If a leaf blower is not quite enough for you, or if you just wish you could vacuum outside then this gardenvac is what you have been looking for. For years I tinkered with other Flymo leaf blowers that just blew the leaves around, and if there was a strong wind anyway, this would be to no avail. Now there is a solution. It does the collection of leaves in the same place and the disposal of them on one swift movement meaning less hassle and more time saved. From my experience it beats any time I have ever used a rake and a black bin bag. It just seems that in a few years time a more refined version of this product with greater suction and greater improvements elsewhere will be released making the product even better than it already is. There are downsides with this product however. Often when I am out gardening in my back garden, I worry about the damage this device will do to flowers, plants and even grass that are in its vicinity. This is, though, no more than a worry as I often find that no visible damage is done. One disadvantage is that now I have far too many Flymo garden tools and so storage space is lacking. What will Flymo think of next? This is a brilliant idea, and after a few more iterations, it will be perfected and people will wonder how they ever lived without it in the Autumn months.
For all those people lucky enough to have a garden, but maybe unlucky enough for it to surrounded by deciduous trees, then you more than likely know just how depressingly horrible the thought of autumn can be, what with all that raking up of those soggy leaves which constantly flutter down onto your freshly cut lawn... I for one am amazed by how many leaves are actually on a tree as they seem to be falling but the trees take forever to look bare.
Anyway, keeping the discoloured fallen leaves off you grass seems like a constant battle between you, with your rake, and mother nature with her wicked sense of humour, and you know that the lady always wins in the end as she waits for you to finish raking those last few fallen leaves into a pile, then, with sudden gust of wind, she strips hundreds more leaves from the trees above your head, leaving you disheartened as you watch them fall gently to the ground.
But now, thanks to Mother Nature worst enemy, the boffins in the inventing labs have come up with some rather splendid tools to replace the hand blistering rake, one of them being a vacuum cleaner for the garden.
"What?" I here you shout in confusion, "a vacuum cleaner you can use in the garden? Surely using a vacuum cleaner outside will either get you electrocuted or get you locked up in one of those places with padded walls and jackets that zip up from behind"
But no, it's true, a vacuum cleaner that you use outside, in and around the garden, and apparently, they have been on the market for years now and have been improving in 'suckability' ever since.
And some of those vacuum cleaner actually blow as well... what ever next.??
Any how... I am one of those lucky people who has a garden, which I do like to spend time pampering, but unfortunately it is surrounded by those once a year leaf dropping wooden skeletons (trees), and for years I, together with my trusty rake, was stupid enough to continuously have that battle with Mother Nature and her leaf dropping weeks of fun. That was until I was introduced to one of the many 'Garden' Vacuum cleaners on the market... the one in question being from the well established Flymo range....
This rather strange looking and very bright orange device has saved me many many hours in raking time and has kept me from falling from the tree of sanity with my battle against the dreaded brown leaves from hell.
** What is this vacuum cleaner which can be used outside..?
* It has a small engine with a lot of power, being 2700w and an air speed of 212km/h
* It has a detachable collection bag which can hold up to 40 litres of debris such as leaves and small twigs, the contents having been turned into what can only be described as 'mush'
*It has a shredding ratio of 3 to 1, which means that for every 3 bins you would have normally filled then the contents from this bag will now fill one bin, basically mashing everything up into a third of its original volume.
* It has a cable length of 12 metres, which isn't the longest of cables but a good extension lead will soon overcome this little problem
* finally, it weighs in at around the 8 kilo mark, when the bag is empty of course, so is quite easy to manoeuvre around.
* Plus, it comes wit a very handy shoulder strap to take some support from the arms when the bag is filling up and adding those few extra kilos.
* And, it not only sucks but it actually blows as well so you can push any unwanted stuff onto your neighbours property instead, letting them deal with the myriads of leaves which are constantly falling. (Not that I ever do that to my neighbours, honestly).
** IN CONCLUSION...
What a god send these devices really are and how brilliantly designed this flymo version is, even if it look like a pelicans head with a deranged orange beak and a floppy gullet sack, but as your only intending to clean your garden, and not strut your stuff down a catwalk, then the looks shouldn't matter at all.
What used to take me a good hour and a bit, and many disgruntled words to the sky gods, now takes me a matter of ten, maybe fifteen minutes with the knowledge that Mother Nature can't blow the leaves I have collected all over the garden every few minutes.
It is so easy to use, with the sturdy black handle on the top giving you a great grip from above, allowing full manoeuvrability as the little nozzle skims just above the grass, picking up those leaves.
It states on the box which it came in that 'It is designed for use with wet and stubborn leaves', and believe me it certainly doesn't lie about that, in fact I was amazed just how easy it sucked up all the damp leaves around my garden, crunched them up into pulp and still left masses of room in the 40 litre bag for me to do some more. In fact I was tempted to offer my services to my neighbours, but soon changed my mind when the wife offered me a nice cup of tea.
It also states that it allows larger objects to pass through into the bag without damaging the 'blades' but I have not tested this theory out as yet so I couldn't really comment on that part, but when I suck up a hedgehog or a field mouse I will tell you the results.
As the leaves and stuff are pulverised into a gooey pulp as they make there way to the bag there is less need to keep emptying it, giving you more time to clear your garden. But even emptying the bag is as easy as taking off your coat, you simply unzip it and empty the contents into a bin, preferably a recycling bin, just to make it up to Mother Nature for ruining her leafy game.
The blowing part of this machine is just as impressive, although I tend not to use this as much as the 'sucker', and is very useful in case of blockages of some sort inside the long orange tube. It is a simple matter of shifting the black, gear like stick which lies just in front of the handle and the vacuum then becomes a blower, and vice versa.
So for those with a leaf covered garden, and a definite hatred of rakes, then this little orange genius is certainly for you, coming in at around the £60 region, but you will definitely feel that it is money well spent as you suck up all those gutter clogging, never ending leaves from your garden.
A couple of tiny negatives, (and I do mean tiny... as in miniscule)
* The supplied shoulder strap is a useful aid for those using this for lengthy times but it does have that digging in feeling as the bag becomes heavier, so I do recommend using some form of cushioning between the strap and your shoulder as nothing of that kind is supplied.
* Flymo also offer the choice of optional wheel attachments for easier working, but these are at a bit of a hefty extra price.
When you live in Surrey, leaves become a part of your life. Surrey is, I understand, the most forested county in England. Now, you may find that hard to believe but, if you want evidence, visit my garden any time of year but especially in Autumn. We are surrounded by trees and that's even after we've cut four down (a sycamore surplus to requirements, a mountain ash and an apple tree that died and a wimpy tree that was blocking the view of a beautiful plane tree). In our old house in Southport we could get by with a rake. Not here. Something with far more ooomph was definitely needed. After a new fridge/freezer, a garden vacuum was a definite necessity. But which one? The selection wasn't great. One simple choice, there was no way on Earth I was going to buy anything by Black & Decker (A lifetime of experience of their products has taught me not to touch them with a bargepole). Of the rest the Flymo looked OK and was definitely at a favourable price. I bought it. Actually, despite the title of this piece (which relates to my opinion of the product rather than its mode of operation, if you hadn't guessed) the Flymo doesn't suck, it blows, and that I think is a part of the problem. The nozzle is an unusual design. With most garden vacs, the motor drives an impeller that sucks air up the tube and with it the debris. Of course, that means that it all passes through the impeller, so leaving the airway subject to potential blockage by larger items. The Flymo tries to overcome this by avoiding the issue entirely. The nozzle is divided in two. A smaller upper passageway is separated from a larger lower passageway along its entire length. The motor blows air down the upper passageway. So, how does that enable debris to be sucked back up t
he lower passageway? There is sliding flap that partially covers the outlet of the upper passageway and redirects the air back up the lower passageway. The intention is that the flow of air will create enough of a draft that debris will be sucked into the airflow and travel up the nozzle to the collecting bag. As with most garden vacs, the Flymo can be made to blow instead of suck. This is achieved by a pulling a knob that retracts the flap at the end of the upper passageway. Without the flap to redirect air back up the lower passageway the air simply blasts out the end. If you simply want to blow leaves off of the lawn, for instance, this is how you would do it. So, if the leaves don't pass through the impeller, do they simply end up whole in the bag? Well, no. There is a boss fitted to the end of the motor, which sticks out into the lower passageway just before it reaches the bag. This boss holds a thin plastic rod that stretches across the passageway and, as it revolves, bashes the debris to pieces just before it enters the bag. The rod inevitably wears down and so is replaceable. This is easy to do. You get provided with several replacements and can buy more if needed. So, what's it like in use? Well, I believe that the design is the problem. I found that the Flymo simply didn't do a very good job of shifting the debris. It appears that the method of redirecting the air to create a reverse airflow simply doesn't create enough suck to do a decent job. I always felt that it was taking far too long to do what seemed to be a very simple job. Don't get me wrong, the Flymo does collect the rubbish it just seems to take such an effort over doing it. The leaves and twigs certainly get well mashed and the bag holds a decent quantity before needing emptying. The bag simply unclips with a lever by the handle. Th
e motor also has a cut-out linked to the bag that prevents the motor running unless the bag is in place. The whole device is quite heavy and so the shoulder strap to support the majority of the weight is a must, especially because of the length of time cleaning up the garden takes. It is also possible to buy a little wheel that can be fixed to the end of the nozzle so that the Flymo can be wheeled along rather than being carried. So, it does a fair although not brilliant job but why the title? The biggest problem I found with the Flymo was the dismal quality. I've had two. You may find that surprising but when I tell you that the second was a replacement for the first under the guarantee, it having failed (motor seized solid) within a year, you'll realise that the second one wasn't a choice. The second one I've had only three years and that has now failed as well. The symptoms were similar to those that caused the demise of the first one. It does seem to me that the build quality leaves a lot to be desired. The Flymo has now gone to the great garden in the sky (in other words, the local tip) and, it will come as no surprise, it has not been replaced with a Flymo. Had I known the problems I was going to have there is no way I would have bought the Flymo in the first place and I recommend you don't either. I know that Flymo produce several different models but they seem to share the same basic design. I have no intentions of taking another chance. This time I've gone for the Champion. I've got one of their lawn mowers and it's very good. Initial opinion of the Champion garden vac is excellent but I'll leave a review until it's had more use. As for Flymo, you have been warned.
This wise advice was given to my husband just before we got married and he followed it assiduously for many years, given that the only thing he wishes to know about the garden is roughly where it is, in case anyone asks, but no need to be too precise. Then he made a mistake. He bought a Garden Vac.. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. I thought so too. Our garden isn't strong on producing flowers or vegetables, but it is good at debris, and it's regular debris. There always seems to be something that needs to be cleared away. A machine that would gather it all up, and shred it ready for composting seemed to be just what we needed. In its box it didn't even seem very heavy, and, of course, there was the strap that would help to take the weight. That's the first thing you find out. Yes, the strap does take the weight, but where does it take it to? It takes it to your shoulders, and round your neck. So you dispense with the strap, and take the weight in your hands. Then your arms start to ache. It's rather like some obscure torture designed in a gym. "Just hold this cumbersome weight in both hands, hold your arms out in front of you, and move them back and forth, back and forth...." One solution is to blow the debris into a pile and then vacuum it up, but that really takes more skill than I've got. The nozzle is also rather wide and it's quite difficult to get it into those areas where leaves tend to congregate. It's useful to have the debris shredded, but I always found that it rotted down quite happily without shredding, and I'm left with the feeling that the shredding mechanism must add substantially to the weight. There is another problem, but this might well be peculiar to me. In the garden I tend to wear drawstring trousers, and I have caught the drawstring in the motor several times, which leads to a strange noise, a lot of cursing, and a deep feeling of vul
nerability. So what's the solution? Well, you've just got to get a man to do it haven't you?
Want to get rid of those pesky leaves from your garden. Are you worn out from using a lawn rake, pulling them into piles, carting them to the compost bin or pushing the wheelie bin around to fill it up? Then buy a Garden Vac! The Flymo GardenVac Plus that I have just bought does the job but I have found it easier to blow the leaves along to concentrate them before trying to vacuum them up. The Vac makes a nice job of shredding the leaves and debris, ready for putting on the compost but it does tend to make your back ache although not as bad as a prolonged session with the rake! It's probably a rash purchase as it will only be used in the autumn but it does make the job easier especially when it needs to be done every couple of days when you have a large garden. I have a Flymo mower that vacuums but it's heavy hard work and with the grass being wet at this time of the year it means constant emptying of the box and clearing the grass inlet so I say go for the Vac!
Electric Garden Vacuum with a non-clogging leaf shredder