Having been in the market for over 100 years, Toro can lay claim to having heritage on its side. Ask any homeowner or gardener about a Toro leaf vacuum mulcher though, and chances are she/he will refer to the quality and features of its wide range rather than company history. This is not altogether surprising given that the company maintains its market dominance through use of excellent materials, high speed blades, durable and versatile motors and constantly evolving options for customizability, portability and power saving.
Yet success is its own enemy, and this is amply evident when Toro’s excellent lineup confuses buyers seeking specific options for their gardens and patios. To ensure you don’t end up browsing endless product catalogues, I have done the hard work required in shortlisting the best all-rounder Toro mulchers in the market today.
Top Toro Leaf Vacuum Mulchers I Like
1. Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum
In keeping with its rather futuristic design, the UltraPlus comes with a rather rare combination of high speed and excellent customizability. The speed department boasts of a motor that can reach up to 250mph under all circumstances and a Shred-all steel ring that can handle even the toughest plant debris. Throw in a metal impeller and you have everything from thin branches to thick, wet leaves being chopped up into fine mulch.
Real value addition, however, often occurs in terms of customizability. Toro takes ample care of this by providing the product with high quality oscillating attachments that keep the airflow moving in an arc so your arm doesn’t have to do the hard work. Some users wished the power switch was just as well designed, since they often ended up moving to High speed directly from low speed. Even with such error however, the product and its generous power cord managed to blow and mulch the competition in most aspects of garden maintenance.
2. Toro 51599 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed Electric Leaf Blower/Vacuum
Close on the heels of the previous product is the Ultra, which comes with magnesium-coated blades instead of the plastic ones that are found in many low-end products. These blades and the excellent top vacuum and blower speeds ensure that leaves move fast and turn into mulch faster. Equally importantly, the metal impeller ensured that many users living in rocky areas didn’t suffer from blade breakage and potential mulcher malfunction. Another innovation (from the previous model in fact) is the hassle-free structural modification that allows you to switch between blower and vacuum in less than a minute.
Such versatility doesn’t extend to the power cord though, since it is only about 100 yards long and tends to get tangled up at times. But if you have a small yard and do not mind some amount of cord dragging, you can get by with this handicap with ease. Once you do, you would appreciate that the above features and the utterly light and noiseless operation combine to make a great mid-range mulcher for most homes.
3. Toro 51619 Ultra Blower/Vac, Red (Corded)
For those who see the above products as overkill for their small gardens, Toro has come out with a smaller unit that nevertheless packs a similar punch. Indeed, it offers a smaller form factor while maintaining the same quality of blades and motor (rated at 250mph) and even offers most of the attachments of the higher-end products. As I realized, this allowed the unit to decimate anything smaller than half-an-inch in size.
Some users noted that the mulcher did not handle wet grass that well, but had no such trouble with wet leaves or twigs. With variable speed, it even managed to clear hard-to-reach areas like gutters or flower beds. Add to that the 88% reduction ratio and a great mulch bag and you have a winner in the lower-end blower/mulcher segment.
4. Toro 51618 Super Leaf Blower Vac
Another extremely cost-effective option for the occasional gardener, this Super-series unit tones down the maximum speed to 225mph but makes up for it by being lighter and more portable than any of the products covered so far. As many customers noted, the decrease in speed does not actually make a difference since the metal blade assembly manages to create mulch at speeds far exceeding those of its competitors. Attachments, on the other hand, include the vital Concentrator and Power Inserts that ensure the versatility of higher-end Toro mulchers. Combined with the two speed settings, these allow you to handle different surfaces with as much force or finesse as you please.
What really makes this product stand out, though, is the superior leaf reduction ratio of 10:1. Coupled with the simple phase-change mechanism and simple storage system, these make the unit one of the best products available to those with small gardens or those on a strict budget.
As a longtime landscaping artist, it is not possible for me to argue for any one product, or even for all the four I’ve covered here. Indeed, these four products should, instead of being seen as the “top 4” across all categories, be seen as the top products in their own price and feature brackets. What sets them out though, is that they combine a solid base of good construction, excellent longevity and fast action with the best feature mixes, that keep them miles ahead of their competitors. Ergo, regardless of what your needs are, and whichever of the four leaf vacuum mulcher choices (or similar Toro products) you settle upon, you can rest assured that Toro will provide you the best bang you can get for your buck!