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One of the most important first steps in choosing the best yard rake is to evaluate your yard. While the size of your yard will play a huge role in determining what type of rake is right for you, the landscape of your yard will be just as important, if not more so. For example, if you have a relatively small yard with high amounts of shrubs and sharp corners to rake around, you will do better with a rake that is relatively small and has a short, easily maneuverable handle. In contrast, if you have a large yard, you should select a larger yard rake to cut down on the amount of time needed for raking.
Another important step when choosing the best yard rake is to evaluate how you will use the rake. While rakes are most often used for collecting fallen leaves, they can also be used for raking pine needles or leveling soil for a garden. If you are purchasing a yard rake for the traditional purpose of collecting fallen leaves, look for a large fan rake. However, if you are more interested in finding a yard rake for use in the garden, look for a metal bow rake that can help you to move soil and level planting beds. Similarly, a bow rake, with its fixed set of tines on the back, can be used for collecting mulch.
Next, set a budget to find the best yard rake for you. Typically, yard rakes are not very expensive. In fact, you should be able to find a high-quality yard rake that meets your needs for well under $100 US Dollars, quite possibly under $10 USD. It is still important to determine exactly how much money you are comfortably willing to spend when purchasing a yard rake to prevent problems in the future. If price remains a concern, check at yard sales or discount stores, where you might be able to find a great yard rake for a much lower price.
Finally, be sure that the store from which you are purchasing the yard rake has a good return policy. If the yard rake breaks or for some other reason turns out to be inappropriate or unacceptable, it is important to know that you won't be stuck with it. One way to do this is to consult with a salesperson about the store's return policy before making a final purchase.
One rake nobody should be without is a shrub rake. Shrub rakes are great around bushes and shrubs, and in tight spots where a larger rake won't fit. After having done a dozen spring yard cleanups, I feel qualified to say that a bigger rake isn't always a better rake. You could end up covering less area because of the pressure necessary to keep all the tines on the ground. This could cause premature fatigue of the operator.
There is no "right rake" for all situations. The best course of action is to have a few different rakes to handle the situations you are most likely to come across.
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