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Best Commercial Leaf Vacuums in 2022

Ryan Mcbride Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

What features make the best commercial leaf vacuum? It depends on your lawn care needs, of course, but the best leaf blower vacuums generally feature powerful motors able to move at least around 400 CFM of airflow at 120 MPH or more in blower mode. Next, the best leaf blower vacuums should offer versatile options like variable speed control and switches that enable easily shifting between blower and vacuum mode for complete all-in-one cleanup of dead leaves and garden debris.

Finally, the best leaf vacuums should be convenient and relatively easy to use. If there are deciduous trees in your yard, a commercial lawn vacuum makes cleaning up leaf litter and lawn debris a breeze. Vacuuming and mulching dead leaves can be easier and quicker than raking leaves into piles. A 3-in-1 electric leaf blower and vacuum cleaner can make quick work of a yard full of dry leaves.

Keep reading to learn more about the best commercial leaf vacuums on the market and how to choose the top rated vacuum cleaner for your indoor or outdoor cleaning needs.

Top Commercial Leaf Vacuums

 #1  BLACK+DECKER BV3600 Leaf Vacuum Cleaner

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum boasts a power dual-speed motor that offers plenty of suction power. This model has integrated mulching and blowing systems, offering an all-in-one outdoor cleaning solution.

Pros
  • Excellent two-speed motor
  • Integrated mulcher and blower
  • Built-in cord retainer
Cons
  • Corded electric design prone to tangling
  • Switching between blowing and mulching is complicated

With a three-in-one design, the BLACK+DECKER BV3600 leaf vacuum cleaner helps householders and commercial establishments take care of various cleaning chores. This model features a powerful blower with an airspeed of 180-230 mph, picking up large particles easily. With a noise rating of just 69 dBA, this model performs relatively quietly. It has separate tubes for vacuuming and blowing. This device is electric, although its long power cord is prone to tangling.

Weighing just 8.1 pounds, this machine is relatively lightweight and it’s easy to carry around during lengthy cleaning sessions. It has a powerful 12-amp motor, which provides plenty of suction for picking up leaves and small particles. The blower reaches air speeds of up to 230 mph, cleaning effectively not only on the pavement but on grass as well. An anti-clog vortex impeller on this machine cuts down the size of leaves in a 10:1 ratio for convenient disposal.

 #2  Sun Joe SBJ807E Leaf Vacuum Cleaner

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum cleaning system has wheels that facilitate hassle-free mobility. It has an extra-large leaf storage system and features a metal impeller, cutting down the size of the leaves in a 16:1 ratio.

Pros
  • Incredibly powerful motor
  • Large 10.6 gallon bag
  • Wheeled design
Cons
  • Has a low ground clearance

The Sun Joe SBJ807E leaf vacuum cleaner is the device of choice for users with expansive properties. This vacuum cleaner has a walk-behind design with wheels for effortless mobility. With an extra-large 10.6 gallon bag, this device allows users to cover big chunks of land before refilling. It has an integrated mulcher for drastically cutting down the size of the leaves in a 16:1 ratio. However, this model has a low ground clearance and struggles on some lawns.

This leaf vacuum cleaner has a powerful motor, producing up to 1036 CFM of suction to big up everything from leaves to pebbles and acorns. It has a large 7.9” x 5.5” debris intake mouth that resists clogging. This model has a flexible handle that offers ergonomic operation and it folds down easily for space saving storage. A pistol-style grip with a finger throttle offers easy operation. This vacuum cleaner features premium parts that offer durability.

 #3  WORX Trivac WG509 Leaf Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST MULTIFUNCTION LEAF VACUUM

WHY WE LIKE IT: A three-in-one outdoor cleaning solution switches between vacuuming and blowing at the flick of a switch. This model has a lightweight design that supports the one-handed operation.

Pros
  • Lightweight one-handed design
  • Switching between blowing and vacuuming is easy
  • Long 8-foot hose
Cons
  • Slow impeller

This WORX Trivac WG509 leaf vacuum cleaner boasts mulching and blowing functions, taking care of common lawn and driveway cleaning chores. The device has a powerful motor that produces up to 350 CFM of airflow. We like that changing between the various models is easy and doesn’t require changing tubes. This vacuum cleaner also has an integrated impeller that has an excellent 18:1 mulching ratio. However, the mulcher on this unit is a bit slow.

The vacuum has an 8-foot hose, giving users excellent reach and flexibility. A mesh hood that comes with this device is precisely designed to fit snugly on common waste containers for simple disposable. With a cinch-tight drawstring, the collection bag has a tight seal for excellent airflow. It has a lightweight design that supports one-handed operation both in blower and vacuum modes. An innovative tube on this device curls up at the mouth to reach under lawn fixtures.

 #4  Husqvarna 125BVx Leaf Vacuum Cleaner

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock

Award: BEST GAS-POWERED LEAF VACUUM

WHY WE LIKE IT: This model is gas powered and doesn’t suffer from the limitations of corded or battery powered models. It has excellent suction power, picking up leaves and small stones with ease.

Pros
  • Gas-powered design
  • Powerful suction and blower
  • Cruise control
Cons
  • Bulky

Equipped with a powerful motor, the Husqvarna 125BVx delivers up to 425 cfm of airflow and 170 mph air velocity, sucking and blowing leaves and pebbles fast. This vacuum cleaner has an integrated mulching system that cuts down the size of leaves in a 16:1 ratio. This device boasts a smart start system that offers stutter-free ignition. The switch automatically resets back to the On positions for easy starting. However, weighing a whopping 23.2 pounds, this leaf vacuum is heavy.

This vacuum cleaner boasts cruise control features that allow users to take their hand off the throttle. A variable speed motor enables customization of the suction or blower speed easily. This model runs on gas, so it doesn’t have power cords and will never need recharging. It has a one-handed design with a convenient handle. This model boasts intuitive control for easy operation, and the length-adjustable tube enables simple customization.

 #5  Makita XBU04PTV Leaf Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST ELECTRIC LEAF VACUUM

WHY WE LIKE IT: This cordless electric blowing system comes with a vacuum accessory, providing powerful suction. The device has a rechargeable, replaceable battery for cordless operation.

Pros
  • Outstanding cordless design
  • Mulching and blowing functions
  • Fast charging
Cons
  • Needs frequent recharging

The Makita XBU04PTV leaf vacuum cleaner is a cordless electric model that performs quietly. It runs on Makita’s LXT blowing system and has a vacuum attachment, enabling users to switch fast between blowing and vacuuming functions. This vacuum comes with the user’s choice of 3.0 Ah or 5.0 Ah lithium-ion rechargeable battery, although its battery life of about 25 to 40 minutes may not be ideal for cleaning on large properties.

Intuitive fingertip controls offer intuitive operation, and a cruise control function allows users to lock in throttle settings for simple operation. This vacuum has a heavy-duty chassis and premium materials that stand up well to frequent use. It produces 473 cfm of suction and air velocity of up to 120 mph for fast and efficient cleaning. This model also has a mulching function, reducing 10 bags of leaves down to a single bag.

 #6  MZK Leaf Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST COMPACT VACUUM

WHY WE LIKE IT: An extremely compact vacuum uses a 2.0 Ah lithium-ion battery, providing cable-free operation. It switches between vacuuming and blowing modes at the flick of a switch.

Pros
  • Remarkably compact design
  • Convenient switch-based mode adjustment
  • Comes with a charger and battery
Cons
  • So-so battery life

With an incredibly lightweight 4.8 lb design, the MZK leaf vacuum cleaner is the device of choice for users with physical limitations. This model boasts an incredible 150 mph of air velocity and spins at 16000 rpm, blowing and sucking leaves at speed. It has a one-handed design with an ergonomic handle for ease of use. This device comes with a charger and battery. However, this unit has mediocre battery life.

Featuring a cordless design, this device offers flexibility, and it has an innovative switch-based system that allows toggling between vacuuming and blowing modes without changing tubes. The tube on this vacuum is actually detachable to save space during storage or transportation. A 20V 2.0 Ah battery powers this device without the need for cords and the battery is compatible with other MZK power tools for wide-ranging use. This device has a two-speed motor, enabling easy control.

Beginners’ Guide to Commercial Leaf Vacuums

What Are Commercial Leaf Vacuums

A commercial leaf vacuum is a versatile tool designed mainly for outdoor use vacuuming up and mulching fallen and shredded leaves. Most are combination leaf blower & leaf vacuum tools, and some are 3-in-1 commercial leaf vacuum mulcher tools. These outdoor power tools can suck up and condense a large volume of leaves, making seasonal outdoor cleanup and brush clearance potentially much easier.

Most leaf vacuums use a 12-Amp motor or 900-2000-watt brushless motor with a heavy-duty indoor/ outdoor power cord to run on 120V/220V AC power. Gas-powered leaf blower vacuum mulcher tools are also available but may not be legal in all areas. Battery-powered cordless leaf blower vacuums are becoming more common, although they have limited run time compared to other types of commercial leaf vacs.

Commercial Leaf Vacuums vs Other Types of Vacuum Cleaners

Unlike most other types of vacuum, commercial leaf vacs are mainly outdoor tools and have more in common with lawn equipment such as commercial leaf blowers, mulchers, and combination machines. Some leaf vacuums use gas engines, while others rely on electric motors.

What leaf vacs have in common with other vacuums is that they use a motor to drive an air pump that creates suction. Like some other vacs, they often have both a vacuum mode and a blow mode. Like wet and dry vacs, some commercial leaf blower vacuums can handle wet leaves and dirt as well as dry debris.

Unlike other vacuum cleaners, cordless and corded leaf vacuums are generally rated by airflow speed and volume of air movement in CFM or cubic feet per minute. Leaf blower vacuums can move air at higher velocities than other vacuum cleaners; the most powerful lawn vacuum models have over 600 CFM airflow at as much as 250 miles per hour.

Features like a dual-stage metal impeller and mulching function, along with dedicated blower tubes and vacuum tubes, can also make commercial leaf and lawn vacuums stand out from other types of vacuum cleaners. Lightweight commercial backpack leaf blower vacuums should balance nicely and enable a good range of motion without back strain.

How Commercial Leaf Vacuums Work

Commercial leaf vacuums use a motor or engine to drive an air pump and a series of impellers, generating airflow through the machine’s nozzle or blow tube. Many commercial leaf blower vacuums have a control dial that lets users switch the impeller’s direction to move air into or out of the machine.

Some leaf blower vacuum models can suck up wet leaves and dry leaf litter depending on the type of filters and air purge valves. Wet and dry models can also handle shredded leaves and soft lawn debris.

Some commercial leaf vacuum tools also work as blowers and leaf mulchers. These gas or electric machines have much more airflow than other reversible vacuum cleaners. The mulching capacity of a 3-in-1 lawn vacuum is typically expressed as the mulch ratio, which is the reduction ratio of the original volume of leaves to the volume of mulch.

Thus, a leaf mulcher and vacuum with a 12:1 ratio can compress 12 gallons of leaves into one gallon of mulch. The mulching ratio of a leaf blower vacuum mulcher depends on the capacity of the bag, the suction power, and the impeller design. Most of the top commercial models use a durable metal impeller, while a handheld leaf vacuum may use a plastic impeller to save weight.

Commercial leaf vacuum blowers rely on a powerful motor to generate strong suction and meaningful airflow for outdoor use. Some models use a gas engine, typically a small 2-stroke like most regular leaf blowers use. However, gas-powered machines tend to have a higher noise level, and 2-cycle engines may not be legal for commercial vacuums in all areas due to environmental regulations.

Electric models can use a 120V/220V AC outlet and long power cord or batteries as a more portable power source. A cordless model offers enhanced mobility but limited run time. However, battery-powered cordless handheld blowers and cordless leaf blower vacuums can exceed the overall efficiency of gas-powered models and offer comparatively quiet operation.

Why Should You Buy a New Commercial Leaf Vacuum?

If lawn cleanup seems like a daunting task, with lots of leaf litter and other lawn debris to clean up, or if you need to clear dry and fallen leaves in a hurry to comply with local brush clearance regulations, you might want to consider the benefits of commercial leaf blower vacuums.

If you’re used to regular leaf blowers, you might find that a blower with vacuum tubes is a more versatile tool. Vacuuming and mulching leaves also allow for more environmentally-friendly disposal of lawn debris, letting you compost bags of leaves rather than just blowing them into the street (or a neighbor’s yard).

A good handheld or commercial backpack leaf blower vacuum can combine two or three chores into one and drastically cut the time it takes to clear and compact large volumes of fallen leaves. Some of the best commercial leaf vacuum options can also handle damp debris and wet leaves, saving even more time.

If you’re planning a new garden and have overhanging deciduous trees, you may need to clear out large volumes of leaf litter before planting new flower beds. A good commercial leaf vacuum mulcher can make swift work of gallons worth of leaves and bags of debris that might otherwise have taken all day to rake and pile up.

Suppose you already have an old gas-powered leaf blower or combination vacuum blower. In that case, you might also want to consider upgrading to a new model for reduced noise, improved fuel efficiency, and environmental benefits. A lightweight model electric leaf vacuum can move a similar air volume as the top-performing gas models but emits less smog-forming and toxic air pollution. The newest gas-powered models in the US may also use updated combustion chamber designs to meet new gas machine EPA regulations.

Are Commercial Leaf Vacuums Worth Buying?

  • New Gardening Projects: If you’re planning on a new gardening project, clearing out leaf debris and other compostable rubbish may be the first step. In that case, a commercial leaf vacuum can make the job easier and quicker.
  • Improving Sheds, Garages, Stables: Leaf vacuum blowers can be highly effective tools for cleaning out sheds and garages. If you live in a windy area, you might find leaf debris in crevices and hard to rake areas of the garage or stables, in which case a leaf vacuum may be the best bet for a more straightforward cleanup process.
  • Getting Ready for Outdoor Entertaining: The right leaf vacuum or combination mulcher vacuum blower can combine two or three outdoor cleaning chores into one, saving time when getting ready for an outdoor garden party, barbecue, or pool party.
  • Brush Clearance: A powerful commercial leaf blower vacuum mulcher can also be a time-saver for brush clearance. If you live in a fire-prone area and need to clear out large amounts of dry leaf litter, the right commercial leaf vacuum can save time and money.

Why Commercial Leaf Vacuums Might Not Be for You

  • Noise Concerns: Designed for outdoor and commercial use, most leaf vacuums are louder than regular indoor vacuum cleaners or workshop vacuum cleaners. However, if noise is a concern, you might want to consider one of the newer electric leaf vacuums that offer a quiet mode and multiple speed options.
  • No Accessible 220V Outlet: If there’s no AC power source near where you need to clean out leaf debris, you can still use a leaf vacuum, but you might want to go with a cordless battery-powered model or a gas-powered unit.

How Long Do Commercial Leaf Vacuums Last?

Published life cycle analysis figures generally suggest vacuum cleaners last around six to ten years. Commercial leaf and lawn vacuums typically have a more robust construction for commercial uses and can better handle extended periods of use. Some commercial vacuum and leaf mulchers may require more specialized maintenance, such as regular bag and filter changes.

Corded electric leaf vacuums have similar durability and generally lower maintenance requirements. Gas-powered models can be very durable but require periodic oil and filter changes and may need seasonal carburetor and starter cable adjustments. In contrast, battery-powered cordless leaf blower vacuums may need replacement battery packs after two to five years, depending on the volume of use and factors such as temperature and charging conditions.

The machine’s initial durability and scheduled maintenance are the primary factors affecting how long a leaf vacuum blower or mulcher lasts. Routine filter changes and periodic cleaning of vacuum tubes, vents, and oscillating nozzle units can help keep your lawn vacuum performing like new.

How to Choose a Commercial Leaf Vacuum

Various factors can help you decide on the right leaf vacuum pick for your lawn care needs. You’ll generally want to consider the size of the area you plan to clean up, the volume of disposable leaf litter you need to get rid of, and whether to compress the leaf debris into mulch for home composting.

You might also consider whether you need a vacuum capable of picking up wet leaf debris. Other key factors may include how much noise you can tolerate, whether gas-powered lawn equipment is allowed in your area and whether you have a conveniently-located heavy-duty 220V AC outlet.

Best Commercial Leaf Vacuum Key Factors

1. How Much Noise Is Acceptable?

In neighborhoods, noise can be an important factor in choosing the best lawn and leaf vacuum. If you have close neighbors or don’t want to disturb family or housemates, you might want to consider an electric model with 2-speed control or variable speed control that allows relatively quiet operation. In rural and agricultural settings, however, noise may not be as much of a concern.

2. How Large an Area Do You Need to Clean?

The best leaf vacuum blower can also depend on the size of the area you want to clean and the volume of leaf debris you have to deal with. For large spaces, you’ll want a model with powerful suction and high volumes of airflow (350 CFM or more) on vacuum mode. Alternatively, you can also build a leaf vacuum if you’re watching your budget.

3. Do You Need to Mulch Wet Leaf Debris?

If the space you need to clear of fallen leaves tends to be damp much of the time, you might need a model that handles wet and dry debris.

4. Do You Need Portability?

Another factor that may affect the best outdoor leaf vacuum for you is whether you have a convenient heavy-duty outlet. Most corded electric leaf vacuum models use at least a 12-amp motor, and many units specify the use of a 220V outlet, such as you can find for hooking up a washer and dryer.

Best Commercial Leaf Vacuum FAQs

Can you use a leaf vacuum on a gravel walkway?

You can, but you may want to make sure you use a model with variable speed settings and run it on the lowest speed to avoid sucking up the gravel and stones. In some cases, you might want to sweep the leaves off the path before vacuuming.

Can you use a leaf vacuum to suck up wet leaves?

It depends on the type of vacuum and, to some extent, on the kind of leaves and how wet they are. Most leaf vacuums aren't designed for waterlogged debris, but some models can handle piles of damp leaves or damp pine needles.

Why are vacuums better than regular leaf blowers?

Regular leaf blowers can blow leaves off of your lawn or walkway and into a pile, but they also create large clouds of airborne dust and debris, which can be a nuisance. You may also still have to get rid of the leaves once you've blown them into a pile. On the other hand, Vacuums let you finish the job with one tool.

Are handheld leaf vacuums or backpack vacuums better?

It depends on your needs and the size of the area you need to clean. Handheld models tend to work well for smaller tasks since they're more convenient to use. Backpack models may be more comfortable for large spaces.

Can a leaf vacuum pick up pine needles?

It depends on the model. Generally, any sufficiently powerful, high-end leaf vacuum can dislodge and suck up pine needles. Still, you may want to check product specs and look for a unit with a dual-stage metal impeller if you plan to mulch pine needles.
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