People have been using rakes far longer than leaf blowers, but which one is really superior?
It really depends on your environment, and what you are going to use them for.
The fact is that there are advantages and disadvantages to using both types of tools for clearing away leaves and other debris.
Advantages of Leaf Blowers
While it’s true that leaf blowers are relatively new compared to rakes, they are gaining popularity fast, and for good reason.
They Are Extremely Efficient
Leaf blowers are much more efficient at clearing away debris than rakes. There are different types of leaf blowers though, and some of them are more powerful than others.
Those who have a lot of land will find that using a blower will always get the job done faster than a simple rake.
A lot of leaf blowers are also quite versatile in that they can be very effective at taking care of different types of debris, including pebbles, snow and much more.
Honestly, there are only a limited number of things that rakes work well on. A leaf blower on the other hand will work on just about anything light enough to be blown away.
Cordless leaf blowers can be used anywhere without any restrictions whatsoever. This can be especially beneficial for those who do landscaping work for a living.
Lots of leaf blowers are very powerful and can blow even heavier debris without any issues. Not all of these tools have the same air speed rating, but they are definitely more powerful than any rake you can buy.
Disadvantages of Leaf Blowers
Some of the disadvantages of using a leaf blower include:
They Can be Very Loud
Leaf blowers tend to be fairly loud, though some of them are noisier than others. This can be a major problem if you live in an area where there are established local codes about noise levels.
I have written an article about the laws regarding leaf blower noise in the USA, you can check it out here.
Handheld and electric leaf blowers tend to be fairly quiet, but backpack and gas models are generally very loud.
If you do decide to get a leaf blower, pay close attention to how many decibels it is.
They Aren’t Always Eco-Friendly
While there are lots of electric leaf blowers that can be plugged in and recharged, there are also a lot of gas-powered models that aren’t great for the environment.
Depending on how much this matters to you, a rake could be a better option.
Advantages of Rakes
Using the good old rake also has a number of advantages:
Rakes don’t leave a carbon footprint like gas-powered leaf blowers do. Those who are environmentally-conscious should take this into consideration.
Because there is no fuel consumption, no pollution is created.
You will find that most rakes cost anywhere from $12 to $30, depending on the quality of the materials they are made of.
There is no question that rakes are cheaper than even the least expensive leaf blowers. If you are on a tight budget, buying a rake might be a better way to go.
Using a rake doesn’t really create a significant amount of noise like a leaf blower does.
If you live in an area that has strict rules pertaining to noise levels, a rake might be a good option. Leaf blowers can make quite a bit of noise.
You Get More Exercise
Raking leaves can be a good form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise. Using a leaf blower may get the job done faster, but you don’t get the nice little workout that you do with a rake.
Disadvantages of Rakes
Despite how useful rakes can be, there are some disadvantages that you should know about as well.
If you have a lot of leaves or other debris that you need to take care of, using a rake can take a very long time.
Those who are primarily concerned with efficiency when doing yard work will find that a rake is not their best option.
Even wider rakes are nowhere near as efficient as a vast majority of leaf blowers. There are also certain types of debris that rakes just don’t handle well, such as snow or sand.
You will also exert more energy using a rake.
Yard Size Matters
When you are trying to decide whether to get a rake or a leaf blower, you should consider the overall size of your yard.
Those who have a very big yard will probably want to get a leaf blower because of how much more efficient they are.
If you have a very small area of land, a rake could be perfectly adequate.
Those with smaller yards can also get a standard handheld leaf blower. Handheld models tend to have a low MPH and CFM, but they can still get the job done for many people.
A backpack leaf blower is a good choice for those with larger areas to cover. The blower will have straps that you put over your shoulders just like a regular backpack, making them easy to carry around.
You are thinking about buying one of these, you can check out my recommendations in this article.
Type of Debris
If you need to clear away more than leaves on your property, a leaf blower could be a good choice. Leaf blowers can even be used on snow, which is definitely something that cannot be said about rakes.
The type of debris that you are going to work with is definitely an important factor to consider.
Should I Buy a Rake or a Leaf Blower?
Leaf blowers are almost always more efficient than rakes, but they aren’t necessary for everyone.
If you have a medium to large sized yard, you should definitely consider getting a leaf blower.
Rakes can certainly be useful as well, but they will severely limit your ability to get yard work done quickly and efficiently.
There are numerous types of leaf blowers to choose from, so it’s a good idea to explore your options.