7 Best Leaf Shredder Mulchers | Vacuum, Grinder, Blower

Doing yard work can be a pain, especially when it comes to dealing with swirling leaves, or damp leaf piles waiting for you to find a way to dispose of them. The best leaf shredder mulchers on the market will save you a ton of time and will make disposing of and repurposing your leaves an absolute doddle. Not to mention a worthwhile investment that can be used year after year.

Leaf mulchers, also known as leaf shredders, are effective tools that make it easy to transform your fallen leaves into compost or mulch. But it can be tricky to find the best leaf shredder mulchers amongst the broad range of products and technologies available.

So, I decided to run a test on the best leaf shredders on the market for home use, and I can now share the result with you, and show you how they work, and what to look out for.

Best Leaf Shredder Mulchers

Before we get into the specifics, here are our top choices for the best leaf shredder mulchers in three main categories. These are based on criteria including price (value), features and functions, effectiveness, maneuverability, and user review data.

Best Leaf Shredder Mulcher: Sun Joe SDJ616 Electric Leaf Shredder

The Sun Joe electric leaf mulcher shredder is the best stationary model available. This high-volume leaf mulcher works fast with multi-speed settings and a dust reduction feature. See my full review below for all the details.

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Best Leaf Vacuum Mulcher: BLACK+DECKER Leaf Blower & Leaf Vacuum

This Black+Decker 3 in 1 Leaf Mulcher is lightweight, portable, and can quickly mulch 16 bags of leaf down to 1. This is my No1 choice handheld leaf mulcher. You can read my full review in the review section below.

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Best 3-In-1 Blower Vacuum Mulcher: Worx TRIVAC 3-in-1 Leaf Shredder

The Worx TRIVAC Vacuum Mulcher combines all the functions into one convenient tool. It’s versatile, powerful, and has a great mulching ratio. I’ve rated this number three in my top 7 list. See all the specification details below.

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Different Leaf Shredder Mulchers

Before you start looking for the leaf shredder mulcher and throwing your cash on the table, it’s important to understand the different array of products and technologies available! The more you know, the more informed your decision will be, helping you select the best product for your needs. So, let’s get into how these machines work and what to look out for…

Walk-Behind Leaf Vacuum Mulcher

As the name implies, a walk-behind leaf vacuum mulcher combines two jobs in one: gathering leaves through a vacuum and processing them through a mulching mechanism.

Walk-behind leaf vacuums mulchers are typically gas or battery-powered allowing for good maneuverability as you walk around the yard working. Great for shredding and mulching, but also very helpful in the leaf collection process too.

Leaf Collection Bag

Not every leaf shredder model comes with a leaf collection bag. Some have them included, while others are compatible with almost any type of collector bag or garbage bin. Leaf collection bags can be a great option if this is an important feature for your situation.

Static Leaf Shredder Grinder

A static leaf shredder or leaf grinder is a free-standing static product, rather than a handheld tool that you use whilst walking. This type of machine can’t vacuum up leaves.

Instead, it functions essentially like a garbage can. You will need to use a leaf rake or blow leaves into piles, collect them by hand, and empty them into the leaf shredder.

Although this takes more time than using a machine to vacuum the leaves, it is still a time-saving device that takes much of the effort out of cleaning your yard in the fall. A freestanding leave grinder will process a higher volume of leaves in less time than a vacuum shredder.

3-In-1 Blower Vacuum Mulcher

Some products combine three functions into one machine: blowing, vacuuming, and mulching. This means that you can use one device to blow leaves, vacuum them into the collection bag, and shred them into a leaf mulch.

This type of product is typically more expensive due to its design and versatility. However, they are more cost-effective than buying three separate power tools to perform the same tasks. Plus, you only need to operate and store a single tool in your garage.

In most cases, it is fair to say a 3-in-1 is a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ meaning they are good at everything but not the class leader at any one individual task. That’s the trade-off, they are heavier and less powerful than the best electric leaf blower for example.

What Is the Best Shredder for Leaves?

Simply put, there is no single answer for what kind of leaf shredder is the best. It depends on your needs and goals.

Free Standing Leaf Shedder

For out and out leaf shredding then a static freestanding model will power its way through a high volume of leaves with ease.

Leaf Vacuum Mulcher

For a lightweight, maneuverable tool, but… with a little less leaf grinding capacity, then a walk-behind handheld leaf vacuum mulcher would be perfect.

3-in-1 Leaf Blower, Vacuum, Mulcher

If you like the idea of a versatile tool that is a little heavier but saves on the overall investment in a set of power tools, then a 3-in-1 is a great option.

You should also think about other aspects, such as the size of your yard, the number of leaves you usually have, and how much time you are willing to spend clearing debris in the fall.

Cordless Battery Vs. Corded Machines

As we have seen, leaf mulchers can be either cordless battery-powered or corded machines for use with mains electric supply. While there are advantages and drawbacks to each type, they are more or less equal in terms of mulching ability.

Both are excellent alternatives to traditional gas-powered leaf mulchers, which emit toxic fumes, produce a lot of noise, require servicing and fuel-oil mixture.

So let’s compare corded versus battery-powered machines and set out the main differences and advantages.

Battery Powered Cordless Leaf Shredder

A battery-powered cordless leaf shredder used a lithium-ion battery to drive the motor. These batteries are expensive and will need to be charged ahead of time. Batteries range between run time and power depending on the type and model.

Because of the battery weight, this type of leaf shredders are usually heavier than corded alternatives.

Motor Power

The motor power of cordless electric leaf shredders varies widely based on the brand and model. However, in general, you can expect them to be between 8 and 14 amps. In simple terms the higher the motor amperage the more power the tool can output for any of its functions.

Lithium Battery Run Time

Cordless leaf shredder mulchers are generally powered by lithium batteries. This requires you to charge them beforehand. The charge and run time, measured in AH or Amp Hours, varies widely from model to model and brand to brand.

But generally, you can anticipate a battery-powered leaf shredder to run between 15 and 30 minutes at a time for two to three hours of charging time. Upgrade batteries or extra batteries are available from most major brands.

Corded Electric Leaf Shredder

If you decide to go with a corded electric leaf shredder, there are a few things you should look for when choosing a corded model. Here are some things to consider.

Maneuverability

Since this type of electric leaf shredder uses an electric cord for its power source, you will need to make sure that this doesn’t get in the way of maneuvering the machine. Most corded leaf shredder mulchers are stationery, which means that you gather the leaves by hand and put them through the machine.

If you need to move your corded electric leaf shredder mulcher, you may need to look into getting a compatible extension cord. Make sure you get one made to be used outdoors.

If you opt for a handheld leaf vacuum mulcher then be sure to pick a model with a long cord or purchase an extra-long cord and switch it over to give yourself more flexibility and range.

Corded Power Tool Advantages

If electric cords get in the way of maneuverability, why should you bother with them? There are a few distinct advantages.

First, corded power tools, including leaf shredders, don’t have a battery that needs to be charged or replaced. They are ready to be used as soon as you plug them in. Infinite run-time and no downtime during battery recharging.

Second, most corded power tools have a higher power output, making them extremely efficient. Because they don’t contain a heavy battery, many models are also much more lightweight and easier to use.

Static Leaf Shredder

Most static leaf shredders are powered through an electric power cord. This is because they don’t need to be moved, unlike other types of mulchers.

While static leaf shredders are single-purpose tools and don’t combine multiple jobs, such as vacuuming and collecting leaves, they are often more efficient and higher-powered. Many models are also extremely lightweight, making them easy to set up and break down for storage.

What to Look for In A Leaf Mulcher

Now that you know about the different types of leaf mulchers, what features should you look for when deciding what to buy?

Mulching Ratio

One thing you will see when comparing different leaf mulchers is a mulching ratio. This refers to the amount that the shredder reduces the volume of leaves. For example, some shredders can reduce 11 bags of leaves to a single bag of leaf mulch. In other words, they have a mulching ratio of 11:1.

Speed and Controls

Most leaf shredders have a variety of speed controls and other features or settings. Speed can be variable, meaning many settings whilst others have simple 1, 2, or 3 fixed speed settings.

On Vacuum Blower Mulchers, speed adjustment allows the user to control airflow. A tight corner, for example, will need more precise work, which usually results in a slower speed. An open lawn, on the other hand, will need a higher speed setting to collect leaves effectively.

On shredder mulchers, the speed adjustment will assist in grinding through a higher volume of leaves over a shorter period of time.

CFM

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. This is a method of measuring how much air a fan moves, usually through an opening or tube. With regards to leaf vacuum mulchers, CFM means how hard air is blown through the hose, and therefore how efficient the machine is.

In other words: the higher the CFM, the better.

Weight

Weight is another important aspect to consider when choosing a leaf shredder mulcher for the simple reason that you need to be able to move it! Batteries often make leaf shredders much heavier, while corded models may be lighter.

Bear in mind that attachments like vacuums and leaf collection bags can also add to the weight. Static or standing leaf shredders may be a bit heavier, which isn’t a problem since you don’t need to move them around once they are positioned for operation.

If you need to carry it around your yard, however, you want it to be comfortable and easy to maneuver.

Other Features

Other features can also be included in leaf shredders. These can vary widely based on the model and brand. Some common additional features include leaf collection bags and other modes of use.

Leaf Collection Bag

Some leaf shredder mulchers come with a specified leaf collection bag. This can vary in size and attaches to the bottom of the shredder to catch the processed leaves.

However, some models don’t include a leaf collection bag. For these, you can usually use any bag you have available, such as a regular garbage bag. Some people prefer to use a trash bin if they have a standing leaf shredder.

Blower Mode

Some leaf shredder mulchers include a blower mode in addition to the vacuum and mulch settings. This lets the machine function as a regular leaf blower, making it easier to gather leaves into a pile. Only models marketed as “3-in-1” have this setting. With these, you can usually switch easily from blowing to vacuuming and mulching just by using a switch.

Overview

A leaf shredder or leaf mulcher is a powerful tool that lets you gather fallen leaves in your yard and process them into shredded organic material. This material can then be used as compost or mulch.

Okay, so a leaf shredder is eco-friendly since it repurposes material you already have and redeploy it to fortify other plants in your garden. It also keeps leaves and yard debris out of landfills sites, which often become overwhelmed during fall!

Leaf shredders are also a fantastic time-saving device. Rather than having to bag up leaves after raking them, you can simply shred them in a few minutes.

To recap, there are several designs of leaf shredder mulchers, from static free-standing leaf grinder, walk-behind or handheld leaf vacuum mulcher and finally the 3-in-1 versatile leaf blower, vacuum, mulchers. Each offers advantages based on your personal preference and working scenario:

  • Budget
  • Physical ability
  • Yard size
  • Amount of leaves
  • Available power source

Best Leaf Shredder Mulcher Reviews

Before you buy any product, especially a big investment like a yard tool, it’s vital to understand all the ins and outs. This will ensure that you know what you’re looking for and can choose the best tool for your needs.

My criteria for judging each of these products is based on how well the product performed at its specialist function, build quality and durability, and overall value for money.


1. BLACK+DECKER 12 Amp 3-in-1 Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher

Best Leaf Shredder Mulchers
  • Power Type: Electric corded
  • Motor Power: 12 amp
  • Mulching Ratio: 16:1
  • CFM: 400
  • Speed Settings: 2 (180/250 mph)
  • Weight: 8 lbs

The Black+Decker BV6000 Leaf Blower and Leaf Vacuum is a highly efficient corded electric blower featuring top specifications for this particular range. This 3-in-1 leaf mulcher shredder makes it simple to blow, vacuum, and shred leaves whilst collected them in a gang for easy disposal or composting.

This extremely lightweight model only weighs eight pounds, making it easy to carry around the yard. Combine this lightweight tool with a shoulder strap and double handle and you have the most comfortable portable leaf shredder around.

It is simple to switch between blowing, vacuuming, and finally to shredding by way of an internal metal leaf grinder that churns leaf mulch into the waste bag.

With a 16:1 mulching ration, the Black+Decker leaf blower reduces 16 bags of debris down to a single bag and is surprisingly quiet in the process.

Check the latest price of the Black+Decker 12 Amp Leaf Shredder on Amazon.com

This particular model features a 12-amp motor with two-speed settings: low (180 mph) and high (250 mph). This makes it an extremely efficient leaf shredder that will cut your work down to a fraction of the time! The alternating settings let you choose between heavy work or quick cleanup.

It pushes out an impressive 400 CFM producing a compelling performance with both dry and damp debris. It also features a high-efficiency cleaning setting, making it easy to clean out the chute and reducing the risk of clogs, even with wet debris.

Overall I was impressed with how easy this blower was to use and I felt like there was a lot to like for under $100, comfortable, very well put together, and super-charged with suction power.

Pros      

  • Lightweight 3-in-1 blower, vacuum, mulcher with excellent 400CFM performance
  • Quiet motor with dual speed settings
  • Leaf collection bag included

Cons

  • Corded model with limited mobility

2. Worx TRIVAC 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher

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  • Power Type: Electric corded
  • Motor Power: 12 amp
  • Mulching Ratio: 18:1
  • CFM: 350
  • Speed Settings: 2 (80/210 mph)
  • Weight: 11 lbs

The Worx TRIVAC 3-in-1 electric leaf blower has a very similar specification to the Balck+Decker blower above. A corded leaf mulcher with 12 Amps of power, 3-in-1 functionality, slightly heavier at 11lbs, but with a better leaf mulching ratio of 18:1.

It is an excellent option designed to be used one-handed, with a shoulder strap. It’s very simple to switch between modes with a large hand level. The product is well built and should last for many years of yard work.

Operating on 12 amps, the Worx TRIVAC has several speed settings for different types of work. The slower setting at 80 mph is designed for tight spaces and corners, while the faster setting at 210 mph is made for an open lawn.

It also comes with a 1.2-bushel leaf bag, so you don’t have to attach anything to the hose. The end of the hose is shaped to let you reach tight spaces more easily.

This lightweight leaf shredder operates at 350 CFM, proving that a small model doesn’t have to skimp on quality and efficiency.

So why is this item second on my list? Well…the Balck+Decker has a slightly higher CFM and comes in around $30 cheaper. Having said that the Worx does have a very slightly better feel about it in terms of build quality, but there really isn’t much in it.

Click here to find the latest price for the Worx 3-in-1 Leaf Mulcher on Amazon.com

Pros      

  • Lightweight 3-in-1 Blower, Vacuum, Mulcher
  • Variable speed settings, includes leaf bag and ergonomic tube
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Corded model with limited mobility

3. LawnMaster Electric Blower Vacuum Mulcher

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  • Power Type: Electric corded
  • Motor Power: 12 amp
  • Mulching Ratio: 16:1
  • CFM: 380
  • Speed Settings: 2 (180/241 mph)
  • Weight: 9 lbs

The LawnMaster electric blower vacuum mulcher is another example of a corded electric leaf shredder that drastically condenses your work time. Another great 3-in-1 model, the LawnMaster has an impressive 16:1 mulch ratio.

One of the most unique aspects of this model is that all the internal components are made from metal, not plastic. That means they are more effective and can stand up to long-term use, even on wet debris.

Despite the heavy-duty components, this model is surprisingly lightweight. It weighs only 9 lbs, making it easy to carry around your yard as needed. You can switch easily between settings without stopping, thanks to the attached 14-gallon collection bag. However, it’s important to note that you’ll need to buy an outdoor extension cord!

With a 12-amp motor speed, this model has a two-speed setting with a maximum output of 240 mph and 380 CFM. The special metal impeller works more efficiently than many other models and helps reduce dust emissions to protect your safety as you work.

Check Lawn Master Leaf Shredder latest price on Amazon.com

Pros      

  • Great budget option, lacks the trusted brand name
  • Metal internal impeller and grinder, also includes leaf collection bag
  • Excellent 380 CFM for efficient leaf collection

Cons

  • Corded model has limited mobility
  • Does not include an extension cord

4. CRAFTSMAN Leaf Blower Vacuum & Mulcher

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  • Power Type: Electric corded
  • Motor Power: 12 amp
  • Mulching Ratio: 16:1
  • CFM: 450
  • Speed Settings: 2 (up to 260 mph)
  • Weight: 11.27 lbs

The Craftsman leaf blower vacuum & mulcher is an excellent model that runs right in the middle of the road on price. It features a powerful 12-amp motor that felt slightly underpowered compared to the other 12 amp items on my list.

This unique design features a backpack-style collection bag, making it comfortable to carry as much as 55 liters of debris. An easy-to-reach switch lets you move between blowing, vacuuming, and mulching, so you don’t have to change position to move through your tasks.

The Craftsman leaf blower is only 11.27 lbs. Despite its breezy size, it can handle many types of debris thanks to its 260 mph speed and 450 CFM. The attached blower and collection bag have wide mouths, reducing the risk of clogs that slow down your work.

Despite the 450 CFM the motor does seem to have less power than the Black+Decker or Worx unit, but maybe this was just the unit I tested. However, on this basis, I like the product design and comfort but prefer the other options based on performance.

Check the latest price of the Craftsman 12 Amp Leaf Mulcher on Amazon

Pros      

  • Nice backpack style leaf bag
  • Variable speed settings and easy to switch between functions

Cons

  • Does not include extension cord
  • Despite 450 CFM this did not translate into the same performance as others products on my list

5. BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower

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  • Power Type: Electric corded
  • Motor Power: 12 amp
  • Mulching Ratio: 10:1
  • CFM: 300
  • Speed Settings: 2 150 / 210 mph
  • Weight: 7 lbs

The BV3100 is another 3-in-1 electric leaf blower from the Black+Decker development team. It is the smaller brother of the BV6000 occupying the No1 spot on my product list.

This model also combines leaf blowing, vacuuming, and mulching into one trustworthy tool. At only 7lbs it’s about as light as you will find for a vacuum mulcher, meaning it is incredibly easy to move around your yard with this tool over extended periods.

This model has a 10:1 mulching ratio, which is lower than its big brothers 16:1, but it can be a great choice for anyone with a small yard or who only wants to do moderate yard work. Alternatively, you might find that the Black+Decker’s other features make up for the slightly slower grinding speed.

This tool provides up to 300 CFM which is great for smaller leaf collections and has a plastic grinder compared to the Black+Decker BV6000 metal components. But this is the trade-off for a tool that will cost you around 60 dollars.

The leaf shredder also comes with a handy leaf collection bag so you don’t have to transfer leaves by hand. Just get to work and switch easily between settings to get your work done in no time.

Check the Black+Decker BV3100 price on Amazon

Pros      

  • Good motor producing up to 300 CFM
  • Very light at just 7lbs
  • Comes with a leaf collection bag

Cons

  • One of the lowest mulching ratios at 10:1

6. Sun Joe Electric Leaf Mulcher Shredder Freestanding

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  • Power Type: Electric corded
  • Motor Power: 13 amp 8,000 rpm
  • Mulching Ratio: 16:1
  • CFM: n/a
  • Speed Settings: 5
  • Weight: 13.4 lbs

The Sun Joe SDJ616 electric leaf mulcher and shredder is an affordable free-standing static leaf shredder grinder that doesn’t skimp on the quality. It reduces the leaves and debris you put into 1/16 of their original size, turning 16 bags of leaves into just one. This makes it one of the highest-capacity leaf shredders on the market!

The mulch chute has a 12-inch diameter, reducing the risk of clogs that slow down the pace. It can shred up to 55 gallons of leaves in one minute, cutting your work to just a fraction of the time.

The Sun Joe SDJ616 also features a bladeless system for safer, more efficient shredding. Its special motor cooling system works as it shreds, which means that it produces less dust than traditional leaf shredders.

The hopper feeds material into a trimmer line cutting mechanism which in turn drops leaves into a waste collection bag.

This leaf shredder features 5 settings: wet or dry yard waste, including leaves, thatch, grass clippings, and even pine needles to provide a diverse range of uses for clearing up yard debris.

This model only weighs 13.4 lbs, making it one of the heavier models on this list, but still comfortable. It is simple to set up and break down for storage, and you don’t need any special tools for assembly.

Check the latest Sun Joe SJD616 price here on Amazon

Pros      

  • Static freestanding design gives this leaf shredder mulcher the highest volume capacity
  • Lightweight, bladeless system, extra wide chute
  • 5 settings for various wet or dry garden materials

Cons

  • It does not include a purpose built collection bag. Designed to attach a general plastic waste bag

7. Earthwise Corded Electric Leaf Mulcher Shredder

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  • Power Type: Electric corded
  • Motor Power: 13 amp
  • Mulching Ratio: 16:1
  • CFM: n/a
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Weight: 13.4 lbs

The Earthwise LM71313 corded electric leaf mulcher/shredder is a stationary model that deserves its accolades. It is designed to operate with the power of traditional gas leaf shredders without the unpleasant fumes.

The model I tested had a 19-inch hopper funneling down to a 13-inch cutting face where the motor is housed powering the cutting lines.

The Earthwise model can also mulch up to 55 gallons in a minute for a 16:1 mulching ratio. It features three settings for a variety of lawn debris, including wet and dry material.

Like the Sun Joe product, this stationary leaf shredder mulcher is a simple but very effective high volume leaf shredder, that I would highly recommend. However, I would give a slight nod to the Sun Joe model with more shredding settings available to make it slightly more versatile.

Check Earthwise Leaf Mulcher price here on Amazon

Pros      

  • Static freestanding design with a sturdy base
  • 3 settings that cover most domestic use, wet or dry garden materials

Cons

  • It does not include a purpose built collection bag

Verdict: Are Leaf Mulchers Worth It?

For people who want to clear up their yard in the autumn while protecting the earth, a leaf mulcher is worth the money. They are an excellent way to clean up your lawn without adding more waste to the local landfills. If you want a clean yard this fall without the backbreaking work, a leaf mulcher is a perfect tool.

If you’re looking for a static free-standing lead mulcher shredder that provides unmatched mulching capacity then I would suggest you look no further than the Sun Joe Electric Leaf Mulcher Shredder.

If your preference is to incorporate a leaf vacuum bagger with your leaf mulching function then the  BLACK+DECKER 12 Amp 3-in-1 Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher is my preferred tool due to its overall build quality and excellent performance.

FAQ’s Leaf Shredder Mulchers