Rake vs Leaf Blower Stand-Off – Which is Better? + FAQ

The fall season is, hands down, the favorite season of many people – including me. But it is also the season of “leaves down” which can make your beautiful yard messy with all that plant debris.

But I know that in this fast life, you don’t want to spend your precious hours collecting and dumping dried leaves. Therefore, I suggest you invest in appropriate tools which can make your task easier and quicker. So, if you are confused between rakes vs. leaf blowers, you’re at the right place.

Leaf blower vs. leaf rake has always remained a hot topic for debate. Being a garden owner it is your responsibility to keep your yard clean and maybe save those leaves for your compost tumbler.

Consumers analyze each product profoundly, inspecting them for various factors like cost, maintenance required, convenience, personal ease, materials used, versatility, etc.

Although there’s no binary solution to the overall debate, I assure you that this guide will help find your best suitable tool.

Raking leaves

Wire Rake vs. Leaf Blower – The Comparison

If you are a laid-back person you might be tempted to simply buy a good leaf blower since it is an easier and more effortless method to get rid of the leaves that have been piling up in your yard. However, I would not give in to such luring advantages. Although, it is a power-generated machine, everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

They might be easier to use for you, since their mechanisms are pretty simple—which basically involves a lot of walking. However, a backpack blower which sits on your shoulder using a strap, while you aim it with your hands, is quite heavy and may force you to reconsider your choice.

On the other hand, a rake for collecting leaves into a pile is far easier to use, and is not at all heavy, since it is a mere stick of different materials, with wired teeth at the bottom. However, manually raking leaves is a physically demanding activity that helps you exercise if you are more of a chair-bound person.

Also, rakes are available in all shapes and sizes, implying that it is convenient for everyone to use. Moreover, I have seen special leaf rakes designed for kids in the market.


Leaf blower

Leaf blowers are very popular among the big yard owners who want to blow away heaps of leaves without wasting another day on it, as the powerful machines are extremely efficient in what they do. I would personally prefer them since they would save me a lot of time. Moreover, I can shoo away the heavier, hidden, and other hard-to-reach debris too with a leaf blower.

Just switch it on, and whoosh! The travel of your debris away from your yard begins.


I would suggest a rake if you have a small yard and if you don’t have snow. Additionally, while raking I am always properly equipped, and wear good quality work boots and gloves. I recommend you get yourself some proper footwear as well. Also, remember to wear an old set of clothes as they may (and most likely WILL) get dirty and simply won’t remain the same after raking.

By the way, if you left your leaf collecting fun till the last minute and now there’s snow on the ground, then a good snow blower is your answer to killing two birds with one stone.


Leaf blower

Since a leaf blower is a machine powered by fuel or electricity, it requires proper maintenance and frequent repair. It needs to be cleaned regularly. In case it breaks down, you will need to spend some bucks for getting its parts replaced if required. Moreover, these machines are equipped with filters and a spark plug that often need periodic cleaning or replacing.


Unlike the above mentioned automated machines, handheld rakes require little to no maintenance. Since they don’t run on any electricity or gas, they are the more eco-friendly choice and also require no frequent replacements.


Leaf blower

Since leaf blowers are electric and gas-fuelled automated machines designed to clean your yards, they are costlier than the traditional manual rake. You can find some models of electric blowers as less as $50, but a good quality gasoline-powered wheeled blower’s cost can reach hundreds of dollars. The handheld gas-powered leaf blowers can cost you between $100 and $200, while the backpack ones range from $200 to $300.


A manual rake costs nothing as compared to its automated counterpart, and is cheaper than even the least expensive leaf blower model available. Generally, markets consist of rakes that cost from $12 to $30; however, depending on the model and material used, a good quality rake can cost you between $20 and $100.

Also, since a rake requires minimum effort on maintenance, the costs tend to drop considerably with use. So if you don’t want to spend much on your yard-cleaning tools, a rake is your best option

Rake vs Leaf Blower – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Autumn leaves alongside a road


Leaf blower

  • Gets the work done faster and saves time.
  • A better option for people with back pain.
  • It is suitable for large backyards.
  • It can be used for other chores, e.g. anything that you want just blown away—including pebbles!
  • It can also be used to clean gutters. There are special gutter cleaning kits available that are compatible with several leaf blower models.
  • An electric leaf blower requires less maintenance than its gas counterpart and can last for a few years.
  • Electric blowers are quieter than gas ones.


  • A rake is more precise in its job.
  • It is an eco-friendly option.
  • It is cost-friendly and thus affordable for all.
  • It is suitable for small backyards.
  • Raking is synonymous to low-impact cardiovascular exercise, and thus can help you remain fit.
  • There is no risk of accidentally blowing your debris into your neighbors’ yards
  • Quieter than every blower out there.


Leaf blower

  • Gas models are not fit for the environment.
  • It has high noise output—with gas ones being fairly disturbing for children and the elderly. So before buying a leaf blower, pay close attention to how many decibels it is, as it can interfere with your state’s noise level laws.
  • It is generally on the higher side of your price range.
  • Some models are quite heavy.


  • Raking can be time-consuming when you have a huge pile of leaves to clean.
  • Not ideal for people with back problems.
  • A rake can break easily, especially if forced against hard debris hidden underneath the leaves.
  • It is not suitable to reach corners or underneath rich shrubs.

So, are you a rake or leaf blower person?

Therefore, I can conclude that rakes are more compatible with a person who likes to spend their time outdoors while listening to their favorite playlist. If you are someone who can enjoy an autumn day doing yard work without getting bored, I would suggest you buy a rake.

Moreover, if you’re an environmentalist or active about protecting it, then you should buy a rake.

While the leaf blower people, I think, are the busy ones, working throughout the day. Hence, I agree that automated tools in your lives make it easier for you to manage everything. Since a leaf blower is a convenient and fast method to get rid of the unwanted debris I would suggest you buy this powerful machine to gather and dispose of the leaves for you.


How much time do leaf blowers save compared to raking?

If you don’t want to spend an entire day cleaning up the pile of leaves, then leaf blower is your go-to option, as a handheld blower is twice as fast as a manual raking. Backpack or wheeled blowers are even faster, owing to their increased blowing power.

We also recommend looking into buying a good leaf vacuum. If you want a side by side comparison of a blower and a vacuum, read our article on leaf blowers vs vacuums.

Is it better to rake or leave leaves?

It’s better to rake leaves as frequently as you can because leaving the debris on its own can make your soil compost-hungry.

Which is physically more demanding – leaf blowers or rakes?

Raking leaves is a physically more demanding activity—known to burn more than twice as many calories as blowing. Also, it can leave you with a sore back the next day if you’re not much into physical activity.

When is the best time to clean up fallen leaves?

Rake early. Blow often. It’s best to start gathering up the fallen leaves as soon as possible for if they pile up and get moist, it would become a back-breaking and time-consuming task for you to relocate them to your compost pile—whether you use a leaf blower or a rake.


You can read as many guides you want regarding rake vs. leaf blower, but remember that the best method for getting your work done is the one you feel most convenient and comfortable for you.

But I hope that the points made in this guide have helped you pick out the right tool for you and your yard. If you decide to go for a leaf blower, take a look at the different types of leaf blowers available, to find the one for you.

Andy Gibson

My name's Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.

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