The best garden rake for a bang tidy backyard this year

Reach for a tined tool to help you manage outdoor debris.

Best garden rake

by Amy-Mae Turner |
Published on

The best garden rake is a perennially useful garden tool that more than earns its space in your garden shed. Handy for raking grass cuttings, clearing up fallen leaves, smoothing soil, or even hoeing weeds, a rake has multiple uses that'll guarantee its use all year round.

There are a variety of different kinds of garden rakes available. Your traditional garden rake has a row of short tines and is great for general garden tasks. A leaf or lawn rake with a fan of longer tines works best for leaf clean-ups, meanwhile, bow or soil rakes are great for more heavy-duty jobs.

Best garden rake at a glance:

Best soil rake: Spear & Jackson 4850SR Traditional Soil Rake - View on Amazon UK
Best leaf rake: Draper 31069 Plastic Leaf Rake - View on Amazon UK
Best bow rake: Walensee Heavy Duty Garden Bow Rake - View on Amazon UK

What kind of rake you need really depends on what you're planning on using the tool for. We've covered all the main types of garden rake in our superb selection below - read on to find a rake to suit your gardening needs.

Best garden rake

Best soil rake

Spear & Jackson rake Spear & Jackson/Amazon
Price: $96.46

This award-winning rake from trusted garden brand Spear & Jackson is soil rake with a handsome, traditional design. The classic hardwood shaft has been weather proofed for durability. The rake's head is crafted from stainless steel that has been given a mirror polish treatment. This makes it resistant to rust and means soil will be less likely to stick to the tines. The head is 30cm wide and the overall length is 129cm.

Customer review: "Sturdy. Really well made as you would expect from this company. You can buy cheaper, but this is really worth the difference. Very happy."

Pros

  • Mirror polished stainless steel head
  • Weather proofed for durability

Cons

  • No rubber hand grip

Best on a budget

ABS Tools rake ABS Tools/Amazon
Price: $78.02

This wallet-friendly AB Tools option is great to have in the shed for occasional use. This garden tool offers a strong steel shaft that has a durable rust-resistant finish. There's a handy rubber comfort grip for non-slip raking action. The rake's head is made from super-strong carbon steel and boasts 12 polished tines.

Customer review: "Happy with it, it's solid enough too rake over all my mud garden, which is full of roots, etc, as just chopped down six foot of brambles in garden so needed a sturdy rake. Does the job fine."

Pros

  • Comfort grip handle
  • Carbon steel head

Cons

  • Weighs two kilograms, making it a little on the heavy side

Best leaf rake

Draper rake Draper/Amazon

Many gardeners are converts to modern plastic leaf or lawn rakes, opting to use this kind of tool when gathering fallen leaves or collecting up grass cuttings. Plastic rakes are lightweight and easy to manoeuver. Such rakes are also less likely than metal versions to damage plants. This Draper leaf rake's wide head gives you 23 sturdy tines. The head is securely fixed to the varnished natural wood handle.

Customer review: "Used to use metal rakes until I watched a garden program and plastic ones were recommended. They are so much easier and quicker to get leaves off grass. This model is extremely light too."

Pros

  • Weighs less than half a kilogram
  • Natural wood handle

Cons

  • Not as sturdy as metal

Best telescopic garden rake

Greenfields rake Greenfields/Amazon

This innovative Greenfields option is great for anyone short on outdoor storage space as its telescopic design means both the head and the handle can be collapsed down. The 15-tine head can be adjusted from around 18cm to a full 56cm wide and locked in place. The handle can be adjusted from 55cm to a full 75cm length. The tines are made from rust-resistant alloy steel and the metal handle has ergonomic finger grips.

Customer review: "I needed a good leaf rake after moving to a garden nearly knee deep in leaves. Very pleased with this rake, it's a good weight and solidly made. The telescopic handle and rake are great to adjust to your needs. It's a good price too."

Pros

  • Finger grips on handle
  • Adjustable head and shaft

Cons

  • Thin tines can bend

Best bow rake

Walensee rake Walensee/Amazon
Price: $29.99

While this rake can be used for lighter, everyday garden tasks, its heavy-duty construction and 'bow rake' design means it can tackle tougher jobs too. This can be used to loosen and break up compacted soil, levelling planting areas, and spreading mulch, topsoil, compost, sand, or gravel. This larger rake has a 45cm wide head with 6cm tines for wide ground coverage and soil penetration.

Customer review: "We needed a solid rake to prepare fresh ground for a lawn. This looked good, cheap(ish), and well reviewed. It arrived in a pretty small, fairly light box - slightly worrying - but after putting it together it is solid, robust and a really useful tool. The tines, (get me, remembering the right word), are strong, and if you turn the head over there are sort of short, blunt tines, a bit like blunt spoons, to break up lumps. All in all, excellent."

Pros

  • Wide head
  • Stainless steel tines

Cons

  • Self-assembly design

Best double-sided rake

Roughneck rake Roughneck/Amazon

Another heavy-duty choice, this Rough-Neck 'Sharp-Edge' rake features exactly that. One side of the head has 14 recessed tines and the other boasts a serrated back blade designed for breaking up earth, levelling rocky ground, and scraping. Roughneck states this tool is "built to last," as it's manufactured from carbon steel giving a corrosion-resistant finish. This rake has a rot-proof, tough, and durable fibreglass handle that measures 150cm.

Customer review: "Strong and sturdy. This is the best garden rake I have ever had. It is so easy to use without much effort and keeps the garden nice and tidy. 10/10."

Pros

  • Serrated back blade
  • Fibreglass handle

Cons

  • No hanging hook

Best brush rake

Orientools rake Orientools/Amazon
Price: $29.99

If you've gone down the artificial grass route for your outdoor space, a standard garden rake could be too robust for your faux lawn. You can get specialist brush rakes for your Astroturf to gently maintain it and remove debris without damaging it. This has a polypropylene plastic rake head and polyamide bristles. The alloy steel handle collapses down for space-saving storage.

Customer review: "Works perfectly! I had a seven by 12 metre area cleaned up in 10 minutes. Doesn't get clumped up with leaves, and simply letting it glide across the grass works best, i.e., don't put any downward pressure on the rake."

Pros

  • Polyamide bristles
  • Collapsing handle

Cons

  • Niche usage

Best hand rake

Gaoge rake Gaoge/Amazon
Price: $58.15

A hand rake is not a replacement for a full-size garden rake but can offer some very useful functionality. A mini rake is great for clearing flower beds and vegetable patches from leaves and weeds, offering you a nimble way to work around existing plants. This Gaoge hand rake boasts military-grade steel tines and a wooden handle. This comes in five-tine and seven-tine versions and in two different handle lengths.

Customer review: "I like this because I am unable to bend and rake. Used it to remove moss from my lawn. Worked well and now have moss free lawn."

Pros

  • Military-grade steel
  • Two handle lengths

Cons

  • Only for small jobs

How we chose the best garden rakes

All of these garden rakes have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered the type of heads, handles, and usability in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching garden rakes to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

What is the best kind of garden rake?

It really does depend on what you want to use it for. The two main types of rake are sturdy, short-tined tools for general garden use, and long-tined, fan-shaped options that are great for collecting garden debris. Here's a brief rundown:

Soil rakes - Can be used to gather garden materials, best for use with soil and garden beds, for spreading garden mulch, and for smoothing gravel and sand.

Leaf/lawn rakes - Ideal for scraping up grass cuttings, clearing up offcuts after pruning, and moving fallen leaves. These can offer plastic or metal heads.

Bow rakes - Strong and sturdy metal rakes that are great for heavy-duty tasks, such as breaking up soil and dealing with rockier ground.

Hand rakes - A small-scale hand tool take on a rake. Great for working in a limited space, such as flower beds, and also useful for weeding moss out of lawns.

How to look after your garden rake

As with all garden tools, you should take good care of your garden rake. A solid maintenance routine will see your rake last longer, meaning you won't need to replace it too often.

Cleanliness is the key to rake care. After each use, brush off debris with a stiff brush as this can cause even carbon steel to rust. If there is still residue after a good brush, you can give your rake a quick blast under the garden hose or a brief wash with soapy water.

Rakes with wooden handles will benefit from occasional treatment - a swift coat of varnish, for example, after you've rubbed it down with some fine sandpaper. You can also oil a rake's metal tines.

The final point to note is where to store your rake. A dry tool shed, garage, or your greenhouse is ideal. If you can suspend your rake from a hook, keeping it off cold and damp ground, it's advised.

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Amy-Mae Turner is a Commerce Content Writer for Modern Gardens, Yours, Take A Break Pets, and A Modern Kitchen. When she's not pottering in the garden or mucking around in the kitchen, she can be found having doggy cuddles with her two beloved cockapoochis.

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