Garden & Lawn

8 Best Lawn Scarifiers For Removing Moss and Thatch From Your Lawn

Last updated on March 26th, 2024

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As a professional gardener who has maintained lawns and gardens for over 20 years and worked at my family’s nursery, one job that has the most impact when maintaining a lawn is scarifying the lawn. It makes such a huge difference to the quality of the lawn, although it can look rough after scarifying for a few weeks. However, you will be rewarded with an amazing lush lawn in a few weeks time. This can be done twice a year in Spring and Autumn; however, you can usually get away with just doing it once, which is what I do in my own garden. I typically try to do it in autumn, but if it’s too wet or I don’t have time, I usually do it in spring.

Been using the Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator for a few years, and it's. amazing piece of kit
Been using the Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator for a few years, and it’s. amazing piece of kit

Using the best lawn scarifier removes the moss, thatch and other debris that builds up over time and helps aerate the soil. I also usually use a specialist lawn aerator after scarifying to remove cores from the lawn and improve the drainage further, which helps nutrients and water get to the grassroots. I follow up with a top dressing of new grass seed just to fill in those gaps and really help create a lush thick lawn. Don’t forget to keep the lawn watered until the seed germinates. I usually just use a lawn sprinkler and set it up on a water timer. Add a mower with a roller, and you will have the perfect lawn with nice stripes!

I always apply a moss killer a couple of weeks before scarifying
I always apply a moss killer a couple of weeks before scarifying

What I will quickly mention is that it’s best to use a moss killer for lawns a couple of weeks before scarifying, which I’ve discussed here. It’s easy enough to apply with a decent lawn spreader, garden sprayer, or watering can, which I usually do. I use Ferromel 20 Iron Sulphate Lawn Conditioner and Lawn Feed & Moss Killer, which contain 20% iron, killing the moss but greens up the lawn as it acts as a tonic.

Comparing the best electric and petrol scarifiers side by side
I have been testing both the Bosch AVR 1100 and the Hyundai 210cc petrol scarifier

With that important process out of the way, it’s time to determine which models are the best scarifiers. I have a lot of experience with petrol scarifiers as I use them professionally, but I have also used electric scarifiers for my own garden, mainly because of their convenience and compact design.

My Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker which has been used for many years
The Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker is the best pick for ease of use. No petrol engine to worry about, and very effective at removing moss and thatch

My favourite electric scarifier is probably my Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker. I’ve had it for at least 5 years now, and it does such a good job and has been very reliable. It has a nice working wide 33cm working and solid steel blades. It’s powered by a reliable 1100W electric motor with plenty of power, and it does an excellent job at really getting down into the lawn and removing the moss and thatch. It’s also really easy to raise or lower the adjustable tines between the maximum height of +5mm to lightly rake the lawn to the lowest depth of -10mm to heavily scarify and aerate below the level of the soil if you have alot of moss on your lawn.

Weibang WB384RB Lawn Scarifier which we use as part of out professional garden maintenance business
Weibang WB384RB Lawn Scarifier which we use as part of out professional garden maintenance business

Over the years, I’ve used several petrol scarifiers, including my Weibang WB384RB Lawn Scarifier, which I have used for years. Designed with industrial-strength features and to handle daily heavy use, the Weibang WB384RB Push Petrol Lawn Scarifier is perfect for professional gardeners and heavier domestic use if you have a larger lawn. For a professional, the wide cutting width and the reliable Briggs & Stratton 750 Series 163cc petrol engine will prove irreplaceable. The carbon steel blades are durable and the wide range of raking depths (-16mm to +20mm) lets you scarify far above and below the ground. Overall, it’s a reliable more heavy-duty model which is designed to meet the demanding jobs of professional grounds maintenance.

My Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator which has  been very reliable and never misses a beat
My Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator which has been very reliable and never misses a beat

However, more recently, my Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator has been my go-to. You can’t beat a decent petrol scarifier; yes, you have petrol to refill, oil to top up occasionally, and a little maintenance. However, you can beat the power of a decent petrol scarifier, especially for larger lawns. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been using my Hyundai 210cc Petrol Lawn Scarifie. It has a wide 40cm working width and comes with two interchangeable cassettes, one with thin raking tines and one with steel blades. For the price, it’s a fantastic piece of kit. It is reliable, starts the first time and is affordable; I paid half the price for my Hyundai than I did for the Weibang. Both are amazing machines, but the Hyundai has the edge regarding affordability.

Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier I've been testing
Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier I’ve been testing

Before I get into my detailed reviews and buyer’s guide further down, I want to mention cordless scarifiers that are relatively new and getting better all the time. If you have a small to medium-sized lawn, it could be a good alternative to an electric or even petrol scarifier, but without the power cord. A friend of mine has had the Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier for a couple of years, and it’s a great piece of kit. The downside is the actual run time from a single charge; it came with a 40v 2Ah battery, which lasts around 20 minutes from a full charge. Long enough for a small garden but not ideal for larger gardens unless you are okay with waiting 2-3 hours to recharge the battery, but I’ll talk more about this further down.

My top 8 scarifiers that I recommend after testing

  1. Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter LawnrakerBEST PICK AFTER 4 YEARS OF USE
  2. Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator – BEST PETROL PICK I HAVE BEEN TESTING
  3. Greenworks G40DT35 Cordless Scarifier – A great option for those looking to lose the power cord
  5. AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier
  6. AL-KO 38P Combi-Care 2-in-1 Petrol Scarifier
  7. Wolf Garten Roller Moss Remover
  8. VonHaus 2 in 1 – Scarifier & Aerator

Top 8 Best Lawn Scarifier Reviews

1. Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker


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My bet electric pick has to be this Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker

So for a corded scarifier or a Verticutter as Bosch call it, this really is a great piece of kit. In fact, this was one of the first domestic models I used. Before this, I had used professional heavy-duty petrol models as a professional gardener so this model has a lot to live up to.

So first things first, I have been personally using this model on my smaller lawn for over 5 years now and this is not the only scarifier I currently own. For example, I am also currently testing a Hyundai petrol model (which, by the way, I’ve been very impressed with) on several lawns, one of the perks of running a review site I suppose and sharing my experience.

The blades on the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter lawnraker that are very effective at removing moss and thatch

Back to this electric Bosch model, the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter is a scarifier and aerator in one but it only has one cassette as shown above with 14 carbon steel blades. This dual-purpose model has a powerful high-torque 1100 watt powerdrive bosch motor which drives the scarifying blades. 5 years in now and it’s still going strong so I think that says something about the quality.

Check out my video review of the Bosch AVR Verticutter

So, on a really mossy lawn like I have, I like to set the scarifier on the lowest setting or maybe slightly higher on setting 3. This removes a lot of moss and thatch and I mean a lot. On a small lawn, I can easily fill 3-4 green recycle bins.

I can’t stress this enough, your lawn, mine included, which you can see in some in the image below will leave your lawn bare in places but it will recover within a few weeks. After giving it a good scarify, I recommend using a good lawn moss killer with feed such as ferromel-20 which is ferrous sulphate, I have reviewed it here. A couple of weeks later, I always go over the lawn on the second height setting to give it another less aggressive once over.

Lawn after scarifying with the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker
Lawn staright after scarifying
My lawn 5-6 weeks after scarifying, starting to really fill in now
Lawn 4-6 weeks after scarifying starting to look really well, in a few more weeks those small gaps will have filled out

In terms of how well it collects, it comes with a 50 litre collection box, now this works great and it collects a lot of moss but it will fill up very quickly. On a lawn with more moss than grass, you will be emptying it every run. However, this is the same with all scarifiers as most don’t have a collection box bigger than 50 litres, even the bigger petrol models.

Personally, I still think it’s better to collect a not rake it afterwards as some people do as you risk spreading moss to other parts of the lawn that are perhaps not as badly affected.

Moss collected using the Verticutter Lawnraker in the collection box

I have also noticed that the drum also creates a powerful airflow which helps pack the collected moss and thatch into the collection box which increases the amount of moss and thatch that can be collected. Basically it collects really well.

Let’s move on to how you use this scarifier and its features, firstly it has a working width of 32cm which means you maximise the area you scarify with each run. The four adjustable height settings are easy to set and have a range of  +5mm to -10mm. You can easily adjust the working height by adjusting the twin levers (one of each front wheel) as shown below.

Easy to adjust the working height of the Verticutter Lawnraker using the two handles to left and lower the deck

The lowest setting (-10mm) is for aerating the soil as well as scarifying it, while the highest setting (+5mm) is for collecting debris off the top of the lawn and giving it a light rake, something you can make use of through summer. I usually find myself using the second setting and it gives good results.

Double handle on the Verticutter Lawnraker which needs to be pressed to use the scarifier

Finally, I find it’s quite a compact machine and can be stored on a shelf. The folding handles and two-piece collection box fold down so that the unit is only 40cm tall. I usually do this over winter when it’s not going to be used until spring.


  • Perfect for maintaining and scarifying small lawns where having a power cable is not an issue.
  • Has a powerful 1100W high-torque Powerdrive motor electric dual purpose unit.
  • Scarifies and aerates without having to change cassettes or rakes is a convenience most other dual function rakes don’t have.
  • Cylinder raking system which uses a cylinder with 14 blades (tines).
  • 32cm working width and four easily adjustable scarifying heights from -10mm to +5mm. (I usually use it on the second setting)
  • Lowest setting (-10mm) slices the soil to help aerate the soil, with the higher setting (+5mm) being ideal for collecting moss and layers of thatch from within the lawn.
  • Innovative Jet System collects well into the large 50-litre collection box.
  • Two-year warranty for extra peace of mind.


The Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker provides the dual functions of scarifying and aeration in one electric model, without having to change cassettes or rakes, plus is a big plus as changing cassettes can be awkward on most models.

I choose this model as my best pick, not because its the very best scarifier money can buy, it’s not, the Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator is better in every way, its more durable being mostly steel, it’s better for larger gardens but its much more expensive and heavy and not for everyone.

Bosch 1100 AVR Vericutter Scarifier Review after 3 years of testing. Full detailed review where I talk about build quality, performance & the pros and cons.

I choose this model as my best pick because I believe it’s the best scarifier for most people with an average sized garden and perfect for smaller lawns. It scarifies really well, collects well, has a good quality build, reliable and affordable. Thats why it’s my best pick. If you have a larger lawn or need a petrol scarifier and the freedom it gives you, then I recommend my next petrol pick below. For everyone else with smaller lawns looking for an affordable scarifier that does a decent job, this is well worth considering.

Check out my review of the Bosch AVR Verticutter after owning it for 4 years on this post

You can also read about lawn levelling rakes here which I recommend using to fill in dips on the lawn.

2. Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator

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Hyundai 52cc Petrol Scarifier - My best petrol scarifier

Now, this reminds me of the professional models I used to use but more affordable and a little more user friendly. I love this model and have used it on my own lawn, my dad’s two very large lawns and my brother’s which is also a very large lawn.

So what I like about this Hyundai 210cc Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator is that it’s not too big for smaller lawns like many other petrol models as it’s still a manageable size with a working worth of 40cm. However, it’s big and powerful enough to tackle larger lawns and not feel like it’s just too small for the job. This means it’s a really good choice for nearly everyone looking for a decent petrol scarifier which is why I recommend this as my Runner-up.

Hyundai 52cc 4-stroke engine that powers the scarifier blades

So first, let’s talk about the most important part, the engine, it’s powered by a Hyundai IC210 210cc 4kW Engine. I have found it to be very easy to start and it starts after 1 or 2 pulls every time.

Fuel and choke lever on engine
fuel on/off bottom lever, choke on for cold start, top lever

All you need to do for a cold start is turn the red switch to ON, give the primer bulb 5 or 6 pumps, slide the choke lever to on by sliding the lever to the left, pull the drive handle up and give the pull cord a good firm pull until you hear the engine tries to start but not.

Now slide the choke lever halfway to the right and pull the cord again and it will start straight up, let it run for a minute and then turn the choke off and it’s ready to use. Over the last 12 months of testing, I have always found it very easy to start.

Fuel tank that takes start unleaded petrol
Fuel tank that takes start unleaded petrol

Something else I like, because it’s a 4-stroke engine, its easier to maintain but fueling is also much easier as there is no petrol and oil to mix as you put it in separately.

Where you fill the oil into the engine and dip stick
Where you fill the oil into the engine and dip stick

I feel this also makes it much easier for anyone who is not familiar with petrol engines as you don’t need to worry about mixing the correct ratio of oil and petrol and risk damaging the engine. This is where most people usually go wrong and make a costly mistake.

40cm wide cutting blades on the Hyundai scarifier

As you can see in the picture above, it has 18 hardened steel blades that make light work of scarifying the lawn and with a 40cm working width, it does a great job at really getting into the lawn and removing moss and thatch without having to do too many runs up and down the lawn even on larger lawns.

Something else this model comes with I nearly overlooked is the second cassette with spring-loaded steel wire tines. This is good for maintaining the lawn over summer as you can rake the lawn to keep on top of moss and other debris to maintain your lawn. I don’t personally use this much but if you want to take your lawn care to the next level, this will come in useful.

Something that is often overlooked is the actual deck and they are usually the most venerable part. This model has a durable steel deck which is obviously better than plastic and the wheels have a wide tread which makes it very easy to manoeuvre but also doesn’t leave tread lines in the lawn like some models I have used in the past have.

Hyundai Lawn Scarifier & Aerator

So as you would expect, you can alter the working height of the blades between -15mm to +15mm. Depending on how deep you want to aerate and scarify, you can adjust the blades cutting height using the single blue dial on the front of the machine as shown in the image below.

Adjustment knob used to change the working height of the Hyundai petrol scarifier

Now this is not a lever like most models so you can actually make micro adjustable by tuning the dial only small increments at a time, this is great for fine tuning the working depth. Overall, I have found it to be a system that works really well.

So, I have found it to be a joy to use and it really is an excellent machine. It does remove large amounts of moss and thatch with ease and the difference in power between this and electric models stand out a mile. I feel that the extra weight of a petrol model and steel build make it more effective at removing moss as it helps push the blades into the ground better.

45 litre collection box on Hyundai petrol scarifier

So the downside is that the collection bag is only 45 litres so it fills up quickly, to be fair, this is the case with all scarifiers I have ever used. Just means more trips to the green garden bin.

Another option is to simply not use the collection bag and then simply collect it by hand by raking it into piles. Below are a few pictures of before and after I used the scarifier without the box.

Before scarifying the large lawn
Lawn after scarifying with the box and will need to be collected afterwards
After scarifying some of the lawn
Lawn after scarifying and collecting moss by hand after raking it into piles
Lawn after scarifying and collecting moss by hand after raking it into piles

So to start, you also have to pull back a secondary handle as shown below but another feature I like is that you can lift the cutting deck without turning the engine off. This means when you do a run and when you need to turn around to do the next run back, you can lift the deck using the handle as shown in the second picture below whilst you manoeuvre and then lower it again.

handle they need to be pulled to keep the engine running

It just makes it easier to use and ensures you don’t damage the lawn. It can also be used for transport mode when you need to move it along paths or whilst in storage to protect the blades and stop them from catching the floor.

Handle that lifts the deck up and down.

Finally, the main handle also folds down for easy and compact storage in case you’re tight for space.

Showing that the handles on the Hyundai scarifier fold down flat to make the machine more compact for storage

It’s worthing noticing that it also comes with a three-year warranty which only goes to assure you of the high quality of the product.

Lawn after scarifying with the Hyundai 52cc petrol scarifier
Lawn after a deep scarifying
My lawn 5-6 weeks after scarifying, starting to really fill in now
My lawn 5-6 weeks after scarifying, starting to really fill in now


  • A great model that is compact enough for small lawns but big and powerful enough for larger lawns. Perfect if you have a small front lawn and large back lawn for example.
  • Petrol lawn scarifier with an impressive 210cc motor with the power to handle large lawns.
  • Scarifier and aerator with a very impressive 40cm working width for very few passes across the lawn.
  • Roller has 19 hardened steel blades for clean raking and aerating so your lawn isn’t torn up.
  • Durable steel deck and wide tread wheels are also gentle on your grass.
  • Adjustable heights in a wide range of -15mm to +15mm get all the top thatch.
  • Sizeable 45-litre collection bag so fewer trips to the compost pile.
  • Ergonomic soft-grip handles so no blisters or callouses when looking after your lawn.
  • Three-year Hyundai guarantee backs up the high quality of this garden machine.


The Hyundai 210cc 400mm Petrol Lawn Scarifier & Aerator is a hard-working machine, particularly if you have a large lawn and need a powerful lawn scarifier and aerator.

My top rated petrol scarifier the Hyundai petrol scarifier

Overall, I found this model over the last 12 months to be a very impressive machine that is capable of removing large amounts of moss and thatch with ease. I think the extra weight of this model makes it more effective than electric or cordless models. If your looking for a quality petrol scarifier or just a decent model overall, this is well worth considering and I’ve been really impressed with it. Well worth considering and would highly recommend. It really is a great piece of kit that has been well designed.

3. Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier

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Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier I've been testing

When it comes to lawn scarifiers, if you don’t want to be restricted by power cords and would rather not have the hassle of maintaining a petrol scarifier, then a cordless scarifier is well worth considering.

Now, I’ll be straight up and say the limitation of cordless scarifiers is the running times. With the 2.5ah battery, which comes with this Greenworks Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier, you get around 20 minutes of scarifying time before needing to recharge the battery, so not long. This, of course, may not be ideal for some gardeners; however, for smaller and medium-sized gardens, it probably won’t be an issue, especially if you don’t mind waiting a few hours to recharge the battery or you invest a spare battery or even a larger 40v 5Ah battery which would give you 50-60 minutes of scarifying time. The downside is the extra cost; batteries are not cheap, well over £100 for the 5Ah Greenworks battery.

Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier gives 15 minutes of run time

I’ve briefly used the Greenworks G40DT35 Cordless Scarifier as a friend of mine ordered one. I was impressed! It comes with a 40V 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery and fast charger, which makes it a great option for those looking for the full. I’ve also looked at two other cordless models from Ryobi and Einhell, which I talked about here. Although they are reliable scarifiers, they don’t include the battery and charger, whereas Greenworks does. That said, if you already have other Ryobi or Einhell tools with compatible batteries, consider one of these two models instead. Personally, I use a petrol scarifier for professional jobs and electricity for my own small lawn at the moment, but these cordless scarifiers are getting better and better.

Like many cordless tools, the battery is designed with a practical LED indicator so you know how much battery is left, but the innovation doesn’t stop at battery technology.

Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier has 20 steel tines

It has a 35cm working width which is slightly wider than my Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker at 32cm, so it’s perfect for scarifying small to medium-sized lawns with ease at a 3600rpm. It had good power output for a small cordless scarifier. It features 20 durable, spring-loaded tines that are effective at removing thatch and moss. You don’t want to use it if the ground is too hard as it will snap the tines; if it’s very hard, give the lawn water the day before to soften it up a little. It’s also worth mentioning it does come with a spare set of tines.

Greenworks 40v Cordless G40DT35 Scarifier removing moss

So, the collection box is small at 20 litres and will fill very quickly, but I’ve found this to be an issue with all scarifiers, even petrel models with larger collection boxes. Either be prepared to empty it frequently or take the collection box off and rake after scarifying using a lawn rake; trust me, it’s a much quicker way of doing it!

Adjusting the height is much easier on the latest model as it uses a lever with three depth settings from -10cm for a close working depth to +5cm for a lighter rake. Finally, the handle is padded for comfort and adjustable in height to get the perfect posture during use.

My Recommendation

Overall, this Greenworks G40DT35 Cordless Scarifier, with its 2.5 Ah battery and 40v charger, is a reliable and user-friendly scarifier that’s well worth considering if you’re looking to go cordless. If you have a small lawn, this would be perfect, but for larger lawns, I’ve leaned more toward going for a petrol model. However, if you upgrade the battery, this could be ideal for more extensive lawns, too.

4. Weibang WB384RB Push Petrol Lawn Scarifier

Best For Professionals

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The Weibang WB384RB Push Petrol Lawn Scarifier is powered by a 163cc Briggs & Stratton 750 engine which makes it well worth considering for professional use.

This powerful petrol model is equipped with 22 sharp carbon steel blades that are double-tipped for effective scarifying. You can adjust the depths of the tines as needed from -16mm for a deeper scarify really get into the roots to +20mm for a light raking for surface moss and debris. This very wide range of depths lets you have full control over how aggressively you scarify your lawn at different times within the growing season.

All the raked thatch and other debris goes into a large 40-litre collection box which is easily detachable for emptying into your compost pile or bin. However, on large lawns you may not want to stop and do this and may choose to let the raked bits remain on the lawn and manually rake them up afterwards. The 38cm raking width is suitable for small or medium size lawns and won’t require too many passes.

The lawn scarifier weighs 46kg, making this model appropriate for heavy-duty work as the weight helps the tines penetrate into the lawn. On the other hand, the weight also makes the unit a little more difficult to lift. However, the durable wheels permit easy transportation from one location to the next which makes moving the unit around relatively easy. Additionally, this scarifier sports a transportation mode feature that raises the blades to prevent them from grazing the ground.


  • Features a strong Briggs & Stratton 163cc engine for optimal performance.
  • Sharp carbon steel blades are durable.
  • Wheels for easy transportation.
  • Wide range of cutting height adjustable settings for better control over the blades.
  • Wide cutting width for faster coverage.
  • Five-year warranty for domestic use and a One- year warranty for commercial use.


  • Quite heavy to move around.


The Weibang WB384RB Push Petrol Lawn Scarifier is powerful enough to handle heavy-duty work. The very reliable and robust engine is made for heavy use, and when combined with the swing design carbon steel blades, it produces neatly scarified results. With regular maintenance, this petrol lawn scarifier is suitable for long-term or professional use on small to medium size lawns.

This model is our pick for Best Professional Scarifier. If you regularly need to scarify lawns throughout the growing season, the Weibang WB384RB Push Petrol Lawn Scarifier provides the power, the wide range of scarifying depths and the strength for all your needs.

5. Wolf Garten Roller Moss Remover

Best Manual Scarifier

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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 Wolf Garten Moss Remover is the best quality manual scarifier that we found. It comes with a 10-year guarantee to back up this quality so you can use it without hesitation.

The first thing you need to know is that this scarifier does not come with a handle. You have to purchase that separately (or use one that you already have). This will add to the price of the scarifier but you can choose the correct length of handle to suit your height as well as choose between a lightweight aluminium handle or a traditional wooden handle.

Now on to how to use this scarifier. It looks like a regular rake but on wheels, so it’s very simple. When you push it forwards it uses a pendulum action to lift the teeth or tines off the lawn, and when you pull it towards you the pendulum action lowers the tines into the lawn and removes the moss and thatch from the lawn. This scarifier leaves all this debris in a small pile of moss and thatch for you collect later (just like a regular rake does).

Using this manual scarifier is fairly hard work as you’re digging the tines down into the bound-up thatch in the grass, and sometimes you may be digging down into the soil. For this reason, we suggest you only use this on small lawns, or slightly larger ones if you want to do some muscle work.


  • Manual scarifier with a 30cm raking width suits small lawns.   
  • Easily removes moss and thatch from the lawn.
  • Easy to use, just push and pull.
  • Ten-year guarantee for full peace of mind,


  • Takes some effort.
  • Not suitable for larger gardens.


The Wolf Garten Moss Remover is one of the best manual scarifiers 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. But you do have to provide the handle and the person-power to make it work.

This Wolf Garten Moss Remover is our choice for Best Manual Scarifier in our review. If you’ve just a small area of grass to make lush and vibrantly green, this could be the scarifier for you.

6. AL-KO 38P Combi-care 2 in 1 Scarifier

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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 dual-function scarifier and aerator, powered by a 53cc engine. It’s designed for medium and larger sized gardens if trailing around the cable of an electric model would not be suitable or you simply need a larger and more powerful model.

The AL-KO 38P has a working width of 37cm, that’s wider than the usual 30cm you usually find on domestic models. To switch between scarifying and aerating, you need to switch between two cassettes, which look like rollers.

One cassette has steel blades which are great for slicing into the soil, which helps aerate the soil and also removes moss and thatch that’s embedded deep into the lawn. The other cassette has steel wire tines (teeth) that are ideal for removing moss and thatch from above the soil as well as leaves and other garden debris.

The cassettes can be easily changed without tools for the job at hand. The Combe-Care 2 in 1 has 5 working heights so you can select the correct depth for each cassette function.


  • 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 and one with tines, which can be changed without tools.
  • Two-year warranty for extra peace of mind.


The AL-KO 38P Combe-Care 2 in 1 Scarifier is well-built and suited for domestic or professional work. Most petrol scarifiers are heavy and too cumbersome for domestic use, but at around 20kg, this model is not too heavy for regular home use. It’s small enough to store and manoeuvre at home. The two cassettes are easily changed without tools so there’s no worries there.

The AL-KO 38P Combe-Care 2 in 1 Scarifier is our choice for Best Petrol Scarifier for Home Use. It’s a good alternative to a domestic electric scarifier if you want something a little more powerful or your lawn is too large or too long to hook many extension cords together.

7. AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier

Buy from AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier, 1300 W, 38cm

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 the two attachments without using tools, saving you time for other garden chores.

Other features in this electric scarifier include working height adjustment. Just by turning the knob you select which of the five heights are perfect for the job. This model has a cutting width of 38cm which takes care of small to large-sized lawns easily. It has a 12 metre power cable, so you don’t need to think about extension cords for some distance.

The large 55 litre capacity collection bag lets you spend less time running from the lawn to the compost pile. The collection bag is easy to remove for emptying and you can put it back on with no problems. Avoid working with a full collector as it may cause the machine to strain, performance-wise. This machine is backed by a two-year warranty which takes care of your needs in case you have any concerns.


  • Electric model with 1300W of power in a lightweight unit for easy manoeuvrability.
  • Three functions – scarifies, aerates and collects – on two easily changed rollers.
  • Durable plastic shell is easy to clean, just hose down.
  • Collection bag is a significant 55L in volume for fewer trips to the compost bin.
  • Aerator roller has 24 steel tines for making channels down to the grass root system.
  • Working width is an impressive 38cm, wider than most domestic models.
  • Power cord is 12m long, so less need for extension cords.
  • Two-year manufacturer’s warranty should put your mind at rest.


The AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier is an affordable scarifier and aerator that also has a large collection bag (55L) that automatically picks up all the thatch and moss that you generate. The wide 38cm raking width gets the job done quickly, even on larger lawns. Switching between scarifying and aerating is easily done without tools.

The AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier is a lightweight, straightforward dual function electric scarifier and aerator. It’s also budget-friendly. For these reasons, we chose it as the Runner-up in our review.

8. VonHaus 2 in 1 – Scarifier & Aerator

Buy from

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 & Aerator, at 1500W, is the most powerful electric model we review. This model 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 to remove weeds and pull out deep embedded thatch and moss from the lawn. The blades penetrating the soil also aerate the soil, which lets in moisture and nutrients down as far as the grass roots system.

The raking roller removes moss, thatch and leaves from the lawn, but without penetrating the soil. This does a much lighter job when compared to the scarifier roller. This is ideal as you can use it throughout the season to keep your lawn nice and healthy for another summer.

Powered by the 1500 watt motor, the VonHaus 2 in 1 has plenty of power for both the scarifying and aerating tasks. With the working width of 32cm as well as a choice of four working heights, this unit is very flexible. Decide whether you want to go over the lawn aggressively for a deep scarify or lightly to keep on top of the moss and thatch through the season without causing too much damage to the lawn.


  • High powered 1500W ensures this unit never struggles to remove the deepest embedded thatch.  
  • Wide 32cm working width lets you cover the lawn quickly.
  • Working depths: 4mm to -4mm; -8mm to -12mm mm for the scarifier roller; 11mm to 3mm to -1mm to -5mm for the aerator roller.
  • Lightweight design at only 8.5kg making it easy to manoeuvre, carry and store.
  • Large 40-litre collection box.
  • Two-year warranty for extra peace of mind.


The VonHaus 2 in 1 – Scarifier &Aerator is the most powerful electric model we review, with a very impressive 1500W of power. The interchangeable rollers for scarifying and aerating are easy to switch, and each comes with its own adjustable range of heights suitable for its purpose. 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 is an excellent alternative to our Best Pick.

Buyer’s Guide

While scarifying your lawn sounds as if it’s a dangerous task, it’s really an easy but very important process for the health and the vibrancy of the grass. This Buyer’s Guide starts at the beginning and explains what scarifying is and why you need to do it. We explain what a scarifying tool is and what your choices are. We end you by giving advice on when and how to scarify a lawn properly.

If you have never scarified a lawn we recommend watching the video by Robbie from Premier Lawns

The problem

Your lawn just doesn’t look as good as you want it to. The problem is that your lawn isn’t receiving the oxygen, water and nutrients that it needs to grow strong and healthy and so look lush and vibrant. One of the problems is that there’s a layer of thatch – moss, grass clippings and other organic matter – that’s lying between the grass and the soil, stopping these essential elements from getting into the soil and down into the grass roots.


Thatch and moss removed from lawn with scarifier
Thatch and moss removed from lawn with scarifier

Scarifying is the process of removing this organic layer without harming either the grass or the soil and scarifiers are the garden tools that let you do this.

Please note that, often, scarifying isn’t enough to solve the problem. You need to use an aerator as well.

The scarifier

A scarifier is a manual or powered machine that has 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 assists water and nutrients to reach the roots of the lawn grass. Some scarifiers come with both a scarifying attachment with thick blades and a separate aerating attachment with steel spikes for raking the lawn.

scarifier blades close up
scarifier blades close up

Your choice of power is electric for convenience, petrol for more power, or manual, in which you provide the muscle power, ok for small lawns but you wouldn’t want to scarify a large lawn manually.

When to scarify your 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.

Lawn used scarified in autumn
Lawn used scarified in autumn

If you cannot do a heavy scarifying in autumn, (perhaps it’s too wet) 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.

Preparing the lawn

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

If moss in your lawn is a problem, you can apply a moss killer before scarifying. 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.

After scarifying

Once you have scarified your lawn and removed moss, you can apply moss killer 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 to kill any remaining moss you may have left behind or brought to the surface.

Best Moss killer For Lawns - Top 5 moss killers from top brands

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.

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.

Once your lawn has started to recover you can also consider aerating the lawn. See our guide on how to aerate a lawn and our review on the best aerators.

Lawn scarifying FAQs

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

A lawn rake usually has steel tines and only removes the top layer of organic matter 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 the layer of thatch that builds up under the grass.

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 set of spikes (often on a big roller) or removes lots of tiny cores from your lawn. This allows water and lawn feed to go into the holes and reach the grass roots. Aerating does not remove any moss or thatch which is a big difference.

See our top recommended lawn aerators here.

Should you scarify before or after cutting grass?

You should cut your grass as short as possible, perhaps in several sessions, before scarifying. This lets you get at the thatched layer more easily. Let your lawn dry out for a few days before you start the scarifying task.

Final Conclusion

Scarifying a lawn is one of the two essential steps, along with aeration, that you need to do several times a year, for the best lawn in the neighbourhood. Scarifying removes moss, thatch and other organic matter above and below the soil, giving water, oxygen and nutrients more of a chance to reach the roots of the grass for healthy growth. Whether you choose an electric scarifier, a powerful petrol one, or a manual model with DIY power, your investment in this tool will pay off in a lush, vibrant lawn.

Our Best Pick is the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter Lawnraker. This powerful scarifier also lets you aerate your lawn, so your grass receives the water, oxygen and lawn food that your so carefully give it over the growing season.

Our Runner-up is another electric scarifier that lets you rake your lawn above ground and scarify it below ground. The AL-KO Combi-Care 38 E Electric Scarifier has an extra-long electric cable to reach the edges of your garden.

For more power and for professional gardeners, choose our Professional Pick. The Weibang WB384RB Push Petrol Lawn Scarifier has industrial-strength features and a very wide height range that suits all styles of lawn and types of grass.

As we’ve highlighted all throughout this review, don’t stop with scarifying your lawn, continue with aerating it and using spring and autumn feed with moss killers. If your scarifier doesn’t have an aeration function, check out our review of the Best Aerators and our advice for aerating your lawn.

If you already have a scarifier and are looking for information on how to use it, we have an article that explains just that.

Last update on 2024-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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