10 Types of Rakes and Their Uses

Roof rakes, leaf rakes, pond rakes and more. Here's our expert guide to knowing which ones you need and what to do with them to keep your yard tidy.

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Leaf Rake
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Leaf Rake

The leaf rake is perhaps the most common type you’ll see in a homeowner’s collection. It usually has long, thin, flexible tines made from metal, plastic or bamboo.

This rake is perfect for gathering leaves, grass clippings and other lightweight debris from your lawn. Its flexible tines shouldn’t damage your grass or flower beds.

Varieties

  • Plastic tines: Lightweight and affordable, but less durable.
  • Metal tines: More durable but can be heavier.
  • Bamboo tines: Eco-friendly and lightweight but less durable.
  • Sizes: Typically range from 10 to 30 inches wide.
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Garden Rake
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Garden Rake

The garden rake offers a more robust construction with short, rigid, usually metal tines.

This rake is ideal for breaking up soil, spreading mulch and leveling out garden beds. The sturdy tines allow for more aggressive digging and leveling.

Varieties

  • Steel: Durable but can be heavy.
  • Aluminum: Lighter than steel but less durable.
  • Sizes: Usually around 14 to 16 inches wide.
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Thatch Rake
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Thatch Rake

A thatch rake, sometimes called a dethatching rake, features sharp, hooked blades. It’s specifically for removing thatch, a layer of dead grass and roots that can build up on your lawn. Removing it improves water and nutrient absorption.

This is the only rake head you can put on a universal handle.

Varieties

  • Single-sided: For smaller areas.
  • Double-sided: For larger areas, often adjustable.
  • Materials: Typically made of durable metals like steel.
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Shrub Rake
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Shrub Rake

A shrub rake is smaller and narrower than a typical rake, with a fan-like shape for getting into tight spaces. It’s perfect for raking leaves and debris from around shrubs, bushes and flower beds without damaging the plants.

Varieties

  • Plastic: Lightweight but less durable.
  • Metal: More durable but heavier.
  • Sizes: Typically eight to 12 inches wide.
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Landscape Rake
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Landscape Rake

A landscape rake is large and wide with a long handle and short tines.¬†Often used in new lawn installations and renovations, it’s great for spreading and leveling soil, sand and gravel evenly across large areas.

Varieties

  • Aluminum: Lightweight and it won’t rust, but it can corrode.
  • Steel: More durable but heavier.
  • Sizes: Ranges from 36 to 48 inches wide.
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Bow Rake
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Bow Rake

The bow rake, as the name suggests, comes with a bow-shaped frame that supports rigid tines, usually made of metal.

This rake is an excellent tool for heavy-duty tasks like breaking up compacted soil, spreading gravel or leveling mulch. The frame adds stability and durability.

Varieties

  • Steel: Durable but can be heavy.
  • Aluminum: Lighter than steel but less durable.
  • Sizes: Usually around 14 to 16 inches wide.
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Hand Rake
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Hand Rake

A hand rake, the smallest of the bunch, features a short handle and usually three to five tines.

Ideal for close-up work in flower beds, planters and tight spaces, it’s great for weeding, aerating soil and removing debris.

Varieties

  • Metal: Durable but can be heavy.
  • Plastic: Lightweight but less durable.
  • Wooden handle: Comfortable grip but may deteriorate over time.
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Roof Rake
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Roof Rake

A roof rake features a long handle and a flat, wide blade, often made of aluminum or plastic. You’ll use this rake to¬†remove snow from roofs, reducing the weight and preventing ice dams.

Varieties

  • Aluminum blade: Durable and lightweight.
  • Plastic blade: Less likely to damage the roof but less durable.
  • Telescoping handles: For reaching different heights.
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Pond Rake
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Pond Rake

A pond rake has a long handle and wide, flat tines, often made of metal or plastic. You’ll use this to remove aquatic weeds and debris from ponds and lakes.

Varieties

  • Metal tines: More durable but can rust.
  • Plastic tines: Less durable but won’t rust.
  • Floating types: For surface debris.
  • Sinking types: For submerged weeds.
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Fruit Picker Rake
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Fruit Picker Rake

Fruit picker rakes come with a basket and claw-like tines at the end of a long handle.

These rakes let you pick fruit from trees without climbing ladders. I wouldn’t be without mine, because it makes picking fruit and nuts so quick and easy. You can also get berry fruit rakes for easy harvesting of berry bushes.

Varieties

  • Metal claw: Durable but can be heavy.
  • Plastic claw: Lighter but less durable.
  • Telescoping handles: For reaching different heights.

Katy Willis
Katy Willis is a master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. She loves her dogs, nature, gardening, and all things tech, from smart homes to the mechanics of internet privacy. Katy enjoy sharing her knowledge of foraging, self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening, helping others learn forgotten skills, reconnect with nature, and live greener and healthier. She also has two dogs who she raises naturally, providing a raw diet, positive reinforcement training, and natural healthcare.