Types of Rakes

Before we get down to explaining various kinds of rakes available for your variety of needs, let’s explain what a rake  is.

A rake is a gardening tool, sort of like a broom, with a wooden handle and is used for collecting dead leaves, hay grass. 

You can also use it for leveling, loosening the soil, and/or removing dead grass from lawns, grounds, or gardens. It consists of a toothed bar that is affixed to a handle, or a row of tines fixed to a handle. 

The official name for the sharp teeth of the crossbar is ‘tines’. They may be straight in a row or fan out at the bottom. Tines are usually made out of metal to be sturdier and resilient. You will find a variety of rakes on the market. Technically speaking, they all do the same job but differ in terms of efficiency and performance.

In this article, we’ll talk about the different types of rakes you will find on the market to help you pick the right one.

Let’s get started:

Also known as the ‘spring tine rake’, it’s among the most widely used rake.

They usually have thin metal tines that are fanned out with strong heads over the top. Their appearance and structure make them suitable for picking leaves and debris without damaging the soil.

craftsman cmxmkit0070

Check out the CRAFTSMAN CMXMKIT0030 2-Piece Raking Set with 26 in. Dual Tine Leaf Rake and 24 Tine Lawn Rake, if you’re looking for the best law nrake that is both economical and efficient.

#2 Garden Rake

This kind of rake is very common among homeowners, horticulturalists, and gardening enthusiasts. They are known by various other names as well, such as ‘ground or soil rakes’, ‘bow rakes’ and a ‘level head’.

This kind of rake has a strong shaft handle or pole that is connected to a crossbar usually made of metal like cast or wrought iron, having claw like short and thick tines. 

It’s a heavy-duty rake with 3 inches long tines. They are strong and generally not flexible. This type of rake is ideal for planting rows and breaking hard clumps of soil.

trg inc rake

Check out the TRG Inc Rake The Groundskeeper II if you want the best garden rake for your backyard. It is affordable and easy to use.

#3 Leaf Rake

They have tines made of plastic instead of metal. Due to their non-metal composition, they are usually flexible however, they are a lot stiffer which makes them ideal for moving light objects such as dead leaves. 

Their tines are spread out in a triangular shape, bent slightly at the end that makes it easier for them to hold onto objects.

#4 Leaf Scoop Rake

Most people use this kind of rake to pick up fallen leaves. It’s a common problem in autumn but you must have a leaf scoop rake handy because some trees create a mess all year round.

This rake does not require you to manually pick up the leaves by bending down and moving them to a wheelbarrow or a compost pile yourself as it scrapes the leaves along with it. 

It has a plastic frame with a set of jaws that can take up the leaves inside just like a hoover, thus making it easy to take up a chunk of leaf pile and drag it along. However, on the downside, these rakes cannot lift heavy items, hence they can only be used for moving away piles of leaves.

#5 Thatch Rake

Also known as a ‘scarifying rake’ or ‘dethatching rake’, this type of rake is built for heavy duty applications like removing a build-up of dead grass or moss, weeds, or unwanted mushrooms from the ground. They are made with sharp tines, much like blades that scrape out the thatch and leave the fresh grass behind.

ames 2915100 adjustable self-cleaning thatch rake

Check out the AMES 2915100 Adjustable Self-Cleaning Thatch Rake with Hardwood Handle, 61-Inch rake if you want something sturdy and resilient.

#6 Shrub Rake

Almost similar to the leaf rake, these are a bit narrower in shape. They are easy to handle and fit into smaller places with ease. 

They look quite like a lead rake but with a tight and narrow fan of tines. This allows it to be more efficient under the shrubs, around fences, and other tight spaces.

poly shrub rake

Check out the "Ames" 2915900 Poly Shrub Rake with Steel Handle, 65-Inch if you are looking for the best shrub rake. It is durable and made from reliable materials.

#7 Landscape Rake

This uncommon rake is mostly used in commercial applications and is common among the inventory of landscaping and gardening services companies. 

They are sturdy but also more expensive than most options on this list. They have a wide and flat head that makes them ideal for spreading and leveling the soil. 

They are also known as ‘tractor landscape rakes’ since some of them can be attached to a tractor and dragged behind to make field lines easier.

structron 12102 head landscape rake

Check out the Structron 12102 (LR36) 36" Head Landscape Rake, 66" Yellow Fiberglass Handle, Cushion Grip if you want one that is affordable and suitable for homeowners.

#8 Tarmac Rake

These rakes are built for heavy-duty roles. They are made from strong materials and usually have wider heads. Also called ‘gravel rakes’, ‘stone rakes’, or ‘asphalt rakes, they are ideal for spreading around heavy materials on the ground and can also take out gravel or underground stones.

asphalt lute

Check out the Asphalt Lute, Aluminum, 66 in. L, 20 Tines if you want a unit that required little effort to use. It’s made from high quality aluminum and is quite sturdy.

#9 Hand Rake

Most rakes are commonly large, have long handle or shaft, and can only be used while standing. This makes it difficult for the elderly to use them. To cater to them, the gardening industry came up with a solution in the form of ‘hand rakes. 

These rakes look like any other garden or lawn rake but with the obvious difference in the length and handling of the rake. They have much smaller heads and are lighter in weight. This is why they are not suitable for heavy jobs and can only be used to take care of small plants and mess.

You will find the familiar fan shaped tines but the difference is that these rakes can be used while sitting. While these are certainly not for heavy duty jobs like taking care of large chunks of the ground, they are ideal for raking among the bushes and small plants in your garden for landscaping with precision.

yellow ppls1012 original leaf scoops pair

Check out the Rugg 002, Yellow PPLS1012 Original Leaf Scoops Pair if you are looking for a high quality, user-friendly and durable hand rake to buy.

#10 Lake Rake

These specialized rakes are made for people who live near a  pond or lake. 

Also called ‘pond rakes’ or ‘aquatic weed rakes’, these rakes are specifically designed to take care of underwater algae and weeds. They have long handles that allow you to use them without having to go under the water. However, you will also find some with a short handle that can be attached to a rope. 

These shorter rakes can be thrown into the water and then pulled back to drag algae and weeds along.


Check out the BEACHROLLER - Weeds Muck Silt GONE! Lake weed removal tool. 2017 aluminum handle model if you are searching for a long lasting lake rake. This rake is a bit expensive but worth the money.

#11 Hay Rake

These rakes are specially designed to collect hay and dried grass from large areas. They are more common among the farming community and can be suitable for people who maintain farmhouses, cattle. 

They are ideal for use on small or large farms and can pick up hay from the ground for balling or collecting. You will find that rakes have large tines with wooden handles, and some can be hooked up to the back of the tractor and be used in large farms or fields.

leonard 5-tine forged refuse hook

Check out the Leonard 5-Tine Forged Refuse Hook, Cultivator, Hand Tiller if you want the best hay rake available. This rake was specifically made to use on the farm or field and is known to be durable.

#12 Roof Rake

These lightweight rakes are different from other items on this list as they are not made for the ground. These rakes are designed to make it easier for a person to remove debris like bird nests, wasp or beehives and even snow from the rooftops. 

They have long handles that make it easier to use them while standing on the ground. Most offer angled head made of blades that do not damage the roof. This is very important because using a regular rake may cause damage to the structure of your house.

garant gprr24u yukon 24

Check out the Garant GPRR24U Yukon 24-Inch Poly Blade Snow Roof Rake by Garant if you and a reliable unit. It offers flexibility and ease of use thanks to an easy to grip handle.

#13 Berry Rake

Also known as ‘berry picking rakes’, these rakes are smaller compared to other types. They have a small head shaped like a container or a bucket. 

They can be used to collect berries such as strawberries, cherries, grapes, blueberries, or raspberries by dragging the head of the rake through the branches and leaves of vines of the plant. 

As the rake has a built-in container, you will not have to worry about manually picking the berries.

berry picker with metallic comb

Check out the Berry Picker with Metallic Comb and Ergonomic Handle for Easier Berry Picking Swedish Design by Ivique if you want a unit that can collect fruits without causing damage.

#14 Concrete Rake

These specialized rakes have a flat edge that can be used to smooth out wet concrete or cement. It is used to give your desired shape to cement.  These are ideal for areas like walking paths, patios, porches, or driveways, etc.

kraft cc944

Concrete rakes are suitable for DIYers and pros. If you are looking for one then check out the Kraft CC944 19-1/2-Inch by 4-Inch Aluminum Gold Standard Concrete Placer.

#15 Fire Rake

Made for firefighters, these are can be used by homeowners when a fire breaks out. They are made to withstand fighting wildland fires and have strong triangular tines attached that can push the dirt back onto the fire to put it out. It may not be suitable for big fires but can help protect land in case of small fires.

nupla fhr-48

These rakes typically come with long handles to ensure safety. Check out the Nupla FHR-48 Heavy Gauge McLeod Fire Tool with Classic Handle and Butt Grip, 48" Handle Length if you are looking for a fire rake. This durable unit is safe and easy to use.

#16 Poop-Scoop Rake

This kind of rake is only made for one purpose: to pick up your pet’s turd. 

These rakes consist of a scoop pan with an attached handle. They are usually made of plastic so that they are easily washable as well. Their handle is extendable and easy to use. 

It is very similar to a dustpan and broom but with the added advantage of not having to bend down and pick your dog’s poop in your hand. Hence, they are said to be suitable for people of all ages.

#17 Ash Rake

They are quite small in size and are specifically designed to pick up ash from your fireplace. They have small heads and short handles. 

Usually made of metal, they can be used to clean the grills and fireplace of burned out coal and ash. However, they don’t typically come with an attached dustpan and the user has to use a secondary pan for that purpose.

minuteman international rope handle single hoe fireplace tool

It may be a good idea to get an ash rake if you have a fireplace. Check out the Minuteman International Rope Design Hoe, Standard Single Fireplace Tool if you are looking for the best ash rake available online.

#18 Zen Garden Rake

They are specialized rakes designed to cater to the Zen garden in your house and are usually small in size, very lightweight, and mostly made out of plastic. These rakes can be used to draw patterns in the gravel or sand and can be used to do a sort of ‘micro-landscaping’.

Zen gardens are typically used for ornamental purposes and the Japanese use it for good “Feng shue” in the home. One type of garden where this kind of rake is used is the Japanese Zen garden or rock garden. Rakes are vital in their creation and maintenance.

icnbuys professional mini zen garden rake tools set

If you’d like to upgrade the look of your house then check out the ICNBUYS Professional Mini Zen Garden Rake Tools Set Three rakes One Bamboo Drawing Pen One Pushing Sand Pen. It is a three set rake that will transform your zen garden into a picturesque landscape.

#19 Child Rake

This rake is designed for children to get them involved in cleaning out your garden or lawn. These specialized rakes are usually bright in color and made out of plastic hence they are safe to use and not very heavy.

superio kids garden rake with hardwood handle

However, they may not be suitable for very young children. Consider Superio Kids Garden Rake with Hardwood Handle – Durable Plastic Green Head to Sweep Leaves in Lawn and Tidying Up The Garden if you want your kids to have ad playful time in the garden with you.

Which Type is The Best?

So which type is the best after all? This is kind of a subjective question as it depends on your needs and preferences.

If you want something sturdier, durable for heavy-duty work then go for the ‘landscape rake’ as it will cut your effort and time in half. 

If you are used to working alone and really want to get your hands down and dirty, then the common ‘bow or garden rake’ might be more suitable for you. The ‘thatch rake’ can be a good choice if you want to do regular chores like taking out the weeds, stones, litter or unwanted herbs or mushrooms.

If you are a casual homeowner then a standard garden, lawn or leaf rake would do just fine. However, if you are more laid back and don’t have the stamina or the time to work, then the landscape rake is the way to go. 

All in all, pick a type of rake that is designed for your needs. Also, make sure to never use one rake for the other. A landscaping rake, for example, cannot be used to clean the roof.

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