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32 Types of Rakes for Your Outdoor Needs

Raking up leaves in the backyard

While nobody knows for certain, the first mention of the garden rake with respect to when it was invented is 1,100 BC in China. These early rakes were all wood. As you’ll see below, now rakes are made in all kinds of materials, each having their own benefits and purposes.

Since 1,100 BC, many different types of rakes have evolved. We list out and classify 32 rake options for your garden and landscaping below.

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Garden Rake

Garden rake

Source: Hayneedle

When most people think about a rake, this is the type that they picture, as they are very common and almost every homeowner or gardener owns this kind of rake. They have a number of other names as well, including “level heads”, “soil rakes”, and “ground rakes.” These rakes consist of a long head that is straight and it has stiff, short tines that are very rigid and don’t bend or flex. They are ideal for making planting rows and breaking up hard clumps of soil.

Lawn Rake

Lawn rake

Source: Hayneedle

This is another very popular type of rake that is sometimes called a “spring tine rake.” Some people mistake them for leaf rakes since they are similar in appearance and these can also be used to gather leaves, but they have many more uses than simply being used in the fall for leaf clean-up. They have heads with long, thin metal tines spread out in a fan shape. The shape of the tines, as well as their flexibility, means that they can be used easily on uneven ground without catching or snagging the dirt and can rake up many different items.

Leaf Rake

Leaf rake

Source: Home Depot

Sometimes erroneously called “lawn rakes” or “fan rakes,” these rakes have plastic tines instead of metal ones. While the tines do have a little give to them, they are much stiffer than metal ones are, making this rake ideal for moving very light objects. They are great to use in the fall for raking up piles of leaves and can also easily tackle grass clippings in the yard as well. The tines spread out in a fan or triangle shape and are bent slightly at the end so that they are able to hold on to the items that are being raked.

Leaf Scoop Rake

Leaf scoop rake

Source: Houzz

While most people use leaf rakes when they need to rake up the leaves from their yard in the fall, there is a kind of rake called a leaf scoop rake that can make this job a little easier. Instead of raking up the leaves and then having to bend down and manually scoop them up to move them to a wheelbarrow or a compost pile, this rake operates by allowing you to easily scrape together a pile of leaves and pick them up without much work on your part. It has a set of jaws that open and close over the leaves, making it easy to grab a section of the pile that you made and move it. Unfortunately, these rakes are not strong enough to lift very heavy items, so they are best for use in the fall to move piles of leaves from one location to another.

Thatch Rake

Thatch rake

Source: Home Depot

Buying a thatch rake is a great idea if you have a lot of build-up in your yard from dead grass and moss. Look for a rake called a “scarifying rake,” “dethatching rake,” or “thatching rake.” While it may have a different name, the purpose and design will be the same. They do an amazing job of scraping out the thatch from a yard while still leaving behind healthy grass. Using a rake that’s not designed for this job will result in damage to the grass and will leave behind a lot of thatch. These rakes are made with very sharp tines that are like blades, which will scrape out the thatch and be strong enough to pull it out from the yard.

Landscape Rake

Landscape rake

Source: Home Depot

This is a more specialized kind of rake, and not one that most homeowners will have. It is very common for landscaping companies to have these kind of rakes, as they are perfect for quickly completing large jobs. They have incredibly wide and flat heads that are perfect for spreading sand or soil and making sure that it is level. You may find them called “tractor landscape rakes,” and there are some varieties that can be drug behind a tractor to make the job even easier to complete.

Tarmac Rake

Tarmac rake

Source: Home Depot

While these look very similar to regular garden rakes that most people have in their garage, they are a lot stronger and are designed to be able to complete more heavy-duty jobs without being damaged or falling apart. They have a wider head than the standard garden rake, and the materials used to create these rakes are stronger. They do a great job spreading heavy material over the ground and can be used for mulch or rocks without any problems. They are often called “gravel rakes,” “stone rakes,” or even “asphalt rakes.”

Shrub Rake

Shrub rake

Source: Hayneedle

These rakes are very similar in appearance to leaf rakes, but have a much smaller group of tines. The times are still arranged in a fan shape, but since there are fewer of them and they are shorter overall, these rakes are perfect for getting into tight spaces in the garden or landscaping. Instead of trying to use a large leaf rake around fencing, shrubbery, or other small spaces, these smaller shrub rakes can easily and quickly slip into tight areas and clean them out.

Hand Rake

Hand rake

Source: Houzz

While most rakes have a very long handle that allows the user to use the rake while standing up, hand rakes have a short handle that is designed so that the person using them must be very close to the surface that they are working on. They can resemble either a garden rake or a lawn rake, but the only difference will be in the type of head. The head is also much smaller than one that you will find with a full-sized handle, as this allows for precision in the garden. While these rakes may not seem very useful to take care of large areas of ground, they are perfect for raking around small plants in the garden or for landscaping with precision.

Lake Rake

Lake rake

Source: Houzz

This is a very specialized type of rake that most people won’t have unless they have a pond on their property that they regularly take care of. These can also be called “aquatic weed rakes” or “pond rakes,” and are designed to remove the algae and weeds that grow in bodies of water. Many come with a very long handle that makes it easy to use them either from shore or in a boat, while others have significantly shorter handles but are attached to a rope. These shorter rakes with a rope can be thrown into the lake or pond and then pulled back to shore, dragging algae and weeds with them.

Hay Rake

Hay rake

Source: Home Depot

These rakes are specifically designed to be able to gather hay and dried grass from large areas without a lot of effort. They are perfect for use on small farms, as they can easily gather up hay from the ground for baling. While they look like landscape rakes with their large tines and wooden head, they are designed a little differently. There are some hay rakes that have been made to hook to the back of a tractor for use in large fields or on large farms.

Roof Rake

Roof rake

Source: Home Depot

These rakes have to be very lightweight because they are designed so that the user can reach up high onto the roof of a home to pull down snow and other bits of debris that may be lodged up there. They work by scraping down the roof and pulling down the snow, ice, or piles of leaves that are located there. When used correctly, they can help ensure that the roof is not in any danger of damage from ice or standing water and can relieve the heavy weight of snow. They have very long handles, so the user isn’t in danger of pulling anything down on top of themselves when they use these rakes.

Berry Rake

Berry rake

Source: Home Depot

These rakes are sometimes called “berry picking rakes,” and are very small with a head shaped like a container or little bucket. They can be used to quickly gather berries such as strawberries by dragging the head of the rake through the leaves of the plant. The berries will end up gathered inside the container on the head of the rake.

Concrete Rake

Concrete rake

Source: Home Depot

While these rakes may have a textured edge on the head, they also have at least one flat edge that is used to smooth out wet concrete. They can also be used to push and pull the concrete around to get it into position before it dries. They’re perfect for smoothing out concrete for paths, patios, porches, and other surfaces.

Fire Rake

Fire rake

Source: Home Depot

These rakes are generally only purchased and used by firefighters, but they are commonly used when fighting wildland fires. They have very strong, triangular tines that can push dirt back onto the fire. This keeps the flames pushed away from fresh fuel and back into an area that has already been burned so that the spread of the fire is slowed. These rakes must have a long enough handle that the user can operate them safely without fear of being burned, but the handle must also be short enough to provide plenty of control over the rake.

Poop-Scoop Rake

Poop-scoop rake

Source: Houzz

This is an item that most pet owners own, and it has just one purpose. These scoop sets consist of a scoop pan as well as a small rake. The handle on the rake can often be extended to make using this product easier. They are used similar to a broom and dustpan to collect waste from the yard and make it so that the dog owner doesn’t have to bend down to do so.

Ash Rake

Ash rake

Source: Wayfair

These are very small and specialized rakes that have small heads and a short handle. They are usually made of metal so that they can reach into a fireplace or grill without risk of catching on fire, and they are used to clean out grills and fireplaces. They pull ashes towards the user and can be used to quickly scoop out anything left behind.

Zen Garden Rake

Zen garden rake

Source: Etsy

If you have a Zen garden in your home, then you know that you need a very small rake to move the sand around the rocks. These rakes are used to draw patterns in the sand and are too small and light to be used for any sort of landscaping.

Child’s Rake

Child's rake

Source: Hayneedle

If you want to have your children help you with yard work, then you will want to buy a rake that is their size, as it will be much easier and safer for them to use. Rather than struggle with a rake that is taller than them, when they have one that is their size, they will be able to control the rake and easily help remove leaves in the yard.

Head Material


Bamboo rake

Source: Houzz

Bamboo rakes are very strong, although they are not quite as strong or brittle as plastic rakes tend to be. One of the major perks of using a bamboo rake is that when the rake has reached the end of its life, the bamboo head can be composted. These rakes are very durable, and even as the tines wear down with regular use, they can continue to be used, even though the tines will be a little shorter.


Plastic rake

Source: Home Depot

Plastic rake heads are very common and are generally used on leaf rakes. This type of material is not as flexible as other materials, but the rigidity can work to the benefit of the rake, allowing it to be used to quickly and easily scrape together items. Plastic heads and tines are very light, making these rakes easy for young children or elderly people to use without exerting a lot of effort or running into too much trouble.


Steel rake

Source: Hayneedle

Steel tines on a rake are very strong and inflexible, making them perfect for removing thatch from a yard or spreading out heavy materials such as stones or rocks. These tines aren’t ideal for raking up leaves, but they do a great job when the rake is used correctly.


Metal rake

Source: Houzz

While these rakes tend to be a little more expensive than a rake with a plastic head, the metal tines will last for much longer and are much less likely to crack or to break, no matter what you are trying to move. They may become bent if you are trying to rake an item that is too heavy, but because they are so flexible, they can easily reach under bushes and move quickly over uneven ground without bouncing or giving the user problems. While the metal tines may rust if left wet for extended periods of time, this rust does not in any way inhibit the use of the rake.

Handle Material


Rake with aluminum handle

Source: Home Depot

Aluminum handles are not only very light, but often come with the option to be collapsible. This means that the rake can easily be made shorter or longer, depending on the need of the user. Unfortunately, these rakes aren’t the sturdiest option available, and the aluminum can be dented or damaged if the rake is thrown or if something heavy lands on it.


Rake with wooden handle

Source: Home Depot

Wood handles are very common for rakes, and most homeowners will buy rakes made of wood. They are generally fairly lightweight and as long as the rake is taken care of, will last for a long time. There is the concern of getting a splinter when using a wood rake, but using gloves and being careful not to damage the handle will reduce this possibility. Rakes with wood handles need to be stored in the garage or in the shed when they are not in use, as even treated wood will begin to rot and show signs of weather damage when left unprotected.


Rake with fiberglass handle

Source: Home Depot

Fiberglass rake handles offer a great compromise of strength and weight. They are similar to aluminum rakes in how light they are, which makes them very easy to use and to handle, but their material is much stronger. This means that there is a much smaller chance of accidentally breaking or damaging your rake when you choose one that has a fiberglass handle.


Rake with steel handle

Source: Houzz

While they will be heavier than other types of rakes, those with steel handles are going to do a great job standing up to the elements. They are rust-resistant and will continue to look amazing for a long time after their purchase. These rakes do tend to be a little heavier than rakes made of other materials, but that is a trade-off that many people find acceptable since the rakes are so strong.


Cushioned Grip

Rake with cushioned grip

Source: Houzz

If you are going to be using your rake for an extended period of time, you will want to look into buying one that comes with a cushioned grip, as it will make it less difficult to use. Instead of your hands cramping up from holding onto the handle, when you have a cushioned grip, not only is the handle more comfortable to hold, but it is wider as well. This extra width makes it much easier to hold the rake without overexerting your hands and growing weary quickly. This feature is very common on leaf and garden rakes.


Rake with ergonomic grip

Source: Houzz

Ergonomic yard tools have been specifically designed to be easy to use and to cause less stress on the body. Instead of suffering with a handle that is too long or too short, when you use an ergonomic rake, you can know that it was created with comfort in mind. Ergonomic rakes mean that you have a much lower chance of pulling a muscle, waking up sore, or hurting your joints while using the tool. Since raking tends to be a full-body experience, buying an ergonomic rake is a good idea if you are at all concerned about taking care of your body while you are working in the yard.

Non-Slip Grip

Rake with non-slip grip

Source: Houzz

Long days raking, especially when the weather is poor, can result in you losing your grip on your rake. While you are unlikely to become injured while raking, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have control over the tool at all times to decrease the chances that you will be injured. When you buy a rake that has a non-slip grip, not only will you not have to worry about dropping the rake in the middle of your yard work, but you can also have wet or damp hands while raking. This makes it easy to switch between raking and other yard work without having to deal with putting on gloves or drying off your hands. Non-slip grips are also very popular on roof rakes, as you will be out in the snow or rain in such situations and do not want to lose control of the rake.


Heavy-duty rake

Source: Houzz

Heavy-duty rakes are designed to be able to tackle big jobs without being damaged. While homeowners can buy these tough rakes, they are usually used for commercial purposes. These rakes are built to last for a long time and are made to be used all day long without any incurring any damage to them. While they do tend to be a little more expensive than other rakes, they are usually worth the added cost, as they will outlast some lighter rakes. This means that in the long run you will save both time and money when you opt for a heavy-duty rake that you know you will be using on a regular basis.


Rust-resistant rake

Source: Houzz

Nobody wants their garden tools to be damaged and rusty, and one of the best ways to ensure that your rake lasts for a long time is to buy one that is rust-resistant. While this doesn’t mean that you should leave your rake out in the elements all the time, it does mean that it will do a much better job standing up to water, rain, and other weather damage. It’s always a good idea to store your rakes in a covered place when you aren’t using them, but rust-resistant rakes can stand up to damaging elements a little bit better than other types of rakes can.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can read a list of answers to commonly asked questions about garden rakes.

How long is the standard rake?

The average length of a rake ranges from 22 to 30 inches in length. When shopping for a rake it’s important to keep the dimensions in mind as the size will determine how easy the tool is to handle. A good rule of thumb is to choose one that is able to reach the bridge of your nose as it touches the floor. The goal is to ensure that you feel a sense of balance when using this particular tool.

What is the best way to store rakes?

The best way to store rakes is on racks. Rather than leave your rakes in a pile in your garage, it’s a good idea to hang them up. This way, you can avoid damaging your vehicles or the rake itself. When purchasing racks, keep in mind that every rake is different. For instance, leaf rakes typically feature heads that are wide.

What are rakes used for?

Rakes are used for various landscaping tasks. For example, they’re often used to clean debris–specifically to clear away grass clippings, fallen leaves, and even heavier items such as stones. Rakes can be used to remove moss and thatch build-ups as those with sharp thines can cut through to the roots. These tools can be used to break up clumps of soil so that the area can be used for sowing seeds and planting. Rakes can also be used to level surfaces such as gravel, pebbles, tarmac, bark, and soil. Hand rakes are small and can be used around smaller plants and flowers.

Who invented the rake?

The rake was invented by Edmund Brown. While there were earlier versions of this invention, Brown was the first to be issued a patent. What distinguishes this inventor’s rake from others was that it featured metal teeth. This ensured that the rake did not become clogged with debris and eliminated the need for the user to remove the debris from the tool by hand.

When was the rake invented?

The rake was invented in 1874. However, there are similar designs that date back to the 16th century and beyond. In fact, we know that rakes were commonplace in ancient times because they are featured on scrolls and walls in Egypt. Ancient rakes were made entirely of wood, but eventually, Romans learned to create metal prongs and they added them to the ends of rakes. These artifacts have been recovered from the Roman empire.

Rakes are also featured in Medieval Chinese paintings. In fact, the first mention of this tool can be found in China 1100 B.C. During that time, rakes were used to harvest grain and hay and clear the fields of refuse. Over time, China’s citizens began to use the rake as a weapon. Farmers needed to be able to defend themselves but were forbidden to use weapons that were meant for the upper classes. The “yueyachan”, is known to be the oldest weapon-like rake, used mainly by travelers.

Once the rake made it’s way to the West, it was used to push coals in the fireplace which helped the homeowners to achieve a better flame. However, the West too used the rake as inspiration for weaponry. Specifically, rakes were used as instruments of torture. People would often use these tools in order to spread a person over the flames. This is where the phrase, “rake you over the coals” originated. Rakes were used as a means of getting a confession from those that they considered to be heretics.

Can rakes be recycled?

Yes, there are several ways in which this tool can be recycled. Broken rakes can be used to create metal sculptures. The handle can be used to support plants. The teeth can be painted, hung upside down and used to hold gardening tools or keys.

Can used rakes be sold?

Yes, you can resell your rakes. The home and garden industry is estimated to be worth approximately 296 billion dollars. This means that homeowners are always searching for tools that can help them with improving their home. And many are more than willing to purchase gently used rakes. Hold a garage sale or sell your old rakes online.

Approximately how many rakes are sold in the US each year?

According to the New York Times, there are approximately 4 million rakes sold each year. And they range in cost from $4 to $30.

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