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Bulldog 7128 Evergreen Plastic Leaf Rake
I must begin this review by confessing that I didn't actually purchase this product for myself, my mother in law picked it up for us when we moved house and gained a garden, complete with lawn. On that basis, I don't actually know how much she paid for it but you can currently buy this rake from Amazon for £13.07 which seems like pretty good value to me.
We inherited my mother in laws old lawnmower too as she upgraded hers around the time that we moved house which was excellent for us. Our lawn isn't too big (around 12 by 6 feet) so cutting the grass and then raking up the debris isn't a big job and it does feel very satisfying to smell the delicious freshly cut grass and sit back and look at the freshly cut lawn.
Bulldog are renowned for making quality garden, contractor and agricultural tools and are a British company who have been trading for 230 years. They sell a massive range of items and are currently endorsed by Alan Titchmarsh who has a range of tools that can be viewed on their website (see address above) I am quite small and so the reason that my mother in law selected this particular rake is because it is lightweight and therefore, easy to use with minimum effort - my kind of product!
I was initially unsure of whether the rake might be a little bit flimsy and less substantial that the more traditional wood and metal version but was pleasantly surprised to find that it is robust and flexible without breaking or losing its shape. If anything, it actually seems more flexible and therefore more effective than traditional rakes might be and doesn't get caught in the grass the way that I remember.
It sounds obvious but to use, simply draw the rake over the cut grass (or other garden matter that you want to rake up) and pull it towards you. The cut grass is quickly gathered up making it easy to collect and dispose of. I'm afraid I don't have a compost heap so this had to be chucked into my garden waste recycling bin but by next year, I hope to resolve this problem by creating my own compost heap.
The task of collecting the grass takes just minutes and I find the plastic garden rake much more effective than the more traditional version. It is flexible without being flimsy and quickly gathers the grass, leaving my lawn looking fab. Overall, the task is quick and simple which leaves plenty of time to spend on more fun outdoor activities, such as relaxing on my newly cut lawn with a beer, a much better use of my summer day!
This product offers excellent value for money and is easy and effective to use. Being plastic, it is much more lightweight than the more traditional alternative and also gathers more grass first time due to being more flexible. It will also avoid rust and rotting while being stored in winter months so may last longer too.
My little house is surrounded by quite a few trees which means that although the garden is a haven for lots of wildlife, on the downside, there is a lot of leaf clearing required from the autumn onwards. Having just spent a couple of hours in the garden clearing yet more of last year's dead leaves, I thought I'd review my trusty lawn rake which is made by Bulldog.
Bulldog are a reputable manufacturer of garden tools based in Wigan and they've been making garden implements since 1780, so they've had plenty of practice at getting it right! They have a huge catalogue of gardening tools available including an Alan Titchmarsh range.
Price and availability:
I bought my rake a couple of years ago from a local garden centre and it cost, to the best of my memory, in the region of £15. This Bulldog plastic lawn rake currently has a RRP of £16 or thereabouts but is available from various internet sellers, including through several resellers on Amazon, where it's currently retailing for £12.78 however there is added postage of £5.03.
Most of my garden tools were inherited from my dad so were of the old school variety, by which I mean they had metal heads set upon wooden handles. Over my gardening years, and there've been plenty of them, the wood in many of these tools became ever more fragile and eventually snapped. When my lawn rake gave in to the forces of nature which included wood rot and severe rusting of the metal tines a couple of years ago, I invested in a plastic replacement from Bulldog.
Having previously always used a metal leaf rake with a wooden handle, the first thing I noticed when I used my new Bulldog plastic rake for the first time was that it weighed a good deal less than my old one. The rake is part of Bulldog's Evergreen range and the head is manufactured completely from plastic with a PVC coated metal handle, topped with a cushioned plastic grip. I suspect the metal is tubular steel or aluminium given its light weight and the PVC coating makes the tool completely weatherproof, always an advantage in a country with a higher than average rainfall.
With my old rake, whilst raking up the leaves, many of them would become impaled on the sharp metal tines, meaning that these then had to be manually removed. With a plastic tine, this is no longer the case. The plastic used to make the head, whilst being very sturdy, has just as much give in it as a metal leaf rake but with the added advantage of being rustproof and yet strong enough to actually perform the function of a rake. There is quite a bit of moss in my lawn currently and the tines had no problem in raking this up along with the leaves. I daresay the plastic tines also are more acceptable in respect of health and safety as plastic is far less damaging than metal when it comes into contact with human flesh.
The head is a good size, having a 24 inch spread at its widest point narrowing to 21 inches. The head supports 23 tines with a reinforcing band about two thirds up for added strength. The lightweight handle is 54 inches long allowing for plenty of leaves to be collected in one operation. The handle is topped off with a cushioned plastic hand grip.
I should add that this rake isn't just for leaves as it can be used for collecting up any garden debris including grass cuttings, hedge clippings and the like, as well as for scarifying the lawn to get the moss out and aerate the grass roots.
This leaf rake is a great addition to any gardener's arsenal of implements making raking up the leaves much easier and less time consuming than with the heavier metal headed rakes. The plastic construction of the head makes this much less springy than a metal one and yet it is equally as robust. This should last for many happy leaf raking years.
As for my leaf raking today, having cleared the grass and path in the back garden, filling up the brown bin in the process (for the umpteenth time since October), a nasty little gust of wind promptly blew a whole load more from the surrounding area onto the bits I'd already cleared!
Note to self: buy a leaf blower next year!
A wide headed rake with 23 plastic lines mounted on a rigid plastic head. Its width makes it particularly useful for clearing large lawns.