What are the different types of rake?
The word ‘rake’ comes from the Old English word ‘raca’ from the root meaning of ‘heap up’ or ‘to scrape together’.
Although basic rake designs are similar, different types have been developed to ensure they suit certain tasks.
You might need more than one type of rake, depending on what jobs you want to do. Choosing the right rake for the task can make your jobs done quicker and easier.
Garden rakes can sometimes be called soil rakes, bow rakes, ground rakes or level heads. These have fairly long, straight heads which have short, rigid tines. They are designed for some heavy jobs, such as breaking up hard soil and creating planting rows.
Lawn rakes are sometimes called fan rakes or spring tine rakes. Often they are also referred to as leaf rakes, as they can be used to gather leaves. However, they are usually more versatile than leaf rakes. They have thin metal tines, which have a little flexibility to move over uneven ground.
Leaf rakes are sometimes referred to as lawn rakes or fan rakes. However, they differ from lawn rakes because they have plastic tines which are only designed to move leaves, grass clippings, and other very lightweight materials.
The tines are arranged in a triangle, or fan shape, and bent at the end so that they hold on to the material being raked.
Leaf Scoop Rakes
Some leaf rakes are specifically designed to enable you to scrape leaves into a pile and then lift and move them, without having to bend much. Standard leaf rakes are not usually designed for lifting materials.
Thatch rakes can sometimes be called thatching rakes, dethatching rakes or scarifying rakes. They are designed to remove dead grass, thatch and moss from lawns and gardens. They have sharp, blade-like tines which leave most of the healthy grass in place while removing the thatch.
Landscape rakes have fairly wide, flat heads. They are used to spread and level ground materials such as soil or sand. For much larger areas, there are mechanised landscape rakes that can be attached to tractors or other vehicles. They are sometimes called tractor landscape rakes.
Tarmac rakes can also be called asphalt rakes, stone rakes, gravel rakes, road rakes, or roadstone rakes. They often resemble a standard garden rake, however, they usually have a slightly wider head. They should be particularly strong so they can spread and level heavier ground cover materials than some other rakes.
Hand rakes are much smaller than other rakes. They come in two basic designs, resembling either a lawn rake, or a garden rake. The handle is short, as they are designed for working closely to a surface. The head is smaller, so the rake can be used for more delicate and precise work, such as in between plants and in tight spaces.
What other types of rakes are available?
Some types of rake are less common for the average gardener or home landscaper. They may have specific uses for certain jobs, or within specific industries.
They are still used for jobs like gathering, clearing, breaking and leveling.
Lake rakes can also be called pond rakes or aquatic weed rakes. They are specifically designed to remove weeds and algae from ponds, lakes and other water features. Some have an extra-long handle, so they can reach fairly deep into the water; others have shorter handles attached to some rope – these can be thrown into the water and pulled.
Hay rakes are designed to gather dried grass and hay from fairly large areas of ground. They are often used on small farms to gather hay for baling. They resemble landscape rakes and often have a wooden head and tines. A larger version, which can be attached to a tractor or other vehicle, is used for covering very large areas.
Roof rakes are designed for reaching up high onto roofs or other surfaces. They can remove snow and unwanted debris by scraping it down. This can help prevent snow and ice building up and damaging a roof.
A berry rake, sometimes called a berry-picking rake, is a small rake with a head shaped like a bucket or similar container. They are used to gather berries quickly by raking through leaves and branches and gathering berries in the container.
Concrete rakes have a head with at least one flat edge. They are used for spreading and smoothing out wet concrete on paths and other ground surfaces. The concrete rake allows for a level finish to ensure your work is high quality.
Fire rakes are commonly used by firefighters trying to stop the spread of wildland fires. The tough, triangular tines are used to push ground materials which are on fire back onto themselves.
This means the flames are pushed away from fresh fuel onto material which has already been burnt, creating a break which should stop the fire spreading and allow it to burn itself out.
These can also be used when creating fire pits or bonfires to reduce the risk of losing control of the fire. A fire rake can create a space around where you wish to create your fire pit or bonfire removing any possible materials that could alight.
Poop Scoop Rakes
These are rakes which are specifically for dog owners. They consist of a small rake, often with a handle which can be extended, and a scoop pan. They are used rather like a dustpan and brush to collect dog waste without needing to bend down. These poop-scoop rakes usually come with the ability to encase the scoop pan with a bag to also make the process more hygienic.