Types of Scarifier & Raker
Quite often marketed as power scarifiers, garden scarifiers, electric scarifiers or electric lawn rakers. ElectricThough called scarifiers many have just wire tines and are lawn raking machines at best. They are good value and if you have a mossy lawn between 100 and about 250 m2 then these are a great investment.
Some manufacturers have machines with inter-changeable cassettes; wires for moss and blades for scarifying. They make for good moss rakers and reasonable though light weight scarifiers; ideal for small to medium lawns.
If your lawn is much over 300m2 and needs scarifying then the only way of making the work less arduous is to use a petrol scarifier. If you’re caring for a fine or ornamental lawn only a good quality sharp petrol scarifier will be able to cut through the thatch cleanly without excessive damage.
Petrol powered scarifiers start at £300 and go up to several thousand pounds for professional pedestrian machines. Chances are that if your need is not twice a year then hiring a machine for a day or so will be your best bet. Most hire companies have them but do check for:
- Blades – they need to have a reasonably sharp point and should not be too rounded
- To reduce damage to a bumpy lawn try and get a scarifier with swinging or flail type blades
- If moss is your problem make sure wire tines can be fitted into the machine. If not flail or swinging blades will do
- For top quality lawns, sharp fixed blades are the only way to go!
If you decide to buy then the above will help you decide what to look for. Interchangeable cassettes being the number one priority if you have both a moss and thatch problem. Of course if you have an electric lawn raker or can put a raking cassette into the mower then all you need is a machine with scarifying blades.
There are many many manufacturers and many different prices so just get the best you can afford. Quite often a pre-owned machine makes sense and if you can grab one, perhaps a SISIS from a bowling club then do so. You’ll have a superb machine with all the variations you’ll need.
Atco, Qualcast and some other cylinder mower manufacturers produce scarifying cassettes for their cylinder mowers. These are excellent for light raking or de-mossing the lawn and are a good way of getting additional use from your mower. They are no substitute for a scarifier if de-thatching the lawn is your goal but it does mean a simpler and perhaps cheaper choice if a scarifier is also required.
Hand Held or Manual
The simple spring-bok or spring tine rake is perfectly adequate for moss removal and raking small lawns. However, if you want to make hand scarifying and raking a lot easier then a rolling lawn scarifier is perfect.