Scarifier test: these are the best lawn care

turf cracks for magic growth

30. 01. 2020, 16: 50 | by

Content based on the test results from AllesBeste

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Mowing is not enough for the most beautiful lawn: When scarifying, the scar is scratched and raised by the scarifier using blades. This loosens the soil and brings more oxygen and water to the roots of the lawn. Moss, mulch and felt are also removed. This has the advantage that the lawn grows better and has a denser appearance.

To make it easier for you to buy your scarifier, the team from AllesBeste in February 2019 carried out a test in where they put nine scarifiers through their paces. In this comparison, the products Viking LB 540, Bosch DIY AVR 1100 and AL-KO Combi Care 38 E Comfort particularly outstanding. We have classified them into the categories “test winner”, “alternative” and “price tip”. In the video we also show you how to make your life easier with a robotic lawnmower.

You can read this in this article: First we present the three Top recommendations from the test before. Then we explain how much money you have to spend on a good scarifier and how the test went. In the next step we will look at how it works and the different types of scarifiers. Finally, the article goes into the general purchase advice, and we answer some frequently asked questions about scarifying.

The most recommended Verticutter

test winner: Stihl Viking LB 540

  • Source: Stihl

    Stihl Viking LB 540

    Solid scarifier for large areas with strong engine power.

Most stable body in the test
Comfortable height adjustment
Agile despite size and weight
Quiet running, strong engine performance
Also for difficult ones Untergr nde
Requires a lot of space
No fan roller
grass bag not included
High price

The Stihl Viking LB 540 can be used for large lawns. Even if you use it often, it is a solid scarifier and convinces with its high durability and comfort. With 33 Kilogram, despite its small size, it is a real heavyweight. The LB 540 has a strong engine power of 150 cubic centimeters. Even if the lawn is not only interspersed with moss, but also with stones and sand, it has no difficulty in mastering the job – even with the lowest blade setting.

The housing the scarifier consists of a hard plastic shell reinforced with metal struts. This makes it very difficult to give it scratches or dents. The processing of this scarifier is far ahead of that of other tested devices. The device is generally very stable and of high quality, which is reflected in the high weight. Nevertheless, it convinces with a high maneuverability. A rubber on the tailgate stabilizes the scarifier even on stony ground. A lever on the handlebar offers a height adjustment for the cutting height – so you don't have to switch off the device, go to the front wheels and change the height manually. In contrast to the other devices, the LB 540 no dead man switch for power operation – what a dead man switch is, we explain below.

The team von AllesBeste is very satisfied with this device because it beats the other devices in terms of motor strength and quality. Even if the handlebar can be folded, the device still needs a large parking space, other devices are smaller when folded. With a price of 550 Euro this scarifier is also the most expensive device in the test.

Alternative: Bosch DIY AVR 1100

  • Source: Bosch

    Bosch DIY AVR 1100

    Not quite as robust, but has flexible knives and gets a good result.

Flexible Knives
Smooth-running basket lock
Compactly stowable
Very easy
Comparatively quiet
Pure plastic chassis

The alternative from Bosch also offers good performance and quality, but is cheaper. Due to the lower price and the slight drawbacks, the device still offers a good compromise between price and performance. In the test, the scarifier is far ahead thanks to the “Jet Collect Technology”. Thanks to special blades, this only allows him to separate the moss, but leave the sand and stones in the lawn. Of course, this greatly simplifies the work, especially if you use a grass catcher. A large plastic roller with air openings creates a suction that sucks the whirled up moss into the grass catcher. In contrast to the test winner, the scarifier housing is only a polypropylene plastic, so not as robust and high quality. As a result, the body is not as stable.

The DIY AVR 1100 has his knife on Edge of the steel roller, these are loosely screwed and can give way. This means that they avoid an obstacle that is too strong, such as pavement slabs or stones. So they are scratched, but no loud cracking or cracking with this device. On the one hand, this ensures smoother driving with the scarifier, but on the other hand it also makes work quieter. When you fold the device, it shrinks to a small size. The grass catcher can be dismantled and dismantled again. This allows space-saving storage of the device.

With a price of 150 Euro it costs only a fraction of the test winner. However, he does not come close to the performance and quality of the test winner.

Price tip: AL-KO Combi Care 38 E Comfort

  • Source: AL-KO

    AL-KO Combi Care 38 E Comfort

    For smaller bi s medium-sized lawns sufficient and not particularly stable, but inexpensive to buy.

Light and agile
Takes up little space
grass bag and fan roller included
Pure plastic chassis
linkage does not make a long-lasting impression
Stuck in thick moss
collecting bag mostly superfluous

Our price tip focuses primarily on smaller lawns and use for the hobby gardener. The equipment and quality is sufficient for not too many jobs a year and gives you a small but agile scarifier. The motor power is for small to medium-sized lawns of up to 600 square meters always sufficient. AllesBeste recommends using it two to six times a year, but this device is not designed for continuous use. Due to the low price, you have to cut back on the quality. The housing of the Combi Care 38 E Comfort is made entirely of plastic, so it is not particularly protected against dents and scratches. It is also not impact and UV resistant. The rear wheels are very small and thin. The handlebar looks a bit rickety, which causes problems especially with the petrol version of the scarifier. Nevertheless, the low weight of only 15 Kilogram for good guidance and maneuverability of the device. The mounting of the handlebar is height adjustable, so it can adapt to the size of the user.

You already get our price tip for 99 Euro. This device is mainly aimed at hobby gardeners and is not suitable for continuous use in large gardens.

Scarifier: More products in the test

The following devices were still in the test: Einhell GE-SA 1640, Atika 300750 VT 32, AL-KO Combi Care 38 P Comfort, Wolf-Garten AV 303 E, Güde GVZ 1401 94123 and Einhell GC-ES 1231. The products do not differ fundamentally from each other, most have the same advantages and disadvantages and can also be divided into two categories. Most of the scarifiers come with a fan roller and come with a grass catcher. In comparison to the Viking LB 540 the chassis of the other devices is made of pure plastic, so they fall far behind in the quality test. The devices are usually relatively small, so that they can be stowed away in a smaller corner. However, they tend to offer little engine power, which is why use in densely overgrown areas results in stucking. In terms of price, the remaining models can be bought in inexpensive devices at 100 euro and higher price up to 245 Divide euros.

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What do I have to spend on good scarifiers?

If you want to know how much you should spend on your scarifier, then you should first consider what your requirements are. Estimate whether you need to scarify a small, medium or large lawn area and how often you want to scarify each year. You should also know whether you need a grass catcher and whether it is okay for you to collect sand and stones. Based on this information, you can now choose a device.

If you have a large lawn area and would like to use the scarifier often, then a more robust device with high quality is recommended , If you are considering the top class, then you are with the LB 540 well served by Viking. However, you can get these features for a cheaper price, with 150 to 200 However, you have to calculate euros.

If your lawn is smaller and it is okay for you if sand and stones are also collected, then a smaller scarifier for the hobby garden can do that Be right for you. There are already scarifiers for under 100 Euro, but then they are usually not of very high quality or do not have a grass catcher.

When scarifying, the grass is lightly scratched and old mulch is removed. The lawn then needs time and care to heal well again. Image: GettyImages / MagMos

Scarifier in the test: How everything tests the best

The team from AllesBeste tested the scarifiers on a large and very mossy lawn. The devices were tested and classified in different categories. First of all, the end result was important, but also the handling, the quality, the price-performance ratio, the maintenance and the storage option. The results were summarized and shown in a pro-contra table.

What are scarifiers and how do they work?

If you have a lawn and you want to take good care of it, then the purchase of a scarifier is essential. Both amateur gardeners and professional gardeners benefit from this device when working on the lawn. A scarifier cuts the turf with the help of blades that are installed on the underside of the device and can thus lift it. On the one hand, this removes moss, mulch and felt from the lawn, and on the other hand oxygen and water reach the lawn roots better. The lawn can then grow better and more evenly and gives a more beautiful and neat overall picture.

If you are not sure whether you need to scarify your lawn, you can perform a simple test. Take a rake and pull it through the lawn. If moss or mulch remains on the rake, then you should scarify your lawn.

The word “scarify” is derived from English. It comes from the term “vertical cut”. Each device has an axis on which the blades are attached and cut the turf vertically.

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What types of scarifiers are there?

There are three types of equipment for scarifying: scarifier with petrol, with electricity and hand scarifier.

Electric scarifiers are quiet, have a lower purchase price and, unlike hand scarifiers, are easier to use. They are well suited for medium-sized lawns. However, the power cable is an obstacle that can be in the way and they are not as powerful compared to petrol lawn mowers.

Petrol lawn mowers are more powerful and are therefore suitable for larger lawns. There are no annoying cables and they can therefore also be used in the rain. However, the purchase price is higher than that of electro-distributors, and petrol or oil adds to the price. In addition, a petrol engine needs more maintenance.

There are also hand scarifiers. These are very cheap to buy, have no power cable, do not require maintenance and do not require gasoline. However, performance is defined here by the user's lard. This makes scarifying exhausting and time-consuming.

When scarifying, nutrients and moisture get into the grass better. Picture: AL-KO

What should I watch out for when buying scarifiers?

If you would like to know the criteria according to which you should buy a scarifier, then you also have to think about your requirements here. The type of scarifier, whether electric, petrol or manual, depends on the size of the lawn you want to scarify and how often you want to use your scarifier. With a small lawn, a hand scarifier can do better work, but with a medium to large area this operation is very tedious. You can also choose the type of work you are doing. There are scarifiers that scratch the ground or those that work like a rake. Assess yourself – are you a hobby gardener or a professional? Do you need a scarifier with a lot of engine power because you have to fight through heavily mossy lawns?

Other important criteria are working width, working depth and the tank filling. The working depth indicates the distance between the extreme left and right blades. The higher the working width, the fewer lanes you have to make to fully work the lawn. The common widths are from 30 to 50 centimeters, most standard scarifiers have a working width of 35 to 38 centimeters. If you have a small or medium-sized lawn to work on, a width of 30 centimeters out. From a size of approximately 600 square meters is worth a width of 50 centimeters. Smaller scarifiers, however, are easier to maneuver, which is particularly important if there are many obstacles on your lawn, such as bushes or trees. In addition, the size of your storage space is also a decision criterion when choosing the working width.

The working depth indicates how deep the roller with the blades penetrates into the ground. If your floor is heavily mossed, the setting should be made a little lower, if there is mainly lawn felt, it should be a little higher. The setting of two or at most three millimeters is recommended here. You can find a more detailed explanation in the section “How do I scarify properly?”

A normal scarifier tank holds two to three liters of petrol. There are of course larger and smaller tanks, but the standard size mentioned is suitable for use. A scarifier is filled with super, which you can easily get at the nearest petrol station. Either fill up completely or have one or two canisters in reserve. It recommends s I use a funnel so that the petrol can be filled in properly.

All of these can be clues if you think about what you should pay attention to.

What are alternatives to scarifiers?

There are a few alternatives to a scarifier, for example lawn aerator combination devices, lawn aerator shoes or rakes and rakes.

Combined lawn aerators are similar to scarifiers, but, as the name suggests, they offer an additional function, namely to also aerate the lawn. This means that the scarifying roller is exchanged for a ventilation roller. This ventilation roller is peppered with small wire blades that stick a few centimeters into the ground. The holes created air and nutrients reach the lawn roots better. However, depending on the quality, this type of device has a higher price than a normal scarifier. Lawn aerators are available both as electrical combination devices and manually operated rollers.

Lawn aerator shoes are covers for a normal shoe, to the sole of which the wire blades are attached. So you have the same effect as a combination device, the holes are practically kicked into the lawn. This variant is cheaper, but is no longer suitable for larger lawns, the workload would be far too great.

The last alternative is rakes and rakes. Together with the lawn ventilation shoes, these are probably the cheapest alternative. However, the two are by far the most strenuous methods, since they are operated exclusively with their own power.

How do I scarify properly?

In this section you will find instructions on what to consider when scarifying. Before you start, choose the right tool. Is the area to be scarified smaller than 100 square meters, then you can take a hand scarifier for work. In the case of a larger area, a petrol or electric scarifier is recommended. Think about whether using a grass catcher is worthwhile for you. The advantage is that you no longer have to sweep the moss together later. The disadvantage is that with a lot of moss in the lawn, the grass catcher can fill up very quickly and often has to be emptied. It is also important that the lawn should be dry, so you should not scarify after a rain shower.

If you start now, however, start with the lawn mower. Shorten the lawn to about two centimeters. This way you ensure that the scarifier actually removes the moss and not the lawn. If the scarifier is set too high, it will not remove enough moss. If it is set too low, your lawn will also be affected. In addition, when the blades dig deeper, the work becomes harder and the blades become blunt more quickly, resulting in higher maintenance. It is therefore important in any case not to significantly undercut or exceed the depth of adjustment of two millimeters. The weight of the scarifier also plays a role here. The higher the weight, the better the device can reach the turf when the soil is dry and the result is more consistent.

If you scarify now, you should push the device quickly over the lawn. Spending too much time in the same place with the engine running can damage the turf or shave a bald spot. You will get the best result if you scarify the lawn first in longitudinal and then in transverse paths and then sow the bare areas. If you do not use a grass catcher, you must finally rake the scarified material together.

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What terrain are scarifiers suitable for?

The scarifier blades are his most important tool. If these are blunt, the quality of scarifying will deteriorate. Both large and small stones can make the blades blunt. That means you should avoid stony ground. If you have larger stones on the lawn, it is worth picking them up or raking them together. The same applies to stone slabs or sidewalks. If you drive over it with the engine switched on, this can damage not only the blades, but also the surface. When scarifying, keep to normal and soft lawns.

Does my scarifier need a grass catcher?

No, you do not need a grass catcher. However, it also has advantages. Scarify with a grass catcher, so you don't have to rake the moss and grass clippings off the lawn after scarifying. Raking together can be very tedious, especially if you need to rake moss on a large lawn. On the other hand, it may happen that you have to empty the grass catcher after a short time, since it is filled very quickly on heavily mossy ground. So you are forced to interrupt scarifying all the time. Once you have decided whether you need a grass catcher, you should explicitly look again at the product information. Not every device automatically comes with a grass catcher.

What should I watch out for when scarifying young lawn?

Young, just planted lawn, should not be scarified immediately. If lawn is young, the lawn roots are not particularly strongly rooted in the soil. If you scarify it, a large part of the lawn will likely be torn out. In order not to ruin the newly planted lawn, it is advisable to scarify the lawn for the first time only in the second year of standing. In this way, the lawn has enough time to develop its roots well enough and to anchor them in the ground.

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How do I care for a scarifier?

It depends on what kind of scarifier you have. Electrical scarifiers require very little maintenance. It is enough to oil the bells after work so that they do not rust. It is best to rub it with a rag. Petrol distributors are a lot more difficult to maintain. First of all, the blades must also be protected from rusting. Added to this is the fuel; the scarifier must be refilled with Super regularly. It is enough if you get this at a petrol station and do not buy it from the manufacturer. It is different with motor oil. If you have the wrong brand here, this has serious consequences for your device. Take no risk and buy the engine oil from the manufacturer. There are also other wearing parts such as spark plugs, exhaust systems or carburetors.

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What security aspects do I have to consider?

A scarifier usually has a safety precaution called “dead man's switch”. This switch is attached to the handlebar of the device. Either as a small lever or as a second retractable handlebar. Pressing this lever closes the scarifier circuit and you're ready to go. The lever must be pressed or held all the time. If it is released, the circuit is interrupted and the device stops working. This function is a safety measure for work. If the operator passes out and falls to the ground, the device goes out. If it did not go out, the operator could injure himself on the device during loss of consciousness. This in turn means that the scarifier must be designed in such a way that it must stop and switch off immediately when the deadman switch is released.

What is the best scarifier?

In the test, the scarifier Stihl Viking LB 540 best cut off. It is particularly suitable for large lawns, has a good scarifying result and can also cope with difficult surfaces.

When and how should I scarify?

scarifying It works best in spring when the ground is completely thawed and spring weather has begun. If you want to use the lawn in summer, for example for your children, then you should have scarified by May. So the lawn has enough time to regenerate itself until summer.

What is a scarifier good for?

A scarifier cuts the turf of a lawn with metal blades to raise it like this. This removes moss on the one hand and loosens the lawn on the other so that oxygen and water can better penetrate the roots of the lawn. The result is a denser and more even lawn.

How low should I set the scarifier?

The scarifier should only scratch the turf, but not completely pierce the lawn , If the scarifier is set too low, you will damage your lawn. The optimal setting is about three millimeters, which are carved into the floor.

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