Last updated on November 3rd, 2023
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If there is one garden tool I wouldn’t be without, especially in autumn, it’s a decent leaf grabber. In particular, a long-handled leaf grabber or leaf collector like my Clear N Collect Leaf Rake Grabber, which I think is one of the best leaf grabbers. To be honest, it’s one of those garden tools I wish I had invested in sooner!
As a professional gardener for over 20 years, I always try to invest a little more to get a good, sturdy leaf grabber that won’t twist and will handle my autumn cleanups and, more importantly, speed up the process and make my life a little easier. I also use them in my family’s small garden centre, where mature trees surround us, and with them come the masses of leaves every autumn.
They are also perfect for collecting hedge trimming, piles of moss, and other garden debris. I usually collect the leaves in a large ton builder bag, so using a leaf grabber makes collecting the leaves easier and is much better on my back.
I usually use a decent leaf rake to collect the leaves into piles for smaller gardens; however, for larger gardens or in my family’s nursery, I typically get the petrol leaf blower fired up and use it to blow them into piles first. On lawns, I sometimes use a cordless mower or petrol lawn mower set to a high setting.
Then I mow over them, which also helps break them down which helps them break down more efficiently in a compost bin or compost tumbler, which I’ve been using more recently. It’s also worth noting it’s an ideal time to also make some leaf mould, which makes excellent soil conditioner. I usually fill a few bags up with moist leaves, put some holes in them with a garden fork and leave them out of sight behind the shed for 12 months or so until all is left is dark black soil.
Before I get into the detailed reviews and buyers guide, I want to quickly mention a couple of the best leaf grabbers, including the Clear N Collect Leaf Rake Grabber. I have used this for going on two seasons now, and it’s a little unique in the way that it works compared to my previous Darlac Grab-N-Lift pictured below, but it’s proven to be a great bit of kit.
It’s well made and I like how you can use it as a rake to collect the leaves into a neat pile and then fold the two halves together to collect the leaves and put them into the compost heap. What I will say is that I still use a leaf rake to collect the leaves into a pile first or use the leaf blower.
I’m also a fan of the Darlac Grab-N-Lift pictured above, which I used for years. The Draper Leaf Grabber is a slightly better choice for the extra tenner, especially for larger areas. Overall, though, both are sturdy leaf grabbers that get the job done. I think the Draper model has the edge when it comes to build quality with the double-framed handles; it’s just more sturdy.
Best Leaf Grabber Reviews
1. Clear N Collect Multi-Purpose Garden Leaf Rake Grabber/Collector
If you watch Dragon’s Den (one of my favourite programs) you may have seen the Clear N Collect Multi-Purpose Garden Leaf Rake Grabber. Well, I did but never thought anything of it until a couple of years back and decided to give it a try after coming across it on Amazon, that was at the end of 2020 when we all had some free time.
What I like about it is that it’s a three-in-one multi-purpose garden grabber. While most leaf grabbers just let you pick up the leaves after you raked them into a pile, this one you Rake-Collect-Clear. So I still rake them into piles with a plastic tine leaf rake but then I can lift them with this leaf grabber and also rake again by opening it up to get those last few leaves without having to grab the rake again to finish the job off.
You do this using the two plastic hinged scoops that are on wooden pole handles. There are no convenient rubber grips on the end of the poles for your comfort – you grab along the poles somewhere that suits you. They’re not the most convenient of handles and could be improved but they still do the job.
So when I use it, I open the scoops, put them on the ground and pull them towards me, pulling the leaves, clippings and other debris into a mound or long pile. The angled teeth on the front edge of the scoops help with this. This is the rake part of the whole process.
The Collect process is when you close the poles together. This closes up the scoops and you collect all the debris between them. Then, the Clear part is when you position the grabber over a bin, open the poles apart and everything falls out of the now open scoops. It really is a great design, especially for small gardens with lots of leaves to deal with.
- Multi-purpose garden rake.
- Three-in-one tool to both rake and grab.
- Angled teeth on the scoop to rake everything into one pile.
- Hinged rake/scoop lets you collect the leaves, grass cuttings, garden debris and hedge clippings.
- Use on any surface including hard surfaces such as gravel pathways.
- Weighs 1.1kg.
- Raking leaves requires some technique.
What I really like is that it saves my back, which is much better than being on my hands and knees and bending over using gloves. The process is much faster, and it saves my back!
This is a good choice of leaf grabber if you like multi-purpose tools so that you don’t have to use a rake and then switch to a grabber to gather your leaves and pick them up. If you are going to use a leave blower, very large areas for example, then I’d be tempted to stick with a standard design like that on my Darlac Grab-N-Lift but if you want the rake feature or have a small area to keep clean, this is well worth considering.
2. Draper Tools LG/HD Leaf Grabber
The Draper Tools Long Handled Leaf Grabber is a grabber with two U-shaped handles that increase its sturdiness, which when compared to my Darlac which has single handles, does make it maybe feel a little better and more capable for large areas but it’s more expensive but probably worth the extra cost. This leaf grabber is made of tubular powder-coated steel for the handles and the same colour plastic for the blades. The handles pivot around each other each with a bolt that helps to stabilise and strengthen the frame.
The arch of each handle is covered with an ergonomic soft PVC grip that’s soft on your hand and deflects the strain on your wrists.
What I do like about this model is that the bottom of the blades has teeth in them to help scrape up the leaves rather than having a smooth edge, clippings, debris and other things that find their way onto your lawn or driveway. Overall this is a great example of an effective leaf grabber and I think is well worth considering. If you have smaller gardens, then I would probably recommend just going with the Darlac leaf grabber and saving some money. Overall though, these are a great piece of kit.
3. Darlac Grab-N-Lift Garden Leaf Grabber
I have personally used this model for years and I’ve always been impressed with the Darlac Grab-N-Lift Leaf Grabber. Use this grabber to get hold of the leaves and other stray bits on your garden and lift it all into your collection bin or bag. All without bending over and possibly straining your back.
This is a leaf grabber whose handles are made of red powder-coated steel and overall build quality is great including the plastic scoops. It has handlebar handles so only one tubular handle goes into each paddle, and only one bolt holds both handles together. This is not the most sturdy design and construction so you need to be a bit careful when using it but its lasted me years.
However, the handles do have moulded rubber grips on the part where you grip. This helps to take the strain off your hands and make it a bit more comfortable for you to use this tool.
The paddles are quite large, though their dimensions aren’t given. They’re slightly scooped to hold more leaves.
- Leaf grabber for leaves, twigs, cuttings and so on.
- Handles from bright red powder-coated steel.
- Moulded rubber grips on handlebar handles.
- Large slightly scooped rectangular paddles.
- Weighs 1.25kg.
- Was a little awkward to assemble.
Overall, these are well worth considering and there probably some of the most affordable leaf grabbers while not being as cheaply made as some of the Chinese plastic alternatives I’ve come across.
4. Bosmere N450 Long Handled Leaf Grab
These Bosmere N450 Long Handled Leaf Grab is similar to some of the Draper leaf grabber I mentioned earlier. It has two U-shaped handles made from powder-coated steel in dark green. I like that the grabber has two handles as that increases how sturdy it can be. The black PVC grips on the handles help your hands remain comfortable and unstressed.
The blades are from reinforced plastic in the same colour. The teeth on the lower edge of the blades help you in collecting the leaves and other debris on the ground. They’re not very deep though, so don’t expect the utility of a rake, The blades are slightly curved to help them hold all that you pick up.
- Dark green leaf grabber.
- Handles made of powder-coated steel with reinforced plastic collection blades.
- U-shaped handles are 90cm long, and blades are 40cm wide.
- Black PVC grips on the handles.
- Blades have teeth on the lower edge.
- Close the handles together for the blades to meet in the middle.
These are another great option and I’ve had Bosmere garden tools before and they have always been very well made. These are worth considering, maybe if you’re comparing against the Draper model for the extra sturdiness.
5. Orientools Leaf Grabber Hand Rake Set
Unlike the other leaf grabbers in my review, the Orientools Leaf Grabber Hand Rake is a hand tool that you wear on your hands. You receive two of these grabbers in a set, so that’s one for each hand. The idea is to use the rake-like end of the circular disc to rake the leaves into a pile, and them smoosh the leaves together between the two grabbers. Then, throw them into your collection bag or wheelbarrow.
If you’ve visualised this, then you might have realised the downside to these hand rakes – you still have to bend down, unlike with the other grabbers I review and personally use. But if that’s not a deal breaker for you, then these are an inexpensive way to get leaves and other debris out of your garden. The high quality PVC protects you from sharp and even dangerous objects as you pick up the leaves. The ergonomically designed handle assists with this as well as makes these grabbers comfortable to use.
Also for convenience, there’s a hole to hang the leaf grabbers up on a hook in your storage shed or garage to keep them out of the way and in sight so you don’t lose them.
- Hand-tool leaf grabbers that you wear on your hands.
- Keeps hands clear of leaves, debris, sharp objects, etc.
- Made of high-quality PVC in a medium green colour.
- Ergonomically designed with a raised handle to put your hand through..
- The scoop end is serrated (like a rake).
- There is a hole at the top edge to hang over a hook in storage.
- Weighs 320g.
- Dimensions: 31cm by 37cm.
- Still have to bend over.
Personally, these are not for me, but they would be handy for someone who just has a few leaves to collect and just needs an easy solution to make the job of collecting leaves a little easier and doesn’t want to invest in the long handled version.
Buyer’s Guide for Leaf Grabbers
This is a short Buyer’s Guide for Leaf Grabbers, as there really aren’t many decisions to make. Mostly just build quality but I cover the different types of leaf grabbers and their pros and cons below.
The ORIENTOOLS Leaf Grabber Hand Rake in this review is an example of a glove-type grabber. It’s a hand tool that fits on your hand. They usually come in a set of two, one for each hand.
The idea is to use the rake portion, usually on the front side of the gloves, to rake the leaves together and then squash the leaves together between the gloves and put them into your collection bag and bin.
Sometimes, these glove grabbers are so large that you don’t have to bend down far to pick up the leaves. But there probably is still some strain on your back, so watch out for this.
The glove grabbers can be circular, rectangular or in the shape of an actual hand.
- Anyone can use it
- Easy to store
- May still have to bend over
- May need to rake the leaves first a bit
Stand-up grabber with a long handle – My go to choice!
The Draper DRA82899 Tools LG/HD Leaf Grabber, the Darlac Grab-N-Lift – Garden Leaf Grabber and the Bosmere N450 Long Handled Leaf Grab are all examples of some of the est stand-up leaf grabbers.
These leaf grabbers are designed so that you don’t have to bend over during the leaf-collecting process. While many of the blades have some semblance of teeth on their front edge or a kind of serrated edge, it’s not usually enough to pull the leaves into a pile. You need to rake or blow the leaves into shape first.
Then open the grabber so the blades are apart, put them around the pile of leaves, close the grabber handles, and you’ve captured the laves. All without bending down. Take the grabber to the collection bin and box, open the handles, and the leaves fall out.
It’s that simple, although operating the grabber efficiently may take some practice.
- Don’t have to bend over
- Some assembly may be required
- May still have to rake first
- Takes some practice
The Clear N Collect Multi-Purpose Garden Leaf Rake Grabber/Collector (also in this review) is a new type of leaf grabber that adds raking to the usual leaf collection process.
This is a stand-up grabber with two hinged scoops which each have rake teeth on their front end. By opening the scoops up, you then have a rake for gathering the leaves in a pile. Drag it along the ground to collect the leaves and other debris.
You continued to use the grabber in the usual way, but you didn’t have to rake the leaves separately. This is a multi-purpose tool that does all the steps of collecting leaves.
- Includes raking the leaves
- Don’t have to change tools
- More expensive
- Wood poles as handles
Once you’ve decided that you need a leaf grabber, the only decision you really have to make is of what kind. The Buyer’s Guide in this review explains what your choices are. If you choose to have a stand-up leaf grabber, all the stand-up models in this review are similar, and I recommend them all.
Maybe you have a favourite brand or prefer a particular handle shape. Perhaps you like the one your neighbour has. All your decisions from this point on are personal to you.
Last update on 2023-11-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API