For storm cleanup and fall leaf pickup, this is pretty good all in all. You'll want to wait for things to dry out a bit before trying to do too much, however. It won't pick up wet leaves stuck to the pavement, and if the leaves are too thick it'll jam. Also, the irritating part- the bag is held together with two very cheap snaps that break easily. (Second year, I'm on my second bag) The hose will also jam if you try to do too much at once, and you have to be careful using the hose in cool weather as it could split on you. Replacement parts are expensive. Bag and hose each are over $100 to replace. It picks up small twigs and sticks adequately, and for bigger sticks the chipper works well. All in all, it performs adequately, but don't overload the bag. The 25 cent snaps on that bag are definitely the weakness of the whole thing.
I'm about to be on my third bag in less than a year and I don't use it very often. The first bag came with the unit torn. It was replaced a month later with a new one and now bag will not stay tucked and the chippings blow out the back of it. So far the performance of the chipper has been great but Sears really needs to do something about the bag...
Worked great first season, then prepped it for winter storage.
Second season it would not work due to the cheap carburetor corroding even after winter prep. Disassembled the carb and rebuilt, the remainder of se ond season ok. Used nothing but expensive non alcohol gas from then on. Winterized for winter. Last season, would not start at all, upon inspection carb had completely corroded up. No hope for rebuild this time .
Now on top of that this is the hardest to start equipment I have ever worked with. It is hard to pull, it is cold natured and will tired you out before you even get it started
I would say find another one else where with electric start and better quality parts.
This one is high price with China parts.
Worked great the first season but, after winter storage, without gas, it would not start. It is strange how a 500$ piece of equipment can't work past one season.
I will at some point go through the thing from top to bottom to see what went wrong but, I do not believe it is worth the price.
It is also hard to start, I am quite fit able to carry 120 lbs up a 40 foot ladder so, when I say it's hard to start I'm not kidding. They should offer a electric start or a clutch to disengage the engine from the chipper system.
Update: after going threw this this from top to bottom the problem is low quality parts. The carburator is the culprit as it is made from low quality aluminum. This is the problem with so many small engines these days, my advice skip this one.
My neighborhood has lots of trees. Normally it take me about 4 hours to gather up all the leave in my front yard, now it takes about 1 hour when using the leaf vac.
The suction is surprisingly good without being too strong - it picks up what you want but won't grab a dog toy. The hose is not very flexable and only lasted a few years, but the rest of the machine is going strong. Hard to pull start as other have stated, yes, but you're also trying to move a lot of mass, otherwise it'd never work as a shredder. While I haven't had any issues with bag tearing, it is difficult to empty and I often have to pull out the leaves (still far better than raking). You also have to be careful to fold the bag empty chute correctly or it'll spit stuff all over the lawn on your next use.
Suggestions for improvement - hose flexibility & maybe add an electric starter.
Today, 11/18/18 I used the lawn vac for the 3rd time and the top handle on the bag came off. It is made of thin flimsy plastic that you can see will rip after it is bent several times. It is sown into the bag so it can't be replaced. a new bag is $303 on Sears site.I order it on line and have been billed for it already, but Sears can't seem to find any proof of it or me when I call after being switched between 3 departments. My order shows on line and I gave them my order number and store receipt number but they say they can't look it up by that or my email either. All of these lawn vacs by all the manufacturers have the same bag issues. I guess I will have to take the bag to the store with my receipt and fight it out there. Even if they give me a new bag, it will happen again based om the poor design and thin plastic attached to the bag. Also, the suction hose is worthless as it is too stiff to use and straighten out and it partially blocks the chipper shoot. It should be on the other side or just not have the hose at all since it can't be used.