There are many different manufacturers of lawn care machinery, including John Deere, Craftsman and DR, to name a few. Many of these manufacturers make walk-behind leaf vacuums. If you are planning on purchasing a Toro walk-behind leaf vacuum, you should compare the vacuum with other models to ensure you are getting the best walk-behind leaf vacuum for your money.
Compare engine size. Engine sizes in small motors are denoted in CCs, or cubic-centimeter displacement. The larger the engine size, the more horsepower it has. The more horsepower an engine has, the better the vacuum it will produce. For example, the Merry Mac vacuum, model number VCB258M, has a 249 CC engine, whereas the Toro vacuum, model number 62925, has a 206 CC engine.
Compare bag size. Each vacuum has a bag that the leaves are sucked into. The smaller the bag, the more often you must stop your work to empty it. For example, the DR 11.50 self-propelled vacuum has a bag size of 37 gallons. In contrast, the Toro vacuum holds 41 gallons.
Compare suction width. The wider the vacuum’s path of suction, the more quickly you can complete the task of removing leaves from your yard. For comparison, the Toro vacuum sweeps a path of 30 inches, whereas the Merry Mac vacuum only has a 25-inch path. For every six passes with the Toro, you must complete an additional pass with the Merry Mac to vacuum the same area.
Compare reduction rates. The reduction rate is the amount of compacting the vacuum does. The vacuum takes the material it vacuums and compacts it into a smaller amount. The reduction rate on the DR vacuum is 6 to 1. The reduction rate on the Toro vacuum is 4 to 1.
Compare weight and overall size. Although most walk-behind vacuums are self-propelled so you do not have to manhandle the weight, in certain circumstances you still must store the equipment and move it without it being on. The point of having a walk-behind unit as opposed to a riding unit is the size. The Toro weighs 135 lbs., whereas the DR only weighs 85 lbs.
Speak to several sales reps at several different locations that sell various brands of vacuums. Ask their opinion and whether they have heard complaints about different units from their customers.