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Leaf Blowing vs Raking — The Ultimate Guide

Fall is a stunning time of year. The beautiful leaf colors in shades of golden brown, bright yellows, and red can look spectacular in a garden landscape. But you know the inevitable when the tree foliage turns green to brown. Then, it’s just a matter of time before leaves drop, and someone will have to clear them up. Then you must decide what method you are going to use. Leaf Blowing vs Raking which is better for clearing fallen leaves?

Leaf Blowing vs Raking

This hotly debated question occurs every fall when it’s time to clear leaves from yards. Many homeowners love the power and convenience an electric or gas-powered leaf blower offers. So, no more back-breaking work to shift a ton of wet, soggy leaves into piles. But some neighbors detest a leaf blower’s loud noise, preferring to use a trusted, pollution-free rake to clean up leaves.

Would it not be easier to forget about leaf blowing or raking and let the leaves stay on the lawn? After all, this could be a form of compost as they break down naturally. Not so. According to the University of New Hampshire, you should remove as many leaves as possible before winter. Leaves left on the lawn can prevent new growth in spring and cause mold diseases.

So, if you have deciduous leaves in or near your yard, the chances are that you’ll need to think which is best — use a leaf blower vs rake to get rid of leaves from your yard.

Do you want to get the leaf-clearing job done faster with a leaf blower? Or do you think using a leaf rake to clear leaves is the best option? This article looks at both sides of the argument to help you make an informed decision.

Leaf Blowing vs Raking — FAQs

Leaf raking and blowing are the standard lawn and yard methods for removing fallen leaves. While it’s possible to sweep or vacuum autumn leaves, a rake or leaf blower are the two most common garden tools in the fall. Here are a few answers to common questions about raking or blowing leaves.

Is it better to use a leaf blower or a rake?

Deciding on the best method to clear leaves — blowing or raking — depends on a few factors.

For example, raking leaves is best in neighborhoods with tight noise level controls. A leaf rake is also best if you have a small yard and only a few trees nearby. However, a leaf blower is the best choice if you have a medium to large yard that requires gathering a ton of leaves into large leaf piles.

Is leaf blowing faster than raking?

Leaf blowing is faster — more than twice as fast — than using a rake to clear leaves. Corded leaf blowers can blow air over 200 MPH with a volume of 400 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Of course, specs between models vary depending on price. But you will clear a yard much faster using a leaf blower instead of a rake.

Do you need a rake if you have a leaf blower?

A rake is an essential gardening tool whether or not you own a leaf blower. You can use a rake to clear small amounts of leaves, when using a leaf blower would be impractical. Also, rakes are perfect for removing garden debris from hard-to-reach places in your front or backyard, like under shrubs and bushes.

Can I use a leaf blower on grass?

Blowing leaves with electric blower

A leaf blower is the best way to remove leaves from your lawn in the fastest time. However, you’ll need to ensure it has enough power to shift wet leaves into piles. It’s also good to remember that you won’t be able to remove every single leaf. Therefore, having a rake to complete the job is still a good idea.

There are a few things to consider about using a leaf blower to gather leaves from lawns. First, the angle of the blower should be pointing down, concentrated in a small area. Wet, soggy leaves can be challenging to remove entirely from a lawn. And blowing leaves from turf-grass isn’t as easy as a driveway or sidewalk.

Pros and Cons of Using a Leaf Blower

The best way to know if a leaf blower is for you is to compare its advantages and disadvantages. For example, although a leaf blower is generally faster than raking, it doesn’t collect all leaves. And there are factors like noise, cost, and storage to consider.

Leaf blower: Pros

What are the many reasons to buy a leaf blower for your yard? Here are a few.

Leaf blowers save you time

The obvious reason to blow leaves with a blower is time. You will clear your yard in at least half the time when using a cordless or corded leaf blower compared to raking. And blowing them is much quicker than raking when clearing dry leaves.

Leaf blowers are easier on your back

Using a leaf blower causes less strain and fatigue on your lower back. Therefore, after gathering leaves into large piles, there is less risk of suffering from a sore back. This can allow you to do more gardening in a shorter space of time.

Some leaf blowers have vacuuming and mulching capabilities

Choose a leaf blower with a mulcher if you want to mulch garden debris for composting. These handy tools suck the wet or dry leaves from lawns and driveways. Then the mulcher shreds the leaves into tiny pieces, and then it’s easy to empty the mulched leaves onto the compost pile.

Leaf blowers are multi-purpose power gardening tools

Leaf blowers are not just for cleaning leaves in the fall. They have multiple uses. For example, you can use blowers to clear light snow, garden debris, grass trimmings, or puddles. But of course, you shouldn’t use a corded power tool when it’s raining.

Leaf blower: Cons

Although they are a great time-saver, leaf blowers aren’t for everyone. Here are a few reasons why a rake is sometimes better.

Leaf blowers are more expensive

Leaf blowers are more expensive compared to a rake. A reasonably priced corded leaf blower can cost between $50 and $100. However, if you want a cordless leaf blower, you can expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars. A leaf blower can be costly compared to a good quality rake which you can buy for under $20.

Leaf blowers can be noisy

It’s good to remember that leaf blowers can be extremely noisy. In some cities, gas-powered leaf blowers are banned in residential areas. Even an electric or battery-powered leaf blower can be loud.

Leaf blowers blow everything — not just leaves

Although handy for gathering dry and wet leaves, a leaf blower moves everything in its path. This can include animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, small stones, and your prized plants. Therefore, you need to be careful about what you are blowing and where you are blowing it.

Leaf blowers require maintenance

Any kind of electrical power tool requires maintenance and repair — a leaf blower is no exception. Although an electric leaf blower from a good brand is reliable, you must maintain it so that it functions correctly.

Pros and Cons of Using a Garden Rake

Is a rake the best solution to remove leaves in the fall? The best way to know if a rake is for you is to compare the benefits and drawbacks. Although environmentally friendly and cheap, it takes more effort to use a rake when clearing leaves from a yard.

Using a rake: Pros

What are the reasons for using a rake in your yard? Here are a few factors to consider.

Raking leaves is excellent exercise

One of the advantages of raking leaves is that it’s excellent exercise. Clearing a load of leaves with a rake burns off plenty of calories. And if you don’t have mobility or back pain issues, raking can help keep you fit.

Rakes don’t make noise

When it comes to noise pollution, raking is a hands-down winner. You will never disturb your neighbors when you rake leaves in your yard. So, do gardening at any time of day — early in the morning or late in the evening if necessary.

Rakes are cheap

The price tag of a good quality rake makes it affordable for anyone. Although you can buy a leaf blower for under $50, it will probably be poor quality. However, for $20, you can get a good rake that will last many years.

Rakes are environmentally friendly

Family Raking leaves in Garden

Compared to a gas-powered leaf blower, rakes are better for the environment. They don’t produce emissions, and you don’t need to buy fossil fuels. Of course, a battery-powered or corded leaf blower doesn’t cause emissions. However, they still need a power source, and you are limited by cord length or battery charge.

Using a rake: Cons

What downsides of using a rake to clear garden leaves in the fall do you have to think about? Here are a few things to consider.

Raking leaves is strenuous

Raking wet leaves takes a great deal of effort and time. Although some people enjoy the exercise, strenuous, monotonous gardening isn’t for everyone. A leaf blower is the most effortless way to clear leaves from a yard.

Rakes don’t get into corners

Leaf rakes aren’t great for getting into nooks and crannies to clear garden debris. Therefore, you will probably need to use another tool for this. On the other hand, the variable speeds on a leaf blower are ideal for cleaning leaves from tight spaces.

Rakes have a limited use

Rakes are best used for clearing leaves from lawns or leveling out the soil. However, you cannot use them to clear snow, remove tiny bits of garden debris, and grass clippings. They can also be problematic when clearing leaves from hard surfaces.

Reasons for Using a Leaf Blower to Clear Leaves

Clearing leaves in the fall can be a monumental task. Regardless of where the fallen leaves come from, you will need the right tool to clean them up. Even if they are from your neighbors, you must decide on the best method.

What are the reasons for using a leaf blower to clear leaves? Here is a list of why a leaf blower is the best choice.

  • It saves you time and effort
  • Blow leaves out of tight spaces and corners
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for anyone who has back pain issues
  • Versatile tool with many uses
  • Corded leaf blowers are reasonably priced and don’t produce toxic emissions

Reasons for Using a Rake to Clear Leaves

Most homeowners and gardeners have a rake as part of their tool set. And it’s easy to grab the rake and start making piles of leaves for removal. Here is a list of the reasons for using a rake to clear fallen leaves:

  • Rakes are easy to use and store
  • A cheap option for any budget
  • You can burn calories while working in the garden
  • Garden rakes don’t produce noise
  • They are safe enough for children to use
  • Some leaf rakes can also help to remove thatch from lawns at the same time

Conclusion — Leaf Blowing vs Raking Which Is Best?

The decision of whether to buy a leaf blower or rake typically comes down to several factors.

Leaf blowers are easy to use and require minimal effort — like taking a stroll in your yard. However, they are noisy, cost more than a rake, and need a power source.

On the other hand, rakes are inexpensive, and you can use them anywhere. However, getting rid of fallen leaves from a yard with a rake takes more effort. And it may not be suitable for all surfaces.

If you have a medium to large-sized yard, you may want to consider having a leaf blower and a rake. This way, you can use the blower for gathering leaves from large areas and the rake for smaller tasks and other gardening work.