unique modes in this Bosch product. It works like a leaf blower as well as a garden vacuum. You can switch between the two modes with a simple press of a button and by replacing the vacuum tube and collection bag with the blower tube.
- Debris Collection Bag: The debris collection bag has a capacity of 45 litres and is made with waterproof material. So even if you pick up wet leaves after a stormy night, the material of the bag won’t get soggy and heavy. You can collect wet debris without worrying about creating a mess. The debris collection bag is also fairly big, so this means it can hold more waste and will save you multiple trips to the compost heap or to the bin.
- Shredding Ratio of 10:1: The machine has an incredible shredding ratio of 10:1, which means the leaves are shredded into a small, manageable volume. The shredder helps compact the leaves into the bag. If you’re going in the composting direction, this is the perfect consistency of the debris.
- Compact and Lightweight: At 4.4 kgs in the vacuum mode and 3.2 kgs in the blower mode, the machine is also fairly lightweight. It has a small size, which means that not only can you carry it around your garden without feeling the burden of the weight, but can also store it conveniently once you’re done using it. The machine can also be disassembled easily and you can store the blower parts inside the debris collection bag. For easy storage, the ALS 2500 can be easily disassembled and the blower parts can be placed into the collection bag. This keeps everything compact and tidy. The tool is also lightweight in both modes. There is also an adjustable handle and a padded shoulder strap for enhanced comfort.
A powerful yet compact vacuum cleaner and blower for your garden, the Flymo FLGV2700 is a convenient way to clean up your garden. It can shred, vacuum, blow and do all of the things a good and effective garden blower should be able to. It also comes with a debris bag attached so you don’t have to lug a garbage bag around, trying to stuff dried leaves in it. A versatile, 4-in-1 blower and vacuum, the following are some of the features that I thought may be of greater value:
- Four-In-One: The blower is extremely versatile and offers four different settings, each serving a different and unique purpose. There’s a blower to blow dry leaves out of the garden, a vacuum setting that sucks smaller leaves into the garbage bag, a shredding setting which handles the leaves that are too large to be pulled in by the vacuum and finally, a Jet-Vac, which can pick up the heavier, wet leaves too. These settings can be activated with only the flick of a switch.
- Debris Collection Bag: The debris collection bag has a capacity of 40 litres. The machine also has a suction capacity of 250 L/S, making it reasonably powerful. Having a debris collection bag attached also makes the cleaning process far easier and more convenient. It means you don’t need to collect the leaves into a pile in the corner and then go through the extra effort of raking them up later.
- Shredding Ratio of 3:1: The blower/vacuum also has an incredible shredding ratio of 3:1. This means that the machine shreds the bigger leaves to the smallest particles so the volume of waste created is far smaller. It saves you multiple trips to the compost if that is the direction you want to go in with your waste. A single trip, whether to the garbage or to the compost pit, should suffice as the volume of waste is easily manageable.
- Flexible Cable Length: The power cable is 12 metres long so it provides you with ample flexibility to cover a larger expanse in your garden. You no longer have to feel constrained by a short power cable, nor is it so long that you have to risk tripping over it.
- High Blow Speed: The machine also has a fairly high blow speed of 212 km/hour. This means all stray leaves, whether wet or dry, light or heavy, can be blown out of the way. The machine also has a powerful 2700W motor, which can pick up a variety of lightweight debris.
- Lightweight: The machine weighs only 5.1 kgs and can be carried around quite easily, no matter what the size of your garden. The motor is also so powerful, you hardly have to bend to make the machine suck the leaves and debris in. This is also an advantage for your back and you can clean out the lawn in a day without retiring to bed with a sore back.
An electric vacuum shredder from Stihl, the SHE71 is the perfect way to go if you’re looking for a quieter, more efficient cleaning process. It’s a great alternative to the petrol-based blowers and works silently, without letting your neighbours know you’re out cleaning the garden, even if it is late into the night. It can also be converted into a blower very easily. There’s also a debris collection bag which has a capacity of 45 litres and can easily be emptied out by opening the bottom zip. It has an incredible airflow rate and can go up to 580 m3/h1 – which means even the most stubborn debris is sucked in. The following are some features I thought may be of use:
- Minimal Noise: The product is the perfect, quiet alternative to the petrol leaf blowers. It does its job quietly, but just as efficiently. When you go out to clean your lawn, driveway or garden, you don’t have to wake up the whole neighbourhood with the daunting sound of your leaf blower. You can simply carry out the cleaning job quietly – a good way to save your own hearing too.
- Debris Collection Bag: The debris collection bag, like the one in the Bosch product, has a capacity of 45 litres. There is also a convenient zip at the bottom of the bag which means you can empty it in one swift and easy motion. The large capacity of the bag will save you multiple trips to the compost pit or the bin.
- High Blow Speed: The machine also has an incredibly high blow speed with an airflow rate of 580m3/h1. The motor is also powerful at 1,100W and 230 volt.
- Lightweight: At 998 grams, the machine is incredibly light and compact. It is the lightest of the ones mentioned in this article. Its compact size also means you can stow it away in a small corner in the garage or even a small tool drawer. It will hardly take any space.
What to Consider Before Buying A Garden Vacuum
What has been written about above are the special features of three garden vacuums and blowers that I came across in the course of my research. These products had features that stood out for me the most and, therefore, I thought it would be best to pick between these three. Having gone over all the specific features, you are now in a better position and better informed to make a decision. But what are some of the larger things you should consider before making a decision? Here’s a general checklist you can follow:
- What are your specific requirements? What may work for your friends may not necessarily work for you. It is up to you to set the criteria for what needs your garden vacuum should fulfil. Does your garden get dirty often? Is there a large tree in your backyard that frequently sheds leaves? These are all specifications you must consider.
- Is it corded or cordless? If the vacuum cleaner is cordless, you will need to check how long the battery lasts. If it is a corded vacuum cleaner, you will need to see how long the power cord is so it can allow you to cover a larger distance.
- Is it electric or does it run on petrol? There are two basic kinds of garden vacuum cleaners and leaf blowers. The electric vacuum cleaners are lighter and quieter. The ones that run on petrol tend to be bigger, make greater noise but are also a lot more powerful. Petrol-powered vacuum cleaners are best used in commercial settings where a large area needs to be cleared on an almost daily basis. Again, your requirements will decide if you need a petrol-powered vacuum cleaner or an electric vacuum cleaner.
- How heavy is it? This is an important factor to consider as most of the cleaning work will be carried out while standing. If there is a lot of cleaning to do and the vacuum cleaner is too heavy or doesn’t have adequate shoulder support, it can become a very tiring task. Especially, if you have a large garden, it is best to find a garden vacuum that is lightweight and compact. While there are several lightweight models in the market, not all of them may be powerful. Petrol-powered vacuum cleaners are heavier but are also more powerful than the lighter electric ones.
- Can your neighbours hear you vacuuming too? If your garden vacuum is unbearably loud, not only is it bad for your own hearing, it is also a nuisance for those living around you. Most electric vacuums tend to be quieter than petrol-powered ones. If you can find an electric vacuum cleaner that is also just as efficient, there is nothing like it. If your vacuum cleaner is too loud, it also means you can use it only in certain acceptable hours of the day. Perhaps, if your schedule is too busy, this may get neglected.
What is described above is a generic questionnaire but the following are some of the specific factors you may want to consider before buying a garden vacuum and leaf blower:
What Is It Good For?
A decent vacuum cleaner should serve at least the following common purposes:
- Vacuum Blower Combo: Any basic garden leaf blower should also have the additional setting of also serving as a vacuum cleaner. A few decades ago, perhaps, you’d have to buy two separate products to carry out both of these cleaning processes. But with the technology at the world’s disposal today, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for a two-in-one setting of a vacuum cleaner and leaf blower.
- Debris Collection Bag: The machine should also have a debris collection bag with a considerable capacity and which can be emptied out easily. The larger the debris collection bag, the fewer trips you will have to make to the compost pit or the garbage bin to empty out the waste. The debris collection bag also makes the whole cleaning process easier as you don’t have to go back and forth to pick up the waste and put it into a different container in order to carry it to its final destination.
- Pick up Wet Leaves: The machine should also be powerful enough to pick up a variety of debris, light or heavy. Often, wet leaves tend to stick to your driveway and create a greater mess than dry leaves as they are harder to take out. A leaf blower that also serves as a vacuum cleaner should be able to pull even the wet leaves in and clear out your garden. The machine needs to have extra power and a good airflow rate to achieve this.
- Lightweight: It’s important for a leaf blower and garden vacuum to be lightweight as a lot of the cleaning work will need to be done while you’re standing upright. If the machine is heavy, the strain will start affecting your back gradually. If every time you pick up the leaf blower to clean you have a backache, that is not desirable.
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How Much Does It Cost?
Before moving on to specifics, it is important to consider how much you’re willing to spend on the product. Setting a budget will help you narrow down your options and make a more informed choice. If you are able to prioritise, you should be able to find a product that is just the right fit for you. There may be some attractive features in a vacuum cleaner that is outside your decided budget. Try to figure out what makes the vacuum cleaner more expensive? Are the features that make the vacuum cleaner more expensive useful to you? These questions should help you stick to your budget. Weigh the pros and cons to see if the extra features are worth the extra money.
Another important thing to keep in mind is how frequently you’re going to be using the product. Do you live in a windy area? Does your garden get dirty with dried leaves often? If you’re going to be using the leaf blower only once every few weeks, it is up to you to decide how much you want to invest in a product you will use fortnightly.
What Does It Do Differently?
The three vacuum cleaners listed above have a few unique features. But some features may be more helpful to you than others. Here is a look at the specifics to see which product may suit you the best:
Two of the three vacuum cleaners mentioned are also effective shredders. The Bosch ALS 2500 has a shredding ratio of 10:1. Which means it shreds the leaves down to a fine powder, almost. The Flymo FLGV 2700 also has a shredding ratio of 3:1. Though it’s not as high as that of the Bosch product, it’s still a fairly effective shredder and makes cleaning the leaves out a far easier prospect.
Debris Collection Bag
All three cleaners and leaf blowers mentioned above have debris collection bags. While the Bosch and Stihl products have a debris collection bag with a 45-litre capacity, the Flymo cleaner has a collection capacity of 40 litres. The debris collection bags make the whole cleaning process much easier and convenient and save you multiple trips to the compost pit or garbage bin.
All three have fairly powerful motors and are capable of pulling in even heavier wet leaves. At 2700W, the Flymo product has the most powerful motor, followed by Bosch at 2500W and finally Stihl bringing up the train at 1100W. The Bosch has an airflow rate of 800 m3/h1, while the Stihl has an airflow rate of 580 m3/h1.
At 998 grams, the Stihl is the most lightweight and compact. It can be stored anywhere in your home or in the tool shed with ease. The Bosch product weighs 4.4 kgs in the vacuum mode and 3.2 kgs in the blower mode, making it fairly lightweight too. The blower tube can also be detached and stored in the debris collection bag to create some extra space. At 5.5 kgs, the Flymo garden vacuum and leaf blower is the heaviest.
After having gone over the specific details of each product as well as some general considerations before buying a garden vacuum, the Bosch ALS 2500 seems to stand out the most. It is versatile, lightweight and has several different settings that offer a thorough clean. It has a shredding ratio of 10:1, which shreds the leaves into a fine texture, thereby decreasing the volume of the waste. A 45-litre debris collection bag also saves you multiple trips to the compost site or to the garbage bin. The collection bag also doubles up as extra storage for the detachable blower tube. The vacuum cleaner and leaf blower is also fairly lightweight and can be carried around easily. The vacuum tube and blower tube come as separate pieces, making it extremely easy to disassemble the entire device in case you are falling short of storage space.
At 2500W and 800 m3/h1 airflow rate, the Bosch ALS 2500 is an extremely powerful garden vacuum and leaf blower and can pick up even the heavier, more stubborn wet leaves. What’s more, it also happens to be the least expensive product out of all the three mentioned. So for all those perks and features, my vote of confidence goes to the Bosch ALS 2500.