7 Best Leaf Mulcher Reviews: Best Tools to Clean Your Lawn

Best Leaf Mulchers

With the come of autumn, heaps of dead leaves can be a serious cause of worry for many homeowners with a yard. Not only does dead leaves decompose and give a bad odor, but they also kill other plant life like grass. Of course, cleaning your yard the traditional way with a leaf blower and rake combo normally leaves a big heap of debris that is often hard to get rid of. This is where the leaf vacuum mulcher steps in.

It is an ingenious mulching tool that converts dead leaves and small branches into compost. This provides you with a clean way to fertilize your garden with a 100% organic and homemade fertilizer at no cost. Additionally, the leaf mulcher can be used to reduce the size of dead leaves for easier disposal. Whatever the reasons may be, let's find a good mulcher below!

7. Sun Joe SDJ616 Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Editor's Rating:  (4 / 5)

Sun Joe SDJ616 Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder Review

Most people with a yard do not need a heavy-duty leaf mulcher. Models like the Sun Joe SDJ616 has long been one of the reigning kings in terms of affordability.

Despite its low price tag, it still manages to host a powerful 13 Amp motor that moves the cutting lines at 8,000 RPM. Moreover, the hopper also has a decent size of 19” providing the user with an easy entry to dump their leaves in one swoop. The bottom equally has a convenient bag attachment bracket for better ease of use.

To sweeten the deal, the reduction ratio of 16:1 is also very decent. Not the best by any shot, but it will work for most people simply looking to produce compost from leaves.

On the downside, it can only process a small number of leaves at a time, at the rate of 12 gallons per minute. This is not a lot and clearly, this model is intended for lightweight and not heavy-duty mulching tasks.

Pros

  • Large hopper size of 19”.
  • 3 shredding speed adjustment setting.
  • Bag attachment support at the bottom.
  • Large stands for stability.

Cons

  • Slow shredding speed. Processes only 12 gallons of leaves a minute.
  • Does not work with branches.

Who Should Buy?

For lightweight purposes, the Sun Joe SDJ616 is one of the best leaf vacuum mulcher out there. It is decently priced with a generous reduction ratio of 16:1. If speed is not important and you only need to mulch leaves, it is an excellent model to get.

6. Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder

Editor's Rating:  (4 / 5)

Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder

This model from Flowtron is a little bit on the expensive side, but it is a worthwhile investment for those who must mulch many wet or dry leaves. It is important to take notice that this model works exclusively with leaves and not branches.

It has a large 21” hopper that allows huge heaps of leaves to be poured at any given time. Furthermore, it sports a lightweight design with built-in handles for portability. It even has 2 expandable legs that provide support and decent stability to the unit while in operation.

Going deeper into the unit, the LE-900 sports a 5.9 Amp motor that turns no less than 36 heavy-duty cutting lines. With this many cutting lines, the user is ensured to get a very fine compost material with no more than 2 passes.

Additionally, it has 3 pre-built shredding adjustment settings to choose between fine, medium and coarse compost. It is very beginner-friendly and delivers a reduction ratio anywhere from 8:1 on the coarse setting to 30:1 on the fine setting. By far, this model offers the best reduction ratio in this leaf mulcher review.

Pros

  • Large 21” opening for heavy-duty mulching.
  • 36 cutting lines for mulching leaves fast and efficiently.
  • Stable base stand limits vibrations and provides a solid foundation for mulching.
  • 3 shredding adjustment speeds for more versatility.

Cons

  • Does not mulch branches.

Who Should Buy?

The Flowtron LE-900 is suitable for those who mulch a large amount of wet or dry leaves. It does not work with branches as it may damage the 36 cutting lines. Other than that, it is a very easy to use and heavy-duty leaf mulcher.

5. Worx WG430 Electric Leaf Mulcher

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Worx WG430 Electric Leaf Mulcher

While this unit is certainly not the best vacuum mulcher on the market, it is one of the best value for money units out there. The Worx WG430 sports a powerful 13 Amp motor that can mulch an impressive 53 gallons of leaves a minute. The motor itself can move the cutting lines at a very fast speed of 8,500 RPM. This speed in one of the fastest in this review.

Moreover, the 24 cutting lines ensure an efficient cut and deliver a decent 11:1 mulching ratio. Nothing to write home about, especially when compared to the Flowtron LE-900 above.

It cannot be used with branches and works exclusively with wet or dry leaves only. On the plus side, it is very reasonably priced and can be used as a heavy-duty leaf mulcher due to its large mouth opening and sporty motor.

Pros

  • Powerful 13 Amp motor. Can process 53 gallons of leaves a minute.
  • The 24 cutting lines move at a speed of 8,500 RPM and delivers a fine compost material.
  • Can be folded into a more compact leaf mulcher. Easy to carry around.

Cons

  • This mulcher does not have the best reduction ratio at 11:1

Who Should Buy?

This model can comfortably be used as a heavy-duty leaf mulcher. It should not be used with small branches and limited to leaves only, wet or dry. It also does not have the best reduction ratio at 11:1. However, if reduction ratio is not an important factor and you still require a performing leaf vacuum mulcher, it is a relatively affordable and powerful unit that brings a lot of value to the table.

4. Sun Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder

Editor's Rating:  (4 / 5)

Sun Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder

The Sun Joe CJ601E is an affordable all-in-one branch and leaf mulcher. It is powered by a robust 14 Amp motor that delivers enough torque to mulch even the hardest branch.

This unit generates blade speeds of up to 4,300 RPM allowing to mulch branches with a size of up to 1-1/2”. It is not the fastest speed, but still adequate for most leaf mulching tasks.

Moreover, it contains two 6” rear wheels allowing it to be easily carried around the yard. Best, this unit is also fitted with a safety hopper that immediately locks the motor when opened. Furthermore, the handles are sufficiently large proving the user with a comfortable grip that helps limit hand fatigue over time.

Pros

  • Powerful 14 Amp motor.
  • Versatile. Can mulch branches and leaves.
  • 2 rear wheels for portability.
  • Safety mechanism that locks the motor when the hopper is opened.

Cons

  • Small hopper. Not suitable for heavy-duty applications or mulching large amounts of leaves.

Who Should Buy?

The Sun Joe CJ601E is one of the best electric leaf mulchers for those on a low budget and still require a performing model that can mulch both branches and leaves. It is not for those who need a heavy-duty mulcher for large scale compost manufacturing, but rather for lightweight mulching usage.

3. Worx WG518 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vac

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

Worx WG518 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vac

Based on price alone, it is nearly impossible to beat the Worx WG518 anywhere. It is a leaf vacuum mulcher that also retrofits as a leaf blower and mulcher.

As a leaf blower, it sends a powerful airflow of 160 MPH or 250 MPH. It is a 2-speed adjustable device. When it works as a leaf vacuum mulcher, it has a strong suction capacity of 400 CFM. This is powerful enough to such small branches and leaves with equal ease. All this is made possible by the efficient and powerful 12 Amp motor inside this unit.

Equally impressive is the reduction ratio of 16:1 with a decently sized bag that can hold 1 bushel of mulched leaves.

All in all, it is a practical 2-in-1 leaf vacuum mulcher and leaf blower with a lot of bang for the buck.

Pros

  • 2-in-1. Works as a leaf blower and leaf vacuum mulcher.
  • Solid motor of 12 Amp provides a powerful suction/blowing capacity.
  • Impellers are made from metal and not plastic. Durable and long-lasting.
  • Has a shoulder strap when used as a vacuum mulcher.

Cons

  • Small capacity. Not intended for heavy duty mulching.

Who Should Buy?

The Worx WG518 speaks to those looking for versatility rather than performance or mulching capacity. It works as both a VAC and a mulcher and does both tasks quite well for the price.

2. Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum

While the Toro 51621 UltraPlus is also a leaf blower, it shines when it comes to leaf mulching. It is powered by a 12 Amp motor and comes with a variable speed control for versatility and ease of use.

This unit guarantees a decent reduction ratio and long-lifetime due to its metal impellers. They will reduce 97% of leaves, wet or dry to 1/2” in size on the first pass. With its powerful 410 CFM suction force, little effort is required to get leaves in.

Additionally, this powerful suction capacity complements the long nozzle quite well, allowing the user to suck leaves off the ground without bending too much. This promotes usability and comfort when using this leaf vacuum mulcher for longer periods.

Pros

  • Excellent build construction. Durable and long-lasting.
  • Powerful suction capacity of 410 CFM.
  • Variable speed control for versatility.
  • Metal impellers for durability.
  • Bottom bag zipper to quickly and easily remove storage bag.

Cons

  • A little bit on the expensive side.

Who Should Buy?

This unit from Toro is one of the best leaf blower mulchers on the market. It has an excellent build quality with metal impellers. Additionally, despite its expensive price, it offers a lot of versatility. We recommend it for lightweight mulching applications or for general yard cleaning.

1. Black & Decker BV5600 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher

Editor's Rating:  (4.4 / 5)

Black & Decker BV5600 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher

Despite its small price, the Black & Decker BV5600 has excellent versatility and performance. As a leaf vacuum mulcher, it has no problem sucking in wet or dry leaves with this powerful 12 Amp motor.

However, what demarks this mulcher from other portable vacuum mulchers is its ability to mulch branches as well. Indeed, it has metal blades that can mulch both leaves and branches to a 16:1 reduction ratio.

It also has an enlarged hopper nose for sucking in large leaves and the general ergonomic form factor is superb. The handle is large and anti-slip, and when held with both hands the user will not feel fatigue over time.

Lastly, this electric leaf mulcher comes with a decent size container bag that can quickly and easily be fitted to the device. It will not require frequent emptying due to its large capacity.

Pros

  • Affordable. Value for money.
  • Strong suction force and powerful 12 Amp motor will not choke.
  • Can mulch small branches in addition to wet or dry leaves.
  • Low noise at only 68 dBA.
  • Enlarged hopper tip can suck large leaves.

Cons

  • None

Who Should Buy?

This model is a beast when it comes to lightweight mulching applications. It can mulch both branches and leaves at the same time, something that many models in its price range do not offer. We safely recommend it as a general-purpose yard cleaning and lightweight leaf vacuum mulcher.

Types of Mulchers

There are several types of leaf vacuum mulchers on the market. Some models are handheld for portability, while others are heavy-duty shredders that can mulch both twigs and leaves. Here is an overview of the most common ones.

#1. Simple Mulchers

Simple mulchers generally shred only leaves and not branches. They are divided into 2 types:

Mulching Lawn Mowers

The mulching lawn mower is the cheapest solution on the market. It can mulch leaves only and works in the same way as a regular lawn mower. The major disadvantage of this type is it has difficulty working with heaps of dry leaves and often, 2 or more passes are required. However, the major advantages is that it can work in hard to reach places such as flower beds and is particularly easy to use.

Mulchers and Shredders

This mulcher type uses heavy-duty threads called cutting lines to cut leaves. The user needs to feed it with dry leaves through a top opening, and it offers the added advantages of allowing you to easily bag the dead leaves.

#2. Vacuum Leaf Shredders and Chippers

The vacuum leaf mulcher is more heavy-duty and provides better ease of use. It can mulch and bag both twigs and leaves, whether it is dry or wet leaves in record time. There are several types of vacuum shredders, each appropriate for a use.

Portable Vacuum Shredders

As its name indicates, the portable vacuum mulcher can easily be carried around and has the typical look of a leaf blower. An inbuilt lithium-ion battery normally powers this type, or it can sometimes also be electric powered.

In any case, it can quickly and easily mulch both twigs and leaves in a limited amount. Since it is small, this type is only ideal for those who must work with only a small amount of dry leaves.

Push Vacuum Shredders

Push Vacuum Shredders

A step up in terms of power from the portable type above. Generally containing an electric or gas motor, this leaf vacuum mulcher can work with both twigs, wet or dry leaves and is intended for those who need to mulch a lot of dry leaves in a short time.

Additionally, it is good to note that some leaf vacuum mulchers only shred branches and not dry leaves. The user needs to observe due diligence before purchasing a model.

#3. Power Source

Gas-Powered Leaf Mulcher

The gas-powered leaf mulcher is the first type of mulchers that hit the market decades ago. It is a noisy leaf mulcher that exhausts fumes. They are usually heavy and hard to carry around.

However, the gas-powered type is also the most powerful leaf mulcher on the market. The main disadvantage is the regular maintenance that needs to be performed to keep this mulcher in tip top condition.

Electric Leaf Mulcher

Electric Leaf Mulcher

The electric leaf mulcher has quickly become the homeowner favorite type of mulcher. They work more cleanly, with zero fume emission and operate with significantly less noise than gas types. Moreover, they are lighter and portable so that everyone of every build can easily carry it around. The only downside is that this type of leaf mulcher requires a power outlet, and will require a power extension for those with a very large yard.

Battery Powered Mulcher

The battery powered leaf mulcher is one of the easiest mulchers to work with. It is relatively lightweight and highly portable. The only downside is the steep price tag of most models. Additionally, it offers less mulching speed and performance than an electric or gas powered shredder. However, this type of mulcher is unbeatable in terms of portability and usability.

Things to Consider When Buying a Mulcher

There are a few important factors to consider before purchasing a leaf mulcher shredder.

#1. Power

The power dictates how heavy-duty the leaf mulcher will be. It is measured in Amperage and the higher the motor amp, the more powerful the unit. The best leaf mulchers on the market are usually rated at 12 Amp or above. But for general purpose leaf composting, anything above 10 Amps should be enough.

#2. Speed

It is important to be able to adjust the speed of leaf vacuum mulcher as it significantly decreases the number of passes required.

Feeding a mulcher too many leaves might choke the motor, especially when used on models with a lower rated amperage.

It is an important factor to account for, and models with a variable speed should be given preference for better ease of use.

#3. Reduction Ratio

The reduction ratio is simply the size of the result compared to the original leaf heap. In general, the best leaf shredders have a reduction ratio of at least 16:1. This means that the output result volume is 16 times smaller than the original leaf heap fed to the leaf mulcher.

#4. Capacity

The capacity of the leaf mulcher will depend on the amount of compost that you need to make and the amount of dry leaves to convert. A big yard with a lot of leaves will require a leaf shredder with a higher capacity.

#5. Mulcher Versatility

Some leaf vacuum mulchers can only chip branches and not leaves. Ensure that the model can work with the debris that is available in your yard.

For small scale mulching on flat ground, especially in hard to reach areas like a flower bed, a mulching lawn mower is better than a push vacuum shredder. In short, the type of leaf mulcher should be appropriate for the shredding task you have at hand.

#6. Cutting Line Quality

A leaf mulcher using metal threads to cut leaves. As a rule, the best leaf mulchers also have the best cutting lines, as well as the highest number of lines.

A mulcher with quality lines will need fewer passes and shred leaves more efficiently. The user gains time and is more productive this way. Good models usually have at least 24 cutting lines to ensure a smooth cutting experience.

Additionally, some models have blades instead of lines. Those with blades are more versatile and can mulch both branches and leaves with little effort.