What every best Leaf Blowers has:
- Sufficient airflow.
- Effective sweeping and loosening capabilities.
- A variable-speed trigger.
Powerful corded blower converts to a vacuum. The Toro 51619 Ultra Blower Vac is an update of a well-reviewed and well liked leaf blower, the Toro 51609 Ultra Blower Vac (Est. $90), which has been discontinued by Toro but can still be found at some retail sites. TheSweethome.com has tested the current model and says that "Its great leaf-moving power" is nearly identical to that of site's top pick (which is currently under recall by the Consumer Products Safety Commission) and is "satisfying overall." The specs show that it's capable of moving up to 410 cfm of air at speeds of up to 250 mph. User reviews are largely positive, with owners praising the leaf blower's strong performance both when blowing leaves and when sucking them up and mulching them -- cutting debris volume down by about 88 percent. A variable-speed trigger allows users to select the right power level for each job.
Good handling with a few caveats. The Toro Ultra Blower Vac is designed to make changing from blowing to vacuuming mode a breeze. The powerful performance also brings with it a one pound increase in weight compared to its predecessor, to 8.5 pounds. While we can't be sure that's why, we did see several user complaints saying that the new Toro is heavy, and TheSweethome.com concurs, which is what keeps it out of that site's absolute top spot. A nice touch is that when the blowing and vacuuming are done, everything can be stowed inside the vacuum bag, which can then be hung on a wall. At a noise rating of 68 dB, the Toro is relatively quiet, especially compared to a gas model, but still loud enough that wearing hearing protection while using it is a good idea.
Solid internal components. To finely mulch leaves and twigs, the Toro Ultra Blower Vac uses a metal impeller with serrated shredding blades, a durable design that's preferred by experts. The mulch bag and zipper aren't as long lasting, according to user reviews. The warranty is for two years.
TheSweethome.com tests the Toro Ultra Blower Vac 51619, and finds lots to like. It takes second spot here, falling slightly behind a Black & Decker model primarily because it's a little heavier; however the site's top choice has been recalled over a safety issue. Doug Mahoney says that the Toro is "Also Great," and a good first choice if the site's top-rated model is unavailable.
Editors have yet to test the Toro 51619 Ultra Blower Vac, but do include the previous version, the Toro 51609 Ultra Blower Vac, which is said to be very similar. ConsumerReports.org looks at how well this and other blowers move leaves, loosen embedded debris, suck up leaves and mulch detritus. Testers also measure how loud the blower is for the operator and someone standing 50 feet away.
Amazon.com lists a number of Toro's electric leaf blowers together, and they cumulatively earn a rating of 4.5 stars following more than 2,750 reviews. Digging deeper, we find that the Toro 51619 has drawn more than 680 reviews of its own, with satisfaction that largely mirrors the rest of the family -- roughly 88 percent of owners rate it either 4 stars or (mostly) 5.
We found more than 120 reviews of the Toro Ultra Blower Vac at Toro's web site, and it earns a rating of 4.3 stars. Reviews are authenticated by a third party, and appear to be uncensored, so credibility is high. In addition to an overall score, users provide sub-ratings for dependability, performance, ease of use and quality.
At first glance, the Toro 51619 appears to have attracted more than 1,200 mostly positive reviews, but a closer look reveals that the total includes feedback for earlier versions, going back to as long ago as 2007. Be that as it may, the Toro Ultra Vac/Blower family earns a score of 4.3 stars, with recommendations from 88 percent of owners, though the feedback also includes reviews originally posted at Toro.com.