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Gravel paths, driveways and patios look great when properly groomed. Weeds, leaves and bald areas can ruin the look of a landscape. Gravel areas need regular raking so as to prevent leaf buildup and weed growth and give them a neat look. The right tool simplifies the process and that’s where a gravel rake comes in. This landscaping tool is made from thick, robust metal with widely spaced individual teeth in order to limit disturbances of the gravel. It is specially constructed for clearing debris from gravel areas won’t break with heavy duty use.
In this post we review the top three gravel rakes currently available in the UK market. We also have a brief buyer’s guide that will help you choose the best gravel rake for your garden. Rakes come in all shapes and sizes, so it is important to choose the right rake for the job.
Our best pick is the Roughneck 36 inch Aluminium Landscape Rake. This tool is quite expensive compared to many others but it has the quality that professionals will be glad to pay for. What’s better than a tough aluminium head with wide-spaced blunt teeth combined with a lightweight and durable fiberglass handle? This will be easy to use on gravel and the good news is that it can be inverted for levelling ground and flattening topsoil before sowing seeds so it had multiple uses. In our opinion, this Roughneck is the best landscaping rake.
There are a couple of things to consider when choosing a gravel rake. You want something lightweight so that your job won’t be back-breaking, while the material must be rust-proof for durability.
You might be wondering whether or not you can simply use your garden rake for grooming gravel areas. We would advise against doing so because garden rakes are made for use on lawns and nowhere near strong enough for heavy gravel. Raking away leaves from gravel with an ordinary rake is ineffective and its teeth will wear down sooner than later.
Let’s look at the features to consider when buying a rake and how to actually use the tool.
Choosing a Gravel Rake
The rake should have a suitable length that would be easy for you use while standing. A good indicator for a comfortable length of this tool is for it to reach your nose from the floor. When you hold a rake, there should be some distance between your hands, though not too large because the balance of the rake will be bad.
There are different handle materials and all have their pros and cons.
Wood, in particular, hardwood tends to be very strong. The problem is that good quality handles are expensive and cheap ones are prone to breaking.
Fibreglass is a lightweight, corrosion-resistant material but it becomes brittle when exposed to the elements for long periods of time. It is also expensive.
Steel is very strong and hard-wearing. With that comes heavy weight and corrosion issues if not properly looked after.
Aluminium is lightweight and corrosion-resistant but it is weaker than steel and can be expensive.
From the look of things, aluminium sounds the good deal in our opinion.
A rake should be heavy enough to enable you to perform your job but light enough for you to use it comfortably. Rakes designed for heavy duty projects will usually be relatively heavy because they need to be strong. Those made for light garden jobs such as moving grass clippings, leaves or light debris are lighter since they don’t need to be very strong. Ideally a lighter rake is easy to use over long periods of time.
The material a rake is made from will have a significant impact on its weight. Steel is quite heavy while aluminium and wood are lighter, with fibreglass being the most lightweight material. Most rakes have a handle and head made from different materials. You may need a rake with a lightweight handle but a stronger head, depending on the tasks you will use it for and how durable you want it to be.
Best budget gravel rake
Featuring a 27 inch cast aluminium head and 72 inch wooden shaft, this gravel rake has a rustic feel and will be easy to use. It's blunted teeth are widely spaced to rake through large pieces of debris, while its braced head is an added bonus. The product is reasonably priced and will last long if looked after.
Do your hands become sore or get blisters when using garden tools and equipment? If so, try to buy a rake with soft grips. This will also ensure a comfortable hold when working for long hours. If you suffer from back problems, you will benefit from an ergonomically designed rake with an angled handle or head, or an additional grip handle.
Steel is the strongest material a rake can be made from. It is extremely durable but can rust if left to the elements for long periods of time, especially if it has no protective coating. Aluminium is fairly tough and rust-proof but can dent or bend if used for heavy duty jobs. Fibreglass should be long-lasting and maintenance free.
When it comes to tines, sturdy metal tines are essential so you don’t have problems with snapping, bending or wearing down. Plastic tines are flexible and can last long if they are good quality. On the downside, they can snap if used for raking gravel and are prone to brittle if exposed to bad weather. They are only good for moving leaves and grass clippings on soil. You will also come across wooden tines, which tend to be soft and susceptible to breaking.
Wooden handles are strong but can easily rot if stored wet. You also want to ensure that the head can be securely attached to the handle to prevent it from coming loose.
That said, you have to look at the material that makes each part of the rake and know what to expect.
Tips on how to effectively rake gravel
Top 3 Gravel Rake Reviews
Roughneck 36 inch Aluminium Landscape Rake
The Roughneck Aluminium Landscape Rake is a popular choice when it comes to gravel rakes because it does more than raking gravel. You can use it for wood chippings, leaf mulch, bark and more. It boasts a long 67 inch fiberglass handle, which is lightweight and durable at the same time which is one of the most import features of this simple tool. The head is extra wide at 36 inches and that makes it perfect for raking large areas of gravel as well as seating areas to you can cover larger areas quickly. A great characteristic of this rake is that it can be inverted to flatten a surface or use for smoothing topsoil ready for planting.
This tool arrives in two parts and the head is attached to the handle using the two supplied bolts and screws. It is really a simple and quick thing to do using the supplied small spanners and you get a secure fixing. With short, blunt and widely-spaced teeth, this rake is the best for getting a smooth finish on gravel or topsoil. They do not dig into the gravel but rather skim the surface.
The head is made from aluminium and is expected to last for years without bending. It should feel lighter when raking and won’t suffer from rust either thanks the the aluminium head and fibreglass handle.
For anyone that has to level gravel from time to time or need something to flatten topsoil when sowing seeds or just general daily landscaping, this Roughneck 36 inch rake is the best choice but it does come at an extra cost. Both the amateur gardener and the professional gardener will appreciate it likewise and its well worth the cost.
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Faithfull Aluminium Landscape Rake
Another great gravel rake is this Faithfull Aluminium Landscape Rake for those looking for a more affordable model. It has many positive reviews on Amazon UK and that’s enough to suggest it has sufficient approval from gardeners. With its solid cast aluminium head, this rake will do the job without you worrying about rust.
The head is 27 inches wide with 18 tapered teeth so not quite as wide as the Roughneck rake, however it still provides great coverage for faster completion of jobs while widely spaced teeth makes it perfect for levelling gravel. It is also effective at clearing debris as the blunt teeth don’t dig deep into the soil. The handle is 72 inches long and that’s a good height to use without fatigue. It is made of wood, thus very strong but you will want to avoid it getting wet.
This rake does an excellent job even when used on paths and driveways. Its also a good choice for preparing vegetable and flower beds and it did not disappoint. It easily pulls out weeds, stones and twigs without digging into the soil.
Considering the cost of this gravel rake and how much you can do with it, it is certainly a good value for money. Moreover, this should give you many years of service and is a great choice for domestic use.
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Wolf-Garten 40cm Multi-Change Bow Rake (handle purchased separately)
This Wolf-Garten Multi-Change Bow Rake is part of the company’s Multi-Change range which we are big fans of, Wolf-Garten products always seem to be the very best quality and this rake is no different. It comes as a head only meaning you will have to find a suitable shaft to use with, however even when purchased with the handle which you obvously need it still more affordable that the Roughneck model and you can purchase other attachments heads to use which means you save money in the long term. You can choose from a range of Wolf Garten handles, which include aluminium and ash products so you do have a little more choice. That means you can also choose an ideal length for your height and avoid back problems.
This head is only 15 inches but it is very effective thanks to its curved teeth designed to pull through gravel and soil without digging in. The result is a smooth and level ground that you will sit back and admire. The size of it would be ideal for intricate areas and paths as well as perfect for small gardens.
As already mentioned, these are also good value for money because you buy a couple of these heads to use with just one or two handles. Better still, Wolf-Garten give a 10 year warranty for this head so you can be sure your investment will be worthwhile. The tool is sturdily built, yet light enough to get the job done with little user fatigue.
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Our Final Conclusion
A gravel rake is almost a must-have if you have a gravel area in your garden, be it a path or driveway. Leaves are certain to drop onto these areas and weeds remain a constant menace for any part of your garden that remains unattended. That puts a gravel rake among the essential tools to have in your garden.
There are many models on the market and we hope this guide will help you choose the best gravel rake for your needs. The three products in this guide may seem like examples but we are certain they are worth every penny. You may also be interested in a garden shed as you will need somewhere to store your rake.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this article, feel free to comment in the section below if you have any advise or experiences using any of the rakes in our review.
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Last updated on February 28th, 2020