Breathe New Life Into Your Grass: The Best Lawn Scarifiers

Say goodbye to persistent moss and thatch issues with our handpicked selection of lawn scarifiers.
Tried & Tested: See Our Testing ↓
Written & Tested By: Archie Rich | Updated:
Best Lawn Scarifier
Archie Rich/DIY Works
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A lawn scarifier is used to cut through the soil in order to remove dead moss, grass cuttings and other debris. Although available as a manual pushing scarifier, the best are powered by electricity, batteries, and petrol, as they produce far better results.

As well as how it’s powered, signs of a good lawn scarifier can also be seen in its construction. For example, the best scarifiers use stainless or tempered steel teeth or blades, which are far more durable than the plastic alternatives.

To assist you in selecting a lawn scarifier, our handpicked selection lists top-performing models, chosen based on our first-hand experience using multiple manual, petrol, electric and battery-powered machines. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.

Bosch AVR 1100 Verti Cutter Lawn Raker
Best Overall: Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter
Einhell Lawn Scarifier GE-SC
Best Cordless: Einhell Lawn Scarifier GE-SC
Hyundai 212cc Lawn Scarifier and Aerator
Best Petrol: Hyundai HYSC210 Lawn Scarifier and Aerator
BLACK+DECKER GD300 Lawn Scarifier
Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER GD300 Lawn Scarifier
Greenworks GD40SC36 Lawn Rake
Best Cordless Runner-Up: Greenworks GD40SC36 Lawn Rake
Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3
Best Manual: Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3

How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates Lawn Scarifiers

As we own several properties (personal homes, Airbnb’s and rentals), we find ourselves using a lawn scarifier quite regularly. Usually, we will scarify the lawn twice a year, with light scarification in spring and more heavy scarification in autumn.

As shown in the photos below, scarifying your lawn produces quite a lot of debris (depending on its condition), and in the examples, the first was a relatively small amount, whereas the second lawn certainly benefited a lot from the scarifying.

best lawn raker

Archie Rich/DIY Works
best scarifiers

Archie Rich/DIY Works

Therefore, over the years, we’ve tried and tested several machines and gained plenty of experience with all types (cordless, petrol and manual scarifiers) on a range of different lawn conditions.

During our ongoing testing, we analyse the scarifier’s usability, performance, adjustability, build quality and ease of assembly out of the box. With regards to adjustability, many come with levers at the top for adjusting the height as well as the option to switch the blades (as shown in the photos below).

best scarifier and aerator uk

Archie Rich/DIY Works
best scarifier

Archie Rich/DIY Works

To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest lawn scarifiers (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice a brand has released a new and improved machine, we will attempt to buy it to put it to the test (where applicable).

best petrol scarifier

Archie Rich/DIY Works
best electric scarifier

Archie Rich/DIY Works

As well as our testing and experience using multiple lawn scarifiers, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the scarifier’s performance, usability, ease of assembly, height adjustability, design, build quality, warranty and value for money.

The Best Lawn Scarifiers

At DIY Works, our content is 100% independent and we would never recommend a product that we wouldn't use ourselves (read our editorial standards and how we test products).

1. Best Overall: Bosch AVR 1100 Verticutter

(How We Review →)

Bosch is an industry-leading brand that needs no introduction and their Verticutter is one of the most popular lawn scarifiers in the UK. The reason for its popularity is because it’s packed with plenty of intuitive features such as a clever folding design, multiple height settings and a “Jet Collect” system that ensures all debris is collected.

Pros
  • During testing, we found it to be very lightweight and easy to use
  • Powered by a 1,1000 watt electric motor
  • 14 rotating steel blades that can be adjusted in 4 different heights
  • Intuitive airflow management that ensures all debris is transferred into the collection box
  • Useable operating width of 32cm
  • New and improved model
Cons
  • Most expensive electric lawn scarifier

Although Bosch’s Verticutter isn’t the cheapest, it’s certainly one of the best available and it has recently been improved to make scarifying your lawn even easier. The only downside is the premium price tag but we feel that it’s a worthwhile investment that certainly won’t disappoint if you find yourself regularly using the machine.

2. Best Cordless: Einhell Lawn Scarifier GE-SC

(How We Review →)

If you would prefer to use a cordless lawn scarifier, the Einhell GE-SC model is the perfect solution. It’s powered by two 18V lithium-ion batteries and depending on the size of the battery, it can cover between 190 to 400 square metres.

In terms of it’s scarifying capabilities, this model has a working width of 35 cm and cutting depth of 9 mm.

Pros
  • Effortlessly cuts using 16 blades
  • Choice of 3 different cutting heights
  • Large all-terrain wheels
  • Height adjustable handle to best suit the user
  • Uses two batteries for additional power
Cons
  • Doesn't come with batteries or a charger (additional expense if you don't own any other Einhell power tools)

To conclude, the Einhell GE-SC is a powerful cordless lawn scarifier that scarifies, aerates and removes moss with ease. However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t come with batteries or a charger and these will need to be purchased separately, which can make this particular lawn scarifier an expensive option but it’s definitely worth it. When compared to other cordless options, the GE-SC doesn’t lack power and it also has a much longer runtime too.

3. Best Petrol: Hyundai HYSC210 Lawn Scarifier and Aerator

(How We Review →)

Whether you are a professional or an enthusiastic gardener with a large lawn to scarify, a petrol scarifier is usually the best option.

Therefore, if you are looking for a petrol machine, the most popular and highly rated option is Hyundai’s HYSC210 model, which is powered by a 212cc 4-stroke petrol engine and is designed with performance and durability in mind.

Pros
  • Large 40 cm cutting width
  • During testing, we found the engine to be easy to start and surprisingly fuel efficient (its capacity is larger than many of the alternatives)
  • Choice of 5 different cutting heights
  • Supplied with a 45 litre grass collector
  • Ergonomic soft grip foldable handles
  • Cuts using 18 hardened steel blades
  • Easy to assemble out of the box
Cons
  • Most expensive lawn scarifier within our roundup

As with most petrol lawn scarifiers, the Hyundai HYSC210 does come with a premium price tag but if you need to scarify and aerate large or multiple lawns, it’s the best type of machine to use.

When compared to the alternative petrol scarifiers, this model is built to a much higher standard and we were surprised with just how lightweight and easy it was to push whilst testing.

Therefore, to conclude, if you require the best petrol lawn scarifier, the Hyundai HYSC210 won’t disappoint.

4. Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER GD300 Lawn Scarifier

(How We Review →)

If you require a more affordable alternative, the BLACK & DECKER GD300 lawn scarifier is a great option to consider. It’s a wired machine that uses an electric 600-watt motor and a large capacity collection box and we would state that it’s best suited for small to medium-sized lawns.

Pros
  • Large collection box when compared to similar priced alternatives
  • 3 raking heights that range from 2 to 8 mm
  • 3 rows of metal tines for maximum performance
  • Lightweight at just 7 KG
  • Easy to use and features a safety lock-off switch
Cons
  • Not as high-performing when compared to other scarifiers in our roundup

Although it’s a cheap lawn scarifier, it still has metal tines instead of the weak plastic alternatives that other similarly priced machines use and this is a big bonus.

To conclude, the BLACK+DECKER GD300 is more than capable of tackling small to medium-sized lawns and it’s the best option for those that are on a tight budget but still want a reputable brand backing the machine.

5. Best Cordless Runner-Up: Greenworks GD40SC36 Lawn Rake

(How We Review →)

Another cordless lawn scarifier that’s worth considering is the Greenworks GD40SC36. As with many of the brand’s other power tools, it’s intuitively designed and built to last with a 3-year guarantee for peace of mind.

In terms of the machine’s adjustability, it has 5 height positions that can be easily adjusted using the lever at the front of the machine. The handles can also be folded down, which makes storing it much easier too.

Pros
  • Brushless motor is designed with performance and durability in mind
  • Works with all of the brand's batteries
  • Backed by a three year warranty
  • Push start button for easy starting
  • 36 cm working width that's suitable for most small to medium-sized lawns
  • Supplied with a 45 litre collection box
  • Folds down into a compact size for storage
  • New and improved model
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

Apart from the expensive price tag, the Greenworks GD40SC36 ticks all the boxes and it’s a lawn scarifier that certainly won’t disappoint. As it’s the brand’s new and improved model, it’s packed with extra features that really do make it far easier to use and also store when compared to the predecessor that we previously had plenty of experience with.

6. Best Manual: Wolf Garten Multi-Change URM3

(How We Review →)

The cheapest lawn scarifier that’s actually worth buying is the Wolf Garten URM3 but the only catch is that it’s a manual machine that requires you to push it to scarify and aerate your lawn. In terms of its usage, it’s only really suitable for small gardens that require thatch and moss removal.

Unlike other manual scarifiers, the Wolf Garten URM3 uses a pendulum action which allows the blades to sink into the moss and thatch. This action allows the steel blades to glide over the grass for maximum scarification.

Pros
  • Choice of 11 different handle positions
  • Robust steel blades
  • Backed by an impressive 10 year warranty
  • Working width of 30 cm, which is suitable for most lawn sizes
Cons
  • Requires you to manually push it around
  • Not as effective as the electric or petrol-powered machines

Overall, it’s a low-cost lawn scarifier that requires no servicing, fuel or power supply. It’s an excellent manual alternative with a 10-year guarantee, which provides you with peace of mind that it’s built to last.

It’s worth noting that you must purchase a handle to use this scarifier but once purchased, it’s a multi-change click system that’ll work with over 50 different tool heads that are offered by the brand.

Lawn Scarifier Buying Guide

A lawn scarifier is a gardening tool that aerates your lawn by cutting through the soil and removing debris. They are more commonly powered by electricity, but some are petrol-powered or completely manual.

The benefits of scarifying your lawn are that it allows for a better flow of air and water for a healthier lawn. After you have used the tool, your garden may look worse, but after a few days, it will look far better than it ever did.

To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding lawn scarifiers.

best lawn scarifier and aerator

Archie Rich/DIY Works

Petrol vs Electric vs Manual

The majority of scarifiers are electric-powered as they require very little maintenance and are fairly cheap. However, for larger gardens where you may not have access to a power supply, the best option would be a petrol lawn scarifier.

Manual alternatives are the cheapest and simplest to use but they are not suitable for medium to large gardens. Choosing between the three different types is dependent upon the size of your lawn and whether there is a power supply.

2-in-1 Lawn Raker and Scarifier

Some of the recommendations within this article can act as both a scarifier and a lawn rake. The main difference between the two types is that the scarifier uses blade tines, and a lawn rake uses wire tines.

The 2-in-1 lawn raker and scarifiers can be highly beneficial for some gardeners, and you can easily switch between the two functions by simply changing the blade (as shown in the “How We Rated” section above).

The Blades

To cut through the grass, the scarifier requires durable blades. Most will use a strong metal blade and you will want to avoid those that are made from plastic. Over time, you may find that they lose their sharpness but most manufacturers will provide replacements or tools to sharpen the blades.

Working Depth

Depending upon whether you simply want to remove moss and debris or aerate the lawn will determine the working depth you require.

Removing moss, thatch, cut grass, and other debris does not require much depth. However, to aerate the soil (as shown in the image below), you will certainly require enough depth so that it pierces the soil.

To ensure that you are covered for each situation, a lawn scarifier with adjustable height positions would be the best type to buy.

Raking Width

For those with medium to large gardens, you will want to have a wider raking width. This will help the scarifying process go far more quickly because it can be a long process otherwise. If you have a smaller garden with lots of curves, you will want a smaller width for the best results. Trying to navigate around curves with a large raking width can be fairly difficult.

Best Lawn Rake

Archie Rich/DIY Works

Collection Box

The purpose of using a lawn scarifier is to remove the debris from the grass. Therefore, a collection box that holds all the debris is an essential component.

Depending upon the size of your lawn will determine the appropriate size that you require.

It’s important that you choose the right size because a box that’s too small will result in frequent emptying, whereas too big may make it harder to use. The majority of boxes that attach to a scarifier range from 30 to 60 litres in size.

Usability

If something is difficult to use, you are less likely to use it. Therefore, you will want a lawn scarifier that you can simply switch on and get to work. Features to look out for that improve usability include:

  • Lightweight design
  • Ease of changing the height
  • Ergonomic handle with adjustable positions
  • Easy removal of the collection box
  • Ease of replacing the blades

When Should You Begin Scarifying

Choosing the best time to scarify your lawn can make a huge difference. According to Flymo, they state that you should scarify your lawn around March and again at the end of September.

It’s advised that you avoid scarifying during the winter months because a thin layer of thatch is actually good for the lawn.

Lawn Scarifier

Archie Rich/DIY Works

How To Use A Lawn Scarifier

Before you begin to scarify your lawn, you should cut the grass with a lawn mower a few weeks beforehand. This is because you’ll be able to achieve better results scarifying short grass than you would with longer grass because it minimizes stress on the grass. You can also use a garden vacuum to remove larger debris on the lawn too if needs be.

To begin scarifying, you will want to set the height of the blade. We recommend choosing a height that is furthest away from the grass to begin with, as this will remove the debris. Once complete, you can then lower the blade and begin scarifying the lawn.

Most lawns will require at least two rounds of scarifying for the best results. On the second run, we recommend going in the opposite direction to the first run because this helps with tackling areas of the lawn that were missed.

Once you are finished, it may look like your lawn is ruined, but it just needs time to recover. To help assist the recovery process, you can add lawn fertiliser and lightly spray water to help the grass grow thicker and more quickly.

Conclusion

Lawn scarifiers were mostly purchased by enthusiasts or professionals who wanted to perfect their gardens, but nowadays, they are more affordable and have become far more popular.

All of our recommendations cover electric, petrol, battery and manual scarifiers that all have unique features and are suitable for a range of budgets. However, if you feel that you require further information regarding any of our recommendations, feel free to get in touch, and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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