Wet snow can weigh as much as 21 pounds per square foot, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The heavier the snow, the greater the risk of structural damage to roofs. That’s why the roof rake can be an important piece of equipment in winter. This tool enables you to remove snow from the roof while remaining firmly and safely on the ground. Keep reading to learn about the different features to look for in a roof rake, and find out why we’ve chosen the following as the best roof rake options available.
- BEST OVERALL: SNOWPEELER Roof Snow Removal Tool
- BEST BUDGET: True Temper 193055510 Telescoping Snow Roof Rake, 17-Foot
- ALSO CONSIDER: Avalanche! Traditional Snow Roof Rake
Roof rakes should only be used when standing on the ground, never on a ladder. Attempting to balance a long pole while navigating snow-slick ladder rungs is a surefire way to slip and fall. Even if you have great balance, the weight of the snow pulling off the roof could easily knock you off a ladder. That’s why roof rakes are intended for use only on single-story homes.
Choosing a Roof Rake
- Pole Length: Most roof rakes come with adjustable poles that can be lengthened from 14 to 22 feet for snow removal and shortened to less than eight feet for storage. The longer the pole, the higher you’ll be able to reach on the roof, but longer poles can also be unwieldy and may require more physical strength to lift and maneuver.
- Rake Heads: Roof rake heads range in depth from a narrow three inches to a generous 10 inches, and widths run between 12 to 24 inches. The larger the rake head, the more snow the rake can remove in a single pull, but if the snow is wet and heavy, it can require additional physical strength to pull it, which can lead to back and shoulder fatigue.
- Weight: Roof rakes range in weight between four and 14 pounds, with most of the weight in the rake head. The heavier the rake head, the more likely it is to sink deeply into the snow on the roof, allowing you to remove a good amount with each pull. On the flip side, heavy roof rakes require more physical strength to lift and position.
- Materials: Because it’s strong and lightweight, aluminum is the material of choice for roof rake poles, while rake heads are made from aluminum, heavy-duty plastic, or molded polyethylene. Aluminum rake heads are the most durable but also the heaviest.
- Cost Considerations: Roof rake really run the gamut in price. The cheapest models are typically made from inexpensive materials, and some may last only a single season, while more expensive roof rakes usually feature better quality materials and should provide service for many winters.
Our Top Picks
If you live in a region that gets heavy snow, invest in the brawny SNOWPEELER. Weighing in at over 10 pounds, and boasting a sizable aluminum rake head with built-in stabilizing braces, the SNOWPEELER can pull even packed snow down from the roof with no problem.
- Large aluminum rake head
- Built-in stabilizers
- 20-foot reach
- Not suitable for taller homes
The push-button telescoping design on this True Temper roof rake will extend the pole up to 17 feet for easily reaching one-story roofs—and, when the job is complete, collapse it to just about 7 feet for storage. If your home maintenance regularly requires removing substantial snow deposits, you’ll appreciate that the lightweight aluminum True Temper is easy to lift and comfortable to maneuver thanks to its nonslip handle. Plus, this rake is effective at pulling down deep snow accumulations in a single draw thanks to its 24-inch-wide poly blade.
- Large 24-inch poly blade scraper
- Poly end grip with hole
- 17-foot length
- Nearly weightless
- May not be suitable for 2-story houses
- Some assembly required
With a 24-inch-by-4.5-inch plastic rake head, this lightweight, easy-to-maneuver roof rake is a fine choice for removing light snow. To use this tool, simply snap together the five four-foot poles snap, and when you’re done for the day, disassemble the tool for easy storage.
- Oversize plastic rake head
- Easy assembly
- Construction may have limited durability
- Suitable for the first 4 to 8 feet of your roof
Chosen for its large aluminum rake head and built-in stabilizers, the SNOWPEELER option is our top pick for the best roof rake. Made with an ample 20-foot reach, this rake comes with a lightweight construction for easy maneuvering and can be adjusted with three height options to choose from, making it suitable for two-story homes.
Alternatively, the True Temper rake comes with a large 24-inch poly blade scraper and a smaller price tag. This model has a poly end grip with a built-in hole for easy storing and a 17-foot reach for use on one-story homes.
How We Chose the Best Roof Rakes
Built up snow, ice dams, or leaves can leave your roof and gutters clogged and weighed down. Having the correct roof rake with an ideal reach, lightweight construction, large and effective head, and other added special features can be a quick fix to this problem.
The above picks are made with 17- to 20-foot reach, with 17 feet being suitable for one-story homes and 20 feet a good choice for two story homes. With the versatility of reach comes lightweight materials and easy-to-grip handles for easy maneuvering. The above picks also prioritize large, sturdy heads that remove unwanted materials without damaging your shingles or gutters.
The above top picks also come with adjustable settings to tackle other roofed areas of your home and can be hung or disassembled for storage. Finally, for convenience, some of these top picks also come with easy or no assembly required.
Q: Do roof rakes damage shingles?
The goal of a roof rake is to reduce a few inches of built-up material that has accumulated over time. Keep this in mind while you are raking and do not try to scrape or scratch materials off your roof roughly. This may cause damage to your shingles or cause them to slip off.
Q: Do roof rakes prevent ice dams?
Consistently using a roof rake can reduce ice dam buildup. Simply rake the lower 3 or 4 feet of your roof after a snowfall to prevent ice dams from forming over time.
Q: Can I remove snow from my roof without a roof rake?
Removing snow from your roof without a rake can be risky and dangerous. It is recommended that those who have roofs with a flat or low slope remove snow with a rake to prevent heavy buildup and potential roof cave-ins.