The whole thing seems pretty obvious, rakes are just rakes and they are used to... rake. However, the market offers few types of the tool.
Here you will find a guideline how to choose the right specific tool for the job. But why? So you can do the job quickly and without excessive effort.
Let's start with getting to know raking itself. In other words, it is pulling plant residues out of soil, taking out stones, levelling the substrate, or even aerating a lawn (by removing organic residues and moving the topmost soil surface), collecting leaves and fruits, doing ground works, maintenance tasks at flowerbeds and lawns. The tool versatility is just vast. Rakes take part in most garden maintenance works, nearly whole year round.
STANDARD METAL RAKE
Their teeth are rectangular, and often slightly widen towards their base. The height is approximately 10 cm. The teeth bar average width is approximately 60 cm and it is perpendicular to handle. Heavy teeth allow to plunge into lawn easily, but require some effort from the operator. Such scratching of the lawn aerates it and removes residues or thatch, allowing you to enjoy great condition of the lawn. The tool is also perfect for removal of moss and shallow rooted weeds. Moreover, all soil levelling jobs will surely require this tool.
Intended use is obvious – the tool is helpful in collecting leaves on lawns and pathways. They prove well for levelling substrates with gravel. One of important features is adjustable raking width for working in narrow spaces. Such rake is lightweight, but long tines bend on dense substrates, which reduces working efficiency.
PLASTIC SHORT AND FAN RAKES
Usually with shorter and thicker teeth and tines than equivalent tools of metal or wire. Frankly, plastic rake is not suited for most tasks, but it is indispensible for lawn maintenance. The tool is perfect for removing all debris when you don't want to disturb the topmost layer of the soil. Such rake can also be used to remove leaves or sticks from areas with cover plants. Plastic teeth don't damage plants' structure and usually deform upon pressure of entangling sprouts (contrary to metal teeth, that tear such sprouts). Moreover, when picking the right tool it's good to consider a few issues. The market offers rakes with profiled handle. They improve comfort of work and reduce resistance. Anti-slip coating on the handle is an advantage, since rakes are often used in wet or humid conditions. Handle that slips out of hands every moment is not a great asset. ;)
Also notice total tool weight and how handy it is.
The most general rule for rakes is as follows: the wider the teeth bar and longer the handle, the quicker you will do your job.
Now let's all get to work! It's not often when you can easily get happily weary! ;D
How to choose the best fork?
Just like in spade, apart from all ergonomics and other improvements, good fork should be made of durable materials, so that the tines don't distort on lifting turf, and the handle does not squeak of effort when doing the most basic tasks.
Fork is a multi-function hand tool used in garden as well as in recreational plots, farms or orchards. In gardens it often allows to do many tasks usually handled with a spade. With this tool you can do many jobs, including: cleaning leaves and organic debris, throw hay or other types of fodder for domesticated animals, collecting fallen fruits, throw compost, improve air circulation in soil. Similarly to many other tools, fork also feature a few types. They differ by width and tips of tines.
Forks with narrow and sharp tines are perfect for working with composter, aerating lawn or moving any organic matter. Forks with wide and flat tines (digging forks) are great for breaking and fragmenting big lumps of ground, loosening soil, or mixing substrate with turf. They can also be used for cleaning root clumps of ground (when replanting) or pulling weeds out of substrate, as well as extracting and separating perennials, digging out flower bulbs, tubers, or old stumps.
In summary, once you have chosen the right type of fork for the application, you need to focus on the fork quality. Remember to check before purchase the weakest piece in the tool, which is the joint of the handle and the head. If there is slack in this spot already at the store shelf, the tool will not serve for a long time. Notice also handles. You can be sure that having the right profile (matching to hands) will repay with comfort and speed of work.
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