During the fall months, gardening and general yard work can be a little more time-consuming due to falling leaves that pile up everywhere. There are dozens of products available to help clean them up, including leaf blowers. The problem lies in trying to figure out what to do with the leaves once you rake them up, and this is where a leaf mulcher comes in. A quality leaf mulcher can help you reduce your level of garden waste by creating mulch that is very easy to use or dispose of.
If you have a compost bin, leaf mulch is an excellent ingredient to add to help fill it out with nutritious components for your plants. You can add it straight to the soil too to prevent weed growth. Since there are so many leaf mulchers on the market, narrowing down your choices can be difficult. The first thing you want to do is figure out what you need and narrow it down from there, and my top 10 reviews can help. I also included a buying guide to help you pick the best product and tell you what leaf mulchers are.
Leaf mulch is very rich in nutrients, and it can stop weeds from coming up. You can use a mulcher to shred large quantities of leaves down to fine pieces that you can add to your compost or mix into your soil to support healthy plant growth.
WORX WG430 Leaf Mulcher – Top Pick
The top pick for the best leaf mulcher comes from Worx, and it’s an excellent product to use if you have a lawn sweeper that creates piles of leaves that you have to deal with each fall. It has a powerful 13-amp motor that will quickly mulch up to 53 gallons of leaves every 60 seconds, and you can deposit the debris straight into a bag or bin to add them to your compost pile or get rid of them. You get a flex-a-line bladeless system with this setup that uses a very thick trimmer line to give you a nice 11:1 mulching ratio. The clean air motor cooling system will keep it running through large projects.
There is an easy stop and start system that gives you precision control over this leaf mulcher, and you get a quick assembly and disassembly process without using any tools. In turn, you’ll have it up and running within a few minutes of getting it. There is a 13-amp motor on this tool, and it comes with 24 cutting lines and a support ring when you buy it. The three-year warranty will help to protect you from defects or damage, and you can easily get in touch with customer support.
- 13-amp motor
- Mulch 53 gallons a minute
- 11:1 mulching ratio
- Easy start/stop system
- Three-year warranty
- Flex-a-line bladeless system
- Clean air motor cooling system
- Replacement lines are expensive
Flowtron LE-900 Leaf Shredder – Step-Up Pick
The step-up pick for the best leaf mulcher comes from Flowtron. It’s powerful enough to reduce up to 11 bags of leaves and debris into a single one. This is a slightly more expensive option, but it makes up for the price by giving you a powerful universal motor that comes equipped with overload protection to protect the motor and keep it running for years. It offers a 30:1 particle size reduction to give you a very fine mulch that you can easily deposit around your flowers or shrubs, and you can position the bucket to any angle you choose to make it very easy to load the leaves in without straining yourself, and this makes it great for older people.
This leaf mulcher weighs in at just 17 pounds, and it has a bright red coloring to make it highly visible. The heavy-duty cutting lines won’t snap or break with heavy use, and you can position the bottom of the barrel over a garbage can to catch the debris to make cleanup easy. This product will snap together in minutes using nothing more than a screwdriver, and it comes with 36 extra cutting lines. It sheds and mulches, and you get a full year warranty from the date of purchase.
- Bucket is easy to angle
- Weighs 17 pounds
- One year warranty
- Universal motor
- Overload protection built in
- Comes with 36 cutting lines
- Easy to put together
- Plastic components are less durable
BLACK+DECKER Leaf Mulcher – Mid-End Budget Pick
Anyone on a budget who lives in an area with a lot of oak or maple trees will appreciate our mid-end budget pick by Black+Decker. There is a convenience to this product for the price because you get a 3-in-1 tool. It will act like leaf mulcher, vacuum, and a blower all in one handheld unit. The sleek black and orange color scheme is another nice point, and it comes outfitted with a disposable leaf bag system. You can simply attach it, suck the leaves through the mulcher, and swap out the bags for empty ones when you fill them. It’s quick, convenient, and you’ll get a neat and tidy lawn very fast.
This leaf blower can also grind up to 16 bags of leaves and debris down to a single one, and this makes disposing of them practically painless. It has a 250 MPH blower with several speed selections on it, so you can decide how well it cleans your yard or patio. At 68 decibels, this is a relatively quiet tool that you can use any time during the day without disturbing your neighbors. It’s an electric design that will keep a steady flow of power as long as you need it to run.
- 3-in-1 design
- 250 MPH blower
- Quieter operation
- Disposable leaf bag system
- Lightweight and portable
- Ergonomic handle
- Several styles available
- Not well-balanced
TECCPO Leaf Vacuum and Mulcher – Bargain Budget Pick
The variable speed on the leaf mulcher coupled with the lower price make this an excellent bargain budget pick because you get a lot of setting and capabilities at a mid-range price point. The variable air speed ranges from 170 to 250 miles per hour, and the air volume ranges from 280 to 410 CFM. You can hit the yellow switch on the top of the machine to cycle through them as you work. It’s a 3-in-1 design that functions for mulching, vacuuming, and blowing in a handheld design. The mulching blades are a durable steel to give you an anti-rust and corrosive material. It’ll mulch at a ratio of 16:1.
The handle of this leaf mulcher is a durable PU plastic that seals out moisture to protect the engine and other parts, and it gives the product excellent elasticity while making it comfortable to grip in any conditions. The bottom widening design on the collectio bag with the zipper-sidelong design reduces the air pressure and allows you to fill the bag full. The double-layer bag will lock moisture out and resist tears or punctures, and it weighs in at just six pounds.
- Variable speed controls
- Flexible handle
- Comfort grip design
- Durable collection bag
- 3-in-1 capabilities
- 16:1 mulching ratio
- Lightweight and portable
- Latch can malfunction mid-use
RYOBI Leaf Vacuum Mulcher – Best for Cleanup Around the Patio
This unique leaf mulcher works wonderful for cleaning up around your outdoor benches and on your patio because it has small wheels on the bottom of the blower/vacuum tube to help guide it around. These wheels also support a lot of the weight, and this makes it very easy to maneuver around the items you have on your patio or in your backyard. You can vacuum up leaves before you mulch them to make cleanup quick and easy, and it’ll turn 16 bags of leaves into 1. In turn, this is very easy to get rid of to keep your yard neat from spring all of the way through to the winter months.
The impeller in this leaf mulcher is metal, and the metal is durable enough to withstand heavy use without corroding or rusting. This is a battery-operated model that gives you excellent freedom of movement because you’re not worried about a cord dragging around. You’ll have to buy a charger and a battery before you can use it, so this can drive the price up. The batteries will only last for 30 to 40 minutes between charges, but this is more than enough time to clean your patio.
- Has wheels to help it move
- 16:1 mulch ratio
- Vacuum and mulcher combo
- Lightweight and portable
- Has a balanced design
- Metal components
- Have to buy a battery and charger
Worx Trivac Mulcher Leaf Pro – Best for Dense Leaf Piles
Anyone who has ever tried to deal with thick or dense leaf piles understands how challenging it can be to get all of them off the grass and shredded without clogging their leaf mulchers. Worx’s mulcher and blower combination is a heavy-duty tool that is strong enough to take care of very dense or damp vegetation in your yard, and it uses a 12-amp motor. This motor has protection systems in place to help prevent it from overheating when you run it for extended periods of time. There is a large eight-foot hose to extend your reach and allow you to scoop up leaves without bending over.
The metal impeller on this leaf mulcher will effortlessly shred through dense leaf piles without stalling or clogging, and it’ll keep an edge through heavy use. The metal resists rust and corrosion, and this helps to extend the life of the tool. There is an ergonomic handle that is comfortable to hold and easy to operate. The mulcher attaches straight to a trash can to make cleaning up the leaves easy. It won’t leak, and you can dump it neatly into your compost pile when you finish mulching them.
- 12-amp motor
- 8-foot hose
- Attaches to a garbage can
- Heavy-duty metal impeller
- Ergonomic handle
- Balanced design
- HIgh-capacity system
- Doesn’t attach securely to the trash can
Earthwise LM71313 Electric Leaf Mulcher – Best for Large Yards
You want to keep the walkways that wind through your yard or garden clean and tidy, and this can be a challenge if you have a large yard. Earthwise’s leaf mulcher is a powerful shredder that comes with a 13-amp motor that can keep up with a gas mulcher. You get a 19-inch funnel opening that makes it very easy to load large piles of leaves in at one time without spilling or dropping them everywhere, and there is a 13-inch bladeless cutting diameter. This cutter gives the mulcher the capability to go through 55 gallons of leaves per minute with an impressive 16:1 mulching ratio.
The sliding control lever on this leaf mulcher has three different settings you can cycle through to tailor the settings to your needs and working pace. The stand sits on wheels, and this makes it easy to tilt up and move around your yard. This corded electric tool uses no oil or gas to make it very environmentally-friendly. You get a bag with an elastic band and four clips to attach it securely to the base to funnel the leaves in when you finish mulching them. Once you fill them, you can empty it quickly and easily.
- Stand has wheels
- Large funnel opening
- 13-amp motor
- Mulches 55 gallons per minute
- Secure bag attachment points
- Eco-friendly product
- Easy to assemble and use
- Has a plastic body
Martha Stewart MTS-EHT22 Electric Mulcher – Best for Smaller Yards
Martha Stewart’s electric leaf mulcher is great if you have a slightly smaller yard to keep clean and tidy. It has a sturdy base with a lightweight design that you can easily move around your yard to pick up piles of leaves, and the bright green design makes it highly visible. You’ll mulch 55 gallons of leaves per minute, and it plugs into a standard extension cord to give you a constant flow of power to help you work right through until you finish your cleaning project. You can attach a leaf-bag-lined trash bag to the mulcher to make cleanup even easier, and it won’t tip over or spill.
The motor on this leaf mulcher comes equipped with smart shred technology. This technology has a dust-reducing cooling system in the motor to prevent it from overheating. It also works to keep the air cleaner when you use it, and this is useful in small or enclosed spaces. When you finish, you can set it in your shed to make storage easy. It won’t rust or corrode, and the thick plastic body resists breaking down. Your tool can last through years of heavy use without showing a lot of wear and tear.
- Mulch 55 gallons per minute
- Sturdy legs
- Thicker plastic body
- Attaches to a leaf bag
- Smart shred technology
- Controls dust and debris
- Larger funnel
- Slightly shallow design
YARD FORCE YF8000 Leaf Mulcher – Best for Landscaping Jobs
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Anyone trying to make compost at home or who routinely takes on landscaping jobs should look at Yard Force’s leaf mulcher. This professional-grade tool uses a powerful 13-amp motor that gives you up to 8,000 RPM. There are easily adjustable settings that allow you to match your mulching speed to your timeline, and this is great for large projects where you have tight deadlines. You can reduce 12 bags to 1 to lower what you have to carry and recycle, and it weighs 15 pounds to make it effortlessly portable and easy to transport. Each component stacks inside the next one to make storage easy.
There is a no-tools quick-change line replacement feature that helps you finish your job quicker with this leaf mulcher, and it uses a .095-inch trimmer line. The legs can adjust individually to keep it stable on any terrain, whether it’s flat or sloped. The bungee cord attaches to a bag clamp to hold it securely in place, and you can use plastic or paper waste bags. The legs are metal for added durability, and there is a large speed adjustment switch within easy reach. It comes with 10 shredder lines, hand rake set, safety goggles, and a bungee cord.
- 8,000 RPM
- Adjustable settings
- 12:1 mulching capabilities
- No-tools line change
- Legs adjust individually
- Weighs just 15 pounds
- Components stack for storage
- Body is plastic
Sun Joe SDJ616 Leaf Mulcher – Best for General Yard Cleanup
The final leaf mulcher on the roundup is from Sun Joe, and this is a solid model that you can easily use for generalized yard cleanup projects all year long. It has an 13-amp motor, and the motor will give you up to 8,000 RPM. This is enough power to make it through small and large projects without stalling out, and there are variable speeds. The large control dial is very easy to read, and you can attach an extension cord on it that is up to 50-feet long with a standard 16-gauge end. There is a larger funnel that will take larger loads of leaves at one time without spilling them everywhere.
You can set up a trash can underneath this leaf mulcher to catch any debris as it works, and it’ll attach securely to help avoid messes and spills. The motor is lightweight and durable, and it comes with a cooling system that can prevent it from overheating and locking up. This product comes with the Sun Joe and Snow Joe customer promise that states the company will cover you from defects or damage under a two-year warranty. They’ll replace it with no questions asked if something goes wrong.
- Large control dial
- 13-amp motor
- Attaches to a trash can
- Can use a 50-foot extension cord
- Two-year warranty
- Responsive customer service
- Legs are very stable
- Difficult to clean
Leaf Mulcher Buying Guide
Buying a leaf mulcher is something you should plan to spend some time on because you want to make sure you get a product that is powerful enough to tackle any project you have and durable enough to withstand use year after year. Narrowing down your choice can be challenging, but this short buying guide will highlight the most important aspects to keep in mind.
Defining a Leaf Mulcher
This tool will quickly and easily grind down garden waste like leaves into a very fine mulch. You can add it directly to your flower beds or garden soil to prevent weeds from poking up. Mulchers shred any leaves you put into the funnel using a cutting line or a blade. If it uses a cutting line, it’ll work like a weed wacker to rip the leaves into tiny pieces. Once you break the leaves down, they’re easier to work with, easier to store or recycle, and you get them up off your yard.
Leaves can easily clutter up your yard in the autumn months, and a mulcher will shred them down to a fraction of their normal size. This makes them easier to work with, but it also makes them much easier to recycle or move from your yard.
The motor on your mulcher will directly influence how strong it is and how hard it can work for you. You can save money if you choose to buy a machine with a smaller motor and less power, but you’ll usually pay for this later because it runs much slower. The more powerful your motor is, the more leaves and yard debris it’ll be able to tear through. Standalone mulchers are usually more powerful than 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 models because the motor only has to accomplish one task instead of two or three.
Every time you use any type of tool, be it a chainsaw or this mulcher, you want to stay as safe as you possibly can. Electrical issues and blockages can increase your risk of having an accident when you reach in to try and unblock it. Find a mulcher that has an automatic off function that switches the machine off if it runs into a block. It should turn off when you remove the hopper too. Another nice feature is an automatic cooling system that prevents the motor from overheating as you run through heavier loads of leaves.
How do you want your mulcher to get power? Generally speaking, you can get a gas, corded, or electric model. Gas models are more traditional, but they’re not environmentally-friendly and they release emissions when they run. Electric models use batteries, and these will only run for 20-30 minutes on average. They’re nice for small yards. Finally, corded mulchers give you a continuous power source but the cord can get in the way if you have to move it around.
A high-quality leaf mulcher can help you stay ahead of the falling leaves and keep your yard neat and healthy well into the autumn months.
Ease of Storage
Even if you have a large storage shed for all of your garden and lawn care tools, you want a lawn mulcher that you can make more compact when it comes time to store it. Some are so small that they can easily fit into a corner of your space and others will stack all of their components together to create a more compact setup. Some fold down, and some come in storage bags. Look and see how much room it’ll take up when you’re not using it.
The brand is going to be important because you want something that is very reputable. Well-known brands usually put more care into the materials they use, and this can help them last longer. They can offer longer warranties, and they’re usually easier to reach if you have questions or concerns. Try to find a mulcher from a brand you know and trust when you shop.
The best leaf mulcher will differ from person to person, but I’ve showcased 10 high-quality options for you. You can easily compare the products side-by-side to get a good idea of what each one offers. When you get two or three, use the buying guide to make your final pick. You can then opt to ship it straight to your door in time to complete all of your yard projects and create rich compost.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.