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Being a gardener by trade, I’ve had a chance to use many different models of scarifiers over the years both cordless, corded and petrol. Without a doubt, petrol scarifiers are what I would call a proper scarifier and if you have a decent-sized lawn, it’s probably the way to go.
However, when I moved into a new house a few years back with a smaller garden, around 8m x 8m roughly (64 square meters give or take a few), I didn’t really want a big heavy clunky machine in my garage, plus they can be hard work, so I opted for an electric model, this is where my journey with the Bosch 1100 AVR Vericutter started almost 3 years ago.
So Black Friday rolled around and I picked it up with about 30% off, I was happy with the price but was it worth the money and would I recommend it to others, especially at full price. Firstly, before I dive deep into what I like about it and its faults, yes it does have a few, I would say for small lawns, it probably one of the best, if not the best electric scarifier currently on the market and it does an amazing job at removing all that thatch and moss.
In comparison to most other similar electric models, think Flymo lawmaker, it’s more powerful than most with a powerful 1100w motor, it has a good-sized collect box at 50 litres and has provided me with 3 years of service as I write this review. If someone said, “should I buy one John”. I would say yes, I really do think its the best corded model currently available.
Where to buy one
However, read my full review below so you can decide if it’s for you. If you have a smaller lawn, I think you will find it is, or certainly should be considered. Remember this is my thoughts after 3 years, NOT 3 minutes. Don’t want to read this whole review, check out my video below, remember when it comes to making videos, its not my day job so turn the volume up, I’m still learning.
Watch my video review of the Bosch 1100 AVR Verticutter
- Easy to use and very low maintenance, simply clean off with a brush.
- Ready to use out of the box, simply attach the handles, 2 minutes (no tools needed) and it’s ready to use.
- Powerful 1100w Powerdrive motor that collects and compresses moss and thatch into the collection box.
- 14 carbon steel blades that penetrate deep into the grassroots to allow nutrients, water and oxygen into the soil.
- Compact design, only 40cm tall when stored with a collection box that separates into two prices and fold-down handle.
- Large 50-litre collect box and 4 easy to adjust working heights of -10mm for a deep scarify to +5mm for a light rake.
- 3-years warranty when you register online for full peace of mind.
About the Bosch 1100 AVR Vercutter
First thing to be aware of is that there are two models that look very similar, there is a smaller Bosch ALR 900 model which is more of a lawn rakers than a scarifier, its less powerful at 900w and has thin steel wire tines (I don’t recommend this model).
The one you want is the Bosch 1100 AVR Model, the one I recommend, it’s more powerful at 1100w and has propper steel tine blades, these blades penetrate into the lawn, into the roots and remove moss, thatch and other debris that has built up under the surface of the grass.
By removing this moss and thatch, gives the grass chance to grow and lets nutrients and oxygen reach the roots. I of course, also recommend using a lawn aerator, the smaller manual ones are what I would recommend, I previously discussed them in this review. This basically just makes lots of the holes into the lawn so water and nutrients can get into the roots, it also helps with drainage too.
1100w motor with Jet-Collect System for compressed moss collection
Back to the Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter, so as mentioned it’s powered by a powerful 1100w motor, however, with Bosch trying to improve the efficiency of there machines, it uses what Bosch call a ‘Jet-Collect System’. What this basically means is that it suck air in from the side to help blow the collected moss and thatch into the collection box. This system works amazingly well but a little more on this when I also compare the cons. Is not a big con but something I feel you should know.
When it comes to build quality, I have seen much worst but if I’m honest, it’s not what I call amazing. The collection box does quiet fit snug and could be better, the plastic seems a little flexible but it appears strong enough and has caused me no issues, it works, its not broke or cracked in over 3 years so that speaks for itself.
Two good things to note about the collection box is that is large, at 50 litres it holds a fair bit of moss and thatch and whatever else it scrapes from your lawn, I did about 4 passes, around 7 meters each on a fairly mossy lawn and it was full and ready to empty, probably says more about the condition of my lawn than the collection box size though, its a work in process, I have 2 kids running around so I will never have a perfect lawn.
Not bad really, many collections boxes, even on petrol models, are sometimes smaller. The collection box also had two brackets where it clips apart and it split into two halves, place them together and it makes it easier to store, great if you have a smaller shed as it is less bulky.
It also comes with a long 12-meter power cord, not bad, certainly acceptable. It’s just right for my 8 x 8 meter lawn but you can always use an extension lead if needed. It’s also red too, which reduced the chances of you going over it accidentally, a simple but useful feature.
Changing the scarifying depth
First off, as mentioned already, the steel tines are made from carbon steel so are very strong and there are 14 of them, a few extra points there compare to models with the steel wire tines which are nothing more than a lawn raker. In terms of width, it’s not bad at 32cm, not too small, not to side and it has 4 different height setting. This is where some people will say “John but many models have 5 height positions” and that’s correct but this has four that can scarifier to a depth of -10mm, that deep enough I think, from the pictures you can see it really gets in deep and removes the moss and that’s, you then have 3 extra heights from +5mm to -5mm.
Changing the scarifying depth is also super easy, just move the two handles next to the front wheels, the scarifier itself at just over 10kg makes it easy to lift up and down using the two handles. The only thing I would change in the design is to have just one handle. That being said, moving the two independently works just fine.
How well does it scarifier
So now for what you really need to know, how well does it scarify? Well, I think it does an amazing job and as mentioned, on my lawn after about 4 passes the box is full of moss. Now I like to go a little overboard and really get deep into the lawn. Without question, the lawn looks terrible after it’s been scarified but a few weeks later it always looks amazing and recovers well, I then do a treatment of lawn, weed and feed plus moss killer which I talk about in this guide too.
What I will mention is, sometimes after scarifying on the deepest setting at -10mm, I’m sometimes left with bits of moss on the lawn, I then usually set the height to the highest setting and go over the lawn one more time just to pick up the last bits of moss and thatch too.
What I don’t like
First off, everything I mention now has not affected the use of the machine in any way, it’s an amazing machine, let’s first get that out there, I do love this verticutter. However, there are a few niggles I want to mention.
Collection box doesn’t fit snug
First off, as already mentioned the collection box doesn’t quite fit right, it not a snug fit but I don’t think its a design fault, it’s just the way the collection box sits in place. However, I’m sure Bosch could do something to make it fit better. To be clear it not really an issue, I just find myself trying to push it down to fit more tightly. Most people probably won’t even notice.
Air intake is hard to clear moss from.
The only other issue I have is with the air intake. On the side of the Verticutter there are two covers over the air intake, one on each side of the machine. Now I have never been able to clear these vents properly. You would think that they would just clip off but they don’t. I did check the instructions and they say the clear from the outside. I assume with a small screwdriver to clear it out. Now, I will point out that it has never affected the performance, in fact, I don’t even clear them out, not until I did this review anyway and remember I have used this model every year for the past 3-years too on my own lawn, at least twice a year.
How it operates
So finally, it’s super simple to operate being electric and being lightweight at just over 10kg, it’s easy to push. Simply set your height as mentioned earlier, press the red button on the right side of the handle and pull back the small handle against the main handlebar and it kicks into life.
What I like is that you need to press the red button and pull the bar back at the same time to operate it. This is a safety feature that just makes sure that children or pets don’t accidentally start the machine.
- Motor: 1100w
- Drum system: 14 rotating carbon steel blades
- Working width: 32cm
- Working height & Number of heights: +5/0/-5/-10 mm (4 working heights)
- Collection box size: 50L
- Dimentions: 1260 x 475 x 940 mm
My final conclusion
When I first got this model I knew I just wanted an electric model but cordless alternatives were still expensive at the time and they still are now compared to what you can buy a Bosch Verticutter for now. I knew I didn’t want a petrol model because of the maintenance of a petrol engine and they are usually much bigger and heavier too but they do have their place, just not in a smaller domestic garden.
If you have a small lawn, mines around 8m x 8m or even a medium-sized sized lawn, then I highly recommend this model. If it gave up today, I would certainly be investing in another one. I have also been lucky enough to try other models so don’t forget to check out my best scarifier reviews guide here and if you think petrol is for you (you have a larger lawn or perhaps no plug socket, then check out my petrol scarifier review in this guide. However, for smaller lawns, I highly recommend considering the Bosch 1100 AVR Vericutter, it’s never let me know yet.
Where to buy one
Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API