Are you someone who has a yard prone to collecting leaves in the fall? You might be used to bemoaning poor quality leaf rakes that come apart with a bit of use.
We’re here to deliver you research and advice regarding top quality leaf rakes on the market. After reviewing customer feedback and expert tips, we’re confident that these rakes will be able to tackle your backyard leaves while sparing your back.
What Type of Rake is Best for Leaves?
You might be surprised to learn that there are many types of rakes on the market. These include bow rakes, shrub rakes, garden rakes, and of course, leaf rakes. For cleaning up their yards, people tend to choose between leaf rakes and bow rakes.
You can definitely rake leaves with bow rakes too, but the original purpose of these rakes was for levelling sand, dirt, ground, and various materials, which means they’re made to handle heavier objects, and not optimally for use on leaves. They feature tines that are thicker and shorter than those found on leaf rakes. This will leave a lot of space on the rake, which risks letting leaves fall in between as you work.
Clearly, using a leaf rake is the better option. Bow rakes are better left to other yard tasks.
How to Choose the Best Leaf Rake
Every leaf rake will have its own characteristics, so here are some tips that will help you pick one that suits you:
The tines are your first stop when choosing a rake. First of all, tines can be made of different materials, including plastic and metal. As a material, plastic is a cheaper option. It is also lighter and easier to clean. Metal might be a hardier material, and more appropriate if you need to do heavy labor or large piles of leaves.
Some tines are expandable, making them adept at sneaking into tight corners. They can also narrow themselves, allowing you to get between items and areas to pick out leaves that might be stuck.
Something else you need to examine is the width of the tines, meaning the whole width from side to side, and the amount of space left in between the tines. The gaps between each shouldn’t be extremely wide, because too much space will allow your leaves to fall through.
Like the rest of the rake, the material of the rake’s handle will be varied. Some metal handles exist, offering durability and heavy use. On the other hand, plastic handles will be better to clean and lighter. They also tend to lower the price of a rake.
Wooden handles are available and appear better for the environment. The biggest issue with wood is that it can mold and rot if stored for an extended time outdoors.
Extendable handles also exist, letting you adjust the length and size of the handle as needed. You can also use them to alter the height of the rake according to the user.
Finally, some handles come with extra features like ergonomic designs, extra areas for balancing, and even a cushioned grip that keeps your experience as comfortable as possible.
Leaf rakes usually weigh anywhere between one and five pounds. This makes them relatively light, but some people prefer their rakes to be as light as possible. Others prefer heavy rakes because they claim they feels sturdier.
If you want your kids to help around the yard, you’ll definitely need a rake that is light enough for them to hold.
Today, you can find yard rakes at prices of $20 to $40. If you look around a bit, you’ll probably be able to score one on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
Tips for Raking Leaves
Take a look at our best raking tips:
* Pull the leaves towards you instead of pushing or pulling them to one side. If you keep your abdominal muscles and core tight, this can prevent you from staining your back.
* Rake your leaves onto a tarp. We’re used to putting leaves into disposal bags, but you could be raking all those leaves on to a tarp instead. You can then empty it at a local community center before reuse.
* Bag leaves immediately. It’s highly recommended that you capture your leaves as soon as you can, since wind and other external influences can mess with your piles in the blink of an eye.
* Rake the right way. Knowing how to rake is important because you should be cooperating with the wind, not fighting it. Raking downhill is also better if your yard is sloped.
* Dress appropriately. Raking can be a dusty job, so you should protect yourself with long-sleeved attire, heavy gloves, and maybe even eye protection.
* If you need to step away from your pile, but your leaves haven’t been bagged, stomp on them to stop them from blowing off.
* Work in rows by splitting your garden into multiple parts and rows. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of making one big pile, a time consuming and ultimately useless task.
* Keep up on mowing the lawn. As long as the grass in your yard is growing, you probably need to maintain it as well. Mowers can retrieve leaves, lessening how much raking needs to happen in the Fall.
* Pay attention to the weather, because it’s easier to rake dry rather than damp leaves.
* Don’t rush. There’s no need to start clearing your yard the day you see a leaf falling. If you wait until all the neighborhood trees are barren, you can save a lot of time by raking all at once, rather than finding that you need to rake every few days again.