Choosing the right rake for your lawn, garden and backyard

The rake is the most versatile tool in the garden. They can loosen, break up clods of earth, remove leaves and debris, revitalize the lawn, and do many other things. But for each task, you need a lawn leveling rake.

On the counter of the store, you can see ten rakes in a variety of configurations, materials and colors. Prices for them also differ significantly, which can confuse a novice gardener. It is worth choosing a rake depending on what kind of work you are going to perform with it, but there are a number of general requirements for this garden tool.

What are the rakes

For garden beds, lawns, leaf picking or hay collection, the rake can be very different. How do they look, are they called, and which ones do you need? 

Straight rake 

A classic model that can do almost anything in the garden. With such a rake with metal teeth, they loosen and level the soil, and with a wooden one they clean the mowed grass and leaves from the site.

The teeth of such a rake can be straight or slightly bent inward – this will not affect the final result.

Rake with twisted teeth 

A practical analogue of the previous model is a rake with twisted teeth. These metal prongs are rotated 180 degrees at the base and pointed. They very effectively loosen the earth, break even caked clods and allow you to speed up the preparation of ridges for planting at times.

Rake aerator 

Despite the fact that it is customary to remove garbage and dry grass from the lawn with a fan rake, a harsh-looking aerator rake will bring much more benefit. They look like straight, but the prongs are sickle-shaped and pointed downwards. Thanks to this form, they not only collect garbage, but also clean moss from the lawn, and also make small (up to 3 cm) slots in the turf, through which air, water, and nutrients enter the roots.

Lawn rake 

If you have a large lawn and a mower that does not collect cut grass, you will often move large amounts of hay around the area by raking it into heaps. A cunning lawn rake will come to your rescue. They have thin and frequent teeth that do not let a single blade of grass pass through, and an additional limiter frame that allows you to move plant residues around the site and not be afraid that they will spill out from the end of the rake.

Fan rake

This model can be equipped with plate or wire teeth and is made of metal or lightweight plastic. Their working part is always in the shape of the letter V, and the first option is tougher, allows you to properly “comb” and thin out the lawn, and the second, on the contrary, will protect it from damage and collect only excess debris.

In areas with tall grass, it is better to use a rake with springy plastic teeth, but on short vegetation, their wire cousins ​​will not get confused and do not make holes. 

Mini rake 

Narrow (with the width of the working part no more than 20 cm), with a short handle, mini-rakes are designed to work out the most inaccessible corners of the garden. In the fall, they are excellent for raking leaves from under ornamental shrubs, cleaning the soil at the base of the hedge from weeds, or loosen the flower garden. Of course, large hummocks of earth cannot be broken with this tool, but for “jewelry” gardening it is better suited than others.

Milling rake

Double-sided milling rake is still a wonder for our summer residents, but they have not only two sides, but also two ways of using. The side, on which the more frequent teeth, can be removed from the site debris, pebbles, even mulch on the paths, or break up earth clods and heaps. But the side with crescent teeth should be used like a conventional rake-aerator, i.e. clean and refresh the lawn.

How to choose a rake

Never worked with a rake before or experienced a lot of inconvenience? Apparently, you will need to navigate not only in the purpose of the rake, but also in their basic characteristics. So, a good tool should meet the following requirements: 

  • the rake set vertically should reach in height to the level of your armpits – this is the optimal length of the handle (or you can take a tool with telescopic handles, then any member of the family can work with it); 
  • the width of the rake’s working bar varies from 10 to 70 cm (for standard work the optimal size is 30-50 cm, for cleaning hard-to-reach corners between bushes – 10-20 cm, for cleaning the lawn – 50-70 cm);
  • the working crossbar should be made of steel with an anti-corrosion coating (for earthworks) or light plastic (for working with dry grass and small debris), but although painted iron specimens are cheap, they wear out quickly;
  • the handle can be chosen from wood (the heaviest), plastic, or aluminum, but you should take a closer look at the options that have non-slip rubber inserts on the handle;
  • different types of rakes may be required on one side, so if you do not want to buy several at once, purchase a kit where different attachments are attached to one handle;
  • The D-handle, indirect ergonomic handle, additional crossbar, and rubber inserts on the handle are optional, but greatly simplify the use of the tool.

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