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Best Overall: Razorback Fiberglass Handle Steel Rake
Add a durable, multi-purpose rake to your tool shed that won’t break the bank or your back with the Razor-Back 24-Tine Steel Rake.
This sturdy fan-shaped rake with 24 steel tines earns high marks for its durability and construction details. The fiberglass handle is sturdy yet light enough to be easy to use and features a cushioned hand grip. This rake also has a spring mechanism in the center of the rake head that controls recoil for smooth pulling action.
You’ll find this handy rake to be useful in a variety of yard tasks. Of course, many people comment on its leaf wrangling abilities, but many homeowners and landscapers also report that the metal tines make it sturdy enough to use to rake small stones, twigs, and remove thatch from grass. With very few complaints regarding workmanship or performance, you can expect to have this rake by your side for hours and hours of yard work. All in all, this is our top pick for a rake that can handle a variety of jobs while being sturdy and easy-to-use.
Best Budget: AMES 22-Tine Steel Leaf Rake
Rake in the savings with a budget-friendly yard tool, like the Ames 22-Tine Steel Rake—perfect for grooming gardens and lawns.
Considered an all-purpose rake, this version from Ames has 22 steel tines fanning out over a width of 22 inches. Put this tool to work by picking up the 54-inch long wooden handle. While the handle’s solid wood construction won’t be as light as a fiberglass handle, it does include a cushioned grip to make the job a little easier on the hands.
Of course, this rake isn’t robust enough to handle heavy rocks or serious soil tilling, but for your average residential landscaping needs, this rake is a good choice. The Ames 22-Tine Steel Rake will clean up your yard without cleaning out your wallet.
Best for Mulch: AMES 16-Tine Welded Steel Bow Rake
Mulch your garden and flowerbeds in no time with the help of a bow rake. This flat rake with short tines will spread mulch, dirt, and even small stones quickly and evenly. The Ames 16-Tine Welded Bow Rake is a sturdy option if you’re looking at a rake for mulch.
A basic bow rake, this version from Ames doesn’t have fancy features or a fiberglass handle but it does feature a tempered steel head with 16 tines. It works well according to users and gardeners describe it as sturdy without being too heavy.
Its shorter tines make it a good choice for spreading mulch around an area in your yard or garden, saving you from having to complete the task on your hands and knees. To make sure the area is level after you’ve laid the mulch, flip the rake over and run it across the area to smooth out mulch and redistribute high spots. This rake for mulch is also affordable.
Best Shrub Rake: Fiskars 8 Inch Shrub Rake
A shrub rake will let you work around plants and in your garden with more control and greater precision, thanks to a smaller head size and flexible tines. If this is what you’re looking for, check out the Fiskars 8-inch Shrub Rake.
This shrub rake has several design features that make it a good addition to your garden shed. Fitted with an aluminum handle that is lightweight and easy to hold, you’ll find it easy to reach into deep flowerbeds thanks to the extra-long 58-inch handle (many rakes only have 54-inch handles). The plastic tines are sturdy but gentle enough to use around delicate plants—but note that users warn you not to let the plastic head sit in the sun for an extended period or the tines may bend.
Set aside larger rakes that won’t let you access angled spaces and tighter spots in favor of this shrub rake from Fiskars.
Best Expandable: Gardenite 63 Inch Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake
Add an expandable rake to your tool shed and you’ll have the perfect size rake for jobs large and small. The Gardenite Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake is a popular pick, thanks to its long handle and expandable head.
The 15 metal tines of the Gardenite adjustable rake will expand as wide as 22 inches or contract as small as 7 inches. Make it smaller for raking slim spaces or open it up for yard clean-up and raking large areas. A slide and lock mechanism on the handle is used to adjust the rake width and people report that the rake stays in place once adjusted. One thing to note, however, is that the handle becomes shorter when adjusted for the smallest rake head size. With 63 inches of length to the handle, though, this isn’t much of an inconvenience except for in the case of taller users.
The handle is extremely lightweight, thanks to its steel handle (plated with zinc to prevent rust). In total, this rake only weighs 2.2 pounds—making it an exceptional choice for a lightweight rake that won’t fatigue your muscles. Overall, people have lots of praise for this expandable rake and find plenty of ways to use it. You can have a rake that offers flexible sizing and is easy to use.
Best for Gravel: Bully Tools 92309 12-Gauge 16-Inch Bow Rake with Fiberglass Handle
If you’re looking for a gravel rake, you need to look for a strong, commercial-grade tool like the Bully Tools 12-Gauge Bow Rake.
This bow rake is made in the United States of commercial-grade 12-gauge steel for durability and strength. It features 16 tines welded to a steel wrap that is riveted to a fiberglass handle. The lighter fiberglass handle offsets some of the weight from the steel rake head, but it’s important to know that this rake for gravel isn’t exactly lightweight. However, it is incredibly well-made in the opinion of users and it’s backed by a solid reputation.
When it comes to handling gravel or stones, many people report that they have used it for rocks of varying sizes with great success. The heavy-duty tines grab gravel and move it into place easily. It has been described as being tank-like and contractor-grade but great for homeowners that want a bow rake that lasts.
Best for Leaves: GARDEASE ReLeaf Leaf Scoops: Ergonomic, Large Hand Held Rakes
If you want to pick up a pile of leaves in a hurry, the ReLeaf Leaf Scoops are a popular pick that can dramatically reduce leaf clean-up time and protect your hands from being poked by stray twigs and rocks.
The ReLeaf Leaf Scoops are made from a surprisingly sturdy plastic and fit varying hand sizes. In fact, users with reportedly petite hands and self-described extra-large hands all reported being able to use these leaf scoops. One person mentioned that it was tough to fit their larger hands inside the scoop while wearing garden gloves, but this was a minor issue in comparison to the efficiency offered by this garden tool.
While it still may be advantageous to gather your leaves together with a typical leaf rake, a pair of these scoopers makes it far easier to transfer leaves into a yard waste container. In fact, some people say that they spend less than half the time now on cleaning up leaves. Others pointed out details like the solid construction and fact that these scoops make yardwork fun again. More than one person has said that wearing the ReLeaf Leaf Scoops made them feel like The Hulk as they scooped and conquered mountains of leaves in the yard. The bottom line is that these scoops used in conjunction with your leaf rake will make quick work of cleaning up fallen leaves and other yard debris.
Best Hand Rake: AMES 1985350 Hand Rake with Ergo Gel Grip
The smallest member of the rake family, the hand rake is used for small jobs and quick soil work or weeding. We like the Ames Hand Rake best with its gel grip for comfort.
This hand rake is well-constructed, with six flexible steel tines that are sturdy and springy enough to pull up weeds or collect small debris. Measuring 12 inches long, the steel head is attached to an ergonomic handle that features a grip insert made from soft gel. People find the gel insert to be comfortable and easy to hold onto.
Use the Ames Hand Rake to get in between closely positioned plants or to loosen soil in planters or pots. You’re sure to find plenty of opportunities to use this small but nimble rake in your own yard or garden.
Best for Kids: Toysmith Big Kids Garden Tool Set
Bring the family together with some fresh air and gardening—and make sure your children can get in on the action with a kid-friendly rake. Our favorite choice is the Toysmith Big Kids Garden Tool Set—which comes complete with two kid-size rakes, a shovel, and a hoe.
While standard-size racks may be too heavy and cumbersome for little ones to hold onto or use, a rake for kids will feel just right in their hands. The Big Kids Garden Tool Set has a 27.5” wooden handle attached to each tool, which is about half the height of most standard rakes. The set is recommended for children ages 5 and up, but people report children as young as 3 or 4 picking up these tools. It turns out that users well beyond childhood love these rakes too— one mom reported frequently swiping her son’s rake to clean up small spots in the garden since the rake is smaller and easy to maneuver in tight spots.
The Toysmith Big Kids Garden Tool Set includes both a lawn rake and garden rake, making it easy to get your little ones involved no matter what type of yardwork is at hand. Unlike other rakes for children that are sold as a single piece, people appreciate that this set includes multiple pieces of high-quality kid-friendly garden equipment. And while the child’s rake and other tools are generally described as well-made and sturdy, a few people did have issues with the bolt coming loose and separating the rake head or shovel from the handle. Most people found a quick fix by just replacing the bolt with a sturdier version from the local hardware store. Give your gardener-in-training a head start by buying a child’s rake set like the Toysmith Big Kids Garden Tool Set.