Keeping your lawn in the best condition is not always a walk in the park. But, who wants to deal with a yard filled with thatch when they can use a dethatcher?
Dethatching is essential to ensure a beautiful and healthy lawn. But, for you to achieve that, you need the best dethatcher for the job.
In this article, I have compiled the reviews of some of the top-rated dethatchers on the market.
I have also included a detailed buying guide for an easy selection process. You will also find answers to questions you might have on the use of lawn dethatchers.
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- TOP 11 Best Dethatchers for 2021
- Greenworks 14-inch Corded Dethatcher
- Groundskeeper The II Rake
- Agri-Fab Tine Tow Dethatcher 45-0294
- Brinly DT-48BH Tow-Behind Dethatcher
- Agri-Fab 45-0295 Tow Dethatcher
- Brinly DT-40BH Tow-Behind Dethatcher
- Craftsman CMXGZBF7124315 Tow Dethatcher
- Agri-Fab 45-0457 SmartLink Dethatcher
- Earthwise DT71613 Corded Electric Dethatcher
- Agri-Fab 45-0343 Dethatcher
- VonHaus 2-in-1 Corded Electric Dethatcher
- How to Choose the Best Dethatcher for Your Lawn
- Is a dethatcher worth it?
- Should you dethatch your yard every year?
- Is it better to dethatch in the spring or fall?
- Should I aerate or dethatch my lawn?
- Should I mow before dethatching?
- Can you mow after dethatching?
- Will dethatching remove weeds?
- Should I fertilize after dethatching?
- Should you water after dethatching?
TOP 11 Best Dethatchers for 2021
Greenworks 14-inch Corded Dethatcher
If you have a small lawn and looking for a reliable dethatcher, this 14-inch one from Greenworks is an excellent choice. It is not only compact for easy handling but also effective in removing thatch from your lawn.
The dethatcher features a 14-inch dethatching path, which is adequate for small lawns. It is paired with a powerful 10amp motor for consistent performance when dethatching. The best thing is that it has three-position adjustment levels allowing you to customize its functions to your lawn requirements.
- Stainless steel construction.
- Comes with foldable handles.
- Easy to carry and store.
- Quiet operation.
- Only suitable for a small yard.
Groundskeeper The II Rake
Is it possible to be in love with a garden rake? I never thought so until I met the Groundskeeper II, and now I’m considering leaving my wife.
I bought this one specifically for dethatching, and boy does it deliver. Made with a sturdy fiberglass handle that’s 55-inches long, its construction and design help prevent fatigue – no matter the job.
It’s lightweight, yet tough and durable, and I’ve been amazed at what it can rake up around the garden.
The tines keep their shape but offer excellent flexibility, and if you do manage to break one – it can easily be replaced.
Probably the best dethatching rake on the market – and yet so much more versatile besides – this thing needs to be in your shed.
- Strong enough to move gravel.
- Durable, flexible action.
- Long, anti-fatigue handle.
- Comfortable to use.
- Great price considering what you get.
- None to speak of.
Agri-Fab Tine Tow Dethatcher 45-0294
Agri-Fab is known for its incredible gardening tools, and this dethatcher is no exception. It is designed to dethatch a large lawn without having to go over and over again one specific area. On this note, it comes with twenty durable spring tines that remove thatch from the base up.
The tines penetrate and turn up dried grass and weeds in 40-inch swatches. This path is significantly wide, making this dethatcher the best lawn dethatcher for a large lawn. The best part is that the spring tines are replaceable.
- Rust-proof tines.
- Comes with a transport handle.
- High-quality semi-pneumatic wheels.
- Ideal for any terrain.
- Challenging to assemble.
Brinly DT-48BH Tow-Behind Dethatcher
I understand that not all dethatchers fit all mowers, so I had to include this one for larger mowers. The Brinly DT-48BH has a 48-inch working width, which works well for a more extensive lawn.
It is fitted with flexing spring steel tines designed to comb through the lawn and lift thatch up and out of the yard. When it comes to the quality of this dethatcher, I find it one of the best on the list. It comes in all steel construction to withstand regular use without deteriorating in quality.
- Comes with a safety rod to catch the tine.
- 8-inches never-flat transport wheels.
- 24 long-lasting spring tines.
- Universal hook up for most mowers.
- Simple to assemble.
- Needs additional assembly parts.
Agri-Fab 45-0295 Tow Dethatcher
If you are trying to find the best tow behind dethatcher for a large lawn, this Agri-Fab model should be top of your list. It comes with a 48-inch dethatching path that can help you dethatch a large area in a short time.
What’s more? It features a durable, heavy-duty steel deck and welded drawbar. This can last long while ensuring the utmost functionality of the dethatcher. For easy operation, the dethatcher has a cantilever transport handle, making it easy to raise and lower.
- Universal hitch to fit most tractors.
- Heat-treated spring tines.
- High-quality construction.
- Inadequate assembly instruction.
- Not suitable with zero turn mowers.
Brinly DT-40BH Tow-Behind Dethatcher
Another gem from Brinly, this model is ideal if you are looking for a balance between size and effectiveness. It comes with a 40-inch dethatching path, which is relatively functional for any size of the lawn. On this note, it works best with lawnmowers for small yards.
Does it hold up, though?
Quality is an essential factor to consider, and this dethatcher ticks all the boxes right. It is an all-steel model and fitted with a heavy-duty tray to hold up to 70lbs of additional weight. The tines are made from heavy-duty spring steel. You can catch the tines with the safety rod and prevent contact with mower blades and maintain quality.
- Easy-to-engage transport wheels.
- 20 long-lasting tines.
- Universal hook up for most mower or tractor.
- Multiple settings for various tasks
- A little time-consuming to assemble
Craftsman CMXGZBF7124315 Tow Dethatcher
Finding a dethatcher on a budget is not the easiest task. This is why I included this model from Craftsman. It comes at a relatively affordable price range and is designed to suit the different types of tractors. The universal hitch makes it compatible with most mowers too.
The dethatcher features automatic raking action and has a weight tray that holds up to 70pounds. With the cantilever transport handle, you can easily raise and lower for convenience. Additionally, it has 20 heat-treated tines that last long despite regular use.
- High-quality construction.
- Provides excellent value for money.
- Ideal for small to medium lawns.
- Strong tines.
- Challenging to hook up the hitch
Agri-Fab 45-0457 SmartLink Dethatcher
If you have the SmartLink Master Platform and looking for a compatible dethatcher, this Agri-Fab model is the best. It is specifically designed for that and works well at picking up thatch. The best thing is that it attaches in seconds, and you do not need any tools for assembly.
The thing I love most about this dethatcher is how little space it takes. With many tools in your garage, you need a space-saving model like this one. And, it does not take away from how functional it is when it comes to dethatching.
- 20 high-quality tines.
- Scratch-resistant powder coat paint.
- Easy attachment saves time.
- Sturdy construction.
- Not for towing behind a rider mower.
Earthwise DT71613 Corded Electric Dethatcher
If you are trying to find the best electric dethatcher, this one from Earthwise can be a great choice. It comes with a 13-amp motor with a bail wire switch for safe and easy starting. It is powerful and energy-efficient like that of a gas garden tiller.
The lawn dethatcher comes with a 16-inch working width hence suitable for a small garden. It is also fitted with a debris catcher that has a capacity of 4 gallons. I love that this dethatcher is eco-friendly, therefore a great choice if you are looking for a fume-free option.
- Adjustable working height.
- Ideal for all sizes of yards.
- High power and efficient.
- Small capacity bag.
Agri-Fab 45-0343 Dethatcher
I love that I can buy attachments to use with other tools instead of investing in an independent tool for a single job. This is why I had to include this dethatcher for lawn sweepers. If you are looking for one, this model from Agri-Fab is a perfect choice.
Like other Agri-Fab dethatchers, this one is built to fit most mowers, lawn sweepers, and tractors. It comes with a simple attachment hook to fit quickly on to your lawn sweeper. With the 14 heat-treated spring tines, the dethatcher does a good job picking up thatch and weeds.
- High-quality steel construction.
- Easy to attach.
- Provides excellent value for money.
- Effective at picking thatch.
- A little challenging to put together.
- Only suitable for lawn sweepers.
VonHaus 2-in-1 Corded Electric Dethatcher
If you are searching for a dethatcher but could still make use of an aerator, I recommend this 2-in-1 model from Von Haus. It comes with separate dethatcher and aerator drums so you can use it for either task.
It runs on a 12.5 amp motor to lift organic debris from the lawn. What’s more? It features a 15-inch working width, which works great for small and medium. The good thing is that it features a thermal cut out and a 2-stage safety start to ensure you are safe.
- 45-liter capacity collection box.
- Folds easily for convenient storage.
- Soft-grip handle.
- Adjustable height depths.
- Works well in all seasons.
- Requires an extension cord for easy use.
How to Choose the Best Dethatcher for Your Lawn
Investing in a lawn dethatcher can place a dent in your account. This is why it is vital to keep some factors in mind before you acquire one. That way, you get the best value for your money by choosing a model that meets your needs. Here are the essential things to consider.
The Type of Dethatcher
Dethatchers come in two major types; electric and manual.
Electric dethatchers are generally lightweight and easy to use. Most brands on the market have push models. These work well for a small lawn where you can push it forward and back to dethatch.
Electric dethatchers are highly rated because they do not emit fumes, unlike gas-powered lawn power tools do. They run on motors, and with an accessible power source, electric models work well. Therefore, you should consider the type of motor it has.
The power of the motor varies from one model to the other and highly affects how well the dethatcher will work. Most models range between 8 to 15 amps motors, which do well in general.
You may be geared towards choosing a high power motor, say the 15 amp one. But in the world of motors, the power of the motor is not a significant consideration. You want to find one with a balance between power and effectiveness. No one wants a muscular dethatcher roaming around the lawn, making all the noise and potentially damaging your grass.
You would rather find one with lower power but one that maneuvers easily and is comfortable to handle. A 12 amp one can be a great choice; it provides adequate power but is still friendly on the surface of your lawn.
Lastly, when choosing electric dethatchers, consider the length of the cord. Most of the models available come with short cords but allow the use of an extension cord to cover a larger area. You can extend the cable up to 200 feet long but, you need to be careful while at it.
The Ohms law indicates that the voltage is equal to current plus resistance. On this note, the resistance in wires increases over long distances. Therefore, if you use an overly longer cord, the power of the dethatcher might not be the best.
A tip to solve this would be to increase the width of the cord. That will balance the length of the cord and the width to maintain the power consistency.
Manual dethatchers are designed to attach to other lawn maintenance tools such as zero-turn mowers, regular lawn mowers, and tractors. They come fitted with steel tines that reach down into the lawn to pull thatch and weeds. The best thing about having a manual dethatcher is that you can attach it to your mower and handle both tasks at a go.
This can be time-saving, and you do not have to worry about using two or more tools for the job. The only problem is that manual dethatchers only work well if you have a sit-down mower or sweeper. Otherwise, you would need to mow first then use a push dethatcher to clear.
Most models of dethatchers, both electric and manual, come with a collection bag. Note that if yours does not come with one, you will likely spend more time raking up thatch after. Most people assume that a collection bag is unnecessary, but it saves so much time and effort during and after dethatching.
If a dethatcher does not have a collection bag, it pulls thatch from the lawn and dumps it right on the surface. This will then require you to use a rake or a lawn sweeper to collect the mess. But, if you enjoy raking, then a collection bag should not be a concern.
The power of the motor gets all the credit for the job done, but in essence, the tines do all the dirty work. Tines are metal fingers that reach down into the lawn to grab and hold on the thatch `
Most models have steel tines, but the quality varies from one model to the other. Ideally, the best tines should be made of high-quality steel with a rust-proof finish to withstand use in any conditions. It is important to understand that the wider the dethatcher, the more tines it should have.
The design of the dethatcher you choose should be simple and easy to figure out. If you are conversant with assembling power tools, particularly gardening tools, you should be able to put together a dethatcher easily.
This factor comes across differently from one person to another, but I believe it is essential. No one wants to get stuck, putting together a dethatcher for hours. Before you buy, make sure the package comes with all the parts and necessary accessories. This will save you valuable money and effort, making the process even easier.
Also, pay attention to the type of attachment hook the dethatcher has. Some models are compatible with all tractors, mowers, and other tools, while others are designed for specific ones. If you do not understand the different attachments available, go for models that come with a universal hitch attachment.
Usually, dethatchers allow height adjustments to suit specific areas of your lawn when dethatching. But, the height levels vary from one design to the other. Most have three-position adjustment levels, and they work pretty well. But, there are few models with up to 5 adjustment points.
The height adjustment feature is crucial as it allows you to customize how deep the tines can get. For example, if you have longer grass in one area than another, you can adjust the height to ensure the tines reach the base of the long grass. You can then switch it back to the original position or change the height to suit a specific area.
Dethatchers come with a different width to suit various sizes of lawns. The larger the width, the more surface the dethatcher will cover with one swatch. For example, if you get a 48-inch dethatcher, that means it will dethatch 48-inches wide in one path.
The width is not a significant concern, but if you are looking to save time dethatching your large lawn, you need to consider it. If you have a smaller, narrow yard with corners, a smaller width would be most appropriate.
Is a dethatcher worth it?
The answer to whether dethatching is worth it or not depends on your overall goal for your lawn. If you are chasing the aesthetic and beauty of a green lawn, then you might need to dethatch every few months. But, if you are chasing the health of your yard, then leaving about ½-inch of thatch is beneficial to your lawn.
A thin layer of thatch can act as mulch and protect your lawn from soil temperature fluctuations. Also, it allows water, nutrients, and air to penetrate and can help retain soil moisture. But, if you notice a thick layer of thatch on the surface of the lawn, then it is time to dethatch.
Should you dethatch your yard every year?
It is advisable to dethatch your lawn at least once a year. Ideally, you should dethatch your yard if the thatch grows to more than ½-inch from the soil surface. You can use your fingers to check how thick the thatch is to evaluate if dethatching is necessary.
Is it better to dethatch in the spring or fall?
You should dethatch your lawn when it is actively growing as this is the time thatch tends to pile up. The best time to do this is the same as aerating, which is around early fall or early spring if you have cool-season grasses. If you have warm-season grasses, then late spring towards early summer is the best time to dethatch.
Should I aerate or dethatch my lawn?
It is best to dethatch your lawn first before you aerate the lawn. This helps to loosen the thatch and remove excess debris, which affects proper root development. Both practices are essential for the health of the lawn and should be done together.
For more on this, read our article on aerating vs dethatching.
Should I mow before dethatching?
You can mow before dethatching is you have long grass that you are to cut anyway. But, if your grass is of a desirable height, it is best to mow after dethatching. This ensures you have a uniform layer of grass after removing thatch. However, you have to be careful when mowing after dethatching.
A tip is to use the lowest mow settings just to level the surface.
Can you mow after dethatching?
Yes, you can mow after dethatching. This will ensure you achieve a leveled lawn surface. You also take care of overgrown parts of your lawn and clear any left-over thatch in the process. However, it is not always a requirement to mow after dethatching, especially if the grass is not long enough to cut.
Will dethatching remove weeds?
Dethatching can remove weeds; however, it is not the best practice to take care of weeds in your lawn. If you have weeds and tough grass such as Bermuda grass, you can first use a weed killer designed for Bermuda grass before dethatching. That way, you attack the problem from the source rather than fixing it temporarily.
If you have pets with access to your lawn, get pet safe weed killers for safety.
Should I fertilize after dethatching?
It is best to wait for a while before you can apply fertilizer after dethatching. This allows your lawn to green up and take shape. If you fertilize your lawn while the grass is in a dormant stage, you encourage weeds to grow and compete with the grass.
Should you water after dethatching?
Yes, you should water the lawn after dethatching. This will help the grass recover fast and prevent excessive drying. Be careful not to overwater as this would feed sprouting weeds that would eventually compete with the grass for nutrients.
A lawn dethatcher can come in handy to help you maintain your lawn in the best conditions. With the considerations above, you can bag a high-quality, effective dethatcher for your specific needs.
I love all the options above, but my favorite remains the Brinly DT-48BH Tow-Behind Dethatcher. It has high-quality components to last long while providing quality results each time. It is wide enough to work well for large lawns, and the strong tines pick up thatch well.