Choosing the Right Rake

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 22, 2017)

Rakes are tools used to loosen and gather substances, or to grade or level loose surfaces. Rakes have teeth or tines and are used in landscaping and agriculture. There are two major categories of rakes; hand tools and attachments for tractors. When speaking in terms of gardening and lawn tools, we are referring to hand tools.

There are several types of hand tool rakes from which to choose, depending upon the job at hand. Outlined for you here are the types of rakes you will need for specific jobs:

  • The most popular type of hand rake is a leaf rake. Leaf rakes have large groups of flexible teeth and are used to pull together piles of fallen leaves. You can find leaf rakes in any home improvement store or department store, such as Home Depot or Wal-Mart, and they are clearly advertised as leaf and lawn rakes. The tines—or teeth—of leaf rakes are most often made of thin metal.
  • Another popular rake most homeowners invest in is a bow rake. These rakes are made of sturdy, unbending metal, with thick metal teeth and a solid, flat back side. Bow rakes are used to work the soil and level or grade it. Gardeners use bow rakes when tilling soil and preparing garden beds.
  • A thatch rake is a specialty rake used for removing thatch from lawns. With thick blades designed to dig into the turf and loosen the thatch beneath, thatch rakes are handy when you want to make your lawn healthier and retain more water.
  • Hand rakes are smaller versions of the rakes mentioned above, with small handles. Hand rakes are meant to use in the palm of your hand for small gardening chores such as clearing flower beds.

Also available are fan rakes with short handles, designed to clean under shrubs and in corners of gardens. Expanding fan rakes are especially useful for piling up pine needles, since they have telescoping handles with which to reach underneath prickly pines. If you have a garden tractor, you can invest in a landscape rake to attach to the back of your tractor. Landscape rakes are invaluable if you have a large yard, as you can gather a great amount of grass clippings, dead leaves, and mulch with a landscape rake, saving you many steps and time. Always look for lightweight tools when choosing hand tools, including rakes. If your rakes have wooden handles, you may need to oil them periodically to extend the life of the handle. Always wash your rakes with your garden hose before you store them.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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