I cannot directly compare Handlebars to Jade – but I feel the need to defend Jade from unfair comparisons.
First off, lets remind everyone that Jade has been renamed Pug. Anyone still using Jade is using an older version of the original Jade project. The current incarnation of it is called PUG. The previous name Jade had to be given up due to a trademark issue.
Looking at the main NPM page of Pug, you can see that as of the last week in Aug 2017, there were appx 121,000+ downloads (and the older Jade.js had 640,000+ pulls in the last week as well) – so this Node.js tool is very popular and widely supported and used… Also, Jade/Pug is quite mature and has been around for at least 6 years at this writing. Although Handlebars and Jade are both Web Template tools, they are not analogous to each other – Handlebars is more all-encompassing Web Template toolkit whereas Jade is focused on simplifying UI layout.
Here is one compare/contrast between the two tools:
I’ve been using Pug/Jade for 3 years and find it a very useful tool, and pretty simple to learn. There is syntax/indent support available for vim available as well.