So, you are thinking about getting a new garden rake and you’re wondering how to find a robust product that will last more than a single season…right!
Ha…I know I do it myself every time, and that’s why I decided to cultivate my thoughts and find the best garden rakes available and compare them.
As I was doing this, I surprised myself as I came across a few tools I had not used before…so I decided to put that right and offer you insight into my newly found rake expertise.
- Best Buys
- Different Types of Rake
- Best Garden Rakes Review
- Fiskars Pro Garden Rake, Garden, 60 Inch, Silver
- True Temper 16-Tine Bow Rake 57 in. Fiberglass Handle
- Truper Tru Tough Leaf Rake, 24″ Head, 54″ Wood Handle
- Adjustable Telescopic Folding Rake 37-69 inches
- Midwest 36″ Head Landscape Rake, 66″ Fiberglass Handle
- Garden Guru Stainless Steel Hand Rake
- Corona GT Extendable Handle Shrub Rake 18-36″
- True Temper Thatching Rake 54 in. Hardwood Handle
- Best Garden Rakes Final Thoughts
During testing, I put each one of the featured garden rakes through their paces to pick out the best buy in each ‘rake’ category.
If you don’t have time to read the detailed review of each rake, I get it… you are probably too busy chasing leaves in the wind, so I’ll give you my three best buys right now and you can click on the link below to jump straight to them.
Click on the link below to jump straight to the product overview:
- Best Heavy Duty Rake Fiskars Pro Garden Rake, Garden, 60 Inch, Silver
- Best Lightweight Rake True Temper 16 Tine Bow Rake-57-In
- Best Leaf Rake Truper Tru Tough Leaf Rake
- Best Dethatching Rake True Temper Thatching Rake 54-In
Okay, let’s get on with the roundup of what rakes are available and what they are used for.
Different Types of Rake
Whether you’re looking to clear leaves off the ground in the fall or tidy up trimmings as you get prepared for summer, a good rake is essential.
While most people presume that a rake is a one size fits all tool, there are many designs tailored to performing specific tasks or offering specific attributes.
Let’s run down the different designs and what they are used for.
A lawn rake is used to clear the grass clippings off your lawn after mowing. This is a versatile tool with a short fan-shaped head, with metal tines that are curved at the end. The tines are typically around half an inch apart to clutch the grass clippings whilst skimming across the surface of your lawn.
A leaf rake is very similar to a lawn rake and to be honest…they could be considered dual purpose. Leaves are lightweight, so it’s common to see them made with a wide and long fan shades head with either plastic or metal tines. Personally, I like a plastic leaf rake that I can use on paving without the terrible screeching noise of metal tines on concrete. Or better still get yourself a leaf blower to save time and effort.
A soil rake is a must-have for any gardener. With a strong metalhead, and metal tines at a right angle spaced around 1 inch apart. Fixed to a long wooden handle. Perfect for tilling soil, leveling seedbeds, and raking away stones.
Landscape rakes are very wide rakes that have been specifically designed to smooth out gravel and other substrate surfaces or areas of your yard. If you regularly find yourself needing to smooth out a gravel patch, like a driveway or other yard feature, then a landscape rake is very useful.
This is an excellent rake to get rid of debris and other nasty things from the base of plants and shrubs in the yard. Doing this helps stop pests like slugs and other insects from being attracted and harming your plants. Shrub rakes usually have robust metal fan-shaped heads that are narrow about 5-6 inches, allowing you to clear tight spots.
A thatch rake is a slightly more specialist tool designed to help get mossy thatch patches out of your lawn when they appear. While mine doesn’t get used all year round, towards the end of October, when the thatch becomes more noticeable, using one is an easy way to keep the lawn looking great. Sharp steel teeth-like tines dig into the thatch and clear it out.
Build And Design
As well as deciding where you’ll be using your rake and what you’ll be using it for, it’s also a good idea to consider the material you rank is manufactured with. Personally, I like a solid wood handle as that’s nice and solid and does not get cold during winter.
But this may differ for you. So here are the most common material constructions you’ll find on the market.
Metal Handle Rakes
Metal-handled rakes have some pros and cons. On the upside, they are hollow and therefore lightweight and typically have some form of molded rubber or foam handle.
Although the metal handle is strong give some thought to how the metal handle is fixed to the rake head. Unless welded, you are likely to have a rivet attachment that is prone to wear and corrosion.
Wooden Handle Rake
Wooden-handled rakes are traditional and offer a supreme level of stability. Come frost, snow, rain, heatwave…a wooden handle always feels comfortable and never overly hot, cold, or slippery when wet.
On the downside, they are heavier than hollow metal or plastic handles and of course, they can snap or splinter.
Plastic rakes are very lightweight and perfect for use on hard surfaces. If you have a garden path, drive, or patio that gets covered with leaves then they are a good option. You don’t get any horrific screeching noises of metal on concrete.
On the downside, they are obviously weak and won’t be a great deal of use for cultivating or moving heavy loads.
Bamboo rakes are beautiful and provide something a little different. If you have enough ‘function’ in your life and you desire a little ‘form’, then bamboo will make you and your tool look beautiful whilst you work.
Ergonomic rakes are all about comfort and posture. Their design is primarily tailored to feeling comfortable in your hands and allowing you to work with improved posture.
Do they really achieve this…well, I’ll leave that to you to decide, I still use a wooden rake, make of that what you choose.
Best Garden Rakes Review
Here are some of the best garden rakes that I tested. The list is made up of some of the top rakes on the market, and there’s sure to be one suitable for everyone.
I’ve tried out bow rakes, lawn rakes, leaf rakes, plus much more. The things I was looking for when reviewing these rakes were comfort, maneuverability, effectiveness, and build quality.
Best Heavy Duty Rake
Now, I’m a lover of quality products… and as far as garden rakes go this is as good as I’ve used. Fiskars Pro Garden Rake is rock solid and clearly build with longevity in mind. Starting at the rake head, the extra care and attention in the design shine through. 17 solid tines sit on a rake head that has a classic bow design that includes the extra support of a verticle welded steel for extra strength. The back edge of the rake is machined flat for grading and leveling and has a real quality feel to it.
Often a weak point on a rake is the connection between the head and the shaft, so Fiskars have added twice the durability by connecting the head to the shaft with two bolts, instead of the usual single bolt.
This rake performed exceptionally well in cultivation, leveling, removing heavy stones, and breaking up clay lumps in my borders. The ergonomic soft-grip handle was comfortable and a great addition when the rake was fully extended and I needed that extra bit of leverage to pull or push larger piles of soil.
I really like this product, although it’s slightly heavier than your average rake, I’m okay with that considering I gain in durability. It feels like this rake will last.
Check Fiskars Pro Garden Rake prices here on Amazon.com
- Weight: 4 lbs
- Dimensions: 17 x 60.5 inches
- An extremely well-made and durable garden rake
- The rank head is double bolted to an extruded shaft for extra strength
- Bowhead design with an extra third verticle welded shaft for additional support
- Extra-long handle for comfortable heavy-duty use
- Nothing, this is a superb rake.
Best Lightweight Rake
The True Temper rake is a great option for anyone looking for a lighter version of the Fiskars ‘best heavy-duty rake’. Weighing in at just 2.5lb thanks to a 57-inch fiberglass handle this tool was perfect for general garden use. This rake head has 16 well-cast tines and a nice flat leveling head.
My wife preferred this tool over the Fiskars, finding it more practical due to its lighter weight and slightly shorter handle. I’m 6′ and preferred the Fiskars, and she is 5’4″ and loved the True Temper rake, so maybe bear that in mind. After all, this is about finding the right tool to suit you.
Being a bow rake, I was keen to test the back of the bladed head for its suitability for leveling soil. I was not disappointed as the shaft is well aligned to the head, making leveling comfortable.
The manufacturers advertise this rake as having very sharp prongs, something I agree with them on. They came with protective caps and worked well once put to work. They made raking soil, gravel, and other general areas very easy.
I thought it was excellent in terms of how simple it is to use, and how nimble it was for day-to-day garden work.
Find True Temper Rake prices here on Amazon
- Weight: 2.5lbs
- Dimensions: 64.25 x 15.78 x 3.5 inches
- Excellent lightweight bow rake with a slightly shorter 57″ fiberglass handle
- Sharp tines perfect for breaking up hard compact clumps of soil
- Nice cushion grip handle helps to avoid fatigue and blisters
- No ideal for heavy duty work. Instead check out Fiskars Pro Garden Rake
Best Leaf Rake
This Truper Tru Tough Leaf Rake is a great choice for those looking for a comfortable to use, long-lasting product. You know those products that your parents owned when you were kids and they are still going strong,…well this is the modern version…a rake that is built to last.
Its 24-inch wide head makes clearing up leaves simple and efficient. There’s no ‘amazing new technology’ to bang on about just good quality workmanship for what is after all a simple tool…a leaf rake!
The 54″ solid Ash handle is lacquered offering an extra layer or protection, but it still feels warm in your hand. The tines are coated and flex to snap back into position quickly. It a very easy leaf rake to recommend to you. I’m really pleased with it.
Truper Tru Tough Leaf Rake is available from Amazon.com
- Weight: 2.0lbs
- Dimensions: 65.2 x 23.75 inches
- Very well made leaf rake that will last a very long time
- Solid North American Ash lacquered Handle
- Good quality coated tines with a nice snappy feel
The Best Foldable Rake
This rake…oddly named Professional EZ Travel is my favorite collapsible garden rake. It’s extendable up to 68-inches long, and the head extends between 7.5 and 21.75 inches wide. This is great, as it meant I could perfectly adjust the head to fit specific areas around my garden. Gathering leaves on the lawn, in the soil, and on the patio was easy and pretty comfortable.
The expendability did have me a little worried after the rigidity issues I’d had testing some of the other rakes, but this one felt much stronger. The aluminum frame was solid even when extended to the full length, allowing me to use it on hard-to-reach areas. But look there’s no hiding from the fact that what you gain in the flexibility of this type of rake you will lose in overall durability.
So the great thing about this rake is that it folds down to be compact when you’re not using it. This is perfect for anyone with limited space who needs to pull out a rake to clear the lawn of leaves of grass. But is it really a travel rake? Not so sure you will find me with a rake in my suitcase LOL, but hey it takes all sorts.
Find EZ Travel Rake price here on Amazon.com
- Weight: 2.5lbs
- Dimensions: 30 x 29 x 51.7 inches
- Excellent reach when fully extended with nice long handle
- Surprisingly compact when folded at just 37 inches
- Slightly heavy for what is essentially a leaf rake
Best Landscape Rake
The Midwest 10036 is a heavy-duty landscaping rake for those of us who have large areas of the substrate to level. So if your driveway or areas of your garden are gravel beds then this rake will do a great job to leveling.
Its 66-inch handle and 36-inch wide head mean this rake covers a whole lot of surface areas making it really effective and efficient. I used it to smooth over some gravel in my backyard around an outdoor seating area, and it did the job well. It felt sturdy to the extent I’d almost say it almost felt unbreakable.
If you need a tough rake that can get the job done without frills, then this will be an excellent choice for you. At 4.4lbs, it’s on the heavier side, but its weight, solid build, and extra-wide head are what make this rake so good.
The only downside for me was that you have to assemble the rake on delivery. While that may be ok for some, fiddling around with the nuts and bolts ate into my yard work time.
Check Midwest Landscaping Rake prices here
- Weight: 3.8lbs
- Dimensions: 66.5 x 36 x 4.3-inches
- This is a great heavy-duty rake for large scale landscape jobs
- Strong sturdy extra wide 36″ head is perfect for leveling sand, gravel and very fine soil
- It will be too large and bulky for general garden work
Best Hand Rake
This stainless steel hand rake from Garden Guru is a solid little tool ideal for getting in amongst shrubs, bushes, and raised beds, allowing you to remove debris, leaves, and small stones.
The prongs are stainless steel and are very durable. The handle is made from rubber that has been ergonomically molded to fit your hand well, and the handle hole allows for simple storage.
I’d been keen to get my hands on and try the Garden Guru hand rake as I’ve liked many of their other yard products. Similar to the other products in their line, the hand rake comes with a lifetime warranty and a 90 day no-questions-asked returns period.
- Weight: 6.7oz
- Dimensions: 13.98 x 4.65 x 2.4-inches
- Premium build materials
- Comfortable handle allows for prolonged use
- The tines are slightly over flexible
The first time I set eyes on the Corona Shrub Rake I thought it was going to be a bit of a gimmick, but I was quickly proven wrong. It’s actually a really useful feature on this style of rake. A shrub rake works in and around the base of shrubs, small trees, and hedges to clear leaf fall and small branches. To do this effectively amongst our borders, with a normal-sized rake is just too cumbersome.
Shrubs near path edges require the 18″ handles version and then you can extend the rake to 36″ to move further back in the border without leaving the path. When I decided to go into the deeper garden borders the handle of a standard length rake was catching on the shrubs and plants behind me, and this again is where the extendable handle demonstrated its value. It has a far better level of versatility and maneuverability than a long-handled rake.
The Corona GT is well made with a Twist and Extend handle that is really comfortable to use. I will be keeping one of these in my shed and consider myself converted!
Check Corona GT Shrub Rake price on Amazon
- Weight: 16oz
- Dimensions: 30 x 4.25 x 1.5 inches
- Extremely versatile with loads of maneuverability when raking within borders
- Simple and effective Twist and Extend shaft ranging from 18″-36″
- A well-made tool that’s perfect for clearing debris out of flower beds and borders
- I still need a long handled Shrub rake in my garden, as well as this short extendable version
Best Thatch Rake
Check Tru Temper Thatching Rake price on Amazon.com
True Temper is a premium brand of a rugged garden tool built to take punishment and their dethatching rake is the best I have used so far. A beautiful 54″ hardwood handle fitted with a cushion grip, is mounted with a strong double bolted 15″ dethatching head. The head has two sets of tines or teeth, one set is curved dethatching tines, the other is intended for soil cultivation and other general-purpose tasks.
When dethatching a lawn you can come up against heavily thatched clumps of grass and you need a solid rake to pull through the resistance and break away the grass clumps. This tool did a great job of undercooking the matted strands of lawn and lifting them with relative ease.
I highly recommend this dethatching rake with its solid construction it won’t let you down, Thatching rake teeth are thin and prone to bending and this tool is no different. So you may need to bend them back into place which is easy to do by hand.
Check Tru Temper Thatch Rake latest prices here
- Dimensions: 61.88″ x 14.75″
- Robust 54″ hardwood handle with soft cushion grip
- Well made 15″ dethatching head with strong curves teeth
- Blades are thin and well design for their function, but as a result blades can bend
Best Garden Rakes Final Thoughts
So, there you have my list of the best garden rakes for leaves, lawns, and shrubs based on my experience handling these products.
When you come to choose your rake, just bear in mind what you’ll be using it for. You can then work out which features you’ll need and whether you’re better off going for a more specialist rake or opting for a more versatile one.
For any heavy-duty yard work that needs doing, I would recommend the Fiskars Pro Garden Rake. It was by far the sturdiest rake I tested and is sure to get the job done.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more versatile rake, that you can store in a small cupboard space then check out the EZ Travel Telescopic Folding Rake.
But if you only have the cash for one product then I would suggest the True Temper Bow Rake, as it will cover 80% of the jobs you will be doing in your backyard you won’t be disappointed with it.