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Top 7 Best Lawn Scarifiers For Removing Moss and Thatch From Your Lawn
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Lush lawns don’t appear like magic, they need some regular work to keep them aesthetically pleasing. Among the practices that are recommended to keep a lush lawn is scarifying. Scarifying is recommended as it gives the soil a chance to breathe by removing layers of moss and thatch. This aeration process allows the roots of the grass to breathe and get some nutrients.
If your lawn needs some work and you don’t want to pay for professional services, get yourself the best scarifier and attend to it yourself. It is not as hard as you think as long as you have some guidelines to work with. We have researched and compiled this review to help you select the best model for you. Find out what makes the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker best overall and what the other scarifiers have to offer. Shall we proceed?
Best Petrol Pick
Top 7 Lawn Scarifier Reviews
1. Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker Review
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 throughout 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 it’s 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.
- 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.
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 it’s 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.
2. Wolf Garten Roller Moss Remover Review
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 it’s 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.
It’s 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 may be overkill, this model is perfect and will get the job done
- 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,
- Not suitable for larger gardens.
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 it’s still a great choice.
3. AL-KO 38P Combi-care 2 in 1 Scarifier Review
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, it’s 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
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
4. Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator Review
Experience the Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator that works well on large lawns. The 2100cc lawn scarifier and aerator comes with a 4-stroke engine that powers the 19 hardened steel blades. The engine is powerful and consumes low fuel therefore it will not run your pockets dry in the long run.
It possesses a cutting width of 40cm which is wide to cover more lawn surface at a given time. That is why this model is perfect for aerating and scarifying all sizes of lawns from small to large. It has a steel deck that promises durability and wheels with a wide tread for easy manoeuvrability.
The Hyundai Lawn Scarifier & Aerator also comes with cutting height adjustment ranging from-15 to +15. Depending on how deep the damage is, you can adjust the blade’s cutting height using the knob provided. The moss and other cuttings collected are deposited in the 45litre collection bag. The sizeable collection bag is easy to attach and detach for easy emptying,
The machine comes with soft grip handles that provide comfort. You can use the machine for long periods of time without getting blisters. The handle is also foldable to allow for easy storage in the case you are tight for space. This model comes with a 3- year guarantee which only goes to assure you that the product is of quality.
If you have a large lawn and you need a powerful lawn scarifier this might be of good service to you. Armed with a powerful 4-stroke engine, this machine will remove all the moss that has been obstructing your lawn growth. It has 5 cutting height settings and therefore, you can go as deep or shallow as needed. It is comfortable to use and it is built to last thanks to its steel deck. Purchasing this scarifier assures you of the power and comfort to take care of your lawn.
5. AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier Review
The AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier is a premium quality 3-in-1 machine that clears moss and thatch from your lawn. The 1300 watt model easily scarifies, rakes and collects the cuttings from your lawn making lawn maintenance an easy job. It comes with two steel blade and tine attachments: one is intended for scarifying and the other one for raking. You can easily switch between two attachments without using tools saving you time if it is a busy day.
Other features in this electric scarifier include working height adjustment. Just by turning the knob you get to select one setting out of the five setting provided that would be perfect for the job. The model has a cutting width of 38cm which would take care of small to large-sized lawns easily. It has a 12metre power cable and therefore, you have enough room to move around.
Spend less time moving between the scarifier and the trash bin to empty the cuttings. This is made possible thanks to the large 55litre capacity collector. The collector is easy to remove for emptying and you can put it back with no problems. Avoid working with a full collector as it may cause the machine to strain performance-wise. The machine is backed by a 2- year warranty which will take care of your needs in case you have any concerns.
I like how the scarifier works in terms of performance. It has a powerful engine that allows two functions to be carried out without any anomalies. The model has a modest price range and it has all the features including working height adjustment. The wide cutting width allows the work to get done faster compared to a model with a small cutting width. The deck is made of durable plastic and therefore, it won’t get damaged easily. The AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier is a reliable model that proves it is worth its price.
6. VonHaus 2 in 1 – Scarifier & Aerator Review
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.
- 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.
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.
7. 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.
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.
- 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.
- Hard work to use, especially if the lawn is a little uneven.
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.
Lawn scarifying FAQ’s
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.
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 to 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.
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 a big difference.
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 long. 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.
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.
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.
There are many great models out there in the market but only the best models will serve you for decades to come. Both our best pick and our runner up models are durable and dependable. Note which features both these reliable models have and keep a mental note of them. Next time you are out shopping for a scarifier you will know exactly what to look for. In the meantime, get out there and whip your lawn back to shape and have fun while doing it.
Last update on 2020-02-22 at 14:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API