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The Best Walk Behind Leaf Vacuum Mulchers in 2022

In the following guide, I will show you the best walk behind leaf vacuum mulchers available today. These include electric vacuum mulchers, manual mulchers, and gas powered mulchers. 

When deciding between gas, electric, or manual, you might have the impression (like everybody else) an electric leaf mulcher is not as powerful as a gas-powered leaf vacuum. However, with today’s technology and advancements, electric leaf mulchers are more convenient and powerful.

For the majority of residential homes, an electric walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher will work just fine. The main issue is many electric mulchers require a cord, so if you have a large lard, you might find yourself running out of cord quickly. 

If you are looking for a budget option and don’t want to deal with charging or a cord, manual walk behind vacuum mulchers are a great option. They allow you to quickly sweep up your yard and shred the leaves as they enter the bag. 

For those individuals using their walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher on a large yard or in a commercial setting, a gas powered mulcher is the best option. However, gas mulchers are much more expensive and noisy compared to their counterparts. 

See the list below for the best walk behind leaf vacuum mulchers in 2022.

Best overall option

This electric vacuum mulcher requires a cord, but it is reliable, quiet, and a great price. The 8 gallon bag and 14-amp motor are more than capable of handling the majority of residential homes. 

  • Key Features
  • Uses an electric extension cord
  • 160 mph air suction speed
  • 14-amp motor
  • 3 in one functionality allow for sweeping, vacuuming, and mulching
  • Impact resistant propeller mulches leaves up to 1/15 original size
  • Generates air volume up to 600 CFM
  • Easy to wheel around

What We Like

  • Quiet
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Recognized brand

What Could Be Improved

  • Corded machines aren’t the most convienent

This walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher provides the maximum performance and power to eliminate quickly dirt, debris, and leaves. The leaf vacuum features a strong 13.5-amp motor that can deliver maximum suction.

You do not have to collect leaves into piles. All you have to do is to vacuum your garden, deck, or lawn just like vacuuming a rug. You can collect debris and dirt up to 8 gallons. They are collected inside a collection bag.

It will definitely reduce debris and leave your garden or yard clean and neat. This leaf vacuum features a versatile 3-in-1 tool that can convert to blower mode. The blower mode can be at a top wind speed of 165 miles per hour. All you have to do is to flick off a switch to do so.

The leaf vacuum also features an adjustable handle for ease of use. This leaf vacuum is also easy to store because of its rugged and easy-glide wheels. The feature is ideal for outdoor surfaces.

Best cordless option

This vacuum mulcher is not as easy to push as our first pick, but it is powerful, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. 

Key Features

  • 2-in-one vacuum and mulching make cleaning up easy
  • Variable speed setting for different job types
  • Ideal for hard surfaces like driveways or decks
  • Mulches 16 bags of leaves into one
  • 5-year warranty
  • Large bag

What We Like

  • Long battery life
  • Quiet and lightweight
  • Large bag holds many leaves

What Could Be Improved

  • Uncomfortable to use
  • Doesn’t come with a battery

The RYOBI walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher fills a niche for people looking for an electric cordless leaf mulcher. This is the only reason we included this option on our list.

Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros in our opinion. The vacuum has small wheels, which makes it hard to push. Additionally, the bag is too big for the frame and drags on the ground when full. 

Perhaps the most frustrating thing is this unit doesn’t come with a battery. If you are a RYOBI fan, this won’t bother you as it takes a standard 40v RYOBI battery.

Overall, we suggest a manual option or the corded version.

Best gas powered option

The Patriot Products gas powered walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher is a powerhouse. It is highly fuel efficient, powerful, and easy to use. If you want to clean your yard easy, this is the way.

Key Features

  • Gas powered
  • Auto propelled
  • Shred leaves 16 to 1
  • Clears 24″ in a single pass
  • Can even chip small branches
  • Doubles as a blower
  • Honda engine

What We Like

  • Powerful
  • Easy to use
  • Gas powered
  • Large clearing radius
  • Reliable

What Could Be Improved

  • It is expensive

You can do the cleaning in your yard, garden, or the driveway for a 24-inch path in a single pass. If you find branches while cleaning, you can cut them into tiny pieces. All you have to do is to feed those fallen branches into the cone. You can convert this gas-powered leaf vacuum mulcher into a powerful blower mode with just a flip of a handle.

The gas-powered walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher does really well when vacuuming large, wet or dry and leathery sycamore leaves, so it would do well on all large leaves and smaller leaves. It uses a quiet, smooth, and fuel-efficient Honda engine for cleaning-up debris and dirt.

The engine is CARB compliant. This means that it has a goal of attaining and maintaining healthy air quality, protecting the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants, and providing innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations.

With this approach, this walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher is a great choice for doing the vacuuming and cleaning debris. It is a great option for a yard vacuum or lawn vacuum.

Best manual option

The Scotts manual walk behind leaf vacuum is a classic method to sweep up your yard. With no engine and a limited number of moving parts, this lawn sweeper is a great option if you want to keep it simple. 

Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • 26 inch sweeping width
  • Rake-like action works on yard or garden
  • Durable scratch resistant steel
  • Intuitive to use
  • Large bag

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Works on multiple surfaces
  • Large clearing radius
  • Reliable

What Could Be Improved

  • Doesn’t work well with sticks and rocks
  • Not for driveways or sidewalks

The Scotts walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher keeps your lawn clean and green. You no longer have to deal with the hassle of raking your yard after trimming the grass. It is a versatile push rake with an adjustable height to help you pick up lawn debris easily. 

You can use it in summer, fall, or autumn whenever you need an outdoor cleaning companion to make your yard work easier. The 3.6-bushel collection bag gets your yard debris ready for bagging, mulching, or composting.

The Scotts walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher is ideal for your home because it has a 26″ sweeping width that helps you clean up more areas quickly. You can lessen the manual labor of using a rake in your yard with the Scotts leaf collecting lawn sweeper. 

The rotating brushes of the Scotts push leaf sweeper gives you an 80% pick up on the first pass to save you time and effort with your yard work. It allows you to pick up various dry yard debris. 

These rotating brushes work like a fast-moving rake for your yard while requiring minimal manual labor. But, this lawn leaf sweeper is not suitable for collecting rocks, nuts, pinecones, or wet debris.

What to Consider When Selecting the Best Walk Behind Leaf Vacuum Mulcher

The power of the motor or the engine

If you decide to buy an electric walk behind vacuum mulcher, in general, with horsepower in mind, you must choose higher the wattage of the motor. You can always consider the price comparison by buying a lower wattage machine because they are usually cheaper price.

Consider this, if you are about to collect much waste or debris, you should invest in a much more powerful machine. Most machines are backed by 12 amperes and above. This is a good benchmark for walk-behind leaf mulchers as it is the one that dictates effective the machine will be.
For more heavy-duty types or more power, you might consider buying one with 14 amperes or above.


The versatility of a mulcher can give you a much easier task. If you buy a 3-in-1 mulcher, you can first blow up leaves or debris, mulch them and suck away remaining debris with the vacuum.

This might serve you well where it can reach a flower bed. Many mulchers shred twigs, branches (that are 3 inches (7.62 cm) thick), and leaves. Some machines are limited to handle only small branches (around 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) thick) and smaller leaves.


The vacuuming mechanism of a walk-behind vacuum mulcher is also essential. It has to have the ability to suck up most debris in a single pass, otherwise, you could spend more time and effort.

Some walk behind vacuum mulchers has a detachable vacuum hose that allows you to vacuum up leaves from flower beds and under hedges.


You have to ensure that the model you purchase comes with a durable bag, sturdy and strong enough not to be torn by debris that is sucked into. It is also large enough so that you do not have to keep stopping to empty it.

The bag must be easy to attach and remove, or you could be in trouble when it comes time to dispose of the debris.

Should you mulch your leaves?

What should you do with your leaves when in the fall? You will be benefited from mulching those leaves and then return them to the lawn. You should use them as mulch for your gardens, planting beds, or filler for your compost pile. Be sure that you do not place them on the curb.

Mulched leaves should be returned to where they came from. One study (Michigan State University) shows that mulching leaves are beneficial for your lawn. On the soil, they are decomposed by earthworms and microorganisms.

The next process would be turning into plant-usable organic matter. Using mulched oak leaves and maple leaves, found to have a better effect on turf quality and color. In order to get mulched leaves, we recommend a walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher. 

How long does it take for leaves to decompose?

Leaves commonly take 6 to 12 months to be decomposed or break down into compost. They can not go faster because they do not produce nitrogen to speed the process. 

However, there is a way where you can make it faster if you build and tend your leaf compost pile properly. Mulch them into smaller pieces of leaves, this will break down more quickly.

What can you put in a mulcher?

A mulcher can mulch organic mulches including compost, wood chips, shredded bark, sawdust, pine needles, chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, and even paper.

What is the difference between a mulcher and a chipper?

A wood chipper is used to reduce wood in the form of sticks, branches, stumps, to become a smaller form of wood chips. Equipped with one large hopper to feed the wood into. It also equipped with a long chute (like a giraffe’s neck) that ejects the chips.

Wood chipper usually powered by a gas engine. It consists of a large flywheel with one blade or blade attached to one side. The blade spins at a high-speed rate. Once inside with the blade, the wood would be cut into smaller pieces.

Those smaller pieces are ejected from the machine via the chute. It can handle larger or smaller diameter branches or wood. Wood chippers are widely used by industrial and municipal workers. They need to reduce a large amount of debris into smaller chips for disposal, storage, or transport.

A chipper shredder looks similar to a wood chipper, but the size is smaller and different in appearance. The Chipper shredder has two hoppers and no long ejection chute. The insides are the same as the wood chipper.

The opposite side is sets of dull blades or hammers called flails, used to pulverize soft material. Chipper shredders are used by homeowners and smaller. They are easy to move around and easy to store. The debris can be used as mulch that can be used in compost piles.

How to maintain a walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher?

Clean and replace the air filter

A vacuum leaf mulcher usually depends on open air flow in order to function. So it is recommended to clean the air filter after you use them for more than 10 hours of use.

You can start by cleaning the filter, and wash the reusable parts. Remove any sponges. After that soak them in warm, soapy water in 3-5 minutes. Rinse the air filter with clean water and dry them.

You must replace the air filter once a year before it becomes dirty. If you often use your vacuum leaf mulcher, replace your air filter with a new one monthly.

Check the spark plug (gas-powered leaf vacuum)

Your gas-powered walk behind leaf vacuum mulcher has a very vital part which is the spark plug. It is very important even if you own a small size gas engine is.

To check, disconnect the spark plug, check it for corrosion, and make sure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications once a week. Replace the spark plug after every 25 hours of use.

Check the wheel

The parts that distinguish walk behind vacuum leaf mulcher from other models are the wheels. Check the wheels every time for any damage or wear or deflation, whether they are made of plastic or pneumatic.

Check also the axle monthly to see if it needs to be lubricated. If so, lubricate them with machine oil.

Check impeller

Every vacuum leaf mulcher contains an impeller, which is a fan that creates the force that pulls air through the tube. Because the impeller on a walk-behind blower is what allows it to produce a greater volume of air, it is recommended and important to maintain.

Every year, disconnect the spark plug, removes the housing, and check the impeller’s blades for wear, damage, or crack

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