The 7 Best Lawn Scarifiers & Rakers To Get Rid Of Moss, Weeds & Cuttings

December, 2023
Darren Spalding

What is the best way to explain what a scarifier is? Follow along as we learn all you need to know so you can make an informed decision about the best scarifiers and lawn rakers. Firstly, let’s discuss what it is and how to make the most out of your scarifier. 

It's a tool that pulls the dead grass, known as thatch, out of your lawn and moss. This allows for the push through of fresh new green grass.

They look very much like four wheel lawn mowers that also feature a handlebar and a collection box.

The grass is often aerated by scarifiers as the blades dig through the dirt. That allows for the penetration of air and water.

Lawn-rakers take out the thatch but usually don't hack it into the dirt, so you can get a tool that adjusts the height of the blade.

It may seem like a hassle and expense, but scarifying your garden means that it will last longer and look smart year-round.

The market is full of scarifiers. Some are top class, while others are rickety in the soil and barely make a scuff.

To help you choose we selected the best seven lawn scarifier options on the market right now. We compared these by capacity, feature and capability.

Knowing which one to choose would depend on the state in which your lawn is.

Those of you who took the necessary care of your lawn may get away with a lower cost machine that isn't digging so deeply into your budget, but if you have a very chaffy lawn then a more powerful engine with a deep working depth is in order.

What really matters with lawn scarifiers would be the following:


Cutting Width

The more significant the cutting width, the less time is involved in scarifying your lawn. Some people see it as therapy in that they love getting rid of the thatch. Others, who want the job done are more in favour of wider width and depth. Unfortunately, it means a heavier machine. It is a case of you cannot have your cake and eat it. If you benefit, on the one hand, you will surely have an issue with the other hand.


Proper Work Depth

The right work depth is imperative if you want to be successful with a lawn scarifier. To remove thatch and dead moss doesn’t require such a deep action. You need enough depth though to yank out the thatch. Deeper teeth do a good job of thoroughly aerating your lawn as you will prick enough holes to allow sufficient levels of oxygen and rain in. 


What Role Does Ergonomics Play?

Scarifiers need to be manhandled around edges and have a tendency to jump around a lot. You can make things easy on yourself by picking one that will match your height. In this regard, you would do well to opt for one that features an adjustable handlebar. Ergonomic handles are all the rage and an essential for most gardeners. That is unless you happen to have an iron grip second to none. However, in most instances, this is not the case and the reason why we would likely settle for the former. 


Power Source

The most popular scarifiers turn out to be the electric ones. The reason for this is they boast plenty of power and are lightweight. It is the type of scarifiers that are best suited to small or medium-sized lawns. One can easily haul the thatch and moss without too much effort involved. 

Another huge benefit to using electric scarifying machines is that they are quieter as opposed to petrol operated ones. At least, you won’t be choking on fumes. These are particularly useful for individuals who scarify only once or twice per year.

This brings us to discussing petrol scarifiers that are great when dealing with large lawns and taking care of lots of weed in the process. In such cases, it is not unusual to come across areas with pure moss and weed that an electric model will find challenging to cope with. As petrol models are noisy, it is advised that users invest in good quality ear muffs. Also, you can expect to deal with maintenance issues regularly. 

For really small yards, a mere hand scarifier will be just fine. They are easy to store and can be accompanied by a simple rake and a pair of aerating shoes to aerate the lawn while you are at it. 


Would You Say a Scarifier is Worth It?

So, we are covering scarifiers here. While we've done our best to explain what scarifiers are used for and what you need to think about, you may still be somewhat confused about scarifiers vs that of a lawn-raker set-up – just understand that scarifiers are usually heavier duty and reach even more into the soil. They are very useful at best and worthy investment by far. 

It's very enticing to just abandon your lawn, I mean who's got time to mess around when there are BBQs and dozing to do in the fine weather, but try to make an effort because your daisy-strewn lawn will inevitably change colour, become soggy and look terrible since dead thatch destroys the grass.

Good luck, go simple with the device and for years to come, you will enjoy a safe lawn. Scarifying is absolutely worth the effort?


Does it Make a Difference to use a Scarifier?

They can make a difference but depending on how you want your lawn to look, you may just need one. For now, if you like springy grass, daisies and little to no mowing, having a scarifier is probably a good idea!

If you never go to the trouble to scarify your lawn then the surface can get clogged with grass clippings, moss and dead plant matter. This ensures that rain and light can not get through, the grass will not get enough nutrients and will ultimately die off.

If your lawn grows big brown patches, it's probably time to scarify, because water doesn't get through to hydrate your new shoots – it's a dark place where midges will lay their eggs. That would be awful, right, and the last thing you’ll need.


What You Can All Do with Your Lawn Scarifier

While the grass is held at a safe height by your lawnmower, it does not kill dead grass and moss. The teeth of your scarifier will drag the dead stuff out so that the grass can breathe.

The blades or tines spin rapidly, cutting out the dead plants at a depth of a few mm to the soil. It then throws it all into a box attached to the unit for storage.

It is surprising how easily your scarifier's storage unit fills up, the amount of dead thatch and moss still shocks us. Even though it appears clean and green there are still dead things lingering.


How Do You Use Your Lawn Scarifier?

You will scarify once or twice a year for the best performance, and the greenest lawn. When the grass grows vigorously in the spring to start the season off correctly, and again during autumn to eliminate the year's waste – but only if you need to do so.

You need to destroy every bit of moss before you start. This stops the spores spreading and taking over the ground. Using a moss killer of good quality and wait until it's gone darker.

Choose a dry day so that the lawn does not at all turn into a pile of mud and ensure you've mowed the grass a few days in advance.

Pick the best setting on a scarifier and just drive it around like you're mowing the lawn. Selecting the highest setting prevents the engine from burning out, and emptying the storage box keeps the engine cool.

Using a lower setting for the second pass, and so on. You will get better coverage if you do the second pass at a right angle.

Wear personal protective equipment as scarifiers chuck debris into the air like rocks, small pegs and all of last year's BBQ waste that's still waiting to float out under the chaff.

Do your level best to wear sturdy shoes and protective glasses. Consider gloves to prevent slippage, and when making use of a petrol scarifier, be sure to wear ear guards or noise-cancelling headphones. 

Let’s delve into what we would consider the 7 best scarifiers to deal with weeds and moss in your garden.


No 7 - VonHaus Lawn Rake - 1300W Garden Rake with 4 Depth Settings

VonHaus Electric Lawn Raker 1300W – Garden Rake – Removes Moss, Leaves and Debris for Healthy Lawn Maintenance – 28L Collection Box, 10m Cable – 32cm Working Width, 4 Depth Settings, Safety Switch
  • CLEAR LAWN DEBRIS – This 1300W electric rake effectively collects moss, thatch and debris from your lawn to let water drain properly, encouraging healthy growth.
  • 4 DEPTH SETTINGS – Clear small to mid-size lawns with a working width of 32cm and choose from 4 depth settings (-15mm, -11mm, -7mm, +1mm) for all-season lawn maintenance.

When it comes to garden cleaning, the VonHaus Lawn Raker is a must-have-effectively removing all lawn debris. Accurately and economically, the strong 1300W electric rake rake cleans grass, thatch and leaves from your lawn-enabling water to drain properly and helping to grow your backyard area healthily.

This rake can be used at any season on small to medium size lawns through 4 depth settings. The 28L bag collects the debris and is easy to empty once it's full.

This electric rake is both safe and ergonomic to use comfortably for long periods of time. The safety button helps prevent activation as the mechanism of thermal cut-out avoids overheating.

If you want a reliable and clean garden rake that packs a punch when it comes to handling small to medium-sized gardens, then the VonHaus Lawn Raker is meant for you. 

Features and Benefits

  • Effectively collects thatch, moss, and any other debris from your lawn area
  • Clears lawns with a 32cm working width
  • The collection of any lawn debris happens automatically and is deposited into a 28L collection bag
  • Two-stage safety trigger kicks in to prevent excessive overheating
  • Make your selection from 4 depths that range from 1.5mm to 1mm


No 6 - Flymo Lawnrake Compact 3400 Electric Lawnrake

This Flymo Lawn Raker is much more than able to oxygenate the lawn and clear away thatch. In the garden, Flymo is a familiar name and this electric lawn rake lives up to the popularity of the company!

It features a 750-watt motor as well as a powerful cylinder rake to smother your lawn and pull out all the dead moss and grass.

The cutting range is not too bad looking either to cut working time and it has a neat storage box that compresses moss so you don't empty it every five minutes. This machine can carry 34 liters of thatch and features a window so that you can see what needs to be done.

Out of my recommendations this grass scarifier has the most working heights. There are six from -5 mm though +8 mm.

If you favour first class work with the option of choosing your desired depth, then this is the machine for you. You can easily select your preferred level with only a single lever. Therefore, it is not a tedious or painful experience.

As this model weighs in at 12.6kgs, it is a little heavier than other brands, but still comes out tops in terms of compactness and its storage capabilities as it comes down to only 46cm once folded.

If you are after a high-quality lawn rake that features as much as 6 different working levels while it is well compacted, then we suggest you take a closer look at what else it can do.

Features and Benefits

  • This one has the largest range of working heights
  • Unique compacting collection box
  • Ensures healthy looking lawns as it easily removes thatch and moss
  • Very easy to store as it folds down quite well


No 5 - BLACK+DECKER 600W 30cm Lawn Raker

BLACK+DECKER Lawn Raker 600 W with Large Capacity Front Loading Grass Box and Heigh Adjustment System GD300-GB, Orange, 24x50x50 cm
  • PRACTICAL : Large capacity front loading grass box for easy collection and disposal of debris
  • EASY TO USE : Central height adjustment system for speed and ease of use

As a powerful 7 kg electric raker, the Black & Decker GD300 that features a 600-watt engine is ideally suited for small to medium-sized gardens and offers fantastic monetary value.

If you're having issues with heavy tools, then it is suggested you settle for this lawn scarifier as this small motor means it's light and easy to handle.

It is low but it still has a raking width of 30 cm, and three rows of tines sitting at three variable operating heights. The lowest level removes thatch and debris found in the lawn, the other adapts to a general maintenance raking and the highest level gathers foliage and grass clippings.

The collection bag can easily be detached which is a nice feature.


Benefits and Features

  • The automatic cut off switch is a neat feature for when you let go of the handle
  • The cable management functionality prevents users from accidentally chopping of the 10-metre lead
  • Ideal for smaller gardens
  • Very lightweight at only 7kg


No 4 - AL-KO Comfort 38E Combi-Care 2 in 1 Lawn Rake Collector

AL-KO Comfort 38E Combi-Care 2 in 1 Electric Lawnrake & Scarifier/Aerator with Collector 1300W Powerful Motor - 38cm Wide Width
  • Lightweight, electric scarifier with 38cm working width and 14 steel blades. Suitable for small - medium sized garden lawns
  • 3INONE function - Scarify, Aerate and Grass Catch: Scarifing and catching is included as standard with the large 55 litre catcher box. The aerator roller has 24 steel spring tines and is easy to...

The AL-KO Comfort 38E Combi-Care has put a lot of thought into this machine since it has a lightweight fabric collection bin that holds 55 litres, Then, there is the 12-meter cable, plus widened air vents to avoid overheating. If you are tackling a large area, then it makes a huge difference.

The scarifying roller includes 14 steel blades to scrape grass, weeds and thatch and with a quick lever you can quickly move to five working depths.

There is a separate raking roller that features steel spring tines for aerating the grass, but the toolless cassette ensures switching over is a breeze.

On this model, the ergonomics are sound which is necessary because it's a heavier unit. For quick grip there is a rounded handlebar and it is height adjustable. The machine folds flat for easy storage.

Features and Benefits

  • Powered by a 1,300 W electric motor
  • Faster work is made possible on your lawn as it features a 12 metre long cable
  • Adjusts easily using a simple twist dial
  • Scarifier drum has custom designed blades to ensure a more intensive treatment
  • Smooth design makes it a breeze to clean once your scarified the lawn
  • The rake attachment includes steel tine springs that digs well into thatch and moss that ensure easier removal of these
  • Free moving rear wheels stop grass clumping and ensures improved traction


No 3 - Einhell GE-SC 35 Li Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier

Einhell Power X-Change 36V Cordless Lawn Scarifier - Brushless Motor, 35cm Raking Width, 3 Working Depths, For Lawns And Gardens Up to 400m² - GE-SC 35 Li Solo (Battery Not Included)
  • Cordless lawn care with 2 x 18 V and a powerful Einhell XCore brushless motor
  • Double battery power and quick-to-change batteries for continuous working in combination with other Power X-Change tools

The Einhell Scarifier and Lawn Aerator is indeed a long-lasting , high-quality system that cares for every small to medium sized lawn. This aerator extracts grass and weeds right down to the roots using the 16 stainless steel blades-resulting in a perfectly clean and safe looking lawn.

This aerator is easy and comfortable to operate despite the very high power motor. Use the fast release levers, the handle height can be changed easily to match your height, and there are 3 working depth settings so you can clean your lawn during any season.

The large wheels of this aerator put less stress on the lawn and a parking position to protect your machine's blades and lawn.

Features and Benefits

  • Powerful and dependable garden tool that assists homeowners to take proper care of their lawns
  • One battery system is all you need for Einhell powered devices
  • Foldable guide rail with quick-release levers
  • Wider wheels for easy maneuvering abilities on the lawn


No 2 - VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Scarifier – 1500W Electric Garden Lawn Rake

[Amazon box="B01BGZA73W"]

Let's begin with the 1500 watt powerful electric motor of the VonHaus 2 in 1 Electric Lawn Scarifier and Aerator. This is one of the most efficient electric scarifiers around if you'd like more power you'll have to opt for a petrol model.

It has flexible aerating and scarifying rollers that fit on a standard twin-use drum but switching between the two is simple. Use the provided allen key to tip the grey cover and switch rollers – be careful to disconnect the source of power first of course.

The Von Haus electric scarifier features four working depths so you can scarify slightly or perform an in-depth purification that will scalp the moss and leave you open to re-seed. The aerating wheel, if you were curious, is also the wheel that takes care of the raking work.

This particular model also features a 40-litre box and a sizable lead of 10 metres long. It is a real pleasure doing scarifying work with this machine thanks to the adjustable handle that does a great job of saving your back. Even though it does not weigh a lot at only 8.5kgs, you still need a break from lugging it around often.  

If you want an aerator and scarifier that is packed with power and carries numerous benefits, then the VonHaus 2 in 1 is definitely worth considering. 

Features and Benefits

  • Ideally suited to taking care of scarifying thatched lawns and dealing with moss issues
  • Easy to take care of this machine year round due to the 4 working depths
  • Simple to dispose of your collection thanks to the functional grass collection box
  • Dual purpose drum is interchangeable, ensuring scarifying becomes and easier task to carry out
  • Easy to follow instructions included


No 1 - Bosch AVR Electric Lawn Raker

BOSCH AVR 1100 Verti Cutter Lawn Raker
  • Fast verticutting without tool blockage
  • Fast and complete collection of moss and thatch

The Bosch AVR Electric Lawn Raker is a strong contender and a popular model on the market, and seen as the best lawn scarifier. It's an electric scarifier and has some oomph behind it with a 1100 watt 'Powerdrive' engine that enhances torque when dealing with a tangled bit of thatch that requires a tough grasp.

This grass scarifier brings out and collects up all the dying vegetation with a 'Jet-Collect Device' which is a perfect way to indicate that it has an air inflow that eliminates moss and blasts it into the collection box so that it does not get stuck.

The above electric scarifier includes four height settings ranging from -5 mm to +10 and that's critical because depending on its height, this model is a drum system scarifier or aerator.

The machine includes 10 steel blades on the working range of 32 cm long which means it is strong enough and you will have less trips to worry about when you're going up and down in your garden. The collection box requires a whopping 50 liters of thatch which is more than most, so the emptying is also less intensive. These are all fantastic features if you're on the nervous side like some of us.

It only weighs 11.8 kilograms – just what you need when you move it around and fight the bumps and jumps from your not-so-flat lawn.

Storage is a cinch because the ergonomic handle folds up to only 40cms wide, and the storage box can be stacked.

This lawn raker is certainly deserving of your attention if you are out to find the best scarifier on the market currently. 

Features and Benefits

  • Deep cutting functionality for easy removal of moss and to take care of reseeding
  • Fast verticutting is made possible because of the incredible Jet Collect System and 1100 watt Powerdrive motor
  • Less stopping required due to large 50-litre collection box
  • Double folding handle and compact storage function makes it easy to store this machine
  • Airflow inlets and innovative drum that includes stainless steel blades make it a worthy investment

Last update on 2023-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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