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The 5 Best Garden Rakes (2022 Review)

Garden rakes can help you maintain your yard by raking leaves, mulch, dirt, and other materials. The This Old House Reviews team tested five garden rakes on a series of metrics to help you find the right rake for your gardening needs. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores and online retailers like Amazon.

Fiskars Garden Rake Used on Mulch Courtesy Amazon

The This Old House Reviews team conducted extensive research on garden rakes and ordered five to test to give you our honest opinion on which rake is right for which task. Keep reading to learn about the best garden rakes on Amazon.

Top 5 Garden Rakes


Best Small Bow: Fiskars 397940-1001 PRO Rake

Fiskars 397940-1001 PRO Rake

This bow rake has short metal tines attached to its wide head. The head isn’t as wide as other bow rakes, making it best for smaller tasks around your yard like leveling a small patch of sand or dirt.

Key Features

  • Has a 60-inch aluminum handle
  • Comes with metal tines
  • Weighs 4.74 pounds
  • Features rubber gripping

What Customers Are Saying

While customers said the product was heavy, they liked that most of the weight was in the head. They said that this allowed the head to break through compact soil without requiring too much force. However, some customers expressed a desire for the handle to be longer.

Our Experience

This rake came fully assembled, allowing our team to quickly unwrap it and start using it. Since bow rakes are designed for raking and leveling fine materials like dirt and sand, we tested this product with dirt. We were able to rake dirt into a pile and level it with the back of the head without any dirt collection on the tines.

The rake was also easy to use. We liked that the rubber gripping went several inches down the handle because that allowed it to accommodate larger hands. However, our arms felt slightly tired after using the rake because of its heavy metal head.

Our Score

This rake received full points for task efficiency and tine buildup, but we deducted points from the ergonomics score because of its weight.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Task efficiency 5/5
Tine buildup 5/5
Ergonomics 4.75/5
Overall score 4.9/5

Best Large Bow: Midwest 10036 Aluminum Landscape Rake

Midwest 10036 Aluminum Landscape Rake

This bow rake has a wide head, making it best for large yards. It also has long, rounded teeth for smooth raking, a striking edge for grading, and a heavy-duty rib construction to maximize head stability.

Key Features

  • Has a 66-inch aluminum handle
  • Comes with metal tines
  • Weighs 3.89 pounds
  • Features foam gripping

What Customers Are Saying

Customers complimented the versatility of this garden rake and said they were able to use it as a rake with the teeth facing towards the ground and as a level with the teeth facing upwards. However, some customers had difficulty assembling the rake and complained that the holes in the head didn’t align with the side brackets or pole.

Our Experience

This rake arrived in several pieces with the pole, head, side brackets, and nuts and bolts in separate bags. The head of the rake had three holes—one in the center of the pole and two on either side for the side brackets. We stuck the pole inside of the head, which took some force to get it to fit, and then secured it with a nut and bolt.

After securing the pole to the head, we attached one end of the side brackets to the head and the other end to the pole using the nuts and bolts. The side brackets acted as extra support to keep the head and pole secure.

Similar to the first rake, we tested this one with dirt. It raked and leveled a large amount of dirt at once and didn’t accumulate any dirt buildup. While the rake’s wide head made it easy to handle, it limited where we could use it because it didn’t fit in tighter spaces. Additionally, its size and metal material made it heavy, which made our arms sore after testing.

Our Score

This rake had a similar score to the first bow rake, receiving full points for task efficiency and tine buildup. However, it lost more points for ergonomics because it was wider and heavier than other rakes we tested.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Task efficiency 5/5
Tine buildup 5/5
Ergonomics 4.25/5
Overall score 4.8/5

Best Handle: ORIENTOOLS Garden Rake

ORIENTOOLS Garden Rake

This rake has an adjustable handle that’s between 42 and 60 inches long, allowing people of different heights to use this tool. It also has a rubber grip on the end to prevent slipping during use.

Key Features

  • Has a 42- to 66-inch steel handle
  • Comes with poly tines
  • Weighs 1.55 pounds
  • Features rubber gripping

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked how lightweight this rake was, as it didn’t tire out their arms during use. They also said that the adjustable pole was easy to use, making it possible for several family members to use the same rake. However, its lightweight nature was also an indicator of its quality. Several customers said that it broke when used for medium- or heavy-duty tasks.

Our Experience

The rake arrived in two pieces, but it was easy to assemble by quickly snapping the pole into the head. Since this product is a lawn rake, we used it to rake larger debris like leaves and pine straw. It had no problem handling these materials, but the pine straw did occasionally get stuck in the tines, forcing us to pause and remove the debris.

The handle on this rake has grooves for better gripping and a rim to prevent your hands from slipping down the pole. We were also able to extend and shorten the pole’s length depending on our height and how far we wanted to reach.

Our Score

This rake was comfortable to use, but it had issues with materials getting stuck in its tines.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Task efficiency 5/5
Tine buildup 4/5
Ergonomics 5/5
Overall score 4.7/5

Best for Large Trees: Bully Tools 92630 Poly Leaf Rake

Bully Tools 92630 Poly Leaf Rake

The tines on this rake fan out in a circular shape instead of a triangular shape, giving it more width. Its tines also make the rake efficient at collecting large amounts of leaves. Additionally, the rake has a reinforced fiberglass handle with triple-wall construction for durability, includes double-sided support ridges on the tines to prevent breakage, and features a 90-degree angle design on the tines for more efficiency.

Key Features

  • Has a 50-inch fiberglass handle
  • Comes with durable poly tines
  • Weighs 3.4 pounds
  • Features foam gripping

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked how heavy-duty this rake was and were able to rake large amounts of leaves with its wide head and thick handle. However, some customers said that the rake’s plastic tines bent under too much pressure.

Our Experience

Similar to the ORIENTOOLS rake, this rake arrived in two pieces. However, it was more difficult to assemble because the opening in the head for the pole was too small, so we had to use some force to get it to fit. It also came with a nut and bolt that were meant to further secure the pole to the head, but we struggled to get the nut through the handle. Eventually, we used the rake without the nut and bolt because it was already secure from the tight fit.

Because this rake is a lawn rake, we used it to remove large debris. The rake had no trouble raking leaves and pine straw, but the pine straw did get stuck in the tines every so often. Overall, we felt like the rake was easy to use. Our only complaint was that the tines fanned out a lot wider than a typical triangular leaf rake, which made it cumbersome to handle in tighter spaces.

Our Score

This rake received full points for task efficiency, but we deducted some points for the remaining two metrics because of the pine straw buildup and rake’s head width.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Task efficiency 5/5
Tine buildup 4/5
Ergonomics 4.75/5
Overall score 4.6/5

Best Adjustability: Jardineer 63-Inch Adjustable Garden Rake

Jardineer 63-Inch Adjustable Garden Rake

This rake’s head is adjustable, allowing you to use it as a shrub rake in tighter spaces around plants or shrubs. You can also use this rake as a leaf rake for larger spaces like those around trees where large amounts of leaves collect.

Key Features

  • Has a 32- to 63-inch aluminum handle
  • Comes with steel tines
  • Weighs 1.36 pounds
  • Features rubber gripping

What Customers Are Saying

Because this rake’s head is adjustable, customers were able to use it for both small and large raking tasks, saving them money and storage space. However, several customers said that the rake was flimsy and that both the pole and tines bent under a slight amount of pressure.

Our Experience

Because this rake came fully assembled, we were able to quickly take it out of its packaging and start using it. This rake has an adjustable head, so we were able to use it as both a shrub rake and a lawn rake.

We tested it in its shrub position by raking pine straw in between shrubs. We also fully extended it and tested it in a larger bed with pine straw and leaves. The tines performed well in the shrub position, but when we extended them to rake larger debris, they bent under too much pressure.

Aside from the issues with the tines, the rake was easy to handle. We liked how lightweight it was because it didn’t make our arms tired during use. We also liked the latching mechanism on the underside of the pole. We could easily push it down to change the head into a shrub rake or lawn rake and push it up to lock it in position.

Our Score

This rake was easy to use, so we gave it full points for ergonomics, but it lost points in the other two categories because of its bendable and buildup-prone tines.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Task efficiency 4.5/5
Tine buildup 4/5
Ergonomics 5/5
Overall score 4.5/5

Buying Guide

The This Old House Reviews team researched some of the most important factors to consider before buying a garden rake to help you choose one that’s right for you.

Type

Five common types of rakes exist: lawn/leaf rakes, shrub rakes, bow rakes, thatch rakes, and hand rakes.

Lawn/Leaf

Lawn rakes are typically used to clear your yard of leaves, but they can also be used for clearing other debris like pine straw. They have a long handle for a wide reach, and their metal or plastic tines fan out in a triangular shape.

Shrub

Shrub rakes are similar to lawn rakes, but they have a narrower head that can fit in tighter spaces, such as around bushes and along fences.

Bow

Bow rakes are used for heavy-duty tasks like leveling dirt and sand. They have straight and wide heads with short tines. The tines point straight down and are made of thick metal.

Thatch

This type of rake removes the layer of organic material between your lawn and the soil’s surface, also known as thatch. Thatch rakes have sharp metal tines or blades that can be used to break up thatch.

Hand

A hand rake is a smaller version of a shrub or bow rake. It has a shorter handle and fewer tines, and it’s designed for use around smaller plants like vegetables and flowers. Its short handle gives you ultimate control of where the tines touch.

Material

Rakes are typically made of metal, plastic, wood, or fiberglass. The materials used for the rake handle and tines can be the same or different.

Handle

In general, rake handles are made of metal, wood, plastic, or fiberglass. Hardwood handles can last for years if you sand them to prevent splinters and apply oil to repel debris, but they’re heavier than other handles and can rot or warp if not properly maintained. Metal handles are also durable as long as they have a rust-resistant coating. Plastic and fiberglass handles are the most lightweight options, but fiberglass can crack if left in the sun and plastic can bend under pressure.

Tine

Most tines are made of metal or plastic. Metal tines are more durable, but they’re heavier and tend to make garden rakes more expensive. Rakes with plastic tines aren’t as durable as metal rakes, but they’re more affordable and lightweight. Occasionally, you’ll find tines made of resin that give you the durability of metal and the flexibility of plastic.

Head Width

A rake’s head width refers to how far the tines on the rake fan out. Rakes with a wider head are good for clearing a lot of material at once, but if you’re doing more detailed work around plants, a rake with a smaller head may be a better option.

Weight

Rakes can weigh less than one pound or more than four. Their weight depends on their size and the materials used in their construction. Lighter rakes are good for tasks like raking dry leaves, while heavier rakes are good for heavy-duty tasks like moving dirt or leveling sand.

If you’re looking for a versatile rake, consider one that weighs two or three pounds. Not only does this allow you to complete a variety of tasks, but it also prevents your arms from getting tired during use.

Yard Size

Consider your yard size before buying a garden rake. If you have a large yard with a lot of trees and garden beds, consider an all-purpose rake like a lawn rake or shrub rake. If you want to prepare gardening beds, you may want a specialized rake like a hand or thatch rake.

Review Standards

We started our search for garden rakes on Amazon, looking at Amazon-specific factors like Amazon Prime shipping eligibility, the number of customer reviews, and average customer ratings. After compiling a list of rake options, we considered the rake features mentioned in the buying guide. We then chose five products from our list and ordered them for testing.

Testing Metrics

We tested each garden rake on its task efficiency, tine buildup, and ergonomics.

Task Efficiency

Each rake should be able to quickly and thoroughly complete the task it’s designed for. For example, leaf rakes should be able to make a pile of leaves in a matter of minutes, and shrub rakes should be able to easily maneuver around bushes.

Tine Buildup

Leaves, pine straw, and other materials shouldn’t collect on the tines while you use the rake. Having to stop and clear your tines of materials can slow down your task and increase the time you spend in your yard.

Ergonomics

Most rake handles are between 30 and 70 inches long. A longer handle allows you to reach farther, but you don’t want a handle that’s so long that it’s hard to control. In general, a rake should be in line with your eyes when it’s upright, meaning longer handles work better for taller people and vice versa.

Additionally, some rakes have extra features that make them easier to use. For example, rakes with telescoping handles allow you to change their length, while others have grips to prevent your hands from slipping during use. Other factors that affect a rake’s ease of use include its weight and head width. A rake that’s too large or too heavy can be cumbersome to handle.

Testing Process

Below, our team details how we tested each of the metrics mentioned above.

Task Efficiency

Each rake performed the task it was designed for. We included leaf, shrub, and bow rakes in this review, so the leaf rakes raked leaves, the shrub rakes collected pine straw, and the bow rakes raked dirt.

Tine Buildup

During our task efficiency tests, we counted the number of times we had to pause and clear the rake of leaves, pine straw, or debris.

Ergonomics

After finishing our tests, we rated each rake based on its ease of use and comfort using a scale of 1–5. Extra features like adjustability and grip material, along with the handle’s length and the head’s width, factored into the ease of use score. The comfort score was based on how tired our arms and hands felt after performing each task.

Scoring

Each testing metric was worth five points and a rake’s final score was an average of the three metric scores.

  • Task efficiency—We gave each rake a rating on a scale of 1–5 based on how efficiently it performed its designated task.
  • Tine buildup—A rake lost one point if we had to pause to clear its tines. If we didn’t have to clear the tines, the rake received full points for this metric.
  • Ergonomics—The rake’s score for this metric was an average of its ease of use and comfort scores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I store my rake when it’s not in use?

Storing your rake in a garage or shed keeps it protected from the elements. This increases its lifespan, as it prevents sunlight from cracking fiberglass handles and moisture from rusting metal handles and warping wooden handles.

Should I rake leaves when they’re wet or dry?

You should rake leaves when they’re dry. Dry leaves are lighter, making them easier to handle, and are less likely to stick together, decreasing your chances of tine buildup.

What happens if I don’t rake my leaves?

A few potential consequences of not picking up leaves include:

  • Fungus growth: Fungus grows in humid and cool conditions, which normally occur in the fall months when your leaves are on the ground. Fungus will start to grow in the leaves, infecting your lawn and creating yellow, white, or brown spots in the grass.
  • Flooding: A layer of leaves can prevent excess water from draining, which can cause your grass to become waterlogged and cause flooding in your home.
  • Pest attraction: A pile of leaves is a good place for bugs to hide and stay warm as temperatures drop. These bugs can eat away at your lawn, affecting its appearance and overall health.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.