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Lawn Scarifier Buyers Guide

Lawn Scarifier

Lawn scarification is the process of removing all the thatch and debris from the surface of your lawn.

Thatch is the build up of the uncollected grass clippings, moss and other dead plant material such as fallen leaves.

The thatch will eventually combine to prevent water, oxygen and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass which is obviously bad for the health of your lawn.

Lawn scarifiers, or lawn rakes as they are also known, take the hard work out removing the thatch and moss from your grass.

There are three main types of scarifier, electric scarifiers, petrol scarifiers, and hand scarifiers.

Electric Scarifiers

Electric Scarifiers are ideal for almost any size garden, except for the very large, or where power supply is an issue.

The motorised lawn raking action will save the strain on your arms and back, and most models will also have a collection box which will automatically collect up all the thatch that it removes from the grass.

Petrol Scarifiers

Petrol scarifiers are ideal for large areas of lawn. The petrol motor allows you to scarify in areas where there is no ready power supply.

Due to the extra power afforded by the petrol engine they are ideal for lawns that are particularly badly affected by thatch and moss.

Hand Scarifiers

Hand scarifiers are ideal for smaller lawns or for occasional / localised use on a larger lawn.

Although harder work to use than a motorised version, they are still much easier to use than a standard lawn rake. Obviously they are fairly silent in operations and of course environmentally friendly.

A manual scarifier can be the ideal solution for those with problem areas within a larger lawn - where only part of the lawn suffers from a particular issue such as moss.

Lawn Scarifier Suitability

Application Hand Scarifier Electric Scarifier Petrol Scarifier
Small Gardens Yes Yes No No No No
Medium Gardens Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Large Gardens No No Yes Yes Yes Yes


A lawn verticutter differs slightly in that they have a vertically mounted set of cutting blades. They still collect the debris from the lawn, but also they wiill make fine slits in the soil under the grass that will let the water and oxygen really penetrate to the roots.

Verticutters tended to be the preserve of petrol powered machines, but more recently some very good examples of electric verticutter such as the Bosch Avr 1100 Electric Verticutter have come onto the market and do a fantastic job on domestic lawns.

Metal Tines

Some of the cheaper lawn scarifiers or rakes will have a plastic raking head - this is fine for light use on a domestic lawn, but where something more heavy duty is required it would be best to looke for a metal raking head - these machines may be listed as having metal tines (a tine is the individual prong in the raking head).

You may be worried that a metal rake will cause a lot of damage to your lawn - most machines with metal tines will also be sprung so that just the right amount of pressure is applied.