Healthyhandyman is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Best Leaf Mulchers 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

a leaf mulching machine

You may be wondering what the purpose of a leaf mulcher is and how it is different from a lawnmower. The answer is simple. Lawnmowers cut up grass, push it down into the ground and leave it there. Leaf mulchers can cut up grass and hardy leaves too, but it sucks the chewed up bits up and puts them in a different location of your choice.

Today we are going over our top 5 leaf mulcher picks of 2020. We will share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you. We want to make sure you know what you’re getting before you purchase one. We are also including a buyer’s guide so you will know what to look for during your search.

Comparison of our Favorites in 2020

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Worx WG430 Worx WG430
  • Clean air motor
  • Heavy flex trimming line
  • Fold down smaller to store
  • Second place
    Sun Joe SDJ616 Sun Joe SDJ616
  • Multiple settings
  • Lightweight
  • Mulches wet or dry leaves
  • Best Value
    Third place
  • Variable speeds
  • Reusable collection bag
  • Crossbody strap
  • Worx WG509 TRIVAC Worx WG509 TRIVAC
  • Portable
  • Easy to change functions
  • Variable speeds
  • Flowtron LE-900 Flowtron LE-900
  • Standalone
  • Metal blade
  • Coarseness adjustable
  • The Best Leaf Mulchers

    1. Worx WG430 Leaf Mulcher – Best Overall

    Worx WG430

    The WG430 has a unique design that will allow you to use paper and plastic bags to gather your mulch. The downside is that the back doesn’t come with it. You have to purchase those separately.

    There are a lot of pluses to this machine. Besides being easy to use, the Worx WG430 breaks down very quickly to fold up; not taking up as much space in your storage shed. There is one thing that did disappoint us about this mulcher, though. It only has two prongs; it isn’t grounded.

    • Standalone
    • 53 gallons per minute
    • High quality
    • Clean air motor
    • Heavy flex trimming line
    • Easy to disassemble
    • Fold down smaller to store
    • Loud
    • Can spit debris
    • Not grounded

    2. Sun Joe SDJ616 Leaf-Mulcher Shredder

    Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe

    The Sun Joe SD616 is a strong runner up behind the Marx WG430. It’s also a stand-alone electric mulcher. It can mulch up to 55 gallons of mulch per minute with its thick trimming string.
    The powerful motor has multiple settings that allow you to make the needed adjustment for dry or wet leaves.

    Since mulching up leaves is a filthy job, this tool also comes equipped with a dust protector to keep the dust out of the motor. This will help keep the engine healthy so that it will have a longer lifespan.

    The SD616 is capable also of holding plastic lawn bags that you, unfortunately, have to purchase separately.
    However, if you want a little more stability to the sides of the bag, its unique design also allows it to sit on top of your standard size trash can. That can be a good idea because the legs on this unit aren’t very stable. The locks that hold them in place are cheap and don’t stick very well.

    Though Sun Joe tells us that this mulcher can handle anything you throw into it, it really doesn’t work on much besides leaves. If you were to pick up a small stick accidentally, it would chop it up, but not nearly as fine, and the larger objects wear the trimming string out pretty fast.

    • Standalone
    • 55 gallons per minute
    • Thick trimming cord
    • Multiple settings
    • Lightweight
    • Dust protection for motor
    • Mulches wet or dry leaves
    • Bags purchased separately
    • Can’t handle small twigs
    • Cheap lock on legs

    3. BLACK+DECKER BV6000 Blower/Vac/Mulcher – Best Value

    BLACK+DECKER BV6000 High-Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher

    The Black and Decker BV6000 is a portable three-in-one unit. It’s also simple to use, and the cross body strap makes it easy to carry around with you. That said, portability is limited by the length of the cord.

    Black and Decker claim that this mulcher can mulch both wet and dry leaves. It even has variable speeds to give the motor a little more oomph when the leaves are wet. In our experience, though, we found that the mulched wet leaves basically just turned into mud. This causes the blower to clog quickly and requires the vacuum tube to be removed quite frequently to clean the assembly out.

    All in all, the Black and Decker BV6000 is a good buy for your money. The blower and the mulcher both work pretty well, but we did find that the vacuum is very weak and doesn’t suck much up. It does do a satisfactory job, although it is a little slower than the more powerful gas mulchers.

    • Portable
    • 3-in-1 tool
    • Variable speeds
    • Reusable collection bag
    • Crossbody strap
    • Limited by cord
    • Clogs easily
    • Weak vacuum
    • Capable but slow

    4. Worx WG509 TRIVAC 3-In-1 Leaf Mulcher

    Worx WG509 TRIVAC 12 Amp 3-In-1

    The Worx WG509 Trivac is another portable three-in-one electric mulcher. There are no parts to swap out to change the function of this unit. All it takes is a flip of a switch to change from the blower to the mulcher or vacuum, and vice versa.

    The motor has variable speeds to provide you with more power. The WG506 Trivac is also very lightweight so that it’s easy for you to tote around.
    Its ergonomic handle makes it easy to carry around and operate with one hand. That is a good thing because this mulcher doesn’t have any kind of carrying strap.

    Another inconvenience is the power switch, which can be difficult to operate with gloved hands. You will also want to keep in mind that, though the unit has variable speeds, it’s not as versatile as other options. This mulcher will only chew up dry leaves, and even then it gets clogged easy. It really doesn’t have a whole lot of power to do much of anything except for your lightest jobs.

    • Portable
    • 3-in-1
    • Easy to change functions
    • Variable speeds
    • Jams easily
    • Not very powerful
    • Dry leaves only
    • No carrying strap
    • Power switch difficult to flip

    5. Flowtron LE-900 Electric Leaf Mulcher & Shredder

    Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder

    The Flowtron LE-900 is a decent stand-alone electric mulcher. It uses a metal blade to mulch your leaves up, and you can adjust how coarse you want the mulch to be.

    Like the Sun Joe SD616, the Flowtron LE-900 can hold lawn bags that are purchased separately. It uses a bungee cord to keep it into place and can fit on your standard garbage can. This mulcher has a cord and requires an electrical outlet to run.

    The Flowtron will work if you are on a tight budget. Just remember that you get what you pay for. It was made out of cheap plastic, is very flimsy, and just isn’t designed well overall.

    • Standalone
    • Metal blade
    • Coarseness adjustable
    • Poor assembly design
    • Made from cheap plastic
    • Flimsy
    • Purchase bags separately
    • Limited by cord
    • Takes a lot of storage space

    Buyer’s Guide

    Why do so many people want to mulch their leaves? That’s easy. If you have to bag them for the city to haul away, your bags will handle a lot more volume than if the leaves were whole.

    The biggest reason, though, is that mulching is easier than raking and it’s good for the environment.

    If you live in an area where you can store your mulched-up leaves, they will eventually turn into fertile soil. That allows you to repurpose those leaves for planting things like your beautiful flowers.

    If you don’t want to wait until the fertile soil has formed, you can just use your clippings as a sort of fertilizer around your plants, as long as you don’t put them on too heavy. If the layer of clippings that you put on is too thick, they will hold moisture causing mold and mildew.

    Leaf mulchers come in a variety of styles. Different features can help you decide which model will work best for you.

    What should you look for in a Leaf Mulcher?

    1. Design:

    • Freestanding: The freestanding leaf mulcher sits in one spot and allows you to put the leaves into the top of it.
    • Portable: A portable mulcher also has a shoot on the top for you to load your leaves, but the unit itself is on wheels, allowing you to take it around your yard with you as you work.
    • Mower-Style: Mower-style means that it is pulled behind your riding lawnmower. The mower picks up the grass and does a rough chop. The clippings are then sucked through a tube into the mulcher when they are chewed up much finer.
    • Leaf Vacuums:   A leaf vacuum is a portable unit that you carry around and point the nozzle towards whatever it is that you want to pick up.

    2. Collection Bag:

    Some mulchers come with their own collection bag, while others can accommodate a bag, but you need to purchase them separately.

    3. Chopping Mechanism:

    Leaf mulchers have three different types of systems to cut the leaves:

    • Metal Blades
    • Plastic Blades
    • String

    Make sure that the chopping mechanism is strong enough to cut through the number of leaves that you have.

    If you only have a few trees, then the string may be sufficient for you, but if you have a large yard and get a massive amount of leaves every fall, you will want to get the metal blades so that they will last longer. Of course, the plastic blades fall somewhere in the middle.

    4. Power Supply:

    Leaf mulchers can also have three different types of power to supply its motor:

    • Electric: The electric mulcher has a cord that must be plugged into an outlet. This limits how far you can reach into your yard. On the plus side, though, being plugged in means that it has a constant source of power. You never have to worry about running out of gas or having a battery die on you.
    • Gas: Gas mulchers allow you free rein to take it anywhere you want. The only thing to really think about here is how much it will cost in fuel to keep it running.
    • Battery-operated: Battery-operated mulchers, like the gas ones, can are very portable and can be taken anywhere. These are only good for small jobs, though, because your battery will only last so long before you have to recharge it.

    5. Safety Features:

    Look for a mulcher that has a switch-off function whenever the unit gets blocked. Blockages can cause problems if there is not a safety feature to shut it off.

    6. Environmental Friendliness:

    Gas mulchers have high emission gases that are left in the air. Using electric mulchers whenever possible is much safer for the environment. Also, look for units that have reusable collection bags instead of disposable ones.

    7. Storability:

    Think about where you want to store your leaf mulcher. Do you have enough room to store it one piece, or do you need one that breaks down to take up less space?


    So now that you know what to look for in leaf mulchers let’s quickly review our top five picks for you.

    1. Worx WG430 – Top Pick
    2. Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe – The Runner-Up
    3. BLACK+DECKER BV6000 High-Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher – Best for the Money
    4. Worx WG509 TRIVAC 12 Amp 3-In-1
    5. Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder

    Hopefully, you have gained some useful information here to give you a little bit more knowledge about leaf mulchers so you can feel comfortable with whatever decision that you make.

    More leaf-related posts:

    WORX WG505 vs WG509 TRIVAC Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum: Which One’s Best?

    We reviewed 5 leaf vacuums for professional use. Which is our favorite?

    Related posts

    Other categories

    Project ideas

    Hand & power tools