We cannot tell you which scarifier to buy, however we can help you to choose one!
Armed with a few basic pointers, you can easily select the right lawn scarifier to suit your garden and your budget.
The most popular scarifiers are electric. This is because the majority of domestic lawns are under 200 square metres and are only scarified once a year, so do not really warrant buying a petrol machine. I have seen some very basic electric scarifiers churn through thick thatch on lawns 10 metres wide by 20 metres long, so they are more than man enough to do the job.
As with most things you get what you pay for. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to get a reliable machine that will do the job. You just have to be aware of how much you are getting for your money!
The most expensive part on these machine is the motor. If you are getting a very powerful motor for under £100 then be wary. For example, you might find a machine that has a 1500 watt motor for £95 and next to it you may see a machine with a 600 watt motor for only £20 less. Is that motor really going to last? If your garden is quite large, then you would be wise to get a more powerful motor. Not because it will do a better job, but because it will be able to withstand a longer running time when its under load (raking the lawn).
Be wary of cheap machines that are able to do multiple jobs. Some machines come with interchangeable heads, a lawn rake and an aerator. Sounds great, but ask yourself “Is the manufacturer really going to be able to build a machine that can rake a lawn and aerate it that is going to last a long time at a bargain price?” The answer is: Very udoubtful! Buy a Scarifier just to scarify the lawn don’t try to cut corners. Although the machine is just an electric rake it will have to work hard for it’s money so try not to expect any more than that.
All machines come with a collection box, although useful, thatch is bulky stuff and will quickly fill the box. So the larger the box the better, the capacity of the box is measured in litres.
Most electric scarifiers come with a height adjustment facility. This enables the machine to go deeper into the grass to pull out more thatch. Useful, but not essential. Three levels of raking is sufficient.
A word of warning, when you start to scarify, test the machine on a piece of lawn first. Start the machine on the highest setting and lower the setting until it starts to pull the thatch out. You need to avoid the tines that pull out the thatch hitting the soil as this puts unnecessary pressure on the machine, shortening it’s life.
Well known brands like Bosch, Black and Decker and Flymo are safe bets. They are very competitively priced and have a quality build. In fact, these manufacturers all have machines in the amazon.co.uk best seller list.
Here are three machines across the range which we think are the pick of the bunch.
This Black & Decker Lawn Raker is for small lawns up to approximately 100 sqm. With a 600W motor it gets a 4.5/5 star rating on amazon.co.uk with some great reviews and is priced around £70.
This Flymo Lawn Raker looks great and has a mid range 750W motor. With a slightly wider raking width at 34cm. It will tackle a lawn easily up to 150 sqm. With another 4.5/5 star rating and priced around £100 this machine is a good buy.
This Bosch Scarifier has 1100W motor powerful enough to attack most domestic lawns. The machine has a large 50 litre capactity collection box so would be great for autumn leaf collection too! Its slightly more pricey than the other two we have listed but we think it’s well worth the money at just under £150.