Last Updated On October 14th, 2018
A beautifully well-kept lawn is the pride and joy of any garden, but in order to keep your lawn the envy of your neighbours, you will need to take good care of it. One way of doing this is by using the best lawn scarifier.
Put simply, scarifying is a process which removes unwanted plant matter from the top of your garden. This matter ‘chokes’ the soil, so removing it helps to keep your garden almost weed-free, healthy, full and uniform by improving the flow of oxygen and nutrients. However, if you are new to lawn scarifiers, it can be hard to decide which one to choose.
Luckily for you, we are here to help. In this review, we examine some of the best on the market, so you can be sure you are getting the perfect scarifier for your needs.
Best Lawn Scarifiers Quick Comparison
Top 10 Lawn Scarifier Reviews
You keep your patios and walkways clean by using a pressure washer. How about your garden? You can keep it clean and healthy by gardening. Gardening makes your place pleasant and it also helps the environment. One of the most important things you need for this task is a sacrifier. Scarifiers come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are high-tech and multifunctional, whereas others are simple, manual tools. In this section, we take a look at those that are in our lineup.
1. Bosch AVR 1100 Verti Cutter (Editor’s Choice: Best Overall)
The Bosch AVR 110 Verti Cutter Lawn Raker comes with 1100-watt power drive motor and 14 steel blades for easy and efficient cutting.
These highly durable blades are mounted onto a 32 cm working width, so you can treat your garden in fewer runs.
Dead grass and uprooted moss are cleanly collected by way of the unique ‘Jet-Collect System’, which effectively sucks debris into the 50-litre capacity box as you go. In fact, this system is so successful, it results in it requiring frequent emptying.
Depending upon your needs, this scarifier machine offers four depth settings of +5, 0, -5 and -10 mm; thus allowing the flexibility to use as both a scarifier and aerator in one machine. However, even with this range of blade depths, it provides better results on flat, level lawns. Uneven lawn owners may experience some ‘scalped’ patches where the blades have run deeper.
This model is lightweight at only 9.9 kg, so this shouldn’t cause strain or fatigue for the average individual. It also has an ergonomic handle and is easy to manoeuvre, which is helpful if you have a particularly lumpy garden.
Once you are finished with your garden, the Bosch AVR makes storage simple. The handle can be folded down and the collection box can be stacked, leaving the entire machine only a mere 40 cm in height when not in use.
2. VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Scarifier and Aerator Electric Garden Rake
The VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Scarifier and Aerator Electric Garden Rake 1500W is a great choice for small to medium-sized domestic lawns.
This electric lawn rake scarifier comes complete with two easy-change roller blades; one for scarifying, and one for aerating. An Allen key is provided which must be used to unlock the nuts and swap them over, but once the user has got the hang of it, this can be done in a couple of minutes.
The aerator roller is fairly useful for well-maintained lawns but struggles with heavily compacted areas. Additionally, the scarifier offers four different blade depths which are simple to change using an adjustable lever. At the back of the machine, a soft 28 L bag collects cuttings and debris. Also, it is easy to view if the bag is full.
The VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Scarifier and Aerator has a 2-stage starting switch on the handle to prevent accident and injury. Its 1500W motor is powerful, but many customers complained of early failure with light usage.
Furthermore, a few users found the initial assembly quite difficult due to confusing instructions.
3. BLACK+DECKER B/DGD300 (Best Value)
The Black & Decker B/DGD300 Lawnraker is a great value tool for domestic gardens. Showcasing a 600W motor, 3 raking heights and a generous 30 cm working width, this scarifier can make managing your lawn a piece of cake.
Raking heights are easy to adjust using a knob at the rear of the machine. The deepest and most aggressive approach will effectively tear up unwanted moss and thatch, while a higher setting is perfect to sweep up autumn leaves.
All cuttings and debris are stored in a removable 30-litre collection bag for simple disposal. It is easy to view if the bag is full. Although, some customers found the bag doesn’t always attach securely.
This model also offers a useful safety switch that will cut the motor the moment you let go of the handle. Its 10m power cable is long enough to allow free movement in a standard sized garden, without the requirement of an extension lead. A clever cable management feature reduces the risk of getting tangled up in the tool itself.
Weighing only 7 kg, this lawn scarifier is lightweight and easy to handle. When your work is done, the attached handles can be quickly folded down for convenient storage.
4. Bosch ALR Electric Lawn Raker, 900 W
The Bosch ALR Electric Lawn Raker 900W offers a uniquely designed raking cylinder, as well as a high-torque ‘Powerdrive’ motor, to help you make short work of a neglected lawn.
This electric scarifier combines 10 double-wound spring tines, 4 different raking heights, a 32 cm working width and a cutting-edge ‘Jet-Collect System’ to efficiently remove and collect dead grass, moss and debris as you move. Unfortunately, some customers found the Bosch ALR felt a bit flimsy and occasionally gave inconsistent results.
This is the best electric scarifier. The depth of its cut is easily managed using two levers that either lower or raise the height of the tines. Its highest setting is ‘+10’, which essentially acts as a rake to clear leaves and other debris from the surface of your lawn. At the other end of the scale is the lowest setting ‘-5’; this setting enables the tines to claw below the surface of the grass, pulling up any unwanted matter.
All collected cuttings are compacted in the collection box, which extends the usage time before emptying is required. The only downside to this is that this has no viewing window, so the user only realises it is full when the machine stops working.
5. Flymo Lawnrake Compact 3400
The Flymo Lawnrake Compact 3400 showcases a 750W motor and high-powered cylinder to effectively scarify your lawn.
This machine removes thatch, moss and decomposing grass using metal tines which can be operated at six different raking heights. Users can choose between -5 mm to +8 mm depending upon their needs. Each height setting is easily controlled via a lever.
The lightest setting will be enough to clear up fallen leaves, while the deepest setting will enable the tines to reach just below the surface of the lawn and pull up undesired material. It is important to note that some users complained the motor burned out quickly with heavier use.
All material recovered is collected into the removable 34 L collection box. For this review, we should note that although this matter is supposed to be compacted upon collection, many users said this function didn’t work very well. On the plus side though, it does have a window, so you will be able to see when it needs emptying.
True to its name, it can be easily folded down to a height of 46 cm which is great for those who have little storage space.
6. Wolf-Garten Roller Moss Remover Multi-Change URM3 (Best Manual)
The Wolf-Garten Roller Moss Remover Multi-Change URM3 is best lawn rake for manual scarification. This offers a pendulum action bladed tool head which sinks into moss and thatch when pulled toward you but smoothly skims over the lawn when pushed away.
Since there is only resistance during the scarification action itself, and not when manoeuvring the tool to a certain area, this feature significantly lessens the strain placed upon the user. However, some people still found the manual action to be too strenuous for them, especially on uneven lawns.
The Wolf-Garten Roller Moss Remover Multi-Change URM3 uses perfectly curved blue steel blades which cut into the lawn at the correct angle for optimum scarification. Its width is a generous 30 cm and is wheeled to allow effortless movement across larger lawns. Bodily posture is kept upright during use, thus preventing an unnecessary burden upon the user’s back muscles.
For this review, it is good to note that this manual scarifier doesn’t come with a handle. So, you must purchase one separately. As part of the Wolf-Garten ‘multi-change’ system, the URM3 Roller Moss Remover can be used with any of the 11 handles available in the range. These are available in a multitude of lengths and in a choice of either aluminium or wood. No tools are required to fit the handles; they simply click into place.
7. AL-KO Combi-Care 38P 2-in-1 (Best Petrol)
The AL-KO Combi-Care 38P 2-in-1 Petrol Lawnrake/Scarifier is a great, high-powered choice for medium to large lawns.
As its name suggests, this model is provided with two attachable rollers: a scarifier and a lawn rake. The scarifier roller has 14 effective 3-stage steel blades. Also, it has 24 steel spring tines which effortlessly collect loose grass, moss and thatch with every pass. Each roller can be removed and attached without additional tools.
It also has one of the widest working widths we have seen so far at 38 cm. This is fantastic for people who have lots of ground to cover.
Blade height is easily adjusted through 5 available settings via a simple twist dial on the front left of the machine. During use, plant matter is conveniently stored in an ample 55-litre, soft-sided collection bag at the back of the unit for hassle-free disposal. Also, it is easy to view if the bag is full.
With regard to ergonomics and ease-of-use; the AL-KO 38P Combi-Care 38P 2-in-1 Petrol Lawnrake/Scarifier doesn’t disappoint. The handlebars are fully height-adjustable, so the user can avoid an uncomfortable working posture.
Also, due to the fact it uses a petrol engine, the cordless functionality allows complete freedom to work without being tethered to a powerpoint. However, some people found the engine difficult to get started.
8. Darlac Lawn Scarifier
The second manual scarifier up for review, the Darlac Lawn Scarifier offers a cheaper alternative to powered machines for smaller domestic lawns.
Showcasing 11 blades mounted on a wheeled bar, this scarifier is lightweight and easy to manipulate as it bites into the base of the lawn. With each motion, unwanted moss, thatch and dead leaves are pulled to the surface, where they can be gathered up and disposed of. However, some users found this product struggled to lift out thick thatch.
The Darlac Lawn Scarifier is supplied with a 97 cm telescopic handle which can be extended to a maximum length of 1.5m. Such adjustability is of great benefit to particularly tall users, as it allows them to work at a comfortable height. Unfortunately, some people said they thought the handle felt a bit flimsy.
Unlike the Wolf-Garten URM3, the Darlac Lawn Scarifier doesn’t offer a pendulum action. This means it will dig into the lawn whether it is pushed away from the body, or pulled toward it.
As a result, this manual scarifier feels more tiresome to use than the Wolf-Garten model.
9. Einhell GC-SA 1231 1200W Electric Dual Purpose Scarifier and Lawn Rake/Aerator
The Einhell GC-SA 1231 1200W Electric Dual Purpose Scarifier and Lawn Rake/Aerator has an impressive high-torque series motor for superb results on any lawn.
Both a scarifier roller and an aerating roller are included with this machine. The scarifier offers 16 blades, constructed from high-grade steel; while the aerating roller has 42 claws – enough to rival the results of a professional treatment. Depending on the task at hand, the operating depth of the blades can be quickly adjusted to three different levels as required.
This model claims it is very easy to swap from scarifying to aerating in a matter of moments, by simply removing one roller and replacing with the other. But some users said that changing functions took longer than they were led to believe. In fact, an Allen key is required to switch the blades, which isn’t included with the machine.
Another downside of this product is its collection of plant matter. At 28 L the collection bag isn’t the largest, and users should expect it to require emptying frequently. Furthermore, customers reported that the Einhell GC-SA 1231 isn’t always efficient at picking up the debris it has created.
10. Einhell GE-SA 1335 P
If your lawn needs some serious care and attention, the Einhell GE-SA 1335 P Petrol Scarifier/Aerator is a good choice. Powered by an air-cooled 53.2 cc four-stroke engine; this machine can be used as a scarifier, aerator or ‘catcher’ depending upon your garden needs.
Run-time shouldn’t be an issue with this machine, as the Einhell GE-SA 1335 has a generous 1-litre tank. Although we should mention that some users found the starter handle flimsy and experienced occasional issues with the engine cutting out.
Like other models we have seen, this petrol scarifier comes with two separate stainless-steel rollers: one scarifier and one aerator.
The scarifier has 26 individual blades designed to masterfully extract thatch, moss and other plant material from the base of the lawn. Its aerator roller has 20 spikes which puncture deep into the soil, enabling it to breathe. Once fitted, these rollers are securely mounted on ball-bearings and are interchangeable with relatively little effort.
There are three blade depth settings to choose from, but it is worth noting that some people found the lightest setting more aggressive than expected. A 28 L catch bag is included, but it fills up rapidly. Tall individuals will also appreciate the inclusion of a foldable, adjustable handlebar which can be set-up to suit the height of the operator.
How To Use A Lawn Scarifier Effectively
So, you have purchased a shiny new scarifier. Congratulations! But what now? Which is the best way to use it? Don’t panic! Following our instructions for effective scarification will bring your lawn back to tip-top shape in no time.
Check The Health of Your Lawn
The very first thing you will need to do is take a close look at your lawn. Of course, the best way to do this is to get down onto your knees and try to poke your finger through the top into the soil.
If you manage to reach the soil easily, your lawn should be quite healthy. But, it will certainly still benefit from aeration or a gentle run-over with the scarifier to keep it free of moss and weeds.
On the other hand, if you meet much resistance, this means there is lots of dead matter at the base of the grass blocking the soil and you definitely need a scarifying machine on your lawn.
Prepare Your Lawn
Ideally, you should scarify your lawn at least once every year. The best time to do this is either during late spring or early autumn.
You will need short, dry grass and slightly moist soil for optimal results from scarifying. Cut the grass around a week beforehand and if it has been particularly dry weather, consider gently watering the lawn 24-48 hours before treatment.
Smaller weeds can be removed by scarifiers. For larger areas with weeds, it is best to use bigger scarifiers.
Furthermore, if you have moss in your lawn, it is advisable to treat it before scarifying. While it is true that scarifying will remove the moss, it can also spread the spores around your lawn and cause you trouble later. Therefore, it is better to treat the moss first and then scarify a couple of weeks later.
Once you have prepared your lawn, pick a dry day and get your best lawn scarifier ready for action.
Here is a step-by-step method for effective scarifying:
- Set the blades to the lowest height to start with. Test on a small flat area of your lawn – gradually lowering the blades until they are removing unwanted matter on top of the soil but not tearing out the grass.
- When you are happy with the blade depth, cover the lawn in a controlled manner by moving in straight lines back and forth. Be careful not to go over the same area twice at this point.
- After the first round, clear away the waste and view the lawn to see if there is any matter which still needs to be removed.
- Usually, a lawn will need at least two rounds. On the second round, change the direction of travel so that you are going the opposite way. This helps you to target matter which escaped the first time.
- Continue until your lawn is clear.
Once you have packed away the scarifier, your lawn will probably look a little sorry for itself. You can boost the health of your lawn by overseeding immediately after scarifying. This gives your lawn the opportunity to recover to full health, and the effects are usually visible within a few weeks.
After you have spread the seeds, be sure to keep the soil moist, but not too wet. The seeds need to have enough moisture to develop, but if too much water is applied, they may get washed away. You can also add fertiliser if you wish to, but don’t use it just for the sake of it. For best results, keep people and pets away from the lawn until you see the seeds sprouting.
In our opinion, all of the above lawn scarifiers would make fantastic choices, but there is one that really stands out, the Bosch AVR 1100. We love how this lawn scarifier features 14 super-durable steel blades for effective removal and a unique ‘Jet-Collect System’ for quick and easy cleanup. With four blade depths, it will be suitable for even the most seriously neglected lawns, and thanks to its lightweight design, it is easy to use for all able individuals.
Furthermore, as this lawn scarifier can be folded down to only an incredible 40 cm in height, it’s a perfect option for those who have little storage space. Overall, we think the Bosch AVR 1100 Verti Cutter Lawn Raker is the best lawn scarifier to keep your lawn looking as good as can be.