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10 Best Leaf Rakes for 2020

While any leaf rake will do, some will definitely do better. Learn about the variety of leaf rakes available — and which one might be best for you.

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A family raking fall leavesLWA/Dann Tardif/Getty Images

Choosing a Leaf Rake

Need a leaf rake? You can probably find one, with missing tines, for a couple of bucks at a garage sale. And while it will do the job on the cheap, there are much better alternatives.

The range of leaf rakes goes well beyond the traditional bamboo- or steel-tine relics of yesteryear. Today’s leaf rakes come in a range of widths, tine spacing and materials. Some are suited for lightweight leaves, some are rigid enough to double as a lawn dethatcher, and still others are rugged enough to clean out a shrub bed. You may find it’s best to have multiple rakes to handle various yard cleanup tasks.

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Best Steel-Tine Leaf Rake

Steel-tine rakes are an old favorite because they’re durable and can be pressed into service when the lawn needs dethatching. This Fiskars PRO Rake features an extra-long aluminum handle to reduce back fatigue and a teardrop-shaped shaft to fit the contour of your hand. The double-bolted connections add durability. And it comes with a full lifetime warranty.

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Best Poly Leaf Rake

Poly leaf rakes have a wider reach than steel-tine leaf rakes, so you can finish raking in less time. This True-Temper Clog-Free Poly Leaf Rake has a 24-inch-wide head to grab large batches of leaves. A 48-inch-long hardwood handle and cushion end grip make for comfortable ergonomics, while the clog-free design helps keep leaves from accumulating between and around the tines.

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Best Bamboo Leaf Rake

Back in the day, bamboo leaf rakes were the go-to choice when a homeowner wanted a wide-reaching rake for quick cleanup of leaves. This old-time favorite is still making the rounds, as seen with Rugg Manufacturing Company’s B24 Deluxe Bamboo Rake. Its lightweight bamboo head spans 24 inches and features flexible bamboo tines reinforced with a metal plate for better performance.

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Best Reengineered Leaf Rake

This True Temper Lawn and Leaf Rake takes a new spin on raking. It offers dual tines to reduce clogging and provide up to 45 percent faster clearance than standard leaf rakes. It has a comfort grip on the handle and a larger 26-inch width for greater coverage with each pass. It’s almost as easy as a lawn sweeper.

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Best Multi-Purpose Leaf Rake

The Groundskeeper II Rake is not your average rake. And it’s not just for groundskeepers, either, although it does offer the top quality one would expect of a professional groundskeeper’s rake. The round, stiff tines work differently than those on other rakes, allowing you to rake up heavier items such as sticks, wood chips, mulch and gravel. The Groundskeeper II Rake features a 21-inch head and 55-inch handle.

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Best Adjustable Leaf Rake

It’s three rakes in one! This Professional EZ Travel Collection Telescopic Rake expands and adjusts to tackle a range of garden tasks, from raking the lawn to working in flower beds to cleaning out debris from hard-to-reach places. The handle telescopes from 37 inches to 68 inches, and the steel tines on the fan head can be adjusted to cover a swath of roughly seven inches to more than 21 inches.

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Best Adaptable Leaf Rake

With detachable parts that can be assembled or disassembled to meet various needs, the Alterra Tools Three-in-One Leaf Rake might qualify for a role in a Transformers movie. The three-piece poly head can go from a 30-inch-wide leaf rake to a seven-inch shrub rake in a flash. Moreover, the heads can be separated and used as a convenient leaf grabber. The aluminum handle also features detachable components.

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Beat Shrub Rake

Gardeners know a shrub rake is invaluable when trying to reach nooks and crannies or clean out tightly spaced plants in shrub or flower beds. This A.M. Leonard Narrow Shrub Rake has an eight-inch-wide head with reinforced tines that can dig in and remove embedded objects. The 54-inch handle is extra long, allowing you to reach even further under shrubs and into flower beds with ease.

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Best Handheld Leaf Rake

This Berry & Bird Stainless Steel Hand Shrub Rake makes it simple to clean out leaves and other debris from raised beds, nooks and crannies, basement window egresses and more. You can also use it to loosen soil. It features an ergonomic ash handle and durable, anti-rust stainless steel tines.

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All-Around Favorite

I have a number of rakes myself and the Fiskars Leaf Rake is my favorite. It has a lightweight, teardrop-shape aluminum handle for easy gripping and measures an impressive 67 inches to extend its reach. The rugged poly head spans 24 inches for quick raking.

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Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.