A rake is a tool used to gather or loosen material or to grade or level a surface. Most are many-toothed tools applied to such uses as gathering leaves or other plant material, or loosening or smoothing earth or other ground covering. Rakes are used in agriculture and landscaping. There are two major kinds: an attachment for a tractor and a hand tool.
Hay Rake. This type is pulled behind the tractor, and forms the hay into individual windrows to dry. Tractors pull several kinds of rakes: wheel rakes, parallel bar rakes, twin or double rakes, and rotary rakes. Parallel bar types are used less than they were at one time, having lost favor due to cost and limited width. Twin rotary rakes merge two windrows, though there is also a separate class of equipment that does this, called mergers.
Home and Garden Rakes. There are a wide variety of handheld rakes, specially designed for different purposes.
* Bow Rake. This kind, with large, thick, unbending teeth, can both level and work the soil. One of its uses is to prepare ground for planting after the soil has initially been broken up.
* Leaf Rake. These have large, often somewhat triangular groups of teeth that are quite flexible. They are used to pull together piles of fallen leaves and to do light lawn work. Some are specifically designed and labeled as "Leaf/Lawn Rakes."
* Hand rake. This is a small version, whether a bow rake or a leaf rake, used to work the soil or clear small areas in flowerbeds.
* Thatch rake. This typ is for lawn grooming, allowing the user to remove thatch and moss from a lawn.
* Lake Rake. A lake rake is used to skim vegetation or algae off the surface of a lake or pool. Some are made for secondary use in dressing beach sand.
* Landscape rake. This is a tool for spreading ground covering material smoothly over a surface, whether dirt, gravel, or sand.
Specialty Rakes. There are also specialty tools designed for working with a particular material. An asphalt rake is used for spreading and grading asphalt. A road and stone rake is designed for raking and leveling stone. A field/aggregate rake is specifically created for use by baseball grounds crews. A concrete rake has no teeth; it is a straight edged blade on a handle, and is used to level concrete after it's been tamped.