When it comes time to start doing that fall yard cleanup, the project can look quite daunting. Just when you think the last of the leaves have fallen, another round falls right on top of them. The leaves are beautiful in the trees throughout the year, but very few people enjoy the fall yard cleanup. There are, however, some great tools, such as a leaf mulcher, that will help make these processes more manageable.
A leaf mulcher can help you take large amounts of leaves and mulch them into very small pieces. The pieces are easier to dispose of and can even be used in plant beds or gardening if needed. There are a number of leaf mulcher options on the market; we have broken down the best choices and what you should know before purchasing one.
Leaf Mulcher Important Features
All of the leaf mulchers in our review are going to be electric. The eclectic models tend to burn much cleaner and are better for the environment. With electric power, you are going to get plenty of consistency as well. One downside is that the motors are not always quite as strong in the mulcher. Look for something that has plenty of power and will be able to go through large amounts of leaves and twigs without overheating.
A leaf mulcher can be a very dangerous tool. There are usually one to three blades spinning at very fast rates to chop the leaves and landscape debris into small pieces. You will want to choose something that allows you to keep your hands and arms clear of the hopper while in use. Many of the models on our list have a locking hopper. This means that while the machine is on, you won’t be able to open the hopper. If you have young children helping you with yard work, keep them away from the leaf mulcher.
Of course, a leaf mulcher is designed to help you reduce the number of leaves that you have collected into a manageable and portable pile. The critical thing to remember is that sometimes your pile of leaves is going to also have twigs and sticks in it. If you know your yard debris often has sticks, make sure that you choose a mulcher with a larger cutting capacity. The cutting capacity typically ranges from .5 inches to almost 2 inches.
Top 10 Leaf Mulchers in 2021
1. SuperHandy Electric Mulcher
Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
Very heavy duty steel
15 Amp. 1800 Wat power
Safety features in place
At the top of our list is the SuperHandy Wood Chipper. This is one of the quietest leaf mulchers we have found, yet it has plenty of power and effectiveness. The 15 amp, 1800W mulcher can get through twigs and even small branches to fill your durable mulch bag.
The steel housing helps you keep yourself safe while the mulcher is at work. The eleven-inch blade is something that you will want to stay away from while it is at work. The way the SuperHandy is configured, you won’t have to get close to the blade or the material as it is very well protected.
One of the downsides of a heavy duty mulcher like this is the fact that it weighs quite a bit. The great thing about the SuperHandy is that it has two large wheels to help you move it from one spot in your yard to another. If you are undecided about which leaf mulcher to purchase, this is a great choice.
2. Sun Joe SBJ606E-GA-SJG 4-in-1 Electric Mulcher
4 in 1 design
Quick to convert between functions
As you will notice, some of the leaf mulchers on the market get quite expensive. If this was the price for a lawnmower, you might have an easier time spending it. However, with a leaf mulcher, you won’t need to use it quite as much, and the pricing may feel like it is a bit high.
With the Sun Joe, you will get several products for the price of one, making this purchase much more justifiable. This is a four in one model that is a vacuum, mulcher, blower, and a gutter cleaner.
When you need to switch between functions, it will only take a matter of seconds to do so. We were impressed with the 14 amp motor and how powerful the Sun Joe was. This is an electric unit, so there could be some limitations on where you can use this. Other than that, this is an excellent choice for the money.
Best Premium Mulcher
3. Landworks Leaf Mulcher Shredder Electric
Heavy duty steel
15 Amp 1800 Watt
Includes two six inch wheels
Durable catch bag
The Landworks Leaf Mulcher Shredder is the best premium choice for a leaf mulcher. With the Landworks, you are going to get quality, durability, and speed as well. This particular model has a half-inch cutting capacity, which helps you mulch even smaller sticks and thicker grass clippings.
The Landworks is an electric mulcher that helps you have very consistent power the entire time you are using it. In addition to the power, the Landworks is a better mulcher for the environment. With no gas-burning, things are quieter and certainly a bit more eco-friendly.
A durable catch bag is included with this leaf mulcher. The bag holds up well when it is filled with quite a bit of mulch. The two six inch wheels also help you move the mulcher when you have to go from one of your piles to another.
Overall this product is quiet, easy to use, and runs very clean and neat. If you want a leaf mulcher that is going to last for a long time, the Landworks is your best choice.
4. MELLCOM 15 Amp Mulcher
15Amp 1800 Watt
Cuts large-diameter branches
Saftey hopper and push paddle
The Mellcom fell just out of our top three choices. This is an electric chipper and shredder that does a great job on branches up to 1.57 inches thick. Regardless of what you put inside the hopper, the Mellcom will get it to about 1/16 of the original size.
As powerful as the Mellcom is, it does not take up all that much space. IN fact, it is one of the smaller models when you consider the power that it has. Even when chopping thicker branches, this is a quiet and safe model to operate.
You will notice a locking knob on the hopper that helps keep everyone safe while using the leaf mulcher. There is also a push paddle that keeps all body parts away from the unit’s actual blades. If you know that your leaf pile will have lots of sticks and twigs in it, the Mellcom Leaf Mulcher is the way to go.
5. Sun Joe CJ602E-RED 15 Amp Electric Melcher
Compact size chipper
Two year warranty
15 amp motor
Works on branches 1.5 inches thick
Sun Joe products will be featured a few times on our list. The Sun Joe brand is known for making a quality product at an affordable price. This Sun Joe 15 Amp Electric Woodchipper will be a bit smaller in scale than other models on our list. However, it has just as much power and ability.
One of the things we love about the Sun Joe is that it can take care of branches up to 1.5 inches thick. This means that if you have larger, older trees around your yard, you will want this mulcher.
In addition to being powerful and highly capable, the Sun Joe is a very safe leaf mulcher. You will be able to lock the safety hopper to make sure that the motor does not operate when it is open. Essentially this model will not turn on unless you and all of your fingers are out of the way.
6. Earthwise LM71313 Amp 13-Inch Corded Electric Leaf Mulcher
13 Amp motor
19 inch funnel opening
Bag with easy attachment
16: 1 mulching ratio
The Earthwise is a unique and hard working lear mulcher that delivers consistent power. Even though this is an electric model, it has just as much consistency and speed as a gas leaf mulcher. The 19” funnel opening on the Earthwise LM71313 allows you to put quite a few leaves in at once.
On the bottom of this leaf mulcher, you will be able to attach a bag. The bag has four clips, and it is very easy to collect the mulch without it spreading throughout your entire yard. As far as the blades on this mulcher, you are going to have a 13 inch blade capable of handling quite a few leaves at once.
With the three different mulch settings, wheels, and a funnel, this is an easy to maneuver and operate model. In addition to all the positive features, the Earthwise leaf mulcher is a reasonably priced model.
7. WORX WG518 12 Amp 2-Speed Leaf Mulcher
16:1 mulch ratio
Blower, Mulcher, and Vacuum
The bag attaches to the unit
The WORX is an excellent leaf mulcher if you are looking for versatility. This machine will mulch, vacuum, and blow leaves to make your job in your yard much more manageable. There is a two speed control that helps make all of the functions a bit more customized.
We love the fact that this model also works like a vacuum. Sometimes when you are finished blowing and mulching, there is a bit of residue that is hard to clean up completely. However, you won’t have to worry about getting your yard completely clean with the Worx model in place.
This is a lightweight model that is easy to use and an excellent choice for those that worry about getting fatigued from using a leaf blower or mulcher. If you have a very large yard and plan on going through quite a bit of leaves in a year, you may want a larger, more powerful unit.
8. SuperHandy Leaf Mulcher Ultra Quiet Electric
15 amp, 1800 Watt
2 cutting blades
40 Liter collection bin
Sturdy push paddle
SuperHandy makes our list with yet another popular and high performing option. This is a large model that comes with a 40-liter collection bin. The bin is easy to empty and fill, and it helps to make this a much more efficient model for homeowners.
Since this is an all-electric machine, it will be quite a bit quieter than a gasoline model. Overall this is a very large and bulk leaf mulcher, and that is partly what brought it a bit further down our list. If you have a large yard, you may enjoy the size, but for most, it is going to take up a bit too much room in the garage.
One of the great things about this is that it is a very safe model to operate. There is an overload protection switch, and the push paddle helps you keep your hands away from the powerful blades on this 17:1 leaf mulcher.
9. Topelek Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher
3 in 1 blower
Don’t have to hold it all the time
The Topelek Leaf Blocker is a vacuum Mulcher with seven speeds, adjustable height, and leaf blower capabilities as well. Clearly, this is a very versatile and easy to use model that will help in any type of outdoor cleanup project.
This is a 1/15 mulcher so that it won’t break down things quite as small as some of the larger stand-alone units; however, the pricing makes this one of the better choices on the market. There is a dust bag attached to the Topelek that helps to keep dust and debris down while you are working.
The volume that you get from the blower is quite strong. The only major issue with this model is that it won’t come with an extension cord. So unless you want to do this work in your garage, we suggest purchasing an extension cord as well.
10. Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder
Built in storage
30:1 particle reduction size
Adjustable pressure knobs
When you purchase a leaf shredder or mulcher, you have to be very careful with how much it weighs. The heavy leaf shredder mulchers can be too difficult to transport around your yard, and you may be limited in what you can do. The Flowtron only weighs 17 pounds and can easily be moved around.
The Flowtron claims a 30:1 particle size reduction. This seems a bit high, and we noticed that it is not that much different than the other 16:1 or 17:1 models on our list.
Some of the great features in this Flowtron include an elastic bungee cord that helps hold a leaf bag in place. YOu can make your clean up process quick and easy with Flowtron. The built-in storage compartment allows you to keep things organized all year with the FLowtron in your garage. For lightweight and simple functionality, the Flowtron leaf mulcher is a good option.
Leaf Mulcher Buyers Guide
At this point, you should feel as though you have a great idea of the choices for leaf mulchers that are on the market. There are many different styles out there. It is essential to carefully analyze what you need before you make a purchase.
Some homeowners want something for a quick annual cleanup, and others need a machine they can use week in and week out. Here are some of the critical considerations that you should be making before you purchase a leaf mulcher.
Leaf Mulcher Portability
If you took a quick glance through the projects we recommend you will see that many of them are quite large. You will need to choose a leaf mulcher that you can easily transport around your property.
Most of the mulchers have wheels on them that make moving from one location to another much easier. Of course, you will have to account for the weight of the mulcher itself as well. Think about getting power to your machine when you consider portability.
You may need additional extension cords if your leaf mulcher is far from the power source. Of course, there is always the option of leaving your mulcher in one spot and bringing the debris to the mulcher. We always find that having something that can move around the yard with us helps to speed up the process.
Each of the leaf mulcher options on our list is different than the other. With all of the alternative models on the market, it is hard to say a fair price for a mulcher. You can expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $200 dollars.
The higher priced models typically have a bit more power and a larger cutting capacity. The price you pay should also be related to how often you plan to use your leaf mulcher. If you only use your leaf mulcher one day a year, the lower priced unit could make much more sense for your needs.
Don’t assume that the best leaf mulcher is the most expensive one. Not all property owners need a high end leaf mulcher for their yard.
Leaf mulchers will usually have an attachment for some type of a bag. The bag will sit under the hopper, and as the leaves are mulched, they will be collected in the bag. The debris collection process is supposed to be easy and to make the overall project cleaner.
When you purchase a leaf mulcher sometimes, it will come with a heavy duty bag. These bags are essential as they will stay durable even when pieces of wood mulch are in them. Make sure that you purchase a leaf mulcher that allows you to collect large amounts of debris and dispose of it in the way that you need to.
Particle Reduction Size
When you purchase a leaf mulcher, make sure that you consider the particle reduction size. Indeed, a leaf mulcher that cuts a leaf in half is not going to do you much good. Most of the models are going to have a particle reduction size of about 1:16.
Some higher power models will reduce pieces quite a bit smaller. Overall the 1:16 seems to do a very good job of helping you reduce overall yard debris and make it easier to manage and work with.
Multi-Purpose Leaf Mulcher
Some leaf mulchers are going to be built for just mulching leaves; others will have more capabilities. Some of the leaf mulchers on our list are blowers, mulchers, and even vacuums as well. Whether or not you need a multip purpose, mulcher depends on what you plan to use it for.
If you don’t currently have a leaf blower or a leaf vacuum, then the multi-purpose model could be a great choice. However, if you have a shed full of these gardening tools, it makes more sense to go with a standard leaf mulcher.
You will want to use your leaf mulcher when the leaves are dry, however, there are times that your mulcher may get wet. Choosing something that is made of durable anti-rust materials will help you keep this tool for years to come.
As you can see with our SuperHandy top choice, the heavy duty steel is going to last for quite a long time. While looking at the durability of a product, make sure that you also consider the product’s warranty.
Leaf Mulcher Frequently Asked Questions
Are Leaf Mulchers Worth It?
Leaf mulchers are a great tool to have in the fall. However, some people wonder if they warrant the investment during the other times of the year. Leaf mulchers are not all that expensive; the issue is more about the space that they take up. Leaf mulchers take up lots of room in the garage, and many of them don’t fold down in size.
If you are short on space, look for an option that is more of a blower/vacuum/mulcher combo. Chances are you will be able to sue this all year long for various yard projects. In addition, the product itself tends to take up quite a bit less space.
If you have the budget and the space, you will find that leaf mulchers are worth it.
What Can I Use Leaf Mulch For?
When you purchase your new leaf mulcher, you may be looking for something to do with all of the new leaf mulch you have. The fall is actually the perfect time to have this extra leaf mulch. You can use the leaf mulch in your gardening beds to protect them for the winter.
If you have a compost pile, the mulch can be placed in the compost pile. If you let this pile sit over time, it will turn into some valuable soil for your garden. The soil made from composting is always very rich in nutrients and tends to be an excellent choice for growing plants.
When you mulch leaves, you will also have a much easier time disposing of them. If you typically put out 16 bags of leaves for the trash collectors, you will likely only have one or two bags. After all, lawn equipment like this is intended to make your life much easier.
What Leaves Are Not Good For Composting?
Certain leaves are not good for composting. If they get mixed into your leaf mulch, you may not want to spread them into your garden. The leaves that you will want to keep out of your compost include those with high nitrogen and calcium levels.
The leaves include beech, oak, holly, and sweet chestnut. One way to deal with this is to rake these leaves into a pile and mulch them into their own bag. Leave that bag out for yard waste, and then put the other leaves in your yard through the mulcher.
Another one to watch out for is Eucalyptus and Black Walnut. These two leaves are great for killing weeds, but they are not selective herbicides. This means that they will also kill new seedlings that may be starting to come up in your garden.
Is It Ok To Let Leaves Sit On The Lawn During A Winter?
A leaf mulcher can help you clean up a mess of leaves from the fall season. If you are tired of dealing with leaves and want to just leave them for the winter, you may want to reconsider. Leaving your grass filled with debris over the winter season can be quite bad for it.
When it comes time for the grass to start growing again, it will be covered under compacted leaf debris. Grass needs sun, water, and air to grow, and it won’t have the proper access if it is covered with old debris from the fall months.
Another issue is that there are diseases that can occur on the turf from letting the leaves rot during the winter. Depending on what type of leaves you have in your yard, they could be detrimental to the turf as they break down. The last thing you want is a spring fungus to have to deal with.
Although the process of leaf mulching is going to take some time, it is much better than completely replacing your lawn in the springtime. We highly recommend keeping your lawn clear of debris at all times. Not only does it make sense to keep your yard looking good, but it is also good for the health of your lawn.
Can I Just Mow Over Leaves?
Mowing over leaves can be a good option if you have a smaller amount of leaves in your yard. Indeed, if you have large piles that need to be cleaned up, mowing is just going to clog up your mower and create uneven piles on your turf.
If you are going to mow over leaves, be sure to collect the mulched leaves in the collection bag. Having everything collected will allow you to use it for compost or dispose of it. It’s essential to note that mowing over leaves will likely dull the blade on your mower.