Lawn vacuums are a very interesting product with a number of great uses. Yard vacuums are high-powered vacuum cleaners that can be used to suck up many different types of debris, such as sticks, grass, leaves, wood chips, or garbage. These vacuum cleaners are much more efficient than trying to rake up the debris, and they collect all of the debris unlike a leaf blower would.
There are three different types of these yard vacuums available today. There is the push type which looks a lot like a push lawn mower, there is the type that is a little handheld unit that looks like a leaf blower and there is the riding type that works like a riding lawnmower. All of these vacuums have their strengths and weaknesses.
Hand Held Lawn Vacuums
The small leaf blower style of vacuum is much cheaper than the push type. It is good for smaller, harder to reach areas, such as in or around bushes and trees, as well as right around the house. Many of these lawn vacuums have a blower feature as well so that they double as leaf blowers.
UPDATE: The Troy-Bilt Mulchinator Blower/Vacuum (Amazon) can usually be found between $80 to $100 (You gotta love something with a name like "Mulchinator"). As with most lawn equipment, prices vary depending on season and new models so be sure to check prices. Update Summer 2013, unfortunately, this item isn't available anymore that we could find.
The larger push vacuums are much more costly than the small leaf blower style. They can cost as much as 5 to 10 times as much, but they are much more useful when it comes to large areas. The push vacuums cover a large amount of ground fast. Although they are much bulkier than the little hand-held vacuums, they have attachment hoses that allow their owner to get in hard to reach places as well. They are much more powerful than the smaller vacuums and typically run on gas. These vacuums are a great choice for mid to large sized yards. The push style lawn vacuums range in price anywhere from $600 to $1,000. We’ve seen the Craftsman Yard Vacuum as low as $619 which is still quite a bit, but it can save you a ton of time.
UPDATE: The Troy-Bilt yard vacuum (ebay) currently lists around $800.
Riding, Walk Behind, and Upright Yard Vacuums
The most expensive type of vacuum is the riding style. These vacuums are very nice to have and work very well for large yards or parcels of land. They will suck up sticks and leaves in no time at all. They are more costly than the push vacuums and may not be worth the expense if a very large amount of land is not being cleaned. Sometimes these come with extra attachments but typically they are not great for hard to reach areas.
Swisher 2 in 1 Lawn Vacuum
Most riding style yard vacuums, with some exceptions, attach to a riding lawn mower and are pulled behind the mower. They still have a gas powered engine that creates suction and vacuums the yard debris through the undercarriage of the mower as it drives across the yard just like you’re mowing. These generally cost well over $1,000 and are only good if you have a large yard, thus the need for a large mower.
For example the Swisher 2-in-1 Gross Torque Lawn Vacuum and Dump Wagon lists around $1500 on online but the price fluctuates also through the seasons so it may be more or less and they're sometimes hard to find. The best way to get one of these larger type tow-behind lawn vacuums is to check out deals on eBay
There are many additional features included with all of these vacuums that should be noted. Many of the little leaf blower vacuums have the option of either being gas powered or electric powered. Having the option is certainly nice especially with the price of gas today. An electric powered vacuum would be good for around the house uses, with a long enough extension cord most of the yard would be reachable. All of the other vacuums are gas powered and that means that they can be taken anywhere without worrying about a power source. Many of the vacuums will have a reverse feature that allows the user to eject the debris from the bag back out in to a garbage bag or storage container. This feature is very useful for anyone with a large amount of debris to move. Taking the bag off an emptying it can become a hassle if done enough. Some of the larger vacuums will have a chipping and shredding feature, and will break apart large sticks and leaves, making them fit in to bags much more efficiently.
There are a number of different brands selling these vacuums, one of the best recognized is Troy Built which is most seen as the walk behind lawn vacuum. This brand has a high quality product for a realistic price. They also make every style of leaf and lawn vacuum. What's really nice about even this walk behind models is the little shredder hopper on the side. The Troy Built has this which 1.5' chipper which can handle most small limbs.
When considering buying a yard vacuum it is very important to know the different types as well as the different features available. With this knowledge, it will be easy to make the best selection for your personal needs. When reading through lawn vacuum reviews, be sure to look for both the pros and cons of the product and get a general feel for the overall quality of the product.
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