Pine needles are a huge hassle to clean up if you do not have the right tools in your lawn care arsenal. For example, a typical walk-behind lawn mower has difficulty sucking up all the needles and a traditional leaf rake requires a lot of labor to produce respectable results.
One of the best options for cleaning up pine needles is a rake that is designed with this purpose in mind. Below we have provided a selection of some of the best rakes for pine needles for you to consider.
Best Pine Needle Rakes for 2019
The Groundskeeper II Rake
The Groundskeeper II is 21-inches wide with a 55-inch fiberglass handle. It is equipped with 6-inch tines.
The angled tines do an excellent job at gripping not only pine needles, but other debris such as leaves, sticks, and mulch. In other words, this is an extremely versatile rake that can take the place of most traditional rakes you might have in your garage.
The fiberglass handle allows this rake to be lightweight yet durable enough for use by landscape professionals. In addition to pine needle clean up, we especially like this rake for lawn dethatching. It requires minimal downward pressure to loosen the dead grass to the surface.
The manufacturer indicates that this rake reduces raking time by up to 25%. You will likely spend less time raking and more time doing tasks you enjoy.
Be aware that the manufacturer does have replacement kits available for the handle and tines in the rare event that some damage occurs.
Gardenite Adjustable Garden Rake
This Gardenite rake is longer than your average rake. It measures 63 inches long. One innovative feature of this rake is its ability to adjust the head (tines) from 22 inches to 7 inches. This provides an amazing amount of versatility to rake a large yard at 22 inches or get behind tight spaces at 7 inches.
The 15 rounded tines are cited by customers to be highly efficient at picking up pine needles and leaves. Amazon.com customer, Jeff Thomas, sums up the quality of this rake and its versatility with the following, “This is a great contraption. I love that I can reduce the size of the rake head to get in tight places between plants. We have a terrible problem with pine needles and it works great at raking them up in large and small places. Definitely recommend for anyone who is looking to have just one rake instead of several in their garage.”
Root Assassin Rake
The Root Assassin works as both a rake and a shovel. The uniquely designed angled rake head allows the tool to be used to rake up debris such as leaves and pine needles. Once the debris is in a pile, it can be flipped over to be used to shovel up the pile of debris.
This allows the user to avoid the hassle of bending to picking up debris by hand or with leaf scoops. Additionally, it saves the user’s hands from being poked from things such as pine needles or sticks.
This rake is manufactured out of a heavy-duty, but lightweight aluminum with a plastic handle and polypropylene tines that are extremely durable. The rake weighs only 1.75 pounds, so the heaviness of it will not easily wear out most users.
We think this rake is best explained visually in action. The below video shows how easy it is to rake up leaves and transport them into a trash container with minimal bending of the back. Of course, a similar clean up process can be applied to pine needles, which is why this is one of the best rakes for pine needles.
The Amazing Rake eliminates the tiresome task of bending to pick up lawn and garden debris from raking. The claws work to collect the debris (including pine needles). Once the debris is in a pile, the claws can be deployed to grip around the debris in order to move into such places as a compost pile or lawn refuse bag.
When the Amazing Rake is flipped over, it can be used as a scoop. This allows for easy transfer of material around the yard such as mulch or dog droppings.
Overall, this is one of the best rakes for pine needles because it allows the user the ability to avoid roughing up their hands from directly picking up the pine needles.
The below video provides a solid overview of this American made product.
Midwest Rake Company Screening Rake
The Midwest Rake Company screening rake features a 36-inch aluminum/magnesium alloy head. The aluminum handle is 66 inches and contains a 6-inch vinyl grip on the end. The teeth are rounded to promote non-gouging.
This is rake is ideal for cleaning up debris such as pine needles from beach sand or smoothing out rocks. Overall it is a solid choice for sifting, leveling, or grading where needed.
Maintainer Multi-Purpose Debris Rake
The Maintainer rake is made with a 60-inch fiberglass handle and 21-inch head. It has an extra-long foam grip for added comfort that will be appreciated during long raking sessions.
This rake is equipped with spring coil tines that work great for picking up smaller/lightweight debris such as pine needles, acorns, leaves, and grass clippings.
The tines are replaceable so that a whole new rake does not have to be purchased if you happen to damage a tine. This rake is an excellent alternative to the Groundskeeper II shown above given its similar design.
See the rake in action in the video below.
Pine Needle Rake Features: What to look for?
Raking takes a decent amount of labor time for most people. This is especially true in the fall for obvious reasons. You want a rake that is designed with the user in mind as one of the manufacturer’s top priorities.
Many of the rakes above go above and beyond to eliminate bending or the need for excessive effort to get the job done. A rake that is ergonomically designed will help you get the raking task done faster with likely less aches and pains than other methods.
The handle plays a role in providing comfort and is a big part in determining how durable the rake is overall. Wood, fiberglass, and aluminum handles are common for rakes. Generally, all do a solid job if they are constructed from quality material. The downside to aluminum is that it can corrode and tends to be colder to the touch when temperatures decrease. The disadvantages to wood and fiberglass is that they can crack or split.
Rakes are not all built the same in terms of length. The length of the overall rake is something to consider, especially if your height is outside of the average range. A couple of inches more or less can make all the difference in regard to ease of use of the rake for some people.
Metal tines are often preferred due to their flexibility and durability. Metal tines will generally last a long time if rust does not come into play and the rake is used as recommended by the manufacturer. In other words, you don’t want to be raking heavy rocks with a light-duty rake.
It is not uncommon for plastic tines to break with cheap rakes, which is why it is important to find one of the best rakes for pine needles that has durable poly tines. You may sacrifice some flexibility with plastic tines, but a quality plastic tine rake can last just as long, if not longer, than a metal tine rake.
Rake Head Size
The size of a typical rake head width is in the 20 to 25 inch range. Generally, this is a good size for most people because it allows a sizable area to be raked without being overly bulky to properly maneuver.
We especially like the Gardenite adjustable rake featured above as one of our best pine needles rakes because of its ability to adjust in size. This allows the user to rake large areas at is full size and small areas at its minimum width of 7 inches. If you have a lot of obstacles and tight spaces around your yard that need raking, an adjustable rake may be worth considering.
Best Rakes for Pine Needles: FAQ
It depends on the rake. For example, The Groundskeeper II featured above is best for handling lighter debris such as leaves and pine needles. However, the Midwest Rake Company screening rake can handle much more heavy-duty material such as landscape rocks.
Generally, rakes are made with materials that prevent rusting. However, there is a chance over time that a metal rake may rust even with such things as coated protection.
A high MPH and CFM leaf blower will generally provide a decent clean-up job for pine needles. This especially true on flat surfaces such as pavement. However, we have found that a rake does the best job, particularly in grass.
A common option is to place them curbside as refuse. A more environmentally friendly approach is to use the pine needles (also known as pine straw) as mulch. This natural mulch provides beauty, helps deter weeds, assists in maintaining soil moisture, and protects the plants from extreme weather conditions. Furthermore, you can compost pine needles, but in minimal quantities since they take a long time to break down. The general rule is to compost 10 percent or less of pine needles.
All of the rakes above handle numerous types of debris. Be sure to verify the type of debris the rake can handle before purchasing. Not all of the best pine needle rakes are designed for heavy debris raking, for example.
There is a myth out there that states that the acidity in pine needles will kill a lawn if not raked up quickly. However, when pine needles are ready to break down in the lawn, their pH increases to a level that is not harmful to the grass. In other words, pine needles will not kill the lawn from being too acidic.
It is possible to kill the lawn, however, if a heavy blanket of pine needles covers the lawn and prevents the grass from obtaining vital nutrients and sunlight.
Pine needles can be a huge burden if you do not have the right tool to handle the clean up process. Fortunately, a rake is the only tool that most people need for this task. Selecting one of the best rakes for pine needles above will produce desirable results in an efficient manner.