Now that I have mostly recovered from what were grueling months of re-landscaping our front yard, I am reflecting back on some of the tools I became way too familiar with during that
ordeal fulfilling project. No matter how big or small your yard is, garden rakes are a category of essential landscaping tools that come in very handy. They are definitely preferred over picking up individual leaves or granules of dirt by hand. We were sent two Fiskars rakes to evaluate, and the results of our show no mercy, multi-year field testing might surprise you. Whether you’re looking at garden rakes for your Zen garden, or raking through a seemingly endless supply of dirt and rock, check out our review of these two Fiskars rakes: the Fiskars Pro Rake, and the Fiskars Ergo Aluminum Garden Rake.
Garden Rakes Overview
The garden rakes we are discussing today are rakes with rigid tines (the tines are the little fingers of the rakes). Unlike leaf rakes with their long, widespread, flexible tines, garden rakes have a much more compact and rigid build. While you can use them to rake leaves, they are more suited to raking through denser material like dirt, gravel, sand, or even rubber mulch. Garden rakes do a nice job of pulling larger debris like branches from a trimmed shrub, from finer material that passes through the tines. They are also very useful for grading. For grading larger areas it’s best to use a landscape rake. Landscape rakes are basically a very wide garden rake.
Fiskars Rakes Review Video
Fiskars Pro Rake
The Fiskars Pro Rake is one of the heavier duty rakes we’ve come across. It has an extruded aluminum handle with ridges to provide extra strength. The connection between the steel rake head and the aluminum handle has dual rivets. That connection point is also quite lengthy, giving the entire Fiskars Pro Rake a very heavy duty feel.
The handle end of the rake has a very nice overmold, which can make wielding this tool slightly less painful on your hands. The overmold is also very grippy, making it less likely that you’ll accidentally launch your rake into the nether-reaches of your garden.
The business end of the Fiskars Pro Rake is where all the magic happens. While most garden rakes have a connection at each end of the rake, this model also has a third connection at the middle. The steel rods that make up this rake’s three connections appear to be robustly welded in place and make for a very solid rake.
If you flip the Fiskars Pro Rake upside down, you’ll find a thick, blade-like bar that is excellent for grading. The weight of the head also helps it perform well for grading applications. Most typical garden rakes can also be used for grading, but you are usually relying on the flat portion that normally is the support for the tines. The Fiskars Pro Rake clearly engineered the flip side of the heavy duty tines to manage equally heavy duty grading.
Overall, the Fiskars Pro Rake was a confidence inspiring tool. It handled a multitude of typical garden rake tasks with ease. The Pro Rake also tended to excel when working with heavier materials such as gravel, decomposed granite and grading more stubborn soil. Keep in mind if you plan to do any grading with garden rakes, it helps if the soil is somewhat loose so the back of the rake can bite into it.
Although the weight of the Fiskars Pro Rake was useful on some tasks where a lighter rake wouldn’t really dig in, overall the rake still feels heavy. The heavy duty build of the rake comes at the cost of extra effort to wield the rake. That extra effort just feels less nimble, and makes for more fatigue during lengthy raking sessions. I still favor the Fiskars Pro Rake for heavier and more stubborn material and dirt. However, I prefer a lighter weight rake for most tasks, which brings us to the Fiskars Ergo Aluminum Rake.
Fiskars Ergo Aluminum Rake
My marathon experience with garden rakes got its start with the Fiskars Ergo Aluminum Rake. When I first received the box from Fiskars, it was so light I wasn’t sure there was anything in it. Sure enough, there was a rake in there!
If a minimalist were to design a rake, this Fiskars rake would probably be pretty close to what they would come up with. The shank on the Fiskars Ergo rake is. . . . ergonomic. A tapered oval is about the best description I can come up with for that. It’s very comfortable to hold and wield.
There is an overmold on the end of the rake as well, but it is far shorter than what we saw on the pro Fiskars rake. The overmold is just the right size to grip with your back hand, while the front hand works the main handle. Unfortunately, the overmold has a habit of slipping loose or even off the handle altogether during extra enthusiastic raking projects. I would have liked to have seen the grip riveted in place to avoid that. The overmold on the Fiskars Pro rake is more comfortable and grippy than the one on the ergo rake.
The tines at the business end of the Fiskars Ergo Aluminum Rake are light weight but still very durable. Unlike the Fiskars pro rake, there is no dedicated scraper bar on the back side of the tines. Even so, I routinely flipped the rake over and used the backside of the tines to smooth out material, as you can see from the “zen garden” image a couple images up the page.
My first impressions on this Fiskars rake were that the rake was far too light and flimsy to do anything beyond light duty jobs. That first impression turned out completely wrong. I kept using the Fiskars Ergo rake on increasingly brutal tasks with the assumption I’d break it. Instead, the rake kept doing its thing, unfazed. The rake being so light and easy to work with were the reasons I kept reaching for it first.
The Fiskars Ergo Rake is effortless to lift and place, making it a delight to work with. Well, as delightful as raking can be. Despite its lightweight feel, I have yet to find a raking task it couldn’t handle. If you’re looking for a well constructed rake that is both durable and efficient to work with, I highly recommend the Fiskars Ergo Aluminum Rake.
Do you have a preferred garden rake, or feedback on these Fiskars rakes? If so, please let us know in the comments below!
Fiskars Pro Rake:
Fiskars Ergo Aluminum Garden Rake: