Last updated on January 4th, 2022 at 10:41 am
What is a lawn dethatcher? It’s simply an outdoor equipment for removing thatch from your lawn. In its simplest form, it looks like a garden rake with springy blades called tines, that can be pulled through your lawn, combing through it to remove thatch embedded between the grass line and the soil.
What is Thatch and why should you dethatch your lawn?
Thatch is the light brown layer that builds up over time between your lawn grasses and the soil. It’s largely made up of decaying organic matter like dead and compressed grass, leaves, stem, runners and roots.
Moderate amounts of it is okay, but when it has built up over a few years without being checked it starts preventing air and the important nutrients needed for your grass to grow properly.
It even harbours insects and pests which further harms and inhibit the growth of your lawn.
When should you dethatch your lawn?
Lawn dethatching is not something that should be done regularly like mowing, but if your turf starts showing the following signs, then there’s likely too much thatch that needs to be removed.
- If it stops growing and starts getting brown and patchy. Thatch build-up inhibits lawn growth because it prevents water and necessary nutrients from getting to the roots. This will in turn stop the grasses from growing and even cause them to die.
- No matter what you do, a browning turf caused by thatch build-up will not respond well to watering, fertilizer application or even reseeding it, unless the thatch is removed.
- Your turf is spongy. You can use a trowel to cut out a sample of the turf, making sure you cut deep enough to see the soil. Then you can measure the layer of thatch. If it’s over 3/4 inch thick, then you probably need to get the lawn dethatcher out.
If you notice the signs above, the necessary thing for you to do is to use a lawn dethatcher to remove the thick layer of thatch inhibiting the growth of your turf.
How can you prevent thatch from building up too fast?
Leaving the cut grasses on the surface of the lawn does not help, but can cause cause thatch to build up faster than it should. Anyway, no matter how careful you are and how much you maintain your yard, thatch is eventually going to build up as the years roll by.
When this happens, you can either hire a professional to help you get rid of it or you can buy a lawn dethatcher equipment and get the job done yourself.
There’re two main types of lawn dethatchers. One is a pull or tow-behind model which is usually attached to a tractor or mower and pulled through the turf, while the other is an electric push dethatcher which you can push like an electric lawn mower through your turf.
We’ve reviewed several units and have listed 9 of the best here so you can choose the right one for the job.
1. Brinly DT-40BH Tow Behind Lawn Dethatcher Review
|Dethatching Width||40 Inches|
If thatch has taken over your lawn, and you’re looking to get rid of it, then one of the best lawn dethatchers you can use for this is this highly effective one from the folks at Brinly.
It’s the Brinly DT-40BH. With you buy it, you get a 40 inch equipment with 2 rows laid with 10 spring steel tines (20 total) that flex independently as they’re dragged through your lawn grass, combing through it and removing the unwanted thatch efficiently.
With the thatch exposed by the equipment, you can go ahead to sweep them off using a lawn sweeper, or you can just mulch it down.
When using the Brinly DT-40BH, you can set it to work at 3 different modes depending on what you’re trying to do.
First of all, you can place it in transport mode when you’re crossing driveways or walkways by simply lowering the no-flat tires it comes with.
Then when you’re over the lawn you can raise the wheels so that the tines penetrate the lawn surface, and then you can simply pull it through the lawn to remove the thatch.
To make it work better, you can add weights on top of the dethatcher plate so that it penetrates more into the soil to remove the thatch thoroughly and even scarify the lawn. This should come in handy when you’re trying to seed your lawn.
The Brinly DT-40BH comes equipped with an engagement lever which makes it possible for you to raise and lower the transport wheels right from the driver’s seat.
As for the part that does the dirty work, the tines. They’re 3/16 inches in diameter, made of spring steel and stay flexible as long as long as you want.
The tines come pre-assembled to the dethatcher plate, so you don’t really have much assembling to do when you get the equipment.
The whole construction is made of quality heavy-duty steel, with the plate having the capacity to hold up to 70 lbs of additional weight for a more aggressive dethatching.
Overall, the Brinly DT-40BH is one of the best tow-behind dethatcher you can get your hands on, to get rid of the thatch in your lawn.
2. Greenworks 14 Inch 10 Amps Corded Electric Push Dethatcher
|Dethatching Width||14 inches|
At first thought, looking at the size and the price, I thought the Greenworks 14 inch electric dethatcher wouldn’t really work properly or be effective due to the type of job in question i.e. pulling out thatch from lawns.
However, the incredible reviews it’s garnered made us check it out, and it turns out, it ain’t no joke to laugh about.
Turns out, it’s a top-notch electric tool you can rely on to get rid of the thatch in your lawn. It’s a corded electric dethatcher, so you don’t have to buy fuel to get it work. It’s efficient, and does the job of removing thatch from your lawn effectively.
All, you have to do is plug it in to an electric power outlet, push the start button, and push it around your lawn like you’re mowing the grass. It’s even self-propelling so you don’t have to exact too much force to get it going.
Even more surprising is the relatively low price it retails for. Just a little over the price for renting one at your local hardware store.
It comes equipped with a 10 amp motor which provides the mechanical power that drives 18 sharp tines spread over a 14 inch width as you push it through your lawn.
The tines can be moved or adjusted in 3 different position or depth depending on how much thatch you want to remove.
Also included when you purchase it is a full set of replacement tines for the 18 tines already installed in it.
Take care not to stay in one position when the machine is working as it can damage the grass when left running in the same position for long.
For optimum performance, try to make use of a heavy duty extension cord when connecting it to a power outlet.
To be specific, for an extension cord that is 50 feet or less in length, the wire gauge size (A.W.S) needs to be 14. Anything less than that can result in voltage drop and loss of power, which can cause the motor to overheat, and possibly breakdown.
Overall, the Greenworks 14 inch corded electric lawn dethatcher is definitely one of the best equipment you can get if you’re looking for something effective but inexpensive to get rid of the thatch inhibiting the growth of your lawn.
Of course everything is not rosy when it comes to using this equipment. You’re limited by the length of power cord you use for it, and the position of your power outlet.
You can only go as far as your extension cord will allow. Though this is one limitation that cannot be avoided when it comes to corded electric tools.
3. Agri Fab 45-0295 Tow-Behind Lawn Dethatcher
|Dethatching Width||48 inches|
The Agri Fab 45-0295 is another good tow-behind dethatcher you can get for this project.
As you can see from the specifications above, it’s equipped with a 48 inch tray capable of holding up to 70 lbs of extra weight for more efficient penetration of the tines below it, and a more aggressive and effective dislodging of the bedded grass, highly packed roots that make up the thatch.
The 24 spring tines below the weight-carrying tray are heat-treated to protect them against rust and keep them working in good condition for years.
You can be rest assured it will be compatible with the tractor you have as it’s equipped with a universal hitch that attaches to any brand and type of tractor.
Also included are 10 inch semi-pneumatic wheels which comes in handy for transporting the equipment especially when pulling it over driveways and walkways with it.
Right from the driver’s seat, you can use a cantilever transport handle it comes with to raise and lower the trail and tines on and off the lawn. This also comes in handy for raising the whole equipment and riding on the wheels when you have to drive over a hard surface like your driveway.
Rest assured, the Agri Fab 40-0295 will definitely stand the test of time because it’s made with heavy-gauge steel material.
4. Sun Joe AJ801E
|Dethatching Width||12.6 inches|
Another effective electric lawn dethatcher you can use to dethatch your lawn and promote healthy grass growth is the Sun Joe AJ801E.
It’s the ideal equipment you need if you’re working on an average or midsized lawn.
It covers a path 12.6 inches in width, which means you get to rake through and dethatch a 12.6 inches wide path in one pass through your lawn. This is definitely not the widest dethatching width you’ll find, but with this you can cover some ground quickly if you lawn is not very large.
A powerful 12 amp motor provides the power required to make everything work. To start working with it, all you have to do is push a button, and push it forward.
Sun Joe employs their AirBoost technology which enhances the equipment by engaging spring the steel tines for maximum thatch remover.
The Sun Joe AJ801E comes equipped with a 5 position depth control knob which you can use to control the depth or position of the raking tines. You can raise and lower the tines from -0.4 inches below the soil to 0.4 inches above the soil.
It also features an adjustable handle you can set to whatever height you’re comfortable with.
The Sun Joe AJ801E 12 Amp electric lawn dethatcher is not the biggest one you’re going to find out there, but it’s definitely one of the most effective and ergonomic thatch removing equipment and machines you can get your hands on today.
Did we mention it comes with a catch bag for catching the thatch removed as you push it through your lawn? Well, now you know.
Although the catch bag is a bit small, that means you’ll have to remove and empty it frequently. Getting it assembled once it’s unboxed is also very easy.
Overall, this Sun Joe AJ801E is definitely one of the best outdoor power equipment for removing lawn thatch. So, feel free to go with Joe on this one.
5. VonHaus 15 Inch 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher And Aerator
The VonHaus 15 inch 2 in 1 lawn dethatcher and aerator allows you to not only rid your lawn of the unhealthy thatch preventing its growth, but also helps the grasses start growing quickly by aerating it at the same time.
With a working width of just 15 inches, this VonHaus unit allows you to work on small to mid-size lawns and yards comfortably.
It’s a push behind model, which means you have to push it through the lawn to get it to work.
Although, you won’t have to exert much force on your part, as the movement of the tines underneath it also propels the machine forward.
6. Mantis 5222 Power Tiller Dethatcher Attachment
|Type||Mantis Tiller Attachment|
|Dethatching Width||15 inches|
If you have a Mantis 7000 Series tiller, then you can just buy this Mantis 5222 dethatcher attachment you can pair with your mantis tiller to help get rid of the thatch in your lawn.
The attachment comes equipped with 60 spring tines or picks which spread over a width of 15 inches. Hence, you get to cover a 15 inch width with every pass through your lawn.
Attaching it to your Mantis Power tiller is easy. Just slide the 2 fender extensions that come with it onto the power tiller fender, and you’re good to go.
This attachment is sold separately. It does not come with the power tiller. That’s why it’s important that you have the Mantis Power Tiller first before thinking about getting the attachment.
If you don’t have the power tiller, then getting this attachment is not advisable. Instead, you should look at the other options listed in this article.
7. Brinly DT-48BH
|Type||Mantis Tiller Attachment|
|Dethatching Width||15 inches|
If you have a very large lawn to dethatch, and you have a bigger lawn mower or tractor available, then this Brinly DT-48BH is definitely the one suited for you.
Like the Brinly DT-40BH tow behind dethatcher, it makes uses of flexible spring steel tines attached to the underside of a heavy duty trail which can be pulled through your lawn.
Unlike the Brinly DT-40BH however, the DT-48BH is equipped with a larger 48 inch tray compared to the formers 40 inch tray. The Brinly DT-48BH tray has a larger load carrying capacity with 2 rows of 12 tines underneath the tray that move or flex independently as you comb through your lawn with it.
The larger width of the DT-48BH ensures that you can cover more ground in one pass through the lawn, reducing the amount of passes needed to complete the whole lawn.
Every part of the Brinly DT-48BH is made of heavy-duty steel including the tines which are made of spring steel and are very flexible, so they don’t break while dragging them through the lawn.
In the unlikely event that one of the tines breaks loose, the dethatcher is also equipped with a long safety rod which is meant to catch a broken tine and prevent it from clashing with the mower blades.
Brinly also equipped the DT-48BH with a universal hitch which makes it very easy to attach it to any type of mower or tractor you have.
Transporting it is also very easy because it comes with two 8 inch tires located behind the tray.
Assembling it is also very easy, because the manual that comes with it has every part of the dethatcher matched to each assembly step in the manual.
All in all, if you really need a big tow behind lawn dethatcher to get rid of the thatch in your lawn, then you should seriously consider this Brinly’s DT-48BH.
8. Earthwise DT71613
If you’re looking for a corded electric dethatcher that you can use to get your lawn growing healthily again, then one of the best ones you can place your bet on is this Earthwise DT71613 shown above.
All you need to get this baby running is electricity from a nearby power outlet close to your lawn and a long enough extension cord so you can reach every corner of your lawn.
With a dethatching width of 16 inches and 45 spring tines made of zinc-plated piano wires spread over the 16 inch width, you have a push dethatcher with the capacity to cover large ground just with one push through the lawn.
The Earthwise DT71613 comes equipped with a 13 Amp motor which delivers power similar to that of a gas-powered engine, helping you comp through your lawn, removing every harmful, growth-inhibiting thatch from the soil.
A very good feature of this Earthwise DT71613 is the adjustable working or dethatching depth. You can adjust how far the tines plunge into the grass and soil to remove the thatch.
The depth can be adjusted from -0.4 inches to 0.4 inches to either scratch the grass surface or comb through the roots for deep dethatching, depending on the severity or the amount of thatch accumulation.
Equipped with a 10 gallon debris catcher at the rear, this Earthwise DT71613 leaves nothing behind as you comb through the lawn removing the thatch.
The debris catcher/lawn sweeper it comes equipped with catches every thatch removed during the dethatching process, leaving no further task for you to complete.
9. Agri-Fab 450-0492 Lawn Sweeper Plus Tine Dethatcher Combo
If you know about Agri-Fab, you’d know they make some very good tow behind dethatchers you can use with your lawn tractor or riding lawn mower.
They also make lawn sweepers and a rage of other lawn maintenance equipment.
With this Agri-Fab 45-0492, you have a lawn sweeper and a tow-behind tine dethatcher you can use to pull out thatch while and sweeping them off your lawn simultaneously.
The lawn sweeper comes with a height adjustment lever you can use to raise and lower it to collect dirt, thatch and debris from your lawn.
It also features a dump lever you can use to dump off the content of the sweeper bag collected during the sweep, The dump lever can be operated even without leaving the seat of the tractor or mower, making it very convenient to use.
And when you’re done with it, the entire sweeper can be folded up for easy storage.
Equipped with 14 heat-treated spring tines spread over a 44 inch dethatching width, the Agri-Fab 450-0492 is definitely one of the best equipment you can use to remove thatch from your lawn while also sweeping them off at the same time, helping you keep a clean and healthy lawn.