A standard rake will suffice for raking up autumn leaves, but collecting pine needles that have gathered on the ground is an entirely different matter. A standard leaf rake’s tines are too wide to capture fine pine needles. For that job, a gardener needs a rake better suited for the job. A good pine needle rake will have a close set of tines made of durable metal or high-grade plastic that won’t allow needles to pass through them.
A pine needle rake captures pine needles through the help of a special design, such as double rows of tines that can better catch fine needles and heads that can scoop up the pine needles after collecting them, saving the gardener’s back. Ahead, learn about the characteristics a good rake for pine needles should have and find out why the tools below are some of the best rakes for pine needles.
- BEST OVERALL: Professional EZ Travel Collection Adjustable Rake
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Suncast 26″ Double Row Leaf Rake Combo
- UPGRADE PICK: Groundskeeper II Rake
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Root Assassin Rake
- BEST EASY-TO-USE: Amazing Rake Back Saving Garden Rake
- BEST TOW-BEHIND: Field Tuff 60″ Pine Straw Rake
- ALSO CONSIDER: RazorBack 24-Tine Steel Rake with Fiberglass Handle
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Rake for Pine Needles
The shape and number of tines, as well as the design of the rake head and handle, are all crucial to consider when shopping for a good rake for pine needles. Ahead, learn more about these important attributes of pine needle rakes.
The tines on a good pine needle rake should be strong yet flexible enough to conform to the contours of the ground so they won’t float over pine needles while raking. The best pine needle rake should also have curved and pointed tines that can better bite into the ground to pull up pine needles.
With those factors in mind, the best rakes also have durable steel tines that can collect large amounts of pine needles in a single swipe even if the needles are wet or damp. Some pine needle rakes have tines made of high-quality plastic, which, though not as effective or durable as steel tines, will get the job done.
The design of the rake head is crucial when selecting a good pine needle rake. The head should be between 22 and 24 inches wide, ensuring it will collect enough material with each pass to be efficient while not being so large that it’s awkward or difficult to use. Some rake heads are adjustable, allowing the user to make the tines narrower or wider by pulling a cuff up or down the handle. This design is ideal for raking up pine needles because the user can adjust the tines to narrow the gaps between them and prevent pine needles from slipping through.
The length, material, and grip on a rake handle determine the durability and comfort of the rake. Rake handles measure between 4 feet and 5 feet long, not including the rake head. A rake with a longer handle reduces the need to bend over while raking, putting less strain on the back.
Some rakes use fiberglass instead of wood, which lightens the overall weight of the rake. Cushioned grips on the handles are also a common feature, making the rake more comfortable to use over long periods while helping to prevent blisters from forming on the hands.
Ease of Use
Many pine needle rakes feature designs that make them easier to use. Some rakes have head designs that allow the user to scoop up piles of pine needles after collecting them, taking pressure off the back by eliminating the need to crouch down to collect the yard waste. These designs include curved rake heads that allow the rake to function as a scoop as well as rakes that have mechanisms allowing the head to close around yard waste so the user can pick it up and dispose of it in a waste can.
Our Top Picks
The rakes below are made with sturdy materials and feature designs that make them ideal for picking up pine needles. We’ve also included models that eliminate the need to bend over to rake or gather pine needles, placing less strain on the back.
What differentiates a good pine needle rake from a standard leaf rake is its ability to capture fine pine needles that would pass through the tines of a traditional rake. The adjustable head on this rake from EZ Travel allows the operator to narrow the tines so there are very small gaps between each one, allowing it to capture even small bits. Not only is this design feature ideal for capturing pine needles, it also makes it easier to root out needles from small spaces in and around plantings.
The pointed tines bite into the earth, and the telescoping handle allows gardeners to change the length to suit their height. With its aluminum-alloy construction, the rake can also withstand pulling large piles of wet pine needles. The collapsible head adds to ease of storage.
- Head width: 7.5 to 21.75 inches
- Length: 37 to 68 inches
- Material: Steel alloy
- Adjustable head width
- Adjustable length
- Steel-alloy construction
- Narrowing the head reduces amount of material it collects in a single pass
Get the Professional EZ Travel Collection rake for pine needles on Amazon.
This rake uses a novel design to improve its ability to rake up pine needles as well as leaves. Its versatility and low price make it a great value for those looking to collect both leaves and pine needles with a single tool. It comes equipped with a double layer of tines, giving it the ability to rake up smaller materials, such as pine needles, plus larger leaves.
Though this rake’s plastic head may not have the level of durability of rakes with steel tines, the polyethylene plastic construction gives the tines the flex they need to move along the contours of the ground. A steel-core-shafted handle provides plenty of strength to endure collecting heavier loads of needles. The Suncast leaf rake combo also comes with an 8-inch hand rake that conveniently piggybacks onto the larger rake for quick and easy access when removing leaves and pine needles around plantings.
- Head width: 26 inches plus 8-inch hand rake
- Length: 71 inches
- Material: Plastic and steel-core handle
- Double row of tines
- Smaller hand rake attaches to head
- Affordably priced
- Plastic tines not as durable as metal tines
Get the Suncast rake for pine needles at The Home Depot.
The Groundskeeper II Rake isn’t inexpensive, but given its durable design and ability to perform as a landscape rake for a variety of needs, it’s worth the extra cost. The head consists of 28 curved spring-loaded steel tines that can snag smaller materials such as pine needles. It’s also easier to use than other rakes, thanks to a handle that measures some 55 inches long and is made of fiberglass, which makes it both long enough and light enough to to use without placing undue strain on the back.
This Groundskeeper II rake is also versatile, which helps in justifying its higher cost. In addition to collecting pine needles, it’s an effective rake for leaves, and it can even be used to remove thatch from a lawn.
- Head width: 21 inches
- Length: 68 inches (55-inch handle)
- Material: Steel tines and fiberglass handle
- Spring-loaded steel tines
- Fiberglass handle
- Can also be used for thatch and leaves
Get the Groundskeeper rake for pine needles on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
Root Assassin’s rake manages to be plenty durable while also ranking as one of the lightest pine needle rakes on the market. That makes it easy to use and ideal to double as a roof rake. The rake weighs a featherlight 1.75 pounds, mainly because of its plastic head and lightweight aluminum handle. It’s made of high-quality ABS plastic, so it shouldn’t warp or break as other plastic rakes might.
In addition to being light, the rake has pointed tines that are ideal for collecting pine needles. And, once the needles are gathered, the Root Assassin rake head has a curved shape that allows the needles to be scooped up without having to bend over. This shovel-like shape is suitable for a variety of tasks, including spreading mulch, removing dog waste, and other yard work.
- Head width: 15 inches
- Length: 58 inches
- Material: Plastic and aluminum handle
- Very lightweight
- Shovel shape for easy scooping up of pine needles
- Heavy-duty plastic
Get the Root Assassin rake for pine needles on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
The Amazing Rake Back Saving Garden Rake differentiates itself from the competition with a back-saving design that eliminates the need to bend over after raking up pine needles. The scoop-shaped head of the rake is equipped with a series of tines that allows the operator to rake up leaves or pine needles. After creating a pile, the gardener can move the cuff on the handle upward to close the rake’s jaws around the leaves or needles, allowing them to be picked up and deposited into a bag.
With its plastic construction, the rake weighs less than 3 pounds, so it is easier to wield than other rakes. And although the Amazing Rake is pricier than a standard rake, it’s also more versatile. In addition to picking up pine needles, it’s useful for other yard work, such as removing dog waste or spreading mulch.
- Head width: 17 inches
- Length: 64 inches
- Material: Plastic
- Makes it easy to scoop up leaves and needles after raking
- Can be used for a variety of landscaping jobs
- Weighs less than 3 pounds
- Plastic construction not as durable as metal
Get the Amazing Rake for pine needles on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
Though a gardener can certainly rake out pine needles from larger areas manually, a more efficient solution is this tow-behind pine straw rake from Field Tuff. Its 5-foot-wide head can collect more than twice as many needles on a single pass than a standard rake. It attaches to the back of a riding lawn mower via a Category 1 3-point hitch (the most common hitch on a lawn tractor or ATV), picking up pine straw, dead grass, and leaves with its 26 tines.
The tines are spring-loaded, allowing them to move over uneven terrain while still maintaining contact with the ground, so fewer leaves and pine needles escape. True to its name, the Field Tuff pine straw rake consists of all-steel construction.
- Head width: 60 inches
- Length: N/A
- Material: Steel
- Covers huge swatch of land with 5-foot width
- Attaches to most riding-lawn-mower hitches
- Spring-loaded tines
Get the Field Tuff rake for pine needles on Amazon.
The aptly named RazorBack rake checks all the boxes in getting the best out of a rake for pine needles. It features sturdy steel tines that are closely set, making them suitable for collecting even fine pine needles. A flexible steel coil located in the middle of the head provides the spring action needed to allow the rake to run across uneven terrain.
The fiberglass handle keeps the rake somewhat lightweight while maintaining enough strength for pulling heavier loads of needles. The 54.5-inch handle allows gardeners to use it while standing upright. It also comes equipped with a cushioned grip that extends 9 inches from the top of the handle, adding comfort during use.
- Head width: 24 inches
- Length: 68 inches
- Material: Steel tines and fiberglass handle
- Durable and springy steel tines
- Lightweight yet sturdy fiberglass handle
- Cushioned grip
- Tine spacing might lead to missed finer pine needles
Get the RazorBack rake for pine needles on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
With its sturdy metal construction and adjustable tines that make it easier to gather even fine materials, the Professional EZ Travel Collection rake for pine needles is the best option for gathering pine needles. Those looking for a rake that doesn’t put as much strain on the back should consider the Amazing Rake for pine needles, which has a unique design that makes it easy to scoop yard waste after raking it up.
How We Chose the Best Rakes for Pine Needles
A pine needle rake is a specialized tool designed to do a job most standard leaf rakes can’t. Keeping that in mind, we paid careful attention to the design of the rake head and tines to select models especially suited for the job of picking fine pine needles off the ground. Because raking pine needles places more tension on the rake than leaf collection, durability was also a crucial factor. We chose rakes with metal or high-grade plastic construction and sturdy fiberglass, wood, or metal handles that resist bending or warping.
Finally, we also included designs that help to save the user’s back by allowing them to scoop up collected pine needles without straining their back.
If groundskeepers are wondering whether they can use a leaf vacuum to pick up pine needles or how well a standard rake works to collect this type of yard waste, then read on for answers.
Q. Are all rakes good for pine needles?
A standard rake’s tines are typically wide set with a broad flat shape. Although this is ideal for picking up dead leaves, this design isn’t well suited for picking up pine needles, which will slip between the larger gaps between the tines.
Q. Can a gardener use a leaf vacuum on pine needles?
Some leaf vacuums produce enough suction to lift up pine needles; however, they probably won’t be effective if the pine needles are damp from rainfall. This makes them ineffective for picking up thicker layers of pine needles. Another option is to use a top-rated lawn sweeper to pick up pine needles after raking them up.
Q. What is the fastest way to rake pine needles?
The fastest way to rake pine needles is to rake them up into small piles that the gardener can pick up rather than raking the pine needles over long distances into one large pile. This method makes it easier to collect the needles and scoop them up later for disposal.
Q. Are pine needles good for a lawn?
Pine needles can kill grass if they are allowed to collect in a thick layer on top of it. A layer of pine needles can deprive the lawn of water, sunlight, oxygen, and nutrients that the grass needs to grow and thrive.