This Worx Leaf Mulcher Grinds 53 Gallons of Leaves Per Minute
Leave the work of bagging leaves behind with this efficient electric leaf mulcher.
With crisp autumn air comes football games, pumpkin spice, cozy sweaters, and loads of leaves. While leaving leaves on the lawn has gained traction as a way to reduce landfill waste and improve soil, excessive leaf cover is not good for grass. Handy machines such as the Worx leaf mulcher simplify the job of leaf removal by breaking down leaves for composting or helping condense them for curbside disposal.
The Worx WG430 13-amp electric leaf mulcher grinds leaves to reduce the total bulk of the pile by as much as 90 percent. Less bulk requires fewer disposal bags and less storage space, and smaller particles compost faster because they have more surface area exposed to hungry microbes. While this sounds great, does mulching leaves really make a difference for the yard, the fall chore list, the budget, or the environment? I tested the Worx WG430 mulcher to find out, and the following review outlines why my experience using it for 2 years makes me think it could be a smart buy.
Worx WG430 13-Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher: At a Glance
- Power source: Corded electric
- Mulching ratio: 11:1
- Mulching speed: 53 gallons per minute
- Durable corded electric motor eliminates the need for batteries and gas while minimizing engine maintenance
- Reduces 11 bags of unmulched material substantially enough to fit into a single bag
- Uses easy-to-replace trimmer line as mulching blades
- Lightweight and easy to assemble; components nest for compact storage
- Shreds directly into leaf and debris disposal bags
- Mulches more leaves faster than vacuum-type leaf mulchers
- Single-task machine that spends most of the year in storage
- Produces a lot of dust, which can be tough on allergy sufferers
Get the Worx leaf mulcher at:
What is the Worx WG430 13-amp electric leaf mulcher?
The Worx WG430 is essentially a giant funnel with an inverted electric string-trimmer head inside. When the user dumps leaves into the shredder hopper, four strands of .09-inch string- trimmer line shred them before they drop through the bottom. The hopper is supported by a sturdy steel stand, and there is plenty of space to place a container (such as a paper lawn and leaf bag) beneath the unit to collect the shredded material as it falls.
A 13-amp corded electric motor drives the shredder with enough force to grind up to 53 gallons of leaves per minute and reduce them to 1/11th of their original size. That means the shredder can take 11 bags of gathered leaves (330 gallons) and shred them down to fit into a single 30-gallon bag in just over 6 minutes.
The Worx’s attached power cord is just 1 foot long, so users will need a 12- or 14-gauge grounded extension cord to reach an outlet. The mulcher has an extension cord retainer clip to prevent accidental plug-out while working as well as a slide-out on/off switch that prevents unintentional power-up.
How easy is it to set up the Worx leaf mulcher?
Assembling the Worx leaf mulcher was mostly intuitive and didn’t require any tools. The parts nest together for compact storage, and the unit is packed that way for shipping. I started by separating all the parts, including the stand, three legs, the optional bag support ring, the motor housing, the funnel, and the funnel cover. The mulcher only weighs 20 pounds, so it was not a difficult lift.
The legs slip into the lower part of the stand and lock in place using spring-loaded buttons. Next comes attaching a plastic collection bag (not included) by placing it inside the stand and rolling its rim a few inches over the stand’s sides—the same as putting a bag in a trash can. For those who prefer paper lawn bags, the kit includes a bag support ring that holds paper bags in place. The motor housing sits on the stand; it’s secured with three built-in clamps, then the funnel cover clicks in place on top. The final step before connecting to power is installing the trimmer lines by slipping them through the holes in the spinner head. The entire process takes less than 2 minutes.
Is the Worx leaf mulcher easy to use?
It doesn’t get much easier than a corded electric tool, as there’s no fuel to fill, oil to change, or battery to charge. Once the Worx leaf mulcher was assembled, I connected it to a GFCI outlet using a 12-gauge, 100-foot, exterior-rated extension cord and suited up with safety glasses, ear plugs, a dust mask, and work gloves.
The large on/off switch is easy to operate, even with gloved hands. It slides out to turn the machine on and slides back in to turn the mulcher off. I started out loading leaves by the armload, and they were shredded in an instant. To make better use of time, I upgraded to a collapsible 30-gallon trash can to feed the leaf mulcher in larger increments. With its 53-gallon-per-minute capacity, the machine is almost impossible to overload.
After about 10 minutes, the collection bag was full, and I was full of dust. Even though I was mulching damp leaves, this machine kicked up lots of dust, and I was glad I’d dressed for the occasion. I turned off the machine, removed the upper assembly, replaced the full bag with an empty one, and continued working. Overall, the Worx leaf mulcher is easy to assemble, easy to operate, and easy to pack up for storage between seasons.
The only issue for extended use is the downtime required to disassemble and reassemble the unit for bag replacement. Those who do not want to waste time or use bags would be better off laying a tarp on the ground beneath the mulcher, letting the mulch fall freely, and then dragging the tarp wherever the mulch will be stored.
How powerful is the Worx leaf mulcher?
The Worx WG430 electric leaf mulcher is designed to shred leaves, but it can handle a bit more than that. My test materials included debris from oak, pine, sweetgum, and southern magnolia trees, among others—and I didn’t attempt to sort out the chunky parts. That meant the leaf mulcher would process acorns; pine cones; sweetgum balls; and tough, dried, cone-like magnolia fruits among the fallen leaves. I also added some heavy and wet matted leaves and larger twigs several times.
Although the tougher items probably wore down the trimmer line faster than leaves alone, none of the typical tree waste from the yard seemed to slow the motor. All the material I mulched was noticeably broken down after passing through the mulcher. I credit the 13-amp motor, which draws nearly the maximum amount of electricity supplied through a regular wall outlet.
Is the Worx leaf mulcher worth the money?
Anyone shopping based on price can feel confident with the Worx leaf mulcher. At prices ranging between about $168 and $200, the WG430 13-amp electric leaf mulcher is a fair value. It’s easy to operate, does its job extremely well, requires almost zero maintenance (save from wiping it down and changing the trimmer lines), and stores in a relatively small space.
For comparison, we looked at the Flowtron LE-900 (around $190), which we also tested, and the Sun Joe 4-in-1 leaf blower/vacuum/mulcher (around $70). The Flowtron electric leaf mulcher is priced comparably to the WG430. The Flowtron claims an 11:1 mulching ratio, and it has a unique adjustable base that angles for easier loading and a design that sits conveniently on the rim of a trash can. However, its steel stand alone cannot accommodate a leaf bag because it sits too low to the ground. It also has a much smaller 5-amp motor that is more susceptible to bogging down under tough conditions.
The Sun Joe 4-in-1 leaf blower/vacuum/mulcher presents an affordable multitasking solution. Those with limited storage space and a limited amount of leaves to pick up might prefer both the cost and space savings of using a single tool for leaf collection and disposal. But the 4-in-1 works much slower than the WG430 leaf mulcher, and switching back and forth between the blower and vacuum/mulcher configurations could become a hassle.
Is the Worx WG430 13-amp leaf mulcher right for you?
A stand-alone leaf mulcher is a great example of a seasonal specialty tool built to make a single job easier and more efficient. However, it will be in storage most of the year. If uni-taskers aren’t your thing and your space is limited, a 3-in-1 leaf blower/vacuum/mulcher might be a better option. For larger landscapes, a lawn mower with a bagger could take care of the leaves easily enough. But some circumstances call for specialized equipment.
The Worx WG430 leaf mulcher decreases the burden of fallen leaves, reducing the space they take up and making them easier to handle. It is arguably the best of its type and sells for a fair price. For those looking for a good leaf mulcher to minimize the number of bags placed at the curb or to make leaves more manageable for use in compost or mulch, then the Worx electric leaf mulcher is a great choice.
Where to Buy the Worx WG430 Electric Leaf Mulcher
Get the Worx leaf mulcher at:
Meet the Tester
Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with a background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn care products, and other outdoor-living goods.