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8 Best Lawn Dethatching Rakes and Tow-Behinds

Eliminate problem thatch buildup in small or large yards with these top manual and tow-behind dethatching rakes.

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How to Use a Dethatching Rake

Many homeowners rent or buy a dethatching machine to remove thatch buildup and allow adequate water and nutrients to sink deeply into the roots of their grass. But some opt for another device that’s cheaper and more old school: a dethatching rake.

“This tool looks much like an iron rake, but each of the tines is very thin and sharp,” says Bob Mann, an agronomist and lawn care expert who works for the National Association of Landscape Professionals. “When pulled across a turfed area, it digs in and will remove thatch.”

If you need to dethatch a small yard or a patch of lawn, a dethatching rake is your best call if you’re up for a vigorous upper body workout. To remove a dense thatch layer across a large lawn, however, opt for a tow-behind rake, which is hitched to a tractor or rider.

Here are the best lawn dethatching rakes and tow-behinds to rid your yard of organic debris.

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Ames True Temper Dethatching Rake

If your tiny yard needs a simple once-over to keep the thatch in check, consider this straightforward dethatching rake. The 15-inch head covers wide rows, while the 19 steel tines cut deeply into your turf to pull up tough thatch and debris. The 54-inch wood handle is long enough to work on thatch without back strain.

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Wolf-Garten Interlocken Dethatching Rake

With 10 hooked blades and a swing head to adjust the angle of motion, the Wolf-Garten interlocken dethatching rake tops the next generation of manual rakes.

The head with a nearly 16-inch wide working width helps cover an area with fewer passes. Reviewers appreciate its light weight, durability and effectiveness in pulling a serious amount of moss and thatch. Note that the rake head is sold separately from the Wolf-Garten universal long or short handle.

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Wolf-Garten Dethatching Roller Rake

Wolf-Garten is teaching an old dog new tricks by mounting their classic dethatching rake on two wheels. so it can smoothly roll around your lawn while combing through tough thatch. The wheels add stability and maneuverability, relieving some of the effort while keeping the blades at a consistent height throughout the job. Note that the rolling rake head is sold separately from the Wolf-Garten universal long handle.

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Ames True Temper Dethatching and Tilling Rake

For two tools in one, this Ames True Temper is a winner. Its double-sided, 15-inch rake head has curved dethatching blades on one side, and straight tilling blades on the other for cultivating your garden. The sturdy 54-inch hardwood handle is topped with a cushioned end grip for added comfort. The rake head is adjustable via two wing screws to better control the angle of motion.

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Agri Fab Extra-Wide Tow-Behind Lawn Dethatcher

For large yards, the Agri Fab tow-behind lawn dethatcher takes the top spot for its extra-wide 48-inch span and tow-behind functionality that makes your dethatching chore fast and effortless.

The 24 rust-proof tines comb through your lawn like a manual rake, and they’re easy to raise and lower via the cantilever transport handle. Add up to 70 lbs. to the weight tray to adjust the depth of this dethatcher’s action. You can tow it behind any type of tractor or rider with the universal hitch.

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Brinly Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper with Dethatcher

The premium price of the Brinly tow-behind lawn sweeper with dethatcher is well worth it once you consider the time and labor this top-of-the-line tow-behind will save you in yard cleanup. Twenty-four durable steel tines handle the dethatching, and a six-brush sweeper gathers the thatch into a 20-cubic-foot collection hamper. A 42-inch working width makes this an excellent choice for large yards.

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Precision Products Tow-Behind Weighted Dethatcher

If you need to penetrate dense, thick layers of thatch, this tow-behind model is your best choice. Its sturdy weight tray holds up to 150 lbs. to press the 22 heat-treated spring tines deeply into the thatch, churning up an impressive amount of debris. The cantilever handle lets you raise and lower the tines from your tractor seat, and the universal trailer mount fits any tractor, rider or ATV.

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Front Mount Dethatcher for RYOBI Electric Riding Mower

Do you own a RYOBI electric riding mower? This ingenious front-mounted dethatcher will convert your mower into a rake dethatcher, eliminating the hassle of cleanup by gathering the thatch and debris in a single pass.

The pivoting single front wheel makes for easy maneuverability, and the 38-inch working width and 20 double-spring tines let it take on even a large yard. The mounting kit for this dethatcher add-on is included for a quick one-time installation.

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Rebecca Winke
Rebecca Winke moved to Italy from Chicago in 1993 and shortly thereafter took a deep dive into country living by renovating a sprawling medieval stone farmhouse and running it as a B&B for 20 years. Today, she spends her time writing about travel, culture, and food (it's Italy, after all!) for publications like The Telegraph and Italy Magazine, as well as pondering the strange winds that blew an urban vegetarian to a farm in Umbria.