All About Dethatching Rakes

Posted on 5th October 2012 in Dethatching Rake Articles

Dethatching rakes also know as thatching rakes are designed to remove thatch from your lawn, which improves lawn health and appearance. For the best variety and prices on  thatching rakes, lawn mower blades, and liquid dethatchers available online please visit our online dethatching store. Regularly dethatching the grass is important for improving the movement of essential nutrients, water and air from the surface to the grass roots in the soil.   What type of rake you should use and how often you need to use it depends on the conditions of the lawn and how deep the thatch is.


Which Rake to Use

Dethatching rakes can be generally categorized into three types: manual, tow-behind and power. Manuals are better for smaller areas and when there is less thatch. It can be time-consuming and work-intensive to remove a lot of thatch from a large lawn by hand. Tow-behinds attach to trailers or riding lawnmowers and are pulled behind them over the ground. They are great for covering large areas quickly. Power rakes remove the most thatch in one or two passes and are also hardest on the lawn. It is best to power rake when there is a significant amount of thatch that needs to be removed and only when it needs it.

Manual Rakes

Manual dethatching rakes resemble their more common garden and leaf rake counterparts. However, the tine blades are sickle-shaped and have sharp edges along both sides. To use one, hold the rake away from you with the tines just touching the soil, then pull the rake back to you.  Go over a small area using varying directions to remove the thatch from that spot before working on another. These rakes are also useful for getting to areas the tow-behind or power rakes may not be able to get to (like tight corners or curves) and for working on the more problematic areas of the grass in between dethatching the entire lawn.

You can get one for only $10, but spending closer to $30 on a better quality one that will last much longer is a smarter idea. It will be easier to use and do a better job too.

Tow Behind Rakes

If you already own a tractor or riding lawnmower, a tow-behind that will attach to it is an easier way to do a large area. Because they are wider than other rakes, they cover ground more quickly.

You just drive over the ground back and forth to make vertical rows before going over the grass a second time to make horizontal rows. You can also do crossing diagonal patterns if you prefer. The different directions help you remove more thatch.

Tow-behinds are a little pricier, starting around $150-$200, but save you a lot of time and the expense of renting a power rake. Before you buy one, be sure that it is compatible with the mower or tractor that will pull it. Also look for one that can be moved when the tines are in the thatch and top layer of soil because they are easier and faster to use.

Power Rakes

With an electric or gas-powered mower and a design more like a lawnmower than anything else, power rakes are the mechanical way to dethatch the grass. About 1 ½ to 2 feet wide, the blades go into the thatch and rip it out as the rake is moved along the lawn. Blade heights are adjustable to control how far they go into the ground so you can better control how much thatch and grass is pulled out. After doing a small section, you can check that the height is right and adjust the blades if necessary.

Because power rakes cost $1000 or more to buy, most people prefer to rent one if they plan on doing the dethatching themselves. At around $50 for a four-hour rental, it is more cost-effective for the typical residential homeowner to do it that way.