Whether the job entails cleaning up leaves, aerating gardens or raking gravel, nobody looks forward to raking the lawn. Experienced green fingers and landscapers know that a good rake can make or break the job, but home and garden stores sometimes offer an overwhelming variety of options. Though the title of "best" lawn rake ultimately boils down to the needs and budget of each gardener, professional opinions place a few rakes at the top of the heap.
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Basic Lawn Rakes
"Time" magazine's Real Simple lifestyle division recommends the Wolf-Garten garden rake, citing its sturdy construction. Retailers sell the rake's head for about £13 and its handle for about £7, as of 2011. The same reviewers mention the more affordable Fiskars leaf rake, which features as 24-inch-wide head, as a suitable runner up. In 2011, it goes for about £14. Midwest Rake's ProGrade spring brace lawn rake comes recommended by the professional reviewers at Galt Technology, who note its effective leaf-raking capabilities and durable construction. This rake can be had for around £13 at 2011 prices.
Landscaper Agustin Centeno recommends Corona's aluminium bowhead rake for its effective grip and efficiency over dirt and gravel surfaces, or the Ames True Temper bow rake, a cheaper alternative, for its lightness. As of 2011, these rakes retail for about £39 and £13, respectively. Gardeners from the Which? Gardening test panel put the Spear and Jackson Select stainless steel rake at the top of the heap. The "Telegraph" touts similar heavy-duty stainless steel models from Joseph Bentley and hybrid steel-aluminium models from Fiskars. These rakes sell for between £32 and £39 in 2011.
Catherine Warren, a nursery owner, touts the Lee Valley hand rake, which features an adjustable head and retails for only about £4 as of 2011. For a non-retractable option, Warren recommends the close-tined Black and Decker steel fan rake for its compact size and textured grip. Real Simple features both of these rakes on its list of "The Best Garden Rakes" of 2011.
The Ames True Temper clog-free rake presents an alternative wave-shaped rake design. It retails under £13 in 2011 and comes recommended by Galt Technology for its large 24- or 30-inch head sizes. For large lawns, Galt recommends leaf blowers from Black and Decker -- which double as leaf vacuums -- or the Cyclone Rake lawn vacuum, an expensive riding mower that trims grass and cleans up leaves simultaneously. Cyclone Rakes range in price from £650 to £1,300, as of 2011.
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