The best garden rakes help with all kinds of different outdoor tasks, from levelling out seed beds to sweeping up leaves, 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 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.
What is a garden rake for?
A garden rake can be used for spreading and levelling soil, gravel, sand and bark chips, or sweeping up leaves and other garden waste.
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 in 2022
Kent and Stowe stainless steel soil rake
Kent & Stowe tools are based upon the designs and drawings of garden tools from the 1800s; their traditional aesthetic enhanced by the benefits of modern manufacturing. Their attractive ash-handled rake is perfect for soil preparation; its bowed shape allowing aeration of the soil. It's also suitable for gathering stones and waste.
Spear and Jackson Flexo Lawn Rake
Heavy-duty, strong and durable, this lawn rake is perfect for clearing up leaves, plant debris, twigs and grass. Its heat-treaded tines are tough yet flexible, and are wrapped around the rivets at the back of the plate to reduce the likelihood of them becoming detached during use. This rake won the Great British Growing Award in 2018.
Jardineer telescopic leaf rake
Save yourself from a bad back with this lightweight leaf rake that features a 160cm telescopic aluminium shaft and adjustable head so you can tidy up in narrow and wide spaces. The rake also has an ergonomic rubberized handle and a loop hole for easy storage.
Sneeboer Garden 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. 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. £82.95
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.
Rudd's Rake Factory 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 gathering leaves and raking gravel. £40
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. £29.90
Perseus Bronze 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. £96
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 Electric 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.
Matt Breen is a digital writer for the tech section of RadioTimes.com. He writes buying guides, product reviews, how-to, explainers and news stories about everything from flagship smartwatches to bendable televisions (no, really). He keeps a beady eye on all the latest news in the consumer tech world. Matt has also written for Expert Reviews, BikeRadar, Coach, Gardens Illustrated, Gathered.how and The Week. When he's not obsessing over the latest tech products, you might just find him painting and drawing - anything to limit his screen time.
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