Few tools are as useful as a leaf vacuum. With a leaf vacuum, you can blow out an indoor or outdoor area in a fraction of the time it would take you to sweep and rake an area out.
At the same time, you can blow pollen away from your porch, clean-out cobwebs, clear out gutters, blow away leaves and light snow from your roof, and clean out the interior of an old car in a jiffy.
Today, we’ll try to identify the best commercial leaf vacuums from brands like Toro, KIMO, and DEWALT and Makita.
Our Quick Picks
What is Commercial Leaf Vacuum?
Somewhat of a misnomer because leaf vacuum not only vacuum but blow, vacuum, and mulch, often switching between tasks with a mere flip of the switch, whether they are gas-powered, battery-powered or electric motor, blower use a powerful motor which intakes air at many cubic feet per second, and then blows out the air at a high rate of speed.
It is said that earlier versions were modified from crop dusters and used for commercial cleaning. But in actuality, as far back as 1870, a very similar invention was in use and continues to be in use for many years, the commercial snowblower, which has nearly the same design.
However, after 1978, over 1 million leaf blowers were sold in the U.S. alone as small, compact units were developed.
A noted fact is that the first, gas-powered leaf vacuums were not only very powerful but extremely loud, a feature that caused cities such as Los Angeles to ban their use.
Since then, manufacturers have responded by producing quieter, electrical leaf blowers, but in addition, they have developed low vibration gas-powered leaf blowers, as it turns out it's not so much that irritates so much as the vibration of the sound.
Benefit of Using Commercial Leaf Vacuum
Most modern leaf vacuums will mulch via taking leaves, crushing them into small chunks. You can opt for merely chopping up the leaves and blowing them into your grass, which, provided they are not too deep, will quickly decompose into the ground.
Grass clipping mulch from a leaf vacuum doesn't generally need to be bagged, but if there are a ton of leaves, the fantastic thing about most modern leaf vacuum mulchers is that you can attach a collection bag to the blower, and collect them, either for use on rose bushes or other garden areas to protect against winter, or merely thrown them away, or added to a compost pile.
One, very practical benefit of owning a leaf blower is to reduce the effect of pollen for allergy sufferers. When pollen is heavy in the air, it often collects on your front door or front porch, ready to be tromped into the house.
However, if you blow away the pollen frequently from the entrance to your house, the allergy sufferers in your family will thank you.
Another, very practical use for a leaf blower is to clean your gutters. When gutters become clogged, the rain drains improperly and can lead to the pooling of water in the yard and also water damage to your house.
Still, another very practical use for a leaf blower is cleaning out dryer vents. Professional dryer vent service can cost you $100 or more. With a leaf dryer, you can clean that vent within one or two minutes, and do the task weekly with no sweat.
Finally, there is indoor car cleaning. It's incredible how much dirt and gunk can collect in the crevices of your car's interior. And while a portable vac is handy, the incredible force of your leaf vacuum will literally blow every bit of debris collected in your car or truck's interior in no time.
List of Seven Best Commercial Leaf Vacuums 2020
1. Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum
An electric, 3-in-one, blower, vacuum and mulcher the Toro 51621 is fairly powerful for an electrical leaf blower and will do the job for an average lawn.
Although not a commercial or near-commercial grade blower, for most home uses. particularly if you have a small or medium-sized lawn.
This is a great choice for those who don't want to spend more. And is perfect for dry leaves and grass clippings.
The unit comes with a high-powered blower than can generate up to 250 miles per hour of wind.
The unit also has a variable speed control that lets you control both the air intake speed and the blowing speed. The Toro also features a metal, the fan-like part inside the body that chops up and mulches. Many competitors use plastic impellers.
Another feature is a concentrator nozzle for use in crevices and corners.
The electrical motor is made by Toro itself, which has a high reputation for reliability, and the parts all snap together snugly, and without problems.
- Plenty of power, in a 250 mph, variabel speed blower.
- Although powerful, the Toro is surprisingly quiet.
- Leaf collector is strong and well designed.
- Comes with a lot of tools for the price.
- No instant switching. You need to turn the unit off to switch functions.
2. BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Commercial Leaf Vacuum
A high-performance blower, vacuum, and mulcher, the Black and Decker is the complete opposite of the Kimo.
This one weighs in at 8 pounds, and a flick of the power switch to either 180 or 250 miles per hour shows you why.
Helping you handle the weight is a convenient back-strap which helps considerably.
There is plenty to like in the Black and Decker BV 6000. For example, it is capable of mulching a 16-pound bag of leaves into one pound. And there's plenty of power in the 12-volt motor.
It also comes with a concentrator nozzle allowing you to focus the air stream on a tight area, and an oscillating nozzle which will spread the blown air out to a wider area without you necessarily having to guide the machine left and right.
- Fairly quiet 68 db motor.
- Specially designed ccrd system to keep cord in place.
- Two speeds at a flick of the switch .
- Tremendous mulching system
- Not every extension cord works.
- You may have to buy an unpdated cord.
3. Makita XBU02PT1 18V X2 (36V) Leaf Blower Vacuum
At $$$ dollars, you'd expect the Makita to iron your clothes, give you a kiss goodnight and cook breakfast in the morning. Yikes, this is one expensive cordless machine!
While it's true the Makita has many features people seem willing to pay for such as a 120 mile per hour blower, and powerful, 473 cubic feet of intake, is that worth $300? Personally, we doubt it.
Dual battery-powered, Makita advertises these as an alternative that contractors prefer, as they get away from gas-powered blowers.
We hate to be negative about it, but we sincerely doubt that most contractors would choose a blower that lasts under 20 minutes at full power.
Most customers warn that this model is only good if you have 1/4th of an acre or less. This Makita model is only good if you have. On the positive side, the Marita is built like a tank. Everything about the build looks and screams quality build.
So if you are willing to live with the short battery life, you should probably get a good solid 5 years of use out of the unit, and for most homeowners, that's a pretty good deal.
- Built really solid.
- Strong enough blower for most 1/4 acre jobs.
- Comes with 4 batteries, so you have two extra to charge and standby.
- Being cordless means no messy extension cords to deal with.
- Relatively expensive.
- Really uses up the batteries. You may want to purchase at least 2, and perhaps 4 extras
4. Cordless Commercial Leaf Blower Vacuum
A 2-in one, battery-operated sweeper/vacuum, this quiet, versatile leaf vacuum eliminates the need to drag a thirty or 50-foot electrical cord around the yard to get tangled in bushes or other obstructions,
With popular reviews everywhere on the internet of things, this light 2-pound blower and vacuum is perfect for blowing out a driveway, porch, or gazebo.
The Kimo has a 20-minute charge and is activated by the built-in battery and a trigger. Simply pull the trigger and the all copper motor comes to life.
A relatively small blower which is about the size of a shoebox, the Kimo id ideal for small jobs, but if you have a large yard or wet leaves, this is definitely not the blower for you.
However, for around $$ which doesn't break most people's bank, this may be the perfect blower for those not wanting a blower that weighs twice as much.
Homeowners with small jobs love the Kimono for its sheer lightness yet power. It's quiet, yet is easily maneuvered even by the petite or the elderly.
- Weighs only 2 pounds.
- A charge lasts around 20 minutes.
- Strong enough blower to do most small to medium tasks.
- Being cordless means no messy extnsion cords to deal with.
- Not a leaf blower for big jobs.
5. DEWALT DCBL720P1 20V MAX 5.0 Ah Leaf Vac
The Dewalt is a cordless, battery-powered leaf blower that will take in 450 cubic feet of air and expel it at speeds up to 90 miles per hour.
As a consequence, compared to units that operate at speeds up to 250 miles per hour, it might be described as light to medium duty.
The Dewalt does have a number of positive features, however.
One of them is a brushless motor that will not only last longer but is relatively whisper-quiet at 61 decibels of noise.
Another feature is a cruise-control trigger, which allows you to set the unit at a continuous level of speed without pressing the speed trigger.
In addition, the battery is centered in the unit in such a way that it significantly
reduces arm strain.
Another great feature concerns the air intake system. It's at the back of the system, not the sides, which can significantly reduce the chance your clothing will get caught in the air intake system.
Finally, the large blow tube blows out a significantly wide level of air, making jobs much easier to complete in less time.
- We love the speed control feature.
- A large blower allows you to tackle big jobs quickly.
- Works well on small jobs, with plenty of power.
- Being cordless means no messy extnsion cords to deal with.
- Relatively expensive compared to other blowers.
6. Toro 51619 Ultra Electric Leaf Blower Vac
Priced at around $$, this electrical blower and vacuum may be just the thing you need to cut your raking job by 2/3rds or more.
The Toro features two things that give in an important nod in its favor:
• It features a powerful motor which will blow at 250 miles per hour
• It features a strong, metal impeller, rather than a plastic one.
These combined factors mean the Toro will blow leaves, sticks and large, heavy leaves, and with the leaves, mulch them down to a fine pulp, which is easily disposable with the carrying bag.
With your unit, you get both a vacuum tube and a concentrator, a cord storage unit
storage bag, a power insert, and a strong collection bag.
Particularly impressive is a quick-release device that allows you to change from blowing to vacuuming in seconds, a device which frankly, we wish all blowers had.
Many blowers require 10 plus minutes to change features, but not the Toro.
We also like the fact that the Toro comes with a built-in cord lock and has a cord storage hook.
- Very reasonably priced.
- Plenty of air intake and blower speed.
- Quick change between blowing and vacuuming is a pleasant feature.
- Being cordless means no messy extnsion cords to deal with.
Power switch is touchy. It can easily get high speed when desiring low.
7. Remington RM2BV Ambush 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower
If you're looking for a 2-in-1 leaf blower/vacuum, the Remington RM2BV Ambush 27cc 2-Cycle Gas Leaf Blower is for you! This 2-cycle leaf blower is also a vacuum perfect for yard work and clean-up when you need to move debris as well as clear it out of your yard.
The Remington RM2BV Ambush has Quickstart Technology which uses an assisted coil to help reduce the pain-staking effort it usually takes with conventional gas leaf blowers to get it started.
The engine is high velocity and moves air at a powerful 205 mph in volumes of up to 450 cfm. Because of this powerful engine, this means you can displace larger debris much more effectively and you'll be able to accomplish more in less time.
The unit has a 10-to-1 debris reduction ratio with the vacuum attachment feature which significantly reduces the size of the leaves and other debris. This means you can tackle larger yard projects, letting the vacuum attachment do the clean-up work for you.
Additionally, the RM2BV has an over-mold handle which absorbs and also reduces the vibrations that you experience when in use, giving you maximum control and comfort during your yard project.
Overall, this leaf blower is extremely effective and efficient, and should be part of your yard tools collection.
- Vacuum accessory, making it a 2-in-1 tool.
- Powerful engine for efficiency, yet light weight.
- High quality and competitive pricing.
- Vibration absorbing handle for control.
- Vacuum is an attachment rather than a setting to toggle between.
Types of Leaf Blowers Available on the market
There are three basic types of lawn blowers, gas-powered, corded electric's and battery-powered.
Within those three groups, there are leaf blowers that pretty much only blow, leaf blowers that mulch as well, and leaf blowers that also vacuum. Those that do all three would be a 3-in-one.
Gas Powered Lawn Blowers
This is the type that commercial lawn companies use the most. The vast majority have the power unit on a back-pack, and then a long, flexible extension is coupled with the blowing unit.
Most of these are gas-powered, and some are very environmentally unfriendly. It is said that the emissions from a single gas-powered unit running for an hour is equal to a car which drives 350 miles.
Not only are they emission heavy, but they are loud. A complete factory, operating at full strength, is often not nearly as loud as a gas-powered lawn blower.
Still, not beats the power of a gas blower, and if you can use one in your area, they will blow the heck out of electrical units.
Electric cord blowers
Though not as powerful as gas blowers, electrical cord blowers have many of the same features and more. Often quite a bit lighter than gas units, the blow, vacuum, and mulch. They also tend to be much quieter.
The two main problems are, that with no cord plugged in, no power. And corded units are notorious for being wrapped around trees, stakes, bicycles, cars, etc.
Another problem is that no matter what the technology, the cord often comes loose while using them vigorously.
In addition, if you have a lot of average, getting an extension cord that long is problematic.
Battery operated blowers
Battery operated blowers are touted as the solution to the problems with corded blowers, but here the problem is that in order to get sufficient power, the battery charge goes out fast. It's not unheard of for a battery-operated blower to discharge within 10 minutes.
So, unless you have a small yard, generally battery operated are not the way to go.
Things to Look When Buying The Right Commercial Leaf Vacuum
There are many things to consider if you want to buy the best commercial leaf vacuum.
First, there is the decision between gas, corded electric, and battery-powered.
Although less environmentally friendly, and definitely noisier as well, the absolute best units are gas-powered. Gas-powered leaf vacuums will plow through a pile of leaves like a hot knife through butter.
The problem is unless you live in the country, the decibel levels of gas-powered leaf blowers, which can produce between 80 or 90 decibels, which is louder than a diesel train going 45 miles per hour, a gas-powered leaf blower may be out and out banned by city regulations.
Even corded electrical leaf blowers may be banned or restricted in use, so before you buy one, consult your local zoning board. Most people buy corded, which work well, and are significantly quieter, though the problem is that the cords frequently get tangled or come on done.
Which is why people choose battery operated leaf blowers, which tend to work just as well, but frequently have a short charge life.
After choosing your type of leaf vacuum, look for blowers that have:
- Variable speed
At least two speeds in the minimum, those with 3 to 6 speeds are better.
- Look for strong cubic feet per minute of intake, and strong blowing speeds. A blowing speed of 120 miles per hour or more is desirable.
- Look for metal impeller blades.
Rocks and debris will bang the heck out of plastic impeller blades.
- Look for blowers that come with multiple attachments.
And make sure those attachments are easy to put on and take off
- Look for signs of strong build and manufacturing ingenuity.
- Look for quality over the price but at the same time, be price-conscious.
- Look for brands you know and trust.
Leaf blower vacuums are made by a ton of companies, some are just Chinese built, with sketchy reputations. Some are built by companies that have been making quality power tools for many years.
In general, you don't want to save $40 by buying from an unknown company with an unknown customer service experience. Buy from a company that not only has a warranty but treats customers right.
- Read objective reviews.
Hopefully, you will think this is an objective review, with no hidden quid pro-pro back end deals in exchange for recommendations.
Unfortunately, that kind of shenanigans goes on all the time on the internet, so be wary of reviews that in particular, are all positive, with no negatives.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Leaf Blower Vacuum
There are many advantages and some disadvantages to a leaf blower vacuum.
One obvious advantage is those leaf blowers generally make quick work of fallen leaves, and pine needles. A lawn-rake job that might take you two hours, and relatively back-breaking work while you're at it, can be done in 30 minutes or less with a leaf blower.
Another tremendous advantage is that with most leaf blower vacuums, you have the option to mulch dry leaves into tiny particles that are easily disposed of, or alternatively, used for your compost pile.
The main disadvantage is that leaf blowers tend to be not only heavy for petite or elderly people, often causing wrist and back strain, but in the cost. You can buy a lawn rake and a few plastic bags for under $10.
So decide carefully if you even need a lawn blower. After all, many people have lived decades without one.
Can you vacuum up leaves with a shop vac?
Of course! Shop vacs work great for blowing leaves away; part of their function is essentially a miniature leaf blower. They make cleaning up small clutters a breeze. Though, if you are attempting to clean up large spreads of leaves, nothing can replace a commercial leaf vacuum.
Are electric leaf blowers more powerful than gas?
Gas-powered blowers are more powerful than their electric counterparts; they help make quick work of tasks. Despite this benefit, they can be extremely loud. Because of this some cities have banned them. If you still decide to get one, grab some protective earmuffs while you are at it.
Which is better Stihl or Husqvarna leaf blower?
This depends on your specific needs. Stihl leaf vacuums are more common with homeowners, usually less expensive, and weigh less. Husqvarna leaf vacuums are popular among professionals, may cost more, and are heavy-duty. Make a list of your needs and weigh the pros and cons between the two brands.
Do I need to use safety gear with a leaf vacuum?
Leaf vacuums tend to stir up some dust when in use, so it is important to wear some safety gear. Earmuffs for gas-powered blowers are a must. Protective goggles, gloves, and a respirator or mask are essential. You do not want debris getting in places it does not belong!
Our round-up winner
So the best commercial leaf vacuum round-up winner is Toro 51621 Blower Vac. The quick-release feature changing blower to vac in seconds without tools, the amount of mulching power, the speed of up to 250 mph and the price all screamed clear winner in this crowded category of blowers.