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Bought a machine to aid the breakdown of a huge amount of leaves available to me yesterday. A good brand from a well known store. Managed almost one bagful before clogging up. Fifteen minutes of clearing repeated every bagful. Is this good enough or am I being too hopeful to expect a machine that can cope with damp leaves without clogging up? Thanks. Jd

Hi Johnny Dee, I have a powerful blower / vac of the Orange and white colour combination, and I find that when the leaves are wet or have been down for a while then picking them up with it is neigh on impossible, it soon gets clogged around the blades and intake chute! If the leaves are wet I've learnt to use it to blow them into a pile which can be picked up by hand and bagged for mulch. 

Sorry but from what I know most others on the market will struggle with large quantities of wet leaves. 



Watching professionals they seem to go for the blowing into a pile and scooping up into a barrow technique 


A mower is pretty good on grass and paving.

The vac/blowers are too heavy for me to use for more than a few minutes



this was done by my petrol lawnmower no cloging



I have one of the White and Orange make as well, wet leaves are not good and soon clog the fan, and it gets worse as the fan gets worn away.

Altough I have found that smaller leaves,silver birch for example, are not too bad even when wet, and don't try to be too greedy when sucking, if you get a large amount of stuff at one go this is when blocking occurs because you are getting less air in to the machine, which is needed to blow through to the collecting bag.


I just use a rake and a bag. Those vacum's take more time to get out of the shed/garage and plug in. It is then taking up a lot of space for the other 365 days of the year. I honestly think they are a waste of money given how little you use them and that you already own enough garden equipment to do the job.

Billy Goat

I have one of these machines and it has been excellent.  I now use it to collect all the leaves in my street and my neighbours gardens.  I get loads of leaf mould for the heavy clay soil in my garden and allotment, plus my neighbours ply me with booze for keeping the leaves tidy.  So it a win win for me.

They are expensive to buy new but you can pick them up off a certain online auction site for a fraction of the price.  But avoid buying at this time of year as everyone has the same idea.

Have a look at it in action..

Billy Goat wrote (see)

They are expensive to buy new but you can pick them up off a certain online auction site for a fraction of the price. 

That is because you do not need to use them for most of the year, people get bored of them taking up space and so sell them for a loss online!

Hi Guys

I run my own gardening business and loads of people have asked me to clear there leaves this year and have asked if I have a blower/vacuum collector. But unfortunately it seems that the hand held machines that are a blower and a vacuum in one machine aren't very good at all. We just have a blower to blow the leaves in to piles then collect from there by hand. Unfortunately the hand held leaf vacuums aren't to clever except the one's with four wheels but they can be rather expensive! Leicester Gardening

Hi guys, yea ive got one of those vacuam things and if the leaves are wet it doesnt take long to clog up the plastic wheel, its a bit of a nuisance I know but once ive chopped the leaves up, I tip it oem on the ground and do it once again  the end product is a fine mush of torn up leaves, they rot so much quicker than digging them in whole.

ive always collected the leaves off the trees, the council used to collect all them  at one time, but now they are everywhere and so easy for people like me to get some real good stuff for the garden.

I have just registered with the forum this evening, and this is my first post.

If you have a combination blower/vacuum, my advice is: throw away the vacuum part.  The collection bag is only going to be about 50 litre capacity.  That amounts to bugger all leaves, even if you have a machine which shreds the leaves as they pass through it.  My blower, set to vac, pulls up the world of debris, and the motor has seized up a number of times after picking up twigs, wet leaves and even litter.  It is a good make too; a Mc*******h.   

Better to blow your leaves into manageable piles around your garden, then pick them up using a snow scoop (that's right) and a leaf rake or bass broom.  A blower will only really work on dry leaves anyway - resign yourself to raking and sweeping at some point, and to some extent. 

Once you have your leaf piles, do not be tempted to buy the big plastic 'magic hands' grabbers you see in garden centres - they're rubbish.  A pair of Mk I human hands (with work gloves) picks up pretty much the same amount of leaf. 

Don't try to put them directly into a green bag - that way, madness lies.  The bag flaps in the breeze and collapses in the calm.  You will use bad language.  Get a plastic tub from your local hardware or garden centre and line it with your green bag.  The tub holds the bag open for you to dump your leaves in.

The temptation is to think that a leaf blower will cure all leaf-fall-related ills.  It won't.  They are good to an extent, but don't have unrealistic expectations.  I'm into my third year of gardening for a living - leaf clearing is the 'bread and butter' of my work at the moment. At the end of any given leaf-clearing job, the first thing I stick on the car is the leaf blower, and the last things to go on are a leaf rake, bass broom, dustpan and brush.   

I hope this helped!   



Even easier still, live in a city? Then people do all the work for you.. simply stop outside houses with bags of leaves on drive.. knock door and ask if you can take them.. empty out on lawn then use mower over them a few times.. then use garden vac on them simply to pick up the pieces.. only downside is expect a mad amount of worm activity on your lawn.. still that can't be a bad thing eh?

Wow, love that monster machine Billy Goat!

I'm happy to carry on raking and lifting (often use one giant plastic hand to help me scoop, into an irritatingly collapsing garden bag) from grass or slabs, but we have a gravelled area which is a bit tricky. Luckily it's usually windy enough to blow the leaves into piles or along the wall. Can the machines work over gravel?


Mine picks up loose gravel, which I don't imagine does it any favours...


Mine doesn't pick up gravel, its the larger size gravel though 20mm I think

hi all, ive been using mine for years 7 to be exact, and its been a godsend, ive got a huge cycamore tree at the bottom of the garden and when autumn comes out comes the machine  and i finish up with a compost bin of shredded leaves, shove a couple of spades of soil on every now and again, then turn it maybe 3 times a year and i finish up with soil which i could put on a sandwich and eat it, its that good,

I have a green D....r which is pretty good at coping with vacuuming up damp leaves on gravel without picking up the gravel. It also shreds which helps as we have mostly sweet chestnut leaves which are tough and take a long time to break down. I have certainly found it very useful, if a little heavy when full.

Both the blower and the vacuum elements are useful as far as I am concerned, although when wet the leaves are a bit tough to shift! That said, when wet, blowing them is not always that straight forward either. However, since I have owned mine, it has made life a lot to tidy the garden! A must in my opinion.