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261 of 272 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2001
I almost didn't buy the B&D Leaf Hog because of some of the negative reviews I read here but I'm glad I ultimately disregarded them. I did so because I went into the local home-improvement store and hefted one. It was so much more ergonomic than the competing Toro and seemed to be so much better designed, I took the plunge and I haven't been disappointed.
It is extremely comfortable to use. B&D really thought the design out. Switching from blower to vacuum couldn't be more easily or quickly accomplished. It's quieter than I expected (95 decibels measured on the vacuum). It really does mulch well and provides a steady supply for the compost pile. And to address the negative comments:
Someone complained about the impellor wearing out because it's plastic. They can't make it out of steel because of spark and fire hazards and if it was aluminum, it probably wouldn't last much longer and in either case it would add considerable cost. Another bright reviewer complained about having to tie a knot in the chord because the clip in the handle wasn't adequate. Well, a quick overhand knot has worked extremely well since the extension chord was invented, and is used by professional tool users everywhere! Someone also complained about the bag coming off, but they never noticed the clever clip there for the chord to help hold the bag on. Someone thought the vacuum was inadequate but they're probably not realizing that it draws a lot of amps and requires the appropriate gage extension chord (I recommend at least 12 gage). I found the vacuum to be plenty powerful enough and I had to turn the blower to "low" because it was blowing the rocks out of my (desert landscape) yard! I can't directly address the long-term reliability since I've only had mine a month or so, but it seems well built for the price.
The bottom line is: The Leaf Hog is a well-designed tool with great performance that is worth the cost (think about it - it's the price of a dinner for two at a nice restaurant and people are complaining that it's not built of titanium and nuclear powered). It will probably last longer if you treat it with the respect a tool deserves. This is an extremely useful tool that anyone with a yard will be happy to own. Also, if you plan on vacuuming a lot of leaves, I recommend getting the BV-006 leaf collection system because the included bag is for smaller jobs (and would get too heavy anyway if it was bigger).
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136 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2000
I've had a Leaf Hog for about six months now, and it has performed as I would expect it to. I was looking for an inexpensive, electric chipper/mulcher as I've got a 1/8 acre yard and don't have a need for a 25hp beastie. The Leaf Hog was the only thing that fit the bill and it does exactly what it says. For dry leaves and grass clippings, it vacuums them and mulches them nicely -- my compost now holds a lot more debris than it used to (and is finally composting for a change). However, while you can easily vacuum _dry_ leaves and even small twigs, most wet debris (wet leaves, weeds, green sticks) has a tendency to plug it badly.
The other minor problem is that it was designed using the modern "all parts should have equal durability" mindset. More specifically, the plastic mulcher/blower part (the actual impeller/blower fan blades are _plastic_) is showing tremendous wear and is no longer sharp like it was originally. It would have been much better if this part was made of metal or at least had a metal edge.
In all, however, I'm quite satisfied with it. I was surprised it mulched as well as it does, and the bag is quite large -- you can fill it enough so it's uncomfortably heavy to carry for most people. It is cumbersome to maneuver in tight places, but for most tasks it's just fine.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2000
My father-in-law told me this was useless b/c it wasn't gas but it had alot of blowing power. The vacuum was not as strong as the blower but worked really well. You have to be careful not to suck up pebbles, etc. Seems like I emptied the bag twice in a 15 minute span. Mulched pretty well also. It worked alot better than I ever thought it would. I'd recommend it.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2000
I recently borrowed a Leaf Hog from my neighbor and it was great. It really helped me get the yard cleaned up for spring. I am definitely going to buy my own so I'll be ready for Fall. The thing is really easy to change from blower to vacuum. Since they won't pick up leaves and lawn clippings where we live it helps to be able to mulch them up into a small trash bag with the vacuum part. It sure makes yard clean up easier.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2001
I'm on a 1/4 acre lot with an 80 yr old silver maple in the front yard, and an 80 yr old red maple in the back yard. I've got leaves everywhere and was tired of raking. Looked at the Leaf Hog and the Toro, and because of ergonomics, weight distribution, and ease of changing between blow and vac, I bought the hog. I also purchased the leaf collection system which directly deposits the mulched leaves into a lined trash can. Powered it up and had a blast! Used the blower to create a large central pile (15ft diameter x 2 ft high), switched over to vac, and vacuumed/chopped the pile into two industrial sized lawn/leaf bags. All this in little less than an hour.
But - time will tell how well the tool holds up. I've noticed some wear on the impeller and am careful now to limit exposure to small pebbles and excessive dust. Also don't care for the extension cord retainer - it needs another turn or two to keep the cord from pulling out.
All in all - I'm impressed and not sorry for the purchase.
Note: bought it at Home Depot. Sorry Amazon.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2004
I would not recommend this item. After a single use as a vacuum, the plastic housing and impellor will be damaged.
Seems like a strong blower (until you break the housing or wear down the impellor with a pebble, as I did on the very first usage).
B&D sent a replacement housing (begrudgingly), but refused to replace the impellor.
With shipping, a new impellor is about $15. You'd be better off spending the extra money on a better blower / vac from the get-go.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2000
This product works great as a blower. It saves me a lot of time because I no longer sweep up grass clippings, and it does a much better job than a sweeper. I've also used it to clean out dirt that's blown into my garage. It's very easy to switch from blower to vacuum mode. The vacuum works decently, but you have to put the nozzle directly above what you want to pick up. I was hoping it would pull grass clippings and leaves from a larger area around the nozzle. I haven't tried picking up a large amount of leaves, so I'm not sure how well the mulcher works. Overall a great product though.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2003
I had mine for 2 years - probably a total of 18 hours of operation - and the thing burnt itself to a crisp. The motor caught on fire last week, about 2 hours shy of finishing the fall yard clean-up. For the past ~ 8 hours of operation, the motor was getting louder & shaking more & more. Finally sparks and flames came out the side, signaling the end. I unplugged it and watched it smoke.
Even when it was new it would jam up w/ mulched leaves every 5 - 10 minutes in vacuum mode, and when you switched it from suck to blow, it didn't have enough oomph to push a large pile of leaves.
Although it was cheap (I think I paid $85 @ Lowes), I'm not going to buy another one. I'd rather spend a little more on something that will hopefully last longer, and won't leave a black scar on my sidewalk.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2003
Only used 6 times and motor started to burn out. I don't recommend buying based on the number of reviews that has similiar problems. B&D should recall these items.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2002
To who it should concern,
I have enjoyed using my BV2500 Leaf hog Vac'N'Mulch for about three times to remove leaves from the surface of my yard which is covered in Decomposed Granite at a size of 1/4" minus. As a blower, I have never used better! However, don't give out any high fives! As a Vac 'N' Mulch it has a bit to be desired. It has the horse power, and plenty of wind speed as a blower however, as a vacuum it has become very whimpy and will hardly pickup a small amount of only dry leaves. Having gotten frustrated about it, I removed the attachment to find the impeller is almost half gone from the small amount af abrasion from the small rocks or debri other than leaves. In fact, one of the things that I bought it for was to help pickup pine needles and leaves. It does a poor job with pine needles and after only three uses it is half as good as it was new. The overall equipment is excellent but definitely not worth the money at half the price, if it doesn't last long enough to get it dirty or scratch it at least once! I would be willing to put a new impeller on mine and carry on using it only as a blower if I could find a way to get another one. Please advise your engineers to go for a bit more quality and help me fix mine if you can. I'd like to suggest an aluminum impeller or perhaps more of a high tech plastic. That might get some more longevity as a vacuum and you are already tooled for plastic. See what you can do for me, please....
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