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Raking leaves is one of the most therapeutic things you can do. It helps reduce stress, helps us feel better and it makes things tidier too.
The benefits of raking your garden are many:
- It reduces stress
- It makes your garden look tidier
- It’s therapeutic to work in your garden (Source)
Rakes are a gardener’s best friend. They are used for many different outdoor tasks, such as clearing debris and leaves from a lawn and yard.
The bow rake is mostly used to deal with heavy materials such as dirt, sand, compacted turfs, or gravel. It’s strong and thick with short tines are great for dethatching your lawn or heavier duty tasks like working with material like mulch, soil, gravel, and compost.
Bow Rake Uses in the Garden
The sturdy design of the bow rake is crucial to its ability to handle such tough tasks. This rake is also a multi-purpose tool, and as such can be used to carry out a variety of tasks.
Unlike your traditional leaf rake, It is not so simple to find the best bow rake. There are some vital things we believe are worth considering, and we will look at those as we go on in this article.
The best overall bow rake
Hooyman Landscape and Metal Bow Rake
- DIMENSIONS: 65 inches L x 16 inches W x 4 inches D and weighs 4.8 lbs
This leaf rake is top of its class, it’s reliable, durable, and efficient. It weighs roughly 4.8 lbs so this may cause some concern for you, but it sure does get the job of getting rid of those mulch and stubborn dirt laying in your garden. It has a comfortable grip and handles (which provides extra strength), and it is very sturdy.
Best heavy-duty bow rake
The Fly Hawk 6 Foot Bow Rake
This is a heavy-duty bow rake, it is rugged and very durable. Due to its sharp blades, you shouldn’t have any issues digging into any type of soil; it can also be used for weeding, and loosening soils. You don’t have to worry about the blade getting rusted, it is rustproof, and has an anti-chip coating to enhance its durability.
Due to the fact that it usually arrives disassembled, it may be quite hard for you to set it up, and fit in all the components. Some gardeners expressed their displeasure with the setup, as the holes of the screws did not align properly. This issue may require some technicality on your part, but once you get it done, then you are all set. It has an excellent grip, which makes it a quality tool.
The handle is made of stainless steel, and it tends to get really cold during the cold season, so if you get cold easily, then this rake may also pose some concerns, but this can be solved by wearing a pair of gardening gloves.
The overall length can be adjusted to fit your need, though it has to be done manually.
Best metal bow rake
The Glorya 5 Foot Metal Bow
- DIMENSIONS: 65 inches L x 16 inches W x 4 inches D and weighs 4.8 lbs
This metal rake has two variations, one which is 5 feet long, and the other is 6.3 feet long. Both are solidly constructed, they have 14 sharp tines attached to the metal head, and are made of durable material. It can be used to pierce, loose, and dig into any form of compact soil without much strain. You can customize the length as you please, and it has a no-slip grip, which will make your work more effective.
It is made from high-quality materials, it is very sturdy, and it gets the job done. Though some gardeners classify it as a light-duty rake due to its lightweight, so you have to be careful not to overuse it for heavy-duty tasks.
The tines are quite strong, they can also be bent, and may not break. It can serve as a multi-purpose bow rake, as it can be used as a leaf rake, and some gardeners even use it as a thatch rake.
Best fiberglass bow rake
The Bully Tools 92309
This Bully Tool fiberglass is built for gardening jobs, and it is quite handy. It is welded to the steel wrap, and it also has a single rivet, and it goes through the fiberglass handle. It is recommended to rake your soil and make your soil smooth.
The bully tool is quite short in length, therefore it’s more suitable for those who are less than 6 feet tall, or elderly people. it is quite a decent rake to have in your gardening arsenal, and it should be able to serve your light garden tasks such as removing garden debris, which will in turn make you have a healthy garden.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bow Rake
Just as humans differ, rakes also differ. Several factors determine what is responsible for the different types of bow rakes, and it’s important you pay attention to these details, so you can end up with the right bow rake for your garden lasting you for a good number of years.
They can come with different handles, ranging from wooden handles, aluminum handles, fiberglass handles, and steel handles.
The wooden handle is considered very light in terms of weight, and if it is properly handled and cared for, it can last you a very long time. Though this is true, there is a possibility of splinters occurring with this type of wooden handle, so you have to be careful when using it over time. Preferably wear a gardening glove when using it.
The aluminum handles are also very light and very common among bow rakes. One great feature about the aluminum handle is its collapsible ability; in other words, you can increase or reduce the length by simply adjusting it as you see fit. Though one downside is its durability, it’s not as sturdy as needed, so if it hits a hard object or encounters a rock, it is prone to bend or have a dent.
Another handle worth considering is the fiberglass handles. It is lightweight, rust-resistant, and also sturdy. It is often seen as a blend of both strength and weight. Unlike the aluminum handle, it is less likely to bend or have a dent when it hits a hard object.
The steel handle is the most sturdy among all other handles. It is rust-resistant and also has extra weight. Its durability is next to none and it’s the most recommended type of handle, but that again would depend on what exact purpose it will serve.
It is noteworthy to know that there can also be an adjustable handle. There are a variety of rakes on the market- click the link to learn how Bob Vila recommends for each use case!
The Handle’s Grip
The grip of the handle is another very important consideration to make.
The best type of grip is those with an ergonomic design. They are designed to reduce the stress of using the rake over a long period of time. Consider getting a handle with a cushioned grip, so that the likelihood of coming up with a blister while using it over time will be reduced. Also when using it during the rainy season, the grips can serve a useful purpose, and it can keep going for a longer time.
The tines are those spikes on the head of the bow rake. The steel tines are the best types you can get; this is what is responsible for their strength to move debris and much heavier loads. You can get a 14-tine bow rake, 16-tine bow rate, or an 18-tine bow rake.
Generally, the tines are usually 14-18 in numbers. The tines are meant to be short and thick, so ensure they are just like that. There are some variations that have an adjustable tine, and that can come in handy when you need to reduce or widen the tines to suit a specific purpose.
Bow rake vs Dethatcher rake
A bow rake is quite long, it has a straight head and short tines. It is used for heavy-duty tasks such as creating planting rows, break up compacted soil.
Whereas, Dethatcher rakes are used to remove dead grasses or dry leaves, and as the name implies it also removes moss or thatch from your gardens or lawns; this is the most perfect tool for this task. The structure of this rake has tiny tines, which are meant to remove only the dead grasses, and leave the healthy ones to flourish.
How to replace a bow rake handle
After you purchase a new handle for your rake, you will need to install it, and it is a bit technical.
The first thing you do is to drill a hole on your handle to match the head of your rake.
Fit the Handle into the metal head of your rake.
Place it against a strong surface such that the end of the handle faces upwards.
Hit it with a hammer till it drives into the metal head, and can’t go any further (Be careful not to damage the handle).
Finally secure the handle to the metal head with a nail driven through the hole that you earlier drilled.
How long do they last?
A bow rake can last for about 10-15 years, but it depends on how often you use it to what kind of terrain you are working on. The lifespan of the product also depends on how well you maintain it, what kind of wood your bow rake is made out of and how often you sharpen the blade.
The answer to this question is a very simple, “no.” Rakes are typically not stored when they’re not in use. Instead, they are stored in the most convenient place that is accessible and out of the way. Stick them in your garage or shed and forget about them- they should be fine.
Having a garden, and watching your plants grow can spark immeasurable happiness. But your garden will need to be taken care of, and those dirt and heavy materials won’t get rid of themselves.
Though taking care of your garden could be fun, when you don’t have the right tool to carry it, it can easily become a burden; here comes the bow rake.
Strong, thick, and quite handy is this rake, it is often called a garden rake because it is used mainly for garden activities. It is quite different from a leaf rake that is simply used to get rid of leaves.