The 5 Best Snow Roof Rakes of 2022

Our top choice is the Garelick 89421 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake

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Amazon / Amazon

If you live in an area with especially heavy snowfalls or if you get ice dams on your roof, you may need a snow roof rake. A snow roof rake is a tool with a long handle and a blade specifically made for removing snow from roofs. It is not intended for leaves or gravel. The average roof can handle about 4 feet of fresh snow, 2 feet of packed snow, or 1 inch of ice.

If you just have a few inches of snow on your roof, it isn’t leaking, and your gutters are fine, you don’t have to remove the snow from your roof, says Taylor Webb, a construction consultant with Home Solutions of Iowa. “But if you’re having problems with ice damming or heavy snow and need to remove it,” he says, “you’ll want to do your research first.”

We researched snow roof rakes based on the style, material, and ease of use. Our top pick is the Garelick 89421 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake, for its light weight, sturdiness, ease of use, and rollers to protect your roof from damage.

Here are our picks for the best snow roof rakes.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Garelick 89421 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake

garelick-89421-21-foot-aluminum-snow-roof-rake

Amazon

What We Like
  • Rollers prevent scraping

  • 21-foot-long pole

  • 24-inch-wide aluminum blade

  • Lightweight

  • Sturdy

  • Disassembles for easy storage

What We Don’t Like
  • Assembly can be tricky

At 21 feet long, the Garelick 89421 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake should reach the top of most single-story houses and many two-story houses. And weighing under 6 pounds, this lightweight device, with its 24-inch-wide aluminum blade, is sturdy yet easy to manage. Like most snow rakes, this product is designed to pull the snow down from ground level instead of pushing it off from a higher position on the roof. 

What caught our eye with this product is the rollers, which keep the blade above the roof’s surface, protecting shingles from being damaged by being scraped. Unlike other rakes, the blade never touches the roof’s surface. The rollers also make it easy to advance the blade up the roof. And when you’re done using the rake, you can quickly disassemble it into three pieces to store until you need it next.

We have noted that this rake may not remove all the snow from solar panels.

Price at time of publish: $100

Weight: 5.75 pounds | Handle length: 21 feet | Blade width: 24 inches | Blade material: Aluminum

Best Budget: Snow Joe RJ204M 21' Twist-n-Lock Telescoping Snow Shovel Roof Rake

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Amazon

What We Like
  • Poly blade shouldn’t scratch shingles

  • Lightweight

  • Pole extends to 21 feet

What We Don't Like
  • Locking can be difficult

This roof rake weighs under 5 pounds, making it one of the lightest rakes we’ve seen. The blade’s poly material is designed to not scratch your shingles. (You also can purchase this snow roof rake with an aluminum blade for about $5 more.) And unlike other rakes that rely on multiple interlocking pieces, this rake has a single telescoping pole that quickly locks into place at exactly the length you want, from 6 to 21 feet. 

We have noted some issues with the design, particularly with the support straps disengaging, and with some parts misaligning. We also note that, like all snow-moving tools, this product works better on light, powdery snow than on heavy, wet snow.

Price at time of publish: $43

Weight: 4.8 pounds | Handle length: 6-21 feet | Blade width: 25 inches | Blade material: Poly

Best for Shingles: Extreme Max 5600.3207 Shingle-Saver 21' Roof Snow Rake with 24" Blade

extreme-max-56003207-shingle-saver-21-roof-snow-rake-with-24-blade

Amazon

What We Like
  • Rollers protect surface

  • Easy to use

  • Lightweight

  • Sturdy

  • Disassembles into smaller pieces

What We Don't Like
  • Pole seen as flimsy

This Extreme Max roof rake is similar to the Garelick, with rollers to protect your shingles, a stated 21-foot reach, and 24-inch-wide aluminum blade. It also disassembles into three 5-foot-long pieces, with easy snap-button technology, so it can be stored in a small space.

We found some significant differences from the Garelick, which may account for the price difference. First, the Extreme Max’s aluminum pole may feel flimsy to some, and we have noted it can bend or break if you try to pull heavy, wet snow from off your roof. 

Second, aluminum has a tendency to react harshly to cold. So we recommend storing this snow roof rake indoors when not in use to keep the lock nut fasteners from freezing up; this would make it difficult or impossible to disassemble the rake. Also, we remind that a metal pole needs to be kept far away from power lines! 

Still, we recommend this product for homeowners who wish to haul snow off their roofs while keeping blades off their shingles.

Price at time of publish: $56

Weight: 5.75 pounds | Handle length: 21-foot | Blade width: 24-inch | Blade material: Aluminum

Best for Metal Roofs: Avalanche! Original 750 Roof Rake with Slide Material

Avalanche! Original 750 Roof Rake with Slide Material

Amazon

What We Like
  • Less physically demanding

  • Large 3" wheels

  • Easy to assemble

  • Made in the USA

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier than some other roof rakes

  • Can feel cumbersome

Metal roofs aren’t a cure for ice dams; they form because water melts on unheated surfaces and re-freezes when it hits other unheated surfaces such as overhangs. So a snow roof rake may be needed for structures with metal roofs. The Avalanche! Original 750 with Slide Material has 3-inch wheels, snaps together, and is easy to assemble, with no tools required. The manufacturer also claims this product is appropriate for other types of roofs, such as cedar shake and tile, as well as metal. However, we don’t recommend this product for other than single-story structures.

This rake functions differently than some other roof rakes. Instead of pulling snow down, you push the pole, with its cedar blade, up your roof, and the snow slides down the other side. The design can work because typically, structures with metal roofs such as sheds, are lower and built with less steep roofs than most houses. The manufacturer claims that the rake can remove up to a ton of snow a minute. 

We note that the wheels can keep the blade nearly an inch above the roof, so it leaves some snow up there. For that reason, we don’t recommend it to clear snow off solar panels, despite the manufacturer’s claim.

Price at time of publish: $129

Weight: 9.79 pounds | Handle length: 16-foot | Width: 17-inch

Best For Solar Panels: Eversprout Never Scratch Snow Buster 7-24 foot

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Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes pre-assembled

  • Lightweight

  • Very gentle foam pad

  • Extends from 7 to 24 feet

What We Don't Like
  • Sponge can detach during use

The manufacturer calls the Eversprout Never Scratch Snow Buster a “rake” as well as a “snow broom.” Both are appropriate. Unlike a traditional roof rake, with an aluminum or poly blade, the product has a very soft, S-shaped foam pad head, which allows you to push or pull snow off surfaces. (You can purchase replacement heads, which you probably need after a couple of seasons.) It is designed to not scratch your solar panels, roof, car, or other snow-covered surface.

At just 4 pounds, this product is the lightest roof rake we’ve found. It comes preassembled, so you can put it to use right away. Flip-tab locks let you easily change the pole’s length from 7 to 24 feet, and the entire reach can be up to 30 feet. 

The main drawback to this product is the head has some difficulty remaining attached to the pole.  

Price at time of publish: $95

Weight: 4 pounds | Handle length: Expands from 7 to 24-feet | Blade width: 16-inch | Blade material: Foam “blade,” aluminum pole

Final Verdict

The Garelick 89421 21-Foot Aluminum Snow Roof Rake is our Best Overall pick because it’s lightweight, effective, easy to use, and has wheels to protect your roof from the blade. For a snow roof rake that doesn't use a blade but a sponge-type head, we recommend the Eversprout Never Scratch Snow Buster.

What to Look For in a Snow Roof Rake

Type of Surface

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material; unfortunately, they also can be damaged by scraping a rake blade across them. For that reason, we strongly recommend snow roof rakes with wheels, which don’t allow the blade to touch the shingles. (This also can leave a thin coat of snow on the roof, unfortunately.) Slate tiles are another common option, and they also need protection against scraping. 

Metal roofs are best served with rakes that contain large wheels; a 3-inch-diameter seems most recommended.

Solar panels are the most susceptible to damage. For that reason, we strongly advise against using a product that has a metal or plastic blade to clear snow.

Length

If you decide to rake your roof, you need to use a rake with a pole long enough to get to the top of the roof, says Taylor Webb, a construction consultant with Home Solutions of Iowa. Or you should only rake snow off the first couple of feet, where the shingles are still likely to be protected by the roof’s ice and water barrier. “Most newer roofs have an ice and water barrier 3 to 4 feet beyond the gutter,” he points out. “I’ve seen people only rake 10 feet up the roof, and then they end up causing an ice dam farther up the roof, where there’s no ice and water barrier.”

Shorter poles can be functional for residential roofs which have pitches ranging from 4/12 (the roof rises 4 inches for every linear foot), to 6/12 (6 inches for every linear foot). Single-story homes generally have lower-pitched roofs, while multiple-story home roofs are steeper and may be unsuitable for snow roof rakes, even those with longer poles. Many snow roof rakes are extendable; some stretch as high as 20 feet. Of course, the taller the pole, the harder it is to maneuver a snow roof rake easily.

Weight

Typically, snow roof rakes are constructed from fiberglass, or aluminum, which is one of the lightest metals. Wood and other materials are denser, and therefore heavier. If it’s all practical, try out a snow roof rake in a brick-and-mortar store before committing to a purchase.

FAQ
  • Do you need a snow rake?

    Pulling snow off a roof from ground level is safer than standing on top of a slippery pitched surface several feet above the ground. If you live in an area with especially heavy snowfalls or if you get ice dams on your roof, you may need a snow rake. But if snowfalls generally amount to a few inches of loose powder, your roof doesn’t leak, and you’re not experiencing significant ice damming, you can leave the snow on your roof.

  • How do you choose a snow rake?

    Consider the type of surface you’ll be raking, whether it is shingles, a metal roof, solar panels or another material, and choose the right roof rake for that surface. Make sure you choose a rake that’s long enough to reach at least the first couple of feet, where the shingles are still likely to be protected by the roof’s ice and water barrier, and light enough for you to handle safely and efficiently.

  • Can you just shovel the snow off your roof?

    Using a shovel on your roof could damage your shingles or other roofing surface. The only tool you should use to remove snow from your roof is a roof rake with a long pole and protective features designed specifically for that purpose. And use it while standing on the ground.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Missy Keenan is a freelance writer with more than two decades’ experience as a journalist and communications professional, with a special interest in all things home and garden. She has written hundreds of articles for publications, including Do It Yourself, Secrets of Getting Organized, DSM, and Glamour magazines; USA Today; The Des Moines Register; and Iowa Gardening. For this article, Missy consulted with Taylor Webb, a construction consultant with Home Solutions of Iowa, and spent hours researching products online.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. How Much Snow is Too Much on Your Roof Infographic--Energy.gov