what is the difference between a lawn rake and a lawn scarifier

There are many tools for scarification and lawn maintenance. Two such lawn scarifying tools are a simple rake and a scarifier. Now, what is the difference between a lawn rake and a lawn scarifier? These tools have vastly different designs but can both perform a similar function. They are different in their utility, cost, and usage, and it is important to understand this. In the guide below, we look at both tools, their design, how they work, and more!

Lawn Rake vs Law Scarifier – A Comparison

To start, let’s take a basic look at what these tools are, how they are made, and their design. They are very different in terms of design, shape, and size. To help show how they differ, we have also listed their pros and cons.

Lawn Rake

We have the trusty lawn rake. A rake is a rudimentary tool that has been around for hundreds of years.


A lawn rake at the backyard

The metal pole is what you use to hold the tool. It has a long metal pole and a rake head. At the end of the pole, there is a connected head.

The head is made up of a series of metal prongs that almost look like a comb. Typically, the raker blades are aligned vertically or may be arranged in a fan-like shape. The individual blades usually have a straight part and an angled tip. The angled tip is what helps remove dead grass, moss, and thatch.


  • It has a lighter and smaller overall design
  • An affordable, cost-effective solution
  • Requires no power source
  • Suitable for smaller lawns
  • It has more uses than just scarifying


  • It is not as effective as a scarifier
  • Requires more effort and manual work
  • Not as quick as a scarifier

Lawn Scarifier

A lawn scarifier could be compared to a lawnmower. These machines have a similar shape and design to mowers but perform different functions. You could think of a lawn scarifier as a more sophisticated rake.


Lawn scarifiers have the main body and a handle. The main body contains scarifying blades. These blades will rotate and scarify the surface of the lawn without damaging or removing the grass. The body is connected to a handle that you use to push the machine.

You can get both manual or electric scarifiers. Manual scarifiers work by brute force – you simply push the machine, and the blades rotate. An electric scarifier has a motor, and the blades automatically rotate when it is switched on.


  • Easier to use with less manual effort
  • Great for larger lawns
  • It covers a larger area quicker
  • Relatively easy to use
  • More thorough scarifying


  • Much more expensive than a rake
  • Some require a power source
  • Not as easy to store
  • Can be noisy

What Can These Tools be Used For?

You can use both for scarifying your lawn. Scarifying is an important process to maintain the quality of your grass. It can help with the removal of moss but also promote grass growth. Both products can also be used for aeration and cut into the soil to have sufficient drainage.

A lawn raker can also be used for general gardening work. For example, you can use it to collect and remove dead leaves and debris from your flower beds and soil. A lawn raker can also be useful for raking soil. For example, you may want to turn over the soil in your vegetable patch to plant new seeds.

In contrast, a scarifier is only useful for scarifying and aerating your lawn. It literally has no other purpose. However, it does do this effectively. A scarifier can help the removal of weeds, dead grass, thatch, and moss. It is also a highly useful tool for lawn care.

Is A Scarifier Better Than a Lawn Rake?

This is subjective. These tools have a major difference, and it is in their utility. As you will see, a scarifier is basically a single-purpose tool. But it does this single purpose far better than a lawn raker ever could. In contrast, a lawn raker is OK for lawn care, but it also has other uses.

For Lawncare

If you have a large lawn that needs regular maintenance, a scarifier is an excellent item to have. It definitely performs better than simple raking. This is because it can get the process done quicker. It is also easier to use and less labour-intense.

Moreover, aside from removing thatch and moss, a scarifier also promotes grass growth and a healthy lawn. The metal tines and blades effectively remove thatch, moss, and debris and cut them into the soil to improve aeration. It is more difficult to achieve this by raking. As a result, a scarifier is better for general lawn care.

For Multi-Purpose Gardening

If you have a smaller lawn and need a versatile tool for multiple gardening jobs, a rake could be the better option. A rake performs OK at scarifying. The raking process can still remove thatch, moss, and dead grass from the surface. With effort, it can also be used for aeration. However, it is harder to use than a scarifier, and scarification requires more effort.

The best thing about a rake is that it can be used for other purposes too. If your garden has multiple features like bushes, trees, and a vegetable patch, a rake could be a brilliant tool to have. You may use it to remove leaves and turn the soil, for example. One of the major differences is that a rake is also light. It requires more effort to use, but it is easier to hold and can be stored easier.

Take Your Pick

What is the difference between a lawn rake and a lawn scarifier? You should now have a clear idea of the difference between them. A rake is a simpler tool that requires more manual effort to use effectively. A scarifier is easier to use, but they are also generally more expensive. The bottom line is that both tools can aerate and scarify your lawn to remove moss, thatch, and debris.

Which do you prefer, a lawn rake and a scarifier? Tell us the reason in the comments below.

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