The best garden rakes help with all kinds of different outdoor tasks, from levelling out seed beds to sweeping up stray stones and bark chips.
Of course, with the right care, fallen leaves and other garden waste can have many benefits for your outdoor space. Leaves are pretty and great fun to kick through, and they provide much-needed nutrients for the soil. But allowing piles of clippings to rot can also be a problem, attracting pests and quickly turning into an eyesore.
The best option is to add them to your plant beds or compost bin, but you’ll need a good garden rake.
Across online retailers, there’s a wide variety of different rakes on sale, so before choosing one, it’s important to know how you’ll use it. We’ve rounded up a selection of the best garden rakes to get you started.
How to choose the best garden rake
- Usage – If you’ll be doing tough jobs like turning over soil or levelling a lawn, a heavy-duty rake with claw-like tines could be best. For clearing leaves, twigs and grass clippings, a lawn rake with thin, closely set tines will catch stray materials. You could even opt for a set of plastic leaf scoops or an electric rake.
- Handle length – Individual leaf scoops can be a good choice if you have a small lawn or piles of material to pick up. But for anyone who tends to get an achey back or has a big space to tidy, a long-handled garden rake is the more sensible option.
- Material – The type of material your rake is made from will affect how hardwearing, durable and eco-friendly it is. Think about your priorities to find the best garden rakes for you.
- Aesthetics – If you plan on displaying your rake, or even if you just appreciate an attractive garden tool, you may want to invest in a wooden or metal model.
Best garden rakes for everyday jobs
Sneeboer Leaf Rake
Dutch company Sneeboer is a highly reputed brand who makes hand-forged garden tools, and you can see the company’s quality in this one. The handle is made of FSC-sourced ash, and the head is made of stainless steel that comes with a five-year guarantee.
Emorsgate Traditional Wooden Hay Rake
If supporting British manufacturers is important to you, then take a look at this traditional wooden rake, which is made of ash set with silverbirch tines. It has been handmade by the Rudd family in Cumbria, who can lay claim to being the last commercial rake makers in the UK. Although it’s marketed as a hay rake, this is also recommended for use with leaves and gravel.
Wolf-Garten Multi-Change Longspan Rake
This 50cm-wide metal rake by Wolf-Garten is intended for use on lawns, and is one of the best garden rakes for grass. It has lots of small tines set closely together to comb the grass for unwanted material, and can also be used for tougher jobs like levelling your lawn. At just over a kilo in weight, it’s also an excellent lightweight option, if you don’t want a rake that’s too heavy.
Sneeboer Garden Rake
Another Sneeboer rake, this one aimed at general tasks, and not just clearing leaves. Don’t be fooled by this simplicity of this eight-tine rake: it has been hand-forged by artisanal craftsmen who are constantly honing and perfecting their products. Those heavy-duty tines that will stand up to aggressive use – a rake that’s perfect for preparing seedbeds or levelling lawns.
- £65 approx. ($94)
Fallen Fruits Leaf Scoops
If leaves are your chief challenge in the garden, then a pair of leaf scoops may be a better choice than a standard rake. While most leaf scoops have flat, spade-like edges, this set from Fallen Fruits has long tines, and will do an excellent job of raking through the grass to collect those leaves.
Manufactum Heavy Foliage Rake
If you’re looking for a rake that will last you over many decades, then this heavy-duty foliage rake is definitely worth consideration. It’s sourced by Manufactum, a company that specialises in household products that are built to last, rather than cheap and throwaway. Made of zinc-coated steel and set in a reinforced socket, this is one of the best garden rakes for tougher materials like foliage.
Keep in mind that you will need to buy a standard 28mm broom handle separately.
Radius Gator Grabber
Here is another set of leaf scoops, attached in a scissor-like design rather than in separate components. The Gator Grabber is marketed as ‘the ultimately back-saving clean-up tool’ – and is certainly one to consider if it’s actually clearing, versus raking, that you need to do. The steel handles are telescopic, and the ‘jaws’ are made of a durable polyfibre.
Perseus Bronze/Copper Rake
Bronze is a material that’s rarely used in the manufacturing of practical tools. But in the 1940s, an Austrian scientist discovered that bronze tools can actually enrich soil with the copper-trace elements they contain, by helping the growth of much-needed microorganisms. Being honest, we were impressed by the Perseus on looks alone – if it works wonders with your soil, that’s an added bonus.
Sophie Conran Gardener’s Hand Rake
For flowerbeds, plant pots and other small parts of your garden, a long-handled rake might be too big and unwieldy. This hand tool from Sophie Conran is one of the best garden rakes for more delicate tasks. We love the care and quality that has gone into its design (much as you would expect from a member of the Conran family), from the beech handle to the delicately curved tines.
Bosch UniversalRake 900 Lawn Raker
Is the thought of raking your lawn by hand simply unbearable? Consider investing in an electric lawn raker like the Bosch UniversalRake 900 – it will do all the hard work for you. Its rolling drum works in much the same way as a traditional vacuum cleaner, gobbling up the contents of your lawn into its 50L collection box. The most you will have to do is plug it into the mains indoors and push it back and forth.
For more information on caring for your garden during the colder months, you can read our guide on how to prepare your garden for the winter.