When my wife and I bought this house a few years back, one of the first things I bought for the yard was a Toro Blower Vac from The Home Depot. The corded blower vac saw a ton of action – spring and summer finding it used as a blower-only, for post-mowing cleanup, while Fall saw it transform into vac mode to help with the leaves that one would expect from an Illinois autumn. For 2015, Toro has upped their game the the new UltraPlus Blower Vac – one of which arrived here for review in my own State-of-the-Art Testing facility: Rock Father HQ. With the leaves having begun to fall here at home, it was time to go hands-on to see how the latest model matches up against my trusty old Fall friend.
Right out of the box, we were up and running in minutes. Essentially, the basics haven’t changed much past the model that I’d previously purchased, but the subtle improvements that a few years can bring are impressive. When it comes to bagging – and seriously, no one likes that job – the new Shredz-All Shred Ring inside the vacuum tube works together with the metal impeller to break down 97% of yard waste into pieces less than 1/2″. That nice, fine mulch moves easily into the removable bag, easy to dispose of – or to dump into our compost bin. It’s a 3-in-1 solution between Vacuum, Leaf Shredder and Blower.
The UltraPlus comes with power inserts to assist while in blower mode – adding extra “oomph” to winds that blow at up to 250mph (I believe that’s faster than our old one), and there’s the all-new oscillating nozzle. While the nozzle itself doesn’t visible move back and forth, it moves are in a manner that does – making for a wider blowing path without having to do the traditional back-and-forth with the wrist – a habit I’ve developed that might take some time to break.
Toro has also improved upon cord storage with a new cord hook and cord lock system, and for storage you can technically put everything into the leaf bag and hang it up. Personally, I still like to keep mine assembled and just hang it on my rack in the garage.
It’s a hard thing to improve upon something that’s already at the top of its class, but the folks at Toro did just that.