Which Is The Best Garden Vac For Wet Leaves In The UK?

One challenge with vacuuming wet leaves from the lawn or garden is that they tend to clump, requiring more suction power to pick them. Another even bigger challenge is that they can easily clog the mulching or shredding mechanism inside the vacuum.

You need a garden vac that can handle these challenges.

In this buying guide, I recommend the best garden vacuums for wet leaves in the UK. I also give you some tips on how to choose the right blower vacuum for your yard.

Key Considerations When Choosing A Garden Vacuum For Wet Leaves

A. Type of Vacuum

Garden vacuums are categorised based on their source of power.

  • Petrol blower vacuums: These are powerful, handle wet leaves without a problem and don’t clog easily. Because they don’t need an electrical cable, they can cover a large yard. On the downside, they are noisy, heavy and require more work in maintenance. They also produce unhealthy fumes.
  • Electric corded vacuums: These are the bet types of garden vacuums for most homeowners. They are lighter, quieter and easy to operate and maintain. On the downside, your coverage is limited by the length of the electrical cord, so they are not ideal for very large yards.  
  • Electric cordless vacuums: These are the best option if you want an electric vac without the limitation of a cable. A cordless vacuum runs off an internal battery, giving you the freedom to cover a large garden. On the downside, they are heavier (because of the internal battery) and pricier than corded models, and you cannot vacuum for long before you need to recharge the battery.

B. Power

Next, check how much power the vacuum packs. It’ll give you an idea of how good it’ll be at sucking up clumps of wet leaves.

Most garden vacs manufacturers indicate power using air speed or volume. For instance, a particular model may have a max airspeed of 200 kmh or an air volume of 195 m³/h at the highest speed setting.

Whichever number is given, go for the highest you can afford. More power makes it easier to pick up wet leaves. It also reduces clogging.

C. Functions

It’s hard to find a garden vac with just a vacuuming function. Most garden vacuums are also leaf blowers. The most common term for these garden appliances is leaf blower vacuums.

A 2-in-1 garden vac and blower makes it easier to keep your garden neat. You can blow leaves into a pile, then turn on the vacuum function to suck them up.

Most garden vacs also have a third function – shredding or mulching. As the vac picks up leaves, they pass through metal blades on their way to the bag.

The blades shred the leaves usually to a 10th their original size. Shredding compact the leaves in the bag, allowing you to collect more leaves before you need to empty the bag.

If you plan to add the leaves to a composting pile, the shredded leaves compost faster.

D. Ease of Use

Electric garden vacs are generally easy to operate compared to petrol models. You don’t have to fill up a tank, close a choke or pull on a cord. With an electric vac, you simply flip a switch.

But some electric garden vacuums can still be a headache to operate. Here are some aspects to consider when determining how easy a particular vac is to operate.

  • Switching modes – how easy is it to go from blower mode to vacuum mode? With some models, you need tools to switch the tubes and attach a vac bag. With other models, you just attach a bag and flip a switch.
  • Unclogging – Even a powerful garden vac will clog from time to time especially when you are dealing with wet leaves. Look for a vac that’s easy and quick to unclog. The best vacs provide no-tool access to the inside, so you can quickly remove any stuck leaves and debris. If you have to take the vac apart with tools to unclog it, look for another brand.
  • Variable speed – Look for a garden vac that allows you to adjust motor speed. This allows you to control the vac’s power and noise level. You can increase speed when picking up wet leaves, and lower the speed and noise when dealing with dry leaves. You’ll also want to dial down the speed when picking leaves near delicate flowers or on gravel stones the vacuum can pick up.
  • Wheels – This is subjective. Some people find wheeled garden vacs to be easier to manoeuvre, but others say the wheels get in the way. For seniors and anyone with reduced body strength, I recommend a wheeled option
  • Comfort – When it comes to comfort, consider the weight of the vac, whether it comes with a padded shoulder strap and the height of the tube (get a height-adjustable garden vac, if you can).
  • Cable length – If you are buying a corded garden vacuum, check the length of the cable. Most vacs come with a 12m cable, giving you lots of reach around the garden. A too-short cable will limit where you can vacuum.
  • Bag capacity – A large vac bag reduces how frequently you need to empty the collected leaves. With a large bag and a shredding mechanism, you can vacuum the entire yard without having to empty the bag. Most garden vacs come with a 45-litre bag, which is great for most garden sizes.

E. Noise Level

Finally, check the vacuum’s noise level. All leaf blower vacuums, whether petrol or electric, are pretty noisy. But electric models are significantly less noisy. At lower speeds, you probably won’t even need to wear ear protection.

If you have nearby neighbours, look for a model that has a lower decibel rating.

Best Garden Vacs for Wet Leaves: Top 5 Reviews

1. Bosch Home and Garden 06008B1070 UniversalGardenTidy Garden Vacuum

If you are looking for an affordable garden vac that’s also powerful, the Bosch UniversalGardenTidy garden vacuum is a great choice.

With an air speed of up to 285 km/h, it has no trouble blowing or vacuuming wet leaves. A metal fan shreds and compacts the leaves, so you don’t have to go to the compost every few minutes.

While the fan doesn’t clog easily, it’s easy to get it moving again for those occasional clogs. You can access the fan without having to take the vacuum apart.

Going from blower mode to vacuum mode requires you to switch the tubes and attach a vac bag, but it’s a quick 2-minute process and you don’t need any tools.

The 45l quick-release bag holds plenty of leaves and comes with dirt deflectors to direct dirt and water towards the ground. This keeps you from getting all messy and dirty especially when vacuuming wet leaves.

The Bosch UniversalGardenTidy has special noise-reducing technology called ProSilence. It reduces the amount of noise from the blower. The resulting noise level (99 dBA) is still fairly high but can be managed with a pair of ear muffs.

You can reduce noise level further by lowering motor speed.

With the vac tube attached, the Bosch UniversalGardenTidy weighs 4.7kg. It comes with a padded shoulder strap for added comfort and ease of use when vacuuming.

What I like about it:

  • Powerful blower and vacuum.
  • Variable speed and noise level.
  • Easy to use and maintain.
  • 3-in-1 functionality.

2. Fox 4-in-1 Leaf Blower Vacuum

In addition to the three usual functions – blow, vacuum and shred – the Fox leaf blower vacuum has a fourth function – rake.

The rake feature is handy when you are vacuuming leaves. You can gather leaves into a pile as you vacuum them. The rake is also useful for breaking clumps of wet leaves for easier vacuuming.

The 3,000W motor drives air at a speed of up to 300 km/h, making it one of the more powerful garden vacs in the market. A speed trigger control lets you reduce or add speed depending on what kind of leaves you are picking up and how much noise you are comfortable with.

The Fox vacuum come with a telescopic tube that you can adjust to your height, ensuing you don’t strain your back. Another feature I love is the pair of wheels at the bottom of the tube.

Not every customer is a fan of the wheels. But considering the Fox vac is heavier than other vacuums (it weighs 6kg), most users appreciated the easier mobility the wheels offer.

Something else many customers love is how easy the vac is to operate. For one, you don’t need to switch tubes when going from blow mode to vacuuming. All you need to do is attach the 45-litre bag.

Secondly, in case the vac clogs up with leaves, it’s easy and quick to unclog it. A dedicated no-tool port gives you quick access to the shredder.

The shredder itself is pretty powerful. Most other vacuums shred leaves to a ratio of 10:1. The Fox vac reduces leaves down to 15:1, meaning the bag can hold more leaves.

What I like about it:

  • Good value for money – affordable yet powerful.
  • Easy to operate.
  • 4-in-1 functionality.
  • Powerful shredder.

3. Flymo Scirocco 3000 Electric Garden Blow Vac

The Flymo Scirocco 3000 comes with a powerful 3,000W motor that drives air at speeds up to 200km/h. It makes quick work of leaves, both dry and wet.

It has three functions: blow, vacuum and shred. It takes just a couple of seconds to go from blowing to vacuuming. You don’t need to change tubes – just attach the 45-litre vac bag and flick a switch.

In vacuum mode, the Flymo Scirocco 3000 shreds leaves down to 10:1, allowing it to pack more leaves in the bag so you can work continuously without having to frequently empty the bag.

If the shredder gets clogged, there’s an easy-access blockage clearing cap so you don’t have to take the whole thing apart to get it running again.

The Scirocco vac is fairly heavy at 6kg, but it comes with wheels and a shoulder strap to help you manoeuvre it around the yard. You can take off the wheels if you find them awkward to use.

What I like about it:

  • Powerful.
  • Long 12m cable.
  • 3-in-1 functionality.
  • Wheels and shoulder strap for easier operation.

4. Einhell GE-CL 36 Li E-Solo Power X-Change Cordless Leaf Blower Vac

Love the freedom of a cordless garden vac? I recommend the Einhell X-Change cordless leaf blower vacuum.

The motor offers an air speed of up to 210km/h and can vacuum wet leaves without a problem. It has the usual three functions – blower, vacuum and 10:1 shredding. Switching from blower to vacuum is super easy – you just turn a switch and make sure the 45-litre bag is attached.

One thoughtful feature I love is the viewing window on the bag. Because the weight of wet leaves can be misleading, you can look into the bag to see whether it’s full.

Wheels at the bottom of the tube and a shoulder strap improve mobility and help take the strain off your back and arms.

Being a cordless vac, the Einhell X-Change comes with two drawbacks. One, you have to buy a pair of lithium-ion batteries separately as well as a battery charger. Two, you are time-limited by battery life. If you have a large yard, you may need to buy multiple battery pack and switch them midway through the yard cleanup.

What I like about it:

  • Cordless design gives you more freedom.
  • Powerful motor.
  • Large vac bag with viewing window.
  • Wheels and shoulder strap for easier operation.

5. Toro Ultra Plus Electric Blower

If you need power and lots of it, get the Toro Ultra Plus electric blower vacuum. At full speed, many users say it’s actually too powerful to comfortably and safely operate.

The Toro Ultra Plus has a max speed of 418km/h, which is more than double what most blower vacs offer. In blower mode, it blasts leaves into piles. In vacuum mode, it picks up both dry and wet leaves without a problem.

You do have to switch tubes when going from blower to vacuum modes, but it’s worth it. The suction tube is extra-wide, allowing you to pick up more leaves in less time.

Because the Toro Ultra Plus produces so much power, you actually have to dial it down most times using the variable speed control. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself blasting leaves high into the air or sucking up gravel stones.

But don’t worry if you accidentally pick up some stones; the metal impeller can take the worst of it without damage.

The Ultra Plus comes with a Shred Ring that pulverizes leaves into fine bits. This allows the vacuum to pack more leaves in the bag and reduces the number of trips you need to make to the compost.

Along with the Toro Ultra Plus blower, you’ll receive several accessories that attach to the blower tube. These include the main tube for blowing, a power insert for creating piles, a concentrator nozzle for blowing debris out of cracks and edges and an oscillating nozzle that spreads air over a wider area.

As good and powerful as it is, the Toro Ultra Plus has two issues. One, it’s noisy, which is not surprising for a vac this powerful. Make sure you have good quality ear protection and an apology for your neighbours.

Two, it comes with a ridiculously short power cord. You’ll need to buy a single-plug extension cord.

What I like about it:

  • Very powerful.
  • Multiple accessories.
  • Easy conversion between blower and vacuum mode.
  • Never gets clogged.

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