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Old 08-22-2012, 06:38 PM   #1
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


Like many folks up here I have a lot of dead grass and weeds in my lawn, and it is going to need a good dethatching so I can set new seed. I've got about 4,000 sq. ft, of lawn, not very level with the occasional rock at the surface.

In past years I have just raked out the yard very thoroughly in spots that needed it, but now the whole lawn needs it. I don't think a rental dethatcher is going to work due to the potential of rock damage, so I am looking hard at one of the spring tine dethatching mower blades that they sell for my Bolens.

I have read a lot of articles against these blades. However, I have seen them used locally once on a fairly good deep turf lawn and it seemed to do the job of getting up all the dead stuff without trashing the lawn. It seems that you just need to set the height properly.

Any experiences, tips, warnings of pitfalls? I'm hoping/expecting to clear large areas of my lawn down to bare soil for seeding - I know the lawn is going to look torn up for a while.

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:49 PM   #2
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


I've been told by John Deere dealer that those blade can damage the mower.
I use one of these and it works just fine.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2927_200512927

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #3
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I've been told by John Deere dealer that those blade can damage the mower.
Did he then turn around and show you a shiny new John Deere dethatching machine?

Seriously, I'm curious what the deal is. I haven't seen anything posted from an irate lawnmower owner griping about his broken mower due to these blades, but I have heard this sort of statement from equipment dealers saying it can wreck a mower.

Has anyone personally had a bad experience with these dethatching blades?
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


Key word "thatching blade reviews". on the net.
http://www.amazon.com/Ace-Universal-.../dp/B000H5Y7SO
Go the bottom of the listing to see reviews.

Last edited by joecaption; 08-22-2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:34 PM   #5
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


Thanks for the link. Nobody griping about broken mowers. It seems that the negative reviews are from people who didn't expect a spinning piece of spiked metal to tear up their lawn

I'll give it a shot.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:54 PM   #6
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


I have used that style if blade. Seemed to work. You will be amazed at how much "stuff" comes out of your lawn. Have a plan on what to do with all the thatch.
The only thing I am not sure if fall is the best time to de-thatch. I thought it was normally done in the spring.
If you are going to overseed, it does make sense though -- fall is the perfect time to seed.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


I know I'll have a ton of stuff to dispose of. I am using it as cheap mulch to keep the weeds down on the back of my property, so the more the merrier. I definitely need to do this this fall to prepare for overseeding. I've got big areas of dusty, bone-dry dead grass that I need to fill in.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:36 AM   #8
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


My one - and only - experience with them left me with grass that was far more "thatched" than I had anticipated. I probably had the deck set too low, but I've never bothered using them again. What I've used for the past 20 years is a pull-behind thatcher. It does what I need it to do.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


I think the possible pitfall is if the things end up dragging and pulling at turf rather than actually dethatching.

Just as a general comment? Aerating and dethatching services are so common and competitive in places I have lived it is hardly worth it to Mickey Mouse around with it all yourself.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I've been told by John Deere dealer that those blade can damage the mower.
I use one of these and it works just fine.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2927_200512927
I have this also and it works great.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


I've seen the pull-behind dethatchers, but I don't have a tractor (this is only 4,000 sq ft, 0.04 acres). Buying one and pulling it around the yard by hand seems crazy.

I've called a few local places - they want between $200-$250 to dethatch and clean up. I'm stuck in that they all want their minimum one hour billing even though the job would take them about 15 minutes. I know they need to pay the bills, but so do I.

I can mow the whole thing in 15 minutes and rake in an hour or two.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Chicken View Post
I've seen the pull-behind dethatchers, but I don't have a tractor (this is only 4,000 sq ft, 0.04 acres). Buying one and pulling it around the yard by hand seems crazy.

I've called a few local places - they want between $200-$250 to dethatch and clean up. I'm stuck in that they all want their minimum one hour billing even though the job would take them about 15 minutes. I know they need to pay the bills, but so do I.

I can mow the whole thing in 15 minutes and rake in an hour or two.
Buy a dethaching rake, maybe two ( 30 bucks or so each ) and get some neighborhood kids to do it for 50 bucks. That would be less than half the cost of paying a 'pro'. Do you have any friends that could do it with/for you?
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:08 PM   #13
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


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Buy a dethaching rake, maybe two ( 30 bucks or so each ) and get some neighborhood kids to do it for 50 bucks. That would be less than half the cost of paying a 'pro'. Do you have any friends that could do it with/for you?
It's amazing how busy my friends and wife get when I start asking for help in the yard.

I don't mind doing the work - it beats shelling out for a gym membership. But I am also a "work smarter, not harder" sort of person.

I thought about a dethatching rake, but as long as a dethatching blade won't likely damage my mower, I think I will experiment with that first. I can set the deck level and do some test patches to see what the best height is. If it is going to grind the whole lawn down to bare topsoil then I'll go get a dethatching rake.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:29 PM   #14
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I've been told by John Deere dealer that those blade can damage the mower.
Did he happen to say how using a dethaching blade could damage the mower. Ever since I read that, I have been trying to figure out how on earth the detatching blade could damage the lawn-mower, but have come up with nothing.
No reason to think a dethatching blade would be more off balance than a cutting blade.
Doubt it puts more load on the engine than cutting tall grass.
The blade itself does not touch the mower except where it is mounted.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #15
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Experience with Dethatching Blades?


It is really a case of not the right tool for the job. A detatcher or power rake should reach down to the soil and really tear up the tatch layer using a series of vertical cuts if need be. Something spinning around on the shaft of mower is not the same thing. Will one hurt? Maybe not? Will one help? Maybe so? Will one replace a detatching machine designed for the job!?

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