The Better Leaf Shredder: Echo ES-250

The 25.4cc Echo ES-250 does an admirable job of blowing leaves, but it can also be transformed into a shredding vac that sucks and rips leaves with surgical precision. It uses a four-bladed metal impeller – not flimsy plastic – to break down leaves, pinecones, and small twigs. It's handheld, so if you've got more than two deciduous trees, you'd do better with the backpack model. [$230; echo-usa.com]