A rake can be used to gather up things, like leaves, or spread stuff around, like gravel or manure. It's sort of an outdoor broom. Probably the most frequent use of rakes at home is to gather up or rake up the leaves in the fall. Different types of rakes may perform best for different kinds of tasks. The more flexible thin tines are usually used for leaf raking, while the fixed teeth, or stiffer bow-type may work better for arranging the soil.