BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Made with galvanized steel. Rake feels sturdy yet lightweight. Head can be adjusted to a width of 8 to 23 inches, which is helpful in smaller areas such as flower beds and corners. The telescopic handle extends from 32 - 63 inches, as needed.
Not the best option for heavy-duty jobs.
The 17-inch head is made with a plastic material that reduces damage to lawn and flower beds. Tines have a curved design and good spacing to reduce clogging. Has a steel handle with an adjustable length of 43 to 57 inches. Bright yellow color.
Can feel a bit flimsy.
The steel tines can be used from a 7.5 to 21.75-inch width, and the telescopic handle extends from 37 to 68 inches in length for versatile use. The rubber on the handle is comfortable and provides a good grip. Ideal for getting leaves out of flower beds or pine straw.
Not the most durable rake available.
Aluminum handle with a vinyl covering for a more secure and comfortable hold. The Head measures 8 inches in width, with plenty of space between the bi-curved tines. Has a lightweight and simple design for jobs that can be completed quickly.
A few reviews reported that the label is difficult to remove.
Its rugged fiberglass handle and cushioned tip are built to withstand serious tasks.
The solid build comes with a downside: it's heavy, which makes it awkward for some consumers to use. Tines have been reported to bend or break.
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.
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 product list, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.