WORX TRIVAC 3-in-1 Leaf Blower / Mulcher / Vacuum Review
Works well as a blower, less well as a vacuum
Fall means falling leaves – lots of them. And, for many homeowners, that means raking, blowing, vacuuming, bagging, mulching, or otherwise disposing of those leaves. If you’re looking to lighten the load, the WORX TRIVAC 3-in-1 Leaf Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum is a reasonable choice, particularly for those with limited storage space.
Advantages of the WORX TriVac Leaf Blower / Vac
At first glance, the blower looks a little strange; it has a wide, flat nozzle that’s angled up at the end and a long, slender main body. This unusual design has several advantages:
- It’s easy to use with only one hand. Because of the way the blower/vac is balanced, as well as the angled nozzle, you can comfortably hold it in one hand without the nozzle nose-diving straight into the ground. In fact, the blower is perfectly positioned without any extra effort on your part. Note that if you’re particularly petite or very tall, you may have to adjust your stance a little to get the nozzle at the correct height and angle.
- It changes between a blower and a vacuum just by moving a lever. Most blower/vacs have separate parts that are attached to use it as either a leaf blower or a vacuum. There are no separate parts on the TriVac. The blower nozzle is positioned directly underneath the vacuum tube. Simply move the lever on the main body, and it converts from a blower to a mulching vacuum and back again.
- It’s easy to carry. The WORX TRIVAC is nicely balanced, making it easy to swing from side-to-side with only one hand.
- Requires less bending. Because the vacuum tube is angled upwards, it’s easier to get it under decks, shrubs, tables, etc. without having to bend down. That’s a nice feature if you’ve got a bad back like me!
The WORX TRIVAC 3-in-1 Leaf Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum also has some other nice features that I enjoyed using.
- Adjustable blower speed. This feature isn’t unique to the WORX TriVac leaf blower, but the airflow regulator has been well-designed, making it easy to increase or decrease blower speed while you’re using it. At top speed, it blows air at 210 mph – enough to move wet leaves, mulch, small branches, and gravel. If you’re going to be using it on any surface other than a lawn or paved walk/driveway, I recommend lowering the airflow so that you don’t inadvertently end up blowing all the gravel off your patio or mulch off your flower beds!
- Metal impeller. This may not seem that important, but impellers (the fan-like part inside the main body that chops up leaves as you vacuum them) are a major point of failure in many mulching leaf vacuums. Most are made of impact-resistant plastic or nylon which, although it does stand up to high impact fairly well, is still likely to crack when hit at high speed with small rocks or other hard debris. And, let’s face it, no matter how careful you are, you’ll probably suck up more than just leaves with your leaf vacuum! So a metal impeller is a nice upgrade.
- Mulch ratio of 18:1. A higher ratio means that leaves are chopped into smaller pieces so you end up with a smaller volume of debris.
- Debris collection bag. This bag attaches to the bottom of the TriVac body and is slung over your shoulder. It’s comfortable to wear and has reinforced straps (so they’re unlikely to easily pull away from the bag). It holds 1.5 bushels so it does become quite heavy when it’s full. However, it’s easy to empty – simply open the zipper on the bottom and all the debris easily slips out.
Drawbacks to the WORX TRIVAC WG502
In spite of these features, the WORX TRIVAC 3-in-1 Leaf Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum has some drawbacks.
- Vacuum attachments get stuck easily. The vacuum attachments (the hose for the Leaf Pro leaf collection system (WA4054) or the opening to the debris collection bag) slide over a tube on the underside of the TRIVAC body. The locking mechanism must be lined up properly (see image to right) and the attachment is then twisted to engage the lock. That’s where the problem comes in – if there is any debris, dirt, sand, or even dust on the tube or on the inside of the attachment, it becomes very difficult to slide the attachment on or off the tube. I had a lot of difficulty getting the debris collection bag off after use and the leaf collection system hose got completely stuck; it took a lot of tapping, twisting, and a few choice words before it finally came off. I won’t be putting it back on…
- Vacuum is not particularly effective. Although the vacuum produces 350 cfm, the design of the nozzle causes a few problems. Because it’s angled upwards, it tends to suck up debris that’s positioned in front of it, rather than what’s under the nozzle. This means that you have to put the nozzle down on the ground, which gets tricky on uneven ground. And if you’re on the taller side, you have to bend down to make that work. I’m 5’10” and I found it uncomfortable to work with. Finally, the bend in the tube seems to cause more clogging than you’d typically find in straight tubes; leaves don’t seem to flow into the tube as easily, and I found myself constantly unplugging it.
- The downside to having both the blower and vacuum integrated into one unit is that it’s a little heavier than other blower/vacs. Weighing in at 8.6 lbs, it’s 1 to 2 lbs heavier than other models that have separate blower and vacuum tubes. And, over time, that extra pound or two becomes quite noticeable.
Where to Buy It
The model we reviewed here (the WG502) is no longer available. Instead, WORX has released a newer model (the WG509) that appears to be pretty much the same thing, although it weighs more (11 lbs). The TRIVAC leaf blower/vac can be purchased directly through the WORX website, in many home improvement stores, and you can also buy it on Amazon. Be sure that you’re looking at the WG509 model, not the earlier WG500, WG502 or WG505.
Now over to you – Have you tried this blower/mulcher/vac? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Last update on 2019-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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