100 photos and everything you need to know about this tool




Rake – one of the main agricultural tools designed to level or on the contrary loosen the soil, as well as for raking hay, leaves and small stones from the cleared surface. Today there are many types of rakes. If you look at photos of rakes of the past and present years and trace the chronology, you can say that this modern tool is very similar to its predecessors.

The components remain the same: the shaft (handle), the length of which depends on the type and material of the rake. A perpendicular bar (spine) to which the tines are attached and the tines themselves. The spine and tines together are called a comb.

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A little bit of history

It is impossible to say for sure where and when this tool first appeared, but the first mentions of a rake date back to the third millennium B.C. Originally, a rake was any tool that could be used to pick up and hold something. A hand was also called a rake, and even now it can be found, but earlier this term did not have an offensive meaning.

According to historians and archaeologists in Russia there were no plates, and the family (usually large) ate from one common ingot at the same time. First the head of the family, more often the father, took a sample, and after the first spoonful he gave the command: “Grab!” and the whole family proceeded to eat. Even now in Russia villagers may call a fork and spoon “grabalka,” which essentially means any cutlery.

Materials used to make rakes include: iron, steel, aluminum, plastic, and wood. An additional design feature of some rakes is the cast all-metal bars with tines, which greatly strengthens the construction.

How to Choose a Comfortable Rake

In order to knowledgably choose this tool, you need to think about what work it will do, on what soil, and with what application of force. The strength of the tool is determined by the material from which it is made. Rakes made of wood and plastic can only be used for light work – grass and hay harvesting, while metal rakes are used for working the soil.

When working with several people with one tool, it is better to buy a rake with a sliding handle, they will be suitable for people of different heights.

A rake with a narrow comb will be a godsend for lovers of flower beds and berry front gardens, they will allow you to penetrate into the most difficult areas and ennoble them.

If there are doubts about the width of the rake, you need to consider the density of planting of your plot, the less plantings and more distance between them, the wider the working surface of your tool should be.

If you want to get at its disposal a tool that you will use for many years, then buy it in specialized stores where they provide a certificate of quality, confirming the service life and manufacturing material.

The handle should connect tightly to the comb. Rarely or frequently planted tines will characterize the range of work they perform, a rake with rare tines is used for cleaning coarse debris, while a rake with frequent tines is used for picking up small leaves and stones.

Remember that the material of manufacture determines the weight of the tool. If you want a lightweight tool, buy a rake with an aluminum or wooden handle, and its thickness also matters – the standard is about 3 millimeters.

Properly choose the length of the handle, taking into account your height. When working on the ground, the handle can reach up to your shoulder. When picking up weed and debris, the handle length should be equal to your height. The handle length should be longer than your height when picking up light grass and leaves.

Varieties of rakes

Straight rake. The most common garden rake. It is a versatile tool, for most needs in the garden:

  • raking leaves, trash;
  • breaking up lumps of earth;
  • loosening beds;
  • tree root harvesting;
  • leveling a plowed field, etc.

The tines of a straight rake are perpendicular to the shaft and slightly bent inward. Straight rakes are available in different widths, ranging from 10 cm to 70 cm. The average width of a classic rake is 40-50 cm. This is due to the nature of the work on the site.

Rakes with a narrow comb are used in hard-to-reach places of the vegetable garden, for example, under the bushes of seedlings and stunted trees. Wide rakes are used on large areas and lawns, when clearing leaves and debris, because in one movement they perform a larger area capture.

The tool with tines twisted around its axis is a type of straight rake. It is designed for working coarse soil and breaking earth stones. Such a tool is necessary for preparing the soil for planting.

Straight rakes also include completely wooden rakes with a wide base and long cylindrical tines, are used for harvesting hay and dry grass in the field. They are very light because they are made of birch and the shaft is made of pine. They are easy and comfortable to work with, there is no sticking of grass and debris due to the round and ground surface of the tines.

Highly specialized rake

Aerator Rake

Aerator rakes can also be categorized as a subspecies of straight rakes, but they are always metal rakes, although they have very interesting design features. Made of hardened steel, electroplated or pobedite-coated, their tines are rather sharp sickle-shaped knives that cut through even the roughest ground (and do not need sharpening).

They are resorted to when even rakes with twisted tines give up on unruly earth. Aerators can be either single-sided or double-sided. Two-way aerators are called milling aerators. Such rakes are sometimes equipped with wheels. They are used to clean lawns from moss, debris, weeds and leaves. Thanks to the wheels, the blades plunge evenly into the ground and thereby facilitate the work.

The lawn rake has a wide base with tines. It’s easy to remove large volumes of grass clippings. On the “ridge” the tines are arranged very often and above the working surface of the “comb” there are special slats-restrictors, under which the collected grass is accumulated.

Fan rake

These rakes not only resemble a fan externally, but can also be folded, changing the width of the working surface. The feature of this garden tool is the absence of a “backbone”, all of the tines originate from one point, which actually caused the name “fan rake”.

These rakes became extensible only in the 21st century, and before that they had a static form. The tines are flat or round, and the creation of these rakes goes back to the origins of the rock garden in Japan.

Transformer Rake

Gaining popularity among modern gardeners. They are easy to store and transport. With one easy movement you can change the attachment and thereby the type of activity. Such rakes are usually equipped with a quick-clamping mechanism.

The set includes universal rakes with different working widths, fan rakes and rose rakes, in addition, to expand the range can include attachments: shovels, hoes and opener.

When choosing these rakes as your main rake, pay close attention to the clamping mechanism, it is better that it is not made of plastic.

How to make a rake with your own hands

Rakes made entirely of wood are very difficult to find on the shelves of household mechanisms, but you can make them yourself:

  • Different types of wood are used in the construction of a rake. For the handle pine or aspen, for making the tines you need a harder material: birch, oak or elm.
  • From the material from which you made the cutter we saw a shoe length of 50-60 cm, the width will be about 5 cm, the height of about 3 cm.
  • Very carefully planed with a planer block, then drilled holes in it at 10 mm equidistant from each other, it depends on what you will use the rake. The minimum distance is 20 mm, the maximum is 40 mm.
  • After the base is ready, cut out the tines with a knife 12-15 cm long, round, triangular or flat depends on your desire.
  • But make the teeth a little larger in diameter than the holes in the shoe, so they will fit tightly into it and will not fall out.
  • To make the handle you will need a round pine branch, which we planed and sanded with sandpaper. We make one end of the stem sharpened.
  • We sawed the pointed end at a distance of 20 centimetres and then we made the ends by sawing them sharper. Then fasten the ends with a drill and nails.

Our exotic wooden rake is ready. You can use them to collect hay and leaves or just hang them on the wall for decoration.

It turns out it takes a professional and considered approach to choose such a simple tool as a rake. We hope that the information in this article will help you not be confused when choosing one of the main tools of the gardener.

Photo of a rake


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