• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • Best Lawn Dethatchers Buying Guide for 2022

Best Lawn Dethatchers Buying Guide for 2022

Lawn dethatchers are key to maintaining a healthy lawn in modern-day Australia. Lawns are getting harder and harder to maintain as climate change merges together and intensifies our seasons, but keeping lawns green and healthy isn’t just a modern-day challenge. 

For centuries, perfect lawns have been symbols of status, and gardening prowess, and today, our lawns are often the first impression of our homes. In this article we’re going to share our thoughts on lawn dethatching; how and when to dethatch, and the best lawn dethatchers in 2022.

More...

Best Lawn Dethatchers Ratings Chart

Product


Our Rating

Price

1. WORX WG850 14 Inch Corded Electric Dethatcher

WORX WG850 Corded Electric Dethatcher
Top Rated Best Lawn Dethatcher in Australia

2. WOLF-Garten Multi-Star 35cm wide Scarifying Roller Rake

WOLF-Garten Multi-Star wide Scarifying Roller Rake
Best Value Lawn Dethatcher in Australia

3. VonHaus 15" Corded  Electric Lawn Dethatcher, Scarifier and Aerator

VonHaus Corded Electric Lawn Dethatcher
Premium Choice Lawn Dethatcher in Australia

4. Greenworks Tools 40V Scarifier

Greenworks Tools 40V Scarifier

5. LawnMaster GV1212B 13-Inch Scarifier and Dethatcher

LawnMaster GV1212B Scarifier and Dethatcher

6. Sun Joe AJ801E 13-Inch Electric Dethatcher and Scarifier

Sun Joe AJ801E Electric Dethatcher and Scarifier

7. Draper 97922 Lawn Aerator & Scarifier

Draper Lawn Aerator & Scarifier

8. Einhell 2-in-1 Electric Scarifier And Lawn Aerator

Einhell Electric Scarifier And Lawn Aerator

9. Ryobi 2 x 18V ONE+ Brushless Scarifier

Ryobi 2 x ONE+ Brushless Scarifier

10. Dethatcher Rake with Ergonomic Handle

Dethatcher Rake

Lawn Dethatchers Buyers' Guide

Lawn Dethatcher Reviews

What are Lawn Dethatchers?

Lawn dethatchers are essentially just sprung rakes, designed to pull old growth away from healthy stems on the under-layer of your lawn. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of lawn dethatchers, when to use them, and how to time dethatching most effectively.

What is Lawn Thatch?

Lawn thatch is a layer of dead grass formed as old grass dies back to be replaced by new grass leaves. While it is commonly thought that thatch is a build-up of moss and grass clippings, it is in fact the older stems that die back through summer, winter and autumn to be replaced by new leaves and grass stems in summer.

Thatch is a natural part of grass growth and it occurs on all plants. Similar plants include Peace Lilies, which die back at their base and replace old stems with new.

Larger grasses are easier to dethatch as it’s a simple process of running your hands through old growth in spring to pull it away and make room for new leaves.

Thatch in lawns becomes a problem when lawns are under-fertilised and lawns begin to brown off as thatch outnumbers fresh growth.

Types of Lawn Dethatchers

There are three main types of lawn dethatcher. Two are fairly gentle, with one only really advised for very, very, tough jobs:

  • Lawn dethatcher rake
  • Rotary dethatcher
  • Lawn scarifier
Types of Lawn Dethatchers

Lawn Dethatcher Rakes

Lawn dethatcher rakes are the best dethatching tool for small lawns, with no emissions of energy output. They are a higher effort on the part of the gardener but will save you space, and money, in the process.

For small areas of moss, you can buy small hand rakes to dethatch problem patches that can form under the shade of large trees, or where drainage is a problem, without having to go over the whole lawn.

Lawn Scarifiers

Lawn scarifiers are the most aggressive way to dethatch a lawn, but can be very effective at aerating your topsoil and vastly opening the space for new grass to grow. 

Lawn scarifiers are not advised for regular use as they have a noticeable impact on your lawn and can create lines that look over cultivated, but if thatch and moss have become a significant problem, they are the only option. 

Rotary Dethatchers

Rotary dethatchers are sold as petrol, diesel, or electric machines, just like lawnmowers, and are less aggressive than scarifiers. For annual use, or bi-annual use rotary dethatcher are the best tool.

It can providing enough aeration for a healthy lawn, and effectively removing young moss and old thatch with minimal effort, and as little damage to your lawn as possible.

How to Use a Lawn Dethatchers

Irrigation, lawnmowers, and fertiliser are all key to keeping our lawns looking lush and healthy, but our Australian climate demands a little more care and attention than those typical tools.

Lawn dethatchers are key to that maintenance, but it’s crucial to know how and, more importantly, when, to use them:

How to Use a Lawn Dethatchers

Using a Dethatcher to Remove Thatch

Machine dethatchers are the most effective types of dethatcher, able to quickly work through large lawns much faster than rakes or hand tools, but any dethatcher uses the same basic method:

  1. Mow your lawn a day or two before dethatching to prevent tears to grass stems. Grass is quick to recover from damage, but a crisp cut will prevent yellowing after dethatching.
  2. Remove dropped leaves from your lawn (not essential, but it helps with efficiency, and prevent clogging for machine dethatchers).
  3. Work across your lawn in one direction, working in strips the width of your rake of machine dethatcher.
  4. Work back in the opposite direction once you have removed the thatch in one direction.
  5. If you have a compost heap, regularly tip the contents of any bags into that to keep the load manageable. Any thatch and moss make excellent compost material.
  6. If you are left with significant bare patches of lawn, gently reseed the affected areas (one handful or grass seed is usually enough for around 4m2).

When to Dethatch

Lawns should always look their best in summer, and struggle to recover from significant maintenance in winter, so dethatching should always be done in spring or autumn when your grass has a chance to recover and settle after dethatching. 

We prefer to do all our dethatching once every 2-3 years in spring. This gives lawns a good chance to recover, and as thatch is a natural part of lawn health, and helps to improve its durability, it shouldn’t be removed too often as your lawn will be more likely to suffer from heavy rainfall, or playing kids.

Using a Dethatcher to Remove Moss

While dethatchers are designed to remove thatched layers of dead grass from our lawns, they are also a brilliant tool against moss. You can buy effective moss killers, and even lawn fertiliser with moss killers included, but they are rarely safe for wildlife, meaning the most eco way to remove moss is either dethatching or scarification.

To remove moss from a lawn, use a scarifier rake, or motorised scarifier as you would to remove thatch. Simply work across your lawn in rows, regularly emptying the bag of debris and moss.

When to Dethatch Moss

Moss is best removed in spring before it starts to grow more vigorously. Even perfect lawns will host some moss, and you’ll be surprised at how different your turf could look after dethatching moss, so it’s important to dethatch moss in spring when grass has just started to grow again after winter. 

This gives your lawn the best chance of recovery and should leave you with a pristine lawn in summer (though it’s advised to reseed your lawn sparsely after dethatching to help recovery of any brown patches).

Safety Guidance for Lawn Dethatchers

Lawn Dethatcher Australia

Like lawn mowers, lawn dethatchers rely on spinning blades and tines to care for our grass. Those tines can cause serious injury if misused but it just takes a common-sense approach to safety for these machines. 

  • Never carry out any maintenance with the power source connected, or ticking over
  • Always keep wires behind your when using corded dethatchers
  • Remove obstacles and stones before you being to prevent damage to the machine

Lawn Dethatcher Product Reviews

1. WORX WG850 14 Inch Corded Electric Dethatcher

WORX WG850 14 Inch Corded Electric Dethatcher

Source: amazon.com.au

The Worx dethatcher is built for purpose. Most lawn dethatchers are built with interchangeable rakes so they can double up as dethatchers, but the Worx dethatcher is designed for a single purpose, and it’s brilliant at it.

It has three simple working depths that are incredibly easy to set, and help make the mechanics easy to maintain, compared to similar models with 5 levels (to be clear, you will never need more than 2, so 5 adjustable levels of a dethatcher is overkill). 

Worx do tend to make really incredible lawn care tools, so it’s no surprise really that this is one of the best lawn dethatchers.

Pros

  • 35cm rotary dethatcher
  • Efficient
  • 45L collection bag
  • Adjustable depths for longer lawns
  • Really well balanced
  • Incredibly sturdy
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • Expensive

2. WOLF-Garten Multi-Star 35cm wide Scarifying Roller Rake

WOLF-Garten Multi-Star 35cm wide Scarifying Roller Rake

Source: ebay.com.au

The halfway house between a dethatcher machine and a garden rake is the rolling dethatcher. WOLF-Garten’s rolling dethatcher tool stops you from damaging the soil surface and ripping grass from its roots, but gets deep enough, with efficient tines that it easily removes thatch quickly.

Obviously, there’s no catcher bag with this tool so it’s best for small lawns, but if you’re prepared to put the work in going back and forth from the compost pile, then this is a great rake, and much more efficient than a standard lawn rake.

Pros

  • Gentle to lawns
  • Incredibly effective at moss and thatch removal
  • Aerates topsoil by removing thatch and cutting through excessive surface root.
  • Easy to store
  • Great value

Cons

  • No catcher bag
  • Entirely manual

3. VonHaus 15" Corded  Electric Lawn Dethatcher, Scarifier and Aerator

VonHaus Corded Electric Lawn Dethatcher, Scarifier and Aerator

Source: amazon.com.au

VonHaus’ corded lawn dethatcher is an incredibly efficient way to rid your law of excessive thatch. This lawn dethatcher is a versatile tool, with dual functions, and interchangeable blades so it can be used as a standard lawn dethatcher for regular work, and as a scarifier for heavy-duty moss removal, or preparing wildflower areas.

The 45L bag provides ample space for thatch, making it easier to keep on top of the raked materials without having to gather it all up behind you.

The VonHaus lawn dethatcher is foldable too, so it’s easy to store, and lightweight which helps too. The downside of the weight is that it tends to bounce on uneven lawns so does require some pressure from the user.

Pros

  • 38cm rotary dethatcher
  • Efficient
  • 45L collection bag
  • Adjustable depths for longer lawns
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • Lightweight so requires some pressure from the user
  • Expensive

4. Greenworks Tools 40V Scarifier

Greenworks Tools 40V Scarifier

Source: amazon.com.au

Greenworks are a great budget tool brand, but this two-in-one dethatcher and scarifier feels like a really well-built tool. There are always going to be some corners cut on cheaper tools.

On this, that seems to be space efficiency, with the tool being much bulkier than its working width, meaning that it’s hard to get to corners and lawn edges.

Overall though, this is a really brilliant lawn dethatcher that I’d be happy to use myself at home.

Pros

  • 36cm rotary dethatcher
  • Efficient
  • 45L collection bag
  • Adjustable depths for longer lawns
  • Trusted brand
  • Great value

Cons

  • The body is around 20cm wider than the rake, making it difficult to scarify lawn edges

5. LawnMaster GV1212B 13-Inch Scarifier and Dethatcher

LawnMaster GV1212B 13-Inch Scarifier and Dethatcher

Source: amazon.com.au

The LawnMaster is a great compact dethatcher for smaller lawns and one of the smallest models in our reviews here, making it ideal for storage. 

It’s slightly more expensive than some comparable models, but it’s well built and easy to clean too if it gets clogged up, which is a great advantage.

The easily interchangeable scarifier and dethatcher rakes make heavy maintenance simple too, but for regular use, it’s definitely best to stick with the dethatcher rake attachment which is less likely to cause damage to your lawn.

Pros

  • Great for edging with a narrow gap between deck edge and rake
  • Great value
  • Easy to store
  • Well balanced for minimal effort
  • 45L collection bag

Cons

  • Narrow cuttings width (30cm)
  • Lightweight so needs some downward pressure on uneven lawns

6. Sun Joe AJ801E 13-Inch Electric Dethatcher and Scarifier

Sun Joe AJ801E 13-Inch Electric Dethatcher and Scarifier

Source: amazon.com.au

The corded electric scarifier from Sun Joe is really well built, incredibly easy to use, and convenient to store too. However, there are some issues with the tines on the dethatcher rake which mean that it can’t really get that deep into lawns with thick thatch.

I suspect that it was designed primarily as a scarifier, and has a dethatcher included for convenience, which is still useful, but I’d suggest that this is a dethatcher for gardeners who need to tackle a really badly thatched lawn, and then do annual maintenance with a light dethatcher.

For standard dethatching, you’d want a bigger bag and deeper tines.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Trusted brand
  • Easy to store
  • Well built

Cons

  • Small collection bag (36L)
  • Slightly narrow rake (33cm)
  • Short tines on dethatcher head

7. Draper 97922 Lawn Aerator & Scarifier

Draper 97922 Lawn Aerator & Scarifier

Source: amazon.com.au

For really badly thatched lawns that need a heavy-duty tool to remove thatch, the Draper scarifier is a great tool to get rid of masses of thatch from your lawns.

Sadly, it only comes with a scarifier blade, so is great for aerating, and removing thatch, but will tear up your lawn to a greater extent than a gentler dethatcher.

Pros

  • 38cm rotary scarifier
  • 45L collection bag
  • Easy to fold & store
  • Handy lifting handle
  • Heavy enough to apply pressure without effort from the user
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • No light dethatcher

8. Einhell 2-in-1 Electric Scarifier And Lawn Aerator

Einhell 2-in-1 Electric Scarifier And Lawn Aerator

Source: amazon.com.au

The Einhell lawn scarifier and aerator comes with an additional dethatcher tool making it an incredibly budget-friendly lawn dethatcher, but perhaps not one designed with dethatching specifically in mind.

The Einhell scarifier is lightweight, hand-designed for aeration more than thatch collection, with a very small 28L bag that needs regularly emptying while you work.

For gardeners who are prepared to put a bit more work in this could save you a few hundred dollars, but it’s definitely designed as a scarifier, so is best for lawn aeration, with dethatching as a bonus, rather than the main feature.

Pros

  • Incredibly good value
  • Study chassis
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Very lightweight (9kg) which makes it bounce on uneven lawns
  • Small collection bag (28L)

9. Ryobi 2 x 18V ONE+ Brushless Scarifier

Ryobi 2 x 18V ONE+ Brushless Scarifier

Source: ebay.com.au

While the Ryobi scarifier is a dedicated scarifier, aimed at aerating lawns, it’s designed with dethatching in mind so is gentler than most scarifiers. The well-balanced design makes it incredibly easy to use, and unlike most battery-operated products you can buy this scarifier from Bunnings with batteries included.

Of all the scarifiers and dethatchers we’ve reviewed, this has surprised us the most with its results, producing incredibly healthy lawns for a pretty good price.

Pros

  • 35cm rotary scarifier
  • Incredibly effective at improving lawn health
  • Good sized collection bag
  • Powerful rechargeable batteries so there are no trailing cords.

Cons

  • No Dethatcher attachment

10. Dethatcher Rake with Ergonomic Handle

Dethatcher Rake with Ergonomic Handle

Source: amazon.com.au

Before we finish, I thought it might be good to throw in a curveball. If you’re managing a really small lawn, or just want to improve the health of a small area of thatch that’s in the constant shade of a tree, then these small hand tools can actually be more effective than rotary dethatchers. 

They are gentle to lawns and produce great results. However, it takes time, effort, and a lot of patience to get the result you want if you’re covering large areas with these tools.

But for many gardeners, gardening is about taking time, and enjoying every tiny detail of your garden, so why not spend the time up close and personal with your lawn too?

Pros

  • Gentle to lawns
  • Very effective
  • Perfect results
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Slow
  • Hard work

 Lawn Dethatcher Top Picks for 2022

Top Rated Lawn Dethatcher 

Top Rated Best Lawn Dethatcher in Australia
WORX WG850 14 Inch Corded Electric Dethatcher

Source: amazon.com.au

Of all the lawn dethatchers we’ve seen, the WORX WG850 Corded Electric Dethatcher is the most efficient, and most effective in all user reviews, with excellent results. Its durable chassis holds up to rocking over bumpy ground, is easy to clean and makes maintenance really simple.

Most importantly, the Worx lawn dethatcher tool makes light work of any amount of thatch, reducing the need for scarification and deep and damaging work that other scarifiers require.

I’m really confident when I say that the Worx model is the best lawn dethatcher you can buy in 2022 for domestic lawns.

Best Value Lawn Dethatcher 

Best Value Lawn Dethatcher in Australia
WOLF-Garten Multi-Star 35cm wide Scarifying Roller Rake

Source: ebay.com.au

While convenience is a big concern for most lawn keepers, sometimes the savings you can make by accepting a little bit of extra work are worth it. 

If you’re not attracted by the quality of the WOLF-Garten lawn scarifier rake, surely you’ll be attracted by the fact it’s less than 10% of the price of our premium models.

Ok, so you need to do ALL the work yourself and you need to rake up behind yourself to get rid of the thatch you ring up, but for fast, effective, and lush results, there is no better tool for dethatching than a hand tool.

Lawns are more delicate than we think, so for the best results that are kindest to lawns, it’s always worth considering hand tools rather than machine dethatchers.

Premium Choice Lawn Dethatcher 

Premium Choice Lawn Dethatcher in Australia
VonHaus Corded Electric Lawn Dethatcher, Scarifier and Aerator

Source: amazon.com.au

VonHaus always make great tools, so it’s no surprise that their dethatcher and scarifier tries to do everything at once, but as one of the most expensive models on review here, the VonHaus Corded Electric Lawn Dethatcher, Scarifier and definitely a premium lawn scarifier for people with really thick thatch to deal with.

The scarifier attachment is great for overdue lawns, with a convenient dethatcher attachment for regular maintenance.

Lawn Dethatcher FAQs

Is dethatching good for your lawn?

Dethatching is extremely beneficial for lawn health as it helps aerate the soil, and provides space for fresh new growth. However, like anything in gardening, knowing how and when to do it is essential.

Dethatching lawns in spring, every 2 to 3 years is enough to create a lush green lawn. Too often, or in winter, and your lawn will suffer.

How do you know when a lawn needs dethatching?

Lawn thatch builds up a spongy layer beneath healthy grass leaves. Lawns that are spongy underfoot and retain water long after it has rained are usually hiding a thick layer of thatch underneath. This is always a good sign that you need to dethatch.

Does all grass need dethatching?

Creeping fescue, perennial ryegrass, and bluegrass need less dethatching than most and are typically sold as low maintenance, high durability, grass seeds (you’ll see all three in most common grass seed mixes).

But even these grasses need dethatching every few years to prevent moss buildup.

For more information on aerating your lawn, see our product reviews and buying guide for the best lawn aerators available in 2022

Maintain Your Lawn with Ease Using the Best Lawn Dethatcher

Choosing the best lawn dethatcher depends on your lawn. Large lawns need large tools, but small lawns can be managed with cheaper hand tools provided you’re willing to put in the effort. But as I think we’ve proved in the article above, all lawns do need some intensive care once in a while to improve their health.

One final note on lawn dethatching; even if you’re growing a wildflower lawn or prairie, dethatching in spring is essential, and should actually be done more often than with regular lawns, as it opens up the soil space for new seeds to fall in late summer and autumn.

To prepare wildflower lawns for sowing, dethatching and sowing parasitic plants like yellow rattle is the fastest way for them to establish.

Best Lawn Dethatchers Buying Guide

Related Posts

Best Outdoor Electric Heaters

10 Best Outdoor Electric Heaters for 2022

If you’re starting to feel the chill in your garden, ...

Best Cast Iron Chimineas Buyers’ Guide

7 Best Cast Iron Chimineas 2022 Buyers’ Guide

Cast iron chimineas are beautiful and effective ways to heat ...

Best Portable Generators Australia Buying Guide

8 Best Portable Generators | Australia 2022 Buying Guide

In today’s modern age we all depend on electricity as ...

Best Cultivators and Tillers Australian Buying Guide

9 Best Cultivators and Tillers 2022 Australian Buying Guide

While weeds serve an important purpose in the grand scheme ...

Author:

Gary Clarke

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay Up To Date With Australian Gardening Tips


Join our newsletter to receive helpful seasonal tips specific to Australian gardens.

RECEIVE A DOWNLOADABLE

FREE e-book bundle when you subscribe!

Aussie Green Thumb Australian gardening e-book bundle

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER

Hi, would you like to receive our monthly newsletter of gardening tips and how to grow guides straight to your inbox? Sign up today and join our community.