Proper maintenance of the garden is not possible without properly selected garden tools. Therefore, in order to maintain a clean and tidy farm all year round, it is worth considering the pros, cons and varieties of plastic fan rakes.
Traditionally, a rake is used for a wide range of everyday tasks of a gardener, namely:
- garbage collection from the site;
- collecting fallen leaves;
- loosening the topsoil;
- soil aeration and leveling;
- collection of mowed grass.
Soviet summer residents were mostly available with metal models of this tool in the standard comb form factor, while plastic products were found only in sets of children's toys for a long time. Only in the early nineties the first models of this product with teeth made of various plastics began to appear.
The fan-shaped form of the working part allows the tool to capture a wider area, therefore, using such a rake it is more convenient to remove relatively light debris evenly distributed on the surface from the site - for example, dry leaves or freshly cut grass . At the same time, the accuracy and the developed force are lower for tools with a fan nozzle than for more familiar comb models.
The fan version of the product can already be considered not as a universal garden tool, but as a specialized cleaning equipment.
Outwardly, such a rake looks like a wide panicle, in which the lower part is made of plastic. The tips of the teeth are bent to ensure that the debris is caught.
Unlike tools with a working part made of metal, which are divided into plate and wire, the plastic version is available only with a plate working part.
At the same time, there are on sale both options with conventional plates, intended exclusively for cleaning, and reinforced models, which, thanks to the presence of a reinforcing compensator, can also be used for operations to care for soft rocks of the soil (for example, surface loosening).
Classic models with a metal working part are always designed to use a standard wooden handle with a diameter of 24 mm.
Plastic models can be equipped with a wooden or plastic handle , and can also be supplied without a handle. The standard length of the handle for such equipment is 1.3 m. Also available with a shortened handle of 1.2 m, as well as elongated to 1.5 and 1.8 m. Some models are equipped with a telescopic handle, which allows you to adjust the length of the handle under the growth of the user.
The standard span of the working part is 500 mm, and the number of teeth is from 20 to 25.
Other common formats:
- 200 mm , the number of teeth in such a rake is usually 15;
- 520 mm with 25 teeth;
- 560 mm with 22 teeth;
- 580x340 mm , usually products larger than this format have 26 teeth;
- 610 mm , options are available with both 26 and 30 teeth;
- 660 mm ;
- 820 mm .
Unfortunately, unlike metal options, plastic models with an adjustable width of the working part have not yet become widespread.
The main advantage of models with a working part made of plastic is their greater flexibility and lower hardness compared to metal products. Thanks to this, it becomes possible to process noticeably more complex and inaccessible surfaces, for example, to remove garbage in areas with a rugged topography or to sweep it out from under the fences, which is difficult to do with a more rigid tool.
The low hardness of the working part allows you to clean areas with fresh crops and seedlings, without worrying about their safety - because plastic, unlike steel, almost does not damage even the most delicate plants.
In the case when a solid obstacle is encountered during operation, the plastic teeth are bent, and then, due to their high elasticity, restore their original shape, while fan models with metal wire in such cases require subsequent alignment.
The tool, the working part of which is made of steel, always needs special care. In particular, it should be stored in rooms with low humidity, and after work - thoroughly wipe to remove all wet contaminants from the surface. Otherwise, corrosion of the teeth and their subsequent damage may occur.
Of course, a rake with teeth made of plastic is completely devoid of such a drawback, as it is absolutely resistant to corrosion.
Another important plus of plastic equipment is its noticeably lower weight and better balancing, since the plastic nozzle weighs no more than the handle. Thanks to this, such a tool is noticeably easier to work than a metal one, in which the working part has a large mass, noticeably shifting the overall center of gravity of the tool.
Finally, a tool with a plastic working part often costs significantly less than similar products with a steel or aluminum nozzle.
Low hardness and high flexibility of plastics can be not only a plus, but also a minus.
Plastic rakes, unlike metal rakes, it is almost impossible to perform work related to tillage . When trying, for example, to loosen a relatively hard ground, the teeth will bend at best, and will most likely even break. And the general reliability and resistance to wear and breakage of plastic tools is much lower than that of metal ones - which means that their expected service life will be less.
In addition to tooth breakages, plastic models often also damage the sleeve connecting the working part with the handle. Therefore, if possible, it is worth choosing models where this part is reinforced or made of metal.
For fan rakes, see the next video.