Lawn Vacuum Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect Lawn Vacuum
Don't want to deal with huge piles of leaves and debris on your lawn? Nothing makes picking up yard waste easier than a lawn vacuum.
Instead of pushing leaves around, a yard vacuum picks them up and collects them in an easily removable bag or a tow-behind bin that attaches to your vehicle or riding mower. Once you're done, simply detach the collection bag or drive the unit to the collection site and dump the debris where you want it.
There are three kinds of vacuums available to help you tidy up your lawn:
- Handheld lawn vacuums
- Walk-behind lawn vacuums (including litter vacuums and chipper shredder vacuums)
- Tow-behind lawn vacuums
The amount and types of yard waste you expect to pick up the most and the size of the property you work with will help you determine which kind of yard vacuum is right for you.
Handheld Lawn Vacuums
Lightweight and easy to store, handheld lawn vacuums are usually available as combination two-in-one leaf blowers and vacuums. Often these models feature a tool-less adjustment system that will allow you to switch between the blower function and the vacuum function with ease.
You'll find handheld lawn vacuums that use two different power sources:
Handheld lawn vacuums should be used only to pick up leaves, flowers, and other lightweight lawn debris.
Because of their affordable price and a power output that makes them well suited to smaller properties, handheld vacuums are a great choice for homeowners and consumers looking to clean up their yards.
Walk-Behind Lawn Vacuums
For those with larger properties or who are likely to experience fatigue from carrying a handheld lawn vacuum, walk-behind lawn vacuums make cleaning up the yard as easy as pushing a lawn mower.
Walk-behind yard vacuums can be divided into three categories, each of which is best suited for a particular function:
- Walk-behind lawn vacuums
- Walk-behind lawn and litter vacuums
- Walk-behind chipper shredder vacuums
Like their handheld counterparts, walk-behind lawn vacuums are made to pick the lightest kinds of yard debris off of your grass: leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, and so forth. Many will also mulch the collected debris into tiny particles, allowing you to pick up more leaves before you need to empty the bag.
Because walk-behind models are capable of so much power, you're more likely to see lawn vacuums that also function as litter vacuums. These machines will pick up not only leaves and grass clippings but also pine cones and common pieces of trash like cans and bottle caps
When shopping, note that some litter vacuums are designed for use on lawns and grass while others are made for use on hard surfaces such as parking lots.
Finally, in addition to picking up lawn debris, chipper shredder vacuums will have a separate chute where you can feed branches into a chipper, reducing them into small, easily cleanable bits.
Walk-behind lawn vacuums can be either push vacuums, which depend on your strength to move them around your property, or self-propelled vacuums, which require you only to guide them over your lot.
Tow-Behind Lawn Vacuums
Ideal for professionals and also excellent for those who own large properties and riding lawn mowers, tow-behind vacuums will handle the greatest volume of lawn debris.
These models work via a hose that connects to a riding mower's deck, through which the vacuum picks up yard waste. Some models can be fitted with an adaptor kit to allow them to be used with zero turn mowers in addition to being used with garden tractors.
Always check the towing capacity of your mower before using it with an attachment.
Tow-behind yard vacuums have shredders positioned behind their hoses to reduce debris before it falls into the hopper. This allows you to fill your unit with even more debris before you'll need to empty it. Most have hoppers that can be tipped for easy dumping.
To increase your tow-behind vacuum's versatility, consider buying an optional hose kit that will allow you to vacuum patios, decks, and other small spaces.
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