Best Lawn Scarifier – Learn why the Bosch AVR 1100 Vericutter is probably your best choice

Best Lawn Scarifier – Learn why the Bosch AVR 1100 Vericutter is probably your best choice

Best Lawn Scarifier – Learn why the Bosch AVR 1100 Vericutter is probably your best choice

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Choosing the best lawn raker for removing moss & thatch

When it comes to keeping a lawn lush green and healthy, one job that cannot be overlooked is scarifying which should be done in Autumn and Spring to remove moss, thatch and also help aerate the soil. You can buy manual models which are surprisingly good although they take a lot of graft but we think the best lawn scarifiers are those powered by either electric which are very low maintenance, ideal for smaller and medium sized lawns. Next are the petrol  scarifiers which ere perfect for larger gardens or where no electric plug is available but they need regular engine maintenance which is far from ideal.

After hours of intensive research and some testing, we have put together our top recommended models, manual petrol and electric so you can make an informed decision about which model is right for you.

They vary in price from £50 for the good entry model for small gardens to over £300 for larger petrol powered machines but these are more suited for large gardens.

Despite the large price range, we have found that you can get a good electric scarifier from around £100 to £150.

Our favourite model which we awarded our 'Best Pick' award and have recently retested just recently again is the Bosch AVR 1100 Vericutter Lawnraker. We really like this model as its powered by electric making it a great choice for most people. It's low maintenance with no engine to maintain, simple to use, simply plug it in and set the depth, best of all, it really does lift and remove moss and thatch well, plus it collects it very well to. Below is a few pictures we took along with a brief overview before getting into the other models and reviews further down.

Best Pick

Our top rated scarifier - Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker

After much debate and comparing several lawn scarifiers, we decided to put the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker to the test again. Our conclusion, what a machine, you may be a little tied down by the power cord when compared to a petrol model but for small and medium size gardens this shouldn't be a problem. We tested this on a lawn which was heavily infested with moss that was approximately 10 meters by 10 meters and the cord was just about long enough with the help of an extension lead to reach the lawn from the garage. Below is a quick summary of what we liked and a few specifications that make all the difference.

Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker with moss after testing
  • As soon as you engage the handle you feel the immense power, much more powerful than we expected for an electric model, this is mostly thanks to the powerful 1100w high-torque ‘Powerdrive’ motor.
  • This does really get down and remove any moss and thatch with ease, almost to a point of bare soil if you set it too low. Start at the highest setting and low as needed. At its highest setting it will easily pick up leaves too. It uses a cylinder raking system with 14 blades and they do a great job at collecting moss and thatch.The collection box could probably be a little sturdier but it does the job, surprisingly it really does compact a lot of moss in the collect box well as pictured above.
  • Has a wide 32cm scarifying wide with 4 raking heights ranging from +5 mm for collect leaves and light raking to -10 mm to really get down into the soil and remove the thatch and aerate the soil.
  • 3 years warranty for full peace of mind, all you do is register online.

Top Scarifiers Comparison Table

Model

Spec

Working width

Height range

Weight

Warranty

Our rating

Price

BEST PICK

Bosch AVR 1100 Verti Cutter Lawn Raker

1100 watt

32cm

-10 to + 5mm

(4 cutting heights)

9.9kg

2 years

PETROL PICK

AL-KO 38P Combi-Care 2-in-1 Petrol Lawnrake/ Scarifier

53cc Engine

37cm

5 cutting heights

20kg

3 years

Runner-up

Bosch ALR Electric Lawn Raker, 900 W

900 watt

32cm

-5 to + 10mm

(4 cutting heights)

9.4kg

2 years

Manual Pick

Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3 Roller Moss Remover

Manual

30cm

N/A

1.7kg

10 years

Budget Pick

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.

1500 watt

32cm

4 to -4 to -8 to -12 mm

(4 cutting heights)

8.5kg

2 years

BLACK+DECKER 600W 30cm Lawn Raker

600 watt

30cm

2, 3 & 8mm

9kg

2 years

Darlac Lawn Scarifier

Manual

30cm

N/A

1.9kg

1 year


Scarifying guide 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 the 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.

Best Petrol Pick

Finally if your after a petrol model then the  'AL-KO 38P' was an excellent machine and is worth considering if you have a larger garden where a petrol model makes more sense.

Best Petrol Scarifier for larger gardens

Finally if your after a petrol model then the  'AL-KO 38P' was an excellent machine and is worth considering if you have a larger garden where a petrol model makes more sense.

Spring scarifying

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.

Autumn scarifying

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.

Best Manual Pick

Easy to use, when pushed the blades hover over the lawn and when pulled they sink into the lawn removing moss and thatch.
  • Easily removes moss and thatch from the lawn.
  • Easy to use, when pushed the blades hover over the lawn and when pulled they sink into the lawn removing moss and thatch.
  • 10 year guarantee for full peace of mind,

What if you cannot scarify in Autumn because of bad weather

f you cannot scarify your lawn in Autumn, maybe bad weather prevented it o another reason, then a heavy scarifying 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 an 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.

Best Budget Pick

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.
  • Removes thatch, moss, leaves and other debris from your lawn.
  • 2 in 1 Scarifier & Aerator, with easy, interchangeable rollers.
  • 32mm working width with 4 adjustable heights.
  • Powerful 1500 watt motor (no model has a more powerful motor).
  • Large 40-litre collection box.
  • Free 2 Year Warranty for full peace of mind.

Top 8 Lawn Scarifier Reviews


Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker Review

OUR BEST PICK

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 powerful 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 moss and thatch.

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 airflow 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 scarify 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 through out the season.

To change the height setting, simply use the twin levers, to set it to the correct height depending on 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 to 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 piece collect box, means it can be folded down so that its only 40cm tall.

Pros

  • 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 the 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. 
Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker front view

Final Conclusion

This model is the more expensive one out of the two scarifiers Bosch manufacturer, both are very good models, but this model has the advantage of having a more powerful motor, 1100  watt motor, compared to 900w for the cheaper model but we think it makes all the difference and its worth paying extra for. 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 moss and thatch from the surface.

The winner of our 'Best Pick', this is our top recommended model due to its great performance, quality build and features. 

It 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 but this is a great opportunity to reseeding and is great for aerating but not ideal if you just want to lightly scarify to remove the moss and thatch in early spring. If you want to do a heavy scarifying we recommend doing this in early autumn as it will leave your lawn looking bare but it will recover stronger than ever.

Overall this Bosch Vericutter Lawnraker is one of the best models available without the hassle of removing cassettes to change from scarifying to aerating which you have to do with most other half decent models such as the one we also review by Vonhaus. It's probably the best electric scarifier currently available and if we had to recommend just one model, this would have to be it. If budget is not a factor and you're looking for an electric model, this is well worth considering and don't forget it also includes 3 years warranty too.

Compare the best prices from available retailers


Wolf Garten Roller Moss Remover Review

The Wolf Garten Moss Remover is probably one of the best, if not the best manual scarifier on the market. The quality is simply unmatched and the performance outstanding, it really does remove moss and thatch easily and the 10-year guarantee is really the cherry on top.

We've looked at 6 different manual scarifiers and found two that were brilliant and worth considering, however, the 'Wolf Garten Moss Remover' was by far the best in terms of build quality and you can see its clearly built to last. It also comes with a 10-year guarantee for full peace of mind so first impressions, very good.

The first thing you need to know is that this scarifier does not come with a handle, this means you have to purchase the handle separately. The handles alone range from £12 to around £25 depending on which one you choose. The advantage of this is you can choose the correct length to suit your height as well as choose between a lightweight aluminium handle or a traditional wooden handle.

Now on to, how to use it. Its very simple, when you push it forwards it used a pendulum action to lift the teeth or tines off the lawn and when you pull it towards you the pendulum action moves the tines into the lawn and removes the moss and thatch from the lawn and leaves it in a small pile of moss and thatch to collect.

So its super easy to use and will easily last many years proving a moss-free lawn, if you already have any of the Wolf Garten tools, you can use your current handle. If you purchase any of the other Wolf Garten Tools you can use the handle with these tools as well, there are around 50 different tools to choose from such as rakes. This in the long run, will save you some money.

Its fairly hard work to use as you would probably expect, we would only advise using it for small lawns, maybe medium sized lawns if your feeling adventurous and have plenty of energy and feel like a workout. For most people, you would be better with a motorised version for larger lawns but for small lawns where a motorised version maybe overkill, this model is perfect and will get the job done

Pros

  • Easily removes moss and thatch from the lawn.
  • Easy to use, when pushed the blades hover over the lawn and when pulled they sink into the lawn removing moss and thatch.
  • 10 year guarantee for full peace of mind,

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger gardens.

Final Conclusion

The Wolf Garten Moss Remover is probably one of the best, if not the best manual scarifier on the market. The quality is simply unmatched and the performance outstanding, it really does remove moss and thatch easily and the 10-year guarantee is really the cherry on top.

The only downside is that you have to purchase the handle separately and you would not really want to use it on larger lawns are it can be quiet tiring to use as you would expect.

Overall it has a good 30cm width so you can cover a good with of lawn from each pull and is your after a manual scarifier this is probably the best choice, we think it's worth paying the extra and buying a tool you know you will have for many years. However, If you would prefer something more affordable then the Darlac Lawn Scarifier reviewed below, is a good alternative but the quality is not quite on par but its still a great choice.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


AL-KO 38P Combi-care 2 in 1 Scarifier Review

Powerful Petrol Scarifier With 5 Working Depths, Perfect For Larger Lawns

I looked at a few petrol scarifiers and being in the trade myself for many years, I've 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 somewhat, not suitable for everyone, especially domestic use, mostly because of the weight and size and transport can sometimes be an issue.

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.
  • An 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

Final Conclusion

I looked at a few petrol scarifiers and being in the trade myself for many years, I've 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 somewhat, not suitable for everyone, especially domestic use, mostly because of the weight and size and transport can sometimes be an issue.

That being said I do really 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, it's not too heavy, especially when compared to other petrol models and its small enough to store and manoeuvre.

A greats choice for homeowners with medium and larger sized gardens where an electric scarifier would not be suitable, if you're after a petrol model then we would recommend you take this model into consideration before buying one

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


VonHaus 2 in 1 - Scarifier & Aerater Review

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 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 leaves 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 throughout the season to keep your lawn nice and healthy another 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 makes 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.

Pros

  • 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.
  • Lightweight design at only 8.5kg making it easy to manoeuvre, carry and store.
  • Large 40-litre collection box.
  • 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind.

Final Conclusion

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 opposed to models that only have the raking roller which usually cannot penetrate deep into the soil as well as models with knives.

VonHaus manufacture some really good gardening equipment and this scarifier are 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.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Black + Decker GD300 Lawnraker Review

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.

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 healthy.

Powered by a 600-watt motor, it has 30cm working width and 3 adjustable height setting which can be easily 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.

Pros

  • 30cm working width and 3 adjustable scarifying heights which can be easily altered. 
  • 600W motor
  • Lightweight design at only 9kg, making it easy to manoeuvre and store.
  • 30-litre collection bag.
  • 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind.
  • Excellent value for money.

Final Conclusion

If you're after quality, but affordable simple lawnraker for removing thatch, moss as well as fallen leaves in the fall, then this could be what you're 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 it's a good lawnraker, but if you're looking to do a more 'thorough scarifying', then you may want to spend a little more and invest in a slightly better model. However, if you're 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.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Darlac Lawn Scarifier Review

The Darlac Scarifier is a cheaper alternative to the Wolf Garten model we have just reviewed and overall it's a great tool and does what its suppose to.

The Darlac Scarifier is a cheaper alternative to the Wolf Garten model we have just reviewed and overall it's a great tool and does what its suppose to.

It does not have the pendulum action like the Garten Scarifier so it can be used being pushed forwards or pull towards yourself. This makes it slightly more hard work to use but it does effectively remove moss, thatch or any leaves embedded into the lawn. In reality, it probably does the job just as well.

The build quality is not perfect and it will probably on last a few years which is our only worry. On the other hand, it comes with a telescopic handle so it can be set to a height to suit the user which is a good feature.

Pros

  • Easily removes moss and thatch from the lawn.
  • Push or pull to remove moss and thatch
  • Telescopic handle to adjust the height to suit you.

Cons

  • Hard work to use, especially if the lawn is a little uneven.

Final Conclusion

The Darlac Scarifier is a great tool and one that is very affordable, the only real downside is that it takes a lot of effort to use due to nature if it, however, it still but better than trying to scarify with a rake.

Overall it's a great tool but the quality could be better, still, it should last a few years and does the job.

If we have to recommend just one model, it would have to be the Garten but for those looking for a more affordable option, this is probably your best alternative.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below

Understanding the features and specifications

  • 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.
  • The 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 manufacturer 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, especially 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. 

Lawn scarifying FAQ’s

What is the best lawn scarifier?

After much consideration and testing, we believe that the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker is probably the best lawn scarifier for most people with smaller and medium-sized gardens. It’s extremely easy to use and collects the removed moss exceptional well, this combined with the multiple depth setting and quality build, it really is an excellent lawn scarifier for home use. The only real downside is the power cable, we have an average-sized garden and it just about reaches from one end to the other.

When should I scarify my lawn?

Scarifying should be done in either in autumn or spring, we recommend doing any heavy scarifying in early autumn as this will leave your lawn rather thin and may even leave bare patches of soil. This will give you a chance to reseed any bare batches while the ground is still warm and there will be fewer weed seeds to worry about. If you cannot do a heavy scarifying in autumn, its to wet for example and your lawn is particularly mossy you can do a heavy scarifying in spring around early April. Ideally, you want to do a light scarifying in spring around April just to remove any moss that had built up over winter. It is also beneficial to apply a lawn feed after scarifying to help it recover faster, it's worth noting you get autumn lawn feed and spring lawn feed so you need to purchase the right one depending on what time of year you scarify.

Read our detailed guide on how to scarify a lawn here

What is the difference between a lawn rake and a scarifier?

A lawn rake usually has steel tines and only removes the top layer without damaging the lawn. As moss grows on the surface it usually just removes the moss and leaves from the surface. 

A scarifier has tough steel tines that can penetrate into the ground, this removes both the moss from the surface and layer of thatch that has build up under the grass. This also helps aerate the soil and let water and essential nutrients get to the grassroots which enables the lawn to grow thicker and much better. Some scarifiers some with both a scarifying attachment with thick blades and a separate rake style attachment with steel wire rake tines for raking the lawn.

Are lawn scarifiers any good?

If you want a quality healthy lawn then working a yearly scarifying routine into your schedule at least once a year is essential to remove any moss and thatch build-up, which would otherwise stop essential nutrients getting down into the lawn. It's also easier to remove a little moss yearly than to leave it a few years and realise your lawn has been overrun with moss and is really spongy.

Is a scarifier the same as an aerator?

A scarifier is not the same as an aerator, a scarifier removes thatch and moss from within the lawn. An aerator either punches lots of holes into your lawn with a spike often on a big roller or remove lots of tiny cores from your lawn. This allows water and lawn feed to go into the holes and reach the roots. Aerating does not remove any moss or thatch which is big difference.

See our top recommended lawn aerators here

Should you scarify before or after cutting grass?

Before scarifying you should bring your lawn down to as short as possible, doing this in a couple of stages if your grass is lawn. You want to leave your lawn a few days after mowing so it can dry out before scarifying.

How many times can you scarify a lawn?

You should only scarify your lawn twice a year at the most and at least once a year for the best lawn, scarify heavily in autumn if needed and again in spring but only a lightly scarify. If you cannot do a heavy scarify in autumn this can also be done in spring around April.

When should I put moss killer on my lawn?

Moss killer which contains sulphate or iron is best applied in autumn or spring. After a couple of weeks, the moss should turn black and you can use a powered lawn raker or spring-tine rake to remove the moss. You can also apply a moss killer before scarifying.

See our top rated moss killer for putting on lawn in this article

What Exactly Is A Scarifier and what does it do?

A scarifier is a manual or powered machine that used strong steel blades known as tines to remove moss and thatch from a lawn by penetrating into the surface of the lawn and pulling up the moss and thatch. This then allows water and nutrients to reach the roots of the lawn grass.

Does A Scarifier Make A Difference?

Using a scarifier on your lawn at least once a year with making a big difference to the quality of your lawn as all the essential nutrients and water will be able to reach the roots which ensure a greener, healthier lawn. Moss and thatch both stop the lawn from receiving nutrients and often leads to a wet spongy lawn is not controlled.

What to do after scarifying

Once you have scarified your lawn and removed moss you can apply moss kill and lawn feed to help your lawn recover faster. We recommend adding a ferrous sulphate moss killer if moss was a big problem on your lawn, this will help kill any remaining moss you may have left behind or brought to the surface.

If you have any bare batches this is also a good time to reseed these bare patches but this is best done in autumn as there will be fewer weeds to germinate in the bare soil. We also recommend giving the lawn a weed and feed which can usually be applied with a spreader, if you scarifier in autumn be sure you use an autumn weed and feed as the mixture is different than spring and summer weed and feed.

Once your lawn has started to recover you can also consider aerating the lawn, see our guide on how to aerate a lawn by clicking here

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.

Best Pick

Our top rated scarifier - Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker
  • As soon as you engage the handle you feel the immense power, much more powerful than we expected for an electric model, this is mostly thanks to the powerful 1100w high-torque ‘Powerdrive’ motor.
  • This does really get down and remove any moss and thatch with ease, almost to a point of bare soil if you set it too low. Start at the highest setting and low as needed. At its highest setting it will easily pick up leaves too. It uses a cylinder raking system with 14 blades and they do a great job at collecting moss and thatch.The collection box could probably be a little sturdier but it does the job, surprisingly it really does compact a lot of moss in the collect box well as pictured above.
  • Has a wide 32cm scarifying wide with 4 raking heights ranging from +5 mm for collect leaves and light raking to -10 mm to really get down into the soil and remove the thatch and aerate the soil.
  • 3 years warranty for full peace of mind, all you do is register online.

Manual Pick

Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3 Roller Moss Remover

Easier to store thanks to the telescopic feature

  • Easily removes moss and thatch from the lawn.
  • Easy to use, when pushed the blades hover over the lawn and when pulled they sink into the lawn removing moss and thatch.
  • Telescopic handle to adjust the height to suit you.
  • 10 year guarantee for full peace of mind,

Petrol Pick

AL-KO 38P Combi-Care 2-in-1 Petrol Lawnrake/ Scarifier

Perfect for larger gardens

Finally if your after a petrol model then the  'AL-KO 38P' was an excellent machine and is worth considering if you have a larger garden where a petrol model makes more sense.

Most Affordable Pick

BLACK+DECKER 600W 30cm Lawn Raker

Budget friendly pick

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'


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