Electric leaf blowers have a number of pros and cons in comparison to both gasoline leaf blowers and raking leaves manually. Some of the most common benefits of an electric leaf blower over a gas leaf blower are weight, noise output, and exhaust fumes. Electric units are typically lighter and make a lot less noise than gasoline units, though they are often less powerful as well. The primary reason to use an electric leaf blower instead of raking leaves manually is to save time, though there are also legitimate reasons to use a rake instead. Unless the electricity used to power a leaf blower comes entirely from renewable energy, using a rake is be better for the environment.
The main benefit of using an electric leaf blower instead of a gasoline unit is exhaust emissions. Fumes from gasoline powered blowers can be irritating or even unhealthy, and emissions from lawn care equipment often contribute to local smog. Since electric leaf blowers use either extension cords or battery power, they generate none of the fumes or emissions associated with gasoline units. It is even more environmentally sound to simply use a rake however, especially if the electricity used to power an electric leaf blower does not come from renewable resources.
Reduced weight and noise output are some other common benefits associated with electric leaf blowers. Powerful batteries can add a lot of weight, but even the heaviest electric blowers often weigh less than the lightest gasoline units. They are typically quieter as well, since the only source of sound is the blower. Gas powered units generate sound from both the blower and gasoline motor, so they tend to be substantially louder.
A general lack of power is typically considered to be the biggest drawback associated with electric leaf blowers. Heavy duty electric leaf blowers can put out a substantial amount of air at high speeds, though gasoline units tend to offer even more power. For heavy duty commercial applications, the power offered by gas blowers is typically the only viable choice.
Cord length and battery life are also potentially drawbacks when comparing an electric leaf blower to a gas unit. Electric blowers that use cords can be difficult to manage, especially when dealing with very large lawns. Extension cords, which can require extra time to set up and put away, are typically needed in those cases. Battery powered units are usually more convenient, though they can also be of limited use for big jobs. Bigger batteries can offer expanded operational time between charges, though gas powered blowers still tend to last longer.