Lawn Dethatchers: Our Best 8 Picks
Looking for a rake or electric dethatcher? How about a simple attachment? Read on to learn about some of the best dethatchers on the market.
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What Is a Lawn Dethatcher?
A dethatcher is a mechanical or manual device that removes excess thatch from your lawn. Metal blades or tines comb through the grass and pull up the thatch (i.e. accumulated organic matter) from the lawn surface.
Lawn dethatchers can be as simple as a rake, or a tow-behind with tines, or a machine fitted with blades (also called a scarifier) or tines. Once the rake or scarifier pulls thatch to the surface, it can be gathered and composted.
“There are some advantages to having a limited amount of thatch in your turf grass,” says Midwest Lawn Co. owner Eric Harbit. “A layer of thatch that is a half-inch thick or less can help to make your lawn healthy and resilient. When too much thatch builds up, it inhibits nutrients and water from traveling all the way down to the roots of your grass.”
If you have a thick, dense layer of thatch stifling your lawn, you need a dethatcher to pull it up. That clears the way for your grass to receive the water and nutrients it needs to stay lush and healthy. Read on to learn the best options for your yard.
Best Lawn Dethatcher for Large Yards
Most mechanical dethatchers work like push mowers, so a large lawn area can take a significant amount of time and physical effort. This Agri Fab Tow-Behind Lawn Dethatcher ($120) grabs top honors for large yards.
Its extra-wide 48-inch span covers more area in fewer passes, so you can dethatch hundreds of square feet without breaking a sweat. The universal hitch fits any type of rider or tractor.
Most Ergonomic Lawn Dethatcher
Pushing a lawn dethatcher across hundreds of square feet of lawn can take its toll on your joints, shoulders and back. This LawnMaster Scarifier and Lawn Dethatcher ($130) is one of the few push-type dethatches with ergonomically designed handles for a pain-free dethatching job.
The scarifier blades of this powerful dethatcher can handle even thick, dense thatch layers, and the collection bag makes clean-up a breeze. The handles are foldable for easy storage between uses.
One of the most tedious parts of dethatching is cleaning up the debris that churns to the surface. This Brinly Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper with Dethatcher ($1,085) combines the dethatching function of tines with the cleaning function of an incorporated sweeper, saving you time.
The thatch collects into an attached 20-cubic-foot hamper that’s easy to dump when filled. With its 42-inch span, this tow-behind can take on even the largest yards.
Best Lawn Dethatcher for Thatch Maintenance
When you only have a thin layer of thatch to remove or just need a routine spring cleaning, this Worx Electric Dethatcher ($130) is ideal. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, yet powerful enough to cover a mid-sized lawn.
Its steel tines can be adjusted to three depths depending on how much thatch you need to pull up. The collection bag takes the hassle out of cleanup.
Best Lawn Dethatcher for Dense Thatch
With its powerful 13-amp motor and zinc-plated spring pins that penetrate deep into your turf, the Earthwise Electric Dethatcher ($150) can handle even the most matted layers of thatch.
The 45 raking tines can be adjusted to pull up thick thatch, and the 16-inch working width means fewer passes to cover your yard. Amazon reviewers say the Earthwise dethatcher works well, though noting the collection bag is undersized for the amount of debris that churns to the surface.
Best Dethatcher Attachment
If you already own a Mantis cultivator ($400), the Mantis Dethatcher attachment ($150) leverages the power of the tiller’s four-cycle gas-powered engine for deep and effective dethatching.
With 60 steel spring pins and a 15-inch working width, this dethatcher can cover a large area. Amazon reviewers say it penetrates dense, thick thatch buildup, pulling up a surprising amount of debris. Easy to assemble and operate, the Mantis attachment is a great way to convert your power tiller into a thatch buster.
Best Liquid Lawn Dethatcher
For a minor thatch problem or routine thatch maintenance, skip the machines and rakes for a liquid alternative. The LawnStar Natural Liquid Lawn Dethatcher ($30) wins top spot among similar products for its affordable price, ease of use and relative effectiveness.
Keep in mind liquid dethatchers are never as effective as machines or rakes. But with multiple applications, LawnStar dethatching liquid will break down and decompose your thatch to an ideal thickness.
Best Lawn Dethatching Rake
Raking is the most labor-intensive way to get rid of thatch buildup, but the right rake can make the effort pay off.
The Ames True Temper ($50) is a winner for its sturdy hardwood handle and cushioned end grip for comfort and control. The double-sided 15-inch rake head is designed for dethatching on one side and tilling on the other. The 54-inch handle will take some of the strain off your back.
All prices and links were current as of publication.