There are many types of rake, and each has its uses. And when you want to spread and level a ground covering, a landscape rake is what you need.
Like a bow rake, a landscaping rake has strong, rigid tines spread evenly across a bar. But a landscape rake is much wider. That means you’ll be able to cover a larger area in less time.
When To Use a Landscaping Rakes
A landscaping rake may not be necessary for everyone. Many people don’t have wide areas or loose material that they need to spread. For others, though, it can save a lot of time. Here are a few examples:
Leveling driveway gravel. Whether you’re adding a new gravel driveway or simply “repairing” an existing one, you know that it’s a big task to level the surface. A landscaping rake helps you do the job quickly.
Spreading mulch. If you’re mulching around trees or in the garden, a landscaping rake is an ideal tool for large, open spaces. It will drag the material where you need it and help you have a flat, smooth surface. It’s not great for tight spaces but will save you a lot of effort in open areas.
Grading topsoil. If you’ve added a load of topsoil to your yard, a landscaping rake can help you spread it around.
Cleaning up leaves and trash. A leaf rake is the best tool for gathering leaves – at least when they’re dry. But if you have wet leaves – or have a lot of trash that might be too heavy for a leaf rake to handle – a landscaping rake can help gather up a lot of material.
What To Look For In A Landscaping Rakes
With a landscaping rake, you want to be sure to have a good balance of strength and ease of use. Since this tool is so much wider than a bow rake, it will weigh substantially more. It will also pull a lot more material at once, so you need to be sure it’s up to the task.
A landscaping rake may be up to 42 inches wide. That’s over three times the width of an average bow rake! That means you save a lot of time. But it also means that the rake’s head has to be particularly strong to support the extra work.
Choose a width according to the jobs you’ll use the tool for. If you have large spaces to smooth, a larger rake is great. But if you plan to use it under hedges or in a garden, you might a smaller one so that you can maneuver among the plants.
Of course, the rake doesn’t do the work on its own. You’re the one pulling it. So you want a handle that’s comfortable in your hands. You also want it to be the right length so that you don’t have to do a lot of stooping to do the job.
Most handles are now aluminum or fiberglass. While steel may be stronger, it’s also much heavier. As long as you’re not trying to pull up heavy roots or move large rocks, both fiberglass and aluminum hold up fine.
Aluminum is also the most common material for tines. Again, it’s strong enough for the intended uses of the tool.
Our Picks for the Best Landscaping Rakes
If you think this tool would be a good addition to your shed, here are our recommendations for the best ones available.
This 36-inch landscape rake is solidly put-together and should serve any homeowner well.
The entire construction is aluminum. It weighs in at under 4 pounds – substantially lighter than most other rakes of this size.
The head is 36 inches wide with a total of 36 tines. That means they’re spaced just over an inch apart. They’re 2.4 inches long. That makes them great for the task at hand, especially if you’re dealing with fine gravel or mulch. They’ll also easily break up clumps in soil and spread it.
The handle is 66 inches long. For most people, that’s adequate. However, if you’re on the tall side, you might find it a bit small
The price on this is great, too.
Aluminum won’t hold up to trying to move heavy rocks, and this rake is no exception. Most of the complaints we’ve seen about it have to do with using it beyond its intended purpose.
Another 36-inch rake, this one from Bon Tool holds up well and gets the job done.
It’s all aluminum. The 36 tines are 2.4 inches long, exactly like the model above.
However, this one is substantially heavier. It weighs 6 pounds even. That makes it feel a bit sturdier. But it can also take a toll on you.
Some of that weight comes from a longer handle. It measures a full 6 feet (72 inches). That’s huge!
There’s no doubt this rake does a great job and will hold up well when used correctly. The price is a bit high. That and the weight are the only drawbacks we see. The construction and materials are tough.
Midwest’s entry here offers a rake that does the raking job well. However, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to putting it together.
The handle is 66 inches long and made of wood. The head is 36 inches wide with the standard 36 tines. They’re about 2.3 inches long. Overall, this unit weighs about five and a half pounds.
The price is ok, but not fantastic.
You have to assemble this when it’s shipped from Amazon, though, and the assembly is the hardest part. It seems there isn’t a lot of care in drilling the holes where you screw the head to the handle. Sometimes, it’s fine. But on others, they don’t line up – not even close. We’ve also heard that occasionally, the tines don’t seem “finished” – the aluminum isn’t sanded down to a smooth edge.
Yes, this rake works if you can get it put together. The price is ok. It’s not our favorite, mainly because of the assembly issues. But it does do the job decently if you get past that.
If you’d like a narrower landscaping rake, Razor-Back offers this one that will do the job. At 24 inches wide, it’ll let you do more detailed work than the models above. But it’s still a durable, easy-to-manage product.
The tines measure 2.5 inches on this, a bit longer than their 36-inch-wide model.
It weighs 3.2 pounds. The handle measures 66 inches. Again, that’s not bad and probably could be the “norm” for rakes of all types. A bit longer would be helpful for taller people (hey, we’re tall so we’re sensitive about it!)
We find it to be a quality product at a decent price.
This is another 24-inch rake, this time from Bon Tool. Again, they do a good job with the product.
The 6-foot handle is nice. The entire unit weighs about 4.9 pounds and the full construction is aluminum. The tines are about 2.4 inches high, similar to their 36-inch model.
It’s a durable tool that will be able to help you through leveling mulch, gravel, soil, and more. The price is reasonable, although not cheap. Still, we think it’s a worthwhile investment.
When you have to level soil, mulch, or gravel, a landscaping rake is the right tool for you. Be sure to choose one wide enough to help get your work done but not so wide that you can’t maneuver it. It’s great for making lawn and garden care much easier!