During the autumn or fall season, the leaves on trees lose their natural color and fall to the ground. Tidying your surroundings is essential if you want to keep it from being messy during this season. That’s where the leaf blower vs rake discussion comes about.
Rakes have been an indispensable tool for collecting leaves and other clutter on lawns since the late 1800s. Thanks to advances in technology, leaf blowers have become the go-to equipment for many.
Let’s explore how these two gardening tools are different and other related topics.
What Is a Leaf Blower?
A leaf blower is among the most versatile equipment you may have in your outdoor power tool arsenal. In general, it uses centrifugal force to “blow” fallen leaves scattered around the yard and arrange them into manageable stacks. You may also utilize it to remove dirt and debris from a pathway.
With its overall functionality, many would assume that the winner between the leaf blower vs rake doesn’t require much thought.
Types of Leaf Blowers
There are types of leaf blowers available in the market today that you need to be aware of, including:
- Electric Leaf Blower
Electric or corded leaf blowers require a power connection on an outlet to function. As a result, they don’t require a huge tank to hold petrol, nor do they need massive batteries.
Generally, this type of leaf blower is exceptionally light, making it user-friendly for most people. It’s also constantly linked to a power source, which supplies consistent air volume and speeds. However, because it requires a power source, the range you can clean is restricted to areas with outlets connection.
- Cordless Leaf Blower
As the name implies, cordless leaf blowers do not require a power cord to work because a built-in battery powers them. The lack of the cord means they’re highly portable, so you’re not restricted by the distance between your lawn and the next power outlet.
That also means that they may not create as high airspeeds and volumes as the other types. Cordless leaf blowers are heavily dependent on the amount of power remaining in the battery. As such, you must always ensure that you fully charge them before using them.
- Gas-Powered Leaf Blower
Gas-powered leaf blowers have powerful engines that rely on fuel to run, which allows them to last far longer than battery-powered and corded leaf blowers. Like the cordless, a gas-powered leaf blower’s coverage isn’t restricted by the length of an extension cord or the capacity of a rechargeable battery.
Still, there are certain disadvantages to using gas-powered leaf blowers. In exchange for power and performance, they are often heavier than electric leaf blowers. Expect them to be significantly noisier as well since their engine packs more punch.
- Self-Propelled Leaf Blower
Self-propelled leaf blowers are the most powerful type you can avail. Compared to the first three we discussed, it is designed for large residential areas, vast farmlands, or commercial establishments.
This type of leaf blower operates like a lawn mower and blasts leaves and debris with tremendous force and speed. It is not recommended for beginners because the blower might be challenging to control due to its weight.
With its capabilities, it makes sense that this is also the priciest and would need a substantial amount of storage space. Also, the noise and power required for self-propelled leaf blowers are more significant.
Benefits of Leaf Blowers
So what are the advantages of leaf blowers over leaf rakes? Here they are:
When it comes to time-saving features, rakes have nothing on leaf blowers. They give less strain on the body, making leaf blowers the preferred choice by those with physical challenges.
Aside from the apparent purpose of blowing leaves, they are useful for several other tasks. You may use them to blow away tiny stones and other trash that has accumulated on your grass.
Aside from that, you may blow snow and clean your roof gutters. A few leaf blowers also have a mini-vacuum cleaner which makes them usable for regular house cleaning.
Drawbacks of Leaf Blowers
Of course, leaf blowers come with a few cons, such as:
The most complaint you hear from leaf blower owners is the noise it generates. Gas-powered leaf blowers have a reputation for creating noise that can even reach your neighbors.
Compared to rakes, leaf blowers are significantly pricier. You also have to consider the fuel expenses for gas-powered modes and the electrical consumption of corded and cordless ones.
What Is a Rake?
Rakes have been with us for generations, thanks to their simple yet effective design for gathering leaves and other litter on the ground. By definition, a rake is a type of garden equipment that consists of a row of metal or wooden claws linked to a long handle.
Besides collecting leaves, generations of people used it to clear and level the ground before planting.
Types of Rakes
There are plenty of variations available for the rake, but we’re going to focus specifically on those made for gathering leaves.
- Leaf Rakes
Often referred to as lawn rakes, they are lightweight tools with fan-shaped, springy tines that expand outward. The advantage of this rake is that you can gather leaves gently without causing too much damage to your grass patches.
Leaf rakes are used for more than just raking leaves because many tend to use them on removing dead grass or weed. They’re either made from wood, plastic, metal, or bamboo.
The advantage of plastic or wood leaf rakes over metal leaf rakes is that they are less prone to rust and moisture. Metal rakes have the advantage of being more resilient to impact damage, which makes them great for heavy-duty action.
- Bow Rakes
Bow rakes, or garden rakes, have a slightly different design compared to regular leaf rakes. The main difference is that their tines are shorter, only a few inches long, and parallel to each other. That’s in contrast to the fan-shaped tines of leaf rakes.
In addition to collecting leaves, bow rakes are excellent for moving, grooming, and leveling ground material such as dirt, mulch, gravel, and compost. They are often composed of metal tines with wooden handles that are rigid and tough.
- Leaf Scoop Rake
The scooping leaf rake is a modern variation on the old-fashioned leaf rake. With this type, you can scoop, lift, and move leaves into a wheelbarrow or compost pile without the need for additional tools. It reduces the need to bend since the leaf scoop rake has a mouth that can open and close.
You’re able to gather a large number of leaves in one go. This style of leaf rake makes it simpler to scrape both wet and dry leaves and other lightweight clutter.
Benefits of Rakes
The benefits of rakes that you need to make a note of are:
- A Form of Exercise
If you’re gathering leaves in a large area, raking them manually can be a good form of exercise. The raking motion and the rake’s weight can help burn calories and improve your cardiovascular system.
When you’re not using fuel and electrical power, it helps in preserving the environment. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, rakes will lessen noise pollution.
Drawbacks of Rakes
The problem you’ll encounter with rakes are as follows:
- Unsuitable for Uneven Terrain and Narrow Spaces
Rakes significantly lose their effectiveness when used on uneven terrain and tight spaces. The leaves collected will be fewer while causing more energy from you to rake them in one place.
- Tines Might Cause Injury
The edges of the tines are relatively sharp, which could cause scratches and other injuries when the rakes are not properly stored. If you have children constantly playing around, the rake must be at least out of reach or inaccessible.
Leaf Blower vs Rake: In Conclusion
Choosing between the two will boil down to what works best for needs. Once you carefully assess the pros and cons of leaf blower and rake, choosing which leaf gathering tool fits your needs is easier. If you’re still unsure, consider getting them both since they offer different advantages.