There are three main versions of the WORX Trivac, they are broadly similar, but there are some differentiating factors.
The WORX Trivac WG500
The WG500 is the oldest iteration of this blower mulcher. It has a 12 Amp electric motor and a regulated air flow that allows you to vary the speed from between 80mph and 210mph.
You switch from leaf blowing mode to leaf vacuuming mode with the simple flick of a switch. It mulches at a ratio of 10:1 (meaning ten bags of waste are converted down to one) and weighs 9.5 lbs.
The WORX Trivac WG505
As with its predecessor the WG505 has a 12 Amp electric motor and an air flow that can be varied from between 80mph and 210mph.
Changing mode from blowing to vacuuming is done with the flick of a switch and it also weighs 9.5lbs. However this has a mulch ratio of 16:1
The WORX Trivac WG509
You might be able to guess where we are going here! Yes this also has a 12 Amp electric motor and a variable airflow from 80 mph to 210mph and changing mode is done with the flick of a switch.
However this weighs 9.3lbs and mulches at a ratio of 18:1.
Differences Between The WORX Trivac Models
From reading the above you might be able to see the obvious difference in each model – that being the mulch ratio. This refers to how the unit condense the debris.
So a 10:1 mulch ratio means that every ten bags full of leaves is reduced in size to a single bag of mulched leaves. So we have:
WG500 mulch ratio – 10:1
WG505 mulch ratio – 16:1
WG509 mulch ratio – 18:1
So obviously the higher mulch ratio the better. You can see this is one factor that has gradually improved with each version of the Trivac.
Looking at the models you would be hard pressed to notice any changes as they look the same, so what are the other differences?
The WG500 – Has a plastic impeller which is used to mulch the leaves. It also has one valve, for switching between blowing and sucking the leaves and a sleeve valve for flow control.
The WG505 – The plastic impeller has been upgraded to a metal impeller. It also has two valves, one for blowing and suction and the other to control the flow rate.
The WG509 – The motor has been beefed up slightly and the mulching system improved all round – the first stage blades chop soft material and then at the second stage you have the magnesium impeller which literally pulverises stems, sticks and twigs. It also has a quick-connect and disconnect collection bag. These changes account for the improved mulch ratio.
What Is The LeafPro?
The LeafPro by WORX is a piece of kit that makes collecting lots of leaves much easier and quicker. It fits all major leaf blower/vacuum brands, whether they be gas, electric or battery powered.
Pretty useful eh?
It has a ventilated mesh hood that you place on top of a trash can and a flexible 8 to 16 foot hose that you attached to your blower/mulcher.
This allows you to collect and mulch a much higher capacity of leaves as they go straight into a 32 to 96 gallon trash can, rather into a small bag you carry around with you.
With me so far?
The mesh hood has a plastic tab that locks it in so it fits around most trash cans. It pretty much acts as a lid for the trashcan. Then one end of the hose screws into the top of the net and the other end goes into an adapter that fits into your leaf blower/vacuum.
The WORX WG500 is the original TRIVAC model. It is ergonomically nicely made and well thought out in terms of the collection bag.
The bag to blower attachment points stay in place and the large opening on the collection bag allows it to be quickly and easily cleaned out. The bag itself is robust and seems like it will last for a reasonable amount of time, and the zipper is nice and smooth to use.
Down to the meat and bones:
The blowing power is adequate, but probably no more. On hard surfaces it gets the job done well but it struggles a little more blowing leaves that are wet or in wet grass. The power in this respect definitely isn’t comparable with a gas blower.
On the other hand the vacuuming and mulching power is really good. It pulls in all kinds of debris – including wet leaves which are often tricky for a gas vacuum and mulches them really well.
The ability to quickly shift between blower and vacuum/mulcher is excellent. It may rob the blower of a certain amount of power, but it more than makes up for it as it is so easy to use.
Here is the rub:
The bent nozzle is probably a blessing and course in equal measures – it makes certain tasks really easy – ie getting under objects like tables or around the bottom of bushes, but on the other hand it makes it more difficult to pick leaves up from level surfaces.
The on/off switch is in a really awkward place – not easy to get to. So if you suddenly need to switch off the machine as you have forgotten to properly close the zipper on the mulch bag for instance, it is not something you can do quickly.
Not only that:
It could be more comfortable. The strap for the collector bag is very thin and not well designed. If you have the strap on the opposite shoulder to the bag the bag gets wrapped around you, if you have it on the same side the bag slides off. It also becomes quite heavy when it is full.
Because this mulches at a 10:1 ratio, the small bag also fills quickly and has to be empty quite regularly.
The impeller is plastic, and as a result struggles to mulch more stubborn debris. The part is also obsolete now so if it does break there is no replacement available aside from buying either a whole new engine or a new blower.
The WORX WG505
The WG505 definitely improves on the WG500 in terms of its mulching capabilities, and this is no doubt due to the impeller which is no longer plastic and is now metal.
The suction, which was already good, seems better too. It collects small waxy leaves and the impeller has no problems dealing with larger twigs that the WG500 would no doubt struggle with so you get a better quality of mulch.
The good thing is:
The bag is still easy to secure and release, so quick emptying is possible and as before switching between functions couldn’t be much simpler. The mulch ratio has been bumped up to 16:1, so the bag doesn’t fill so quickly either.
The change from a sleeve valve to a standard switch valve seems to have given the leaf blower a bit more umph as well and it can move wetter leaves as well as dry leaves.
It still has the bent nozzle, which as I mentioned above is both good and bad, but the additional vacuuming and blowing power takes away some of the issues around using it on a flat surface.
The collection bag seems to have taken a big step backwards here. It is flimsy and tears easily and is made of poor material. The zipper seems of a worse quality too. In fact the whole bag just seems to be poor quality.
The strap is still uncomfortable and doesn’t sufficiently take the weight of the unit off of your shoulder. It isn’t adjustable enough and is too short for tall people.
The WORX WG509
The WG509 takes things on one notch further as the build and engine has undoubtedly been improved from the WG505.
The motor is stronger and more solid and leaves and twigs disappear up the chute and are carried to the impeller and chewed up by a combination of the motor and an improved design, which allows momentum play a part.
It doesn’t end there as:
There have also been further improvements with regards to the mulching side of things. It has a two stage metal impeller that reduces leaves to an 18:1 ratio and it seems to be able to handle larger debris without missing much of a beat.
Both the blower and the vacuum function remain better on a par with the WG505 and better than the WG500 and it does seem a little more evenly balanced now and there is not so much of an issue with the weight.
The collection bag connects quickly and easily to the blower and takes longer to fill up owing to the improved mulch ratio. And this still has the quick shift mechanism to make changing from blower to vacuum really easy.
WORX still haven’t rectified the issues with the collection bag strap, which is still too short and the on/off switch is again difficult to engage.
What is more:
This also requires a higher gauge, and heavier duty, extension cord than either of its predecessors which is a pain and an additional expense.
LEAF MULCHER PRO
For me it is a no brainer – go for the WORX WG509. It has the best mulch ratio, an improved, dual stage, all metal impeller and the price is pretty much on a par with the WG505.
If you have a lot of leaves to clear and want a quick and efficient way of mulching them then I’d definitely recommend the LeafPro.
If you have just a WORX leaf blower/vacuum then get the LeafPro WG4054.2. If you have anything other than a WORX leaf blower/vacuum get the LeafPro WG4054.1 – as it has multi-fit adapters for any model.
Steve is a one time gardening hater turned into gardening obsessive.
This was all thanks to going to University where a two year stint spent transforming the previously horrific garden of the student house he lived in left him addicted to all things horticultural!
Now with a new house in tow and due to some fortunate circumstances he is free to test out a whole host of gardening equipment.
Find out more about Steve or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.