How to choose a scarifier? The buying guide


Ideal for maintaining your lawn and offering yourself a beautiful lawn at a lower cost, the scarifier is the perfect tool to promote lawn growth by eliminating parasitic elements and by aerating the soil. Thus ventilated, the grass is better able to receive the beneficial effects of the sun’s rays and rainwater, the ideal cocktail of a lawn worthy of the most beautiful parks. Let’s take a look at the features of this handy tool and find out our tips for choosing the right model.

What is a scarifier?

The scarifier is a gardening tool that is relatively unknown to individuals. However, it contributes to the maintenance of the lawn and to promote its good growth by removing the top layers and by eliminating certain parasitic elements such as weeds, mosses and lichens. By its cutting action, the scarifier allows the sun and water to penetrate better into the grass, the two ingredients necessary for its proper development. In short, if the scarifier is largely forgotten by private gardeners, it is nevertheless your ally for obtaining a beautiful, elegant and harmonious lawn.

The operation of this machine is relatively simple. It has a roller equipped with teeth, knives or claws. When you run this scarifier over your lawn, the roller tears off the layer of sod which inhibits good regrowth and natural growth. Weeds, cutting residues and moss that interfere with your lawn are removed. They are then collected in the device’s collection box or you will have to collect them yourself if your scarifier does not have one.

This handy tool should be used in spring and fall, which are the two key seasons for turf and for vegetation as a whole. Remember to equip yourself with protective glasses, gloves and earmuffs. Indeed, the scarifier is a noisy machine and can throw elements that could be dangerous for your eyes and your face.

How to choose your scarifier?

To choose your scarifier, here are the criteria we advise you to take into account.

The type of scarifier

There are three types of scarifiers: the manual model, the electric model and the thermal model.

  • The manual scarifier: this machine is the cheapest, but it is only suitable for very small gardens. Indeed, the use is entirely manual, therefore quickly exhausting on large surfaces and uneven or irregular grounds.
  • The electric scarifier: this model is the most common, because it is the lightest, the easiest to use and maintain, but it is also very efficient and comfortable. If it is suitable for the maintenance of spacious gardens, it is imperative to provide a connection and an electric cable accordingly, because it only works when connected to the mains. In addition, these are noisy devices that require hearing protection. Count at least 1000 to 1800 W for a large lot.
  • The thermal scarifier: for gardens of more than 800 m², the thermal model is the most appropriate. These machines are indeed very powerful and pleasant to use, but they require more maintenance. They are also heavier and can be difficult to handle in tight corners or on uneven terrain.

The cutting mode

You can opt for a claw scarifier or a knife implement.

  • The claws, metal or plastic, remove only the top layer of lawn to preserve the deep layer. It is therefore a gentler maintenance and less harmful for the lawn.
  • The expensive sharp ones are more effective, because they allow to ventilate the grass well. Opt for hardened steel knives for optimal durability and prefer a model with as many blades as possible. The best performers have 48.

The collection box

This bin is an option that is not fitted to all scarifiers. Nonetheless, it is advisable to invest in this purchase as it will save you from having to pick up the mowing while doing it for you. In addition, to avoid multiplying back and forth trips, prefer a model with at least 50 liters of capacity.

The working method

A scarifier should treat the top layer of vegetation and not work in depth. We therefore recommend that you avoid devices with a depth greater than 2.5 cm, or make sure that the blades of the machine are interchangeable for use as a soil aerator.

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