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Dethatching the lawn by hand with a rake or proper dethatching tool is hard work.  You can buy or rent a power dethatcher, but that’s just one more piece of equipment to worry about — or for around $15 you can outfit your lawnmower with Arnold’s universal-fit 16″ dethatching blade.

Maybe, just maybe if you put this special blade on your mower, dethatching will be as easy as mowing the lawn — plus if you have a bagger attachment, the mower might even pick up the loosened thatch for you.

With two different sizing washers, the 16″ blade can fit most mowers with round or star-type center holes measuring either 3/8″ or 7/16″ in diameter.

Power Rake (PDF) [Arnold]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


23 Responses to Remove Thatch With Your Lawnmower

  1. rick says:

    seems like the 2 little spring things would prove not enough. I would have designed it with maybe 4/side. Would be very interested if anyone has used this

    • nick says:

      They work exceptionally well. Additionally, you wouldn’t want more than two springs because it would place more torque on the shaft. The engine is going to turn due to such strength of the engine. If the tines get caught or too much drag, something is going to bend…possibly the shaft.

      If you lower the mower too much it will remove ALL of the grass. This is helpful actually if you are planning to sow a new lawn and want to remove crappy grass or weeds.

      The only issue is that in sandy soils or if lowered you use the springs up faster, the sand will ‘sandblast’ the ends of the springs.

      overall, yes they work wonderfully.

  2. George K. says:

    I have used a similar product and the two springs work well. So well that using the bagger was not an option unless I wanted to stop and empty the bag after every 10-12 feet! I took the bag off and raked the mess up when I was done…

  3. uqbar says:

    These work very well – so well in fact that they will “de-lawn” your lawn if not used carefully! The most important thing to do is raise the “cutting height” of your lawnmower, so that the de-thatching springs do not dig in too deep. The first time I used this, I was worried because it removed so much thatch that my lawn looked a little bare, and I was afraid I had overdone it. In a couple of weeks though, the lawn recovered nicely.

  4. Toolaremia says:

    For at least 20 years we never dethatched the lawn in the Midwestern house I grew up in, and the lawn always looked great; thick and healthy. When is it necessary to dethatch? Are there locales or grass breeds that require it or the yard turns to crap?

  5. Brad Justinen says:

    It seams like it would be pretty easy to make one of these.

    • nick says:

      Be 100% sure you are making it with springs. They will bend back easily and snap back into place if you hit a root – even a small one. If you try to use two bolts that hang down to grab (my brother did this), the bolts are not forgiving and don’t move. Something else will bend instead, usually it will just tourque off the end of the blade adapter or twist the screw that holds the blade. Been there. Buy one for $20 and enjoy the right tool for the right job.

  6. Bren R. says:

    I use one almost every year. They work well. Set the height of the tines to just touch the ground (so high spots they WILL dig in), it pulls up a whole lot of thatch – you have to either use an ejector mower or lift the deck every few feet to let the thatch clear. I leave it on the ground, then put a normal blade back on and bag it using the mower as a vacuum. These blades are REALLY hard on the shaft of the mower, since they don’t have the rotating mass of a blade and thus don’t act as a harmonic balancer, plus they hit the ground fairly often as you’re going along, which has got to be hard on the connecting rod. The lawn ends up looking scalped for a week or so, then comes back well. As for when to dethatch – you should be able to see earth between the blades of grass, not just old dead grass and clippings. Once a year in spring is plenty though. As for being universal, you may have to tweak it a bit to get it to fit your mower – I did.

  7. paganwonder says:

    My Colorado lawn has always done best with no de-thatching, no aeration and no bagging. I mulch mow and use season appropriate turf builder.

  8. Bren R. says:

    I guess I should mention, too… I’m in the Canadian Prairies where the snowfall keeps those last few mulchings in fall from ever really breaking down well.

  9. Dazrin says:

    I think I will have to try this – about 1/4 of the cost of renting a power rake. Does anyone know if this will do ok on moss? We have a huge moss problem we are starting to work on.

    So far we have used moss out to kill it and will reapply this week/weekend. Our next step (in about two weeks) was to rent a power rake (dethatcher). Then an aerator and rake up the plugs. Then spread some sand so that we can start getting some sand mixed into our clay. And finally get some good healthy grass growing.

    Any thoughts on this method? It seems like this is the hard way to go about this, but we have some pretty intense moss here (western Oregon) and it has proven challenging.

  10. Dazrin says:

    By the way, the picture above does not match the link to Amazon. That one is called the “Ace Universal De-Thatching Blade Kit”. It is a couple dollars cheaper for shipping from Amazon:


  11. @Dazrin:

    They are pretty much the same product — the Ace version is still made by Arnold, only packaged with the ACE name.

    I just used the picture from the “ACE” listing because you could actually tell what it was.

  12. Galadriel says:

    I drag my pastures to spread the horse manure, and find that it ends up dethatching too. My drag is made of a 4′ length of 2″ by 4″ woven wire fence, with 3 3″/6′ wood fenceposts attached on top of it (nailed on from the bottom with fence nails). Everything but the chain I use to hook it up to the riding mower was leftover from fencing the pastures; I’m sure other materials might do as well.

  13. Kevin Pace says:

    I hear contrary opinions on the value of dethatching in the state of Florida. Some say it’s a must with our St. Augustine grass, others say don’t waste your time. I don’t have a lush enough lawn to really say one way or the other.

  14. Jereme Green says:

    This tool is great and it is just in time I wanted to buy a new blade for my lawnmower a long time ago

  15. TL says:

    I use one of these less as a dethatching device and more to remove moss. Front lawn on the north side of the house in the Puget Sound region (aka Seattle area) grows moss so well that it WILL choke most of the grass out of my “lawn” if left alone.

    My method is to cut it short, apply moss killer and wait a few days. Then cut it short again and make then make a pass with this device and reseed. The yard will look HORRIBLE for a couple of weeks until the new seed sprouts.

  16. Todd says:

    I own my own Landscaping Maintenance business. This is a GREAT product. Most LM businesses do not own a power rake as they often are really expensive and you dont use them enough to get a good ROI. The other alternative is to rent one and that can cost $80.00 on up and that doesnt take into consideration the down time and expense of having to go get the power rake and drop it off. I bought a dethatching blade and placed it on my lawn mower. I set the lawn mower on the highest setting and titrated the height down until I got the desired effects.This device WILL take your lawn down to dirt if you titrate the height down and that includes 90% of the moss. Moss likes to grow in the lowest spots on your lawn and the tines may not reach it unless your lawn is PERFECTLY flat and we know that’s
    not realistic.

    My bit of advice would be to get the tine refills because the tines will eventually break just like they do on the power rakes depending on how aggressive you are with it.

    All and all I think its a VERY GOOD product. It makes me cheaper then the other guy and more efficient too.

  17. Airlin De Vos says:

    would like more information on your detaching blades with the springs on him thank you in advance

  18. Wes says:

    I live in central Texas, hot in summer & cool to cold most winters. Little snow. My lawn is a mix of Bermuda, St. Augustine and dreaded crab grass. I weed & Feed 2 times a year. I hand pick dandelions. I try to dig out crab grass until this year as it is so overwhelming. I need advise.. Any suggestions? Can’t afford removal & re-sodding. Area about 2000 SF.

  19. JOhn Watson says:

    This thread is full of internet trolls. The ‘dethatcher’ tools (springs and a blade that mount to your lawnmower) DO NOT WORK.

    Lawnmower attachment dethatchers DO NOT WORK. Do not buy them

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