Rake — how to choose the best hand tool for the garden correctly? 100 photos of the main types and designs
A rake is one of the main agricultural tools designed for leveling or loosening the soil, as well as for raking hay, foliage and small stones from the surface to be cleaned. To date, there are many varieties of rakes. If you look at the photos of rakes of past and present years and trace the chronology, then we can say that this modern tool is very similar to its predecessors.
The components remained the same: the handle, the length of which depends on the type and material of the rake. A perpendicular bar (ridge) to which the teeth and the teeth themselves are attached. The ridge and teeth together are called a comb.
It is impossible to say for sure where and when this tool appeared for the first time, but the first mention of a rake dates back to the third millennium BC. Initially, a rake was any tool that could pick up and hold something. The hand was also called a rake, however, this is still found, but before this term did not have an offensive meaning.
According to historians and archaeologists, there were no plates in Russia, and the family (usually large) I ate from one common cast iron at the same time. First, the head of the family, more often the father, took the sample, and after the first spoonful he gave the command: "Rob!" and the whole family started eating. Even now in Russia, villagers can call a fork and spoon "grabalka", which in essence means any cutlery.
Materials for making rakes are: iron, steel, aluminum, plastic, wood. An additional design feature of some rakes is cast all-metal bars with teeth, which greatly strengthens the structure.
How to choose a convenient rake
In order to choose this tool with knowledge, it is necessary to think about what kind of work they will do, on what basis and with what application of forces. 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 – cleaning grass and hay, while metal rakes are used for tillage.
When working with several people with one tool, it is better to buy a rake with a sliding handle, they are suitable for people with 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 refine them.
If there are doubts about the width of the rake, then you need to take into account the planting density of your site, the smaller the plantings and the greater the distance between them, the wider the working surface of your tool should be.
If you want to get at your disposal a tool that you will use for many years, then buy it in specialized stores where they provide a quality certificate confirming the service life and material of manufacture.
The handle should be tightly connected to the comb. Rarely or often planted teeth will characterize the range of work performed by them, rakes with rare teeth are used to clean large debris, whereas rakes with frequent teeth are used to clean small leaves and stones.
Remember that the material of manufacture determines the weight of the tool. If you want a lightweight tool, purchase a rake with an aluminum or wooden handle, its thickness also matters — the standard is about 3 millimeters.
Choose the right length of the stalk, taking into account your height. When working with the ground, the handle can reach up to the shoulder. To collect weeded grass and garbage, the length of the handle is equal to your height. The length of the handle should be higher than your height when collecting light grass and leaves.
Varieties of rakes
Straight rake. The most common garden rakes. This is a universal tool for performing most of the needs in the garden:
- raking foliage, garbage;
- breaking up lumps of earth;
- loosening of beds;
- harvesting tree roots;
- leveling a plowed field, etc.
The teeth of straight rakes are perpendicular to the handle and slightly bent inwards. Straight rakes are produced with different comb widths, from 10 cm to 70 cm. The average width of the 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 areas of the garden, for example, under sapling bushes and stunted trees. Wide rakes are used on large areas and lawns, when cleaning foliage and garbage, because in one movement they carry out a larger capture of the area.
A tool with teeth twisted around its axis is a kind of straight rake. And it is designed for processing rough soil and breaking earth stones. Such a tool is necessary to prepare the soil for planting.
Straight rakes are also completely wooden with a wide base and long cylindrical teeth, used for harvesting hay and dry grass in the field. They are very light, because they are made of birch, and the stalk is made of pine. It is easy and convenient to work with them, the sticking of grass and debris is excluded due to the round and polished surface of the teeth.
Highly specialized rakeRake-aerator
Aerator rakes can also be attributed to a subspecies of straight ones, but they are always metal rakes, although they have very interesting design features. Made of hardened steel, with galvanic or graphite coating, their teeth are rather sharp knives, shaped like a sickle, which cut through even the roughest ground (and do not need sharpening).
They are resorted to when even a rake with twisted teeth gives in to the disobedient earth. Aerators can be both one-sided and two-sided. Double-sided aerators are called milling aerators. Such rakes are sometimes equipped with wheels. They are used for cleaning lawns from moss, debris, weeds and leaves. Thanks to the wheels, the knives sink into the ground evenly and thereby facilitate the work.
Lawn rakes have a wide base with teeth. They are easy to clean large volumes of mown grass. The teeth are located very often on the "ridge" and special limiter bars are welded over the working surface of the "comb", under which the collected grass accumulates.
These rakes not only resemble a fan externally, but can also be folded, changing the width of the working surface. The peculiarity of this garden equipment is the absence of a "ridge", all of the teeth originate from one point, which is actually the reason for the name "fan".
These rakes began to move apart only in the 21st century, and before that they had a static appearance. The teeth have a flat or round shape, the creation of these rakes goes back to the origins of the development of the rock garden in Japan.
They are gaining popularity among modern gardeners. They are convenient to store and transport. With one easy movement, you can change the nozzle and thereby the type of activity. Such rakes are usually equipped with a quick-release mechanism.
The set includes universal rakes with different working surface widths, fan rakes and rakes for roses, in addition, attachments can be included to expand the spectrum: shovels, hoes and baking powder.
When choosing these rakes as the main ones, 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 they can be made by yourself:
- In the manufacture of rakes, species of different trees are used. Pine or aspen is used for the handle, harder material is needed for making teeth: birch, oak or elm.
- From the material from which the stalk was made, we cut out a block with a length of 50-60 cm, the width will be about 5 cm, the height about 3 cm.
- We plan the block very carefully with a plane, then drill holes in it of 10 mm at an equal distance from each other, it depends on what you will use these rakes for. The minimum distance is 20 mm, the maximum is 40 mm.
- After the base is ready, we cut out teeth with a knife 12-15 cm long, round, triangular or flat, depending 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 plan and sand with sandpaper. We make one end of the stalk pointed.
- The pointed end is sawed at a distance of 20 cm and the ends are cut out, making them sharp. Then we fix the ends with a drill and nails.
Our exotic wooden rake is ready. They can be used to collect hay and foliage or simply hang on the wall for an entourage.
It turns out that to choose such a simple tool as a rake, you need a professional and balanced approach. We hope that the information from this article will help you not to get lost when choosing one of the main tools of a summer resident.