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Choosing the Right Rake For the Job: Big Or Small Jobs

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Choosing the Right Rake is a great job to do before spring gets here.

Spring time means bringing out tools to clean up after winter. You have leaves everywhere, but which rake is the right one for the job you are about to tackle?

Great question. Maybe I can shed some light on what each rake does.

There are a few different kinds of rakes and they all have specific jobs. Not that some can’t multitask though. But Choosing the Right Rake before you start the job is really important. You don’t want to be at this job any longer than it should take. Here is a quick class on Choosing the Right Rake.

Leaf Rake
A leaf rake is also known as a lawn rake. I guess you can say this rake is a multitasker. They are sold in varying widths, up to 30″. They commonly have a long handle with tines that fan out in a triangle. The tines are generally made of either metal, plastic, or bamboo.

30DEC13: at work

I happen to like the metal because they seem to last the longest and are the most resiliant. But if you are moving a huge amount of leaves, the plastic times might be a better choice for that job, particularly if they are wet still. I am not a fan of Bamboo tines because they are so fragile, but then, that makes them much gentler on plants that are very tender like young growing plants or ground-covers.

Here are a few examples of those different kinds of Leaf Rakes and where to buy them.


Shrub Rake
This is the perfect rake for tight areas. It looks much like the leaf rake, but it fits in between bushes, fences and lots of other things. Is this a “must buy”? Probably not, but it does make life a bit easier.
shrub rake
Here are a few Shrub Rakes.

Bow Rake
I call the Bow Rake a Garden Rake because that is where I use mine the most. It is perfect for heavier jobs like leveling dirt, mulch, gravel or sand. The tines are made of metal and are shorter and thicker than those of a leaf rake and widely spaced. This is a “must buy” rake because it is a workhorse. You will use this rake more than all the others. But don’t try to use it with leaves, it doesn’t work so well because it is too heavy and will cause you much more work than if you used a leaf rake.
garden rake
When these get older and the handles fall off of them and I can’t fix them…I use them for decoration. They are perfect for holding other tools. I hang the metal rake head in the garage or in the mud room and then hang small tools or hats or whatever on it. Or use it in the kitchen and get really fancy with it. I love re-purposing things.
garden rake repurposed

Here are a few Bow/Garden Rakes.

Hand Rake
blue hand rake
I know what you are thinking, you don’t want to get on your knees and rake.

Believe me, I understand.

But there are times that you will want to have a smaller version of the leaf rake to help with weeds or when you are planting flowers.

It gives you greater control around tender plants.

This is, in my opinion, a “must buy” rake.

Here are a few Hand Rakes to choose from.

Thatching Rake
One rake you might consider is a Thatching Rake. You don’t use these for leaves or in the garden. This is for the mess of leaves left in your lawn that you can’t seem to rake up with any rake in your garage. Yep, this is the rake to clean up the grass or all those wet leaves from last fall that you never got around to cleaning up.
thatching rake2
Drag the thatching rake through your lawn and it will pull up any dried grass from last year or any organic material that is keeping the new spring grass from getting room to grow.

Here are a few Thatching Rakes.

Now that you have the right rake for the right job, let’s go get the lawn and garden raked up and ready for new growth.

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