power rake

Power rake vs Dethatcher

Homeowners often confuse a power rake with a dethatcher.  While you can use both tools to remove thatch and debris, the two differ significantly.

Are you wondering how the two differ? Perhaps you are unsure which tool between the two will be perfect for your lawn? We have put together this blog to answer those questions. We also highlight the pros and cons of each. 

Let’s take a look at the two tools.

What is a power rake?

A power rake is a heavy-duty garden tool that landscapers use to remove thatch that exceeds one to two inches in thickness. A landscaper will remove thatches and debris on your lawn with a power rake machine. The power rake will usually have blades similar to a roto-tiller. The device will deftly remove thatches between the soil and the grass’s roots. 

When your lawn has too much thatch, it means the roots of your lawn are no longer getting sufficient sunlight. Other than that, over thatching may lead to over-moisturizing the soil.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of using a power rake. 


  • Your lawn will get proper access to water and sunlight.
  • Your lawn will get access to fertilizers and nutrients.
  • Your lawn will have a lush surface.
  • You will avoid many diseases that affect lawns.
  • Your lawn will have a smooth surface.
  • A power rake is excellent for seedbed preparation. 


  • A power rake may leave bruises on your grass.
  • Power rakes are expensive.

When to power rake?

If you want to get the best results, you should know when to use a power rake. It would help if you considered using a power rake in early spring or fall for cool-season grass.

Meanwhile, if you have warm-season grass, it will be best to consider using a power rake towards the end of spring or early summer.

What is a dethatcher?

A dethatcher is a light-duty machine that garden service companies use to remove thatch up to 1/2-inch thick. Sometimes a dethatcher can be a rake that you tow behind a tractor.

It uses metal blades or tines to comb across the grass and pull thatch up. A dethatcher plays a crucial role in making your lawn look healthy and good. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of using a dethatcher:


  • A dethatcher will ensure that there is healthy root growth in your grass.
  • A dethatcher helps your lawn get enough nutrients.
  • It gives your lawn an attractive appearance.
  • It will pull up thatches on your lawn.
  • A dethatcher is relatively affordable.
  • It comes in handy when you want to reseed your lawn.


  • A dethatcher can be aggressive on the grass.

When to use a dethatcher?

It is always advisable to check the layer of your thatch before using a dethatcher. You can do this by using a garden spade and digging up a small wedge. From there, you will be able to see if your grass is 1 to 2 inches long. Once you have confirmed this, you can start using a dethatcher on your lawn. Once you finish dethatching your lawn, you will be ready to oversee your lawn and make it look thick, lush, and green. 

Are you looking for lawn care services around Sioux, IA? Reach out to today for a FREE quote!