12 Best Rake Tips and Tricks

Updated: May 06, 2024

Rakes don't just clean up leaves. They can do lawn care and so much more.

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woman using a rack with a pool noodle attached to clean water on garage floor Family handyman

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

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holding rake with PVC pipe attached to the ends family handyman

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.

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Mixing Concrete with a rake and tray on blue tarp family handyman

Mix Concrete

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.

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man in green sweater and blue jeans holding a red rake with fall leaves in the grass
family handyman

Hand Placement

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. Get to know about different types of rakes.

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man in flannel shirt and jeans holding a PVC handle midway on a rake handle family handyman

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.

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bubble wrap on rake handle Family handyman

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.

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man cleaning up leaves in yard with a large tarp bagster Family handyman

Smarter Leaf Collection

If you have lots of leaves to gather and haul to the compost site, rather than buy and fill a bunch of plastic leaf bags, save lots of time and effort by raking leaves into a Bagster bag. That’s how to get rid of leaves in large loads. Pull the full bag into your trailer, transport the leaves and store the bag for the next season.

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rake hanging on wall in garage with tools hanging from it
family handyman

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

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garage tool organizer hanging from ceiling planks family handyman

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.

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man with golf caddy holding yard tools family handyman

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.

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Low Section Of Man Holding Rake Working In Yard
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.

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spiral hose on rake handle hanging on the side of a house family handyman

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