The Three Basic Kinds Of Rakes, And How To Use Them

While there are many different shapes and colors of rakes on the market, they all really fall into three main varieties. Each of these basic rake varieties has its own purpose, and knowing how to use them properly can help you get your yard into tip-top shape.

Garden Rakes

This kind of rake has a sturdy, one-piece metal head with tines that are even in length. Usually, the tines are set at a 90-degree angle to the handle of the rake, though sometimes they are curved slightly inward. Garden rakes' main purpose is working soil. You can use this rake to break apart and loosen soil that has become compacted or somewhat clumped together. Other handy uses for it are spreading gravel, raking coals out after you have a camp fire, or spreading out straw that you've laid down over new grass seed.

Garden rakes come in a variety of widths. For most homes, one that's about 1 to 1 1/2 feet wide is sufficient, since this is wide enough to cover a decent surface area with each stroke, but not so wide that a lot of physical force is required to handle the rake.

Lawn or Left Rakes

This variety of rake is what most people think of when they hear the word "rake." It consists of metal tines arranged in a triangle shape. They're held together at the top, near the handle, and splay out at the bottom. Modern lawn rakes are sometimes made from plastic. Plastic rakes tend to be wider than metal ones, since they are lighter in weight and are thus easier to handle. The primary purpose for this kind of rake, as the name suggests, is raking leaves.

In addition to raking leaves, lawn rakes are also useful for gathering weeds that have been pulled from a garden, and for spreading light compost over large garden beds.

Shrub Rakes

Shrub rakes look just like lawn or leaf rakes, but they are much narrower -- most are about 8 to 10 inches wide. They are designed this way so they can be used to rake leaves out from between shrubs and bushes in garden beds. Though plastic shrub rakes are available, metal ones tend to be a better choice since the separate tines move around the shrub branches more fluently. Shrub rakes can also be used for spreading mulch and compost in small areas.

For proper lawn and garden care, it's important to have one of each of these types of rakes in your collection. Use them for their intended purposes, and you'll find that yard work becomes much easier. Contact a local landscaping supplies store, such as Charles Bopst Trucking, for more information.