Facebook Pixel Code
x
BestReview's Logo
Best For Your Buck Product
Best bang for the buck
Flexrake
Check Price
Best Of The Best Product
Best of the best
Gardenite...
Check Price
BestReview's Logo

Best Rakes

Updated April 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 18 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 115 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Rakes

    Last Updated April 2018

    Your yard might be the source of a seemingly endless cycle of chores – planting in the spring, weeding in the summer, clearing leaves in the fall – but the right tools can help make these tasks a breeze. One essential item that all serious gardeners need is a quality rake. In fact, you might need more than one rake, since different varieties have different uses.

    Buying the perfect rake is not as simple as going out and picking up the first one you set your eyes on. Different rakes have different purposes, and you must think about why you need a rake and select the right one for the job. This can be a challenge, especially for first-time buyers who don't know their thatch rake from their tines.

    If you feel overwhelmed by the large number of rakes available, you’ve come to the right place. At BestReviews, we researched rakes in depth to bring you the facts you need. As we investigated different products for our matrix, above, we did not accept any free rakes or other samples from manufacturers. We do this in order to prevent the potential for bias in our recommendations.

    Read on to learn more about rakes. Our information will help you figure out which product is best for you.

    Rakes have two main parts: the handle (the part you hold) and the head, or the "tines” which do the raking.

    Reasons to buy a rake

    • One of the most common uses for rakes is to clear leaves and other debris from your lawn.

    • Rakes can also be used to clear leaves and debris from flower beds.

    • You can use a rake to level soil, mulch, gravel, and similar substances.

    • Some rakes are good at removing thatch, moss, and dead grass from lawns.

    Types of rakes

    Lawn rakes

    Lawn rakes, also known as "leaf rakes," are primarily used for raking leaves into piles, although you can also use them to gather other garden debris. Lawn rakes have tines made of metal or plastic that fan out into a wide triangle shape. They generally have long handles to give you a wide reach while clearing leaves.

    Cost: Most lawn rakes cost between $15 and $50. Pricier models often boast wooden handles and highly durable tines.

    A good lawn rake should have a certain amount of spring and flexibility to the tines. It needs to be gentle on the ground but not so much that it feels awkward to use.

    Shrub rakes

    Shrub rakes look similar to lawn rakes, but the overall width of the head is significantly narrower. These rakes are designed to remove leaves from beds, around shrubs, along the sides of fences, and in other tight areas that a regular lawn rake would be too large to tackle.

    Cost: You’ll see price tags from $10 to $30 on shrub rakes. For a decent model, we wouldn't go much below $15.

    You can buy folding rakes with tines that fold flat when not in use for easier storage.

    Bow rakes

    Bow rakes have straight heads with short tines that point downward. The tines are generally made of thick, heavy-duty metal. Bow rakes are designed for heavier tasks such as levelling soil and gravel or spreading mulch.

    Cost: An average bow rake costs $15 to $50. Inexpensive models don't tend to be very durable.

    You can find "clog-free" rakes with specially curved tines that are less likely to get clogged with debris while raking.

    Thatch rakes

    Thatch rakes have extremely sharp metal tines designed for removing moss, dead grass, and thatch from your lawn to improve its quality. This is a much more specialized type of rake than the other types; it isn’t a good all-rounder.

    Cost: Look to spend between $30 and $80 on a quality thatch rake.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Any leaves you rake up can be composted or turned into leaf mulch to provide nutrients for growing plants.

    Considerations for selecting a rake

    Handle material

    Most rakes have handles made from wood, plastic, or metal. If you're looking for the kind of rake that will stand the test of time and might even end up in your grandchild's shed one day, a quality hardwood handle is your best option. That said, quality metal handles are also very durable – as long as they're made from or coated with a rust-resistant material – and they’re lightweight, too. Plastic handles are definitely the weak link.

    Metal rake handles can feel cold in the winter. If this concerns you, look for a rake with a solid plastic grip.

    Tine material

    Metal and plastic are the most common tine materials for rakes, although lawn rakes with wood or bamboo tines aren't unheard of. Rakes with metal tines are the most durable, but they're more likely to do damage when raking lawns, particularly if the ground is soft.

    Size

    Rakes come in a range of sizes, from the relatively compact to the very large. Think about both the size of the head and the length of the handle. A larger rake may get you through your garden chores more quickly, but it will also be more unwieldy and tricky to use.

    Ultimately, rake size isn't a huge concern for most users. We recommend finding the best rake for whatever tasks you want to achieve before thinking about size. However, if you're especially petite, you might find an exceptionally large rake difficult to use.

    Some rakes have adjustable-length handles to make them easier for people of all heights to use.

    Weight

    We generally find weight more important than size when it comes to ease of use. Select a rake that's light enough to carry and not so heavy that it will fatigue your arms with extended use. If you have a large yard, it's even more important to find a lightweight rake, since you will likely to use it for longer stretches than someone with a compact yard.

    Comfort

    Yard work might not be everyone's idea of fun, but you don't have to be uncomfortable while you rake. Some rakes are simply more comfortable to use than others thanks to features such as padded or easy-grip handles. A handle that’s long can also help keep you comfortable when you work, since the greater length can eliminate your need to bend or stoop.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Wear gloves when raking to protect your hands from blisters.

    Tips

    • Think about what gardening tasks you want to accomplish. Do you need to rake leaves? Are you looking to level some new flower beds? The tasks at hand will dictate what kind of rake you require.

    • Look at the quality of your chosen rake. Although price isn't always an indicator of quality, more often than not, rakes made using the most durable materials and construction methods do cost a little more.

    • Select a rake that works for you. The best rake is one that fits your particular needs. It should be of a comfortable length for your height. If you suffer from back pain, it should have ergonomic features to help minimize discomfort.

    • Consider a leaf scoop rake. If you only want a rake for clearing up leaves or grass clippings, consider a model with an attached leaf scoop. The scoop makes it easier to pick up leaves and take them to your compost pile or garden waste bin.
    We recommend raking leaves a few times during fall rather than waiting until the trees have dropped all their leaves. If you wait until the end of the season, you may find yourself faced with a mammoth raking job.

    Faq

    Q. How should I store my rake when it's not in use?
    A.
    Even rakes made from weather-resistant materials should be kept somewhere that’s cool, dry, and out of direct sunlight when not in use. For instance, you could store your rake in a tool shed or garage. Constant exposure to UV rays can degrade materials over time, especially plastic. And exposure to the elements, including rain and extreme hot or cold temperatures, could cause certain rake materials to warp or crack.

    Q. Is head width important when selecting a rake?
    A.
    The wider the overall span of the rake tines, the more ground you'll cover, and the quicker you’ll finish your task. However, the drawback of choosing a rake with a wide head is that it takes up more storage space and can be more awkward to use.

    Q. What's the right length of rake for your height?
    A.
    To get the most from your rake, it should be of an appropriate length for your height. Although you could get by with a rake that's a little too long or too short, you'd be more comfortable using one that's just right – a Goldilocks rake, if you will. A good rule of thumb is to choose a rake that reaches from the floor to around your eye level.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor