The Best Rakes
Heavy-Duty Rake: Winner
Aluminum Bow Head
This model deftly smoothed gravel surfaces and broke up dirt. And “your hands don’t slip on the grip, even if you wear gloves,” says landscaper Agustin Centeno.
To buy: $56, coronaclipper.com.
Heavy-Duty Rakes: Runner-up
Ames True Temper Bow
The short tines didn’t handle rocky soil as well as some others, but “it’s so light,” says Centeno, “and easy to maneuver.”
To buy: $20, lowes.com.
Hand Rakes: Winner
Lee Valley Adjustable Hand Rake
“Rakes with retractable tines can be rickety,” says nursery owner Catherine Warren, “but this version cleared debris under my roses without damaging stems.”
To buy: $7, leevalley.com.
Hand Rakes: Runner-up
Black & Decker Steel Fan
Since the tines are close together, it nicked a branch or two, but “it has a great grip and is solid,” says Warren. “I like the size of it―you can get into tight spaces.”
To buy: $10, amazon.com.
Lawn Rakes: Winner
Wolf-Garten Garden Rake
"It felt sturdy and picked up leaves and dead grass with very little effort,” says gardener Amy Slack.
To buy: Handle, $11; head, $20, bluestonegarden.com.
Lawn Rakes: Runner-up
The 24-inch-wide head gives this rake a hefty reach, and “the tines are pretty grabby,” says Slack. But because the head is so big, it’s hard to create a compact pile.
To buy: $22, fiskars.com for locations.