Grader blades and landscape rakes can be rear-mounted using a three-point hitch or quick hitch. They can also be front mounted on Bobcats or other small skid-steers. They can be fitted with kits to allow hydraulic tilting, angling, raising and lowering. Both can be used, depending on size, for landscaping, grounds keeping, construction or sports field maintenance.
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What a Landscape Rake Does
Landscape rakes are designed to comb the upper surface of the soil. They reshape and clean ground before seeding or rolling. Slightly springy steel tines pick up rocks or debris while they groom and distribute soil. Landscape rakes can be used to spread gravel or compost evenly. They can create profiles, or hills, by using the angling feature.
What a Grader Blade Does
Grader blades are designed for precision scraping, instead of ripping like a dozer blade. They are also used for backfilling and snow removal. They leave a smooth, uniform surface behind. Most landscape blades have reversible cutting edges for longer life. Large grader blades can also be fitted with removable teeth for soil cutting.
Spreading vs. Incorporation
One of the main differences between a rake and a grader blade is that the rake will incorporate material into the soil as well as comb it out. A grader is designed to cut material and spread it over the surface, then smooth it into an even layer. A rake's individual tines separate soil and allow material such as compost to incorporate itself.
Conditioning vs. Planing
Rakes work the soil, and grader blades plane it. Landscape rakes remove roots, rocks and other debris that might be in the topsoil before you grade. Because rakes can be set low so the tines cut soil, they also can separate and aerate it. The whole operation is called soil conditioning. Grader blades also cut soil but they do it by peeling off the surface. They don't aerate or comb, instead they work like a plane. They flatten, reduce height and smooth. Both implements can make hills by angling the blade and building up material. The grader blade is more efficient at hilling because the finer particles don't pass through it as they can through the rake tines.
Filling, Leveling and Ditching
Grader blades level soil to give you a uniform layer. Grader blades can build up material and carry it along to fill holes. Rakes, depending on the size and separation of the tines, can do that to some extent but are inefficient because soil will always pass through. Instead of building up a layer of soil they carry along debris like rocks or sticks. Grader blades can also be used for ditching, which landscape rakes can't do.
Landscape Rake Grading Blade
Some rock rakes can be fitted with a grading blade inside the tines to allow dual use.
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