I know how you think. You keep a flimsy old leaf rake with a couple of bent tines in a corner of the garage, and when you pull it out this week or next, you will notice that it's a little rustier than last autumn and a little less efficient. But you are thrifty and frugal—except when it comes to rare mail order tulips—and absent a good reason, you will make do through another leaf raking season. Here is the good reason:
Above: The Sneeboer Leaf Rake has an ash handle that's just the right diameter to grip comfortably, laid on a stainless steel core and riveted with two brass rivets. It's $56.45 from Garden Tool Co. For more retailers, see Sneeboer.
Above: Introduced into the Sneeboer tool line this year, the design took two years to develop.
Above: A good alternative choice for tight budgets is a Flexrake Classic 24-in Leaf Rake with a 48-inch oak handle; $24.82 from Amazon.
Above: The Flexrake has a steel rake head and an oak handle. Interested in composting your leaves? See "Transforming Leaves from Trash to Treasure."
N.B.: For more garden cleanup ideas, see Garden Tools.