Power Rake vs Dethatcher – Which One Should You Choose for Dethatching?

Both power rakes and dethatchers are designed to remove thatch from your lawn, and they can both help you get rid of those pesky clumps of dead grass that spring up every year. But there are differences between these two tools. So which one should you choose? Here’s a look at the differences in terms of power rake vs dethatcher to help you decide which one is better for you!

Power Rake vs Dethatcher – How are they Different?

A dethatcher is a light-duty machine that removes thatches build-up to half-inch dense with its spring tines. And a power rake is a heavy-duty tool used by professionals to clean thatches denser than one inch. A power rake is an aggressive tool compared to a dethatcher

Differences in How they Work!

Although both power rake and dethatcher work to remove thatch and debris from the lawns, they work differently.

Here’s how a power rake works

The power rake scours the layer of debris on the lawn and uses flails that spin at high speed. Those spinning flails loosened the thatches and debris and pick-up by the power rake. This process of dethatching exposes the soil below after picking up the thatches and debris. A power rake is extremely aggressive to the soil. So it is suggested to use a power rake for dethatching when the time of grass growth is optimum. If you don’t mow properly and water the grass poorly, your lawn will start to form a dead layer of thatch soon enough. And the brown color grass underneath the grass leaves will be visible. This brown layer of dead grass and debris becomes more visible during mowing. And that is when you will need a power rake to clean it up all.

Now let’s see how a dethatcher works

A dethatcher uses metal blades commonly called tines for dethatching, and those tines comb across the ground of the lawns to pull up the thatches built up beneath the grass surface. And after dethatching with a lawn dethatcher, it is required to clean up the lawn with a lawn sweeper.   

Differences between Power Rake and Dethatcher

A power rake and a dethatcher perform the same duty to clean up and dethatching a lawn ground. There are many differences between a power rake and a dethatcher, in how they work, in their working capabilities, and the price convenience. The differences between a power rake and a dethatcher will help you to decide which one will be perfect for your lawn and you. In case of work efficiency and price convenience and which one will save your time, energy, and money. Following are some of the main differences between these two types of dethatching machines listed and described for your decision-making.    


The term aggressiveness here means how powerful and damaging can a dethatching machine be to your lawn. A power rake is much more powerful and can dethatch deep and dense layers of thatches and debris. And this is what serves as a major disadvantage of a power rake. A power rake is a much more powerful and much more aggressive machine for a lawn. On the other hand, a dethatcher is a less aggressive machine compared with a power rake.


The shape of a power rake is similar to a dethatcher to some extent, but the power rake has a wider dethatching arm compared with a dethatcher. Besides, power rakes are, in most cases are, designed as a push-behind machine with a two or four-wheel design. On the other hand, a dethatcher has a small dethatching span and smaller tines compared with a power rake, and usually, it is used by people without any machine help to push it. And it is smaller in size compared with a power rake.


A power rake can clean a much denser thatch from a lawn compared with a dethatcher. For cleaning thatch that is around half-inch deep, you can use a dethatcher, but it won’t work efficiently if the thatch level is deeper. For cleaning a denser thatch level, a power rake is an appropriate tool.


The price of a power rake is comparatively higher. It can cost up to a thousand US dollars while you can buy a regular dethatcher for around 150 US dollars.

Machine Grade

A power rake is a big commercial-grade machine designed to dethatch big areas. And dethatching with a power rake takes comparatively low time. Most of the company that provides dethatching service uses power rake. On the other hand, a dethatcher is a smaller, residential grade machine specially designed to cover small lawns and is easy to use.

Application Areas

Power rakes work for large areas of grass or turf; it’s a heavy-duty machine that is designed for lawns equal to or bigger than a acre of area. A power rake consumes a relatively greater amount of electricity. On the other hand, a dethatcher is applicable for small grass or turf lawn areas.

Component of Machines

A power rake uses steel flails tines which can penetrate more than four times much thatch and remove a greater amount of thatch. On the other hand, the dethatcher uses steel springs tines to penetrate about half an inch and remove a small amount of thatch.


Dethatcher is sold for personal use. Usually, lawn owner who loves DIY works uses a dethatcher for their lawn. A power rake is usually used for business purposes, and people with vast lawn areas also use power rakes.

Skills Needed

A power rake is aggressive and can destroy your lawn if it is not handled properly. And proper use of a power rake requires skilled people who have prior experience of using a power rake. A dethatcher is a simple machine and easy to use. With a simple guide to use, one can easily operate a dethatcher. A dethatcher has no chance of destroying your lawn.

Energy Uses

A power rake uses much more electricity compared to a dethatcher.

Storage Space Requirement  

A power rake is relatively bigger than a dethatcher and requires a large room to store it. On the other hand, a dethatcher can be stored in a small room.

Which One Should you Choose for Dethatching?

The answer to this question which one you should be using between a dethatcher and a power rake really depends on a few factors about you and your lawn. If you have a big lawn and don’t have a budget problem, it is better to buy a power rake. You have to read the guidelines for using a power rake. And if you have a small lawn and don’t want to spend too much on a dethatching machine, a dethatcher is a good option for you.

Bottom Line

Power rake and dethatcher are designed to dethatch and clean your lawn from thatch build-up and debris. But which one you should be using depends on the various factors discussed. And if you have gone through the entire article, you should not face any difficulty selecting the best one for you.