5 Best Gas-Powered Leaf Vacuums of 2021 [Reviews]

Man blowing leaves with a leaf blower

A gas-powered leaf vacuum makes leaf removal and other yard work a breeze, but which gas-powered leaf vacuum is the right one for the job?

We’ve tried to remove the guesswork. We searched the market for the best gas-powered leaf vacuums, and five made it to our final list. 

What factors did we look at to compare the best gas leaf vacuums? We ranked each leaf vacuum in six categories and took a weighted average of their scores: 

  • Performance Index: 55%
  • Mulch Ratio: 15%
  • Engine Power: 10%
  • Tank Capacity: 5%
  • Weight: 10%
  • Cost: 5%

These five gas-powered leaf vacuums made the cut for our list of the top products. Check out our buyer’s guide below for key terms and tips to help you decide which gas-powered leaf vacuum will take the work out of your yard work. 

5 Top Gas-Powered Leaf Vacuums of 2021

1. Remington RM2BV Ambush

Remington RM2BV Ambush 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower with Vacuum Accessory - Handheld Gasoline Leaf Blower for Lawn Care, Orange

Users of the Remington RM2BV Ambush leaf vacuum love its dominating power, easy assembly, and quick startup. 

Gas tools can sometimes be a challenge to start, but with the Remington RM2BV Ambush, you won’t be huffing and puffing before you even begin. The leaf vacuum’s Quickstart Technology makes firing up this gas engine a piece of cake and gets you working right away. 

This leaf vacuum also features a variable speed throttle so you can adjust the airflow for the task at hand. And did we mention it has cruise control?

This leaf vacuum’s handle boasts a grip that absorbs and reduces vibration, giving you more control and comfort. 

The Remington RM2BV Ambush sucks up the competition. With this leaf vacuum, you get an air volume of 450 CFM traveling at 205 MPH. Have a lot of leaves in the yard? Shred 16 bags of dry leaves down to one bag of shredded mulch with the leaf vacuum’s built-in mulcher. 

Specifications: 

  • Airspeed: 205 MPH
  • Air Volume: 450 CFM
  • Mulch Ratio: 16:1 (According to the user manual)
  • Engine Power: 27 cc, 2-cycle
  • Tank Capacity: 14 fl oz 
  • Weight: 12.58 lbs

Pros: 

✓ 3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
✓ Quickstart technology
✓ Cruise control
✓ Variable speed throttle
✓ Comfortable handle with over-mold grip reduces vibration
✓ High mulching ratio
✓ 1.5-bushel capacity leaf collecting bag 

Cons: 

✗ 12.58 pounds may be too heavy for you to lug around your yard.
✗ Some users report this leaf vacuum is difficult to start or has low durability
✗ Converting from blower mode to vacuum mode may prove difficult for some users

2. CRAFTSMAN BV245 

CRAFTSMAN BV245 27cc 2-Cycle Full Crank Engine Gas Powered Leaf Blower - Handheld Gasoline Blower with Vacuum Kit for Lawn Care, Liberty Red

The CRAFTSMAN BV245 leaf vacuum mulcher boasts a leaf collecting bag with a 1.5-bushel capacity so that you can work longer with fewer breaks to empty the bag. The tool’s impeller shreds up to 16 bags of leaves down to one bag of mulched debris. What this 16-to-1 mulch ratio means: Fewer bags of leaves for the landfill and more mulch for your gardens. 

The CRAFTSMAN BV245 tied for second place with the Poulan Pro PPBV25. The tie-breaker? The CRAFTSMAN BV245 is quieter than the Poulan model with a rating of 74 dBA. 

Specifications: 

  • Airspeed: 205 MPH
  • Air Volume: 450 CFM
  • Mulch Ratio: 16:1 
  • Engine Power: 27 cc, 2-cycle
  • Tank Capacity: 14 fl oz
  • Weight: 10.2 lbs

Pros: 

✓ 3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
✓ 1.5-bushel capacity leaf collecting bag 
✓ Easy-start technology
✓ Lightweight design
✓ Variable speed throttle
✓ Over-mold handle reduces vibration and increases user comfort
✓ 16:1 mulch reduction ratio

Cons: 

✗ Expensive
✗ Some users report that the tool’s start cord broke easily

3. Poulan Pro PPBV25

Poulan Pro PPBV25, 25cc 2-Cycle Gas 450 CFM 230 MPH Handheld Leaf Blower/Vacuum

Users praise the Poulan Pro PPBV25 for its strong winds and impressive vacuum power. This leaf vacuum boasts a 450 CFM and whopping 230 MPH airspeed (the highest performance index on our list). How’s that for blowing away the competition? 

Bonus points: Need to adjust the wind settings? Take advantage of the Poulan Pro PPBV25’s trigger-operated variable speed control. 

Specifications: 

  • Airspeed: 230 MPH
  • Air Volume: 450 CFM
  • Mulch Ratio: 16:1
  • Engine Power: 25 cc, 2-cycle
  • Tank Capacity: 16.9 fl oz
  • Weight: 17 lbs

Pros:

✓ 3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
✓ Highest performance index on our list
✓ Soft-grip handle
✓ 16:1 mulch ratio
✓ Reduced vibrations
✓ Cruise control
✓ High fuel capacity
✓ Trigger-operated variable speed control

Cons: 

✗ Some users report the tool is difficult to convert from blower to vacuum 
✗ Heavy

4. Troy-Bilt TB2BV

Troy-Bilt TB2BV EC 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower/Vac with JumpStart Technology and Vacuum Accessory

The Troy-Bilt TB2BV will make your yard work easy. Just blow your leaves to a corner of the yard, suck them up, and — viola! — your lawn looks pristine again. 

The Troy-Bilt TB2BV made it to our list for a reason. Its SpringAssist starting system makes pulling that stubborn cord much easier. 

Specifications: 

  • Airspeed: 150 PMH
  • Air Volume: 450 CFM
  • Mulch Ratio: 10:1 
  • Engine Power: 27 cc, 2-cycle
  • Tank Capacity: 14 fl oz
  • Weight: 12 lbs

Pros: 

3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
✓ SpringAssist starting system makes pulling the cord easier
✓ JumpStart compatible (JumpStart engine starter sold separately)
✓ Comfortable handle grip
✓ Variable speed throttle
✓ Cruise control

Cons: 

✗ 12 pounds might be hefty for you to carry around your yard.
✗ Some users report the leaf vacuum has a short lifespan.

5. Echo ES-250 25.4cc Shred N Vac

Echo ES-250 25.4cc Shred N Vac

The Echo ES-250 Shred N Vac is perfect for tending small yards and those smaller projects. This gas leaf vacuum is easy to handle and features cruise control, fast startups, 12:1 mulch reduction ratio, and a 2-bushel leaf collection bag made for convenient emptying. 

Specifications: 

  • Airspeed: 165 MPH
  • Air Volume: 391 CFM
  • Mulch Ratio: 12:1
  • Engine Power: 25.4 cc, 2-cycle
  • Tank Capacity: 16.9 fl oz
  • Weight: 12.6 lbs

Pros:

✓ 3-in-1 design: blower, vacuum, and mulcher
12:1 mulch reduction ratio
High fuel capacity
Suitable for light cleanups
2-bushel leaf collection bag with convenient emptying
Cruise control
Fast startups with the Pro-Fire electronic ignition

Cons: 

✗ 12.6 pounds may be too heavy for you
✗ A 165 MPH and 391 CFM may not be suitable for heavy-duty projects

Buyers Guide

Need to narrow down your decision before buying a gas-powered leaf vacuum? The buyers guide below should help you evaluate your needs and choose the best leaf vacuum for you and your yard. 

Let’s get started by defining a few key leaf vacuum terms:

Power source

A leaf vacuum’s power source may be a big factor in your choice. The three primary power sources are gas, corded electric, and battery. Each of these power sources is likely to meet your needs differently. The question to ask yourself is, which of your needs is a priority?

Gas-powered

You just read about five of the best performing gas-powered leaf blower vacuums on the market. Gas-powered leaf vacuums have significant advantages, though they also come with some drawbacks. 

Gas-powered models typically pack more wind power than corded or battery-powered models, though keep in mind that some corded and battery models can still perform just as well as some lower-performing gas leaf vacuums. 

With no extension cords to hold them back, gas leaf blowers and vacuums are more mobile and easier for you to use. Some gas models even feature cruise control. 

The downsides of gas-powered leaf vacuums: Gas-powered tools usually require more maintenance than a corded or battery tool. Gas leaf vacuums also make lots of noise, smell like gasoline, and emit exhaust fumes harmful to you (the user) and the environment. 

Corded electric

Corded electric leaf blower vacuums are an eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered models. All you need is an outlet and extension cord, and you can get to work –– no more having to pause the job to refill the gas tank. 

Corded models also tend to weigh less than gas- and battery-powered tools because they don’t require a fuel tank or rechargeable battery. They also offer an unlimited run time, which is a top priority for some users. 

Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of corded electric leaf vacuums is the lack of user mobility. Despite the unlimited run times, operators must work near an outlet and are bound to the extension cord’s length. 

Battery-powered

Battery-powered leaf vacuums are an eco-friendly, cordless option. Users needn’t worry about the high-maintenance hassle that comes with gas leaf vacuums and the limiting extension cords of corded models. 

Opting for a battery-powered leaf vacuum means missing out on the unlimited run time often associated with corded models. Once the battery runs out of juice, it’s time to stop the task at hand and grab the charger. 

Remember that cordless blower vacuums will typically weigh more than corded models because of the added battery weight. 

MPH and CFM

As you shop around for your new leaf vacuum, expect to see the measurements MPH and CFM. These numbers will help you evaluate the leaf vacuum’s performance. 

What is MPH?

MPH is short for miles per hour. A leaf blower vacuum’s MPH measures how fast the air is moving. If a leaf vacuum has 200 MPH, that means the air that’s blowing or vacuuming up the leaves is moving at a speed of 200 miles per hour.

What is CFM?

CFM is short for cubic feet per minute. A leaf blower vacuum’s CFM measures how much air is moving per minute. If a leaf vacuum has a 450 CFM, that means an air volume of 450 cubic feet is blowing or vacuuming up the leaves per minute. 

Which is more important, MPH or CFM?

Both measurements are important, not just one. Some buyers might be impressed with a high MPH, even if it’s matched with a relatively low CFM. But don’t let that exceptionally high MPH fool you, especially since it stands alone. Here’s why: 

If a leaf vacuum has an exceptionally high MPH and low CFM, the lack of CFM will have a significant negative impact on the leaf vacuum’s power. What impact will fast-moving air have on your leaves if there is a small amount of air moving? 

Remember, CFM measures air volume. A small amount of fast-moving air won’t do much to a pile of leaves. 

The bottom line 

MPH measures airspeed, and CFM measures air volume. If air power is a priority, you’ll want to shop for a leaf vacuum that has high measurements for both MPH and CFM. 

Mulch reduction ratio

A mulch reduction ratio measures how well the leaf vacuum’s mulcher shreds debris. If a leaf vacuum has a mulch reduction ratio of 16:1, that means the mulch shredder can reduce up to 16 bags of leaves down to 1 bag of mulch. 

A high mulch reduction ratio might prove helpful if you have a lot of leaves to bag. Don’t send those bags of leaves to the landfill; put the bag of mulched leaves on your garden or flower beds. 

Versatility

Most leaf vacuums have a 3-in-1 design that includes a leaf blower, leaf vacuum, and mulcher. A versatile design is useful for buyers shopping on a budget or who have limited storage space in the garage. 

Weight

A leaf vacuum’s weight is an important factor in your decision making. For example, after an afternoon in the hot sun, you’ll be glad you bought the leaf vacuum that weighs less than other models. 

Lightweight leaf vacuum designs help prevent muscle fatigue/strain and even help increase productivity — the heavier the tool, the more breaks you likely will need to take. 

Noise Level

Don’t expect blowing and vacuuming up those leaves to be a quiet task. Before buying your leaf vacuum, make sure its decibel rating (dBA) is appropriate for your area’s laws. Many counties and cities have local ordinances to limit noise pollution. 

Bag size

Leaf vacuums come equipped with a leaf collecting bag measured in gallons or bushels. Bag sizes typically range from 0.5 to 2 bushels and affect how often you will need to pause your work to empty the bag. 

If you find starting and stopping your work to be a nuisance, the best leaf blower vacuum for you may be one with a large leaf collecting bag. 

Need a visual guide? Check out this blower vacuum buyer’s guide by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine:

FAQs About Leaf Vacuums

1. Why get a handheld leaf vacuum? Why not use a mower leaf vacuum?

Turning an existing lawn mower into an effective leaf vacuum is not a bad idea, but there are some things a handheld leaf vacuum can do that a mower leaf vacuum can’t.

Here are a few reasons you might want a handheld leaf blower vacuum:

1. It can vacuum fallen leaves on hard surfaces, such as the deck, garage, or porch. A mower leaf vacuum can only suck up leaves in the grass. 

2. It can suck up the leaves near the sides of fences, corners, and other tight spaces a mower leaf vacuum fails to reach. 

3. You can use it indoors. Did leaves blow into your garage or tool shed? Get rid of the debris with a handheld leaf vacuum. A mower leaf vacuum won’t do much good indoors. 
 

2. How do I get leaves off my gravel?

Are leaves falling on your gravel driveway or river rock walkway? That’s easy to take care of.

The No. 1 one rule? Don’t suck up the rocks. 

Leaves weigh less than rocks. As long as you have your leaf vacuum on a low power setting, it should be strong enough to pick up the leaves while leaving the stones alone. 

If your leaf vacuum begins to suck up the rocks, stop vacuuming the area right away. You may need to lower the power setting or consider buying a leaf vacuum that isn’t so strong. 

When to Call a Professional

Not everyone wants to spend a relaxing weekend cleaning the yard. Call a local lawn care professional near you to remove the leaves for you. While you get to enjoy board games and hot chocolate with the family, leave your yard in the hands of someone with a passion for lawn care. 

Blowing away the leaves isn’t all a lawn care professional can do. They can mow the yard, mulch the garden, and even fertilize the lawn. 

Main Photo Credit: Dean Hochman / Flicker / CC BY 2.0

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Jane Purnell

Jane Purnell

Jane Purnell is a freelance writer and actor in New York City. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and enjoys a warm cup of French press coffee.