Yard work is the absolute worst! Every fall and every spring leaves cover our yards. Even if we cleaned them up in the fall, they continue to drop throughout the winter in a frozen / wet mix of rain and snow. It is the worst! Am I the only one who has noticed this? Well, apparently not… because the Cyclone Rake now exists. What exactly is this “Cyclone Rake” you speak of? It is a high powered mulching and vacuuming machine designed make short work of what used to be a back breaking weekend-long chore.
The Cyclone Rake is a trailer that connects to your lawn tractor. On the trailer sits an engine that powers a large impeller which generates massive amounts of suction and at the same time mulches any debris that may come its way. Behind the engine is a large capacity bagger that holds all the leaves and clippings.
Basically what we’re trying to say is that the Cyclone Rake is a leaf sucking angel sent down from the heavens to make yard work fun. Yes, we said it… fun!
This past fall we were give an opportunity to test the Cyclone Rake XL to see if it was all it was cracked up to be. We put it though some serious paces. Today, after clearing more than 20 lawns we’re happy to share with you what we think about the Cyclone Rake. Here’s what we discovered…
- Miracle Impeller
- Briggs & Stratton Vanguard™ Engine
- Easy to Store
- Many Add-on Accessories
- Impossibler to Jackknife
- Fits Virtually Any Mower
- Huge Debris Capacity (200 – 415 gallons)
- Tilt Bed Unloading
- Impressive Suction and Mulching Power
- 12 Month Risk-Free Trial
- 3-Year Warranty
When the Cyclone Rake XL arrives be prepared to block off an afternoon to assemble everything. In all we received 10 (numbered) packaged with all the necessary parts. Assembly is relatively simple, though it will take some time put everything together. It is best to have another set of hands around as well, but can be accomplished by one person if necessary.
Our experience assembling the Cyclone Rake went pretty well. You’ll want to carefully read the instructions and make sure you have all the required tools before you begin.
Once you have the entire Cyclone Rake put together make sure to go around and snug up all the bolts and nuts you installed. After the first use you’ll also want to go back and make sure all the bolts and nuts are still tight. As with anything vibrations and bumps and loosen things up after use.
PRO TIP: you will have to custom fit the 8″ JetPath tube to fit the proper length from the mower deck of your lawn tractor to the Super-Flow Miracle Impeller in the engine. We suggest taking a good measurement with a measuring tape, and then slowly, with a razor knife, cut the tube down to size. If it is too long after your first cut you can always trim off more. If you go too far… (don’t go to far!) you’re out of luck and will be stuck with the bill ordering a new tube – and worst of all, waiting to clean up your yard.
Seriously… the Cyclone Rake XL is like a vacuum truck for your lawn tractor! It is high powered and is designed to make very short work of a yard full of leaves with its 8 HP Briggs & Stratton Vanguard Engine and 415-Gallon Debris Capacity. If you are sick of raking lawns this machine is the ultimate.
When you order your Cyclone Rake they build it around your specific lawn tractor. They will ask for the model number and everything. This is important, because the mower deck is custom fit for your exact mower – meaning every ounce of suction that the commercial grade 8 HP engine produces is put to the ground for sucking up leaves and clippings.
A few design features we really fell in love with were the tilt-back unloading bagger, the rolling casters on the engine, the easily store able design and the incredible suction is produces. Something we also have to mention is the build quality. Cyclone Rake did an excellent job manufacturing this product. The welds are outstanding and the materials used in the bagger are super durable. We were really impressed.
Leaf Clean Up:
We cannot understate how amazing the Cyclone Rake is at leaf clean up. My yard is more than an acre and dotted with maple trees. To clean up this lawn takes two of us several weekends with rakes, tarps and backpack blowers. Well, that was until the Cyclone Rake XL arrived. With the Cyclone Rake we wait for the leaves to drop, grab a beer, and then fire it up. When we’re ready to run the Cyclone Rake one person goes around the house with a backpack blower to move the leaves into the yard while one of us runs the lawn tractor with the Cyclone Rake attached.
The 8 HP Briggs & Stratton engine has some serious power too. We only once had the tube clog with leaves and we were running over some seriously wet and muddy areas thick with leaves. Just when you think the Cyclone Rake won’t be able to suck up some leaves it proves you wrong time and time again. It doesn’t matter… dry, wet or muddy leaves it mulches them all. It is best to run the blades on your mower deck while running the Cyclone Rake, but we did notice it does have enough suction on its own to pick up dry leaves without any assistance from the mower deck.
Best of all, what used to take a full weekend of back breaking work now takes half a day at most. It actually makes cleaning up the yard fun. Did I just say fun? Ahh, yeah! Mostly because all of your neighbors are jealous and because you can easily sip a beer and have your lawn looking great at the same time. Multi-tasking, gotta love it!
A really cool feature that can be added to the Cyclone Rake XL is the Estate Vacuum. This 32′ tube allows you to hook into the engine and suck leaves up from locations your lawn tractor can’t go. Think window wells, ditches or gardens. If you have areas like this the Estate Vacuum is a great add-on.
When not in use, the Cyclone Rake folds flat for storage. This is great, because it doesn’t take up too much space. Don’t get me wrong, it is still big, but being able to hang it in the garage is really nice. The other pieces are not as easy to hang, however they are easily stored too. Since I only need to use the Cyclone Rake a few times a year I store it at the back of the garage and it never seems to be in the way. I honestly couldn’t imagine a more quality built product that still folds up for storage. Usually there is a compromise, that’s really not the case here. You can have your cake and eat it to.
If haven’t notice by now the way the Cyclone Rake maneuvers isn’t what you might expect for a trailer. Instead of a traditional hitch or single pin link the Cyclone Rake attaches to your lawn tractor with two pins. This design, with the incorporation of dual swivel mounted wheels, makes it impossible to jackknife the trailer. It also makes it incredibly easy to back up too!
One minor down fall to this design is that making sharp turns in confined areas is difficult or nearly impossible sometimes. You really need to be conscious of your surrounding and your proximity to objects. Over the course of testing we’ve bummed into several bushes and a lot of trees which happens and never caused damage beyond a few scuffs to the trailer and the trees. When operating around cars or homes you’ll want to take extra notice of your turns. While bumping a tree might not be a big deal at all – hitting your wife’s new SUV might.
Starting out at just over $1k and running up to nearly $2k, the Cyclone Rake is a substantial investment. However, if you are sick of leaves, raking, blowing and spending your weekends sweating around the yard – The Cyclone Rake is the ultimate solution for yard fall and spring clean-up! It is powerful, easy to store and will make all of your neighbors jealous they don’t have one. We can’t recommend the Cyclone Rake more highly.
- Amazing suction and mulching ability
- Incredibly well built
- Dump bed makes for easy unloading of mulch
- Not recommended for small yards
- Turning in tights spaces can prove to be difficult