The 10 Best Leaf Mulchers

Updated January 28, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Leaf Mulchers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Nobody enjoys cleaning up the yard, so why not make this chore a lot easier with one of these handy leaf mulchers. We've included light-duty shredders, units that double as blowers and vacuums, and some powerful models capable of handling branches up to 3.5 inches thick, so there should be something here for every need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best leaf mulcher on Amazon.

10. Patriot Products CSV-2515

Those who want to avoid dealing with a messy and hard-to-start gasoline engine, but still need commercial-quality power, will be happy with the Patriot Products CSV-2515. It makes short work of branches up to 2.5" in diameter and comes with a large hopper.
  • backed by a two-year warranty
  • includes safety goggles
  • overkill for most home users
Brand Patriot
Model CSV-2515
Weight 126 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Black & Decker BV5600

The Black & Decker BV5600 has a powerful, clog-resistant impeller for effectively grinding 10 bags worth of leaves down to one. It can be converted from a blower to a vacuum in just a few seconds by hand without using any tools.
  • well-balanced and comfortable to use
  • poorly placed on-off switch
  • zipper on the storage bag is flimsy
Model BV3600
Weight 12.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Toro 51619 Ultra

The Toro 51619 Ultra can produce an impressive 250 mph wind in blower mode; that's more powerful than a category 5 hurricane. Its rugged metal impeller should last through years of use, plus it features a helpful integrated cord lock.
  • easy to clear clogs
  • quieter than gas models
  • bag strap is stitched on poorly
Brand Toro
Model 51619
Weight 12.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Flowtron LE-900

You can fit the Flowtron LE-900 with a bag or mount it directly over a trash can for efficient leaf disposal. It can be tilted at nearly any angle for an ergonomic working position, and its low cost makes it affordable for nearly any homeowner.
  • two-step debris breakdown process
  • adjustable shredding size
  • gets hung up on twigs and branches
Brand Flowtron
Model LE900
Weight 20.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Eco-Shredder ES1600

The Eco-Shredder ES1600 boasts a powerful 2.5 HP motor that powers through leaves, brush, and branches. Its three cycles of waste-destroying action provide a consistent size, and it comes with some cutting blade replacements.
  • 3 ways to feed in materials
  • hopper is smaller than others
  • heavier than similar upright styles
Brand Eco-Shredder
Model ES1600
Weight 70.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Sun Joe SBJ603E

The multifunctional Sun Joe SBJ603E is a 3-in-1 tool that makes lots of chores easier. It features six adjustable wind speeds, can be disassembled for compact storage quickly, and has a clean-running, quick-starting, 13-amp electric motor.
  • collection bag is easy to empty
  • interchangeable tube design
  • budget-friendly price
Brand Snow Joe
Model SBJ603E
Weight 11.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Worx WG430

If you're focused on eliminating mountains of leaves, the Worx WG430 can help. Its robust motor can handle 53 gallons per minute, but the string used for cutting gets broken easily on twigs and branches, so you have to be careful not to load any into the hopper.
  • easy to assemble without using tools
  • comes with 24 replacement lines
  • cannot adjust output size
Brand Worx
Model WG430
Weight 26.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Husqvarna 125BVX

The Husqvarna 125BVX lets you cut the cord while doing yard work thanks to its 1.1-horsepower 2-cycle engine. The reliable motor generates wind speeds of up to 170 mph, enabling the obliteration of lawn debris in record-setting time.
  • weighs less than 10 lbs
  • includes round and flat nozzles
  • starts easily even when cold
Brand Husqvarna 125BVX
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Worx WG518

The lightweight Worx WG518 offers some of the best airflow of any vacuum-style model. It's not intended for large-scale landscaping jobs, but most homeowners will find it perfect for ridding their yards of autumn's leftovers.
  • two-speed operation
  • maximum suction up to 400 cfm
  • metal-bladed impeller
Brand Worx
Model WG518
Weight 13.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Tazz K32

The knives and hammers inside the Tazz K32 pulverize yard waste easily thanks to a 212cc gasoline engine. Over 8 ft-lbs of torque make this beast a powerful way to process both leaves and small to medium-sized branches. All the parts come with a 5-year warranty.
  • easy-loading as it's under 3 ft tall
  • extra-large hopper
  • produces impressive suction
Brand Tazz Chipper Shredders
Model 18493
Weight 131 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Picking The Perfect Leaf Mulcher

There are essentially two categories of leaf mulcher: leaf blowers that can have their airflow direction reversed to suck up leaves, and standing units into which you feed scoops of leaves.

The blower approach has two obvious merits, the first being that these units can be used to gather leaves into a pile in the first place, not to mention blowing pine needles, dust, pollen, and many other materials off of your yard, your patio, walkways, streets, and so forth.

Blowers also offer superb portability; you can easily bring them to the leaf pile no matter where it is in the yard. Their drawbacks come in the form of speed and capacity. A leaf blower used to gather and chop leaves processes them more slowly than a standing leaf mulcher does, and it requires frequent, often messy, emptying of its storage bag.

Standing mulchers are heavier and require more effort to set up initially, but once in place and ready, these units can handle dozens of gallons of leaves per minute, making short work of even the largest leaf piles. A good mulcher can reduce leaf piles by a factor of ten or more, maximizing ease of disposal, or helping you to prepare huge batches of useful leaf mulch.

You can get a decent leaf blower for well under a hundred dollars, or you can spend well over a thousand for a top of the line mulcher/chipper unit. Ultimately, the size of your property and the volume of material you're confronting will be the best way to inform your choice.

Leaf Mulch Vs. Leaf Mold

Simply put, leaf mulch is nothing more than chopped up leaves. It's what you do with your leaf mulch after the initial collection and grinding process that counts. Fallen leaves present the savvy gardener and/or landscaper with a free bounty of versatile material. Leaves can be chopped into mulch useful for myriad tasks, from protecting seeds to fertilizing crops to creating an attractive ground covering used as a design element. If you wish to use leaves as a ground cover, only pass them through your mulcher one time, as you'll want a mixture of material size to create the pleasing look mulch provides.

Keep in mind the fact that you will have to refresh the top layer of your leaf mulch periodically as it breaks down. (And don't use leaf mulch without a layer of fabric or plastic underneath it during the spring or summer if your property is prone to weed growth -- mulch made from leaves can actually enhance weed growth rather than restricting it if given the right circumstances.)

If you wish to put your leaves to work helping ready the next season's soil for new growth, there are a few more steps to take. Leaves are rich in nutrients that can play a huge role in creating superlative compost useful for raising edible foods and brilliantly flowering plants. However, leaves on their own can't create compost; rather, they play a key role in balancing out the green components of compost, such as food scraps and live weeds or trimmed plants. To use leaves in composting, you must first grind them into leaf mulch, and then break them down into leaf mold, a nutrient- and mineral-rich material that is easy to spread about once ready.

Making leaf mold is easy, but requires patience. The simplest way to do it is to make a huge pile of shredded leaves and then wait for a few years. A more feasible approach is to designate an area of your yard in which you can build a pen of sorts large enough to accommodate a few dozen cubic feet of shredded leaves. Dump your chopped up leaf mulch into this pen and plan to keep it moist and, at least once a week, move the material about with a pitchfork, rake, or shovel. Another alternative method is to use a compost tumbler.

If you keep shredded leaves moist and moving, you should have leaf mold within six months. Leaf mold is deep brown in color and will be soft, moist, and delicate, easily crumbling in your fingers.

The Best Way To Use Mulched Leaves

Mulch can be loosely defined as any material spread out on the soil (or in beds or planters and so forth) that is intended to alter the ground environment, be it in aesthetic and/or physical ways. In other words, mulch can help your yard look great and it can help keep the soil and plants within it healthier and more robust.

If you took the time to make a batch of leaf mold, then the shrubs, flowers, and crops you plant or revive in the spring are going to have quite a fine rest of the year thanks to the nutrients this unique material imparts. You should spread leaf mold around perennial plants, shrubs, and vegetables. Make sure never to apply leaf mold in a thickness of more than two inches, and keep the material several inches away from the actual stalk of a plant; leaf mold retains so much moisture it can actually prevent a plant from getting the water it needs if spread too thickly or close to a plant's roots.

If you have thicker, drier leaf mulch you wish to use for decorative purposes, make sure to lay it on thick, as it were. Creating a deep layer of mulched leaves is the best way to prevent weeds from making their way up through the covering, and thick layering will help you achieve a uniformity of appearance, as well. Consider spreading a layer of non-mulched leaves first and then piling a layer of mulched leaves on top; this will further inhibit weed growth and will slow the breakdown of the top layer.

Statistics and Editorial Log

Paid Placements

Wiki Granular Update & Revision Log

help support our research

Patreonlogoorange psj5g7Wiki ezvid low poly earth xdypeb

Last updated on January 28, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For our full ranking methodology, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.