The Best Rakes – What They’re Used For.

The Best Rakes - What They're Used For

In this post I will be explaining about the best rakes used in gardening and what each one is best suited for.

Also, I will be explaining about a few other rakes less used by the average gardener, but that may very well be used at some point (especially for those with very large gardens, ponds etc.) so will be useful to know about.

I hope you will find this post both interesting and informative.

Garden Rakes

Garden rakes are also known as:

Garden Rake
A Garden Rake.
  • Bow Rakes
  • Soil Rakes
  • Ground Rakes
  • Flathead Rakes


Garden Rakes have straight heads and the tines on them bend over, either at a right angle or just curved. They come attached to the handle either by a single joint in the centre or by a bow, whereby they are attached to the handle both sides by braces (hence the name Bow Rake).

Garden Rakes are designed for the breaking up of hard soil and making rows for planting. The tines on Garden Rakes are usually steel and are very strong and thick with enough gap between the tines for things like stones to pass through. They are great for dragging through compacted, heavy soil and breaking it up finer. You can get Garden Rakes with thinner tines which are better for lighter soil use, and also ones with narrower heads for using in less confined spaces.

The back flat edge of Garden Rakes can be used for the flattening out of soil, sand, bark, small stones etc. and does this job very well.

Garden Rake heads come in widths of between 200mm-400mm. Most commonly they are around 300mm which is suitable for use in most gardens, but if your garden is quite small or quite large you can buy accordingly. The handle length will usually vary between 1.2-1.7metre in length.

Leaf Rakes

Leaf Rakes can also be known as Lawn rakes or Fan Rakes.

Leaf Rake
A Leaf Rake

They are designed for moving and collecting (Leaf Scoop Rakes) leaves, but can also be used for grass cuttings and other lightweight garden waste.

Leaf Rake heads are usually made from plastic and the tines tend to be in a triangular (fan) pattern. Being plastic means they are gentle on the ground and lightweight and easy to use. You can buy smaller versions, sometimes called Shrub Rakes, which are perfect for raking up leaves between plants and in smaller spaces.

Leaf Rake tines usually span out between 400mm-600mm although you can get both smaller and larger ones.

Leaf Scoop Rakes are designed for gathering and picking up large piles of leaves to dispose of. These come in single and double-headed varieties. With the single-headed variety the head folds in on itself, so you rake leaves into a pile and then fold the head over to pick up the pile to dispose of it.

Double-headed leaf scoop rakes have either 2 heads attached to one handle or are 2 rakes that are attached with a moving joint. You can sweep leaves into a pile and then close the heads against each other to pick the pile up to dispose of. The rakes attached by the moving joint can also be separated to form 2 rakes.

Double-headed leaf scoop rake with moving joint.


Hand-held leaf scoop rakes.









Hand-held Leaf Scoop Rakes come in 2 separate parts, one for each hand. These don’t come with handles so you have to bend to pick up the leaves. They are shaped like rake heads and are capable of picking up large amounts of leaves in one go.

Leaf Rakes in general are in my opinion an essential gardening tool, especially for the Autumn months when a lot of leaves are around.

When I’m raking a lot of leaves from patios, driveways (any concreted surface) then I personally tend to use a Lawn Rake with metal tines as using a plastic Leaf Rake will wear the tines out a lot quicker. Just be careful that when using the metal-tined Lawn Rake that you don’t exert too much pressure on it and damage/misalign the tines.

Lawn rakes

Lawn Rakes can also be known as Spring Tine or Fan Rakes.

A Lawn Rake

Although very similar to Leaf rakes, Lawn Rakes are a lot more versatile. They can be used for various garden tasks including raking leaves, although they are less effective than Leaf Rakes.

Lawn Rakes have tines that fan out like a Leaf Rake. The tines are usually made of steel. Either carbon, spring or stainless and are thin and bend over near the ends in a slight curve or a right angle. Because the tines on Lawn Rakes are springy and flexible it makes them versatile and gentle on the ground.

The steel tines on Lawn Rakes make them stronger than Leaf Rakes, but they are still very light to use and should not break easily.

Lawn Rakes can be used for raking off thatch and moss from lawns as long as the grass isn’t too long. They can also be used for scraping moss from paths and borders, but just be careful not to press too hard on the tines and damage them. If the soil isn’t too compacted then you can use Lawn Rakes to scratch over the surface and also dig out weeds that aren’t too deeply rooted. Fertilizer and topsoil can be spread over lawns and beds using a Lawn Rake.

The heads of Lawn rakes usually spread out between 400mm-500mm but can be bought in smaller or larger sizes as well. The handle will vary between 1.2-1.8 metres in length.

Thatching Rakes

Thatching Rakes are also known as:

  • Thatch Rakes
  • Dethatching Rakes
  • Aerator Rakes
  • Scarifying Rakes
  • Moss Removal Rakes

Thatching Rakes are designed to remove moss and thatch (dying plant matter in grass) in lawns without damaging the healthy grass.

Unlike other rakes, the tines on Thatching Rakes are sharp blades. They are reasonably heavy rakes but very sturdy and strong. Thatching Rakes have a flat head with the sharp tines along one side, although you can get double-sided ones where the other side the tines are crimped and used for disturbing the soil.

Thatching Rake heads are usually between 250mm-400mm wide and are fitted to the handle with a Y shaped bracket for extra strength. The handles are usually between 1.3-1.6 metres in length.

Landscape Rakes

Landscape Rakes can also be called:

A Landscape Rake.
  • Gravel Rakes
  • Leveling Rakes
  • Grading Rakes
  • Beach Rakes

Landscape Rakes are very similar to Garden Rakes except for having a much wider head. They are used to level and move around things such as. Soil, sand, stones (gravel), bark and compost etc. The flat side of the rake is also very good for leveling out ground ready for the laying of turf.

Landscape Rake Heads are usually between 550mm-915mm wide, but can be bought at over 1 metre wide. The handles are up to 1.9 metres in length, which helps you hold the rake at a more horizontal angle to the ground and take longer sweeps. As the heads on Landscape Rakes are so wide they are fitted to the handle with 2 additional support braces.

Hand Rakes

Hand Rakes are designed to be used when you’re working close to the ground. They are just a lot smaller size versions of normal rakes. You normally get them in 2 designs. Garden Hand Rake and Lawn Hand Rake.

As their size it makes them perfect to use around plants in flower beds and even in larger flower pots. Having shorter handles make it very easy to control.

The Garden Hand rakes have very strong and sturdy metal tines so can also be used to break up soil and even weeding.

The Lawn Hand Rake is great at raking leaves from between plants in flower beds, rockeries and other hard to do places where a larger rake is just too big. It can also be used to rake out thatch and moss in smaller areas.

Some Other Types Of Rake:

Roof Rakes

Roof Rakes are designed for raking off snow and other debris from roofs and other high up places.

Lake Rakes

Lake Rakes are designed for pulling algae and weeds from ponds and lakes. They can have very long handle to be able to reach out quite far or even to reach into deeper water. Some Lake Rakes have rope attached to them so they can be thrown out into the water and dragged back in by the rope.

Poop-Scoop Rakes

Poop-Scoop Rakes are designed for dog owners. They are just like the stand-up dustpan and brush you can buy, but with a rake instead of brush. They are used for scooping up dog waste without having to bend down.

Hay Rakes

Hay Rakes are designed for gathering hay and dry grass to bale. They are very similar looking to the Landscape Rake but generally have a wooden head and tines.

Berry Rakes

Berry Rakes are designed for collecting up berries quickly. They have a rectangular shaped head like a container of some sort, the idea being that you rake through the leaves of the berry plants and the berries get caught in the rake container.

A Berry Rake.

Concrete Rake

Concrete Rakes have one but sometimes two flat edges and are used for spreading and smoothing wet concrete out when preparing the ground to lay paths and patios etc.


To Finish

I have listed above what I believe to be the best rakes for anyones gardening needs. Some rakes listed are essential gardening tools for every avid gardener and some may be used by just a select amount of gardeners, but all have their uses in gardens everywhere.

I think it is very important to choose the right type of rake for your needs. This is not only the right type and design but also it has to be of good quality.

I hope this post helps you in choosing and buying the right rake/s for your gardening needs.

If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or you can e-mail me at:

Happy Gardening!





10 Replies to “The Best Rakes – What They’re Used For.

  1. Wow, I never knew that so many different rakes existed. I did learn that the rake I have is not really made for raking leaves which is what I use it for and also the reason I usually get irritated when I use it. Thanks for this informative info. Curtis

    1. Hi Curtis,
      Although some rakes can be used for different tasks it’s always good to have the one for each certain job. I myself have been in the same situation before. Using the wrong kind of rake and getting irritated. I hope this post helps you and others.
      Best wishes,

  2. Great post very informative I never would have known their was so many different rakes. I like the sound of the berry rake I can imagine that making life a lot easier instead of individually picking the berries thanks for the information.


    1. Hi Joe,
      You are very welcome. Yes, the berry picking rake does make life a lot easier, and there are a lot of different types of rake available. I hope with this post I will help people choose the right one they need.
      Take care,

  3. This makes me want to get out and do some gardening. A very well laid out post that is easy to follow and easy on the eyes. This does a nice job of explaining the different types of rakes. This information might otherwise be obscure. Thank you for article.

  4. I recently bought a house and I did buy a leaf rake which does work great. But, I think that I also need a garden rake, not for a garden but just to break up all the “stuff” that is in my yard. The leaf rake is really not tough to dig in with. I actually didn’t know there were so many different kinds of rakes! Wow

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for reading. I hope it opened your eyes to the different rakes available.
      I would definitely recommend a good quality garden rake to help around your yard.
      Best wishes,

  5. Education site especially for those into farming and gardening. Thanks for the information that you shared. Will certainly follow your advise and tell my dad (into aquaculture) about the learning.

    1. Hi Edward,
      Yes I aim to educate people on gardening tools as well as helping them choose and buy the right ones.
      I hope your dad will find my site interesting.
      I will keep adding more posts all the time, so I hope he will visit again and again.
      Best wishes,

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