What is a roof rake? Why you need this shopper-approved snow removal tool this winter

A roof rake is being used to remove snow from a winter roof. Large amounts of snow are often removed, using this method, to prevent ice dams and reduce excess weight. Ice dams form when melted roof snow freezes at the gutter sometimes leading to damage to the roof edge.
This $50 Telescoping Roof Rake is Amazon shopper-approved. (Getty Images)

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When it comes to clearing out after a winter storm, the obvious areas of your home like your driveway, sidewalk, and front entrance tend to get all the attention. What you may not realize is that there are other important areas to remove snow from in order to protect against damage.

To avoid any impending headaches, make sure you get around to all the nooks and crannies you may not initially think of when clearing snow, including your roof.

For a safe and easy way to remove snow from your roof without the need for a ladder, you can turn to a tool like the Snow Joe Twist-N-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake, which extends up to 21 feet in order to reach the highest points of your rooftop.

Snow Joe 21-Feet Twist-N-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake

Snow Joe Twist-N-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake. Image via Amazon.
Snow Joe Twist-N-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake. Image via Amazon.

$50 at Amazon

The details

Ideal for removing snow, wet leaves and debris from roofs without climbing, this telescoping snow rake makes it easy to remove heavy excess snow. It has a Twist-n-Lock telescoping pole that easily adjusts from 6.2 feet to 21 feet for even greater overhead reach.

Weighing in under five pounds, this snow rake is made from lightweight yet durable aluminum and features a 25" snow removal blade for maximum clearing power.

What is a snow rake?

Snow rakes like the Snow Joe Twist-N-Lock model are tools that are specifically designed to make clearing snow from single-story homes easy. They usually feature a long or telescoping handle and a wide, flat head.

Typically they're used to remove snow from surfaces like roofs, while other smaller versions can be used to clean snow from cars or sidewalks. Snow rakes should only ever be used from the ground, and never while on a ladder as it can be easy to lose your balance.

Snow Joe 21-Feet Twist-N-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake removes heavy snow with ease. Image via Amazon.
Snow Joe 21-Feet Twist-N-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake removes heavy snow with ease. Image via Amazon.

When should I use a snow rake?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), fresh, fluffy snow typically weighs around three pounds per square foot while wet snow can weigh as much as 21 pounds per square foot.

Depending on how much and the type of snow that accumulates, the design and age of your home, leaving heavy snow to collect on your roof could end up a costly mistake. If you start noticing signs of damage like a saggy roof, excessive creaking or leaks, it’s time to investigate.

Never climb up on your roof to remove snow and if your roof is too high, call a professional roofer who can do the job safely. However, if you have a low roof and can do the job with your feet firmly planted on the ground, consider using a snow rake.

What shoppers are saying

Backed by a 4.3-star rating from more than 1,100 customer reviews, Amazon shoppers have been impressed by this Snow Joe tool. Reviewers have said that it "performs flawlessly" when removing snow from roofs, solar panels, and car ports.

"Great price and very easy to use," reads one review, while another reviewer wrote that it works "great for Quebec snow storms."

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Another customer praised this snow rake for being "light and easy to handle" while also having a "sturdy build."

Some reviewers have found that this snow rake may not be ideal for use during frigid temperatures, since the locking mechanisms can become "frozen after use." Others noted that when fully extended, this snow rake can also feel slightly "flexible," so they recommend working in small chunks in order to protect the integrity of the handle.


According to Amazon shoppers, the Snow Joe 21-Feet Twist-N-Lock Telescoping Roof Rake is a solid choice if you are looking to protect your home against damage caused by heavy snow this winter. Shoppers say that its 21-foot length is ideal for reaching high areas and quickly removing snow.

If you live in an area with frequent heavy snow and frigid temperatures you may want to pass on this tool, but for moderate snowfall it's an affordable and easy way to avoid damage this winter.

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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