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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Q. Do fiberglass handles break easily?
A. 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?
A. 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?
A. 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.