Most yard work takes place in wide-open spaces. But the hardest part is often taking care of the details around the house, along the garden’s edge, and under shrubs. Fortunately, there are special tools to deal with these areas. Here we’re going to talk a bit about shrub rakes.
When To Use a Shrub Rake
A shrub rake is a narrow type of rake that allows you to get close to the trunk of your bush or tree. The design is similar to a leaf rake, but a shrub rake is much narrower. That makes it convenient when you’re trying to navigate around roots, low branches, rocks, and other obstacles.
Shrub rakes come in handy especially in the fall and spring. Fallen leaves and debris tend to get stuck in these hard-to-reach spaces. But this tool allows you to drag them out without having to reach under the plant with your hand.
If you have a narrow space between your garage and house, for instance, a shrub rake is an ideal way to pull out whatever gets stuck in between.
What To Look For In A Shrub Rake
A shrub rake isn’t all that different from a leaf rake. With a leaf rake, a wider fan is desirable. The opposite is true in a shrub rake. The goal is to have a narrow fan that can fit into places where a leaf rake won’t. Most shrub rakes have a maximum width of about 8 inches.
Tines may be aluminum, steel, or plastic. A small amount of flexibility helps so that you can drag the leaves out.
We’ve seen various degrees of “hook” on the end of the tines. Often, it’s helpful to have slightly more curve than you see on most leaf rakes since you’re usually working at a different angle. But too much of a curve here can mean you get caught on roots or other protrusions. It can also depend on where you need to use it. In many cases, even a semicircular hook isn’t a problem.
One distinction about shrub rakes is that the handles are often shorter than other types of rake. This is because you’ll often be using them at close range. You’ll need to be stooped down to get under bushes, after all. A long handle can get in the way in such cases.
On the other hand, a longer handle comes in handy sometimes, like when you’re cleaning out between rows of plants. Again, you have to consider how you’ll use your shrub rake. Some have telescoping handles, and these are usually the best if you have a variety of needs.
The handles themselves may be wood, steel, or aluminum. Sturdy but lightweight is the best choice.
Our Picks For The Best Shrub Rakes
Let’s look at some of the best shrub rakes available right now. They come in various sizes and materials, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.
If you want a quality shrub rake that’s sturdy and long but still lightweight, you’ll love this one from Fiskars. We especially like the “wavy” tines that let you trap leaves underneath.
We talked above about the hook at the end of the tines. With this rake, it’s not so much a curve on the end of the tines that make the difference, though. Instead, there’s a type of bump in the middle. This allows you to trap debris under the bump after grasping it with the tip of the tines.
It measures 8 inches wide. The handle length is 66 inches, tying it for the longest rake in our selections here. Still, it weighs less than 1.1 pounds.
The tines are plastic and the handle is aluminum.
There’s a lifetime warranty on this shrub rake.
Ames offers a quality American-made product in this shrub rake. The steel handle will hold up even under somewhat-rough use. The end of the handle is covered with a cushioned grip.
The handle measures 65 inches, just a smidge under the longest ones we’ve included here. That’s a great size for getting under larger shrubs or being able to stand while working in other areas.
The 11 tines are spread over 8.25 inches. They’re made of plastic, but it’s strong enough for the task.
The weight of this shrub rake is almost 1.5 pounds. That’s pretty good especially considering the steel in the construction.
The warranty is for 15 years.
Martha Stewart might be more known for indoor products, but her company is making a name for itself with yard products, too.
This relatively new entry into the category of shrub rakes seems like it will offer stiff competition. Of course, since it’s new we don’t have a track record to judge it by. But our initial experience was positive.
This rake is narrower than many – it only measures 6 inches across. One of the handiest features is the telescoping handle. The maximum length is 61.5 inches but it can be collapsed to 35 inches.
The tines are made of steel and hook substantially at the point. This helps make sure you can gather everything up without it slipping out from underneath. They also flex enough to maneuver them around.
The entire handle is comfortable, and there’s a “comfort grip” on the end. It conveniently has a hole at the tip to hang it on a shed hook. It weighs just 1.2 pounds.
The warranty is for two years.
Bully Tools also offers a quality shrub rake that’s a pleasure to use. It does a great job grasping leaves and other debris.
It has an 8.75-inch-wide head with 10 tines. The tines are steel and have spring movement to keep them from being too rigid. They’re fantastic with larger pieces of debris, although the spacing of the tines makes it hard to get smaller pieces.
The handle is fiberglass. It’s durable but only 52.75 inches.
It’s surprisingly heavy at a hair under 3 pounds. We think that still makes it easily usable. But it’s a lot more than similar products, even those with longer handles.
A lifetime limited warranty covers this product.
Lewis Tools makes a bold claim by naming this “World’s Greatest.” Still, it’s definitely in the competition, and there’s no reason not to include it among the best available.
The head is 8 inches wide and the handle is 66 inches wide. There are 8 tines spaced just over an inch apart. The curl of the end of the tine is great for grasping and pulling, although it makes it hard to use if you have a lot of small roots to deal with.
The tines are steel and the handle wood. It weighs 2 pounds.
There’s a limited lifetime warranty to cover this rake.
When you have narrow spots to rake or need to get leaves out from under the bushes, a shrub rake is an ideal tool. Make sure you choose one that’s lightweight but durable. A telescoping handle is useful, too, so you can use it for a variety of projects.