Landscape Rake Vs. Box Blade: What’s The Difference?

When you need to clear out and smoothen topsoil in a large land area, you might wonder which tractor implement is better to use: a landscape rake or a box blade? What are their differences? We researched the details between these two landscaping tools, and here's what we found out.

The difference between a box blade and a landscape rake is:

A box blade is a three-sided box with angled teeth that will dig and break up the soil, then level them with its scraping blades.

A landscape rake is a wide, toothed metal tool that will scrape the ground surface of rocks, roots, and debris. It also helps to spread and level soil.

Would you like to know which one will work best for your project? Read on and find out more about these two versatile landscaping tools. We'll explain what each of them does, how they're different, and why you might want to use one over the other.

Landscape Rake Vs. Box Blade

A comparison between Landscape Rake and Box Blade, Landscape Rake Vs. Box Blade: What's The Difference?

It's easy to get confused with these two tractor implements because they both serve the same purpose. However, they have distinct features that make a huge impact on their performance. Choosing the right tool between the two can make a world of difference in the landscaping job that you want to accomplish.

Box Blade

A box blade is a three-sided box with angled metal teeth and scraping blades used for ground leveling, moving dirt, digging, and breaking up hard soil.

Check out this Rancher 6-foot heavy-duty box blade on Amazon.

Landscape Rake

A landscape rake is a wide metal tool with strong angled teeth used to scrape rocks, roots, and debris in the topsoil to help with land grading.

View this Kolpin 60-inch landscape rake on Amazon.

In the landscaping industry, a landscaping rake and a box blade share the same function. Both are used to move leaves, soil, rocks, and other debris from a wide land area. They are both used for grading and leveling.

A landscaping rake generally refers to a tool used to disturb the soil for aeration and improved drainage. It's the better choice for cleaning up surface debris since it does not dig up the ground too deeply.

A landscaping rake does not have teeth at the bottom that grip the ground like a box blade does. This makes them generally easier to use than the box blade.

A box blade on the other hand is similar to a rake but is designed more for digging, cutting, scraping, stripping, and shaping. It is meant for heavy-duty work and can pack and move more dirt and soil.

What Is A Box Blade Used For?

A box blade is a tractor implement that is very helpful for use in farms, driveways, and construction works. They are best used for leveling the ground and maintaining gravel surfaces, like driveways.

The box blade is a versatile landscaping tool that has a range of functions including:

  • leveling the ground
  • moving dirt and soil
  • digging ditches and trenches
  • maintaining gravel driveways

It has sharp "teeth" called scarifiers that can grip and cut through roots, soil, and debris. It is adjustable so you can dig deeper for a better plow. If you're working on a difficult landscape and you need a powerful tool to dig through the ground and then level it, this tool is for you.

Check out these 16-inch scarifier shanks on Amazon. 

To increase its performance, some tractor owners place a hydraulic top link on their tractors to change the angle, tilt, and depth of the box blade. This allows the box blade to be more flexible in shaping and clearing the ground according to how you want it.

Below is a helpful video to help you visualize the parts and functions of a box blade.

Can A Box Blade Level Ground?

Man on a mini-excavator loosens the soil

Yes, the main purpose of a box blade is to level the ground with its scraping blades. It is even more effective when weight is added to make the ground more compact.

A box blade is very effective for driveway maintenance. It can help level the ground, whether it's made of soil or gravel.

Can You Plow A Garden With A Box Blade?

A man on a mini-excavator levels a piece of land

Yes, you can use a box blade to plow through a garden, farm, or any large piece of land. All you need to do is adjust its teeth to the lowest setting allowing it to dig deeper into the soil. Then you need to crank up and lift the blades so they won't touch and level the ground.

Here's a video on how it can be done.

How Do You Smooth Land With A Box Blade?

Angle the scraping blade low into the ground to help smoothen it out. You may need to make several passes through the field in order to level it out smoothly.

The only hurdle here would be the leftover debris. You might want to kill off existing vegetation and do several tillings and repeated pass through with the box blade before it becomes really smooth.

What Is A Landscape Rake Used For?

Landscape preparation to loosen the ground

You will need a landscape rake if you want to spread and level the ground evenly. Although it can't dig too deeply through thick and difficult soil as a box blade can, it can do a number of other functions, including:

  • soil preparation
  • grading
  • leveling
  • removing debris
  • weeding
  • spreading bark chipping and mulch
  • spreading compost

A landscape rake is an amazing tool when it comes to clearing up land. Its wide teeth can pick up all kinds of debris, and it's perfect for skimming the top of landscapes.

Think of it as a regular garden rake but bigger, covers a longer area, and is motor powered. However, it's not recommended for hard and aggressive digging and clearing.

One technique that many do to ensure they rake out the debris thoroughly is to by making several passes, each time adjusting the rake lower. Start with the rake high to get all surface debris. Then lower it to the ground to be able to get roots and rocks.

Will A Landscape Rake Remove Rocks?

John Deere 2850 with a homemade plow prepares the field

If you have stubborn rock debris that you want to get rid of, a landscape rake should be able to pick it up when caught, along with other layers of debris. It should be able to pop out some of the stubborn rocks stuck in the ground. However, if the rocks are too small, they will only pass between the teeth.

Will A Landscape Rake Remove Roots?

A landscape rake can remove all types of debris including picking up some of the roots of plants, crops, and weeds partially left in the ground. It can be adjusted for a slightly deeper dig to get into the roots but not enough to plow through the soil.

On other occasions, it can also be used to drag out roots of trees, vines and other running plants. The only danger with using the rake on these types of jobs is you can bend or break some of the rake's teeth no matter how heavy-duty the product is.

Here's a video of how to use a landscape rake.

What Is The Best Landscaping Rake?

Subsoiler or flat lifter for tractor

There are a lot of landscaping rake products on the market, and to choose a good one, you may want to look for these features:

  • Made of heavy-duty steel so it won't bend or break easily
  • Has angle adjustments
  • Easy attachment to the tractor

Can You Rake Leaves With A Landscape Rake?

You will be able to pick up leaves and other debris with a landscape rake. However, if you're looking to rake up leaves in the lawn during fall season, you'd have better control piling it up in combination with a lawn rake.

Rake and pile of fallen leaves on lawn

Wrapping Up

The purpose of a landscape rake and box blade is for digging and leveling. Both are effective on their own but best when used in tandem on big land area projects. Knowing their individual features can help you decide which one to use based on the requirements of your landscaping project.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you learned a thing or two from this article. For more land-digging topics, check out the articles below.

Can I Use An Edger To Dig A Trench?

How To Level Yard After Tilling (Inc. By Hand, Lawn Roller, And Best Tools To Smooth The Ground)?

Can You Dig With A Toro Dingo?

Landscape Rake Vs. Box Blade: What's The Difference?

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