This is my very own leaf rake. It’s given me a few good years of but it seems it’s started to give in to hours and hours of raking my two lawns and the front yard area with trees. It’s still in one piece and all the tines are accounted for.
So although it’s in fairly good condition, I noticed it’s gotten a bit wobbly and I’m being more and more cautious and gentle when I’m using it. This means it takes me more time to do the job so I’ve decided to retire it and buy a new one.
In the process, why not writing a nice little article to help all you fellow keen gardeners to narrow down your choice and save you the time and money?
[BEST LEAF RAKE]
[BEST FOR THE MONEY]
[MOST DURABLE LEAF RAKE]
Best Leaf Rake Buying Guide
The leaf rake materials
Over the years, I’ve changed several leaf rakes. I only made two mistakes. The first one was picking up a cheap plastic model because I was in a hurry and on my way to my mom’s house. When I realized I’d forgotten my tool at home, I dropped by at the first home depot and bought this plastic model. It broke in less than half an hour of raking. Oh, well, what can you do… We had a nice chat over apple pie and I had to come back the next day!
Then, one season, I saw a pretty bamboo model so I bought it in the late summer. Lovely as it was and lightweight, I broke it in the first two months of use. Some of the tines snapped and the metal binding them together broke.
Maybe the leaves were wet, maybe I was in a hurry but bamboo simply didn’t work for me. Another con was that the tines were too long and too curved, as well.
So, metal, tempered spring steel and light-weight aluminum handles are the only materials I’d recommend.
They won't break if you handle loads of leaves or if the ground layer of leaves is wet and a bit heavier.
The springy tines apply enough pressure to rake the leaves efficiently and yet, the pressure is light enough not to damage the lawn or the soil being raked.
The aluminum handles turned out just the right weight to make the raking less tiresome.
These materials also stand up to the elements and can be left outdoors. As for durability, metal leaf rakes tend to last good many years.
Features to look for in a top rake for leaves
Firstly, go for the rake head which is firmly attached to the handle. Something flimsy or loosely attached will not stand up to the job at hand.
I recommend a rake head 18-23” wide. Any wider head would make the rake and the rake is more difficult to maneuver and too narrow rake head would mean that you’ll be raking way longer than you’d like.
As for the handle, it should be long enough for you to rake comfortably and effortlessly. Aluminum or some sort of metal alloy will give you a nice swing without much strain on your arms, shoulders or back. A nice cushioning grip would be a great extra for comfort.
The best rake for most people features tines which are either slightly curved at the very end. A good rake will have thicker tines so that they can take the strain you put on them without breaking.
The best time and way to rake
It’s really important not to rake leaves after the rain or early in the morning when the leaves are wet. That would be quite a difficult task for you and your rake. A lot of rakes tend to break when the leaves are wet and heavy.
Don’t rake if it’s windy, either, because leaves will be flying all over. Also, it’s best to wait until all the leaves are down so that you don’t have to do the same task several times.
You’ll find it easier if you rake the leaves into smaller piles. Make sure to put a nylon sheet or a tarp and then, once the leaves are raked you can conveniently dispose of them. It would be great to use them as compost rather than wait for the garbage disposal to drop by.
Bear in mind that a lot of raking might be quite a workout so treat the task with due care: warm up first and take breaks to avoid sore muscles and backache. It’s a good idea to change hands regularly, too.
All being said, let’s check out my top 4 picks for this fall!
Leaf Rake Reviews
Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake from Gardenite is light-weight and easy to use. It’s also durable unless you forget that leaf rakes are not to be used to rake rough soil or heavy materials.
This model is adjustable to mere 7 inches for tight areas but can also be expanded to a full width of 22 inches. The total length of this rake is 63 inches. The handle is 0.75” zinc coated steel which ensures both durability and lightness.
The 15” tines are rounded and flat. They don’t flex as much as other rake tines do. The selling point of this rake is the fact that the adjustable tine feature which lets you rake wider areas but also reach tight spots. You love the ease of the slide adjustment to lock the tines in place.
The adjustment feature is also super convenient because, when collapsed, this rake will take up much less space in your shed or garage.
However, once you shrink the handle to set the tines at 7”, the whole rake becomes shorter which might not be convenient for really tall people to use.
When you expand the rake all the way, it will work great for leaves and light raking. With the tines closer together, you can also use it as a way to dethatch your lawn and pick up small sticks and trimmings from our trees.
The rake is sturdy, and the handle is longer than most expandable rakes. The bar which separates the tines is made of steel, and the mounting plate and screws for the locking mechanism are also metal. The handle lock and the barrel which mounts it to the main handle are both made of hard plastic.
The handle itself has a plastic grip with finger indentations. This seems like a great feature but, during longer sessions, not all of you will find it comfortable.
Things We Liked
- Sturdy tool mostly made of steel
- Zinc coated handle will prevent rust
- Adjustable leaf rake with 7- 23” wide tines and 48-63” overall length
- Conveniently reaches narrow spots
- 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed by Gardenite
Things We Didn't Like
- Hard plastic hand grip not the most comfortable option
Corona Fixed Tine Leaf Rake features a 19” wide head with 25 tines. Three rivets hold the head to the handle for better security and durability. It will be of great help for getting into sharp corners and flowerbed areas.
Bi-curved bow will provide even pressure to all tines for maximum efficiency in raking leaves while double crimps hold tines in place. You will love the curve of the bottom because it picks up more leaves.
Well made and durable, Corona Leaf Rake is really light but pulls leaves and all the loose stuff out of the grass, such as small branches and wood chips with next to no effort. The fact that it’s light-weight will mean a lot to those of you who have a lot of leaves to rake.
The tempered spring steel is a great feature for longer service life. This rake has a 54” long lightweight metal handle with an anti-slip vinyl sleeve for a comfortable grip. This leaf rake is so sturdy that you’ll have no problems raking even the leaves which are a little wet.
The stiffer tines on this model make each motion more efficient. The stiffness also makes it easier for you to move the pile of leaves you make easily. With this rake, you’ll no longer worry about the handle snapping in half on you in the middle of raking.
Things We Liked
- Works great even with the leaves smashed down in the grass
- Lightweight and durable
- Quality and compact head
- Bi-curved bow design gives even pressure to all tines
- Extra long, lightweight aluminum handle
- Anti-slip vinyl grip for comfortable use
Things We Didn't Like
- A tad longer handle would be an improvement
Black & Decker Steel Fan Rake features metal tines constructed of steel. They are very flexible and perfect for narrow spaces where you don’t want to damage the surrounding plants.
This handy tool comes with a comfort grip handle so that you can clear away leaves, branches, twigs and other light debris in planting beds and gardens.
The powder-coated finish prevents rusting and soil build-up as you are raking. This small rake is an ideal tool when you are down and dirty in your garden.
You can easily and swiftly rake away dead leaves, small fallen branches and anything on the lighter side with one quick and efficient scoop without worrying that the rake will break or bend.
If you have trees above your flowerbeds and you often have to tidy the flower areas, this rake will be perfect. It would be an almost impossible task with a regular size rake without damaging your precious flowers.
You can even use it to clear your outdoor stairs or the patio after a strong wind, as I imagine there will be plenty of leaves and other debris.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a practical, durable and reliable leaf rake for gardening, Black & Decker Steel Fan Rake is just the tool for you.
Things We Liked
- 5 inches in width will enable raking in tight places
- The narrow with will prevent damaging the surrounding plants
- Works like a charm around your flowers
- Powder coat finish for durability
- The price is unbelievably good
- 3-year warranty
Things We Didn't Like
- Not suitable for buying as a gift – you’ll end up keeping it
Fiskars Leaf Rake comes with sturdy rake head made from virgin resin. It features extra-wide tines with a gentle curve. This will prevent leaves and small debris from getting lodged in the tines.
The wide, 24-inch head can clear a decent-width wide path with each pass. Other notable features include a sturdy aluminum shaft. It’s lightweight for ease of use and has a teardrop-shape for better ergonomics.
The long handle will reduce a backache. This is because it will allow you to use the rake at a proper angle so that you will be able to keep a proper working posture at all times.
The less aggressive angle of the tines and their flexibility mean this rake won't tear up your turf unless you're putting a lot of force into raking. The way this rake does its job, you probably won’t need to.
Since the handle is made of aluminum, this rake won’t break and will be a long-lasting tool. Also, this rake is extra wide and will easily pick up everything even around shrubs.
So far, it’s been reported to work really well raking dry leaves, wet leaves, pine, mulch, and even debris on decks, patios and along the edges of driveways and pathways.
The leaves are easy to clean from the tines: all you need to do is flip the rake over, pull the rake towards you, and all the leaves will come off.
Fiskars being a reputable garden tools manufacturer, all the praise this leaf rake gets is no surprise.
Things We Liked
- Will help you rake dry and even wet leaves quickly and easily
- The curved tines grab leaves without clogging
- 24” wide head will make every raking job easier and more efficient
- The total length of 67” is perfect for most users
- Lifetime warranty for your peace of mind
Things We Didn't Like
- You might need to tighten the screws from time to time