Last updated: August 8, 2021

Our method

17Products analysed

27Hours spent

13Evaluated articles

69User reviews

Welcome to our large scarifier test 2021. Here we present all the scarifiers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best scarifier for you and help you find the best scarifier for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a scarifier.




Summary

  • Scarifiers are designed to remove weeds, moss and plant debris from the lawn, allowing more light and water to reach individual blades of grass.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between manual, electric and petrol scarifiers. In each of these categories there are a variety of products covering a wide price range.
  • Hand-held scarifiers are best for small gardens. Electric units are suitable for medium-sized areas. Petrol scarifiers can be used to deal with lawns of very large dimensions.

The Best Scarifier: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a scarifier

What is a scarifier?

A scarifier is a gardening tool that contributes significantly to the improvement and longevity of your lawn.

Even in the most beautiful rose gardens in the world, scarifiers are used to create a contrast between the lawns and flower beds on the one hand and to create a well-kept overall impression on the other. (Image source: Pexels.com / icon0.com)

Scarifiers are offered in different types with different drives. Although at first glance they could be mistaken for lawn mowers, at least the motorised ones are completely different in terms of function and mode of operation.

A scarifier removes all growths that are not desirable in a healthy lawn by means of a blade axis that has a vertical cutting direction.

With motorised devices, these blades are set in rotation. This means that the scarifier not only pulls weeds out of the ground, but also pulls itself further straight ahead, thereby scarifying the top layer of soil. In contrast, manual scarifiers are cheaper to buy, but are only suitable for real endurance athletes when it comes to working on larger areas.

What are the benefits of scarifying?

The scarifier is used to "clean" the lawn. It removes dead leaves, moss, blades of grass left by the lawn mower and other plant material. It also helps aerate the soil and improves fertiliser absorption.

By scratching the surface of the soil with its blade axis, not only are weeds torn out at the roots, but the root networks of the grass blades are also exposed and loosened. This intervention allows the grass blades to be better supplied with oxygen and also allows applied fertiliser to be better absorbed.

The consequence is a beautiful, green-juicy picture book lawn that meets all the requirements of a proper gardener. When a scarifier is used infrequently, mosses and weeds multiply to the point that lawn grasses are completely displaced. In this case, the lawn gradually turns into a meadow, with all its advantages and disadvantages.

How much does a scarifier cost?

The cost of individual devices can vary greatly and depends on various factors. On the one hand, there is the type of drive - hand tools are known to be much cheaper than motorised ones.

Type Price range
Manual scarifier 10-70 euros
Electric scarifier 50-600 euros
Petrol scarifier 200-2000 euros

On the other hand, the quality of the product determines the price. Manual scarifiers cost between 10 and 70 euros, electric ones between 50 and 600 euros and petrol ones between 200 and 2000 euros.

For larger garden areas up to several thousand square metres, the decision should definitely be made between an electric/battery and a petrol engine.

Another important factor is the size of the lawn to be mowed. If it is 100 - 200 sqm you can definitely consider a hand tool.

What types of scarifiers are there?

As already mentioned, there are primarily motorised and manually operated scarifiers. The hand-operated version exists, depending on the need, for trailing with rollers or for raking. Both forms find good practical applications. It depends on what you need.

Type Area of application
Manual scarifier Suitable for smaller areas
Electric scarifier For medium-sized gardens up to 2500 sqm
Petrol scarifier For large lawns

Motorised scarifiers can be roughly divided into electric and petrol-powered. Electric devices are available with a cable or with a rechargeable battery if the next socket is further away than the cable will reach.

What alternatives are there to scarifiers?

An often mentioned alternative to the scarifier is the lawn aerator. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true, as the two devices perform different tasks. While the scarifier uses its blade axis to loosen and expose the soil by scoring, the lawn aerator uses horizontally rotating steel claws that remove dead plant material from the surface.

It is difficult to find a real alternative to the scarifier. The rule seems to be: If you want a nice manicured lawn and not a meadow, you have to scarify.

Decision: What types of scarifiers are there and which is right for you?

If you are thinking about getting a scarifier, you should take a closer look at your three options.

  • Hand scarifier
  • Petrol scarifier
  • Electric scarifier

A manual scarifier is usually a reliable tool for smaller areas. There are hardly any moving parts, handling is easy but physically demanding.

With a petrol scarifier, you should consider how many square metres you want to use it for in order to find the right power for your needs, while with electric scarifiers you have the choice between battery-powered or corded.

Depending on the size of the lawn and the condition of said lawn, the choice is yours. In the following, we would like to help you make your decision easier.

What distinguishes a manual scarifier and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A clear advantage of the hand scarifier is its ease of use. Since it is guided like a rake, anyone can learn the necessary steps in no time at all. The fact that there is hardly any plastic is also an advantage. So it is a tool for real organic gardeners.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Requires hardly any storage space
  • Inexpensive
  • Ecological
Disadvantages
  • Only suitable for smaller areas
  • Physically demanding
  • Greater risk of injury due to exposed blades

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a petrol scarifier?

A petrol scarifier has real power. It's also cordless, so if you have a large lawn to work on, that's its big advantage. It is this cordlessness that makes a petrol scarifier the most flexible of its kind for such areas. In addition, you can't drive over the power cable.

Advantages
  • Flexible
  • Cordless
  • Suitable for large lawns
Disadvantages
  • Noise
  • Odour
  • High initial cost
  • Higher running costs (petrol, oil, etc.)

What distinguishes an electric scarifier and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An electric scarifier is a middle ground. It is well suited for larger gardens but hardly for lawns where petrol-powered machines should work. The possibility of battery operation also eliminates the likelihood of running over and destroying a power cable.

However, depending on the power of the device, a cable connection should be well considered.

Advantages
  • Good for medium to large gardens
  • easy to use
  • relatively low price
  • battery operation with some models
Disadvantages
  • Problems with cables
  • susceptible to moisture
  • battery requires frequent recharging

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate scarifiers

In the following we want to show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible offers. The criteria you can use to compare scarifiers with each other include:

  • Weight
  • Product quality
  • Price
  • Drive type
  • Working width
  • Catcher basket volume

In the following paragraphs we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Weight

During gardening, which usually takes several hours, the weight of the tool always plays an important role. After a certain amount of time in the sun, every extra kilogram is a burden.

In terms of weight, the hand scarifier is way ahead. With average weights of 700 - 900 grams, their motorised relatives cannot hold a candle to them. Electric scarifiers have an average weight of 12-15 kg. But for the fact that you are relieved of manual labour, a few extra kilos can be endured.

Petrol scarifiers have to contend with weight ranges of 20-35 kilos. However, this is easy to bear as most petrol-powered machines can drive themselves.

Product quality

Hand-held scarifiers vary in this respect just as much as electric scarifiers.

When it comes to tools, the quality simply has to be right. Not only is each individual tool a medium-sized investment, garden tools are also about safety.

The cheaper the product, the cheaper the construction. Due to their design and the built-in combustion engine, petrol scarifiers usually have a higher quality of processed materials right from the start.

Price

Price is also an important consideration. As already mentioned, the price ranges are huge depending on the type and quality of the equipment. While manual scarifiers rarely cost more than 80 euros, electric devices can cost several hundred and Beziner even thousands of euros.

Type of drive

Depending on the size of the area to be treated, a suitable device should be purchased.

Manual scarifiers are best suited for smaller areas and gardens, as they are lightweight, take up very little space and do not require any energy.

Electric scarifiers are suitable for medium-sized areas. Although an external energy source is used here, the amount of work would probably hardly be manageable by hand.

For large areas of several hundred or thousand square metres, the use of a petrol scarifier is almost indispensable, as such scales can neither be solved by hand nor with a cable connection or battery life.

Working width

The working width of the scarifier also plays an important role. The wider the working width, the more energy it requires. In terms of area, the working width should also be carefully considered.

Petrol scarifiers are particularly popular in parks and horticulture. Areas of this size can only be tamed with a combustion engine. It is this often brutal use that makes such small paradises possible in the first place. (Image source: pexels.com / Dominik M Contreras)

In most cases, these range from 30-50 cm, which should ensure that they can be handled and stowed away.

Catcher basket volume

The volume of the basket seems relatively unimportant in the original consideration. However, you should consider that every full basket means another way to the compost heap and back. For smaller areas this is not a problem, but from 1000 square metres upwards the difference between walking back and forth 30 to 60 times can make a big difference in the long run.

Facts worth knowing about scarifiers

After we have told you in the above sections what you should look for when buying a scarifier, you are actually ready for the first use. How to use your scarifier, which level to set and what else to look out for are covered in this section.

How do I get the most out of my scarifier?

This is probably the most important question if you have bought a scarifier. There are a few aspects you should pay attention to if you want to use your scarifier like a pro.

Set the right level A scarifier should be set and used so that the blade axis rips the soil to about 3 mm. Here you should double check that everything fits. Too deep and you hurt the grass roots, not deep enough and you have no effect at all. We recommend that you check your scarified lawn after the first stretch.

After all, the fresh grass should remain intact and the lawn thatch should be removed. If you notice during the first check that the healthy lawn is still damaged, you should raise the blade axis a little. If the lawn thatch is not removed, you must lower the blade axis.

Using the blade optimally When you buy a scarifier, the blade axles are included. If they do not cut as well as they used to, you have two options. You can either sharpen the blades or buy replacement blades. These can be easily replaced at the blade shaft.

Use the right petrol Of course, this question only arises if you have a scarifier that runs on petrol. You can use regular petrol, which you can buy at any petrol station. All you have to do is fill up a canister. However, you can often buy your own fuel at the DIY store. This is usually a little more expensive, but already filled into practical containers.

Refilling the right oil There is a wide range of products available in DIY stores and garden centres. Depending on the product and engine, you can and must use different products.

To find out which engine oil is suitable for your scarifier, it is best to ask directly at the store. Often there is also a note in the instruction manual of your scarifier. However, please do not use just any oil. This can cause damage and such repairs are not cheap.

Can I scarify and sow the lawn?

You can sow lawn seeds immediately after scarifying. However, before sowing the seeds, you should go over your lawn with a rake. This will ensure that all the removed lawn parts disappear from the lawn. After that, you can treat any bare patches with new seed. In a few days your lawn will look like new again!

What time of year should I scarify my lawn?

In principle, you can scarify your lawn from April to September. However, the lawn needs a rest period of a few weeks after application and should therefore not be used. If you use your lawn a lot in summer, we recommend scarifying it in spring or late summer.

Should the lawn be wet or dry when scarifying?

If possible, the lawn should be dry, otherwise the plant cells can tear more easily or even slip off. If you scarify a wet lawn, you will destroy it more than you improve it. The condition of the lawn is also important for the machine: using it when the lawn is dry is gentler on the scarifier itself.

Should I scarify after using different types of fertiliser?

No. Fertiliser should always be applied to the lawn after scarifying. This is because it is better absorbed into the soil due to the scarified surface and can thus be quickly taken up by grass roots.

Can I scarify after using insecticide?

This is certainly possible, but a certain amount of time should elapse between spraying the insecticide and scarifying the lawn to allow any toxins to evaporate. Otherwise the grass roots will absorb the toxins, which in turn will not have a good effect on the health of your lawn.

Image source: unsplash.com / Petar Tonchev

Why you can trust us?

Reviews