Last Updated: Dec 1, 2021 @ 10:39 am.

What's the best rake? To answer that question, you have to figure out just what you are raking: leaves? Garden soil? Debris? We tested out a dozen different rakes to find the best bets. We looked for overall performance, sturdiness and value. Here are the ones we recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Leaf Rake

Height-adjustable handle
Loved the versatility of this rake—the rake head contracts to reach tight spots. Great for taller folks and lightweight (1.37 lbs.). Caveat: best for light-duty work and leaves.

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Best Leaf Rake: Jardineer 63 inch Adjustable Garden Rake Leaf

When it comes to leaf rakes, there are two basic choices: adjustable models and those that are, well, not adjustable.

By adjustable, we are referring to telescoping handles and the ability to adjust the rake to be wider or narrower.

After trying out a dozen rakes, we think an adjustable rake is the best bet for most folks. It’s great if you are tall and your partner isn’t—the same rake can work for both of you.

For the best adjustable rake, we pick this adjustable garden rake by Jardineer. It ticks all the right boxes: easy to use, versatile and dependable. It did the best job raking leaves in our tests.

What We Liked

• Adjustable from 7″ to 23″ wide. That’s great if you need to rake small or narrow areas.

• Lightweight 1.37 lbs.

• Rubberized handle.

• Height adjustable handle.

What Needs Work

• Aluminum handle is flexible—perhaps too flexible. Aluminum makes this rake lightweight—but it can be bent or even broken. So, take care.

• Best for leaves and other light duty task. This probably isn’t the best choice if you need to clean up debris heavier than leaves. If you need a heavy-duty rake for other garden tasks, we suggest our next pick.

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Best Garden Rake

Sturdy and reliable
Here's the rake we recommend for gardening—well-made handle with vinyl grip and steel head/teeth. Pre-assembled and easy to find in a garage (thanks to that bright red color)!

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Best Garden Rake: TABOR TOOLS J205A Level Head Rake

When it comes to a garden rake, we recommend a sturdy, level head rake. After trying out a few options, we think Tabor Tools J205A is a good bet for most folks. It is well-built and performed well for most garden uses (breaking up soil, thatching, etc.)

What We Liked

 Sturdy, fiberglass handle.

• 6″ anti-slip vinyl grip is excellent.

• 14 tines.

• Red color = easy to find in a storage shed!

• Pre-assembled.

• Steel head and teeth.

What Needs Work

• Heavier than a leaf-style rake. But that is true for most level head rakes. This one weighs 2.6 lbs.

• Pricey.

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Best Budget-Friendly Rake

Best for clearing beds
Sometimes simple is best—this basic rake with lightweight handle is great for small yards . . . at a price that is easy on the wallet. No-slip handle a plus.

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Best Budget-Friendly Rake: Corona RK 62060 Fixed Tine Shrub Rake

If the budget is tight and you have a small yard, this no-nonsense rake is what we recommend. Nothing fancy—that is, no adjustable handle or tines. But it works!

What We Liked

• Excellent for cleaning under shrubs and in beds.

• Aluminum handle has no-slip vinyl sleeve.

• Lightweight with extra wide tines.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Too small for large yard. 

• Not as sturdy as other rakes. But then again, it is easy on the budget and works well for light-duty leaf clean-up.

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Best Splurge

Excellent house-warming gift
If you need a more robust rake to handle lots of leaves or small debris, this would be our pick. Yes, it is pricey . . . but it is well-built, with tempered spring steel tines. Excellent quality.

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Best Splurge: Corona RK 62061 Fixed Tine Leaf Rake

If you live in an area with large trees and need a more robust rake to handle more leaves, we suggest the Corona RK 62061. This upgraded rake is a great splurge . . . or house-warming gift. Here’s why it may be worth the investment:

What We Liked

• Curved bow design = easier to rake leaves!

• Extra-long aluminum handle with anti-slip vinyl grip.

•  Lightweight at 1.3 lbs. Yep, that is about half the weight of rakes with wood handles.

• Sturdy design.

• Tines made of tempered spring steel. Compare that to the plastic tines on budget rakes. That means this rake can work on more than just leaves: think small branches, wood chips, etc.

• Extra-wide tine design = cleans up wider areas with a single pass.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Aluminum handle can be too flexible. Yes, this rake’s handle can bend if you aren’t careful. But that is true for most rakes with aluminum handles!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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