5 Best Leaf Mulcher: Complete Buying Guide & Leaf Mulcher Reviews

What do you usually do with all of the fallen leaves in your garden? Some gardeners add them to compost heaps, although they can take some time to break down, while others bag all of their leaves up and send them to a landfill.

Neither of those options is ideal, which is why many have recently been investing in the best leaf mulcher that they can find.

Earthwise LM71313 Amp 13-Inch Corded Electric Leaf...
150 Reviews
Earthwise LM71313 Amp 13-Inch Corded Electric Leaf...
  • Earthwise Power Tools by ALM powerful leaf shredder with a...
  • Leaf mulch shredder with a 19" funnel opening and 13"...
  • Sliding control lever with (3) mulching settings; Elastic...

Our research, combined with plenty of personal experience, all points to the Earthwise LM71313 Corded Electric Leaf Mulcher being the best leaf mulcher around.

This model has all of the power of a solid stationary leaf mulcher but comes with wheels, which means that you can easily manoeuvre it around your garden. It also comes with a large collection bag that’s easy to attach and detach, and has 3 different mulching settings to choose from.

Unlike most of the other leaf mulchers out there, this model can cope with leaves that are slightly wet. It will shred these up just as quickly as it does dry leaves, without clogging and jamming as other machines do.

Best Leaf Mulcher Reviews

Best Leaf Mulcher: Complete Buying Guide & Leaf Mulcher Reviews

Earthwise LM71313 Amp 13-Inch Corded Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Earthwise LM71313 Amp 13-Inch Corded Electric Leaf...
150 Reviews
Earthwise LM71313 Amp 13-Inch Corded Electric Leaf...
  • Earthwise Power Tools by ALM powerful leaf shredder with a...
  • Leaf mulch shredder with a 19" funnel opening and 13"...
  • Sliding control lever with (3) mulching settings; Elastic...

Features:

  • A powerful 13-Amp motor
  • Mulches 55 gallons/minute at a mulching ratio of 16:1
  • Offers 3 different mulching settings
  • Comes with a bag, along with clips for easy attachment
  • Stationary design with wheels for easy movement

What We Like:

Stationary leaf mulchers can be difficult to move around a garden, but the fact that this one has wheels is a huge bonus. It handles small twigs well, although this does cause the plastic filaments to wear out faster, and, unlike many other mulchers, doesn’t choke up when given wet leaves. The powerful motor on this mulcher enables it to work efficiently for long periods of time, without over-heating.

What Can Be Improved?

Although the height of this mulcher can be adjusted, anyone under 5’6 will need to really reach up in order to place leaves into the funnel.

Another downside is the dust that this mulcher kicks up – its exhaust fan works reasonably well, but a mask is still needed in order to safely and comfortably use this mulcher.

WORX WG509 TRIVIAC 12 Amp 3-in-1 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum

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WORX WG509 12 Amp TRIVAC 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower with...
5,205 Reviews
WORX WG509 12 Amp TRIVAC 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower with...
  • [LEAF BLOWER, MULCHER & VACUUM] Yard work doesn’t stand a...
  • [QUICKLY SWITCH MODES] Changes from leaf blower to vacuum...
  • [METAL MULCHER] The metal impeller cuts in two stages,...

Features:

  • A handheld 3-in-1 model that blows, vacuums, and mulches, with convenient switches to quickly flip between modes
  • A 12-Amp motor with an electric cord
  • 2 different speeds
  • A sturdy metal blade that mulches to a ratio of 18:1
  • A sleek and lightweight design that can easily be used with just one hand
  • Comes with a collection bag
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What We Like:

This handheld leaf mulcher offers the ultimate convenience. It’s so easy to use and has an angled tube that allows you to get to those hard-to-reach areas.

The metal blade is powerful enough to shred small twigs, and if you find that the collection bag isn’t large enough, you have the option of purchasing an additional collection unit with greater capacity.

What Can Be Improved?

Although fantastic for vacuuming and mulching dry leaves, this leaf mulcher simply doesn’t cut it if your leaves are even slightly damp. It will struggle to pick moist leaves up, leaving a dirty residue around the blade and tube, meaning extra cleaning and maintenance.

Landworks Leaf Mulcher Shredder Heavy Duty 120V

Landworks Leaf Mulcher Shredder Electric Green and Waste...
162 Reviews
Landworks Leaf Mulcher Shredder Electric Green and Waste...
  • SPECIFICATIONS - This All Electric Leaf Mulcher Shredder is...
  • DESIGN & CAPABILITIES - Great choice for Green Renewable...
  • SAFETY & PROPER USE - Always use the correct extension cord...

Features:

  • A powerful, heavy duty gas leaf mulcher with a 15-Amp motor
  • Comes with two 6-inch wheels for easy movement
  • Has an electric cord
  • Has a durable steel feeding chute and blades that can cope with twigs and small branches
  • Comes with a waterproof and tear-resistant collection bag

What We Like:

This is an extremely powerful leaf mulcher, but is surprisingly quiet when running. It shreds leaves and sticks into an almost powder-like consistency, and will happily run for several hours without over-heating.

What Can Be Improved?

This leaf mulcher can handle a small amount of moist material, but anything too wet will clog it up, meaning that you will then have to disconnect it in order to clear the blockage.

This can also happen if you feed leaves and sticks in too quickly – many will find it cumbersome to go at the slow speed that this mulcher requires.

Sun Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder

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Snow Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder, Green
862 Reviews
Snow Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder, Green
  • Ideal for turning branches and twigs into nutrient-rich...
  • Powerful 15 amp motor effectively chips and shreds branches...
  • Compact design with 6-inch wheels for easy portability;...

Features:

  • A strong 15-Amp motor that chips branches and shreds leaves
  • Slimline design with 6-inch wheels for easy movement
  • Electricity-powered
  • Has a mulching ratio of 17:1
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

What We Like:

This electric leaf mulcher is just as efficient as its gas-powered alternatives. It not only handles leaves, but also small branches, pulling in and mulching anything that’s less than an inch and a half in diameter.

What Can Be Improved?

As you would expect from a machine that has so much power, this leaf mulcher isn’t particularly quiet – it’s slightly louder than the average vacuum cleaner.

Another downside would be when it comes to the collection – this model is designed to be used with a specific plastic collection box (which it comes with), and swapping this out for a bag can be tricky.

Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blow Vacuum with Metal Impeller

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Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum, Variable-Speed (up...
3,927 Reviews
Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum, Variable-Speed (up...
  • Superior blowing and mulching proven by controlled...
  • Powerful up to 250 mph degree. 350 CFM blow mode and 410 CFM...
  • Vacuum tube, bottom-zip bag, cord storage hook, shred-all...

Features:

  • A handheld 3-in-1 design that blows, vacuums, and mulches
  • Has variable speed controls
  • Comes with a vacuum tube, a waste bag, and a time-saving oscillating nozzle tube
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What We Like:

To start with, this leaf mulcher is extremely easy to assemble – you won’t even need the instructions.

It works well with both dry leaves and twigs, and also comes with an insert that can be used on wet leaves, making it suitable for use in all types of weather. It creates a very fine mulch that can either be collected in the provided bag, or blown around your garden.

What Can Be Improved?

This leaf mulcher is quite heavy compared to other handheld models, but it makes up for this by having multiple holding areas, making it easy to use it in different positions.

However, this model falls short when it comes to its leaf collection bag – not only is this smaller than other models, but it is also quite thin, making it prone to cracking and tearing.

Leaf Mulcher Buying Guide

Best Leaf Mulcher: Complete Buying Guide & Leaf Mulcher Reviews

Do You Need a Leaf Mulcher?

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you actually need a leaf mulcher, this should help you to decide.

The first thing to consider is how much time you actually spend raking and collecting leaves. If your garden is small and only produces enough leaves to fill one or two bags each year, then you probably won’t use a leaf mulcher that much.

However, if you seem to be constantly raking up leaves and filling multiple bags or wheelbarrows each year, a leaf mulcher could really be a life-changer.

Could You Use a Regular Lawn Mower Instead of a Leaf Mulcher?

Although most mowers aren’t designed to mulch, many of them still do a pretty good job at it.

If you’re only mulching small amounts and you don’t need the leaves to be chopped up very finely, then your lawn mower will probably work well.

However, if you have a lot of leaves and want them to be shredded finely, and would also like to do something specific with them rather than have them scattered over your lawn, then a dedicated leaf mulcher is what you need.

Let’s see how it works:

The Different Types of Leaf Mulchers

There are 4 main types of leaf mulchers out there. Each one works in a slightly different way, making it worth understanding the basics of each type so that you can decide which best suits your needs.

Best Leaf Mulcher: Complete Buying Guide & Leaf Mulcher Reviews

Handheld Leaf Mulchers

A handheld leaf mulcher is easy to use in different areas of your garden, making them perfect for those who have multiple small spaces with fallen leaves. There are both gas and electric options available, as well as both corded and cordless (more on this further down).

The main downside to handheld leaf mulchers is that they aren’t usually powerful enough to handle twigs or other larger pieces of organic material – you may spend more time unclogging it than actually using it.

Handheld mulchers can also get quite heavy as their collection bag fills up, which is why they aren’t the best option for large spaces.

Push/Walk-Behind Leaf Mulchers

These leaf mulchers work in a similar way to vacuum cleaners – you simply push the machine in front of you so that it can suck up all of the leaves around it. These mulchers tend to be quite powerful, so most will handle twigs and larger sticks with ease.

The main disadvantage here is that these machines aren’t easy to use in small spaces. However, some come with hose-like attachments that make them more versatile.

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Best Leaf Mulcher: Complete Buying Guide & Leaf Mulcher Reviews

Stationary Leaf Mulchers

Stationary leaf mulchers tend to be quite large. They look just like a woodchipper, although they’re not as powerful.

Stationary mulchers are suitable for any size of the garden since you don’t need to move them around. They will also usually have a separate chute designed to take small branches, although anything large would require an actual woodchipper.

Ride-On Mower Mulching Attachments

If you already have a ride-on mower, then purchasing a mulching attachment for it may be the easiest and most cost-effective solution for you.

Ride-on mowers are able to collect and mulch large amounts of leaves, before easily depositing each load in a location of your choosing.

Multi-Tasking Leaf Mulchers

Some leaf mulchers are designed solely to mulch leaves, whereas others can perform other tasks too, such as blowing and vacuuming.

If you want to use your leaf mulcher for other garden tasks, you have the option of purchasing an all-in-one model or a mulcher that comes with different attachments that need to be manually attached and detached.

Best Leaf Mulcher: Complete Buying Guide & Leaf Mulcher Reviews

How Much Power Do You Need?

The power of a leaf mulcher’s motor will impact how fast it works, as well as the size of material that you can place into it.

Most handheld leaf mulchers will have a 12 to 15-Amp motor, which is ideal for leaves and small twigs.

Stationary leaf mulchers are more powerful, usually between 15 to 20-Amps, which is how they are able to cope with small branches.

Cordless vs. Corded

Most garden tools come in both cordless and corded versions, with pros and cons to each. Cordless gives you the flexibility to use the mulcher just about anywhere since you won’t need to be within a certain distance of a power supply.

However, while a cord may mean less range, it makes up for this with the assurance that it isn’t going to run out of power mid-use. Corded leaf mulchers also usually tend to be more powerful than cordless alternatives.

Chopping Mechanisms

Not all leaf mulchers have blades – some use plastic or nylon strings to cut leaves instead. These are still quite effective, especially since you don’t need to spend time sharpening them, but they aren’t good if you plan on mulching twigs as well as leaves.

On the other hand, bladed versions have blades that are made from either plastic or metal. Plastic blades are cheaper, and they usually work well for the average home gardener. However, if you want the sturdiest and most durable blades, go for ones made from steel.

Mulching Ratios

You will notice that many leaf mulchers display a mulching ratio. This refers to how many bags of leaves have been reduced by the mulcher.

For example, a ratio of 10:1 would mean that for every 10 bags of leaves, one bag of mulch is produced.

This gives you a good idea of how finely a mulcher is able to shred leaves – the larger the ratio, the smaller the cut.

Extra Features

There are a few extra features to keep an eye out for when looking for a leaf mulcher:

  • Collection bag – some models come with a collection bag, while others require them to be purchased separately. Keep in mind that the best collection bags will have a dust-blocking mechanism. Size matters too – the larger the bag, the more leaves you will be able to mulch in a single session, but don’t forget that full, big bags can feel quite heavy.
  • Shoulder straps – if you know that you’re going to be spending a lot of time using your new leaf mulcher, make sure that the model you pick has comfortable straps.
  • Different modes and fan speeds – this doesn’t matter quite as much for standalone models, but 3-in-1 designs that also blow and vacuum should ideally come with different fan speeds and modes.

This guy will show you how to clean up leaves with leaf mulcher:

Conclusion

There are a number of different points to consider when choosing a new leaf mulcher, but it all points back to how many leaves you plan on mulching, as well as the layout of your garden.

Whether you go for a convenient handheld model or a heavy-duty stationary machine, the best leaf mulcher for you will be one that can effortlessly shred the volume of leaves you’re dealing with in the least amount of time.

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.