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Last updated: March 13, 2022
Did you know that there are literally dozens of different types of rakes available that all have their own characteristics and uses?
I was surprised too, but it makes sense when you think about all the different things one can do with a rake.
In this article, I am going to outline 15 rake types that can be used in and around the house, from the backyard to the garden and even the roof.
Have a look at my leaf blower buying guide for electric and gas powered leaf blowers. Or check out my battery powered handheld leaf blower buying guide for affordable options for domestic backyards.
Top 15 Rake Types
Here we go, fifteen types of rakes you can use at home for all sorts of different purposes, starting with the most common ones.
Do note though that there will always be some overlap between these rakes, and some of them can be used in more than one way.
1. Leaf Rake
The most common type of rake, the one that most people will think of when hearing the word rake, is the classic leaf rake, often referred to as a lawn rake.
A leaf rake and a lawn rake are very similar and often used interchangeably. I consider a leaf rake a type of lawn rake with plastic tines rather than metal ones, and as such is most suitable for easy leaf cleaning in smaller yards.
Leaf rakes are designed to deal with leaf build up without causing damage to the ground or soil.
2. Lawn Rake
As mentioned, a lawn rake is often also considered a leaf rake, but has metal tines instead of plastic ones. As such, a lawn rake is better suitable for more intense lawn work with more leaf build up.
A lawn rake, or otherwise a leaf rake, typically has long tines shaped like a hand fan with a piece in the middle holding the tines in place. At the bottom, the edges of the tines are bent to create that claw effect.
Lawn rakes are mostly used for collecting leaves, but can also be used for dealing with heavier garden debris such as sand and gravel.
Have a look at my guide with tips on how to rake leaves the easiest, quickest and most efficient way.
3. Bow Rake
A bow rake is often referred to as a garden rake, and is designed for more heavy duty gardening work. The tines of a bow rake are typically short (around 3 inches) and made of metal.
You may also come across the term bow head or bowhead rake, which is essentially the same as a bow rake, just a slightly different name.
Bow rakes typically have arches on the side of the head (as opposed to flat head rakes) which add more stability and support.
Check out my guide with reviews of some of the best bow rakes you can buy online.
4. Flat Head Rake
Also referred to as a level head rake, the flat head rake is very similar to a bow rake. A flat head rake literally has a flat head that, attached to the handle, creates a T shape.
Bow rakes, bow head rakes, flat head rakes and level head rakes are all considered garden rakes, and are generally used for treating soil, i.e. breaking up soil and smoothing it out.
5. Shrub Rake
As the name may suggest, a shrub rake is designed to fit into smaller spaces, such as between and under shrubs and plants, flower beds, and also around fencing.
Shrub rakes are essentially very similar to leaf rakes, but they have a more narrow design so that they can be used to clean up leaves and other light debris in shrub like areas.
Another good use for shrub rakes is managing mulch in a garden. The smaller design lends itself will for that purpose as space in those areas is limited and plants won’t get damaged.
6. Hand Rake
A hand rake is exactly that, a smaller sized handheld rake that can be managed by one hand, almost like a mini version of a garden (bow or flat head) rake.
Hand rakes are designed for digging and moving soil around in smaller areas, where a conventional garden rake would simply be too large. They can also be used to for cleaning up flower beds.
7. Thatch Rake
In the context of gardening, thatch is the layer of living and dead plant matter that builds up around the base of grass plants.
A thatch rake is designed to break up and remove thatch in your lawn, with sharp blades (often on both sides of the head) that can take care of that important task.
Removing thick and excessive thatch is quite important as it can create root problems and harbor pests and disease. If the thatch is too excessive, you may need to use a motorized dethatcher (see below).
Have a look at my guide with reviews of some of the best thatching rakes you can buy online.
8. Leaf Scoop Rake
The leaf scoop rake is a bit of a niche version of a traditional leaf rake, and works by simply collecting and scooping leaves without having to bend.
The obvious advantage is that it allows you to quickly fill up the waste bin or compost bin without having to use two separate tools for raking and removing leaves.
I’m not really a fan of this type of rake though, and prefer to use a normal leaf or lawn rake to do this work.
9. Gravel Rake
Also referred to as stone rakes or tarmac rakes, gravel rakes are designed for performing heavy duty gardening jobs such as moving gravel, asphalt and small stones.
Gravel rakes are perfect for spreading and leveling out gravel, stones, pebbles, mulch, and large amounts of wood chips.
A gravel rake typically looks like a normal garden rake but has a wider head and more widely spaced and thicker tines, and are made of heavy duty materials such as metal and aluminum.
10. Lake Rake
A lake rake, or otherwise called a pond rake or an algae rake, can be used for collecting aquatic weeds or algae from a body of water.
If you do have a rather large pond in your garden or backyard, a specialized lake rake can certainly come in handy when keeping that pond clean and healthy.
To use a lake rake, simply stand at the edge of the water and drag the rake over the water surface or over the bottom of the pond to collect all the bad stuff the pond doesn’t need.
11. Landscape Rake
Landscape rakes are very similar to stone rakes, both in design as well as in how they are supposed to be used. They’re designed for heavy duty work, and often have robust metal tines.
A landscape rake has a wider head and evenly spread teeth, and is used for leveling ground materials, such as sand and gravel, but also to manage soil in larger yard areas.
12. Berry Rake
That’s right, a berry rake really is a thing. Admittedly, berry rakes are typically found on farms and not so much in backyards, but they deserve a mention nonetheless.
A berry rake is essentially a combination of a rake and a scoop, designed to pull berries from trees and catch them in the same movement.
13. Roof Rake
Another specialized rake type that you won’t easily find in many households is the roof rake, which can actually be super useful.
A roof rake is designed to reach roofs or other off-the-ground surfaces, to remove snow or other unwanted items or debris by simply scraping it down.
Roof rakes are typically lightweight as they often need to be held over the head, and they come with extendable handles to be able to reach as far as possible onto the roof.
14. Concrete Rake
A concrete rake is not the most common type of rake used around the house, but they can be useful if you’re going to have to deal with concrete in your lawn or backyard.
As the name may suggest, a concrete rake is used for leveling out an area of fresh concrete after it has been tamped. It has no teeth at all, instead it has a straight edged blade attached to a handle.
15. Motorized Rake
It may come as no surprise that rakes also have motorized versions, although it must be said that raking is one of those gardening jobs that you would really want to do manually.
Where a motorized rake comes in handy though is when you need to remove excessive thatch, for which you can use a so-called dethatcher, such as this Greenworks model on Amazon (see photo).
Admittedly, removing thatch can be quite a physically challenging task, especially when you have a bigger area to process, in which case a motorized rake certainly can be useful.