Thatch buildup can severely affect the look of your lawn. If your lawn is left unattended for long, your green grass will stop growing properly and the lawn will start withering and fading.
Regardless of the amount of fertilizer or water you add, it will lose its beauty because of the excess thatch preventing your grass from getting the necessary nutrients and air.
Therefore, if you notice thatch-up, the best action to take is to use a dethatcher to get rid of the thatch in your lawn grass.
Although it’s challenging to find the best tow-behind dethatcher, this guide will help you get the best product that will suit your needs.
What is a Thatch?
Thatch builds up over time in your lawn, especially in some high-performance lawns. Even if you maintain your garden well, the dead grass, loose clippings, roots, leaves, and stems can form a thick covering over your grass.
To check if your lawn has massive thatch buildup, it’s advisable to cut a modestly sized piece of turf that’s a few inches deep. If you spot a spongy section above the soil that more than an inch thick when pressed, you need to act immediately. Thatch buildup can harm your lawn in various ways. First, this stubborn debris prevents air and water from getting to the soil, depriving your grass of the crucial nutrients needed. If the buildup stays for too long, your grass can get damaged or dry up, but in some cases, a small amount of thatch is helpful.
A large amount of thatch may weaken the grassroots and attract diseases and pests. Additionally, since moisture can be trapped here, you may also notice the presence of mold. Although this sounds dramatic, removing thatch is a simple and fast-acting solution. If you do this correctly, your lawn will be healthy again.
Types of Dethatchers
If you own a small garden, a thatch rake is an excellent addition. They’re small, cheap, easy to store, and require no maintenance. The only downside is that it’s manual, meaning that you’ll have to power it with your muscles. Since it doesn’t use electricity or gasoline to run, it’s silent, environmentally friendly, and improves your physical fitness.
Electric Lawn Dethatcher
If you have a larger yard, around 100 yards, and you don’t want to spend the whole weekend raking, choose an electric dethatcher. It is powered by electricity and is ideal for medium and big yards of all types. The only downside is that you may be limited by the length of the cord. Additionally, you need to be keen to avoid running over the electric cord.
If you own a large lawn around 400 to 3000 yards and have a lawn tractor, go for a tow-behind dethatcher. If you don’t own a tractor but have a large yard, use a gas-powered dethatcher. Gas dethatchers are heavier than electric models and can penetrate deeper into the grass. These dethatchers work better and effortlessly on harder soil. The only downside is that they are noisy and hard to handle than electric ones.
Best Tow-Behind Dethatcher Buying Guide
There are plenty of tow-behind dethatchers out there. Choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging. Fortunately, we’ve listed some crucial aspects that will help you make an informed decision.
A wide tow-behind dethatcher will help you complete any job quickly, so choosing one with a wide path is crucial if you have a large yard or don’t have any time to spare.
Mechanical or Manual
A dethatcher can either be mechanical or manual. If you prefer a mechanical one, you need to consider the cording hassles and the cost it comes with. If you go for a manual one, you’ll be relieved of the hassles of power cable but will require your physical effort.
Type of Your Lawn Grass
If your lawn has long grass, you need a large dethatcher to maintain it. You should look for a dethatcher that’s at least 42-inch width; otherwise, it would be hard to eliminate the thatchers. If the grass is short, any tow-behind dethatchers will do well.
A dethatcher is designed to withstand any type of soil on your lawn and clean it up. This type of operation makes it prone to tear and wear. Therefore, you should look for a dethatcher made from strong materials that can withstand tough conditions.
The most crucial part of a dethatcher is the set of tines. Most high-quality dethatchers have 20 to 24 tines to perform the dethatching job. You should ensure that the dethatcher falls in this range. Additionally, the tines should be constructed with spring steel for better performance and durability.
Universality in Attachment
You should look for a dethatcher that can be attached to any lawn mower or tractor. Some dethatchers can only be attached to a given vehicle. Go for a dethatcher with a universal hitch that can be connected to any vehicle of any model.
Easy to Maintain
Since it’s a heavy-duty machine, a dethatcher needs constant maintenance. However, it may not be possible to take care of the tool every day. Therefore, go for a machine of great quality that will demand less maintenance.
Weight Carrying Capacity
Mostly, a high-quality dethatcher can withstand around 70 pounds. This helps you to set the force you need to rake your lawn. Therefore, you need to go for a machine that can hold more weight. This will allow you to change the pressure for dethatching on your lawn soil.
Convenient to Use and Store
Dethatching is a continuous task. So, look for a tool that has an ergonomic design. You should not go for a tow-behind dethatcher that is too heavy to store or maintain.
Best Tow-Behind Dethatcher Reviews
The Agri-Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Dethatcher 45-0294 has a simple and effective design that allows you to dig out useless thatches from your lawn. It can effectively remove dead thatches up to 40 inches in length. It is equipped with 220 sharp tines that are spring-loaded and rust-proof. No matter how rough or tough you operate the tool, the tines will remain sharp. In case you want to replace a broken or damaged case, the process is easy, thanks to the simple detaching and attaching process.
- Spring-loaded tines
- 40-inch wide swathes
- 2 semi-pneumatic tires
- Rust-proof tines
- Highly durable and maximum performance
- Ideal for heavy-duty digging
- 3-year limited warranty
- The hitch on the dethatcher is a bit short
This is a high-quality tow-behind dethatcher that has everything you need to rescue your grass from thatch buildup. The Agri-Fab 45-0295 48-Inches Tine Tow Dethatcher comes with 24 rust-proof heat-treated tines that offer maximum thatch removal and durability. This dethatcher can move in all types of lawns regardless of the terrain, thanks to the two 7” flat-free wheels. It is equipped with a cantilever transport handle that allows you to raise or lower the tines with ease. This machine is compatible with any tractor you own, thanks to its universal hitch that attaches to any type and brand of mower or tractor.
- 24 heat-treated tines
- Cantilever transport lever
- 2 flat-free wheels
- Heavy-duty steel gauge
- Welded drawbar
- Universal hitch
- Simple to use
- Maximum durability and performance
- Durable construction
- Occupies more storage space
This dethatcher will help you remove thatch from your lawn with the help of a couple of rows of tines, having 10 pre-assembled tines. With this machine, you can use 3 different operating modes depending on your needs and varying times of the year. Since it comes equipped with transport wheels, it’s easy to maneuver in different paths and driveways without any issues. Additionally, it has a universal hitch, meaning that you can stick it to any tractor or lawnmower.
- 40” working width
- 2 rows of 10 spring steel tines
- Heavy-duty tray
- 6” no-flat transport wheels
- Worth the money
- Different operating modes
- High-quality construction
- Simple to use
- Requires some assembly
If you need an effective dethatcher for your large lawn, this machine is a good bet. The Brinly DT-48BH Tow-BehindDethatcher is equipped with two rows of 12 independent steel lines designed to wipe out all unwanted thatches simply. To guarantee you durability and long-term service for your lawn, this machine has an all-steel construction that makes it durable. It is relatively easy to do a replacement in case you lose or damage apart.
- 48” working width
- 12 independent spring steel tines
- All steel construction
- 8” never-flat transport wheels
- Heavy-duty universal hitch
- Simple assembly
- Durable construction
- Easy to use
- Some users report missing parts
The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124315 Dethatcher is one of the highly ranked tow-behind dethatchers out there. It comes with a universal hitch that makes it fit perfectly to any tractor. It comes complete with 20 heat-treated times that are durable and effective with lawn dethatching. The semi-pneumatic tires give it the power to glide through any terrain without any issue.
- 20 heat-treated tines
- Universal hitch
- Height adjustment handle
- 40” working width
- Durable and heavy-duty deck
- Comfortable cantilever transport handle
- Automatic raking action
- Some assembly needed
For most beginners, finding the best tow-behind dethatcher can be challenging. But to make your buying process simple, we have listed the 5 best pull-behind dethatchers that will suit your needs and serve you for a long time.