Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big rake test 2021. Here we present all the rakes we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best rake for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a rake.




Summary

  • A rake is a hand tool used for gardening and field work to smooth the soil or sweep up leaves. It is recommended in combination with a lawn aerator.
  • Basically there are rakes made of plastic, aluminium or steel. The material of the handle is also variable. Each material has its individual advantages and disadvantages.
  • When making your final purchase decision, you should pay attention not only to the material but also to the weight, the working width and other special features.

The Best Rake: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a rake

Where can you buy a rake?

You can buy rakes both online and, of course, in any DIY store and often even in supermarkets and retail stores. As more and more products are sold online, sales of rakes have also increased.

However, it may make more sense and be quicker to buy the rake directly from the DIY store. With these smaller purchases, it is important to look at the shipping costs so that they are not higher than the product itself. However, this should not be a problem with Amazon.

Gartenwerkzeug Rechen

Too many leaves on the lawn deprive it of the opportunity to breathe and consequently to grow properly. It is therefore advisable to use a rake to rake away the coarsest leaves from the lawn. (Photo: skdunning / pixabay.com)

What special rakes are there?

Now you should definitely think about which rake you want to buy. Of course, you can choose between iron rakes and plastic rakes. Of course, it depends on how sturdy or stable your rake should be.

In other words, it is a question of whether you only want to rake up leaves and dead grass or whether you also want to remove stubborn moss, similar to scarifying or aerating.

Did you know that there is a hand rake? This handy tool makes it easy to remove leaves from between plants in beds and gardens. Furthermore, for the young gardeners there are: junior garden rakes and junior spring rakes.

Then you also have to decide on the shape. Do you want an elongated rake that is more suitable for removing moss, or one that is wider at the front? This is better suited to raking leaves. Here you will find a rough division into the different areas of use of a rake. These are generally differentiated between narrow-angled and wide-angled:

Type of rake Material Use or effect
Narrow-angled rakes Mostly made of metal This type of rake is suitable for smaller leaves and garden waste. Scarifying (cutting the garden scar) aerates your garden soil and removes moss.
Wide-toothed rakes Mostly made of wood A wide-toothed rake should be used especially for stubborn ground. This will help you to resist the onset of overgrowth and make it easier to work on particularly dense-growing plants.

Narrow-toothed rakes are therefore more suitable for smaller and finer jobs, whereas the wide-toothed ones simply "let through" smaller leaves and garden waste. The division between narrow and wide prong can also be further subdivided.

Here you can see a classification of the individual types of rake. Further down you will find more detailed information on the respective rakes (apart from the rake, of course), as well as advantages and disadvantages of the respective rake.

Rake type Use
Rake Loosen soil
Leaf rake Light garden waste
Hay rake Dry garden waste and moss removal
Rake broom Light and dry garden waste

Why rake leaves?

This is a controversial question. There are arguments for and arguments against raking leaves. This becomes particularly interesting when many leaves come onto the ground, namely in autumn.

In principle, scattered leaves are not bad because they are a very good fertiliser. And especially with plants, you should not rake away even a larger layer of leaves. These serve as a cover in winter, so that the plants survive it well and do not freeze to death.

On lawns, however, you should avoid too many leaves at all costs. Otherwise your lawn will die because it is deprived of oxygen. Nevertheless, scattered leaves are by no means a bad thing; on the contrary, they are a good natural fertiliser.

There are arguments for and against leaf raking. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves. (Photo: Paul Grecaud / 123RF.com)

How often should you rake?

In principle, whenever you notice that too much foliage is covering the lawn, leaving it with little oxygen. In autumn, of course, you need to rake more often, possibly even several times a day.

In summer and winter, however, you have the advantage that you hardly have to rake up any leaves and you have a beautiful lawn. In the summer, you are more likely to use your rake for clippings from plants or the remains of the lawn mower.

How much do rakes cost?

Some rakes are available for less than €10. However, if you want to buy a larger and higher quality rake, you will still be under 20€, which is fully justifiable. However, you have to be careful, because sometimes there is no handle included, which also costs around 10€.

Laub auf Rasen

Particularly in autumn, when many leaves cause problems for your lawn, it is advantageous to rake regularly. During the rest of the year you can enjoy your healthy lawn. (Photo: Arcaion / pixabay.com)

What special extras are there?

There is a great system from Gardena, the Combisytem. This is a plug-in system that allows different rakes (front parts) to be individually attached to different handles. For example, you only need one handle and you can attach several utensils to it.

The same applies vice versa, i.e. you can attach several different handles to one item, depending on the material your handle is to be made of.

Decision: What types of rakes are there and which is the right one for you?

Do you want to renew your garden beds and, for example, loosen the soil and work in compost or humus? If this is the case, then you should not use a rake, but instead opt for a rake with sharp and sturdy tines.

It is the more suitable garden tool for these tasks. However, if you only want to tidy up garden waste, then you will be happy with a leaf rake.

Unlike a rake, a leaf rake is mainly used to sweep up ("rake up") leaves and prunings. However, because its tines are flexible, the underlying surface is not damaged. Basically, you can distinguish between three types of rake:

  • Hay rake
  • Leaf rake
  • Rake broom

All types of rake can be used as an "extended" broom in the garden. The hay rake has a long tradition and is particularly suitable for removing dry garden cuttings and moss. The leaf rake glides easily over any surface, unerringly collecting fallen leaves.

The rake broom is a hybrid form. In the following section, we will give you a clear overview of all types of rakes. A list of the individual advantages and disadvantages should make it easier for you to decide which rake is right for you.

How does a hay rake work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The hay rake was already used by the Romans and is traditionally made of wood. Its handle ends in a crossbar, which is also called a rake bar. The tines are evenly spaced and quite wide, and bent at right angles to the handle. Depending on the material, this type of rake can be used for different applications.

Wooden tines, for example, are particularly good at picking up dead grasses and dry branches on your lawn. Metal tines are somewhat more stable and are also suitable for removing moss, small stones and lawn felt, or for pulling seed channels in soft soil.

However, the hay rake can only be used on even surfaces, as the sturdy tines cannot adapt to the unevenness. Another disadvantage is its wide tines, which cannot catch smaller garden waste.

Advantages
  • For dry leaves and grass cuttings
  • For removing moss, small stones and lawn felt
  • Preliminary stage of the garden rake
Disadvantages
  • Can only be used on flat surfaces
  • Finer material falls through the wide tines

How does a leaf rake work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A leaf rake does not have a classic rake bar. Instead, there are elastic tines arranged in a fan shape from the handle, with a curvature at the lower end. Since these tines are closely arranged, even the finest screenings can be easily scraped off again and do not get caught.

This type of rake is ideal for removing leaves, as they can be swept up easily and effectively, just like with a broom. To do this, you move the leaf rake over the ground without pressure and with little effort. This way you can quickly pile up a heap of leaves and small twigs.

The leaf rake offers a clear advantage over the hay rake, especially when it comes to soil conditions. Elevations and humps in the ground are no obstacle for the elastic tines and therefore do not need to be levelled. Unfortunately, the softer tines also bend from time to time as a result.

In addition, the rake can be pulled over the ground at a flat angle. When used frequently, this not only protects the lawn when sweeping up the dry old leaves, but also keeps the noise to a minimum by working on the surface.

Advantages
  • For smaller garden waste
  • Screenings can be easily scraped off
  • Gentle on lawns
Disadvantages
  • Not for moss
  • Not for wet or heavy garden waste
  • Tines bend easily

How does a rake broom work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Like the hay rake, a rake broom has a rake bar with horizontally arranged tines, but like the leaf rake, these are closely arranged and curved at the lower ends.

On the one hand, the tines are therefore not as sensitive and easy to bend as with a hay rake, but on the other hand they are also not spaced so widely apart to allow finer material to pass through easily.

Advantages
  • For grass, shrub and hedge cuttings
  • Robust and resistant
  • Screenings can be easily scraped off again
Disadvantages
  • Not for wet and heavy garden waste
  • Not for moss
  • Gentle on lawns

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate rakes

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate rakes. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Material
  • Weight
  • Working width
  • Other

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Material

When it comes to materials, you should be aware of the quality you want. On the one hand, there are the cheaper rakes, which are usually made of plastic. On the other hand, there are the more expensive rakes made of aluminium or even steel, because they are of higher quality.

Did you know that there is a EURO street rake? This means that the rake is a piece of steel forged road rake in "EURO quality".

Of course, plastic rakes are perfectly adequate for raking leaves. However, the steel versions offer more stability, especially if you want to rake or dig up not only leaves but also soil or similar.

Weight

The weight of most rakes is not very different. However, there are differences. If the complete rake, i.e. both the broom or the front part and the handle are made of plastic, it is of course lighter than if it is made of wood, aluminium or steel. In general, however, the difference in weight is often minimal and not worth mentioning.

Working width

As with the lawn aerator, the working width is of great importance. You can use it to determine your working radius. With a small working width, you won't want to rake up a lot of leaves, because it will probably take longer.

On the other hand, it is better to have a smaller working width for smaller beds, so that you can also work precisely and neatly. With a large front part of the rake you can do little here. As you can see, the working width also depends on the occasion, i.e. what you ultimately want to use the rake for.

Other

This point is for noting any special features. This item also tells you whether a handle is included in the delivery or whether you have to order it separately, as this varies from product to product. It is difficult to say how this will ultimately influence your purchase decision.

Of course, for every front part there is often a matching back part, i.e. a matching handle in several versions. The disadvantage is that you have to order twice and don't have the whole thing in one package. On the other hand, it may be cheaper to order individually.

Trivia: Interesting facts about rakes

What is a rake in a sewage treatment plant?

Screens are also used in sewage treatment plants. Here they represent the first purification stage. They serve to retain larger substances from the wastewater. Therefore, screens are absolutely indispensable in sewage treatment plants.

What is a rake in a hydropower plant?

Similarly, screens, so-called flotsam screens, are used in hydropower plants. Logically, the purpose of these is to hold back larger particles floating in the water so that they can be pulled out.

Image source: pixabay.com / utroja0

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