Buying A Lawn Vacuum? Don’t Gamble – Read What Owner’s Say

Why are lawn vacuums becoming more popular? In the annual struggle with the chore of picking up and ridding property of those pesky leaves, many home owners who have spent countless years raking and bagging by hand have decided it is time to look for some method that reduces the labor.

As age takes it toll on those homeowners they are no longer interested in hand held devices such as backpack model leaf vacuums and blowers. While those devices certainly have their place and serve well, they still require a certain amount of physical labor to work effectively. On the other hand the true lawn vacuum is actually a wheeled device that is either self propelled, pushed, or pulled behind a lawn tractor and require much less physical labor
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The first type resembles a large carpet sweeper. It is either pushed or self propelled while a gasoline engine or electric motor provides the power. In today’s environmentally conscious society many home owners opt for the electric models not only for their zero carbon footprint but also for the convenience. While these electric models will require a substantial electric cord they free the operator from the tasks of storing and using gasoline and oil.

One popular electric model is the Greenworks 26262 16-Inch 14 Amp Electric Lawn Vacuum With Single Lever Height Adjust. The manufacturer lists the following features.

* Vacuums up dry leaves and yard debris and mulches it into usable compost 
* Intended for use on dry material only 
* 6-position single lever height adjust lever 
* Cord lock prevents cord from disconnecting 
* 16-inch vacuuming path makes leaf clean-up simple and easy

While the manufacturer stresses that the machine is designed for picking up dry leaves several owners have made comments to the effect that even though they had to go over some spots a couple of times, the machine did a very nice job on wet leaves. They were also happy to find that the machine shredded the leaves which allowed them to use only one third of the leaf bags normally used to dispose of the leaves.

An additional feature of the above machine is its four year warranty. Two year warranties are more common.

Those home owners with large lots and lots of leaf bearing trees or those that shed nuts and or pine needles might need a more robust and aggressive gasoline powered model. The Troy-Bilt 24A-204B766 CSV 206 24-Inch 206cc Gas-Powered 3-in-1 Self Propelled Chipper/Shredder/Vacuum is a large machine with a 24″ wide vacuum head. Its 6.5 horse power motor gives it power to not only pick up lots of leaves but also allows it to fully shred leaves and chip branches and twigs.

Several owners were pleased with its ability to pick up walnuts and acorns in a single pass but did complain about the units tendency to be hard to crank. It’s design apparently takes a fairly strong pull to start the engine.

One other criticism is the tendency of the motorized unit to pull to the side as it moves over the lawn. However the same owners remarked how well the unit chipped branches up to 2″ in diameter. As mentioned above this is a robust machine meant for those large lots and will tackle tasks not possible with its lighter smaller cousins.

No review of lawn sweepers would be complete without mention of pull behind models meant to be used behind a lawn tractor or riding mower. These units of course are in a higher price range but their convenience and ease of use makes them popular with those who have the tractor or large riding mower that will pull them.

The Swisher LV87537 2-in-1 8.75 Gross Torque Lawn Vacuum and Dump Wagon is an example of such a machine. One owner expressed his surprise at the 430 pound shipping weight but discovered the reason was the extreme heavy material and solid construction. This is a year around machine which will pick up grass clippings and small twigs. While it does not seem to do as well on heavy leaf accumulations several owners were still pleased with the product but did have some problems when originally making the connection to their mowers.

The last type of sweeper is a light duty push lawn sweeper that is designed to pick up leaves and other debris such as trash on driveways and patios. The Yardwise 136300YW 25-Inch Sweep It Push Yard Sweeper only picks up leaves with its rotating brushes and does not mulch or shred them. While it received a few positive comments about its ability to pick up light trash and small leaves it did not appear to perform well at the task of sweeping large or heavy leaves.

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