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Old 09-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #1
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?

I'm looking for something more than a thatch rake but not as pricey as a Bluebird/Honda vertical power rake.

I've seen that Craftsman makes an electric push rake, but I don't want to deal with the headache of having the thing break or burn-out on me. (Every out door electric appliance that I've ever owned with the exception of a blower has broken on me within 1-year.)

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Old 09-07-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Equator View Post
Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?

I'm looking for something more than a thatch rake but not as pricey as a Bluebird/Honda vertical power rake.

I've seen that Craftsman makes an electric push rake, but I don't want to deal with the headache of having the thing break or burn-out on me. (Every out door electric appliance that I've ever owned with the exception of a blower has broken on me within 1-year.)
You do realize that the two pieces of equipment you mentioned (i.e., thatch rake and Bluebird thatcher) are really the only two truly effective thatching tools, right? Yes, I am aware that they represent two extremes, as far as efficacy, technology, and expenditure.

The only thing that is a remotely viable third option might be the thatching accessory for the Mantis mini-tiller, which I will refrain from discussing further.

Can I ask what your task is?

If it is residential (e.g., your own lawn) then stick with a thatch rake; anything beyond that is over-kill. I suppose if you live on a half-acre or more, you might do well to rent the Bluebird thatcher.

Frankly, it bothers me when self-regarding "handy" types purchase unnecessary pieces of equipment just so they can say that they "own" it. My ex-wife's husband was like this--e.g., "Vin, check out this ten thousand dollar 'Original Saw' Radial Arm Saw I just bought and that you can only ever wish you could afford."

LOL

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


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Originally Posted by Handy Vinny View Post
Can I ask what your task is?

If it is residential (e.g., your own lawn) then stick with a thatch rake; anything beyond that is over-kill.
Yeah, I'm doing my own yard. I have about 1/2" of thatch in the front, 1" or more in the back. Suburban lot, if that helps.

What do you mean by overkill? are you saying that anything more than the thatching rake will be more tool than is necessary, or are you presuming that your idea of what is too much money to spend on a tool also applies to me?

Can anyone fill me in on the Mantis tiller and its thatching attachment?
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:11 AM   #4
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


Why not just rent a dethatcher? For the 1 or 2 times a year you will use it you'll save a ton of $$ and not have to store the beast. If you really want one, check craigslist or even ebay. I once picked up a used bluebird slit seeder for $250 and it actually did a great job lifting the thatch. I used it as a thatcher for a couple years, but ended up selling it as my shed got full
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:20 AM   #5
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


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Why not just rent a dethatcher? For the 1 or 2 times a year you will use it you'll save a ton of $$ and not have to store the beast.
Actually, this is not correct. If Mr. Equator thatches his lawn twice every year, as per orthodox recommendation, that is a 40-dollar rental fee twice a year. At 80-dollars, annually, he will quickly spend on rental fees what he could have spent on actually investing in the Bluebird itself. If he purchased it and rented it out, he could recoup some if not all of money he put into the initial purchase.

However, this whole conversation is moot, as he claims to live on a suburban lot.

Sir, all you need is a thatch rake, which can be purchased brand new for 30-dollars, or, used, for less than 10-dollars. Anything beyond that would be unnecessary and just might also be perceived as showing off.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


So this is a de-thatching rake ?
Best time Spring or Fall ?
I've never dethatched, pretty sure the front needs it
I could see someone buying the bluebird if they have a large lot
My neighbor has over an acre...lots of grass...I can't imagine doing it by hand
Neighbors on 3 sides have lawn tractors, I have a push mower -self propelled
But the pool area, 2nd driveway & steam/wooded are take away from the grass I need to mow





I've always used just a simple metal garden rake for the grass
Does the dethatching rake also help with aeration ?

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 09-09-2010 at 04:55 PM. Reason: fixed pic
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:29 PM   #7
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


The rake that you posted an image of could probably work for 1/2" of thatch. In fact, a sturdy metal-tined leaf rake could even work if there is not too much thatch.



This is a proper thatching rake.

Thatching can be labor intensive and time consuming, so maybe it was irresponsible of me to advise someone that manually raking thatch would be the best option without knowing the individual's age. If someone who has a physical disability or is of advanced age, power raking would probably be a better option. But please understand, that power raking can stress lawns, as well.

Also, I should qualify what I said about thatching twice a year. In my geographical area, Illinois, if your goal is to really develop the root system (as opposed to "top growth") of your lawn, then thatching and aerating should be done in the fall and spring, or less as needed. I cannot really make an authoritative recommendation about lawns outside the Midwest. (So, I admit, in that respect, I cannot answer every question about lawns.)

Last edited by Handy Vinny; 09-09-2010 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
So this is a de-thatching rake ?
Best time Spring or Fall ?

I've always used just a simple metal garden rake for the grass
Does the dethatching rake also help with aeration ?
Where I live, aeration is generally only considered effective if you are able to "core-aerate," which is more or less the same thing as removing what are called plugs from the ground. Again, if you live residential area, something like this will probably suffice. Again, there is also the option of renting one.

The best time for thatching is debatable, honsetly. One of my colleagues says if you are only going to do it once per year, do it in the spring because your lawn has the entire summer and early fall to recuperate.

Last edited by Handy Vinny; 09-09-2010 at 02:43 PM. Reason: to be careful and specific when advising other users
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:52 PM   #9
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


My pic of the dethatching rake did not work (now fixed)
The pic was similar to what you posted
I guess I'll wait until Spring
I'll do a good raking this Fall with just the leaf rake
Then spring look into a thatching rake

My friend rented a core aerator machine
He did his lawn...I saw the plugs pulled out...3" or so long ?
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
My pic of the dethatching rake did not work (now fixed)
The pic was similar to what you posted
I guess I'll wait until Spring
I'll do a good raking this Fall with just the leaf rake
Then spring look into a thatching rake

My friend rented a core aerator machine
He did his lawn...I saw the plugs pulled out...3" or so long ?
Yes, you have the proper rake, for sure.

Pulling 3-inch plugs is ideal. Unless there is something seriously wrong with your lawn, annual or biannual (spring-fall) aeration coupled with thatching and a regular watering program will get any lawn into shape in fairly short order.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:45 PM   #11
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


power rake
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:56 PM   #12
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


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Originally Posted by Handy Vinny View Post
The only thing that is a remotely viable third option might be the thatching accessory for the Mantis mini-tiller, which I will refrain from discussing further.
Can anyone tell me about the this Mantis mini-tiller? I've seen them for b/w $300-350 online. Are they worth it?
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:50 AM   #13
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Vinny View Post
Actually, this is not correct. If Mr. Equator thatches his lawn twice every year, as per orthodox recommendation, that is a 40-dollar rental fee twice a year. At 80-dollars, annually, he will quickly spend on rental fees what he could have spent on actually investing in the Bluebird itself. If he purchased it and rented it out, he could recoup some if not all of money he put into the initial purchase..
we get together and a few of us split the rental cost. You say it's $80 annually, but you are not including the cost of maintenance. if you leave untreated gas in it, then you are cleaning the carb, replacing plugs etc. if your soil is sandy or rocky, you are replacing cutters. if you rent it to your neighbors, you are adding to the cost of maintenace and risking additional damage.

Even if you are saving $80 a year by buying, you are looking at almost 15 years before you see a return on invesment, plus you have a big piece of equipment that you'll use 2 days a year and it will sit taking up space in your shed/garage for the other 363 days a year
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:17 PM   #14
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


Look, Mr. Chips, you seem like a nice person. The last thing I want to do is offend you, but at this point in the thread, I am not really clear on what your position is, as you seem to be advocating both renting and purchasing this piece of machinery. I appreciate your attempts at hashing out the different economic scenarios involved in these hypothetical situations.

For my part, let me just reiterate that I do not think it is advisable for a homeowner to own or rent anything beyond a simple thatching rake, as anything else would be unnecessary--unless, however, the user is of advanced age or is suffering from some kind of orthopedic problem.

Do you realize that I am registered on the pro site, Contractor Talk, as a lawn care professional?
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:11 PM   #15
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Can anyone recommend any kind of effective de-thatching tool?


I was gonna click on a thanks to Vinny for his post, but then I realized he was picking a fight, acting silly, and not worth commenting on. Maybe a new forum section could be created that is only available to Vinny. He could be the moderator and the admin of this section and he would only have himself to argue with.

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