Leaf vacuum guidance
It seems that this topic has been discussed already, but having read all the previous discussions, I'm still a bit short of the guidance that I need.
My yard is only about 4,000 square feet, but I get a huge amount of leaves every year since my property is on a dead end and there are a lot of trees around it. I've tried a powerful (Echo) backpack blower and vacuum, and a good 'ole rake, both of which I've found to be very tedious and tiring. I bag all my leaves, which makes the effort even more tedious.
I am considering a push (or self-propelled) leaf vacuum, which I assume would clear my property faster and without as much effort. I would be willing to spend in the $400 - $700 range for new or used, and I would appreciate any recommendations. I have been looking at the local Home Depot and Lowes and I've noticed they carry a couple of Troy-Bilt models and a Cub Cadet model. (I've also seen the Craftsman models at Sears.) I've also seen models from DR, Merry Mac, BillyGoat and Little Wonder online, which are consderably more expensive and are hard to find used.
I would appreciate any reviews of the more affordable models (or any leads as to where I could purchase a more commercial model for less).
- In what ways are the more expensive models superior?
- Which models have sufficient suction?
- Which models constantly clog with leaves or branches?
- What kind of engines are recommended?
- How much HP is necessary to get the job done?
- Is the bag large enough?
- Is the bag easy to empty into a garbage bag?
- Can the bag be lined with a garbage bag?
- Is the self-propelled function necessary?
- Any recommended retailers that ship?
- How do the Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet and Craftsman compare (since they are the most readily available in my area)?
Thank you for your help.