Last updated: August 7, 2021

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A hand scarifier is a must for any home with a garden. Not only can you beautify your garden, but you can also make your lawn much healthier. Let's face it, who doesn't want to spend more time with their family on a green lawn? With a machine like this, it's a breeze for everyone.

With our big manual scarifier review 2022, we want to help you choose the best manual lawn aerator for you as quickly and easily as possible. We have collected the most frequently asked questions, which we have answered in a simple yet informative way. After reading our article, making a purchase decision will not be a challenge.


  • A hand dethatcher is a very useful garden tool that loosens the roots of the lawn, allowing it to absorb more nutrients. This makes the lawn much greener and healthier.
  • Such a garden tool is available in different sizes and models. The most important factor is whether the tool has a wheel or not. In general, working with wheels is much less strenuous.
  • Thanks to its simple and user-friendly features, we recommend it to anyone who wants to make their garden even more beautiful. Due to the affordable price of such a tool, it should not be missing from anyone's garage.

The best hand scarifier: Our picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for handheld scarifiers

Before buying a handheld scarifier, you should consider the criteria listed below. Taking these criteria into account, you will easily find the most suitable hand scarifier for you.

Make your purchase decision based on the following criteria:

In the next sections we will go into the individual criteria.

Lawn area

The first and most important thing you should think about before buying a hand dethatcher is the size and type of garden. If you have a huge garden full of trees, bushes and other plants, the work with a hand dethatcher will be very strenuous for you.

If your garden has an area larger than 200 square metres, we recommend you invest in a motorised hand scarifier. Of course, 200 square metres is only an approximate value that we have given.

If your fitness level is above average or for some reason you don't want to buy a motorised hand scarifier, a simple hand scarifier may also be a good choice.

Area of garden type of scarifier
up to 200 square metres manual scarifiers with or without rollers
200 square metres or more electric or motorised scarifiers

It is important to note, however, that the density of the lawn can also affect the efficiency and difficulty of working with a manual scarifier. The older the lawn, the denser the roots of the lawn. And this requires more effort.


The equipment and ergonomics of a manual scarifier can make your work much easier or, on the contrary, even more difficult. Therefore, it is very important that you choose a hand dethatcher that you can work with comfortably and efficiently.

One of the most important parts that you should pay a lot of attention to is the handle. The handle should be adjusted to your height, otherwise the work will be uncomfortable.

If the handle is too short or too long, you will experience back pain later. On some models the height of the handle is adjustable. This is a very useful feature so that the tool can be adjusted for several people.

Size of the tool

By size of the tool we mean the working width and the number of blades. These two aspects have a great influence on the work.

The wider the working width, the more lawns you can aerate, which means you work faster. We recommend a manual scarifier with a working width of at least 30 to 32 cm to make your work as fast as possible. However, it is important to note that the wider the machine, the more force you will have to exert during the work.

The number of blades placed in the machine and the distance between them also have a strong impact on the efficiency of the work. The number of blades should be between 14 and 20 to speak of a high-quality manual scarifier. But the more blades there are in the machine, the better.

Guide: Questions you should ask before buying a manual scarifier

In this section we have compiled the most frequently asked questions that arise when buying a hand scarifier. We have tried to answer the questions in a simple but informative way. We hope that after reading the paragraph you don't have any questions that we should answer.

What is special about a manual scarifier and what advantages does it offer?

A hand dethatcher looks like a rake at first glance, but the main difference is that you pull the hand dethatcher into the lawn and not on it, as with a rake.

Here are some reasons why you should buy such a garden tool and the advantages of working with one.


With the help of a hand dethatcher you can have the clean and green lawn you have ever dreamed of. (Image source: Daniel Watson /unsplash)

Unlike motorised models, a hand dethatcher requires physical strength. On the one hand, this makes it more environmentally friendly, as it does not emit any environmentally harmful substances while working.

Since it is completely manual, it doesn't emit any noise, so you can work in the garden regardless of the time of day without disturbing your neighbours.

Such a garden tool can be an ideal choice for you even if your garden is not huge. By that we mean around 200 square metres. Since the size of your garden does not exceed 200 square metres, you can easily maintain the lawn with the help of a manual scarifier.

This makes it unnecessary to buy an electric or motorised version, so a manual scarifier is a much more cost-effective choice.

What types of manual scarifiers are there?

There are many different manual scarifiers on the market, but overall there is only one major difference between them: whether they have rollers.

In the following, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Manual scarifiers with wheels

In addition to the classic model, i.e. without wheels, many manufacturers now also offer hand scarifiers with wheels. The main advantage of these products is comfort. Thanks to their wheels, much less force is required to do the job. In addition, because of the wheels, the blades always drill into the ground at the same depth, so you can work with them evenly.

Their only disadvantage is the slightly higher price, but we definitely recommend you to buy a manual scarifier with wheels.

  • higher comfort
  • smooth work
  • slightly higher price

If comfort and smooth work are important to you, you will definitely enjoy gardening with such a garden tool.

Manual scarifiers without rollers

There are also hand scarifiers without rollers, which we recommend primarily because they are much easier to manoeuvre than their counterparts with rollers. This is especially important if there are many trees or bushes in your garden.

Furthermore, most tools of this type work with more blades than a manual scarifier with rollers. In addition, a lower price can be mentioned as an advantage.

However, the disadvantage is that it requires more power and it is more difficult to control the depth of the blades while working.

  • lower price
  • multiple blades
  • easy to manoeuvre
  • difficult to control blade depth

In summary, a hand dethatcher with wheels may be a more advantageous choice for those who have many trees and bushes in their garden. However, in all other cases we would recommend a wheeled version.

Who are hand scarifiers suitable for?

We have already mentioned the advantages of a hand dethatcher, but on this basis we will help you decide whether such a tool is really suitable for you.


In green grass, you are much more likely to organise outdoor activities with family or friends. (Image source: Shaun Montero / unsplash)

We especially recommend it to people whose garden size does not exceed 200 square metres. We recommend a motorised version to manage larger areas. A manual lawn aerator can be a good choice if environmental protection is important to you and you don't want to pollute the environment with harmful substances.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money on gardening equipment, but your dream is to have a well-kept garden with a green lawn, a manual scarifier can be an excellent compromise

How much does a hand scarifier cost?

Since it is a relatively simple product, you should not expect to pay hundreds of pounds for it. A manual scarifier is significantly cheaper than a motorised or electric model.

The price of the product is strongly influenced by the above criterion, but in addition to these, the brand is also a big influencing factor. Well-known and high-quality manufacturers offer their products for sale at a higher price.

Generally, higher-priced products have a wider working width and more blades, which speeds up the work overall.

The above table shows well that a lower quality manual scarifier costs almost five times less than an electric one. Of course, using an electric tool is much more convenient, but even with a good quality manual lawn aerator, gardening is not much more strenuous. And besides, it costs almost half as much.

What are the alternatives to a manual scarifier?

As mentioned above, a manual scarifier is not the ideal choice for everyone. Therefore, we would like to give you some alternatives and show you the most important features in a few sentences. These products serve the same purpose, just in different ways.

Electric or wireless lawn aerator

One of the most obvious alternatives is an electric or wireless lawn aerator. These devices usually show their advantage in larger gardens, which means convenience and less physical strength.

  • comfort
  • less physical strength
  • more thorough work
  • higher price
  • always charge battery
  • use extension cord

Another advantage of the electric version is that it works much more thoroughly because the blades move much faster on the one hand and in several directions on the other. And thanks to its electric motor or battery, it can handle almost any grass density.

The disadvantage is the higher price. In addition, the battery must be charged before each use in order to use the device. However, with the non-battery version, you always have to connect an extension cord to the device, which makes it a little more complicated to use.

Lawn aerator shoes / sandal

Another alternative not to be neglected are the so-called lawn aerator shoes / sandal. These are essentially shoes with nails that can be used to loosen the roots of the lawn in a similar way.

  • practical equipment
  • cheaper price
  • strenuous work on hard ground
  • nails can break

The advantage is that they take up extremely little space and can therefore be stored very easily, unlike manual or motorised lawn aerators. Due to their small size, they are easy to carry, which is advantageous when the work area is not the home yard. Because of their lower price, they are popular; a pair of lawn aerator shoes costs around 20 euros.

However, their use can be impractical and uncomfortable if the soil is too hard or the roots of the lawn are very dense. In these cases, it is not uncommon for the nails to break, which on the one hand makes it difficult to continue the work and on the other hand is very dangerous if someone is walking barefoot in the garden.

How should a manual scarifier be used?

In this section we would like to give you some tips so that you can use a hand scarifier as efficiently and easily as possible. Not only do we give tips on how to use the tool, but we also give a brief overview of the lawn aeration process.

  • The first and most important step is to make sure that the lawn has a uniform length everywhere. Experts recommend 2-3 centimetres. Before you start, it is definitely worth collecting the stones, as they can ruin the blades of the tool.
  • It is advisable to sharpen the blades of the tool before use for maximum efficiency.
  • You should aerate the lawn in directions, first lengthwise and then crosswise.
  • It is important that the working surfaces overlap by at least a few centimetres to ensure that all dry grass blades are removed.
  • If you can, don't stay too long in one place as this makes the machine work harder as you flatten the grass blades.
  • The best time for lawn aeration is spring. It is worth doing this work at this time of year in order to have a beautiful lawn in the summer.

Follow these tips to use the hand scarifier correctly.

Image source: Traksel / 123rf