Each fall, homeowners pull on their work gloves, grab their rakes and plastic garbage bags and head out into the yard for hours of work raking leaves. While some gardeners enjoy the exercise of leaf raking, those with large yards or trees that drop heavy amounts of leaves might choose a leaf vacuum to get the job done instead. The Cyclone Rake is a leaf vacuum. It attaches to your riding lawn mower and sucks leaves from your lawn as you drive.
The Cyclone Rake is designed to quickly pick up leaves and other yard debris. Instead of using a small attached bag to collect debris at the grass exit point, a vacuum hose attaches to the exit point and connects to a large collection container towed behind your riding lawn mower. As you drive your mower, leaves and other debris are mulched and collected in the container at the back of the mower.
Cyclone Rake offers several models of leaf vacuums. The largest and most expensive of the models is the Z-10. This model retails for $1,895, as of 2010, has a 415-gallon debris capacity and yet can be folded up for storage when not in use. The Z-10 comes with a 10-inch diameter vacuum hose. Smaller models include the XL, which still has a 415-gallon debris capacity, but retails for $1,695. The Classic Cyclone Rake model retails at $995 and has a 200-gallon debris capacity. Smaller models are equipped with 8-inch vacuum hoses.
Several attachments are available for the Cyclone Rake. These must be purchased separately, but depending on your landscaping needs might be worth the extra cost. The Power Vacuum Pickup attachment allows you to pick up leaves from places your riding lawn mower cannot go. As long as you can park relatively near the area that needs to be cleaned, this attachment allows you to get off your mower and vacuum leaves from the side of the house, landscaped garden beds and other hard-to-reach places. The Power Bagger is a series of six containers which slide into the debris collection container. If you fill each container with a garbage bag, the Cyclone Rake will essentially bag the debris as you mow.
Though the Cyclone Rake is a large piece of landscaping machinery, it does fold flat when removed from your mower for easy storage. It can be hung on the wall of a storage shed or garage and not take up too much room. Wheels on the debris storage container are removed without tools for extra ease in removing and storing the vacuum.
The Cyclone Rake is reported to work with all types of riding lawn mowers. However, your mower must be designed so that grass would normally exit the mower on the right-hand side. Cyclone Rakes are only sold direct from the factory, so you cannot visit a showroom to view or test drive one. To aid potential customers, the company has set up a referral system through which you can contact a Cyclone Rake owner in your area. This allows you to talk directly to someone who has purchased and used the leaf vacuum.