Your local home center is always eager to sell you the latest "labor-saving" device for lawn and garden maintenance. But few inventions in human history are as useless and obnoxious as the leaf blower.
These contraptions are absurd wasters of energy and are so loud they have been banned by many municipalities. They stir up dirt and dust, and can throw rocks at cars and people.
Electric-powered blowers are marginally less disturbing than gas-powered ones, but both suffer from one overwhelming negative: They don't work as well as the humble rake, which is more precise, more tenacious, offers exercise to the user, and won't tee off the neighbors by accidentally blowing leaves, grass, and dust onto their lawns.
Next time a salesperson thrusts a leaf blower at you at a garden center, ask to see their rake selection.
Another reason to blow-off the blower? Calories! You'll burn 50 more calories per half hour if you use a rake.
Find the best tool for the job. Check out Real Simple's list of best rakes.
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