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Whether gathering fallen leaves, breaking up compacted soil, or leveling mulch or gravel, a top-quality rake has many uses. We spent hours researching and testing garden rakes from the best lawn care brands, evaluating design, versatility, and value.
Our favorite, the Fiskars 24-inch Leaf Rake, is lightweight, durable, and has an extra-long handle to prevent backaches and fatigue.
Here are the best rakes available online.
Our best overall rake is the Fiskar 24-inch Leaf Rake (view at Home Depot), a lightweight and durable option with an ergonomically designed handle. The size is large enough to gather leaves on a lawn but small enough to get under many shrubs. If you’re looking to remove deep layers of grass from your lawn, we recommend the Ames Thatch rake (view at Amazon). It has two tine types including one for detaching and one for scarifying soil for seed.
Type of use
They may all be called rakes but not all rakes are created equal. When it’s time for a new rake, it is essential to keep the work task in mind. Using the right type of rake for the job will make it go so much more smoothly.
- Leaf/Lawn Rake: The classic lightweight rake for removing fallen leaves, the flexible tines are long and fan out from the handle to swoop leaves into a pile. The ends of the tines are bent at a 90-degree angle to gather leaves without damaging the lawn.
- Garden/Landscaping Rake: Much more heavy-duty, garden or landscaping rakes are offered with either a straight or bow-shaped metal head. The tines are short and rigid to break through clods of soil or move heavy gravel.
- Thatch Rake: Fitted with heavy-duty, short specially-shaped metal tines, a thatch rake is used to remove the layer of dead organic matter that can choke out the grass in a lawn.
- Shrub Rake: A smaller version of a leaf rake, a shrub rake has a narrow, less-flared head of tines to easily remove leaf litter from underneath shrubs.
- Hand Rake: Around the size of a garden trowel, a hand rake is perfect for removing leaves or loosening soil in a container or small area of the garden.
As you select a rake for the specific task, pay attention to the tine material. length, and number. For heavy jobs, choose a rake with short, evenly-spaced tines made from steel. For lightweight leaf-raking, you’ll find long tines made from thin metal, resin, or bamboo.
Weight and comfort
One of the most important decisions in choosing a rake is buying one that feels comfortable in your hands. Adjustable handles are a good choice if multiple people will be using the rake. A lightweight handle like polyresin or aluminum will help reduce arm fatigue and a cushioned grip eases hand fatigue. Consider a rake model that can accommodate a handle replacement.
The one rule to always follow when raking leaves is to get the leaves removed before the first snow falls. Leaves left on the ground over the winter season can cause diseases in turfgrass. Too many leaves left around home foundations can also harbor bothersome insects and rodents.
Some gardeners like to rake leaves several times during the autumn season to keep the leaf piles smaller. Others wait until late autumn so that one weekend of labor takes care of the task. It is always best to rake leaves when they are as dry as possible before winter rains make a soggy mess.
Removing large leaves and thatch from your lawn will help keep it healthy. Both types of organic matter can block nutrients, airflow, and sunlight that are needed for lush lawns. If you despise raking, consider getting a lawnmower that will grind the leaves into small bits of mulch to leave in the lawn to enhance the nitrogen level of the soil.
Rakes made with metal tines and handles are usually the most durable. The metal tines seldom break and can be hammered back into shape if they get bent. Metal handles are often adjustable for comfort. With the durability of metal, comes a higher price tag.
When choosing a rake with “plastic” tines, look for resin. It is more durable than other types of plastic and will flex without breaking. Resin rakes are lighter weight, less expensive to purchase and work well for light raking duties.
For this roundup, Mary Marlowe Leverette researched and tested dozens of rakes and has a couple of blisters on her hands to prove it. Carefully evaluating each rake’s design, materials, and customer reviews, she has chosen the best type of rake for each gardening task.
Mary is a Master Gardener and has extensive personal and professional experience testing, reviewing, and writing about home and garden products. You can find more of her work on The Spruce.
Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.