Corona BigLOAD™ Leaf Rake (#45030): Product Review
This may be the perfect blend of comfort and strength in a leaf rake
Corona Clipper, Inc. got its start during the 1920s with a game-changing 9B Orange Clipper tool used by pickers. The tool increased the quality and shelf life of the fruit when shipped over long distances, making delicious, fresh oranges readily available across the entire country. So you could say that Corona’s innovation helped kick off what is known as “the second gold rush.”
Over the last 90 years, Corona Clipper, Inc. expanded its offerings to include loppers, shears, pruners, pitch forks, shovels, wheelbarrows, etc. And, of course, this leaf rake.
If you’re like me, you may have wondered, “Does the world really need another plastic leaf rake?” After a quick look in my shed, I found 4 brands of plastic-tined leaf rakes, ranging from mostly to completely broken. Work a plastic rake too hard, and the spine snaps, rendering the tines flaccid and powerless. I break at least 2 leaf rakes each season. Would the Corona BigLOAD™ Leaf Rake become the 5th useless, broken leaf rake in my collection? Or would this leaf rake offer more durability than the others I’ve used?
|Materials:||30 polycarbonate tines; aluminum handle; anti-slip vinyl grip.|
|Warranty:||Tool replacement in the event of manufacturer defect only.|
NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
Nothing strikes more fear into my heart than the words “some assembly required.” If an item can be assembled backwards, upside down, or sideways, I’m going to try those three options before I get it right. So I was relieved that the Corona 45030 BigLOAD™ Leaf Rake required no more set up than to cut some tape to release it from its cardboard enclosure.
Since the rake is made of hard-to-damage aluminum and polycarbonate, the Spartan packaging was more than sufficient.
The Problem With Most Plastic Rakes…
My last two plastic leaf rakes didn’t last a season. The first one (not a Corona leaf rake!) snapped in cold weather.
The second one got “spinal tapped” when the lowest part of the spine separated from the rake head.
Cheap plastics aren’t meant for extreme temperatures or heavy loads. So when a manufacturer offers an especially wide rake head (like 30 or more inches), it’s even more tempting to push the limitations of the tool, making a break that much more likely.
So What Makes The Corona BigLOAD Rake Different?
The BigLOAD™ rake head is made of polycarbonate, an ultra durable plastic. It’s stronger, boasts higher impact-resistance, and holds up better to extreme temperatures than traditional plastic. The head of the rake is securely attached to the handle by two screws, neither of which loosened at all throughout the many hours I used it.
My wife and I used the Corona BigLOAD™ to rake leaves off the edges of my lawn as well as leaves over fist-sized rocks. We also used the rake to see how it would stand up to moving mulch, something that spells death to cheap plastic rakes. And to really put it to the test, I helped a neighbor rake her garden patch that contained several thick, strong bamboo shoots coming out of the ground.
Long Handle Makes Raking Easier
I loved the long handle, finding it more comfortable than shorter-handled rakes. Instead of raking by bending at my lower back and rocking back to bring leaves toward me, the length encouraged me to rake by extending my arms and pulling leaves toward me. My arms felt a little more buff after raking, but my back felt good, which is the way I want it to feel.
For heavier leaf loads, I found that I could extend one hand high on the handle to create extra leverage. Using this stance, I could keep my posture straight while moving a heavier load.
In short, the light weight kept me from getting tired, and the anti-slip grip kept my hands from…well, slipping, which meant my gloveless hands didn’t get blistered. When I was done, the rake looked like new except for dirt stains on the red tines. The tines neither broke nor bent, and the spine stayed firmly attached as it should.
The length of the tool allowed me to get great leverage by bringing an arm high over my head so the head of the rake could really dig into a heavier load.
I didn’t use the rake in extreme temperatures; I worked in temperatures ranging from the low 40s to mid 70s degrees F. A more thorough test would include temperatures below freezing where cracking occurs and above temperatures of 95 degrees F where wimpy plastic tends to become flaccid. However, this tool performed well on leaves, pinecones, and even evening out mulch, a task that usually requires a metal rake.
It’s a leaf rake, not a Ferrari, a bottle of champagne, or a Rolex. I mean, there’s nothing sexy about it, and none of your neighbors will be talking about how much money you must make to afford such a high-status tool. But it gets the job done very well, and I could still walk upright after I got my yard clean. And that’s why I loved it.
I called the customer service line to get an idea of what I could expect service wise. In no time, I talked to a human person who told me that Corona will gladly replace the BigLOAD™ rake in the event of a manufacturer defect.
The Corona 45030 BigLOAD™ Leaf Rake advertises that it will cut raking time in half. I think it lived up to this promise. Not only is it faster, it’s more comfortable than any other rake I’ve tried. And I still felt good when I was done. By my count, they got everything right. The only improvement they could make is to send someone along with the rake to do the actual work for me.
WHERE TO BUY
The BigLOAD™ leaf rake will run you $32.99 on the Corona website which is within the normal price range for higher quality polycarbonate rakes. At this time it’s not yet available on Amazon.
Now over to you – Do you get frustrated by plastic rakes that break? Do you have a favorite kind? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
And if you liked this review, please sign up for our email updates with reviews, special offers and giveaways.