Garden Rakes: Secrets and Tricks

Rake, once a small, hand-held substitute for a harrow, is one of the most versatile tools in the garden. They perform a lot of work in the vegetable garden, in the garden, on the lawn. However, today there are many types of rakes, and to correctly select them for the work that you need to perform exactly – not always a simple task. After all, in one case you need a light plastic fan rake, in the second – a heavy milling rake. And in the third, you need a rake for pine straw.

Garden rakes are used in the garden and vegetable garden, depending on the type of this tool, they can perform various tasks, from cleaning the lawn from grass clippings to breaking up lumps of soil, thereby improving its aeration, that is, saturation with air and moisture.

The tool is also used for collecting garbage, loosening beds, raking leaves, picking weeds and stones. Rake performs loosening, leveling of the soil, and the rectification of beds.

Types of garden rakes

There are five common types of garden rakes: lawn rakes, bush rakes, bow rakes, hay rakes, and hand rakes.

Lawn rake

Grass rakes are usually used to clear leaves from your yard, but they can also be used to clear other debris such as small branches. They have a long handle for wide reach, and their metal or plastic tines fan out in a triangular shape.

Shrub Rake Tool

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

Bow rakes

Bow rakes are used for heavy jobs like leveling dirt and sand. They have a straight and wide head with short tines. The tines point straight down and are made of thick metal.

Straw Rake

This type of rake removes the layer of organic material between your lawn and the soil surface, also known as straw. A straw rake has sharp metal tines or blades that can be used to break up the straw.

Types of tines

The main difference between rakes is the configuration of the tines.

Short models with a narrow comb are designed for hard-to-reach places and can have 2-4 tines, while standard long rakes have a minimum number of tines of 8 pieces.

There are also variants with close-set tines, the number of which on a crossbar can reach 18 pieces, i.e. twice as many as on standard variants.

According to the form the tines can be:

  • Straight – the simplest metal flat tines, located across the working bar, due to which the area of their impact during work increases. Effective in raking debris, leaves and grass.
  • Twisted tines are similar to previous types, but are sharpened towards the end, and are rotated 90 degrees at the base or closer to the center. Such tines are used for loosening the soil.
  • Sickle-shaped – the teeth are made in the form of a sickle, arranged, like the others, perpendicular to the working bar, sharpened, and bent in the direction of the handle. When working, they carefully cut through the soil, providing the best saturation of the soil with oxygen and moisture.
  • Nail tines – resemble the shape of nails.

All of the tines above are flat, but some rakes have pinned (perpendicular round pins, analogous to straight flat models), wire or plate tines.

Rake material 

The working part of the simplest rakes is made of painted iron, and the shaft is made of wood.

This construction has a lot of disadvantages, including high weight and fast wear of the tines, but it is probably the cheapest option. A direct competitor is the steel models, which are also massive, but more durable.

There are also wooden rakes, despite the seeming fragility of such a tool is quite effective. Wooden tools are quite difficult to find on sale because most often they are made by home masters for their own needs or for their friends.

Carefully assembled construction made of ash and birch is a permanent substitute for metal models, for example, when cleaning hay. The main advantage of wooden rakes is their lower weight. A rake is a tool that has not been without attempts to lighten its construction.

The models that use hardened aluminum for both the working part and the shaft weigh 800 grams, while their durability remains at a high level.

However, the producers have not stopped at this point, and offer customers plastic models, weighing 200 to 400 grams, depending on the shaft.

It should be noted that the plastic is resilient but strong, so you needn’t worry about the reliability of this tool.

How to choose a rake?

A rake is a tool that is simple in design and in operation.

There are usually no problems with its choice, however, a few simple tips are still able to dot the possible questions:

  • The most durable is considered to be steel and galvanized tools, and the most durable are plastic and wooden models
  • For collecting large debris, it is better to buy a tool with large, powerful teeth, and for small debris – with densely planted small teeth
  • For work on a large territory it is more effective to use wide models, and for flower beds a narrow grip is advantageous
  • The telescopic handle will allow you to set the optimal length of the tool under the height of each family member
  • The wooden handle should not have any visible damage, such as chips, knots, burrs
  • The handle should have a no-playing fit, and the tool itself, even if it is assembled from separate parts, should have a monolithic feeling.

As for the transformer-rake, before buying the model you like, you should make sure that the grip is securely fastened to the working head, as well as the comfort of using it.

What do I need to know about the rake?

For raking leaves, both dry and wet, the most effective are rakes with cylindrical tines, among which clearly lead, despite all modern materials and designs, it is wooden models.

Apart from the fact that their tines simply are not sharp and therefore leaves and other plant debris are not pricked on them, and therefore they do not have to be constantly cleaned, such a tool has a relatively small weight.

With proper skills, wooden rakes are quite easy to make yourself, and with any size of the working part.