Struggling with to clear up pine needles? Looking for the best rake for pine needles on the market? We can help!
Do you want to be sure to buy the right rake for pine needles to ensure a clean sweep? Here we provide a review of our top-rated pine needle rakes. We have checked out the top rakes for pine needle clearing so that you can feel confident that it will deliver the result you are looking for.
Do you have a pine tree on your property? Finding the clearing up difficult? Pine needles are difficult to shift and raking pine needles can be an absolute chore, for effective results, this calls for a rake that is designed specifically.
A pine needle rake is fundamentally an extra wide grass rake. The handle can be wooden or metal, and the tines will be plastic or flexible metal. The narrower ones will work fine, but extra width makes raking pine straw quicker because you can rake a larger area. The rake is designed to live and drag the needles even when they are quite dense. Don’t want to rake very often? Not a problem if you are using a pine needle rake.
Pine needles do not breakdown easily – which makes them great for mulch, but not so good for your lawn. Using a pine needle rake you can easily collect them into piles and then remove them. Either put them to good use elsewhere on your property or removing them altogether.
We have looked at the best rakes on the market for pine needles and come up with our 5 top pine needle rakes to help you to narrow down your choice. You want the job to be as painless as possible? We looked at ease of use, design features, effectiveness at collecting the pine needles, and weight, as well as considering other uses for the rake so that you are sure to get your money’s worth.
HOW TO USE A RAKE FOR PINE NEEDLES?
What is Pine Straw?
Pine straw is a valuable commodity – really! The pine needle matting that has dropped from your pine tree and is driving you mad is perfect as a mulch, particularly for shrubs like Azalea’s who thrive on its addition. In some Southern states, it’s possible to buy it in bales (especially from the longleaf pine Pinus palustris) so that people can add it to their garden as a mulch, and here you are with your own supply.
Alternative ways to clear up Pine Straw:
If you are prepared to clear very regularly and haven’t learned how easy it is with a rake specifically for raking pine needles or have a LOT of pine trees there are alternatives to raking up pine needles. A leaf blower will shift them if they haven’t been left long enough to really bed down. Add in a tarpaulin and trailer or wheelbarrow and you don’t get the same level of clarity that you achieve with a rake, but then it doesn’t take as much time either. A garden vacuum will create the same effect and can be used to clear the needles, this covers a smaller area so can be time-consuming, but, if you want a mechanized approach those choices are there for you.
Taking the Raking Approach.
You are here though because you have decided to use a rake to clear up your pine needles – and you are in the right place.
Clearing pine needles up by the traditional raking method gives the best results – and most importantly the equipment is much cheaper. A rake can lift and move needles that have been down some time and have bedded into the ground, it is precise, you can clear whichever area you choose, it is quite so doesn’t trouble neighbors, and it is quick as long as you are methodical in your approach. Raking the needles into piles, or onto a tarpaulin makes relocating them easy – if you put them into piles then you will need a wheeled trailer or wheelbarrow, a tarpaulin is fairly easy to drag as there is little weight to them and once you have gathered them together they are fairly easy to handle.
TOP 5 BEST RAKE FOR PINE NEEDLE REVIEWS.
Our editor panel took a look at the wide range of Pine Needle Rakes on the market currently and narrowed down the selection to our top 5 rakes for pine needles. The criteria that they were judged on combined ease of use alongside result achieved and these 5 pine needle rakes were our clear winners.
The best rake for pine needles was a traditional rake:
Do you want to buy a tool you can get maximum use from? The tines on this rake are really effective for pine needle removal, but it proved to be equally at home with grass, leaves, in fact, any other garden chores that involved a rake, meaning that you can use this again and again. The absolute joy with this rake though is that it is completely adjustable size-wise. You can fan the head to a superb 7.1 inches all the way out to 21.75 inches wide. This gives bags of scope if you have to clear constrained areas between other plants or shrubs, but a lovely widespread on grassland or open ground.
Not only is the head adjustable, but also the handle – with a range from 37 to 68 inches. This really does extend easily, and feel secure whatever height suits your working.
Lightweight and well made with aluminum alloy this rake was a pleasure to use, it was light, easy to handle featuring a rubberized grip, and delivered superb needle collection. It was an all ‘round top pick and absolutely great on embedded pine straw.
- Easily adjustable.
- We loved the multi-purpose use.
- Light at 2.2 pounds.
- Folds down for storage.
- Clears the ground well.
- 90 day warranty.
- Adjustment can be stiff initially.
This rake was universally loved, especially as it folded so small to store. You will love the result, no need to go over and over the same piece of ground. It was light, the handle was comfortable, all in all a great result with very little effort.
This proved very popular in our tests with great rigidity it lifted with very little effort at all. The head offers 6-inch long sprung times on a fixed 21 inch head. The handle is 55 inches long and made from fiberglass which will give you years of service. Like the other rakes that we recommend this is strong enough to serve other purposes, from grass raking to raking soil this will give you an excellent result.
The design is such that you get a good strong lift from the rake without having to exert any downward pressure at all yourself, it makes it easy to work, and ensures that your back doesn’t suffer. The upright stance that this creates made it a joy to work with. This rake is durable, strong and very well made, if you have a large area this is definitely a great rake for you.
- Really robust
- Excellent design creates upright use
- Great for grass thatching too
- Shipped in two pieces
- Not great on leaves
The best for larger areas. The rigid head gave less option over small or constrained garden areas, but if you have open ground to clear then this rake will top your list.
For a completely different experience we tried out a rubber rake – and loved it. This will be particularly suitable if you have pine drop onto a hard surface, maybe your decking or a patio area? It even worked on the roof of the car port without causing any damage at all. If you have pine needle drop onto any hard surface area that you are cautious about using a metal tined rake over then this is perfect for you!
This can be used on wet and dry, hard or concrete surfaces, painted surfaces – and gives good pick up for pine needles. It is not as versatile as some that we trialled, which is why it comes further down the list, but if you are buying purely for pine needle raking, and you have any difficult areas, then this is a dream to use.
- Rubber tines cause no damage
- Really good collection
- Works on roofs
- Can be used on any hard surface
- Comes without handle – available separately
- No use for any other purpose
If your needle drop is onto a hard surface or roofing area then this will definitely by the one to go for. It is a fantastic tool for concrete, paving, decking, a driveway. It works in wet and dry, and gives a great result without damaging your underlying surface.
Not a pine straw specific rake, but we found that this did an excellent job on the needles and worked better on the leaves and other garden debris than some. The 24-inch head with flat tines works well on pine needles although if you don’t have too many you may find that not extending it to the full range so that the distance between the tines is slightly smaller will serve you better. The head extends between 7.5 to 24 inches, so there is a range there for you to choose from.
The handle can adjust telescopically from 31 to 64 inches, so is ideal if you like a shorter handle. The only reason this didn’t score higher on the recommendation was that we had to work hard to ensure that the handle remained where it was put – you really need to ensure that you have tightened it properly or it self-adjusts as you work!
- Flat tines make short work of collecting needles
- Adjustable handle great for shorter people
- Adjustable head.
- Light and easy to use.
- Adjusting handle tricky to secure
Our shorter testers really liked this one, often handles come on a one-size-fits-all basis, the adjustment available, once you got the hang of it, meant that the handle could be adjusted to make it comfortable for anyone to use.
This isn’t just a rake, but also is a grabber, meaning that you can rake, lift and dump into the barrow any leaves or needles. It took a little getting-used-to, which is why it is lower down the list, but after a little time our testers found it fabulous, it’s perfect for anyone with mobility or back issues as it means that you don’t have to bend.
It only weighs 2.5lbs and was ergonomic to use with a good handle meaning you felt in control at all times. The head is copolymer polypropylene and seemed sturdy and durable when in use.
- All in one tool
- Saves bending
- Suits smaller areas
- Better on open ground
This worked very well as long as there was good access and work was in an open area. It was great for not having to bend and lift.
When buying a pine needle rake you need to look as several aspects of the design to make sure that you are buying the best pine needle rake for your purposes. Your choice will need to take into account the area you are looking to rake, the ground that the needles are on, and any personal fitness limitations that you have which can be compensated for by choosing the correct pine needle rake.
Rake manufacturers use a variety of materials for handles:- hardwood, aluminum, and steel are the most common materials you will find. The height and grip comfort of the handle are the two most important things for you to consider when purchasing your pine straw rake.
Although it is appealing to choose a hand rake for pine needles as light as possible, lightweight metal handles are susceptible to bending if they are not treated with respect. As with all things, it’s important to let the tool do the work and not try to use brute force! Treated well and used correctly this will not be an issue with any of the rakes in our guide above.
You may have concerns over rusting – but this can be overcome with a rub down with a dry cloth after use and careful storage in a weatherproof area.
Plastic and fiberglass handles are not as common, and for good reason, they are more inclined to break or shatter and do not offer the durability of the stronger materials.
The handle length really affects the comfort of the user after a very short period of time. This is why the adjustable handled models scored so well on our tests, for shorter (or indeed taller) people it was a pleasure to be able to make the handle suit the job in hand and save the back pain.
Many handles featured a grip area, rubberized or another material – in general, we found these to be a boon adding comfort as well as control using the rake.
Generally speaking for all around garden use metal tines, or plastic covered metal tines, offer the best result. They are strong, retain their shape and yet have enough ‘spring’ to cover uneven ground effectively. They need the same care as a metal handle – wipe them down after use and store out of the elements, but with sensible storage and a modicum of care they will last for years.
In the reviews, we have included both rubber and copolymer polypropylene heads. These offer a choice over different surfaces and again with a little thought and care over storage will give you a good return on your investment.
For pine needles, you need to have tines close enough together that the needles do not pass through, but strong enough to lift them where they are embedded leaving the grass behind. The adjustable rakes were excellent here because the line spacing could be adjusted to suit the area being cleared.
Rake Head Size
What sort of area are you looking to work in? If you have a large open space, and the needles are being dropped onto lawn then a larger head will suit your purpose perfectly and you can buy with confidence. If your pine tree is incorporated into landscaping on your property, and the needles drop onto beds, cultivated areas, areas of land with other shrubs or smaller trees, then access becomes an issue – in this instance you would do well to consider an adjustable headed rake so that you can use it in smaller areas without damaging other plantings.
If you do choose an adjustable rake-head then take some time to make sure that you understand how the mechanism works and secures. In tests, they were not complicated, but care had to be taken to secure them properly before use.
Straight rake heads served the purposes of our tests absolutely adequately, there are many curved heads on the market, and rakes incorporating other eye-catching designs, in use they did not seem to offer any discernable benefits.
Ease of Use
Raking is a repetitive movement and for large areas, it happens for a long period of time! Give some thought to ease of use of the tool, and make sure that you are comfortable to use it. This is why the adjustable pine needle rakes came out so high for raking pine needles – you can literally make them fit to protect yourself from any muscle pain or backache at the end of the day.
A lot of design thought is now put into the ergonomics of the handle and grip by companies and this translates directly into easier use, and less strain for the worker.
For anyone with back or bending issues the 3 in 1 is a great solution, it may take slightly longer to clear the needles, but it will make sure that you do it in comfort.
PINE NEEDLE RAKE FAQ’s
How to clean up pine needles?
The rake is still the most effective tool in the box to clean up pine needles from your property. If you have a pine tree you will know how much material it dumps onto your lawn or your beds and left alone this forms a mat underneath your grass or on your ground. Regular raking ensures that your ground remains clear, and the needles do not build up.
How to pick up pine needles?
Once you have raked your needles into a pile you can pick them up using hand-grabs and transfer them into a wheeled barrow. For a larger area raking them straight onto a tarpaulin is a fabulous short-cut and then you can use that to move them directly to a better location, whether you are using them as a mulch or taking them off the property.
The 3 in 1 rake offers a great pick up solution – it means that it takes longer to rake but collecting and picking pine needles up with this rake is easy and effective.
How to use a Pine Needle Rake?
Always rake towards yourself. Start at the furthest point that you wish to clear and work backward across a level front drawing the material back towards yourself along a clear edge. This way you don’t ever have to rake the same ground twice. For some areas that may mean starting at the base of the trunk and working out from the tree in ‘slices’ – or you may have a boundary that you can start at as a marker.
Make sure that you don’t work too large an area, once you have a line of material that is reaching a hard to manage size then draw it into a pile and start again.
Never use too much force through the rake, allow the tines to do the work and don’t put too much pressure on the head or you will cause damage.
Where can I buy a rake?
Online of course! Why else would you be looking at our guide? You get a wider choice through online stores, and with your research, you would be able to buy with confidence. On the High Street, your local gardening store will have a small selection for you to try out and handle so that you can get the feel of the pine needle to rake yourself.
We have taken an objective look at the range of manual Pine needle rakes on the market and have arrived at our best rake for pine needles 2019 across a range of models. Each offers you something a little different to enable you to buy the best pine needle rake for your property and requirement.
The comb, flexrake and titan adjustable pine needle rakes were really great to use, but for a large open area then a fixed large head was easier. If you have any mobility or back issues then the 3 in 1 is perfect, it will be a slower job for you – but you will get it done with less effort.
How often is this article updated?
The article is updated for accuracy monthly and was last updated in April, 2021.