A client recently gifted me with this fantastic new tool, and I wanted to share it with you all, because I could tell within a few minutes of use that it was going to replace my old-school iron bow rake.
She had both the GroundHog and the Garden Shark rakes, and offered me my choice. The Garden Shark is billed as the rake to choose for dethatching your lawn and for smoothing mulch on garden beds, and its tines are curved under to better hold the material you are raking.
The GroundHog is supposed to be better for cleanup tasks like raking wet leaves and small bits of brush. I thought the huge tines on it looked like they’d suit me fine for spreading mulch and compost, so I chose the orange GroundHog and was off to test it out!
I had a truckload of shredded redwood, which is about the least fun mulch to spread, because it mats together and is heavy to move. Give me a nice light load of fir bark chips any day.
So I began raking it into my wheelbarrow, and I noticed the difference right away. Because the rake head is curved rather than straight, when I pull a chunk of mulch towards me, it actually grips the stuff rather than allowing the mulch to floof out around the edges of the rake.
The rake head is also angled ergonomically and the handle’s lighter-weight, so I had to bend less and use less muscle when smoothing the mulch piles over the ground. My back was very happy about that!
I switched between the GroundHog and my old iron bow rake every fifteen minutes so I could compare properly, and no doubt about it – raking mulch with my old rake was tiring compared to using the GroundHog. I finished mulching 45 minutes faster than my usual time with that kind of mulch, and that’s with alternating between both kinds of rakes!
I often take a dim opinion of new tools, because usually companies add features that aren’t geared towards pros who are moving fast and working hard. For example, I hate tools that are single-purpose, since A. they take up valuable room in my truck’s toolbox and B. it’s a waste of time to walk to and from my truck for a new tool every time I switch tasks.
But the GroundHog works hard with the best of my tools, and has officially bumped my old iron bow rake out of the toolbox. If you have a large property where you rake a lot of heavy, clumpy leaves or twigs, or if you do an annual round of composting and mulching, I’d really recommend adding this tool to your arsenal. Save the ten bucks on a cheapie iron bow rake and put it towards a GroundHog. Your back will thank you.
Oh, and also? If you’ve ever left a rake tines-up and then stepped on it and had it clock you on the ear – the GroundHog’s curved head doesn’t do that. Every new employee I get seems to try that little trick, even after my comedic routine in which I illustrate the reason why we never leave our rakes like that. That’s reason enough to prefer it. I only wish they came in purple instead of orange!
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10 responses to “Radius GroundHog Rake: A Review in Photos”
Your different facial expressions cracked me up.
My general gripe with tools is that they are often painted green. Well…hello! Grass is green. Leaves are green. I hate having to hunt through the grass or the weed pile to find my tools! So it’s nice that these rakes are bright colors, I bet that helps in locating them quickly.
Fern’s last blog post..Simple Small Space Solutions
Thanks for the informative review – I agree with Fern’s comment about your facial expressions. A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words. It’s funny how a strangely shaped, brightly colored rake can make spreading mulch look like fun!
Great review! (ditto above on your expressions!)
I like the florescent orange; I might not lose the tool. Sounds like another big benefit for me would be not clocking myself up’side the head any more. Of course, I’m always one for challenges.
Aerie-el’s last blog post..Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – March 2009
As soon as I saw the words lighter weight I knew I had to get the “garden shark”. I will definitely pick one up the next time I’m at the hardware store. What is more amazing is that you write so eloquently about a rake. I’m impressed my dear.
iona’s last blog post..A Brief Note
I’ve not tried the rake, but I love the smaller hand tools from Radius, which I’m honor-bound as a long-term Ann Arbor resident to tell you is made by a person/company in Ann Arbor (though I don’t personally know them). 🙂
Monica’s last blog post..Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day
This looks like a keeper Genevieve. Thanks for the great review. I forwarded your posting to my husband – subtle hint!
By the way, I’ve been thinking of you. You’ve unleashed a pruning fiend here in the northeast. Pruned my roses and really gave a rampant honeysuckle a run for its money today. Thanks for all your pruning advice. Came in handy these past few days.
Ann’s last blog post..Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – March 2009
I totally need one of those! Great review! You should be in sales!
Thanks for your comments guys! It really has been a long time since I found a new tool that I really loved. Most of them I try and then they slowly drift to the back of my truckbox until I give them away to a less fussy gardener.
(Katie, if you think I should be in sales, you should hear the scathing words I have for the loser tools I try!
loks like an inverted pitch fork…
hmmm, its rare that a new tool actually lives up to its press.
but there are always exceptions.
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