Garden rakes are sometimes called soil rakes, level heads, ground rakes, flathead rakes or bow rakes. They are designed for breaking up hard soil and creating planting rows. They come in two styles, a flathead or bow head, based on how the head is attached to the handle.
Both the flathead and the bow head garden rake have straight heads with the tines bending over, either in a curve or a right angle bend. The head of the flathead rake is usually attached to the handle by a single joint in the middle. Bow heads are attached to the handle from either side, with two braces.
The tines on garden rakes are rigid and usually made from steel. They are relatively short and thick, and set with enough space between them for larger debris, like stones, to pass through. They are designed to move through compacted or clay soil, turn it and break it up, so its texture becomes finer. The flat part of the head can be used to level soil and other ground covers, like bark and sand.
For lighter and finer soil types, there are garden rakes with thinner tines, which are not as tough as other garden rakes. Sometimes they have narrower heads for use in smaller spaces. They can be used to remove old plants and weeds from these lighter soil types, but aren’t suitable for use with heavily compacted soil.
Garden rakes have a long handle, usually between 1.2m (47″) and 1.7m (67″) long. This allows you to reach quite far with each stroke. The heads of garden rakes are usually around 300mm (12″) wide. They can range from about 200mm (8″), for use in smaller garden areas, to about 400mm (16″) wide.If you are looking to remove leaves, then you should read our best leaf blower guide.