A neat, level lawn is the dream of everyone from homeowners to greenskeepers. However, sprinkler systems, moles, and other debris can make it difficult to achieve (and maintain) a level lawn. That’s where a lawn leveling rake comes in. For a very simple piece of equipment, it can make a huge difference. Knowing which rake is right for you can be surprisingly tricky; this guide is designed to show you the different options available, so you can decide which is the right one for you and your lawn.
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Lawn leveling rakes are not complicated pieces of equipment. They are wide, flat rakes with angled tines to push up the debris lying on the surface. As you push the rake across the surface of your lawn, the debris is lifted where it is raised, and placed into areas where it is sunken. After a few trips across your lawn, you’ll find that the surface is leveled off, and free from peaks and troughs. Because bumps can be caused by things like moisture and soil conditions, you may need to re-level your soil regularly, meaning that your rake gets regular usage – and that choosing the right one is especially important.
In order to compile our list, we considered a range of different criteria, including the following: Price, Weight, Build Quality, Flexibility and Durability, Handle comfort, Materials used, Warranty, and Strength.
We then used these criteria to pick the five best models available on the market. Depending on your soil and lawn conditions, as well as your own strength levels, you will be able to find a leveling rake that is right for you using the guide below.
There are a lot of lawn leveling rakes available on the market, which is impressive for what is essentially a very simple piece of equipment. However, the difference between the models is more than just a case of different types of grass or lawn – it often comes down to effectiveness and quality. For that reason, the Standard Golf Levelawn was our clear favorite for best pick.
The lightweight aluminum materials make using it a breeze, and the quality of the components means it will last a long time. To put it another way, this is simply an excellent piece of equipment that does exactly what you need, for as long as you need.
So often, the difference between models comes down to the difference in materials. This pick made it on our list almost exclusively because of the stainless steel head and bracket. The rest of the design is great, but this is what makes it stand out from the pack. An adjustable handle made from high-end materials is pure quality and makes this feel like a luxury rake (while costing only around $60).
The first of the two Rocklin models on our list, this one was a surefire pick for our luxury option. The most obvious point of difference here is the size of the rake; both in terms of the handle, which is 78”, and the size of the rake head, which is 48”.
This makes it easier to cover a large amount of area with little additional effort. It’s simple, but effective, and ultimately, that extra convenience is what you pay for.
Like the Rocklin 48”, the Rocklin 30” carries the same attention to detail and same high performance. Where it differs is the size, and, as a result, the price. The 30” is designed in exactly the same way, although has a smaller rake head. In some ways, this makes it a better product, since the smaller size and weight makes it easier to maneuver around your lawn.
If you’re a precise kind of gardener, then it also allows for greater attention to detail, so your lawn can have even more of a championship green feel.
The MIYA model is a stand out choice. The way that the tines are very slightly curved means that you can easily grab debris from the surface without clogging. Moreover, the build quality feels robust without being too heavy.
The number one thing to look for when it comes to buying a lawn leveling rake is the type of grass and soil you’ll be working with. Compare this with the manufacturer’s recommendation on the model you’re looking to buy. Some rakes are tailored to specific lawn types and may be too rough for others. The ones reviewed above are generalists and can apply to almost all types of grass. However, be sure to check in advance of purchase that it’s the right rake for your lawn or you’ll end up damaging both the rake and the lawn.
Most specialist lawn equipment is available to rent from hardware stores. For larger (and more advanced) equipment, such as aerators, tillers, and trenchers, the cost of buying is so high, and the number of uses so low, that it makes sense to rent. However, a lawn leveling rake will not only set you back less than $30 (unless you’re going for the luxury option) but also is something you’ll use on multiple occasions. When it comes to the buy versus rent debate, the equation with lawn leveling rakes is a straightforward one – buy.
As for deciding whether you need one at all, the real benefit of a lawn leveling rake comes from being able to ensure your lawn remains level. You may need specialist leveling equipment to get it level in the first place, but a lawn leveling rake makes it extremely easy to keep it level with only a little bit of upkeep. These rakes require no additional training (or strength) and so can be worked into your regular lawn upkeep program. Check out our guide on how a lawn leveling rake works.
There are only two components that make up a lawn leveling rake – the handle and the rake head. As the guide above mentions, however, that doesn’t mean you are limited in your options.
The best thing to look for when it comes to the handle is a cushioned grip. Although you may not feel it at first, after an afternoon pushing a rake around, your hands will appreciate it! If you are above average height, you’ll also need a longer than average handle or you will need to stoop to use the rake. Look for something either adjustable or 5 feet or longer. This should be more than enough to give you a comfortable angle at which to work.
The rake heads are fairly standardized in terms of design; it’s the material that makes the difference. Ideally, you want to buy one that is stainless or tempered steel. Pay close attention to the bracket that connects the handle to the rake head. There’s a lot of force that goes through that bracket, in a multitude of planes. Ideally, a stainless steel bracket will provide you with years of use. Check it to see that it moves freely so you’ll be able to push it over bumpy surfaces.