I haven't use either, so I'm no expert, but from my research the pine straw rake does not hurt the grass yet does a good job cleaning up debris and even helps de-thatch to some extent. The landscape rake is more agressive and may tear up the grass, but is useful for cleaning up debris including small rocks before seeding a lawn.
In addition to cleaning up pine needles from the lawn, I hope it will be useful for cleaning up the flotsam and jetsam on the beach. I don't want to dig and loosen up the sand, just clean the crap off the top of it.
I pulled the trigger and ordered one today. I'll let you know if it's all it is cracked up to be.
As expected it came "some assembly required". Unexpected was the steel shipping crate:
However, the steel used was flimsier than the actual rake components, so I'm not sure what the point of is was. The components were secured in place with lengths of twisted wire, much like securing re-bar before pouring the concrete. It came with both bottom pins for the 3PH arms, but no pin for the top link.
There were no assembly instructions, but clearly before assembly, some disassembly is required. All the bolts, nuts and washers were already in place and had to be removed so the tines could be installed. At first glance, it could be a quality assurance that sufficient fasteners are included. At second glance, it's a way of hiding the shoddy workmanship. The holes hidden by the washers appear to have been gnawed out by mice:
No effort was made to control warping when welding, either:
Oh well, at least those 3 holes looked drilled and were properly aligned.
On to assembly. As I said, there are no instructions but having seen a picture of a pine needle rake, it's clear that the tines have to be inserted in the slots cut in one piece of metal, sandwiched between the other two. There were 2 packages of steel tines wrapped in plastic wrap. One package contained 4 separate tines tie-wrapped together -- 2 of medium length and 2 short ones. Clearly these form either end of the rake to keep the needles from spilling off in use.
What was not so clear is HOW one is to convince all those tines to sit patiently in place during the assembly process. The first couple of attempts were like herding cats:
Finally, I realized that hanging the frame off the 3PH gave the best chance of success. I secured the steel sandwich at one end with a single loose bolt, installed half the tines, then moved the bolt to the opposite end to install the balance. Gently settling the 3PH so they rested evenly on the ground and judicious use of clamps drew the sandwich together sufficiently to install the row of bolts. Hopefully there are enough bolts, adequately tightened, to keep things in place despite the irregular bolt holes.
As you can see, the mounting points are properly spaced to fit perfectly with the HF quick hitch attachment. That said, I think the quick hitch needs to be removed when using the rake because of the weight. With the 3PH in float, the qh more than doubles the downward force on the tines and they do start digging up grass. (Pats quick hooks would probably be fine.)
That said, it does do a decent job of gathering the pine needles that floated up on the beach (sorry, no pic. SWMBO ran out and scooped the pile into a pail before I could get back with a camera!)