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Best Bow Rakes

Updated January 2023
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Best of the Best
Fiskars 60-Inch Rake
60-Inch Rake
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Most Versatile
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A well-built tool that can handle anything you need.


Built from aluminum to provide a lightweight feel. The backend of the rake head is flat, which can help smooth out the dirt that you just raked.


Stickers leave sticky residue when removed, causing dirt to stick to the tool.

Best Bang for the Buck
Ames 14-Tine Eagle Bow Rake
14-Tine Eagle Bow Rake
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Simple Yet Solid
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A good rake designed for lighter-duty garden work. If you use this tool the way it's intended, it won't let you down.


Constructed using a steel ferrule to secure the 14-tine tempered-steel head to the solid wood handle. Works well for loosening and spreading soil. Ideal for smaller gardens.


This rake only measures 48 inches. Some reports of rake breaking within minutes.

Hooyman Metal Bow Rake
Metal Bow Rake
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Professional Grade
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A great option that will give you professional quality at a decent price.


Made from high carbon steel to provide great durability. The grip gets sticky in wet conditions so that it won't slip. Has a great ergonomic handle.


The steel build makes the rake rather heavy.

Corona GT 7-Tine Rake
GT 7-Tine Rake
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Best for Small Spaces
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A great tool for those needing something for tight spaces


Reaches 36 inches, making it easy to reach smaller crevices. The grip is comfortable. The tines are sharp and the back of the head is flat for leveling out any raking that you do.


It is on the heavier side for a rake of this size.

BULLY TOOLS 12-Gauge 16" Bow Rake
12-Gauge 16" Bow Rake
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Best for Experts
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A solidly built commercial-grade rake that can handle the toughest jobs.


This rake features a 16-tine steel head that is welded and riveted to a durable 58-inch fiberglass handle. Made of 10-gauge steel. It might just be the last rake you ever need to buy. Lifetime warranty. Made in the USA.


58 inches may be too short for some, but there is also a 66-inch version of this rake.

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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 all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best bow rakes

A bow rake is a heavy-duty tool that offers more power than a traditional leaf rake, making it the perfect tool for gardening or tasks like leveling gravel. While it’s not the tool for raking leaves, the sturdy design of most bow rakes makes them well suited to a variety of tasks.

Bow rakes have handles that vary in length to accommodate different tasks and users. The handle may be made of wood, which is long lasting but somewhat heavy, or metal, which may bend over time but is fairly lightweight. While some bow rakes have plastic handles, these should be avoided because they can break easily. The widely spaced tines should be made of metal so you can handle tough jobs like spreading gravel or leveling dirt. A sturdy, reliable bow rake is a tool that will last you for decades.

While even the best bow rakes aren’t incredibly expensive, you should still choose your tool carefully. To learn more about the varieties of bow rakes and their uses, continue reading our buying guide. When you’re ready to buy, look at our top picks, too.

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While landscape rakes are designed for larger jobs and leaf rakes for light yard work, bow rakes fall right in the middle.

Key considerations

What is a bow rake?

A bow rake gets its name from the shape of the head, which is traditionally made of metal. The parallel tines are supported by a metal bar that connects to a bowed piece of metal that connects to the handle. This is similar to a landscape rake, which has a wider head that connects directly to the handle with no bow.

What will you use your bow rake for?

Whether you need a tool for gardening or repairing your driveway, you should select a bow rake for the job (or jobs) you’ll use it for most. A bow rake should be tough enough for the task at hand. The sturdiness of the handle and resilience of the head and tines are the main factors in this. In general, the more durable the bow rake, the heavier it is. It’s possible to use a bow rake to rake leaves, but that job is best left to the fan-shaped head of a leaf rake.

Bow rakes can be used many tasks, including the following:

  • Spreading gravel, mulch, dirt, wood chips or compost (tines)
  • Loosening soil for gardening (tines)
  • Collecting debris (tines)
  • Leveling gravel, mulch, dirt, wood chips, or compost (flat side of head)

Bow rake features

Finding the perfect bow rake for your yard or garden means considering the materials that make up the handle and head, as well as the rake’s size and other features.


The handle of a bow rake is a crucial component. Its length and strength determine how comfortable the rake will be to use and what tasks it is equipped to do. Note that a handle isn’t included with all bow rakes – the head may be sold separately. Don’t make the mistake of buying just the head when what you need is the whole rake.

Length: Most bow rake handles range from 48 to 64 inches long. Some rakes have adjustable handles that allow you to change the length for different jobs or users. Check the length of your other yard tools to determine what length handle is most comfortable for your height.

Material: Bow rake handles can be made of wood, metal, fiberglass, or plastic.

  • Wood is a classic choice and still the most popular option for its durability and strength. You aren’t likely to break a hardwood handle, and it won’t bend over time with heavy use. However, it’s one of the heavier options. On the downside, it’s possible for wood to rot or warp.
  • Metal is a durable material that can be lighter than wood if the handle is hollow. Steel handles are the most common option. While they’re fairly strong and lightweight, they can bend if used regularly for heavy jobs.
  • Fiberglass is the most durable choice and less susceptible to breaking than wood. It’s also lighter, which allows you to work for longer periods without becoming tired. Bow rakes with fiberglass handles are often more expensive.
  • Plastic is lightweight and affordable, but it’s the most prone to breaking. In addition, it’s the least environmentally friendly option. For these reasons, we believe fiberglass, metal, and wood are better choices for bow rake handles.
"Bow rakes are often referred to as “level head” or “garden” rakes."

Tines and head

Tines: Most bow rakes have 14 to 18 tines spaced about an inch apart. More widely spaced tines are better suited to tasks like spreading mulch or gravel, while narrowly spaced tines work better for raking debris.

Head: Most bow rake heads are around 16 inches wide. Almost all are steel ranging from 10 to 16 gauge. The lower the gauge, the thicker and sturdier the steel. Forged heads are made from a single piece of metal and are the least likely to break. Welded heads are also a good option, but it’s possible for the welded parts to separate. Some bow rakes have a steel ferrule that attaches the head to the handle. This ensures that the head stays firmly attached without coming loose.


The head is the biggest contributor to the overall weight of a bow rake, and heavier-gauge steel typically means a heavier rake. The lighter the bow rake, the longer you can use it without becoming fatigued. However, a heavier head is less likely to bounce and vibrate when working with gravel or other coarse materials.

Additional features

Grip: Some bow rakes have a rubber or foam grip for added comfort. This can be particularly important with steel-handled rakes, which can get quite cold.

Attachment: Some bow rakes have an attachment in the middle of the handle, which can ease back strain and give more power to each pass.

Additional tines: Some bow rake heads have a second set of shorter tines on the reverse side of the head.

Bow rake prices

Inexpensive: Many bow rakes that cost $15 to $25 have wooden or plastic handles and 16-gauge steel heads that may or not be forged. Few bow rakes in this price range have grips.

Mid-range: The bow rakes that cost $25 to $35 have wood, steel, or fiberglass handles. Forged-steel heads are more common in this range, as are foam or rubber handle grips.

Expensive: The bow rakes that cost $35 to $50 are high-quality tools made from durable components that will last for decades. Steel, wood, and fiberglass handles are common, and some handles may be adjustable. Added features like double tines or extra handles are common.


  • Wear gloves. A pair of gardening gloves can go a long way toward preventing calluses, reducing soreness, and protecting you from the cold.
  • Store your rake properly. The classic gag of getting whacked in the face after stepping on a rake is no joke. Don’t leave your bow rake lying in the yard. Stepping on it could result in a nasty jab in the foot or smack in the face. Yes, this really happens.
  • Don’t discard a broken rake. A broken handle doesn’t mean your rake is useless. A handle is fairly easy to replace and far cheaper than buying a new rake.
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Bow rakes have two uses: loosening and breaking up materials with the tines and leveling materials with the flat side of the head.


Q. Do fiberglass handles break easily?
No. There’s a reason many sledge hammers have fiberglass handles. If the handle does break, however, it can be difficult to replace.

Q. What’s the difference between flat and curved tines?
Curved tines are generally better at gathering leaves or debris, while flat tines are a bit stronger and best suited to heavier jobs.

Q. Should I get a bow rake or a landscape rake?
That depends on what tasks you’ll use your rake for. A landscape rake has a similar design with a wider head, allowing you to easily complete tasks like spreading pebbles over a walkway. However, the size and weight of the head make it too cumbersome for most gardening and yard work.