We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products-learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Best Leaf Mulchers to Keep Your Lawn Clean During Fall
Though we love the season of fall, there’s one thing that nobody likes about it — dead leaves ruining the perfect yard. It takes months to grow and maintain a nice garden, and with the arrival of autumn, it all goes to waste. While people suggest raking dead leaves from the lawn, we would recommend using one of the top-rated leaf mulchers in 2023. Why? That’s because raking only helps in collecting leaves into a pile and nothing more. These piles give off a pungent odor when the leaves start to rot and would further affect your garden badly.
However, leaf mulchers are specifically designed to shred both wet and dry dead leaves into tiny pieces, which makes it easier to dispose of them. You can also use these shredded leaves in your compost and feed your beautiful plants. Below, we have reviewed the top leaf mulchers that will help you in finding the perfect one for your garden.
Leaf mulchers are essential for homes with large gardens as they help in keeping the lawn clean. This electric leaf shredder is designed explicitly for gardens that get lots of dead leaves during the fall season. Thanks to its amazing capacity, it can easily shred 53 gallons of leaves within a minute. On top of that, the powerful 13 Amp motor is highly efficient and prevents leaves from clogging up the mulcher.
The best thing about this mulcher is its excellent mulching ratio of 11:1, which means it can shred eleven bags of leaves and compress their volume to one bag. Besides, it is portable, durable, and has a sturdy construction.
This leaf mulcher doesn’t require any tools for assembling
It can easily shred leaves of 53 gallons in a minute
This mulcher has a motor power of 13 Amp, which can work continuously without clogging the machine
This leaf mulcher only weighs 20 pounds and is easy to carry
This 3-in-1 leaf mulcher is one of the most cost-effective products that you can get on the market. It can do the job of a leaf blower, mulcher, and vacuum easily. Thus, you don’t have to buy different machines for maintaining your garden as this product will do all the work. It has a blower speed of 210 mph and can clean your garden in minutes.
Apart from that, this machine has a mulching ratio of 10:1, which means it can shred ten bags of leaves and compress them in one bag. It also has a quiet operation and produces noise of 69 dB, which is quite less as compared to other devices.
It has two-speed options to control the speed of the air
This machine works quietly and generates noise of 69 dB only
It has the capability of reducing ten bags of leaves into one
This mulcher only weighs 7 pounds which makes it lighter as compared to others
For large gardens, a handheld leaf mulcher can be of great help. Instead of raking your lawn and then mulching them on the machine, you can directly shred leaves using this leaf mulcher. It functions as a 3-in-1 handheld device with which you can vacuum, blow, and mulch leaves. This machine also comes with an attached bag with straps that prevents back pain and makes it easier to clean the garden.
Moreover, this leaf mulcher has a speed of 260 mph and an airflow of 450 CFM. Thanks to its amazing capacity of 55L, you can easily shred large amounts of leaves without any difficulty. Besides, its 12 Amp motor makes the job a lot easier.
It has a storage capacity of 55 L
This shredder has an airflow speed of 450 CFM and a blow speed of 260 mph
The attached bag has adjustable straps for easy carrying
It has concentrated nozzles for better cleaning
This is a corded leaf mulcher and needs an extension power cord
This 3-in-1 mulcher is perfect for yards with huge piles of leaves. It has a speed of 240 mph and an airflow capacity of 380 CFM, making this leaf mulcher suitable for cleaning yards in no time. Owing to its speed adjustability options, you can easily control the device as per the size of the piles.
The best thing about this product is its excellent mulching ratio of 16:1, which is the highest in the market. However, it only has a storage capacity of 14 gallons, due to which the product might take some time in shredding the leaves
This machine has a motor power of 12 Amp
It has a regulator to control the airflow speed
It can easily shred 14 gallons of leaves without clogging the machine
This leaf mulcher has roller wheels near the nozzle for easy gliding
The dust collection bag can only store 14 gallons of debris
This leaf mulcher from Sun Joe is quite popular in the market due to numerous reasons. Firstly, it has a powerful 13 Amp motor with a speed of 8000 RPM. Due to this, it can easily shred leaves without clogging the machine at all. Additionally, this mulcher comes with removable trash can so that you can easily dispose of the shredded leaves.
Furthermore, it has an easy-to-read control dial that allows you to control the whole device as per your requirement and convenience. Though this leaf mulcher is costly, it is totally worth it. Due to the product’s unique dust-reducing technique, you don’t have to worry about the mess and dust that occur while shredding leaves.
It has an extension cord of 50 feet
This leaf mulcher has a feasible control panel for operating it
You can shred wet and dry leaves in this mulcher
Some customers think it’s expensive
Buying Guide for the Best Leaf Mulchers
Leaf mulchers play a major role in maintaining a garden as they help in shedding dead leaves and debris present in the yard for easy disposal. But, there are some specific aspects that state the quality of these machines, like storage capacity, reduction ratio, and more. It is essential to know these characteristics so that you make a wise investment. Below, we have mentioned some of the important features of leaf mulchers that you should keep in mind while purchasing one for your garden.
What Are the Various Types of Leaf Mulchers?
Corded electric shredders are the most popular these days because they are easy to operate and don’t need much maintenance. They have powerful motors and need an electric supply to function properly. Most of these leaf mulchers have motors rated in the range of 8 to 14 Amp and can work without producing any noise. The higher the motor rating, the better is the machine. On top of that, corded electric shredders are light in weight and have portable structures.
Cordless leaf shredders are quite similar to corded electric ones, but the former works on batteries. The best thing about these machines is that there is no cord limit. Thus, you can easily carry them anywhere around the yard.
However, you have to charge them in regular intervals for better functionality. The average run time of a normal cordless leaf mulcher would be around 15 to 20 minutes, after which it would stop working. They come with rechargeable Lithium batteries with varying voltages. If you need a cordless shredder for your garden, then look for its voltage requirement. The more the voltage rating, the longer is the machine’s run time.
Gas leaf mulchers were used before the electric ones came into the market. Though they are not so popular currently, they provide you with certain benefits like complete control over the machine, which is not usually found in electric ones. They also need gasoline or any other fuel to start working.
Besides, these mulchers are measured in cubic centimeters, and the larger the size, the better is the gas shredder. They are also portable, which makes them easy to carry around. However, they produce dirt and can cause pollution as well.
What Factors Should You Look For in a Leaf Shredder?
While buying a leaf mulcher, the first thing you should look for is its storage capacity, which is measured in CFM. If the device cannot store a small number of leaves, then it would take a lot of time to shred them. Besides, the capacity of a mulcher determines the amount of air that moves around in the device. The average CFM of a corded shredder is around 500, whereas gas leaf mulchers have around 450 to 700 CFM. Higher capacity helps in clearing both wet and dry leaves in no time.
The blades of the shredder help in chopping off the leaves into tiny pieces. It is important for the machine to have stainless steel blades as they have the potential to easily slice wood pieces and don’t rust at all. However, there are mulchers that have blades made with ABS plastic that work just fine but might not last for a long time.
Mulching ratio, better known as reduction ratio, states the mulcher’s capability to reduce or compress the size of the leaves. The more the reduction ratio, the better is the mulcher, as it would help you in saving space for storing the leaves. The general mulching ratio of a machine is around 10:1, which means it can shred ten bags of leaves and compress the volume up to one bag. Some shredders also have a ratio of 16:1, which makes them highly preferable amongst customers.
Most leaf shredders only mulch dry and wet leaves that you can use as compost for your garden. But wouldn’t it be better if the device can also vacuum and blow leaves from your yard? Most leaf mulchers can be converted into vacuum and blowers and function accordingly. Such machines save you money and provide you with all the essential tools you need to maintain your yard. Hence, always look for 3-in-1 mulchers that can do the work of three machines.
Leaf Mulchers Vs. Rake: Which One Is Better?
Rake and leaf mulchers are two different garden tools that have the same objective — clearing out dead leaves from the yard. However, the working technique of both the tools is different. While leaf mulchers shred leaves into tiny pieces to speed up their decomposing rate, rakes simply collect them into a single pile.
Leaf piles do look good, but they build up a small ecosystem of various bugs and insects that can affect your garden badly. Moreover, there are chances of dangerous snakes hiding in the leaf piles that can cause real harm.
However, mulching helps you in disposing of the leaves properly. You can either collect the shredded leaves and dispose of them directly in the landfill or use them as compost for your garden. Dead leaves prevent the growth of weeds and also release macronutrients into the soil for better plant growth.
What Are the Safety Tips You Should Keep In Mind While Using Leaf Shredders?
While using a leaf mulcher, it is important to know safety instructions to prevent any accidents. One of the most essential safety tips is not to put your hand inside the shredder when it’s working. There will come situations when the machine will clog up due to wet leaves, wood chunks, and other debris, due to which it won’t work properly. In such cases, switch off the entire machine and then remove the debris from it instead of simply putting your hand inside.
Apart from that, it is important to wear protective eye gear while using these machines. That’s because a leaf mulcher generates tons of dust while tearing down the debris. There are wood chunks, leaves, twigs, and various other things that go into the machine. Due to this, the mulcher will kick off pieces of debris that might go into your eye and cause some severe accidents. Therefore, it is important to wear protective face gear while operating leaf mulchers.
Leaf Mulcher FAQ
Q: Are shredded leaves good for gardens?
A: Yes, shredded leaves are useful for gardens as they help in preventing the growth of weeds. Besides, they act as the perfect ingredient for fertilizers and release nutrients into the soil for better plant growth.
Q: Should I use a leaf mulcher for shredding wet leaves?
A: Wet leaves might cause problems during the shredding process, but there are specific mulchers designed for this purpose. So, check for various settings of the machine before making a purchase. It would help you know whether it can shred wet leaves or not.
Q: Can mulching kill your grass?
A: No, mulching will not kill the grass. Instead, it helps in promoting the growth rate of the grass. By mulching, you can remove all debris and dead leaves that take up all nutrients from the soil, allowing the grass to grow freely.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. All questions regarding articles or product testing can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org