How to Pick the Best Rake for Pine Needles
Pine trees are nice to look at, provide good shade, privacy screens, and windbreak. However, they produce a lot of litter when they shed leaves or needles. These needles can clog up your regular rake and can be hard to gather. Cones are even harder to collect.
So, in this article, I will give you a rundown of my favorite products and the things to look for in choosing the best rake for pine needles. So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down and let’s get started!
The Best Kind of Rake for Pine Needles and Pine Cones Product Review
Finding the best yard rake for pine needles is a tough enough job but with a multitude of brands, models, and types out there, it can become confusing and overwhelming. A thorough research will require so much time and effort. If that’s your problem, I have some good news for you!
In this review, I already did the hard work for you and summarized the best rakes for pine needles available in the market today. Check out their features, pros, and cons below to be able to compare them easily and find the ideal rake for you and your yard!
Offering durability and reliable performance, the Field Tuff Pine Straw Rake has 26 0.33-inch spring steel tines to rake up the pine needles around your lawn or yard. It covers one of the largest working widths of 60 inches.
This rake is made with durable steel featuring a powder-coat paint to prevent rust and corrosion. It is also designed with coiled spring for improved spring action. The head is compatible and attaches directly to a category 1 3-point hitch.
The company even offers a one-year limited warranty for the parts.
● Good overall performance
● Sturdy and can do a thorough job
● Corrosion-resistant paint coating
● Tough and durable
● Does not include attachment pins
● The top link hole is not standard-size
● A challenge to assemble
Next, we have another favorite: the Groundskeeper II Rake by TRG Inc. This is not your average rake because it features 28 stiff and round tines instead of the usual flat and flexible tines of most other rakes.
While flexible, flat tines work excellently in gathering leaves and debris without damaging or disturbing the ground, round and stiff tines get the job done in no time albeit sacrificing a little grass.
This rake is great in removing fallen leaves from bushes without harming green stems. It helps remove mulch, barks, twigs, sticks, grinder chips, and even stray gravel.
The 21-inch head and 55-inch yellow fiberglass handle are also tough and sturdy.
● Easy to use
● No need for downward pressure
● Easy on the back
● Durable materials and construction
● Great for dethatching
● Flimsy shaft
● Rake head often falls off the handle
Gardenite pine needle rakes have a long-running reputation of being among the best out there. Aside from producing premium quality gardening tools and products, Gardenite is also popular for their adjustable rakes, like this one.
Adjustable rakes are handy because you can use them to clean through tight spaces and paths as well as wider areas. The adjustability also helps reduce the needed storage space. The Gardenite Expanding Metal Rake in particular can be expanded from 7 inches to 22 inches.
The 63-inch long handle constructed with durable solid steel with a ¾-inch zinc coating for rust-proofing is another amazing feature. This rake is also lightweight and easy to use. It even comes with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee!
● Adjustable for both narrow and wide spaces
● Easy to store and takes up less storage space
● Rust-resistant and durable handle
● The tines are stiffer than normal
● Not made to be a heavy duty rake
● A bit too short for most people
With a heaping height of five feet, the Titan Pine Straw Needle rake comes with a 3-point attachment perfect for gathering pine needles paired with a compact tractor. This rake features replaceable coiled tines so you can always get the spring action you like.
Made with high-quality steel, Titan features heat-treated tines that are 22.5- inch long and two inches apart for maximum work coverage. Other than pine needles, it is also great for raking up dead grass, leaves, sticks, branches, and other debris from your garden plants or grass lawn.
The tines are also replaceable so you won’t have to buy a new rake everytime one or two falls out. It is compatible with a category 1 hitch or tractor.
● Heavy-duty and well-made tool
● Comes with three-point attachment pins
● Won’t hurt your grass
● Extra long replaceable tines
● Does not work as well for gathering leaves
● Package does not include instructions
With the Amazing Rake 3-in-1 Leaf rake, your work is already cut out for you! This tool allows you to just rake, scoop, and shoot pine leaves into a bag without having to bend, stoop, or touch the debris at all!
This is great for people with back problems because it not only gathers pine needles but also allows you to grab and pick it all up with one tool. Not only does it help save your back but your energy and time as well.
The Amazing rake is made with an unbreakable copolymer Polypropylene which makes it durable and lightweight. It only weighs in at 2.5 pounds!
● Works great for large yards
● Does not require bending or stooping over
● Saves a lot of time
● Ergonomic design
● Ultra convenient and lightweight
● Cannot really grab much leaves at a time
● May require some getting used to
Boasting of a sixty-inch working width, the Yard Tuff Pine Straw Rake is another product that I love because it covers so much area in a very little amount of time.
With twenty four 5/16-inch spring steel tines, you are guaranteed of durability and reliability to get your cleaning project done. It also comes with 12-inch pneumatic tires that allows you to easily maneuver the rake when working over various terrains.
This rake is made with durable steel with a powder-coated finish that makes it corrosion-resistant. The lift handle also makes it super easy to rake up, collect, and drop debris, leaves, grass, and pine needles.
This device also attaches via a pin hitch, allowing you to use it with your ATV, UTV, or utility tractor. It even comes with a one year limited manufacturer’s warranty for the parts.
● Good-looking, corrosion-resistant finish
● Easy to use
● Large rake head
● Quality tines, materials, and construction
● Handle tends to slip when hitting a bump
Last but not the least, we have the RPM ez Hand Rake featuring a patent-pending design and heavy duty tempered steel spring tines. This product is made in the USA so you are assured of good quality.
Save time and your back thanks to the 60 inch-long handle and 28-inch wide rake head. Many people love this product because it functions for so much more than just gathering pine needles, You can also use it as a thatching tool or a pitchfork for picking up heavier and larger amounts of debris.
The design also allows you to gather leaves and debris without damaging shrubs and plants.
● Can handle bigger loads
● Heavy duty tines
● Multipurpose tool
● Comfortable to use even with one hand
● Requires some assembly
Best Rake for Pine Needles Buying Guide
Just like when buying any other product, there are several things to consider and look for when choosing rakes for pine needles.
To help move things along with your search for the best rake, here are some of the most important factors that determine how good or suitable a product is for you:
The first thing you should look for is a good quality handle and the quality of the handle largely depends on the material used. Many rakes use steel, hardwood, and aluminum as the handle material because these materials do not rot or cave in as easily as ordinary wood
However, metals like steel can be prone to corrosion and rust so look for features that prevent this as well. They may also bend or break depending on the diameter and the amount of load the rake is made to handle.
A few models also feature fiberglass or plastic handles. While these materials are lightweight, the downside to them is that they can shatter or crack easily and are not as durable as the other previously mentioned materials.
Another thing to consider is the length of the handle. Always take your height into account when choosing a rake because one that’s too long will be hard to manage while something that’s too short will force you to bend over or stoop, which can cause discomfort and eventually, may lead to back issues.
Note also the position and the quality of the grip since poorly attached grips will slip and slide, potentially hampering your work and causing frustration. This will also determine how easy it will be to handle and use your rake.
Next, look at the tines of your rake. Metal tines are the most preferable options especially ones that feature spring metal hinges. These are strong, durable, and will perform well throughout many seasons.
With that said, make sure the tines are also protected against rusting. Store the rake in dry and shaded storage areas to prevent damage to the tines.
The tines should also be sturdy and strong to handle thicker and heavier loads and both wet and dry pine needles or other debris. However, they should also be flexible enough to save your plants or shrubs and minimize the damage to your lawn. A dual tine leaf rake is also great to ensure a thorough job.
In this note, plastic tines fall short because they tend to break easily under light pressure and are not that flexible either. This makes them suitable only for single season and light use.
The Rake Head
Another important part of the rake is the rake head. The rake head contributes a lot to the performance of the rake. Most people, even experts, would agree that rake heads that are 22 to 24 inches wide are a good size for picking a considerable amount of leaves or needles in one go without being too heavy or too hard to manage.
However, one concern is how to rake tighter spots, for which case adjustable or expandable rake heads are clearly the answer. These kinds, you can reduce the footprint to safely navigate between patches or plants that you do not want to damage. Just make sure that the adjustment is easy to engage.
Larger rake heads are intended for more heavy duty purposes and may not be necessary for working on a small yard or lawn.
Next to safety, you should always prioritize your comfort. Raking can be a particularly challenging job for your joints and muscles so find a rake that will make it easier for you.
A good rake will reduce premature tiredness, relieve back pain, and will be kind on the hands, among other things. So, look at the rake’s dimensions. Consider your height, the rake’s height, the width, and the weight.
Try to find something that you can use efficiently with no problem. Ergonomic designs are also a plus, which make the work less tiring and allow you to take better control of it.
Generally, a lightweight rake with an adjustable handle and expandable head can make raking that much more comfortable.
Best Rake for Pine Needles FAQs
1. Can you sell pine needles?
Yes, pine needles can be sold to garden centers, nurseries, and landscapers as pine straw or mulch. This type of mulch is popular especially in the US because it remains loose longer, allowing water and air to still infiltrate the ground below.
2. How much does pine straw sell for?
High quality, long-needle organic pine straw can cost anywhere between $6 to $7 per bale, covering about 35 square feet.
3. Do I need to rake pine needles?
Pine needles can be destructive or bothersome when they pile up too high or start to choke up your lawn grass. Pine needles are slow to decompose so they can accumulate fast. If you want to keep an area free of grass, you can rake up pine needles and transfer it there.
It is also essential to rake up needles regularly from lawns and gardens to allow water, air, and sunlight to penetrate the grass.
4. Do Pine Needles Kill Grass?
Growing a grass lawn around pine trees can be difficult because needle drop from pine trees can create a thick mat which acts as a physical barrier that can either retard grass growth or kill grass entirely. However, contrary to popular belief, this is not due to the needles’ acidic nature.
5. What type of maintenance will a pine needle rake need?
Rakes are basic tools and do not really need a lot of maintenance other than getting cleaned regularly. Just make sure to remove any stuck debris and wash and dry your rake before storing it somewhere where it is shielded against the elements. Try to regularly inspect it for rust as well so you can remove it right away.
6. What’s the best way to remove pine needles?
The best way to remove pine needles from an area where they are clumped is by raking them to clear out most of the debris without uprooting grass or removing the soil underneath. You can also use gloved hands for removing needles from small or tight spaces.
For a better idea on how to remove pine needles from lawn, please watch this video:
7. Should you remove pine needles from under tree?
While many of us have believed this myth for years, pine needles do not actually acidify garden soils, which is said to prevent other plants from growing. They break down slowly and cannot make that much of a difference to the soil pH.
However, they do have some disadvantages: they can choke smaller plants especially on the root zones and prevent seeds from germinating. So, if you want to keep your garden free from weeds and grass, there’s no need to remove pine needles unless there’s too much of them. A 2 to 4-inch layer is ideal to keep the moisture in the soil.
The best rake for pine needles should be durable, comfortable to use, easy to assemble, and has a good size rake head and tines. Out of all the rakes reviewed here, it seems to me like the Gardenite Expanding Metal Rake is your best bet. While some people find it a bit too short, it does its job and gives great value for your hard-earned money at such an affordable price.
However, if you are looking for something heavy duty for a larger yard or lawn, try the Titan Attachments Pine Straw Needle Rake! While assembly may require some time and effort, you will be delighted with its durability and performance once you are able to put it together.