The leaf rake is a lawn care instrument that has admittedly fallen out of favor with the emergence of more technologically advanced machines. Many lawn owners would rather spring for a leaf blower, vacuum, shredder, or mulcher. All of these machines are terrific and a worthy addition to your roster of lawn care machines, but the leaf rake should not be underestimated. It has been around since the 19th century for a reason. They are by far the most economic option, and leaf rakes can be extremely useful no matter the time of year. In this post, we go over what you should look for in a leaf rake and how you should use them.
Which tines should you buy?
Tines are the formal title for the teeth of the leaf rake. You have many different varieties of leaf rakes from which to choose, including plastic, metal, and bamboo. Plastic tines are the strongest and give you the most control over the leaves. However, they do not offer the flexibility of the other varieties. Meanwhile, metal tines are more flexible than plastic tines, but they tend to have difficulty with wet leaves, which get clogged up in the tines. Finally, bamboo tines are the softest and give you the best performance when raking moss or other green vegetation.
Handles and width of the rake
Leaf rakes come with fiberglass, aluminum, or wood handles. Any of these work well, and you just need to make sure that they are lightweight and maneuverable. It is also a good idea to purchase a rake with a grip, which will help prevent against blisters. When selecting the proper width, you will generally want one that is between 18 and 24 inches, although particularly large ones can go up to 30 inches. The exact width and type of handle should depend on the terrain that you will be raking.
How should you rake?
Believe it or not, raking can actually result in physical injuries. Poor posture can give you injuries all along the spine, from the neck through the back. The raking motion can also cause great stress to the shoulders as well. For this reason, you want to use a short and efficient motion. Stretch before raking and be sure to switch hands regularly.
Not only is using a leaf rake cheaper than using a leaf blower or vacuum, but the leaf rake offers great physical exercise as well. It is estimated that one hour of leaf raking burns more than 250 calories, so the leaf rake offers great benefits to your body and lawn. For these reasons, embrace your leaf rake but protect your body by using the tips offered in this post.