If you want a lawn that’s the envy of your neighbours, there are several important steps. Choose the right lawn seed or turf for your location. Keep it mown and watered. Get rid of those weeds. And every so often, give it some tough love by scarifying it!
To do that, you’ll need a scarifier. If you’re not sure which one to choose, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to take a look at seven of the best lawn scarifiers on the market. And we’ll help you match their features to your needs.
So without further ado, let’s see what’s out there!
The best lawn scarifier on UK Market 2022
1. VonHaus 2 in 1 Electric Lawn Scarifier
This mid-priced scarifier from VonHaus is described as a 2-in-1 model. It will lift thatch and debris from the surface of the lawn, and it will puncture the soil. The result is an effectively scarified lawn with minimal effort.
It’s best suited to smaller and medium-sized lawns, having a working width of 38 centimetres. The collection box will hold up to 55 litres of thatch and debris. Just empty it into your composter and avoid the back-breaking task of raking it all up.
You’ll get two interchangeable drums, one for scarifying and one for aerating. Switching between them is quick and easy.
You can choose from five different working depths. Go as low as 12 millimetres below ground, to 6 millimetres above. That will give you plenty of flexibility to carry out the right level maintenance throughout the growing season. It’s a simple case of pushing the lever to your chosen height.
The clever design means this scarifier takes up surprisingly little storage space. The grass box is removeable. And the soft-grip handle folds in half to help it slot into a smaller area.
A push-down handle and power button have to be deployed before it will start. That means you won’t find it whirring into life unexpectedly. It also has an automatic power cut-off to prevent overheating.
The motor has an output of 1,800 watts, so it has plenty of power to get the job done. And it comes with 10 metres of bright orange cable, giving you a good reach across your lawn.
There are just a couple of things to watch out for.
The first is the assembly instructions. Assembly isn’t particularly difficult – but the instructions are so unclear, they really don’t help much at all.
The second is that the collection box will fill up pretty quickly. That goes double if it’s been a while since you scarified your lawn. Be prepared to empty it out regularly – or just remove it and resign yourself to raking up the thatch.
- 2-in-1 scarifier and aerator
- Choice of 5 different working depths
- 1,800-watt motor delivers bags of power
- The assembly instructions leave something to be desired
- The collection box will fill up fast – especially if it’s been a while since the lawn was last scarified.
2. Cobra-SA32Ee Electric Scarifier & Aerator Lawn Raker
The Cobra SA32Ee is a great option for those looking for an economical machine that can both aerate and scarify.
With this one, you’ll get a 30-litre collection box to pick up the thatch as you work. You’ll find it most helpful on smaller lawns. Larger areas and denser thatch will mean you need to empty it frequently. If you find that’s more trouble than it’s worth, you can just remove it.
The motor here has an output of 1,300 watts, so it isn’t the most powerful option on the market. But if you’ve got a smaller lawn, it will do the job just fine in most conditions. It has a working width of 32 centimetres.
There are two interchangeable drums for scarifying and aerating. Just swap them over as needed – it’s very easy to do. The aerating drum has 12 robust blades, while the scarifying drum has 36 tines.
It’s best to scarify at the beginning of the growing season if you can. That will give your lawn the best chance to recover and green up as the weather gets warmer. You can choose from four different settings, from minus 9 to plus 4 millimetres. Just push the lever into position to select the one you want.
You’ll get the best results on softer ground. If the ground is very hard, the lack of power can be a problem. The aerator blades may simply scuff the surface of the lawn, rather than biting into the soil.
The machine comes with a 10-metre long power cord, and there’s a two-year warranty for peace of mind.
As long as you’re realistic about its capabilities, this is a great little scarifier. If your lawn isn’t very large and you don’t want to spend a fortune, it could be the perfect choice.
- Choice of four different working heights
- Package includes both a scarifying and an aerating drum
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- The 1,300-watt motor isn’t the most powerful
- At 30-litres capacity, the grass collection box is rather small.
3. Einhell GC-SA 1231/1 Electric Lawn Scarifier/Aerator (Best for Small Lawn)
Einhell’s GC-SA 1231/1 is another great pick for budget conscious gardeners. And it has plenty of features to recommend it.
The motor here has an output of 1,200 watts. The series-wound mechanism delivers plenty of torque, and there’s a working width of 31 centimetres. It’s suitable for small to medium-sized lawns, working well on an area of up to about 300 square metres.
The housing is made of tough plastic, and there’s a long handle to push it. When you’ve finished, that handle folds into three neat sections to save on storage space.
Two separate drums allow you to scarify or aerate your lawn. For scarifying, there’s a cylinder with eight double blades made of high-quality stainless steel. The aerator consists of 42 claws, to allow in plenty of air and moisture. Those claws are made of stainless steel too, so they’re strong and won’t rust.
Both drums are mounted on ball bearings for smooth movement.
You can choose between three working heights. Start with the highest – this is a surprisingly powerful machine. You can always progress to a lower setting if you need to.
There’s a grass collection box here to save on the raking – but it’s not particularly large. That means you’ll need to take it off and empty it pretty regularly. We’ve heard from a number of gardeners who’ve found it easier to jettison it.
One other thing to note with this one is that the power cord is only about 4.5 metres long. So if you’re planning on using this up to the recommended surface area of 300 square metres, you’ll need an extension lead.
We’ve also heard of some cases where UK buyers have received a power cord with a continental plug. You’ll need to invest in an adapter if that’s what you end up with.
If you run into any problems, you’ll be reassured to know that this comes with a two-year guarantee. Simply contact the manufacturer within two weeks of becoming aware of any defect.
- Powerful torque
- Both drums have stainless steel blades and tines, so they’re strong and won’t rust
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- The power cord is shorter than we’d like
- Not the best choice for lawns over 300 square metres.
4. Einhell GE-SC 35 Li Solo Power X-Change Cordless Scarifier
The GE-SC 35 is the second model from Einhell to make our list. If you long for an electric scarifier without a cord, this one should make your shortlist.
It’s powered by two lithium batteries. The batteries and charger are compatible with all the tools in Einhell’s Power X-Change range. So if you already have one or more of these, it’s a fairly economical choice.
If not, you’ll need to buy the batteries and charger separately. That will considerably increase your overall expenditure. But if you don’t mind spending the money, you’ll never have to worry about running over a power cable.
There are a range of different batteries available, depending on how much area you need to cover in a single charge.
Two of the smallest 2.5Ah batteries will give you coverage of up to 190 square metres. There are another four sizes available, with the most powerful being 5.2Ah. Two of these will allow you to scarify or aerate up to 400 square metres in one go.
The motor here is brushless, making it both efficient and long-lasting. And like the other Einhell model on our list, you’ll get plenty of torque here.
The scarifier comes as standard, but if you want to aerate, you’ll need to buy the second drum separately. The same goes for the grass collection box, which is an optional extra.
The wheels are a generous 16 centimetres in diameter, carrying the scarifier smoothly over the lawn. That will place less strain on your grass.
You can choose from three different working heights. There’s also a parking position to protect the blades or tines when the machine is not in use.
- Great build quality and plenty of torque
- Runs on lithium batteries, so you won’t need to worry about running over a cable
- Generous 16-centimetre diameter wheels will minimize the stress on your grass
- Unless you have them already, you’ll need to buy the batteries and charger separately – and they’re fairly pricey
- If you want an aerator drum and grass collection box, you’ll need to buy those separately too.
5. Makita UV3600 Lawn Scarifier
Makita’s UV3600 scarifier is one of the most expensive on our list. But it will give you power enough for even the toughest lawns. And it will handle larger areas too.
It features four different working levels, which are selected with a simple lever. You can choose anything from minus 10 millimetres to plus 5. That gives it a bigger range that many other models out there.
It comes with a 40-litre collection bag. With most lawns, though, you’ll find this fills up pretty quickly. You may find it easier to remove the bag and simply rake up the thatch afterwards. The rear flap is fixed at an angle to make it easier to use without the bag.
The wheels here are particularly good. They’re big, with rubber tyres to absorb the shock on uneven ground. The result is a more comfortable scarifying experience – and less stress on your grass – even if your lawn isn’t perfectly level.
It’s not, though, without its idiosyncrasies. The main one is that it doesn’t come with a power cord. You’ll need to buy one separately, but it doesn’t have to be made by Makita. Most DIY stores will sell something that will fit, and it isn’t expensive.
And note that this is purely a scarifier. You can use it to aerate the soil, but only if you buy an aeration drum separately. If that’s what you need, factor it into your overall costing.
All in all, this is a great choice for those wanting plenty of power. It’s particularly well suited to scarifying larger lawns – but you’ll probably find it easier to ditch the collection box.
- Very powerful
- Large wheels with rubber tyres for smooth operation, even on bumpier surfaces
- Wide range of working levels, from minus 10 to plus 5 millimetres
- You’ll need to buy a power cord and plug separately
- If using with the collection box, be prepared to empty it out regularly.
6. WOLF-Garten VS302E Electric Lawn Scarifier
WOLF-Garten’s electric scarifier is one of the most expensive options on our list. So what do you get for your money?
Well, this German manufacturer is well known for the quality of its garden tools, and this scarifier is no different. Everything is well put together, and there’s tough plastic housing to protect the mechanism.
Note that it comes with scarifying blades only. It can also be used to rake up thatch, but for that you’ll need to buy the moss-rake cartridge separately. You can adjust the depth of operation over five different levels to suit all conditions.
This is best suited to small to medium-sized lawns. The motor will generate 1,200 watts of power, and there’s a working width of 30 centimetres. It comes with a generous 20 metres of power cable, giving you the freedom to cover a decent area.
There’s a bag to collect the moss and thatch. But with a capacity of 35 litres, you’re likely to find that it fills up pretty quickly.
And we don’t love the way it’s positioned at the back of the scarifier. The angle is so steep that it’s easy for the thatch to fall out as soon as it’s more than a quarter full. Your best bet is to detach the bag and just rake up the grass afterwards.
The handle has a soft grip, so it’s comfortable to hold as you’re working. It will also fold down into three sections to make storage easier. And the whole thing comes with a three-year warranty for peace of mind.
Note that the motor here isn’t as powerful as some. If you’ve selected the deepest working level, you may find it overheats if you cover too large an area.
You’ll need to do a bit of assembly before the first use. It is, however, easy to do, and the only tool you’ll need is a screwdriver.
- Good quality construction with robust plastic housing
- Choice of five working levels
- Generous 20-metre power cable
- The motor isn’t as powerful as some – this is best suited to small to medium-sized lawns
- The angle of the collection bag means the thatch falls out if it’s more than a quarter full.
7. Feider FST212 Petrol Lawn Scarifier (Best for Large Lawn)
So far we’ve looked at electric scarifiers – but there is another option. Feider’s FST212 is fuelled by petrol, so you won’t have to worry about electric cables. And you won’t be restricted by battery life either.
You will need deep pockets for this one – it’s the most expensive model on our list. But you’ll be getting exceptional build quality and the reassurance of a five-year warranty. And there are plenty of other features too.
It has 18 sharp steel blades to tease out accumulated moss and thatch. Set the working depth lower, and it will slice neat grooves into the soil, letting in air and assisting drainage.
When it comes to those working levels, there’s a big range. You can choose between no fewer than eight, from minus 15 to plus 5 millimetres.
There’s a powerful two-stroke 212 cc air-cooled engine, delivering 3 horsepower. It’s fuelled by a 3.6-litre petrol tank, allowing you to cover up to 2,000 square metres. And there’s a 45-centimetre working width, making this a great choice for larger lawns.
The collection box isn’t huge, though, at 35 litres. So either be prepared to empty it frequently, or just leave it off and rake up the thatch afterwards.
The housing here is steel, rather than plastic. And the wheels are 17.5 centimetres in diameter with double ball-bearing mounts for a smooth ride.
This being a petrol scarifier, you will need to change the fuel and oil. And it’s louder than electric models. But if that doesn’t put you off, you’ll get excellent performance, particularly on larger lawns.
- Powerful enough to handle lawns up to 2,000 square metres
- Choice of eight working levels, from minus 15 to plus 5 millimetres
- Generous working width of 45 centimetres
- The collection box is rather small, with a capacity of 35 litres
- You’ll need to be prepared to change the petrol and oil.
If you’re not sure what to look for in your lawn scarifier, our buying guide is for you! Here we’ll look at a few simple questions to help you narrow down your search.
Electric or petrol?
Most of the scarifiers on our list are powered by electricity, but it’s possible to find petrol-fuelled scarifiers too. So which will work best for your garden?
Electric versions use either mains electricity or a battery. With mains power, you’ll need to be within reach of a socket at all times. And you’ll have to watch out for the cable as you work. But it’s easy, quiet and fume-free, and you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice.
Battery-powered versions do away with the cable. But you will need to remember to keep the battery charged. And unless you carry spares – which can be heavy – you’ll be limited in the area you can cover in one go.
If you’re looking at a battery-powered scarifier, check whether batteries are included in the price. They can be quite expensive, so factor that into the cost if you need to buy them separately. And remember that you’ll need a charger too.
Petrol scarifiers are significantly louder during operation. You’ll need to be prepared to change the petrol and oil, and they usually require more maintenance. But they are often more powerful than electric versions. If you have a large lawn or hard ground, they are a great option.
How deep do you need to go?
Most scarifiers offer a range of different working depths. These are usually selected by moving a lever. Choose deeper settings to cut into the ground to let in light and air. Higher settings are best for teasing out the thatch from the base of the grass.
Check how many different settings there are, and the range of depths they cover. The more settings and the broader the range, the more flexibility you’ll have. That will allow you to get good results whatever the condition of your lawn.
Do you need extra features?
Last but not least, consider whether you want your scarifier to do anything else. Many models can also act as aerators if you change the drum. In some cases, you’ll even get an aerator drum included in the package.
It’s also worth considering whether you want a box to collect the thatch as you work. That can save you a lot of raking if you have a smaller lawn.
But if your lawn is medium-sized or larger, it may not be worth the effort. Even with a more generous collection box, you’re likely to have to empty it frequently. It may actually be less work to simply remove it and resign yourself to the raking.
Time to choose your scarifier!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of seven of the best scarifiers available right now! Whatever your budget, there are some excellent models out there.
Our top pick for smaller lawns is Einhell’s GC-SA 1231/1. It delivers impressive torque for its economical price tag. And you’ll get both a scarifying and an aerating drum into the bargain.
But if you have a larger area to cover, we love Feider’s petrol-fuelled FST212. It’s beautifully constructed, has unbeatable power, and there’s an impressive choice of eight working levels.
Whichever option is right for your garden, a scarifier is a great investment in the health of your lawn. We hope you’re soon enjoying its lush green splendour!