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Best Dethatchers of 2020

Best Dethatcher Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
Sun Joe AJ801E

Sun Joe AJ801E Electric Scarifier and Lawn Dethatcher with Collection Bag

Best dethatcher for mid-sized lawns

Five depth control positions deliver lawn detaching and ground aeration tailored to your needs.

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1 Sun Joe AJ801E Review

If you have a mid-sized lawn that’s starting to look tired and unappealing, know that the Sun Joe AJ801E is the best dethatcher to help you get rid of that annoying thatch.

This push-behind tool features a powerful 12-amp electric motor and 12.6-inch swath – no doubt, the ideal tool for bringing life back into your troubled yard. Stainless steel tines can easily dig down into your lawn, remove thatch, and let light, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass.

Ideal for revitalizing mid-sized lawns, it also features a tailored raking depth with five-position controls. We also like the Scarified function, which lets you cut grassroots for thicker, healthier growth.

Designed to help you get the job done fast with a single pass, this machine from Sun Joe is undeniably the best electric dethatcher around.

Best value
GreenWorks 27022

GreenWorks 27022 14″ Corded Dethatcher/Scarifier

Best dethatcher for suburb lawns

A wider dethatching path makes it easier to finish your job faster.

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2 GreenWorks 27022 Review

The GreenWorks 27022 is not as powerful as our best-in-class, nor does it feature so many tine depth adjustments, but it has larger dethatching swath and is cheaper. Two important features that truly make it a winner.

Indeed, this lawn maintenance tool impresses with a 14-inch dethatching path that makes it perfect for small and mid-sized yards. Truly sharp stainless steel tines can pierce the ground easily, digging out all the thatch and letting in important nutrients, water, and light.

A robust 10-amp motor is big enough to deliver sufficient digging power – although it can overheat when dealing with tough ground.

Despite this slight downside, the machine is ergonomic and easy to handle. By far, the best dethatcher for the money.

Also great
Agri-Fab 45-0294

Agri-Fab 45-0294 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher

Best tow behind dethatcher for big lawns

Very wide dethatching swath and tow-behind design make it perfect for big yards.

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3 Agri-Fab 45-0294 Review

Tired of walking behind an electric or manual dethatcher? Looking for a solution to help you dethatch a big lawn in no time? Then the Agri-Fab 45-0294 might be the right one. This tow behind dethatcher pairs perfectly with a lawn tractor or riding mower, and is made for easy dethatching of hard-packed dirt from any size lawn.

Its greatest highlight is the 40-inch swath, as well as the digging power delivered by razor-sharp tines developed for easy thatch removal.

Sturdy wheels and frame make it suitable to use on all terrains. We also like its transport handle, which makes it easy to raise or lower the tines.

Made in the USA and perfect for homeowners and landscapers alike, this dethatcher also comes at an unbeatable price. Strong, long-lasting, and built for tough jobs, it’s one of the best options for fuss-free dethatching of large lawns.

Best budget
AMES 2915100

AMES 2915100 Adjustable Self-Cleaning Thatch Rake

Best thatch rake for small lawns

This all-purpose garden rake is an excellent choice for small yards or low budgets.

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4 AMES 2915100 Review

An easy way to get rid of thatch is to remove it as often as possible, without waiting for it to compact onto the ground. A manual dethatcher – aka an all-purpose dethatcher rake – is all you need to get the job done.

From the myriad of products, one that stands out is the AMES 2915100. This thatch rake impresses with a 15-inch self-clearing head equipped with 19 curved tines. It can clear dead grass clippings from your lawn in no-time, and also comes in handy for gathering leaves, weeds, or other vegetal material.

A long, hardwood handle with a 10-inch comfort grip makes the rake very easy to maneuver. Furthermore, the adjustable head adds the versatility you need to employ this tool for a wide range of jobs.

Easy to use and inexpensive, this is the best thatch rake for small lawns and undoubtedly, the best choice for homeowners on a budget.

What is a dethatcher?

A dethatcher is a landscaping device designed to remove thatch from lawns. Equipped with long tines, this machine can also be used to aerate the lawn or to prepare the garden soil before seeding vegetables.

What is lawn thatch?

Lawn thatch is dead vegetal material that accumulates at the base of the grass blades along with dirt and debris. Most of this material consists of grass clippings left behind after mowing, but also of dead leaves, dead grass blades, weeds, and so on.

When thatch gets thick, it becomes a sort of barrier between the ground and anything else, from water to light to compost or fertilizer.

As a result, your lawn will start to starve, and the grass will start to dry. Thatch also makes the grass more susceptible to diseases and parasites. That’s why it is essential to invest in a good lawn dethatcher and remove the layer regularly.

Are there various types of lawn dethatchers?

Yes. Depending on the size of your lawn, budget, and needs, you can choose from the following types of dethatchers:

  • Manual dethatcher: Essentially a thatch rake, it looks like a regular garden rake but has curved tines designed specifically to dig into the thatch and gather it.
  • Power dethatcher: Similar to an electric lawn mower, this type of dethatcher is powered by electricity through a cord or by batteries. Corded yard dethatchers deliver unlimited runtime and are ideal for lawns of all sizes, as long as you have an adequate extension cord or access to a wall outlet. Cordless dethatchers are more suitable for small to mid-sized yards due to their limited runtime.
  • Riding mower dethatcher: This dethatcher attachment can be mounted either on the front or back of a riding lawn mower or lawn tractor, for faster dethatching of bigger areas. Front mount dethatchers are usually used with zero turn mowers that can’t accept tow behind dethatcher attachments. On the other hand, pull behind dethatchers are more suitable to use with lawn tractors.

What is the difference between a scarifier vs. a dethatcher?

There is absolutely no difference between a scarifier and a dethatcher. Both terms are used interchangeably and refer to the same tools. However, the terms dethatching and scarifying refer to different lawn care procedures.

Dethatching majorly refers to the process of removing thatch from the ground. Scarifying is often intended as more in-depth lawn care that includes soil aerating.

How to use a dethatcher?

If you’ve never used a dethatcher before, there is nothing to worry about. Dethatching your lawn is not complicated. With a powered dethatcher:

  1. Remove any hard particles from the lawn, as they can easily become a hazard. A regular rake is perfect for the purpose.
  2. Set up the blade to the optimal height – the height at which the tines just touch the ground, without penetrating it. Some of the best dethatchers allow you to also set the spacing of the dethatcher tines. If you have this feature on the machine, go for the smaller possible spacing.
  3. Start up your lawn dethatcher and go over each area of the lawn, preferably two or more times. To ease up the process, use a dethatching pattern similar to your mowing pattern.
  4. Use a rake to dethatch the corners of your property or any harder to reach areas, then gather all debris in a collection bag.

Dethatching with a manual or tractor attachment is similar. Regardless of the dethatcher you use, know that you should never dethatch your lawn when the ground is too dry or too wet.

How and when to aerate the lawn?

We already mentioned that grass dethatchers could also be used as a scarifier. However, you should learn how and when to perform this operation.

Scarifying the lawn is very similar to dethatching, but you’ll have to set the scarifier’s tines at a lower height so that they can pierce the ground. Then, follow the same steps above. You’ll notice that thatch won’t be removed properly, but you’ll break through more compact ground.

Timing is essential if you don’t want to damage your lawn when scarifying. Indeed, you should only perform this operation when your grass is growing strongly, typically in late spring and early fall.

Important features to look for in yard dethatchers

Now that you know what dethatching is and what its benefits are, it’s time to find out how to choose the best dethatchers. Here are a few essential features to consider.

  • Type: Based on the size of your lawn, decide between a manual, electric, or pull-behind dethatcher. Manual rakes are the least expensive, but you’ll have to put in a lot of labor, especially if your lawn is big or if the thatch is really compact. Pull-behind and electric units are more expensive but undoubtedly easier and faster to use.
  • Tines: These are your machine’s fingers, designed to dig into the thatch, root it out from the base of the grass blades, and pull it up towards the surface for easier collection. They must be strong and durable. The best dethatchers often have stainless steel, rust-proof tines.
  • Collection bag: Not all dethatchers have this feature, and you might not need it if you really love to rake. Otherwise, if you don’t want to be faced out by a long day of dethatching, know that a collection bag makes it easier to gather the material and dispose of it in one easy step.
  • Ergonomics: Make sure the dethatcher is ergonomic and easier to use. Height adjustable handles are preferred on electric dethatchers, while the manual ones should come with long handles equipped with non-skid grip.

Best Dethatcher for the Money

Best value
GreenWorks 27022

GreenWorks 27022 14″ Corded Dethatcher/Scarifier

Best dethatcher for suburb lawns

A wider dethatching path makes it easier to finish your job faster.

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