Broom vs. Leaf Blower: Which Is Better?

Updated on November 2, 2016
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Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

I admit it. This is a strange topic even by my standards. But when you are sitting idle with thousands of things zooming through your mind, sometimes an idea that may seem weird at first, starts to grow on you and friends, this piece is the end result of such of those ideas.

Almost everyone knows of or owns a common straw broom
Almost everyone knows of or owns a common straw broom | Source

Which Is Better: Blower or Broom?

Which of the two, the straw broom or gasoline-powered leaf blower is more efficient in 2016? Tough question? Not really. Below the headline, I will list the advantages and disadvantages of each tool and let you decide in my poll near the end of this article so you can vote on your choice as the "tool of efficiency."

Close-up of how early straw brooms were intricately woven to secure the strands of straw to make a sturdy broom
Close-up of how early straw brooms were intricately woven to secure the strands of straw to make a sturdy broom | Source

The Broom: Advantages

  • Easy to use. Hardly any higher-education degree (in engineering) needed to operate.
  • Takes up very little room in anyone's household.
  • Cost-friendly. The average straw or nylon string broom is affordable to most incomes.
  • Uses no gasoline or electricity.
  • The straw or nylon string broom is durable and can last for years if used with careful maintenance.
  • If you are into air guitaring, the common broom is an excellent replica for such activity at private or pubic parties or celebrations--Fourth of July, New Year's Eve and Christmas.

The Broom: Disadvantages

  • Fire hazard. Brooms can catch fire easily, so brooms should never be stored near an open flame.
  • Terrible when trying to remove leaves that are damp from rain or other water sources.
  • The handle can be broken if it is wooden or can be bent if made of metal.
  • The sweeping action can set off chronic pain to those who suffer with arthritis.
  • The average broom, although has its advantages, is always stored completely out of the sight of visitors to the home.
  • The common broom made with straw or nylon strands is not a good weapon to fend off burglars who are dumb enough to try to rob you at home in broad open daylight.

The Leaf Blower: Advantages

  • Powerful. You can clean an area of pesky leaves in half the time it would take in sweeping them away.
  • Lightweight. An average teen guy or girl can lift any leaf blower and hold it steady while it does its job without causing the teen girl or guy any physicla strain.
  • Cost-efficient. Sure, a leaf blower is more expensive than a common broom, but a leaf blower will last much longer than a broom if maintained properly.
  • Attractive. You can place a leaf blower (no matter the brand) on the wall of your garage or storage building and people will think you sure know your useful outside appliances.
  • Easy to operate. Some leaf blowers can operate over two hours without a charge or those with electric cords can run as long as needed.
  • Easily transported. This is an even area of both leaf blowers and brooms. Both can be transported in your trunk, backseat or in the front seat if you are insecure.

The Leaf Blower: Disadvantages

  • Noisy. Some models do make an awful amount of unwanted noise when removing leaves, rocks, or any debris from your driveway or sidewalk.
  • Too mechanical. As opposed to the broom which has no moving parts to break down, a leaf blower has an engine with small moving parts that when one part stops working, the leaf blower engine will shut off and you have to fork out cash to get it back to operating shape again.
  • One cannot use a leaf blower if he or she is into air guitaring. That is unless the air guitarist has a vivid imagination and can make a believable argument that his leaf blower is the latest in electric air guitars.
  • Dangerous. Yes, to be honest, leaf blowers can pose a health hazard if the nozzle is held in another person's face or near the ears.
  • Social problems. If a homeowner sees the need to blow some autumn leaves from his or her driveway on an early Saturday morning (due to him being an early riser) he can cause friction between him and his neighbors who love to catch up on their sleep.
  • Attractions to petty thieves. A struggling burglar out for some quick cash can take your leaf blower and pawn it for as much as twenty bucks and that can be a fortune to an amateur burglar.

And the number one leaf blower disadvantage . . .

No self-respecting witch would dare be seen trying to straddle a leaf blower trying to fly about scaring children on Halloween.

Now it's your turn to step up, or into the voting cubicle, (be sure to draw the curtain to insure your privacy) and let your voice be heard.

Note: I am going to abstain from the voting for I do not want to be accused of being biased and helping to "blow" a perfectly voting process. I might add that I am not planning to see a "sweeping" victory for either tool.

What do you think?

After a careful analysis of the pros and cons of each, which do you prefer?

See results
Man uses a leaf blower to maintain the pristeen look of a storefront
Man uses a leaf blower to maintain the pristeen look of a storefront | Source

My Personal Relationship with Brooms

My topic, brooms, is not new. Brooms have been a part of our society since the pioneer days. Yes, I said pioneer days. In this time-frame, (girls do not get angry), it was the women pioneers who kept their log cabins clean. You may be asking how do you keep a dirt floor clean? Simple. This pioneer homemaker did not want grass, dead or alive, or any other foreign entity in her home. So sweeping with a homemade broom was a weekly chore.

It was not long after the Wild West was tamed and the population started growing and mixing with immigrants from other countries that brooms saw a certain evolution. Some hated it. Some loved it. Brooms were many times made by securing several strands of straw in a fixed base and strung together with string or twine and when you put a handle on it, you had a broom.

But most brooms were made from sapling limbs. I can remember my mother using what she called a brush broom made from young trees that my dad had sawed down and dragged to our house and with an hour or two of binding the limbs together, my mom had her own brush broom to help keep our yard clean and neat.

Brooms and Lawns

  • I would speculate that in the late 1920s or early 1930s, Americans began placing a value on how the appearance of their home looked to their neighbors. And all it took was one daring soul to not pull up the grass that was growing in their front or backyard and bam! Lawns were born. No more brush brooms.
  • Now the door opened for manually-operated lawnmowers. Do you see how easy the "chain of prosperity" added more links as time went by? This new invention, manually-powered (meaning you pushed the mower) lawnmowers started new industries that hired more people and the American workforce was increasing almost weekly.

© 2016 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 14 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Great call, the collecting of leaves and recycling them. I appreciate you being nice to Mother Earth.

      I also appreciate you taking time to read my piece and leaving me such a warm comment.

      Stay warm. And write me anytime.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 14 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Great hub, it's important to compare brooms and leaf blowers at this time of year. I have to declare an interest, I ONLY own a broom, don't have a leaf blower. We collect them and put in the recycling / compost bin, so they get used.