Are Leaf Blowers Faster Than Rakes? (Explained)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Leaf blowers are a direct competition to rakes when clearing up fallen leaves from the autumn shower.

Since the introduction of leaf blowers, there has been a serious decline in the use of rakes.

With their power and strength, leaf blowers can clear leaves way faster than rakes when working.

If you want your job done fast, then a leaf blower is the way to go. This is one of the major advantages a leaf blower has over rakes. 

In this article, we will discuss whether leaf blowers are faster than rakes, the advantages of each over the other amongst other questions. 

Are Leaf Blowers Faster Than Rakes When Working?

Are Leaf Blowers Faster Than Rakes

Whether to rake or blow is a recurring question most yard owners have when it’s autumn and the leaves are showering down. 

A leaf blower is the way to go if you need the job done quickly.

A handheld blower is often twice as fast as a rake.

Because of their increased blowing power, backpack or wheeled blowers can clear a yard even faster.

Leaf blowers are also good for sweeping leaves and freeing stuck-in-the-lawn debris.

The same patch of ground that you can clear with a leaf blower within minutes can take hours when using a rake.

This is the reason why a lot of landscapers and city workers make use of leaf blowers when tidying up the city.

Not only leaf blowers reduce the work by vacuuming and mulching up the leaves.

Leaf blowers have come under fire for their loudness and pollution to the environment.

A lot of eco-friendly activists are campaigning for more regular use of the rake.

This does not reduce the fact that a leaf blower is faster and more efficient than a rake.

This also does not imply that the rake does not have some advantages over the leaf blower. 

Here is an article I wrote on the uses of a leaf blower

What Are The Advantages Of Using Leaf Blowers Over Rakes?

  1. Faster and More Powerful

As we have explained, a leaf blower has a major advantage over rakes. It is faster and more powerful than a rake when clearing. 

Most leaf blowers have about 350 to 450 CFM (cubic feet per minute) ability and work at 170- 190 miles per hour.

This is a huge difference over a rake that depends on how strong the user is.

  1. Vacuum Leaves

Most leaf blowers come with vacuum power as well as collection bags. 

Instead of blowing away the leaves, the machine vacuums them up into the bag and makes it easier for you to dispose of them.

  1. Comes with Mulching Options

Even better than vacuuming is the mulch option some leaf blowers come with. The machine is able to mulch and reduce the leaves by almost 90%. 

The mulched leaves can then be used for compost. This is easier than gathering up the leaves by yourself.

  1. Comfortable For Working

Most leaf blower designs are also easy to use. You can work comfortably with the leaf blower and they can either be back packed or handheld. 

  1. Versatile

Apart from blowing leaves, your leaf blower can also be used for a variety of other activities such as drying your car, moving snow and even cleaning gutters.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Rakes Over Leaf Blowers?

  1. Environmentally Friendly

Rakes are more environmentally friendly than leaf blowers. Leaf blowers emit noxious gases into the atmosphere. 

This has caused most environmental activists to campaign for more use of the rake over leaf blowers.

  1. Less Noisy

Gas powered leaf blowers are very noisy with some getting as loud as 100 decibels.

This can be very damaging to the human hearing. It has also been a cause for concern among medical experts.

Rakes are very quiet to use. Some people are even of the opinion that the gentle noise of the rake is soothing to the ears.

  1. Good Workout

If you live a more sedentary lifestyle then using a rake once in a while can help your fitness lifestyle. 

Raking for about 15 or 30 minutes can give you a good workout and make you sweat.

However, raking leaves for continuous periods of time can lead to a pulled or strained back.

  1. Less Expensive

Compared to leaf blowers, a rake is inexpensive.

A rake is affordable by all and you can get one between $20 and $50. 

On the other hand, most leaf blowers cost hundreds of dollars. You can get a quality model on the average starting from $200

  1. Helps Remove Lawn Thatch

Your grass mostly gets lawn thatch when there is poor soil aeration. This can happen when piles of leaves cover the grass. 

Apart from moving the leaves, the rake will also help to draw out the lawn thatch as you work.

This is not possible with a leaf blower as the tool only blows the leaves away. 

Also check out this article I wrote on are leaf blowers good for bees?

What Is Better In A Leaf Blower; Cfm Or Mph?

A leaf blowers’ CFM is the cubic feet per minute while MPH means the miles per hour.

The MPH is the measurement of airspeed being pushed out of the leaf blower.

A leaf blower with a wind speed of 200 miles per hour could propel a burst of air 200 miles in an hour if the burst could sustain its pace. 

The CFM on the other hand, measures the volume of air leaving the leaf blower.

The impeller compresses air by sucking the air on its own and pushing it out through the other side. 

The direction, height, and rotation speed of the blades control the amount of air that passes through, as well as the speed and volume of air that passes through.

Both MPH and CFM are important in a blower as you need both to get the job done.

A good leaf blower should have an average of 350-450 CFM and 150-190 MPH depending on its strength. 

What Leaf Blower Do Professionals Use?

Although there are a lot of leaf blower models out there on the market, as a professional you need a strong machine for your work. Walk-behind leaf blowers are the best for professional work.

According to Little Wonder’s Optimax 9270 is the top pick for the most powerful leaf blower machine.

The Honda 4-stroke engine creates a large quantity of air volume, and the 17-inch metal impeller delivers a stunning 9 HP.

This results in a maximum production of 2260 CFM while traveling at a maximum speed of 143 MPH.

And, with a 1.4-gallon petrol tank, you’ll have more than enough uninterrupted work time in between refills.

The fact that the Optimax’s chute is so low to the ground is one of our favorite features.

This structure enables the airflow to shoot under debris, lifting it rather than simply pushing it to the surface.

What Should I Look For When Buying A Leaf Blower?

Buying a leaf blower can be a tricky business and you could end up with an ill suited tool for your specific kind of job.

There are some things you should consider before buying a leaf blower. I’ll outline them in this section:

  1. Leaf Blower Type

There are several types of leaf blowers and each one is suited to a different kind of work

  • Hand held leaf blowers: they are often lightweight and good for backyard jobs.
  • Backpack leaf blowers: these are more ideal for fields and large garages.
  • Walk-behind leaf blowers: these are for professional jobs and are more heavy duty. 

Knowing the kind of work you want to do will help you in deciding the leaf blower type you should go with. 

  1. Power Source

The power source of a leaf blower also determines how fast and well it will get the job done.

You should understand the nuances that come with each type of power source before making a choice.

There are 2 major power sources which are:

  • Gas powered: gas powered leaf blowers need gas and oil in their engines. They come either as a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine. These 2 types also have their differences and unique points.
  • Electrically powered: these are generally more quiet than the gas powered ones. They also come either as corded or cordless leaf blowers.
  1. CFM and MPH
  2. Maintenance needs
  3. Price
  4. Model 

Once you take all these into consideration, you will be more likely to make a good purchase. It will also be well streamlined to your needs.


The rake versus leaf blower controversy is one that has been on for a long time.

With the outcry against leaf blowers in some parts, it is necessary to examine the differences between rakes and leaf blowers.

A leaf blower is a necessary purchase for some people. Before getting one take into consideration factors such as the type, the model, power source, maintenance, Cfm, Mph and the price.

With all these in place you will be able to make the best decision on which leaf blower to purchase.  

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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