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Top 5 Leaf Blowers, Vacuums, Mulching Lawn Mowers, Wood Chipper

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Fall leaves are nice, but not when you have to rake them or remove them with leaf blower-vacuums. These reviews on leaf-removal equipment give options for fall cleanup. Compare features before purchasing equipment. Each of the options has its pros and cons.

Which option you choose could depend on your physical capabilities, your property layout, or your environmental concerns. Even your personality plays a role: leaf blowers, e.g., are noisy, so quiet types may prefer to rake.

1. Craftsman Gas Leaf Blowers

Gas leaf blowers cost more, weigh more and pollute more than electric leaf blowers. So are they worth it? Click the "Read Review" link below to see what I have to say about a 4-cycle Craftsman model. Sears.com listed the product as "temporarily unavailable" at the time of this writing (10/14/11).

2. Black & Decker's Leaf Hog Leaf Blowers (BV4000)

Electric leaf blowers have distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared to gas-powered models. The electric leaf blower covered in this review is Black & Decker's Leaf Hog BV4000. Since the time of my review, Black & Decker has upgraded to the 4500 model, which you can purchase through the "Compare Prices" button.

3. Black & Decker "Leaf Hog" Electric Leaf Blowers, Vacuums (BV2500)

Leaf blowers / vacs are often the first leaf-removal option people try when they're tired of raking leaves. Leaf blowers and vacuums are cheaper than some of the options presented below, but are also more work. The lawn equipment review linked to below is for an earlier model of leaf blowers from Black & Decker, the Leaf Hog BV2500. Black & Decker has since upgraded these leaf blowers to the BV4000 (see above), but my review of the BV2500 is still worth reading, as an intro to leaf blowers.

4. Black & Decker Cordless Mulching Lawn Mowers (CMM1000)

This lawn equipment option obviates leaf removal altogether. Instead of using leaf blowers, simply shred up leaf debris into smaller pieces with a mulching lawn mower and leave them where they fall! The shredded leaves are allowed to return to the lawn as mulch, rather than being removed. Alternatively, use a bag attachment and dump the leaves in a compost bin. The specific equipment I review here is battery-powered, giving it advantages under some conditions, but disadvantages under others.

5. Troy-Bilt Wood Chippers

Durability and power head the list of desirable features for wood chippers. This Troy-Bilt wood chipper / shredder has both. It's got tough steel blades to grind up all that coarse debris, and it's powered by a 10 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine. Feel confident feeding branches up to 3 inches thick into the hopper or chipper chute. Also good for shredding leaves you've raked up. Check for availability (sometimes only 5.5 / 6.5 horsepower models are available).
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