7 Best Dethatchers Reviews 2017 | For a Perfect Lawn

A dethatcher is a machine which uses a series of vertically oriented blades to cut through the thatch layer of your lawn. It loosens the thatch and brings it to the lawn surface. As you will read in our electric dethatcher reviews, the depth of blade penetration and the spaces between blades are adjustable so the best dethatchers can successfully deal with specific lawns.

Thatch is a light brown layer that builds up between the soil and the grass. Thatch is composed of about 25% lignin, a complex organic polymer that is highly resistant to decomposition.

Thick thatch can block the flow of air and moisture to the roots. It can also harbor pests and fungal pathogens, which is why dethatching lawn is an important part of lawn maintenance and care.

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. GreenWorks 27022 10 Amp 14" Corded Dethatcher
4.6$
2. Mantis 7321 Power Tiller Aerator/Dethatcher Combo Attachment for Gardening
4.7$$
3. Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher 45-0294
4.2$
4. Sun Joe AJ801E 12 Amp 13" Electric Scarifier Plus Lawn Dethatcher with Collection Bag
4.4$$
5. Gardena 3395 Combisystem 12.8-Inch Thatching Cutter Rake Head
4.2$
6. VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator - 12 Amp 13" Corded Electric with 4 Working Depths
4.8$$
7. Sun Joe Dethatcher Joe AJ800E 14-Inch 11-Amp Electric Dethatcher with AirBoost Technology
4.$$

Buying Guide And Useful Information

What is the best way to dethatch your lawn?

First, mow the grass about half as high as usual. Then make several passes across your lawn with an electric lawn dethatcher, changing directions to cross previous passes.

Rake up and remove the thatch you loosen. There may be a lot of it as an average size lawn can yield two or three pickup truck loads. If you haven't used herbicides, the thatch can be used for mulch or compost. If you have used pesticides as recently as a month earlier, dispose of the thatch.

Before dethatching, set your blades properly. How far apart and how deep you will set the blades will depend on types of grass. In general, blades should be an inch or two apart for tough grasses and three inches or more for more delicate grasses.

You want to remove thatch that is right above the soil without tearing it up. A height of about a quarter-inch above the soil should work. Adjust the blades while they are on a smooth surface. The blades may need to be slightly higher for delicate grasses.

When is the best time to dethatch lawn?

Late spring and early fall are the best times, but a lot depends upon your grass and whether it grows during warm or cool. Dethatching a lawn is tough on the grass, so do it when the grass will have the best chance to recover.

Don't dethatch if you're in a drought or a heat wave. Ideally, there should be about 6-8 weeks of favorable growing conditions after you dethatch so the grass will recover without weeds taking over.

How often should you dethatch?

The frequency depends mostly on the state of your lawn and the choice of grass, as well as overall maintenance practices. Bear in mind that excessive fertilizer applications and shallow, frequent irrigation encourage thatch buildup.

In addition, grass type influences the frequency of dethatching. Creeping grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and bent grass accumulate thatch quickly so they generally require dethatching at least once a year. Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass and most other spreading grasses tend to produce more thatch as well. Clumping grasses such as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass need dethatching about once every few years.

Now, let’s try to find the best dethatcher for you among the top picks in our electric lawn dethatcher reviews!

7 Best Dethatchers

Editor Rating:

4.6/5

GreenWorks 27022 10 Amp 14" Corded Dethatcher

GreenWorks 27022 10 Amp 14" Corded Dethatcher has a motor of 10 amp with a 14-inch dethatching path. 14-inch doesn’t seem that big in terms of size but, powered by the 10 amp motor, it’ll be a reliable and fast dethatching solution for most lawns.

Since you will find different types of thatches in different depths of your lawn, the adjustability of GreenWorks 27022 Dethatcher will come more than handy for the task at hand. Your best electric dethatcher needs to be adjustable to meet your needs.

The tines are made of stainless steel and are of good quality. GreenWorks 27022 Dethatcher comes with a full replacement set of 36 tines, which is another positive feature of this grass dethatcher as you’ll save the money for a replacement set.

There are three depth adjustment positions which will serve most purposes. The initial depth is around 1 mm above the ground. You can also make it 3 mm and 10 mm, depending on your needs and the type of grass on your lawn.

Using GreenWorks 27022 Dethatcher is really easy. Plug the cord into the power outlet and just push the button to turn it on and off. The whole operation is simple but you can also take a look at the user manual which comes with this best dethatcher in terms of ease of operation.

Although the efficiency of dethatching depends on the state of your lawn, a good motor will certainly help and this 10-amp motor is powerful enough. The machine itself is as comfortable to operate as they get. There are padded grips at the holding area and you can also adjust the handles based on your height.

The manufacturer backs this dethatcher with 4 Years Parts and Labor warranty and they are proud to leave no carbon footprint at all, GreenWorks 27022 Dethatcher being operating on electricity rather than gas. At the price, this is great value for money and a great addition to your garden equipment arsenal.

Things We Liked


  • ​Three depth adjustment positions
  • A replacement set of 36 tines included
  • Adjustable handles with padded grips
  • 4 Years Parts and Labor warranty

Things We Didn't Like


  • Overall build quality could be better

Price:

$

Editor Rating:

4.7/5

Mantis 7321 Power Tiller Aerator/Dethatcher Combo Attachment for Gardening

Mantis 7321 Power Tiller Aerator/Dethatcher comes in a money-saving combo pack. Since both aeration and dethatching are necessary for lawn maintenance, this 2-in-1 attachment will take care of both processes and help you maintain your lawn healthy and pretty. However, if you want a dedicated aerator check out these aerator reviews.

Both attachments are designed for Mantis Tiller/Cultivators and can be easily fitted but you will need a certain degree of strength to be able to handle the power of the Mantis Tiller/Cultivators while using these units. You can install the dethatcher attachment on your Mantis tiller in minutes and the protective shields take another few minutes.

The brief instructions suggest that you walk backwards for the best dethatching, but you may find it easier to pull the Mantis with the attachments behind you instead of the recommended walking backwards. It might feel slightly awkward to get going the first time, but after that you’ll probably get used to it.

Aerator Attachment cuts into the soil under your lawn with four sets of tempered steel blades. This permits easy absorption of water, oxygen and nutrients. It’s perfect to use for compact, clay soil. You should always aerate before over-seeding or spot seeding your lawn.

Dethatcher Attachment quickly removes thatch which would otherwise choke your lawn eventually. The 60 spring-steel picks let you dethatch a 15″ swath with a single pass. These lawn care attachments are not recommended for surface-rooted grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, and St. Augustine because they can damage the root system.

If you already own a Mantis you should definitely consider these two attachments. Most landscapers will quote a price for the job for which you can buy Mantis 7321 Power Tiller Aerator/Dethatcher and have them for good. Being compact, they won’t take up much space in your garage when you’re not using them.

Not only are there more than enough tines, but on the Mantis they also spin fast and gently dig into the ground in a very tight formation rather than being widely spaced out. The only downside for those of you with a lot of grass to cover is that standard 15″ might feel not wide enough. But, since you’ll be aerating and dethatching once or twice a year, it really isn’t that big of a deal for most lawn sizes.

Things We Liked


  • ​Efficient, reliable and durable
  • Aerator and dethatcher combo
  • 60 spring-steel picks do a great job
  • Easy to attach by sliding it onto the axle and inserting a pin to hold it in place
  • 2 years warranty

Things We Didn't Like


  • These fit only Mantis Tiller/Cultivators

Price:

$$

Editor Rating:

4.2/5

Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher 45-0294

Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher effectively loosens and lifts thatch for healthy lawn growth. It is designed to do a gentle job of bringing matted layers of thatch to the surface for easy disposal and a healthy lawn.

You can uproot dead, matted grass and dislodge hard-packed dirt for planting with this efficient tine dethatcher. It efficiently penetrates and turns up dried grass, weeds, and soil in 40-inch wide swathes.

This product was very easy to assemble. The directions included are pictures only but they are easy to read and understand. All you need is a few basic tools which you probably already have since you own a tractor.

Universal hitch fits any tractor regardless of brand so you’ll be able to tow Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher with whatever machine you have. This dethatcher features twenty 3/16-inch spring-loaded tines, heat-treated for greater durability in tough conditions.

Rustproof and replaceable, the tines are affixed to a heavy-duty steel tray. You can lower and lift the tines by pulling an upright lever on top of the tray. The long lever is easily accessible from the tractor seat.

Two 7-inch diameter semi-pneumatic wheels with a width of 1-1/2 inches will handle most terrains. A hitch pin is included. The wheels will easily handle the weight of the dethatcher’s weight tray capable of carrying up to 70 lbs, but if you want something heavier you'll probably want to check out some of these great wheelbarrows

Although some users claim that they used it without added weight, that’s hard to picture since the dethatcher itself is not that heavy. You can use cinder blocks or 5 to 10- pound bags of any suitable content to put the needed extra weight.


The best way to go about using this best tow behind dethatcher for your buck is to work criss-cross. First tow it up and down and then left to right for the best results. The long term results will be great and your grass will flourish.

Things We Liked


  • ​Compatible with any tractor model or brand
  • Durable heavy-gauge steel deck
  • 20 durable spring tines
  • Sturdy semi-pneumatic wheels

Things We Didn't Like


  • Tow behind dethatcher reviews report that adjustments are needed to the tongue height by means of weight as the dethatcher has to be parallel with the terrain

Price:

$

Editor Rating:

4.4/5

Sun Joe AJ801E 12 Amp 13" Electric Scarifier Plus Lawn Dethatcher with Collection Bag

Sun Joe AJ801E 12 Amp 13" Electric Scarifier And Lawn Dethatcher is powered by a robust 12-amp motor and rakes a 13-inch wide path in a single pass to get your dethatching job done quickly and easily.

What enhances its raking ability is Airboost technology. It maximizes thatch pickup with spring steel tines so stay sharp longer providing reliable performance. You can use the 5-position depth control knob to tailor the raking depth from -0.4 inches below the soil to 0.4 inches above the soil, depending on your lawn's scarifying or dethatching needs.

Scarifying your lawn at regular intervals cuts grass roots and encourages growth for thicker, healthier turf. As roots, stems and grass clippings that accumulate on your lawn over time, block the flow of water, oxygen and vital nutrients, it is important to periodically remove thatch in order to keep your lawn green and healthy.

Sun Joe AJ801E 12 Amp 13" Electric Scarifier And Lawn Dethatcher gets the job done easily with just one push of a button and without polluting the atmosphere with toxic carbon emissions. No gas, oil or tune-ups make the Sun Joe Dethatcher Joe your green choice for greening your lawn.

As per the user's manual from SunJoe, please note that the wire gauge must be 14 for cord lengths 50 and under and 12 for cord lengths over 50 feet up to 100 feet. It is important to comply with the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure that your best dethatcher running on electricity functions properly.

It’s the eco-friendly feature that stands out in our Sun Joe dethatcher review and for the price it makes this dethatcher one of our top picks. It’s ETL-approved and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Pros: Ideal for revitalizing small to mid-sized lawns
Airboost technology - spring steel tines for maximum thatch pickup

Things We Liked


  • ​Reliable and powerful 12-amp motor
  • Eco-friendly dethatching solution
  • 2 years warranty

Things We Didn't Like


  • The collection bag should be bigger

Price:

$$

Editor Rating:

4.2/5

Gardena 3395 Combisystem 12.8-Inch Thatching Cutter Rake Head

Gardena 3395 Combisystem has a 12.8-Inch thatching cutter rake head which thoroughly removes moss, weeds and matted grass. Compared with a traditional detaching rake, a lot less force is needed due to supporting axle and wheels.

The wheels add a mechanical advantage: you just push the rake forward and pull it back instead of the additional energy spent on lifting a traditional rake. The wheels also hinge the blades so depending on what angle you have the handle at, you will make the cuts into the lawn at different depths.

Sometimes you may miss a patch of thatch if you just go in one direction. To avoid this, you can try doing it criss cross or in circles. Also, although it’s really easy to use, if you're not careful you can pull up good grass with the thatch. When this happens, you’ll feel it’s hard to pull so just go slowly. When you’re just grabbing thatch, it's easy to pull. When you grab good, healthy grass with roots, it's hard to pull so just stop pulling and work that spot from a different angle.

Gardena 3395 Combisystem is lightweight, easy to use and easy to store. It does not come with a handle and you’ll need Gardena’s proprietary handle which fits more of their tools. It’s worth it!

Things We Liked


  • ​Lightweight, durable and easy to use
  • ​Durable thatching cutter rake head
  • ​A lot less tiring than using a traditional rake
  • ​Easy and efficient dethatcher tool

Things We Didn't Like


  • You need a fair amount of strength and a good back to use it

Price:

$

Editor Rating:

3.8/5

VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator - 12 Amp 13" Corded Electric with 4 Working Depths

VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator is efficient and reliable two tools in one combo: Aerator and Dethatcher.

It will help you maintain a healthy, thatch-free lawn without spending hours raking, forking and scraping. VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator effortlessly removes thatch, moss, leaves and other debris from your lawn, helping to prevent issues such as water logging, lack of oxygen and lawn diseases.

It is equipped with a dual purpose drum and two easily interchangeable rollers to change the function of the machine to suit the job in hand.

The Aerating roller rakes out thatch, moss and leaves to encourage new growth and keep your lawn looking tidy. The Dethatching roller – penetrates the lawn surface to remove embedded moss and thatch and enable nutrient and moisture absorption.

The 4 adjustable working depths let you select the type of finish you want on your lawn with the powerful drive of 12-Amp motor which has two point start switch for safety.

At 18.7lbs, VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator is lightweight. Its design with 16-inch power cord and height adjustable handle allow for outstanding flexibility.

This dethatcher comes with a 40L collection box which is suitable for smaller lawns. For larger grass areas of grass we recommend removing the bag and manually raking the cuttings after use. Otherwise, the bag will need to be emptied more frequently than you’d like and it will slow you down.

Its working width is 13 inches with the dethatcher and aerator having 4 adjustable working depths for outmost adaptability and efficiency. Finally, being powered by electricity, this is an eco-friendly combo solution for your lawn. Still, we do recommend using extension cords of appropriate and safe gauge.

Things We Liked


  • ​Very powerful motor
  • Great blade changing system
  • Ease of use
  • Small footprint
  • Great value

Things We Didn't Like


  • Small thatch collecting bag
  • Not a core aerator

Price:

$$

Editor Rating:

3.7/5

Sun Joe Dethatcher Joe AJ800E 14-Inch 11-Amp Electric Dethatcher with AirBoost Technology

Sun Joe Dethatcher Joe AJ800E is a powerful dethatcher with a 14-Inch head, 11-Amp motor and AirBoost Technology which enhances its raking ability by maximizing thatch pickup with spring steel tines. The tines will stay sharp longer making dethatching more efficient

Let’s move on to the motor. Sun Joe Dethatcher AJ800E is driven by a powerful 11 Amp motor. With 3,600 RPM it has plenty of ability to dethatch lawns even with thick, deep thatch.

It’s a clean and eco-friendly dethatcher requiring no motor oil or gas to provide the green but powerful operation you’re looking for. You would assume that an electric dethatcher would come with some compromises as regards power but Sun Joe Dethatcher AJ800E will providing ultimate performance, durability and comfort.

Larger, tougher yards might require higher performance motors, both for the amount of thatch to clean up and the length of time required to complete the entire yard. But for an average size lawn this dethatcher will deliver.

However, please be advised that the included guide states you must use a 12 Gauge extension cord for 100ft run or a 14 Gauge rated one for a 50ft as this dethatcher draws 11 Amps. Also, the occasional overheating in fact shuts off the dethatcher to prevent it from burning up.

With some cases of overheating, this dethatcher strives to live up to Sun Joe standards even with the most difficult to remove thatch. It will help you get the job done quickly and with minimum effort.

Sun Joe AJ800E has 5 depth positions, which makes it versatile and allows for easy adjustability to the amount of thatch in different layers in your lawn. Thatch builds up and is more strongly rooted within your lawn over time. So, while dethatching, you need to be able to change depths quickly.

With one pull of the handle, you will get the perfect depth position for each layer. Some cases do report occasional pulling off healthy grass, probably due to inadequate adjustment settings.

The collection bag is not the easiest to attach on the dethatcher. As in previous cases, the bag gets full quite quickly so you can either empty it more often and let the machine cool off or simply dethatch without it.

Finally, do follow the recommendation to mow the lawn shorter than usual before the first dethatching. Use the appropriate gauge cord. Go easy on the machine and if your lawn requires much more dethatching than you first thought, you might be better off with a more powerful model.

Things We Liked


  • ​Perfect for small and mid-sized lawns with not much thatch
  • Airboost technology a convenient feature
  • Eco-friendly dethatching solution for your lawn
  • 2 years warranty

Things We Didn't Like


  • The machine overheats and shuts down to prevent damage
  • The collection bag too small and difficult to attach

Price:

$$

Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I’ve tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me.

I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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