Last updated on April 28th, 2021
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A scarifier is an essential garden power tool that easily rakes away the underlayer of moss, dead leaves and other organic matter in your lawn and I have personally used them for years. You can check my beginner-friendly review of the Bosch 1100 AVR Scarifier here.
Usually only available as heavy petrol models or restricted corded models, there is a new breed of cordless models so, in this guide, we take a look at the best cordless scarifiers (aka dethatchers) out there that give you freedom of movement around your lawn to clean it out, especially in the spring and autumn.
We give a quick list of the pros and cons of each model followed by a more detailed discussion of their benefits and comparisons with our top recommendations. Our Buyer’s Guide tells you what to look for in the best scarifiers.
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Both our other selections are worthy Runners-up, especially if you’ve invested in their power tool ranges and already have their batteries at home. If you don’t, we recommend the Einhell GC-SC 36/31 Li-Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier/Aerator for small to medium lawns and the Ryobi RY18SFX35A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 35cm Brushless Scarifier for large lawns.
The cordless scarifiers we review in this guide are:
- Greenworks Cordless Scarifier G40DT35 – BEST PICK – Complete setup with 40v Lithium-ion battery and charger
- Einhell GC-SC 36/31 Li-Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier/Aerator
- Ryobi RY18SFX35A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 35cm Brushless Scarifier
Best Cordless Scarifiers Reviews
1. Greenworks Cordless Scarifier G40DT35 with 2.5 Ah Battery and Charger
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The Greenworks Cordless Scarifier G40DT35 with its 40V 2.5 Ah lithium-ion Battery and Charger, as its name says, comes with a 40V Lithium-ion battery and charger that works with all the 40V/2.5Ah power tools in the Greenworks cordless power tools range. If you already have some tools in this range and don’t need the battery, then you can buy just the scarifier instead. It’s the same tool even though the name’s different it’s just the bare tool without the battery or charger.
The 40V battery you receive (or not) has an LED battery charge indicator that lets you know when it’s time to recharge it which is a nice feature. Don’t worry if you’ve finished your scarifying session without using all the battery power, you can plug it into recharge anyway. It won’t bother the battery’s memory.
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For those who are not sure what I’m talking about, probably some of the younger readers. Older cordless tools use to suffer from what was known as the memory effect. This meant that that battery had to be fully used before recharging or it would not know when it was fully charged. However, with these new lithium-ion batteries, this is no longer a problem. In terms of running time, the 40V 2.5Ah battery will give you around 60 minutes of scarifying time.
Back to the features, this scarifier’s working width is 35cm which lets it dethatch small to medium lawns easily, especially working at a maximum speed of 3600rpm. The 20 spring-loaded stainless steel tines rake up everything in sight and collect all the dead organic matter, including the dreaded moss, in the (included) 20L collection bag although it does quickly fill up. From experience, this is the case for all models as moss doesn’t compact very easily like grass clipping in a lawn mower. However, it can scarifier anything 0.5cm above the ground down to 1.0cm below ground is fair game, it’s your choice of three depths to work at.
A quick note about adjusting the scarifying depth, I thoughtt this wasn’t possible at first as it doesn’t show it in the very basic and useless instructions, they only fit for the bin. However, in the centre of the front wheels, if you remove the knurled knob there is a screw you can loosen. You can then turn the knurled knob and choose between 3 height setting. I imagine most people who own this tool don’t even know this feature exists.
Finally, the handlebar is ergonomically padded for your comfort and for less strain on your body. It’s also height-adjustable which is a nice touch so you’re not crouching down to use this power tool and putting strain on your back.
- Cordless scarifier for small to medium lawns.
- A powerful Battery, 40V and 2.5Ah, is included (if you want) along with the necessary charger.
- Blades are 20 steel tines that are spring loaded and 1.0cm long.
- The working width is 35 cm and the working depth is adjustable between +0.5cm to -1.0cm.
- Handle is height adjustable and foldable for compact storage.
- Collection bag has a 20L capacity and is included in purchase.
- Guide bar is retractable.
- Very poor assembly instructions.
- Could be easier to change height, its easier on other models which use a simple lever system.
The Greenworks Cordless Scarifier G40DT35 with 2.5 Ah Battery and Charger offers you a choice of the scarifier with the battery if this is your first Greenworks power tool purchase, or without if you already have the battery from other Greenworks tools. The premium features, including the spring-loaded times and the collection bag, as well as the ergonomic design, add to the quality of this scarifier.
The Greenworks Cordless Scarifier G40DT35 with 2.5 Ah Battery and Charger is our choice for Best Pick of the scarifier in this Best of… review. It serves as a complement to the Greenworks 40V cordless string strimmer and the Greenworks 40V cordless lawn mower which we have also reviewed prevously if you want to collect the set.
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2. Einhell GC-SC 36/31 Li-Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier/Aerator
The Einhell GC-SC 36/31 Li-Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier/Aerator is a single function tool – the scarifier – that can be made multi-functional with the purchase of the optional aerator. This keeps your two essential spring and autumn lawn care tasks in one tool, which saves your time and money.
This Einhell scarifier is made of robust plastic that makes it lightweight and strong to any knocks, and easy to hose down and clean. It’s powered by two 18V Lithium-ion batteries which are interchangeable within the Power X-Change family of Einhell tools. If you already have other power tools in this range, you’re all set. But if this is your first PXC tool, you need to also buy a battery and charger separately which will significantly increase the cost but you then have the choice to choose the battery Ah rating you need. Just to give you an idea, the 2.5Ah battery will scarify around 130 square meters from a single charge while the larger 6 Ah battery will cover around 350 square meters and there a few other capacity batteries to choose from. Personally, I would recommend getting at least the 3 or 4 ah batteries as it gives you that extra scarifying time for not a lot more money invested.
And while you’re in a purchasing mood, consider getting the optional collection bag. Otherwise, you need to manually pick up all the moss and dead matter that the scarifier brings up from the grass. It will still need emptying regularly like all other models but its better than not collecting any and having to rake it up manually.
The working width of this scarifier is a respectable 31cm which covers its 300m2 range quite quickly. The 16 blades (eight double-sided) are made of steel and are adjustable to three depths like our best pick, though even the manufacturer’s website doesn’t specify your choices here. The range of depths usually includes above and below ground measurements.
The handle height is adjustable (again unspecified as to how) so you may find a setting for your particular height. The handle also folds down to make this unit compact for easy transport and to store it in a corner of your garden shed.
- Cordless scarifier that handles lawns up to 300m2 depending on the battery you choose.
- Takes two 18V Lithium-ion batteries, interchangeable with any battery in the Einhell PXC tool series.
- Has eight double-sided blades on a ball bearing cutting unit.
- Working width is 31cm.
- Three (unspecified) working depths and a transport position for the blade.
- Housing is made of high-impact-resistant plastic.
- Handle height is adjustable and folds down for compact storage.
- Wheels won’t leave deep marks on your lawn.
- The aerator roller and catch basket are optional attachments.
- Battery and charger are not included.
- Collection bag is not included.
Einhell power garden tools are of a high quality and the Einhell GC-SC 36/31 Li-Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier/Aerator gives you the option of owning one tool for two lawn care tasks as you can change the scarifier attachments. The robust plastic housing is lightweight and strong, and the cutting unit well supports the steel blades. Although there’s a lack of some important information such as the working depths, we trust the Einhell brand to supply what is needed as its pretty standard stuff.
Where this model perhaps differs from the Greenworks one, is the blades on this are steel blades which I actually prefer, especially if you want to penetrate deep into the lawn whereas our Best Pick uses steel wire tines, these are better for raker but perhaps not quite as effective as penetrating into the lawn roots to help with aeration a little. Don’t get me wrong, both are still well worth considering. The Greenworks model is maybe slightly more affordable when you take everything into consideration.
3. Ryobi RY18SFX35A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 35cm Brushless Scarifier
The Ryobi RY18SFX35A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 35cm Brushless Scarifier comes as a “bare tool” in their ONE+ series of power tools. This means that you have to either already have the two 18V Lithium-ion batteries that are interchangeable in all the tools in this series or you need to purchase them separately from the scarifier. And don’t forget the charger too. Overall this Ryobi model excels all other models in every way from reliability, quality and performance but the price reflects this.
The Ryobi RY18SFX35A-0 has enough power to scarify medium to large lawns thanks to the advanced brushless motor. Its 16 blades are made of stainless steel for strength and durability and are on a drum like our prevous picks.
The working width of this dethatcher is 35cm, which is comparable with the other models in our review and suitable for efficiently working on larger lawns. You have a choice of four working depths for the tines which is one more than our prevous picks, though even the manufacturer’s website doesn’t say what your choices are but they are the easiest to adjust with a simple lever similar to that on a lawn mower.
You can comfortably work in your usual stance as the handles are height adjustable and folds down for easy storage and transport which is a nice feature.
The unit you receive is just the scarifier. However, there’s an optional aerator attachment for purchase along with an optional collection bag.
- Cordless scarifier suitable for medium to large lawns.
- Powerful brushless motor for better reliability.
- 16 stainless steel times on a rotating drum for dethatching your lawn.
- Height adjustable handle plus folds down for storage.
- Working width is 35cm and has four working depths that are easy to adjust.
- Aerator attachment available as an option,
- No collection bag.
The Ryobi RY18SFX35A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 35cm Brushless Scarifie comes without the battery and charger, but fits seamlessly into the ONE+ series of Ryobi power tools which i know many of my readers will already have. This is good news if that’s your collection of garden equipment as you already have the batteries you need.
This is a great scarifier for those with larger lawns but be aware that it comes without a collection bag. Remember to purchase one if you don’t want to rake up all the moss and so on by hand. Where this model really excels is that it’s powered by a brushless motor which is much more superior to the standard brushed motors on the prevous two models. If you already have Ryobi tools with 18v batteries, this is the one I would seriously consider. If you looking for a machine you can use more often, perhaps on larger more demanding lawns this it probably pays to invest in this brushless motor model too.
Scarifiers are pretty basic tools. They’re just vertical rakes that rake up the layer of dead organic matter from your lawn, the stuff you see that’s at the base of the grass blades. This lets oxygen, water and other nutrients reach the grass to make it strong and healthy.
Power scarifiers have until recently been electric or petrol driven, but now some cordless (battery) models are appearing on the market which I think is fantastic, no wires to worry about or high maintenance petrol engines, best of both worlds. Our Buyer’s Guide explains what to look for in a cordless scarifier.
Cordless scarifiers run off Lithium-ion batteries, usually to a total of 36V to 40V and from 2Ah to 6Ah. The battery and charger may be included in your purchase. All the scarifiers in our review are part of their brand’s series of power tools that share batteries interchangeably, so you may not have to buy a scarifier with a battery. Your purchase decision may simply boil down to which tool range you’ve invested in already.
Body and wheels
A steel body is durable and rust-resistant, but quite heavier. Cordless scarifier bodies tend to be heavy-duty plastic that’s more lightweight and easy to clean, just hose them down. Look for large wheels that won’t tamp down the grass as you use the machine.
Some scarifiers have just the one function – to dethatch your lawn – while others can aerate it too (make holes in it to let water and nutrients reach down the grass roots). This function may be part of the scarifier unit, it may be through an attachment that’s included in your purchase or it may be through an optional extra part.
Working width and depth
The working width of the scarifier, usually around 30cm, is the width of the path you can dethatch at one time. The wider the width, the fewer passes you need to make across the lawn. The working depth is how far down you can go into the grass to pull the dead matter up. For the best scarifiers, you generally have a range of +0.5cm (that’s above ground) to -1.0cm (that’s below ground to get at any roots).
These are the metal spikes that do the raking. You’re usually told the number of them on the scarifier (8 double, 16 and 20) in this review and their length. Steel or stainless steel tines are best, and spring-loaded ones respond well to the ups and downs of the lawn.
Not all cordless scarifiers come with a collection bag, though you may be able to purchase one separately. Without a collection bag, the scarifier just deposits the raked bits on the top of the lawn until you manually remove them with a rake. I find that scarifying quickly fills a collection bag and sometimes it can be easier to just rake the lawn later to collect the moss.
Dethatching your lawn of moss, thatch, dead leaves and dead grass is a tiresome chore, especially if electric scarifiers don’t reach the area or petrol scarifiers are too heavy for you to use.
Cordless scarifiers are a relatively new product which is why there are so few in our review. But if you want to power scarify your lawn and need the mobility of a cordless tool, the ones in our review are all from brands well-renowned for their high-quality garden equipment.
Our Best Pick is the Greenworks Cordless Scarifier G40DT35. This model handles medium size lawns well, even if they’re not completely flat, and comes with a collection bag. You have the choice of buying just the scarifier or a package complete with the battery and charger (which work in other Greenworks power tools).
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Each of our other selections is our Runner-ups – Einhell GC-SC 36/31 Li-Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier/Aerator and the Ryobi RY18SFX35A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 35cm Brushless Scarifier.
If you already have power tools in the Einhell or Greenworks ranges, then the batteries from those work in these excellent alternatives.
To go along with scarifiers, you should know about the Best Lawn Aerators as well.
Last update on 2021-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API