A New Twist
Ames Tools sent us a cool new rake way back in the middle of summer. It’s a funny looking thing with tines going in two directions and a little hitchhiker rake attached to the handle. New tools, or should I say new twists on tools, always intrigue me so I was enthusiastic about the opportunity to give it a try. Unfortunately I had to sit on it for about two months before I would get a chance. Well, the leaves finally began to fall this week, so here goes…
It’s Light Weight
First, let me say that I am normally a traditionalist. The only leaf rake I ever purchased was a classic steel tine spring-back rake when we bought the house ten years ago. I still use it. The Ames Tools 26″ Dual Tine Poly Leaf Rake With Hand Rake is quite the competitor though. The over-sized head picks up leaves at about twice the rate of my old rake and is amazingly light weight. The handle is coated metal tubing, very durable and lighter than wood. Also, considering that my old rake is quite rusty where the paint has flaked off over the years, this poly rake will easily outlast metal.
I also have a regular tine poly rake that found it’s way to my collection, which I occasionally use. It provides a better “apples to apples” comparison because both have 26″ heads and are of similar weight. The dual tines on the new Ames Tools model is a difference maker. The reason they can claim that it’s “up to 45% faster” is because the dual tines leave the ground cleaner after a single pass. Think about the motion of leaf raking for a moment: you generally make two passes over the same spot while gradually picking up all of the leaves. The dual tines eliminate the need for a second pass. It’s really pretty cool!
An Added Bonus
Another nice feature is the bonus hand rake. It fits onto the handle and adds almost no weight, so you can rake normally with the hand rake snapped into it’s place on the handle of the big rake. When you are working around shrubs or flower beds, the hand rake is right there with you so you can clean the whole landscape as you go. This is another feature that makes the whole leaf cleanup project go faster, because it saves the time of going back and forth for the right tools.
Just For Families
If you have children, particularly boys ages three and eight, the Ames 26″ Dual Tine Poly Leaf Rake With Hand Rake is valuable entertainment. You can watch as they create masterpiece jumping piles, before turning the rakes into flags, swords, paddles or catapults. They may or may not accomplish actual yard work, but they ensure that product testing is thorough.