Garden "Vac" recommendations

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Mr Incredible, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    Like any job of work, a good set of the right tools go a long way to making jobs easier.

    "Lawns" and "Leaves" are both pet peeves!

    Has anyone got any recommendations on or suggestions to avoid, certain brands and makes of garden "vacs/blowers"? I don't have a particularly large garden nor is it small, but the leaves find their way into nooks and crannies at the extremes of the property which is about 150' front to back and 60' in width. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  2. SteakAndCake

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    I've had a couple of Flymo Garden Vacs. They are, "ok"

    First one blew up but to be fair our old house had industrial levels of leaf fall, piles would be 5 foot deep.

    New one has lasted me about 5 years so far.

    Things to be aware of with the Flymo one that might also be issues with others.

    They chop everything up. Well they're supposed to but it only works if the leave are crisp and dry. Wet or small leaves like bamboo, don't get chopped up. The chopping mechanism is plastic. If you suck up lots of gravel and twigs, the "blade" dents and wears down. I don't believe the blade is replaceable.

    When they do chop everything up, it gets turned into a fine dust. The seal between the bag and vac isn't airtight. This dust goes everywhere. Don't vac near garden furniture with cushions.

    They're very heavy and cumbersome. In our old garden where I was just dealing with large 30 year oaks and horse chestnuts, it was fine. In our new garden, we have many bamboo plants with small thin stems and the vac is too large to hoover between or behind them or get into fidly gaps. You can set them to blow the leaves out, then hoover them but then they go everywhere.

    They really don't like the wet. If you vac in the wet and vac any dirt, the dirt mixes with the water, turns to mud and sticks to the blade. This gunk builds up until it touches the frame, the blower slows down, the motor gets hot, and you have to take the thing apart and scrap out all the crap providing you have teeny tiny asian size hands and wrists.

    So overall, they work, and are slightly less work than raking but its a love/hate relationship.
     
  3. AMc

    AMc
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    Basically @SteakAndCake has covered all the things that wind me up about my ancient Black And Decker blower/hoover (at least 12 yrs old).
    The impeller has been chewed up by hard debris sucked up with leaves - it can jam completely if you're not careful.

    Wet leaves are really hard to deal with they stick flat to the ground and then gum up the impeller or get blocked into the mouth of the bag because the impeller can't shred them.

    Finally the leaf collection bag gets very heavy if the leaves aren't dry. Thanks to the rather silly design using a heavy duty rubber ring to snap the bag onto the hoover at a certain fill level it drops off and then the leaves you were sucking up and the shredded leaves in the bag turn into a confetti around you! :rolleyes:

    Finally the leaf hoover attachment is too short for my height (6'2") so to get it on the ground it needs to be on the longest strap length and I have to bend my knees - no fun.

    I learned eventually the best thing to do is use the blower to push the leaves into a big pile in a corner of the garden then use some "bear claw" plastic scoops to get them into the garden waste bin.

    We have a big garden but thankfully only one massive walnut tree to deal with.

    It's something I'd try and buy in person so you can get a feel for the way it fits together and the height and balance. Like my strimmer they seem to be designed for people shorter than me :(
     
  4. smallclanger

    smallclanger
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    I have a Bosche that beats the Flymo I also have hands down, it sucks up everything but you have to be careful if it picks up twigs or stones and unblock it straight away.
     
  5. PsyVision

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    I have a Bosch one too. Have to empty it so many times when doing the leaves from the blossom tho.
     
  6. smallclanger

    smallclanger
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    Does yours shred the leaves, mine can hold quite a lot.
     
  7. PsyVision

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    It does, we have a couple of big trees and some smaller ones in a close area in our garden so we end up going leaf mental at a certain time of year, also, I don't do it often enough to prevent a build up...
     
  8. NewfieDrool

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    You should be able to find a good second hand blower and just blow into a pile and clear. Big jobs I use a tonne bag, form a pile, open bag and put my feet to each corner and my head props it up then with a leaf rake I scoop them between my legs and jobs done.
    I would stay well clear of vacs, complete waste of time, takes longer and just a waste of space.
    My Stihl BG86 can have a bag fitted, needless to say it would be a waste.
     
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  9. deantown

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    I got the Florabest one from Lidl or Aldi a few years ago £30 iirc. I thought it was pretty good, powerful and sucks up the leaves. A bit noisy though. Worth a try at that price.
     
  10. shahedz

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    I bought a petrol one from screwfix, brand was titan , £130 or so. Does the job well, but very loud.
     
  11. Mr Incredible

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    By the sounds of it perhaps I should stick with the "bear claw" "hands" as most times the leaves do mainly accumulate in a couple of "dead" spots around the house.
     
  12. McVicar

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    I don't know your circumstances but if you're physically able then a good, flexible(to a point) plastic rake, pair of gloves to clear trapped leaves in grasses/between spikey plants and an intact bulk bag or two are more than enough. The bear-claw type helping-hands you mentioned I wouldn't recommend personally. If you go that route then the best ones are the ones like giant ridged tablespoons. I'll post a pic of mine if that's any help.

    You'll get a much better finished result this way (imo) and shouldn't be any slower.
     
  13. KyleS1

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    I have this one also. Works really well but is a bit cumbersome to use and very noisy. Never had any problem sucking up any leaves/twigs etc and the bag attaches to the main unit really well, no dust.
    You can also turn the switch to be a leaf blower if you so wish.
     
  14. LV426

    LV426
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    Another vote for Aldi (or, probably Lidl; likely identical) as being the best one I have had; far better than the pointlessly expensive, yet fragile, Italian thing I had from my local garden power tools place. It picks up better, has lasted longer (with a bit of glue and a couple of zipties, to be fair) and shreds more finely. 3 year guarantee. But only available seasonally.
     
  15. AMc

    AMc
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    Honestly I could probably do as good a job with a standard rake and the claws as the blower + claws.
    It's physically easier with the blower but I doubt it's faster when you take into account getting the thing out, plugged in etc. If it dies I'll think hard before I replace it.

    I use the claws because the only way to dispose of the leaves is in the paid for brown garden waste wheelie bin. It's impossible to rake in any volume in with it on it's side. There is no other option unless I compost them and walnut leaves seem to take forever to rot at all.
     
  16. ChuckMountain

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  17. KyleS1

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    I think they might be in Lidl now. I'm sure I saw one earlier in the week.
     

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