Pros: The clog free is incredibly easy to keep clean. It does it for you.
Cons: A bit heavier than the usual rake.
I was at the Home Depot and decided to pick up a couple of new rakes. I was ready for spring yard cleaning as were my two teenage girls, ha, ha.
A Different Kind of Rake
While in the store I saw a rake I had never seen before. It was a bit heavier looking that what I was used to and it also had a different look to its teeth or tines. They weren't the usual 90 degree, bent over ends. The rakes I looked at had a larger bend to it and the tines were much larger and they made a pattern of V shapes from one end till the next. It also said it was clog free. That sounded interesting to me so I decided to purchase, not one but two different types of Ames Clog Free Rakes.
The Ames Web Site
Being I purchased two different rakes I would have liked to have reviewed each separately and was going to ask they both be entered into the Epinions database. Unfortunately the manufacturers web site does not list individual tools. It doesn't even differentiate sizes. It does however list the No Clog Rake as a general bit of information. Here's what they have to say about their product.
The Clog-Free Rake is the first rake of it's kind designed not to clog. It's patended wave-shaped teeth prevent leaves from getting stuck. No more back breaking efforts to remove those unwanted leaves from the yard-saving you time and work.
Guaranteed not to clog!
Now let me give you my take on the Ames Clog Free rake. Though I list two I will be giving the primary review of the Clog Free feature with a bit more.
The Ames Comfort Plus 24" Clog Free Rake
The first thing that I noticed was the bent handle. No, not a defect. I'm talking about the type of bend that snow shovels have to help keep pressure off the back. That's why this one is named the "Comfort" rake. It made sense to me and I picked it up.
The handle on this rake is made of aluminum but because of the heavy plastic that makes up the working part of the rake, it is heavier than the usual plastic head rakes I purchase. It also has a textured grip that is comfortable and gets wider at the end as to keep it from slipping out of the hands on a strong pull.
The Ames Copperhead 30" Clog Free Rake
Because I have a fairly large open area that we rake by hand I decided to get a wider rake along with the 24". The next and largest one I found at the depot was the Ames No Clog 30" wide. This one has 15 pointed teeth. This rake also has a 15 year warranty. The web site says that the product could be brought directly back to place of purchase for another if the rake did not stand up to regular use. Fifteen years sounds good to me.
More on Design
The idea of this clog free rake makes sense. As with Velcro I kicked myself saying, "Why didn't I think of that?" Each tine is pointed with a slight rounding on the bottom. The point is actually a combination of two tines that make one point. This makes the rake somewhat firm. This was Very Helpful and sometimes a hindrance. I own another Ames "True Temper" rakes. Just a quick note. Ames owns the True Temper Company. The old rake has a plastic head with the same design I have seen for years and years. That particular rake has 24 teeth in a 24" width but the 24" Comfort Plus Rake has just 11 points. These 11 are much more ridged than the twenty four on my old rake.
While the old rake has squared off edges on the teeth, the No Clog comes to a point. The No Clog is also a much heavier rake with that extra weight being in the rake end of it. The aluminum handles are very light and seen quite strong I might add. The handle of both the No Clog rakes are about 8-10" longer than my old faithful.
Using the No Clog Ames Rake
I was amazed at how easy this tool made it for removing large amounts of leaves that have matted down for the winter. At the end of the year we rake but I have two oak trees that wait well beyond my other trees to shed their leaves. I rarely get those leaves until the spring. I also waited a little longer than I should have to rake and clean this spring. My perennials have already shot up a few inches making raking a bit more difficult, or so I thought.
The pointed design with less teeth let this rake work through my Irises and Day Lilies that have sprung up. The leaves just came out with much less pull that my old rake. When I pulled the leaves with my original rake I lost the battle. With the old rake I would have to keep going back and forth a few times over the same area to get those leaves out. Both Clog Free rakes were superior in the flower beds with no mulch, just dirt.
I was however disappointed on my lawn area. The stiff teeth of the clog free rake would not get down into the grass as well as the multi-teeth soft old rake. It lost this test. I believe part of the reason is because there is a space of nearly 1 1/2" between each tooth. I still use the old faithful for the lawn area.
The Clog Free Feature
No clogs is what this rake is all about. Not once in all the raking did I have to clean out the tines. NOT ONCE!!Nothing sticks in there. I remember my old rake constantly getting clogged and I would have to stop raking and turn it upside down and clean it out. This was especially true when I would be cleaning out old growth. All that would bind the rake in one swoop. A lot of unnecessary effort was lost with the old design. The Clog Free Feature is a winner!
I am returning my 30" Clog Free Rake. As I mentioned, I purchased it for large areas of my lawn. It wasn't up to the task of fine cleaning. I will use my older True Temper plastic rake for that work. These rakes are designed for bull work and do it well.
As far as the 24" No clog Comfort Rake, that one stays in my arsenal of yard tools. It was excellent in the smaller areas between shrubs and could pull out even the most stubborn leaves and undergrowth with a single pull. Think of one of those steel tine rakes that can pull things out but because they are not flexible will either catch something and yank your back or possibly pull out a young plant that should be staying in the ground. The Clog Free is stiff enough to get the stubborn leaves etc, yet flexible enough to save your back and plants.
Now even though the 30" Clog free didn't suit my lawn needs, it too never got even a small blade of grass stuck in it.
It was not the width or handles that made the difference in my decisions. I found the Clog Free Rake both sizes "24 and 30" did not do grass areas well but worked flower beds with ease. I stayed with the narrower one so I could more easily get between areas.
Once again I will state The Clog Free Rake, for flower beds, is a winner.
True Temper Scuffle Hoe