SnapBagger leaf bagging tool: Does it work?

Here's how the infomercial puts it:"Simply scoop the leaves right into the bag in one easy motion. It's fast. It's easy and there's no bending over or touching the debris with your hand."

I borrowed a friend's very leafy back yard for this test, but first I had to rake up all the leaves. SnapBagger promises speedy cleanup, but only after the leaves are in a pile.

The tool is easy enough to assemble. It includes a large bungee band and four metal pieces: the triangular bag holder and three sections of pole that snap together to the bag holder.

You can adjust the tool to short, medium or full length, to fit the length requirements. But the yard waste bags are not included in the $25 price. I used regular plastic contractor bags which, of course, are not compostable. Something to keep in mind if you live in an area where plastic yard bags are a no-no.

You know me, I'm a skeptic. But to my surprise, the device actually did get the leaves bagged quickly. I filled a 20 gallon bag in no time. But, it took nearly as long to empty the bag of leaves into the yard waste bin.

The work definitely felt less tedious than repeatedly grabbing armloads of leaves from the pile with hand tools. Although my friend, Yvonne Zaske still had to use her back-bending hand tools to get the last leaves that remained on her lawn.

"It looked kind of gimmicky at first when I saw you putting it together, when you you took it out of the box," Zaske said. "But I'm really impressed! I think you did a marvelous job. Please do it again!"

Pros, in my opinion: Easy to use. Fills bags quickly without a lot of bending. Can also be used along with a rake or broom to sweep up toys, trash or other yard debris. You can drag the filled bag along the lawn and avoid the strain of lifting it. Cons: Bags are extra and they need to be plastic- which is not compostable. Full bags will be heavier with wet leaves and debris. Weight can still be a factor if you have to lift the full bag to empty it into a yard waste bin. Some low bending with hand tools still requires to get remaining leaves.

My jury's still out on overall durability and construction quality, and also on how well the tool would work bagging a pile of heavier, wet leaves or lawn clippings. But at this point I give it three and a half stars out of four.

A helpful alternative of you lots of leaves to clear, don't like repeated low bending, and don't have a leaf blower or shop vac that can make even quicker work of clearing the leaves from your yard.