Leaf Removal Equipment: 4 Tools To Get the Job Done Fast

Too many leaves can ruin your lawn in spring. Try these tools to banish them.

Dog in a pile of autumn leaves
Image: Lena Kyman

Just for fun, take an inventory of all the leaf removal tools cluttering your garage. Bet you’ve got a half-dozen rakes of different sizes and materials, maybe a blower or two in various states of repair, and maybe even some kickstarter gadget you thought would make it easier.

Fewer gizmos — but the right ones — and more elbow grease help homeowners remove leaves and keep up with lawn maintenance, says Brett Lemcke of R. M. Landscape Inc. in Rochester, NY.

When it comes to fall landscaping chores, “the reality is, you can’t avoid hard work. There are some tools that will help us, but the best help is family and friends.” 

Unless you tether a mower to a stick and let it mulch leaves all by itself. 

Whether you rake, blow, or tie a mower to a stick, you should remove leaves at least twice each fall. “Some people wait until every last leaf falls and then they pick them up,” Lemke says. “You should pick them up throughout the season. Don’t wait until the last minute.” 

These four tools will help make the task less daunting.

#1 Rigid Leaf Rake

This plastic, fan-shaped rake is your go-to rake for collecting leaves. Pick one with a cushion handle and a 30- to 36-inch fan. Avoid the super-wide fans that can spread to 48 inches; they’re too big to rake between shrubs and in flower beds.

Cost: $10-$20 (30-inch fan).

#2 Leaf Tarp

Instead of scooping leaves into a million plastic bags, rake or blow them into a big pile on top of a polypropylene leaf tarp. Then drag the tarp to the curb and dump.

Cost: $22 for 12.5-by-10-ft. tarp.

#3 Leaf Blower

Select a two-cycle, gasoline-powered blower to collect leaves in tarps or blow them directly to the curb. If you have a large yard, buy a backpack model, which is more expensive but more comfortable than handheld blowers.

Cost: 2-cycle handheld blower is $180; 2-cycle backpack blower is $300.

#4 Yard Vacuum

This tool vacuums, shreds, chips, and bags leaves and other yard debris. Once leaves are ground up, they’ll decompose quickly in your compost pile. Or, even better, they make great mulch!

Cost: $400-$650.

Related: Tips on How to Mulch on the Cheap

Housing And Real Estate Expert Lisa Kaplan-Gordon
Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon is an award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer who contributes to real estate and home improvement sites. In her spare time (yeah, right!), she gardens, manages three dogs, and plots to get her 21-year-old out of her basement.