This article provides information and comparisons to decipher the best scarifier on the market. We do not regurgitate content just to extend its length.
The three types of scarifiers we review are electric, petrol, and manual. Although most lawns only need to be scarified twice a year (spring and autumn), it can be back breaking work which is why investing in a scarifier is an essential thing to do. Use the content below to comparison shop on which scarifier to buy.
What is a lawn scarifier?
A scarifier often referred to as a lawn raker, aerator, or dethatcher is a garden tool that is meant to cut through soil to rid it of impurities such dead moss and dead organic plant matter. The best lawn scarifier has two interchangeable mechanisms: first the scarifier, and second the aerator.
The cutting mechanism of a scarifier helps to ensure core aeration take place and in turn promotes a healthy looking lawn.
It is a good idea to get a backpack garden sprayer and treat the vegetation with a herbicide to clear the area of weeds.
If you do not use a scarifier to cut through your lawn, garden, or farm, then you will allow weeds, grass cuttings, and moss to ruin the area. When a lawn is not aerated with a dethatcher, then it will leave behind dead organic plant matter on top of the surface. As a result, rain water will not be able to trickle down into the soil where desired plants need hydration and nutrients. Also, the area will start to become soggy and give room for garden weeds to prosper.
The top layer of an uncut lawn is called “thatch” which explains where the “dethatcher” phrase is derived.
Electric scarifiers also called garden scarifiers, power scarifiers, or electric lawn rakes work from an electrical power source. They are ideal for getting rid of moss on bigger lawns during the spring season. The majority of electric lawn rakes use a wire or spring type tines which make it perfect for shallow scarification. They are not suitable for deep-penetrating aerating as they can damage the machine.
Some of the best electric lawn rakes are:
Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker
The Bosch AVR 1000 verticutter is both a scarifier and aerator. Its interchangeable settings are equipped with an 1100 watt high-torque power drive motor. The engine is capable of working during high-power and challenging conditions. It also has a unique raking cylinder that makes for easy moss, weeds, thatch, and leave removal.
Our editors at Weedicide have rated this an electric scarifier with the capabilities of a petrol scarifier! Namely, this is due to its innovative 14 blade jet collect system that not only cleans the thatch on the surface layer but also digs deep into the soil to create air flow and maximum rate of collection.
Hence, there is no clogging with this machine.
The interchangeable settings mean the blade can cut underneath the surface layer to lift debris located down in the roots, and collect fallen leaves and thatch.
It has a large 50 litre grass box which means you do not have to take multiple trips to empty the box.
- Electric cord is 30 feet long
- Dual-purpose that can be used for scarifying or aerating
- Very robust and durable
- Uses blades instead of wire tines
- Two-year warranty
- Removes all weeds, thatch, and moss.
- Priced at a higher-end model
- May not be a good replacement for a lawn rake
- Attention to detail is required to make sure it scarifies according to your intended needs. (Levels settings)
Flymo Lawnrake Compact 3400 Electric Lawnrake 750 W – 34 cm
The Flymo lawn rake is an electric scarifier with a 750-watt power engine. It has a unique method of compacting moss and thatch into its 34 litre collection box. The unique vision window informs you when the box is full.
It is very compact and can be folded down and stored with a storage height of 47cm.
- Powerful cylinder
- Easy to collect and empty moss/thatch collection system.
- Vision window lets you know when the collection box is full
- Certified frustration-free packaging
Vonhaus 2 in 1 electric lawn raker scarifier
The VonHaus 2 in 1 raker is a dual action scarifier and aerator. The two raking rollers that come with each purchase remove moss, thatch, and dead leaves from the garden area without infiltrating the soil.
It has a bigger motor than other scarifiers on the market, reigning in at 1500 watts. The powerful motor means you can choose between light and heavy scarifying. Its 40 litre collection box is also a bit bigger than other models on the market.
Black and Decker GD300 30cm lawn raker review
The black and decker lawn raker is a best-selling scarifier with over 300 5 star reviews. It is competitively priced and currently is on sale for a 40% discount.
It is marketed for small and medium sized jobs. It has a 600 watt motor with three adjustable height settings. It removes all moss and thatches on the top layer of the soil without penetrating the soil. Consequently, it does not provide the same level of aerating benefits as some of the more powerful electric lawn rakers.
- 30 cm raking width
- Manufactured in frustration free packaging
- Safety lock turns off the machine when not in use. Therefore, it is safe to have pets or children around.
- 30 litre front loading grass box
Petrol lawn rakers are ideal for areas that are over 300 square millimetres. They are apt for heavy-duty usage, so if you only need to scarify small lawns twice a year, it is better to stick with an electric option.
Things to look out for when assessing a petrol scarifier are:
- Blades should be sharp and not rounded (sharp fixed blades are ideal)
- For use on bumpy areas, try to use a swinging or flail type blades.
- Ensure wire tines can be fitted into the machine when removing moss.
A petrol scarifier will work great on areas with thick moss or thatch those electric lawn rakers will just bounce off.
Al-ko scarifier review
This petrol powered model works off a 53cc engine developed for medium to large applications.
It’s working width is 37cm and features two cassettes. The first cassette has steel blades perfect for cutting through the soil which removes moss and thatch and also aerates the lawn. The second cassette is equipped with steel wire tynes that remove basic material such as garden debris.
It has a large 55 litre collection box and comes with a 2-year warranty. Made in Germany, this product is definitely of high-quality.
The powerplus 118cc is a four stroke petrol driven lawn scarifier that effortlessly removes moss and thatch. It has an all steel deck and a working width of 40 cm.
The 11 cutting knives give you variation when working with this petrol raker. Furthermore, it provides ample space with its 60 litre capacity collection box. Moreover, it comes with a three-year warranty.
Hand-held, Manual scarifiers
If you have the energy and time to scarify or aerate your lawn/farm manually, then you may want to opt for a cost-friendly manual scarifier.
Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3 Roller Moss Remover
The Wolf Garten moss remover is a high-quality best-rated product. It works on a pendulum mechanism so that the steel blades cut through the lawn when pushed and grips thatch with its pointy tips.
Using it requires an upright position, so there is a very little risk it will hurt your back.
Its working width is 30cm and should be applied every 6-8 weeks.
One other thing to note that might be a downside is it requires you purchase the handle separately from the multi-change brand label. Securing the handle into the moss removal roller is effortless but ensure you buy the right handle suited to your height.
Darlac Lawn Scarifier
The Darlac Lawn scarifier is engineered to make the job as easy as possible. It has an adjustable telescopic handle with a smooth to lock mechanism that can be adjusted to any height between 98cm to 1.4m.
In contrast, this product includes a height-adjustable handle that does not come with the Wolf Garten moss remover. However, a noticeable difference between the two products is that Darlac has used rounded blades as opposed to sharp blades. However, it still does the job.
A key thing to note about manual scarifiers is they do not have a collection box which means you will have to pick up the left-over debris by hand.
Greenkey lawn aerating sandals (SHOES KW)
This is a neat tool developed by Greenkey that uses 100% recycled plastic with thirteen x45mm spikes to scarify and aerate a lawn. It straps onto the bottom of your work boots.
These aerating shoes give you much-needed exercise! For best results, use when the lawn is soft and avoid using on stone or uneven ground.
When and how to use it
In this section of the article, we will discuss some of the top tips to get the most out of your scarifier.
Firstly, it is important to plan a few days ahead before using a lawn scarifier. In the meantime, you need to inspect the area that needs treatment and get rid of any live moss or debris. Therefore, it is suggested to use the best moss killer so that you do not spread the moss species when aerating.
Secondly, ensure there will be no rain within a 24 hour period. Next, on a dry day mow your lawn and then begin scarifying. Use the scarifier on a high setting and go over the area 2-3 times.
Concerning the best time to scarify, well it is during late spring to early autumn for a couple of types per year.
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