10 Leaf Rakes to Clean Up Your Lawn This Fall
If you have a yard and live in an area with trees and changing seasons, leaves are an inescapable reality—which means raking is an inevitable (and often dreaded) chore. A good leaf rake can help you finish this job quickly and ideally with minimal back strain.
What to Consider
Leaf rakes typically will have a series of long, skinny tines, which are commonly constructed in a triangular or fan-shaped arrangement. In some cases, these might be lined up in a straight, consistent row resembling a comb, though rakes with this configuration are often categorized as garden rakes.
You will sometimes see the terms “lawn rake” and “leaf rake” used interchangeably, and some rakes are promoted as a dual-purpose combination, but a leaf rake—as the name implies—is specifically intended to gather up leaves and light materials, as opposed to branches, stones, and other yard materials.
When shopping for leaf rakes, pay attention to the materials. Rakes made from fiberglass or aluminum tend to weigh less, whereas steel models offers more long-term durability, and plastic options won’t be susceptible to rust.
It’s also important to consider the size of the rake, including the length of the handle and the width of the fan end of the rake, known as the head. Rakes that are longer and wider allow you to clear a bigger area faster, but these larger rakes are often heavier and require more effort to manage. Rakes with smaller heads—narrower than 10 inches or so—are ideal for clearing hard-to-access spots.
To avoid back strain, make sure the handle is long enough that you aren’t stooping over to use your rake. As a good rule of thumb, the handle should reach at least chin-height, and even better if it reaches your eyebrows or forehead. Some rakes have adjustable handles that you can set at whatever height works best for you. This is especially convenient if multiple people of varying heights will be sharing the rake.
How We Selected
In evaluating a wide variety of leaf rakes, I drew upon my own personal experience. As the former owner of a maintenance business and the current owner of more than an acre of land that’s home to lots of trees, I have plenty of firsthand experience using many different types of leaf rakes. I personally look for lightweight rakes with the widest heads available to help me zip through this task as quickly as possible without unnecessary aches and strains. In making these selections, I also consulted reviewers from many Amazon and Walmart customers.
Our expert selections include metal, plastic, and adjustable models.