12 Best Rake Tips and Tricks
Rakes don't just clean up leaves. They can do lawn care and so much more.
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Super-Fast Floor Squeegee
Here’s a classic handy hint for rounding up water on your garage or basement floor. Assemble this simple squeegee by slipping a piece of foam pipe insulation over the tines of a rake. Then just push the water to the drain or out the door. — Art Rooze
Epoxy a Handle to the End
Get a better grip on your rake by epoxying a 1-in. PVC tee to the end. This will add comfort and make gripping easier.
Try a garden rake instead of a hoe the next time you have to mix concrete. The rake won’t splash as much water over the edge, and the tines do a good job of combining the water with the powder. With a hoe, you waste a lot of time just pushing powder around the tub.
I rake leaves like I’m sweeping the floor with a broom. I always used to get a blister between the index finger and thumb of my lower hand. Now I just keep my thumb and fingers on the same side of the pole. You get just as much gripping power—without the blisters! – reader Kipp Beck
Add a PVC Handle
Save your back when raking mulch or shoveling heaps of dirt by adding another handle to your long-handle tools. A section of PVC pipe with a tee fitting and cap work perfectly. Add a screw through the tee fitting and into the handle for won’t-budge stability.
Make Raking More Comfortable
Tired of having sore hands after a long day of raking? Bubble Wrap® can help prevent blisters by placing some on the handle of a rake or a broom.
Smarter Leaf Collection
Reuse Your Old Rake for Storage
Don’t put your old rake out to pasture. Put the rake to use in your workshop instead. Just cut off the handle and hang it on the wall or on your pegboard. It’s a handy place to store wrenches and other tools. — Roy Dupont
Overhead Storage for Garden Tools
Rakes, shovels, brooms and other long-handled tools seem to be in the way no matter how they’re stored in the garage.
Here’s a rack that works: Cut two pieces of plywood about 12 in. x 48 in. and drill matching 2-in. holes in each, spaced about 6 in. apart. Mount the racks on crossties below your garage roof rafters.
Lawn Tool Carrier
An old golf bag with a cart makes a perfect holder for garden tools. The large wheels make it easy to haul the tools over long distances and rough terrain.
Kristen Prahl/Getty Images
Don’t Be Too Rough with the Rake
It’s good to use the rake in the spring to remove debris such as twigs and leaves left behind from the fall. But be gentle. If you’re too rough, you’ll uproot new shoots or even break up chunks of sod.
Simple Spiral Hose Storage
Here’s a handy tip for storing your spiral hoses so they don’t end up tangled. Just wrap them around the handle of a rake or shovel. The long-handled tool does double duty! — Bill Aloi