You are the owner of a house and have for some time decided to establish a rite: that of raking. But there are different types of rakes. Standing in the aisle of your DIY or hardware store, you’re simply wondering what style of tool to invest in. Maybe not all! We tell you more about it below.
The rake, the little story
The rake is a tool used in agriculture, horticulture, gardening and landscaping. It consists of a long handle attached to a head. The head contains a number of teeth. Rakes come in a variety of models and sizes and are designed for many different tasks. Although in industry the manual rake is now generally replaced by a mechanical version, it remains a common tool. The history of rakes is intertwined with the stories of gardens, agriculture and landscaping.
It is generally believed that the first rakes, to scrape the ground or move the leaves, would have been human hands and the branches of trees and bushes. As humans developed, so did their tools. Rakes resembling modern rakes, with wooden tines attached to a head through holes, have been found dating from before Christ.
Garden rakes and leaf rakes are common household items, they were once considered valuable possessions, but the Industrial Revolution helped make the tools cheaper. Before the Industrial Revolution, all tools were handmade and usually custom made. Because of the labor involved in making tools, rakes and other tools were important possessions to the people who owned them. Garden tools, like rakes, were valuable items that saved time. Today, we often think of tools like rakes as common household items that are easy to obtain and replace.
The rake, what for?
Yes, there are many different types of rakes. And unless you run a landscaping business, you may not know or own them all. Which should you choose? Rakes can be used for many different jobs. Some rakes are used to pick up hay, grass clippings, leaves, and other similar lightweight materials. Rakes can also be used to spread and level various floor coverings. Some rakes can be used to turn the soil allowing the elimination of weeds.
Of course, tractors can be used to pull large mechanical rakes across fields.
The rake to level the ground
A classic rake is undoubtedly the best choice for leveling your ground, whether it is earth, sand or any other material heavier than dead leaves – for which a specific rake will be more suitable (see below). For example, if you have a gravel garden path, the classic rake will be of great use to you. If you have projects to carry out yourself or if you regularly mulch your vegetable garden each season, here too the classic rake is the option you should choose. To use a rake to level coatings you have added, stand and hold the rake with both hands. Rake the area you just filled in until it is level with the rest of the ground. Then use the flat edge of the rake to smooth the area.
The rake to collect leaves
If you rake leaves, you need a leaf rake, so far so logical! The leaf rake is also called a lawn rake. Sold in variable widths, it has a long handle with teeth that spread out in a triangle. Teeth are usually metal or plastic. Metal is the strongest, but also heavier and may not be as effective as plastic tines at moving large amounts of leaves, especially if they are wet. These give more flexibility to a “fan” rake. In addition to trapping dead leaves, this lawn rake allows you to pick up residue after the passage of the mower or dry grass that can accumulate above the lawn.
Some smaller rakes are called shrub rakes. A shrub rake is constructed like a leaf rake. However, it has a smaller fan of teeth, which allows it better access to the ground under shrubs, around fences and in other tight areas of your garden. Depending on your outdoors and your needs, a shrub rake can be a nice addition to your tool collection.
The rake for small gardening jobs
A hand rake is what you need to maintain a rockery or a flower bed or simply to take care of potted plants on a balcony. It is a smaller version of a classic rake or a leaf rake. It has a short handle and is more or less the same size as a trowel. A hand rake will be perfect for working around your flowers and small plantings. Its short handle will give you better control in those tight spaces.