Clean every speck of your lawn with a cordless leaf vacuum –– no extension cords, no outlets, and nothing to hold you back. But which battery-powered leaf vacuum is right for you and your yard?
We’ve tried to take the guesswork out of choosing a cordless leaf vacuum. We searched high and low for the best battery-powered and gas-powered leaf vacuums on the market, and three made it to our exclusive list.
What factors did we look at to compare the best battery leaf vacuums? We ranked each leaf vacuum in four categories and took a weighted average of their scores:
- Performance Index = 50%
- Mulch Ratio: 25%
- Weight: 15%
- Cost: 10%
These three leaf vacuums with the best-weighted averages made it to our final list. Check out our buyers guide below for tips to help you decide which cordless leaf vacuum will make blowing and vacuuming the leaves a breeze.
3 Best Cordless Leaf Vacuums – Reviews
Operating a battery-powered leaf vacuum doesn’t always mean you sacrifice performance. The Greenworks 40V 24312 leaf vacuum will suck up those leaves in a snap with its 185 mph and 340 CFM force.
This battery-powered leaf vacuum’s brushless motor ensures longer run time, more power, and a longer tool lifetime. The brushless motor also provides less noise and lower vibrations.
The Greenworks 40V 24312 leaf vac also shows off a six-speed dial that allows you to adjust for the task at hand. If you need to clean up leaves stuck between small rocks, lower the speed to target the light leaves.
Need to ramp things up quickly? The turbo button boasts on-demand power, delivering an airspeed of 185 mph in seconds.
- MPH: 185
- CFM: 340
- Weight: 9.92 lbs
- Mulch Ratio: 10:1
✓ 3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
✓ Brushless motor ensures longer run time, more torque, more power, and an extended tool lifetime.
✓ Six-speed dial lets you adjust for the task at hand
✓ Turbo button boasts on-demand power, delivering an airspeed of 185 mph in seconds.
✓ 10:1 mulch reduction ratio
✓ Handles dry and wet leaves
✗ 9.92 pounds may be too heavy for some users
✗ Battery sold separately on Amazon
✗ Some users report the leaf vacuum has a short run time
Clear your patio, deck, garage, and driveway of leaves with the Sun Joe iONBV 40-Volt leaf vacuum. Are your sidewalks sprinkled with light snow? The Sun Joe iONBV can take care of that too.
If you’re looking for mulching power, the Sun Joe iONBV 40-Volt ought to be at the top of your list. The battery-powered leaf vacuum mulcher can shred 17 bags of dry leaves down to one bag of mulch. That’s 17 fewer bags of leaves in the landfill and more mulched gardens and flower beds.
The Sun Joe iONBV also features six variable speed settings for easy airflow adjustment, an impressive max airspeed of 200 mph, and a 16-gallon vacuum bag (that’s 1.7 bushels).
- MPH: 200
- CFM: 300
- Weight: 8.7 lbs
- Mulch Ratio: 17:1
✓ 3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
✓ Users report easy conversion from leaf blower to vacuum
✓ Large leaf collecting bag
✓ High mulch reduction ratio at 17:1
✓ Six variable speed settings
✗ Some users report short battery life.
The BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 leaf vacuum is ideal for cleaning up leaves on hard surfaces, like your garage, driveway, deck, patio, or walkway. If you’re looking for a tool that doesn’t blow you across the yard but easily takes care of a small patch of fallen leaves, the BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 may be the perfect fit for your needs.
You won’t be wiping off any sweat after using this leaf vacuum. The lightweight tool is only 5.4 pounds in blower mode and 6.9 pounds in vacuum mode. And with 120 mph and 90 CFM of force, you likely won’t have any difficulty controlling this lower-powered leaf vacuum.
Perfect for a small outdoor job, the BLACK+DECKER LSWV36 will suck up those few stray leaves both speedily and mightily. It has a 6:1 mulch reduction ratio, a 0.5-bushel leaf collecting bag, and a 40-volt lithium-ion battery.
And this BLACK+DECKER tool is quiet. The leaf vacuum is rated at 65 dBA, significantly reducing the noisy ruckus typically associated with gasoline leaf blowers.
- MPH: 120
- CFM: 90
- Weight: 6.9 lbs
- Mulch Ratio: 6:1
✓ 3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
✓ Ideal for hard surfaces like patios, decks, and driveways
✓ Ideal for non-demanding tasks
✓ Not as noisy as a typical gas-powered leaf vacuum. Rated at 65 dBA
✗ Not suitable for use in grass or flower beds
✗ May not be powerful enough for some users
✗ A 6:1 mulch reduction ratio may be too small for some operators.
✗ The leaf collection bag is only half a bushel in size.
To help narrow your decision on the best leaf vacuum for you and your needs, check out our buyers guide below to review basic leaf vacuum terms and essential items to consider.
Users will often find that a leaf vacuum’s power source significantly impacts their yard work. The three primary power sources are gas, corded electric, and battery. Each power source has its own advantages and disadvantages and will likely meet your needs in different ways.
Gas-powered leaf vacuums
Gas-powered tools pack lots of power. Equipped with high mph and CFM, gas-powered tools typically outperform corded electric and battery-powered equipment. Some gas models even have cruise control.
But in some cases, corded electric and battery-powered tools will perform just as well as some gas-powered models.
Commercial operators typically use gas-powered leaf vacuums to handle large projects, though several lower-performing gas leaf vacuums make excellent tools for small yards.
Despite their exceptional power, gas tools are typically noisy, smelly, and heavy. They can be challenging to turn on and require plenty of maintenance. Gas tools also emit exhaust fumes that are harmful to the environment and the user.
Corded electric leaf vacuums
Corded electric leaf blower vacuums need to be plugged into an outlet or extension cord to operate. They are an eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered tools and have an unlimited run time.
The disadvantage of corded models is that they go only so far. Need to tackle a pile of leaves that’s too far for the extension cord? Then you may need to consider an alternative power source that allows mobility, such as gas or battery-powered.
Battery-powered leaf vacuums
If you want to avoid odorous gas tanks, harmful emissions, and limiting extension cords, a battery-powered leaf vacuum may be your best choice. Cordless leaf blower vacuums are eco-friendly and enable user mobility.
The hassle with battery tools is limited run time and weight. Users can do only so much work before the battery runs out of juice. A battery is also likely to add weight to the leaf vacuum, making the tool heavier than a typical corded model.
Batteries can also be expensive. Though keep in mind that some companies sell batteries that are compatible with several different power tools within the same battery system.
How this can save you money: If you’re already a fan of a particular company, you may already own the battery for a compatible battery-powered leaf vacuum. In which case, you will only need to pay for the tool and not the battery, too.
MPH and CFM
Miles per hour (mph) and cubic feet per minute (CFM) are two essential measures you’ll likely see when shopping for your new leaf vacuum.
So what do these two terms mean?
MPH measures how fast the air is moving through the leaf vacuum. If a leaf vacuum has a 250 mph, that means the air sucking up or blowing the leaves is moving at a speed of 250 miles per hour.
CFM measures how much air is moving through the leaf vacuum. If a leaf vacuum has a 350 CFM, that means 350 cubic feet of air is vacuuming or blowing the leaves per minute.
Is one measurement more important than the other?
Both measurements are essential. If one measure is exceptionally high while the other is relatively low, don’t let the higher number fool you.
For instance, if a leaf vacuum has an impressive CFM but a relatively low MPH, the high CFM shouldn’t sell you on the leaf vacuum alone. Because even though the tool may blow or vacuum a high air volume, the air won’t do much to the leaves if it isn’t moving very fast.
The bottom line: MPH measures airspeed, and CFM measures air volume. If power is a priority, it’s best to look for a leaf vacuum with both a good mph and CFM.
Mulch Reduction Ratio
The mulch reduction ratio measures how many bags of leaves a leaf vacuum can shred down to one bag of mulch. For instance, if a leaf vacuum has a mulch ratio of 16:1, that means it can reduce 16 bags of leaves down to one bag of mulch.
If you have a yard with lots of leaves and want to cut down on the number of leaf bags you throw, you may want to consider a leaf vacuum with a high mulch reduction ratio.
Most leaf vacuums have a 3-in-1 tool design as a leaf blower, vacuum, and mulcher. This versatility may prove helpful if you have limited storage space, are shopping on a budget, or prefer an easy transition between tools.
A couple of pounds difference in a leaf vacuum can weigh you down — and wear you down — over time. For this reason, a lighter leaf vacuum — test a tool’s weight and feel in a store — may be the better choice.
Leaf vacuums and leaf blowers are noisy. Many counties and cities have local ordinances to limit noise pollution.
Before buying your leaf vacuum, make sure its decibel rating (dBA) is appropriate for your area’s laws. Your neighbors certainly won’t approve of your new leaf vacuum if it’s exceptionally loud and disturbs everyone living on your street.
Some leaf blowers have larger leaf collecting bags than others. Keep in mind that the smaller the bag, the more often you’ll need to pause your work to empty it.
Need a visual guide? Check out this blower vacuum buyer’s guide by Consumer Reports:
FAQ About Leaf Vacuums
If your leaf vacuum has a shorter run time than you expected, this isn’t always due to a faulty battery. Some advertised run times can be misleading.
A leaf vacuum advertised to have “up to a 60 minute run time” might prove only to have a 60 minute run time when the tool operates at the lowest speed setting. For some users, using a leaf vacuum at its lowest speed to achieve a 60-minute run time may not be suitable for the heavy-duty task at hand.
The bottom line: A leaf vacuum advertised to have a 60-minute run time might have only a 15- or 20-minute run time at the highest speed setting.
To confirm a leaf vacuum’s accurate run time on your desired power setting, check the owner’s manual. This guide will typically outline the different run times at various operating settings.
Turning an existing lawn mower into a leaf vacuum may prove useful to many operators, but there are some things a handheld leaf vacuum can do that a mower leaf vacuum can’t.
A handheld leaf blower can:
— Suck up leaves on hard surfaces where a mower leaf vacuum can’t, such as the deck, porch, driveway, or walkway.
— Vacuum up leaves on the sides of fences and in tight corners and other hard-to-reach places a mower leaf vacuum can easily miss.
— Be used indoors. Is lawn debris finding its way into your barn, garage, or tool shed? A handheld leaf blower is easy to use indoors, while a mower leaf vacuum is best left for outdoor tasks.
Worried about sucking up small rocks while trying to vacuum the leaves off your gravel driveway? As long as your leaf vacuum has variable speed control and you use the tool correctly, you won’t vacuum up rocks.
Remember: Leaves weigh less than rocks. Just operate your leaf vacuum at a speed setting strong enough to pick up the leaves but not so strong that it will suck up the rocks too.
First, set your leaf vacuum to its lowest setting. Next, try vacuuming a small portion of the gravel area. If the vacuum can pick up the leaves while not disturbing the rocks, the speed level is appropriate to move on to the rest of the rocky area.
If the vacuum can’t suck up the leaves, try increasing the speed by one level. Test the increased airflow over a small rock area before moving on to the rest of the leaves.
If the vacuum sucks up the rocks even on the lowest level, you may need to buy a leaf vacuum with more adjustable speed settings or a lower mph and CFM.
When to Hire a Pro for Leaf Removal
If blowing and vacuuming leaves isn’t how you want to spend your weekend, maybe what you need is a professional (and not a new leaf vacuum). Book a leaf removal pro near you to take care of the leaf cleanup so you can get back to what matters.
Or book a lawn care pro near you who can do more than rake up those dry leaves. They can mow your lawn, mulch the flower beds, and even tend to the gardens.
Remember, a leaf vacuum makes yard work easy, but hiring a professional means no work at all.
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