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5 Best Leaf Rake for Your Garden and Lawn – Reviews & Buying Guide

There are quite a few simple tools that every homesteader and gardener requires. A long lasting, light, and easy to maneuver leaf rake is one of them. I use my rakes daily for a variety of chores and tasks. Caring for homestead acreage is no simple or easy task. Come fall, our yard becomes the repository of several dozen varieties of leaves, not to mention acorns and other nuts.

I frequently toss a rake in the back of my vehicle when I assist fellow gardeners on projects like the community garden and cleaning up wildflower areas. I’ve helped set up tents in which having a leaf rake along would have been ideal for moving debris from underneath the footprint. You just never know when a good leaf rake will come in handy.

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Product Name

Handle Length

Head Width

Rating

Gardenite Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake

63"

7-22"

A+

Fiskars Leaf Rake #96605935J

67"

24"

A+

The Amazing Pickup Rake Lightweight Ergonomic Yard Tool

63"

17"

A

Ames True Temper Kodiak Spring Brace Rake #1923700

54"

23"

A+

JND Telescopic Rake Folding Rake

32-62"

7.5-9.5"

B

Our pick

THE BEST LEAF RAKE

Gardenite Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake

The adjustable head and long handle are perfect for any situation. This rake is very lightweight, and while it may not seem so, but it's actually very durable. Gardenite Leaf Rake is the best choice if you feel traditional rakes aren't good enough for you.

What to Look for in a Leaf Rake

Knowing which rake to invest in is simple when you know what to look for. In this article, I share my experience and knowledge on how to find the right leaf rake for you. The following criteria represent the most important aspects to consider when deciding which leaf rake best meets your needs. What the professionals use won’t always been the best choice when it comes to hobby gardening and farming. I have included several unique options that serve some very important personal needs that aren’t a concern to the professionals, such as telescoping.

The first thing to look for in a good leaf rake is durability.

No one wants to purchase a rake only to have it break apart the first time on the job. Often the cheap plastic rakes at your local supply store end up doing this. They are meant to be disposable and only last a season. Sometimes, they haven’t even lasted us that long. However, that’s not what a homesteader or frequent gardener needs, especially when there are so many better options out there. It’s neither

It’s neither cost-effective, nor environmentally sound and sustainable to purchase a cheap plastic rake every year.

Ask yourself, how long is this rake meant to last with regular seasonal use?

The answer should be decades, but we’ll settle for at least 5 years to make it both cost effective and less environmentally damaging. A durable rake typically has two main features, metal tines attached with a spring metal hinge, and a hardwood handle.

Hardwood handles are best because metal handles tend to bend or warp with heavy use, especially over time. Hardwood handles can be reused should the rake head or tines fail. Metal can be a valid second option as it will last a lifetime and has very little impact on the environment. However, those who live or typically rake in colder climates may want to consider avoiding metal rakes as they can be uncomfortable to handle in colder weather without gloves.

I highly suggest avoiding plastic handles. They are typically not re-useable, can become brittle and break, and take thousands of years to decompose.

Metal tines are important for many reasons. First, unless they become rusted from poor care or storage, they will last you a lifetime or longer. Second, they provide the appropriate amount of flex and strength necessary for leaves, small twigs, and debris. Plastic tines often break under the same pressure or fail to provide enough flexibility to be of use for the gardener.

Homeowners can, however, reduce their plastic tines breakage by 90% by not using them also as a scoop.

The second thing to look for in a good leaf rake is the comfort of use.

Raking takes lots of time and can be taxing on muscles. When it comes to rakes, bigger doesn’t mean better. It’s important for the rake’s dimensions to be comfortable and have good ergonomics for the user.

Every rake is not created equal in this way. Instead of purchasing one giant rake for the entire family, each family member should have their own rake. If this isn’t doable, finding a lightweight rake with an adjustable handle and perhaps even adjustable tines is the way to go so that each user can customize the correct ergonomic fit for their use.

This is especially important for those of differing heights and strengths. This will not only save time on the chore but also time spent recovering from it. It’s inefficient for women and children to wield the same rake as a man, not to mention hard on their bodies.

Those are the most important aspects to look for in a rake. Pretty simple once you know them isn’t it?

Now that you’re educated in the art of inspecting the quality of a rake, I will share with you a few of my favorites.

Best Leaf Rake – Reviews

The following is a comprehensive list of the best leaf rakes on the market. I’ve included what each rake has to offer and why. They will make your outdoor jobs a lot easier and likely much faster. It's important to note that all of the following rakes are attached to their handles with metal screws and not glue. Never purchase a rake where the head is attached with glue, it's not worth your money.

1. Gardenite Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake

Durability:

Ergonomics:

Our Rating:

A best seller due to its jack-of-all-trades abilities, the Gardenite 63-inch adjustable garden leaf rake with an expandable head leads the competition.

Remember when I said ergonomics matter? This rake is a perfect example for a household that only wants to purchase one for all members and all jobs. It’s lightweight, making it ideal for time-intensive tasks. It has an extra 15-inches of length than comparable rakes, making it ideal for households with tall gardeners.

Its head can get into areas as small as 7-inches and expand up to 22-inches for scooping up leaves or raking larger areas, like lawns. If you have shrubs or smaller plants with only a foot or less between them, this rake makes the delicate task of raking between them a cinch without even breaking your stride.

Meant to be long lasting, the entire rake is made from zinc-coated steel. The tines have molded ends, unlike a lot of the competition, making grasping leaves easier. I become frustrated with other rakes when the metal tines release leaves forcing me to re-rake an area. This rake’s design will help prevent that from happening. It meets all of our criteria, best yet, it’s 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

What we like:

  • Long handle (63")
  • Expandable telescoping head (7 to 22") effective for large and small areas
  • Lightweight
  • Great customer service

What we don't like:

  • Tines can be too wide to pick up small leaves
  • Can be awkward if you're used to traditional, heavier rakes
  • The handle feels filmsy

2. Fiskars Leaf Rake #96605935J

Durability:

Ergonomics:

Our Rating:

A personal favorite of mine and for those that prefer the upright angle and motion of push-broom type tools, the Fiskars Leaf Rake #96605935J may be your ideal rake.

Its patented 24-inch head design has extra-wide curved tines that grab leaves and is resistant to clogging. This type of design is perfect for moving lots of leaves. The design is especially helpful at reducing lower back strain as the gardener can stand upright and make smaller passes with more punch.

I hesitated to try this rake because of the plastic head. However, the Fiskars brand is known for their quality products designed to last a lifetime. It’s very sturdy, pretty lightweight as far as rakes go, and works well for a variety of gardener heights.

While this rake is great at moving dry leaves, it’s not that great with large piles of wet leaves. Before I got this rake, I was blowing through those large plastic ones every year. If your main task is moving leaves from a large area of ground, you can’t go wrong with this rake.

What we like:

  • Tight-spaced tines, you won't miss small leaves
  • The plastic head is more sturdy than it may seem
  • Lightweight
  • Long handle (67")
  • Lifetime warranty

What we don't like:

  • Has difficulty with heavy leaves and pine straw
  • Tines might not be sharp enough

3. The Amazing Pickup Rake Lightweight Ergonomic Yard Tool

Durability:

Ergonomics:

Our Rating:

On the pricier side yet still very affordable, the Amazing Pickup Rake is the biggest back and time saver of the bunch. Instead of having to rake all of the smaller piles into one large one and then bending over to pick those up into the bag or bin, rinse and repeat, this rake helps you to do that as you go. Similar in design to the handheld indoor item retrievers, this leaf retriever allows you to move large amounts of leaves without ever bending over or touching the leaf pile.

If you tend to have other small debris like acorns and berries or frequently have bug visitors in your leaf piles this rake will prevent you from having to handle them. I can't tell you how many times I’ve raked an entire garden, bagged the leaves, and then had to pick up individual acorns that slip through the tines of other rakes. If you’re like me and have difficulty with spending long hours bending and lifting, this rake is like having your own personal assistant. It’s strong but made of a light plastic.

What we like:

  • Works nicely to pick up leaves and debris
  • Easy on the back, no need to bend

What we don't like:

  • Works well but can't truly replace traditional rakes
  • Not very durable
  • Heavy for what it's made of

4. Ames True Temper Kodiak Spring Brace Rake #1923700

Durability:

Ergonomics:

Our Rating:

You really can’t go wrong when it comes to the classic style leaf rake. It’s sturdy, it’s a little heavier to use but it will last forever. The Ames Jackson Kodiak steel-tined leaf rake #1923700 is used by professionals and homeowners alike. It will get the job done for everyone in the home and will last you a lifetime and then some.

What we like:

  • Hardwood handle; looks nice, durable, and lightweight
  • It's just feels right on the hand

What we don't like:

  • Not really that special compared to rakes on local stores

5. JND Telescopic Rake Folding Rake

Durability:

Ergonomics:

Our Rating:

Speaking of classic design and for taking on the go, this collapsible telescoping garden rake by JND is a solid purchase for any urban gardener or those who enjoy carrying their rakes with them.

What we like:

  • Adjustable head (7.5 to 19.5")
  • Adjustable handle (32 to 62")
  • Feels sturdy and durable
  • Compact, you can bring it for camping too!

What we don't like:

  • The telescoping system isn't very intuitive and can be annoying

Conclusion: The Winner

I hope you have a better understanding of the necessary qualities in an outstanding rake. You can feel confident in your purchases, knowing you found not only a long-lasting rake but also one that is right for your unique needs.

Our pick

THE BEST LEAF RAKE

Gardenite Adjustable Garden Leaf Rake

The adjustable head and long handle are perfect for any situation. This rake is very lightweight, and while it may not seem so, but it's actually very durable. Gardenite Leaf Rake is the best choice if you feel traditional rakes aren't good enough for you.

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