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Corded leaf vacuums - worth it?

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by d000hg, 25 Nov 2018.

  1. d000hg

    Joined:
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    I live surrounded by woodland and the volume of leaves is incredible - if they didn't get cleared up probably everything would be 6-12" deep in them right now!

    In the garden and up the drive I have a tractor mower with powered collector, and a backpack blower which are great. But in the yard and patio there's really nowhere to blow the leaves too, and they're not accessible on the tractor.

    I was toying with the idea of a BillyGoat but they're very pricey/ I wondered for smallish areas next to the house if a hand-held leaf-vac might be adequate. Something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/mac-allister-yt623105x-2800w-230-240v-corded-blower-vac/404fg

    [​IMG]

    I'm just dubious:
    1. That bag looks kind of tiny. I guess if I don't let it mount up, maybe that's OK for small areas?
    2. Can it handle wet leaves, which are a huge pain as this time of year they are never going to dry out?
    3. Will it suck up my gravel as well on paths? Can it handle that or will it cause damage?
    Thanks for your help. Right now I resort to a big wide broom and a dumpy bag, which works well but again is tricky on gravel.

    BTW I have outside sockets so corded is fine.
     
  2. Burnerman

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    I have a Ryobi petrol machine but its never used. With this machine the bag fills quickly enough but if the leaves are wet the machine is very heavy and awkward to empty. Worse still, the water comes through the bag - naturally enough- and soaks my legs.
    The bag zip sticks continuously and I'd never buy another. Free to anyone passing by!
    John :)
     
  3. reds42

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    Ive got a very basic one that doesn't mulch. It blows air out the tip up the intake tube drawing leaves in with it - the leaves dont go through any kind of blade/impeler.

    I use it to get leaves and hedge cuttings off a gravel drive. The bag does fill quite quickly and can be quite heavy when full of wet leaves. It picks the leaves up well without removing the gravel.

    I wouldn't want to use it on a big quantity of leaves as I'd be forever emptying the bag. I see it as best for just the final tidy/finish, leaving bigger quantaties to broom/rake and a large shovel.

    My mums got one which mulches as it hoovers, but it frequently clogs up and jams making it annoying to use.
     
  4. StephenOak

    Joined:
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    I have two of these, see
    https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/best-blower.489840/#post-3999964
    and
    https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/best-blower.489840/#post-4000532
    for some thoughts I wrote a while back.

    They are not the panacea that vendors claim but, like any tool, work well in the right context.

    Last week I cleared my lawn (100m^2), and surrounding areas, prior to scarifying it. On the lawn I mostly raked the leaves into a few piles and then used a blower (in suction mode) to pick them up and shred them.

    By the lawn we have a mature copper beech with some other shrubs near it. The shrubs make it awkward getting anything in there so I bought a cordless blower to be able to get in and blow the leaves to the front, from where I can use a corded machine to pick them up.

    I also used a corded machine to blow leaves down two and half flights of steps and whenever I had a large enough pile of leaves I picked up most of the pile and put in in a tub. Much easier than using a broom.

    One thing I have found most useful is a pair of these
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008FM4E9S/
    for when the machine clogs.

    If you have just leaves then that may not happen but I get quite a lot of beech mast and little clumps of oak leaves on a twig. Where the leaves, etc, do a sharp turn from the pipe into the bag something like that can easily cause a blockage and the leaves, especially if wet, form a clump and block it so much that the bag has to be taken off and the blockage removed manually.
     
  5. stealthwolf

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    I bought a Bosch one for about £50. No wheels so you have to hold it. No bother. A bit fiddly to change from blower to vacuum (it's a two handed job) but it supposedly works more powerfully than models where you flip a switch. It has two power settings and has an impeller that mulches the leaves. Does fine with mildly wet leaves and really well with dry leaves. Great for clearing leaves off the driveway. I need to use an extension cord every time I get it out but that's no big deal.
     
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