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What are the Different Types of Rake?

Mary Elizabeth
Updated May 16, 2024
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A rake is a tool used to gather or loosen material or to grade or level a surface. Most are many-toothed tools applied to such uses as gathering leaves or other plant material, or loosening or smoothing earth or other ground covering. Rakes are used in agriculture and landscaping. There are two major kinds: an attachment for a tractor and a hand tool.

Hay Rake. This type is pulled behind the tractor, and forms the hay into individual windrows to dry. Tractors pull several kinds of rakes: wheel rakes, parallel bar rakes, twin or double rakes, and rotary rakes. Parallel bar types are used less than they were at one time, having lost favor due to cost and limited width. Twin rotary rakes merge two windrows, though there is also a separate class of equipment that does this, called mergers.

Home and Garden Rakes. There are a wide variety of handheld rakes, specially designed for different purposes.

* Bow Rake. This kind, with large, thick, unbending teeth, can both level and work the soil. One of its uses is to prepare ground for planting after the soil has initially been broken up.

* Leaf Rake. These have large, often somewhat triangular groups of teeth that are quite flexible. They are used to pull together piles of fallen leaves and to do light lawn work. Some are specifically designed and labeled as "Leaf/Lawn Rakes."

* Hand rake. This is a small version, whether a bow rake or a leaf rake, used to work the soil or clear small areas in flowerbeds.

* Thatch rake. This typ is for lawn grooming, allowing the user to remove thatch and moss from a lawn.

* Lake Rake. A lake rake is used to skim vegetation or algae off the surface of a lake or pool. Some are made for secondary use in dressing beach sand.

* Landscape rake. This is a tool for spreading ground covering material smoothly over a surface, whether dirt, gravel, or sand.

Specialty Rakes. There are also specialty tools designed for working with a particular material. An asphalt rake is used for spreading and grading asphalt. A road and stone rake is designed for raking and leveling stone. A field/aggregate rake is specifically created for use by baseball grounds crews. A concrete rake has no teeth; it is a straight edged blade on a handle, and is used to level concrete after it's been tamped.

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Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for HomeQuestionsAnswered, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.
Discussion Comments
By anon1000689 — On Nov 20, 2018

Photos of the rakes mentioned would have been helpful.

By LisaLou — On May 11, 2011

I have never really thought much about the different types of rakes. I usually just go to the garage and see what I can find that will work for the job. When we lived on an acerage my husband did use a tractor rake for jobs he needed to around the place.

When I am raking leaves in the fall I like to use a rake that is long and light weight. I use a hand rake quite a bit when I am clearing out my flower beds from all the leaves that have gathered throughout the winter.

Once I start thinking about it, I have more types of rakes than I realized! It really helps when you have the right one for the job.

By summing — On May 10, 2011

It may not seem like it, but selecting the proper kind of rake can really make your law care chores easier. The various types of rake are designed to perform especially well under specific circumstances so they can cut down on the time and energy you use significantly. I think it is good practice to keep at least a few different kinds of rakes in your garage at any time. They are generally cheap to buy and you will be thankful you have the right one even if you use it rarely.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
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