Top 10 Best Lawn Scarifier – The Best Lawn Raker, Reviews & Buyers Guide
Lawn Scarifier Reviews
Updated September 2017 - We look at another 2 promising scarifiers but quickly came to the conclusion that they were no better than out current recommendations and so have decided they were not worth recommending.
Scarifying the lawn is an essential part of maintaining a beautiful healthy lawn, scarifiers which are sometimes referred to as lawnrakers, are usually duel purpose, the best lawn scarifiers come with two interchangable attachments, one of scarifying the lawn and one for aerating the lawn.
After hours of intensive research and testing, we have put together '10 of the best scarifiers', so you can make a informed decision about which model right for you, before investing in one yourself.
They vary in price from £50 for the good entry model for small gardens to over £300 for larger machines, more suited for large gardens.
Despite the large price range, we have found that you can get a good electric scarifier from around £80-100.
Below you can see which model we awarded our 'Best Pick' to, as well as our detailed comparison table which you can use to compare all the different models, side by side. As most gardeners prefer electric powered models, for ease of use and low maintenance, we have focused on electric scarifiers but we have also reviewed a couple of good petrol scarifiers suitable for larger gardens and allotments.
The Best Lawn Scarifiers Which Are Included In Our Review Are Shown Below:
Read our detailed review further down our guide, to learn why it was awarded out 'Best Pick'
Best Scarifiers / Lawnrakers under £100
Black + Decker GD300
Einhell BG-SA 1231
Flymo Compact 3400
BEST ENTRY MODEL
3 YEARS WARRANTY
Garden Gear 2-in-1
Grass Box size
No of height setting
30 to 90mm
-5 to +8mm
4 to -4 to -8 to -12 mm
-10 / -5 / 0 / 5 / 10mm
Scarifier + Rake
Aerating + scarifying
Scarifier/Rake on one roller
Scarifier or Rake
50 x 24 x 50 cm
58 x 44 x 33 cm
66 x 47 x 39 cm
61 x 31.5 x 52cm
Best Scarifiers / Lawnrakers over £100
Bosch ALR Vericutter
Bosch AVR Vericutter
AL-KO 38P Petrol Scarifier
Collection Box size
53cc petrol engine
No of height setting
4 cutting heights
4 cutting heights
5 cutting heights
-5mm to +10mm
-10mm to +5mm
Scarify and raking
60 x 49.8 x 39.4 cm
59.6 x 49.8 x 40.6 cm
106 x 109.3 x 55.2 cm
Understanding the comparison table above
- Collection box size: All models have a collection box which holds the thatch and moss the scarifier collects, the larger the better. Some models, such as those by Bosch, also compact it, which means you have to stop less to empty the box. Collect boxes generally range from 28 litres to 55 litres.
- Motor size: The larger the motor, generally, the more powerful the scarifier will be. Most models are electric and start at 600 watt all the way up to 1500 watt with 1200 watt being adequate.
- Cable size: Most cables are 10 meters, so not much to compare hear. If you need longer then we recommend a good extension cable.
- Working width: This is the width of the scarifier blades or rake, the wider, the more area that is scarified with each pass.
- Number of heights: This is the number of height adjustments that can be made, in theory the more height setting you have the more precise you can be. For example a model with 5 setting would allow you to fine tune how close you scarify while models with 3 setting will have less room to adjust.
- Height range: All models have the ability to adjust the height, this means the lower it is set, the deeper it scarifies or rakes the lawn. If set low, it will also score into the soil, which aerates the soil and helps let moisture and nutrients into the soil, this is best done in Autumn, but more on this further down. A middle setting may just remove moss and thatch, while using a high setting will allow you to lightly rake the lawn to collect fallen leaves etc.
- Type: Some models use a rotating, spinning rake system, while others use a blade system and some even use both, sometimes on the same roller, sometimes in there own roller. The best models have both options that can be easily changed from one to the other, usually referred to as cassettes, the rake scarifiers are great for removing moss and thatch while the blade scarifier are also great for penetrating the soil, removing weeds and letting moisture and nutrients back into the soil.
- Warranty: Most models come with at least 2 years warranty, this is important because if anything goes wrong you want to be able to contact the manufacture who will repair or replace the machine should it become faulty.
- Price: You will notice we do not display the price, the reason for this is that prices change regularly, specially on Amazon.co.uk, as businesses compete for your business and as such we do not want to display the wrong price. As a guide, a good scarifier for a small to medium size garden will be around £80-£100. The very best electric models tend to be in the £130-150 price range with petrol models, ideal for larger or remote gardens being around £300+ for a good model.
Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter LawnrakerReview
Winner of our 'Best Pick' - Best Electric Lawn Scarifier
The 'Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter lawnraker' is a scarifier and aerator in one, this dual purpose model has a powerful high-torque, 1100 watt 'powerdrive' motor which drives a specially designed cylinder raker system, which efficiently removes moss, thatch, weeds and leaves, as well a scoring the soil to help aerate the soil.
Using the Bosch 'Jet Collect system', the drum, which has 14 very strong blades, collects the moss, as well as thick layers of thatch etc. The drum also creates a powerful air flow which helps pack the collected moss and thatch into the large 50 litre collection box which increases the amount of moss and thatch that can be collected.
It has a working width of 32cm which means you maximise the area you scarifiy with each run and it has 4 adjustable height setting, which can be set between +5 mm to -10 mm, this means it can be used though out the season.
To change the height setting, simply use the twin levers, to set it to the correct height depending on the the job you want to do. The lowest setting -10mm, will slice into the soil below the grass to help aerate the soil and let water and nutrients back into the soil as well as removing thick layers of moss and thatch as well as weeds.
The higher setting can be used to lightly rake the lawn with the highest setting ideal for collect debris off the surface of the lawn.
The high speed motor and innovative gear, ensure it has enough power, when its needed most, if the job becomes more demanding that the scarifier automatically increases power needed to efficient scarify the lawn in any situation.
Due to its compact design, it can be stored in a small amount of space, the folding handles and two peace collect box, means it can be folded down so that its only 40cm tall.
- 32cm working width and 4 adjustable scarifying heights from -10mm to +5mm, which can be easily adjusted with the twin levers.
- 1100W high-torque ‘Powerdrive’ motor.
- Cylinder raking system which uses a cylinder with 14 blades (tines), which collects moss, thatch and leaves from deep within the lawn.
- The lowest setting slices the soil to help aerate the soil, with higher setting being ideal for collecting moss and layers of thatch from within the lawn.
- The innovative 'Jet System', ensures the collected debris, is compacted into the large 50 litre collection box.
- 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind
This model is the more expensive out of two scarifiers, Bosch manufacturer, both are very good models, but this model, has the advantage of having a more power motor, 1100 watt motor, compared to 900w for the cheaper model. More importantly, this model has 14 steel blades which do a fantastic job at removing moss, thatch and weeds, the cheaper model uses wire tines which as less effective at scoring and aerating the soil all though they are great for removing miss and thatch.
Winner of out 'Best Pick' this is our top recommended model due to its great performance, quality build and features.
Its does a great job at removing moss and thatch, but be careful, on the lowest setting, it may leave your lawn scalped with bare soil , great for aerating but not ideal if you just want lightly scarify to remove the moss and thatch over summer.
Overall one of the best models available without the hassle of removing cassettes to change from scarifying to aerating. Probably one of the best electric scarifiers currenty available.
VonHaus 2 in 1 - Raker/Scarifier & Aerater
Best Entry Level Model Below £100
The Vonhaus 2 in 1 scarifier/lawnraker is both a scarifier and aerator and comes with two roller attachments, one for each job.
The scarifier roller attachment uses strong steel blades to penetrate into the soil and remove weeds, pull out deep embedded thatch and moss from the lawn. As the blades penetrate into the soil, this also aerates the soil, which lets in moisture and nutrients into the soil.
The raking roller removes moss, thatch and leafs from the lawn, but without penetrating the soil and does a much lighter job when compared to the scarifier roller with the blades. This is ideal, as you can use it through out the season to keep your lawn nice and healthy other summer.
Powered by a 1500 watt motor, it has plenty of power and has a working width of 32cm as well as 4 working heights, this make it very flexible when deciding whether you want to go over the lawn aggressively, for a deep scarify or lightly to keep on top for the moss and thatch through the season without causing too much damage to the lawn.
- Wide 32cm working width and 4 adjustable scarifying heights, 4 to -4 to -8 to -12 mm for the scarifier roller and 11 to 3 to -1 to -5 mm for the aerator roller.
- 1500W high powered motor ensures it never struggles to removed deep embedded thatch and moss.
- Light weight design at only 8.5kg making it easy to manover, carry and store.
- Large 40 litre collection box
- 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind
The Vonhaus 2 in 1 scarifier/raker is one of the best scarifiers we have seen, at 1500w, its the most powerful electric model we have reviewed.
The interchangeable rollers for scarifying and aerating are great as you can use each one for its intended purpose, as apposed to models that only have the raking roller which usually cannot penetrate deep into the soil as well as models with knifes.
VonHaus manufacture some really good gardening equipment and this scarifier is to their usual high standard, but at a very affordable price.
This model is perfect for small and medium sized gardens and would make a great entry level model for any gardener looking to maintain their lawn. This was actually one of the models that we felt could also be a 'best pick; model as it offers excellent quality, performance as well as excellent value.
Black + Decker GD300 Lawnraker
'Lowered priced' Best Lawn raker
The Black + Decker GD 300 Lawnraker is robust, low priced lawnraker designed for all year round maintenance of your lawn to keep it nice and heathy.
Powered by a 600 watt motor, it has 30cm working width and 3 adjustable height setting which can be easly changed with minimal effort, making it ideal for all small and medium sized lawns.
The lowered height setting is designed to give the lawn a good aggressive raking and will remove thatch from the base of the grass as well as moss and other debris. The middle setting will also remove moss without being too aggressive and the highest setting is ideal for collecting fallen leaves.
- 30cm working width and 3 adjustable scarifying heights which can be easily altered.
- 600W motor
- Light weight design at only 9kg, making it easy to manover and store.
- 30 litre collection bag
- 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind
- Excellent value for money
If your after a quality, but affordable simple lawnraker for removing thatch, moss as well as fallen leaves in the fall, then this could be what your looking for.
The Black + Decker lawnraker does an excellent job at removing moss and thatch but it does have its limitations, which are reflected in the price of the product.
This simple model is really only designed for removing moss and thatch, what it does not do is penetrate into the soil like other models we have reviewed, this feature helps improve aeration which ensures moisture and nutrients can get into the soil, which I feel is essential if you want a really healthy lawn.
Overall its a good lawnraker, but if your looking to do a more 'thorough scarifing', then you may want to spend a little more and invest in a slightly better model. However if your in need of a cheap lawnraker to remove moss and thatch, this could be ideal. It does come with 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind, which is ideal considering its low price tag.
Powerplus 1300 Watt Scarifier / Aerator
5 Adjustable Heights & 3 Years Warranty
This Powerplus 1300 scarifier / aerator is powered by a powerful 1300 watt motor which drives a roller, which has 10 scarfing blades and 18 raking needles on it. They work together to remove moss and thatch from the lawn as well a slicing grooves into the soil, at the base the grass with the 10 blades, this aerates the soil which helps moisture and nutrients penetrate into the soil.
It has 5 adjustable height setting (working depths) which can be adjusted to -10 / -5 / 0 / 5 or 10mm depending on the job at hand and how aggressively you want to scarify the lawn.
Finally it has a large 30 litre collection box which means more scarifying and less emptying and the handle folds down so that it can be stored easily.
- 30cm working width with 5 adjustable scarifying heights of -10 / -5 / 0 / 5 and 10mm
- Powerful 1300W motor ensures your never short of power when needed
- Large 30 litre collection box
- Dual purpose roller for scarifying and aerating on one roller, no rollers to change
- 3 years home user warranty for extra peace of mind
Another excellent duel purpose scarifier and aerator in one, 'Powerplus' may be a 'lesser known brand' when compared to popular brands such as Bosch, Black + Decker and Einhell, but this scarifier is probably one of the best models we have seen. The dual purpose roller, having the 12 blades and 18 rake needles on one roller is an excellent idea. I'm surprised more manufactures don't take this approach. It does a excellent job as both scarifying and aerating and having a multipurpose roller, you don't need to change to a different roller or cassette when switching from scarifying to aerating, simply adjust the height and your good to go.
Couple of other positives include the 3 years home user warranty, most other brands only have 2 including Bosch and some even only have one year.
The cable is slightly shorter than most other models at 8.5 metres, but a good quality extensive lead would resolve this issue should you need more reach.
We would highly recommend the Powerplus scarifier / Aerator, specially as a entry model and at less than 'half the price' of our 'Best Pick' its a good option for beginners, it just doesn't have that well known branding other models have, what it does have though is the longest warranty of any model we have reviewed giving you 3 years use without having to worry about it becoming faulty as you can have it repaired or replaced.
AL-KO 38P Combi-care 2 in 1 lawnrake / Scarifier
Powerful Petrol Scarifier With 5 Working Depths, Perfect For Larger Lawns
The AL-KO 38P Combe-Care 2 in 1 Scarifier is a petrol powered model, powered by a 53cc engine, its designed for medium and larger sized gardens where a cable model would not be suitable or you simply need a larger model.
It has a working width of 37cm and comes with two interchangeable cassettes (rollers), one has steel blades, great for slicing into the soil, which helps aerate the soil and they also remove moss and thatch that's embedded deep into the lawn. The other cassette has steel wire tines that are ideal for removing moss and thatch as well as leaves and other garden debris.
The cassettes can be easily changed without tools for the job at hand and it has 5 working heights.
- Quality German scarifier, ideal for scarifying medium to large gardens with ease.
- Wide 37cm scarifying width and 5 adjustable scarifying heights adjustable up to 18mm
- Powerful 53cc petrol engine, delivers maximum power to the tines
- Extra large 55 litre collection box
- Two separate cassettes, one with blades, one with wires, which can be changed without tools
- 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind
I looked at a few petrol scarifiers and being in the trade myself for many years, Iv'e had the chance to use a few petrol models other the years. To be honest, most petrol models I have used are great machines, but they are all heavy and bulky which makes them some what, not suitable for everyone, specially domestic use, mostly because of the weight and size and transport can sometimes be an issue.
That being said I do really the the AL-KO 38P petrol scarifier as it is well built and you can change the cassettes easily without any tools without to much trouble.
At around 20kg, its not too heavy, specially when compared to other petrol models and its small enough to store and manover.
A greats choice for home owners with medium and larger sized gardens where an electric scarifier would not be suitable, if your after a petrol model then we would recommend you take this model into consideration before buying one
Our Final Conclusion
After many hours of research, it was very difficult to decide which scarifier is 'The Best' as there is a lot of very good models out there, the truth is that there is not a model that we would recommend to everyone, as there are many things to take into consideration when choosing a model that is right for you.
Our Best Pick ?
We came to the conclusion that the 'Bosch AVR Verticutter Lawnraker' would be suitable for nearly all gardeners as it was suitable for both small and medium sized gardens and is a quality bit of kit with innovative features that give it that edge, over most other models. For this reason we awarded it our 'Best Pick'.
Bosch do have a cheaper, very similar model that looks all most identical called the 'Bosch ALR', the main difference between this model and our 'Best Pick' is that is has wire tines instead of blades, we prefer the bladed model as they do a more though job. The cheaper model also has a smaller 900w motor and cannot scarify as deep. All though this cheaper model was also excellent, we feel its worth paying the extra for the more powerful model which uses strong steel blades.
Cheapest recommended model?
If your after a cheap model without getting something too flimsy, then the 'Black + Decker GD300' is an excellent choice and does a great job a removing moss and thatch. Its even a 'Amazon Best Seller' but at such as good price, its easy to see why. It may be a 'best seller' but it NOT 'The Best'
Best affordable entry model?
The 'Powerplus 1300 watt scarifier' was also a great model, it was very versatile and ideal for small and medium sized gardens. It has two rollers, which is ideal for anyone wanting a more 'affordable serious bit of kit' and the 3 years warranty make it a no brainer.
Our recommended petrol model?
Finally if your after a petrol model then the 'AL-KO 38P' was an excellent machine and is defferently
worth considering if you have a larger garden, where a petrol model makes more sense.
Scarifying tips to help maintain a healthy lawn
To ensure you have a healthy lawn, you need to aerate the lawn so that moisture and nutrients can get into the soil and to do this you need to scarify the lawn to remove thatch, moss and other debris from the base of lawn. This is where a good scarifier comes to make the job much easier to do.
What you need to know before you start scarifying
The one mistake most gardeners make is simply scarifying at he wrong time of year, which often leads to a very messy, awful looking lawn.
When you set about scarifying you need the best growing conditions possible, this means that the lawn will recover faster, once its been scarified, as its likely to look a mess, but don't worry as it will look better than ever once its recovered, which is why we do it in the first place.
Spring scarifying should be done when the weather starts to warm, just as things start growing, which is usually around April. You should only do a light scarifying to remove moss and thatch in Spring, this means, do not set your scarifier on the lowered setting, start high and go lower in stages, until its removing the moss and thatch without doing too much damage to the lawn. A light scarifying can also be done in Autumn around August / September before the cold weather sets in.
In most cases, if you have a fair amount of moss and thatch to remove, then the best time to scarify your lawn in Autumn is around August / September, just before the cold weather sets in. This is the best time of year, to do a more 'aggressive heavy scarifying', but be warned, it will leave your lawn looking bare battered for a few weeks if not a few months, however your lawn will soon recover and look much better, and will be the foundation for a better, healthier lawn.
What is you cannot scarify in Autumn because of bad weather?
If you cannot scarify your lawn in Autumn, maybe bad weather prevented it o another reason, then a heavy scarifing can also be done in Spring, ideally though, Autumn is a much better time of year to do it. The reason for this is that once you do a deep scarify, it will leave some nice bare patches on your lawn, these can re-seed if needed, however it also leaves a nice bare patch for weed seeds to germinate, so by scarifying in Autumn you will miss the bulk of the weed seeds that germinate. After all you don't want to replace the moss and thatch with weeds.
Preparation before scarifying
You need the grass to be short before scarifying, so its best to cut the lawn a week or two before scarifying to get it nice and short.
For the perfect lawn, don't forget to apply a Autumn and Spring, weed and feed to your lawn, some weed & feeds also contain moss killer to help control moss and keep it under control.