If you want a neat, clean, and good-looking lawn, you need to care for it the right way. This includes, among other things, regularly eliminating dead grass, debris, and thatch.
Luckily for you, you can do this with the best tow-behind dethatcher for lawn; these tools are available in various styles and sizes and you can easily find the one that matches your needs and yard the most.
Dethatching has to be done properly; too much can impede the grass’s ability to absorb water and oxygen and grow.
The good news is that tow behind dethatchers are designed for this and won’t damage your existing grass.
Therefore, especially if your garden is small or medium-sized, you don’t need a professional landscaper for the dethatching-you can do it yourself!
Below, you can find the 10 best models currently and some useful tips.
Agri Fab’s 40-Inch Tow-Behind Dethatcher is our best pick because it boasts excellent customer satisfaction, but it’s also made of quality and sturdy material, it’s suitable for different lawn sizes, and comes with a three-year warranty!
- What Is Dethatching?
- Why Do I Need A Tow Behind Dethatcher?
- Tow-Behind vs. Front Mount
- Which Features To Consider While Buying?
- How To Use And Care For My Tow-Behind Dethatcher?
- How Often Should I Dethatch My Grass?
- When It’s The Best Time to Dethatch My Garden?
- Does Dethatching Damage My Lawn?
- The 10 Best Tow Behind Dethatchers
- Final Thoughts
What Is Dethatching?
Dethatching refers to the removal of surplus thatch and this is an essential gardening procedure for healthy and green grass.
Although organic is usually considered good, organic thatch can become an issue.
This is because lawns have three levels. The one on top is the one we see. Although you will see most of the results from your maintenance at this level, the action is happening much below.
The other level is the soil and the thatch layer is between the grass and the soil.
Thatch is an organic layer consisting mostly of grass stems, rhizomes, and stolons, which can be living and dead but haven’t decomposed or dissolved yet.
With this in mind, for healthy grass, both on the inside and the outside, you need to dethatch it.
And, a dethatcher is a specialized unit that can help you do it efficiently.
Why Do I Need A Tow Behind Dethatcher?
As we explained previously, thatch will build up underneath the lawn, on top of the soil; however, with a tow-behind dethatcher, you can clear up this layer and enable nutrients, air, and water to enter the soil and help it grow healthy.
This is pivotal if we want thriving grass. A tow-behind dethatcher is easy to use, efficient, and practical, especially if you have a lawn tractor that you’ll use to pull the dethatcher.
Tow-Behind vs. Front Mount
Dethatchers can be found in various types, but the most common ones are the front mount and the tow-behind ones.
The former is attached to the tractor’s front and allows you to easily see where you’re going and what you’ve achieved.
However, these models tend to be pricier and may also interfere with other hardware that’s front mount.
On the other hand, the latter gives you more choices in terms of features and width. And, they’re usually universal, meaning you can attach them on any type of tractor you have.
Still, monitoring the process will require you to turn back to see what’s going on or have another person nearby telling you what you’ve covered and how it’s going.
Which Features To Consider While Buying?
In order to choose the best tow-behind dethatcher for you, make sure you consider the most important features first.
As you’ll see in our review section, tow-behind dethatchers are available in different widths.
This directly influences the swath which will be created with every pass up and down the lawn. So, which one to choose?
One that’s wider or one that’s narrower?-This will depend on what you need and how big your yard is.
The wider ones will help you do the job faster than the narrower ones. This may especially be beneficial when dealing with large surfaces.
However, they do tend to cost more. If you have a small or medium-sized lawn, a narrower one will be perfect!
Being able to raise the dethatcher is helpful if you need to take it across roads or other harder ground.
And, you need to lower it once it’s on top of the grass you’ll be dethatching.
The good news is that all of the models we presented offer a lever that allows you to effortlessly raise or lower the unit’s tines.
How Much Weight It Can Carry
Oftentimes, tow-behind dethatchers come with a weight tray located above the tines intended for adding extra weight.
This is important if you want to clear matted and thick thatch efficiently. Also, you can add weight when you want to scarify and till the surface of the soil.
The standard weight these dethatchers can carry is around 70 lbs. Some models can carry up to 150 lbs. or even more.
To be able to transport your dethatcher easily through different terrains, you don’t just need an adjustable handle, but quality and sturdy tires as well.
They need to be made of quality materials to be used outdoors. And, they also serve to optimize the unit’s balance.
The most common types you’ll encounter are pneumatic or semi-pneumatic. They’re similar to the ones of trucks and cars.
They can be of two types, ones filled with air (air pneumatics) or the ones made of rubber which are considered less prone to punctures (solid pneumatics).
Even though the best tow-behind dethatchers are made to last, things may go wrong. Namely, the pulling of the unit up and down and dragging the tines on the ground may cause them to bend or even worse, break.
This is why it’s essential to check the warranty before making the purchase.
A standard warranty is 1 to 2 years among the best models; however, sometimes, you can also find products offering a longer warranty like 3 years.
How To Use And Care For My Tow-Behind Dethatcher?
The dethatching process will be the most effective when the tines of the dethatcher won’t be affected by soil clumps or debris on the surface. Hence, make sure you use a lawn roller before the dethatching to level out any bumps or crevices.
You should also mow the grass and take out the sticks and bigger leaves with a sweeper or a vacuum. Some of the models we presented are 2-in-1, i.e. both a dethatcher and a sweeper, so they ease things a lot!
Then, after assembling the dethatcher and attaching it to the back of your tractor, make two perpendicular passes and make sure they overlap each time.
Then, sweep up the loosened thatch with the rake or a sweeper.
How Often Should I Dethatch My Grass?
Dethatching should be done at least once per year in early spring to decrease the risk of illnesses. And, opt for a second dethatching session in the autumn to keep the lawn green and healthy.
Do it after you’ve watered the grass or after rainfall. This is when removing most thatch is easier.
Avoid doing dethatching in the dry summer months since this may overexpose its roots.
When It’s The Best Time to Dethatch My Garden?
To check if it’s time to use the dethatcher, use a spade and take out a small plug from the lawn from a not-so-visible area.
If you notice more than half-inch of thatch, it’s time to take out the tool from the garage.
Dethatching can be done easily by attaching the dethatcher to your tractor unit behind or in the front. The ones we discussed today are tow-behind models which are easy to use and practical.
Don’t forget to remove the thatch after the dethatching. It will be left on the top of the grass. You can collect it with a sweeper or a rake.
Or, opt for a vacuum mulcher if you have other errands to do and you’re short on time!
Does Dethatching Damage My Lawn?
When done adequately, dethatching is awesome for a healthy lawn. It encourages oxygen, water, and other nutrients to penetrate the soil easier.
However, you should only do it when it’s the right time of the year, i.e. when it’s growing. This helps it to quickly recover from any potential injury the dethatching may have done.
Although we mentioned when it’s the best time to do it, you should also consider its type. Namely, for the cool season grasses like the Kentucky bluegrass one, early fall or late summer is the best period of time.
On the other hand, early summer is preferable for warm-season grasses such as the Zoysia one.
The 10 Best Tow Behind Dethatchers
1. Agri Fab 40-Inch Tine Tow Behind Dethatcher
|Package Dimensions||40 x 41 x 41 inches|
|Item Weight||28.5 pounds|
- Value for money
- Sturdy design
- Easy to assemble
- 3-year warranty
- Efficient dethatching
Easily uproot dead and matted grass using this 40-inch tow-behind dethatcher. Set it up on the back of your lawn tractor and it’s ready to go. This is very easy thanks to its universal fit hitch.
It has twenty durable spring tines to ensure smooth removal and penetration. These tines penetrate the grass and turn up the weeds, dried grass, and soil in 40-inch wide swathes.
Moreover, the dethatcher is made rust-proof and the spring-loaded tines are replaceable.
They’ve been made extra durable thanks to the heat treatment. Thanks to the transport handle included, the raising and lowering of the tines are effortless.
The 2, 7-inch diameter semi-pneumatic wheels are perfect for almost any terrain. And, you can shop safely with this brand thanks to the 3-year limited warranty!
2. Brinly 48-Inch Tow-Behind Dethatcher
|Package Dimensions||38 x 48 x 12 inches|
|Item Weight||37 pounds|
- Tough construction
- Ideal for large lawns
- Universal hitch pin
- Triple coil strength tines
Ideal for larger mowers and lawns, this dethatcher comes with a 48-inch working width and two rows of 12, flexing spring steel tines. It will comb through your lawn effortlessly and dethatch perfectly.
It will help you keep the root system healthy and mulch-free. It’s best for larger spaces because it will help you cover more terrain faster.
And, the construction is sturdy and long-lasting, entirely made of durable steel. In case of breakage, a safety rod is included to catch the tiny and prevent it from getting into contact with the blades of the mower.
The two rubber-treated wheels are durable and strong. They’re located behind and are aligned with the tray to reduce the footprint width and ease the leveling. The hitch pin is universal and will help you attach and easily reattach the tool on almost any tractor or rider.
The dethatcher comes with an assembly manual.
3. Agri Fab 48-Inch Dethatcher
|De-thatch||24 heat-treated spring tines|
- Great for larger lawns
- Strong, steel spring tines
- Easy to assemble
This is another awesome dethatcher by Agri Fab, but this one is wider, i.e. 48-inch one. It’s intended for tackling larger yards faster.
It features 24 strong and sturdy, heat-treated spring tines while its wheels are flat-free and suitable for almost any terrain.
The weight deck is made using durable, heavy-gauge steel and also has a welded drawbar.
Made in the US, it boasts a three-year warranty and a universal hitch for easy setup on your lawn tractor.
Customers who purchased it gave the most kudos for being lightweight, offering good value for the price, and its sturdy design.
4. Brinly Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper & Dethatcher
|Package Dimensions||69 x 53 x 38 inches|
|Item Weight||94.8 pounds|
- 2-year warranty
- Sweeper & dethatcher in one
- High-velocity brushes
- Strong & adjustable steel tines
Cut your working time in half using this 2-in-1 sweeper and dethatcher in the garden. It will help you dethatch and sweep the lawn at the same time.
The steel tines in two rows can be easily raised or lowered using the adjustment handle; so, there’s no need to remove the dethatcher if you’re only sweeping the grass.
You can lock the tines in a transport position and easily take your machine from one place to another. The design is collapsible for easy and compact storage when not in use.
The hamper offers a large capacity and it’s constructed of ultra-durable polyweave fabric. The 6, high-velocity brushes rotate fast and effectively pick up the debris from the ground efficiently.
The brush-to-ground height is also adjustable.
5. Brinly 40-Inch Tow-Behind Dethatcher
|Package Dimensions||40 x 40 x 33 inches|
|Item Weight||7.33 pounds|
- 3 operating modes (dethatch, scarify, and transport)
- Triple-coil strength tines
- Heavy-duty weight tray
- 2 rows of tines
If you want maximum and fast dethatching of your grass, this 40-inch dethatcher can do wonders. It features two rows of 10, independently-set flexing spring steel tines.
They will comb through the lawn and lift the thatch up and out of your lawn and promote healthier roots.
You can set it as a straight dethatcher or in a more heavy-duty mode where it will scrape the soil as it pulls up the thatch; this is great for reseeding purposes.
When crossing driveways and walkways, you can put the dethatcher in transport mode.
Its construction from all steel is long-lasting and durable. And, in case of breakage, the safety rod will catch the tine and won’t harm the mower blades.
The wheels are durable and have no-flat diamond rubber ones.
6. Agri Fab Dethatcher for all Lawn Sweepers
|Product Width||42 inches|
|Item Weight||12 pounds|
- 2-in-1 model
- Easy to set up
- Heat-treated tines
- 3-year warranty
For a healthy and good-looking lawn, this 2-in-1 dethatcher is an awesome choice. The dethatcher easily attaches to all Agri-Fab lawn sweepers and it will help you pick up thatch instantly.
Moreover, the 14 spring tines from stainless steel have been treated with heat for additional longevity and durability.
Customers can purchase worry-free thanks to the three-year limited warranty. The assembly is easy thanks to the user-friendly hitch.
People who opted for this dethatcher model gave the most praise for its lightweight, durability, and easy assembling.
7. Yard Commander 40-Inch Tow Behind Dethatcher
|Package Dimensions||41.6 x 12.1 x 3.7 inches|
|Item Weight||36.4 pounds|
|Manufacturer||YTL International Inc|
- For larger yards
- Easy to assemble
- Strong tires
- Long-lasting tines
- Universal hitch
This dethatcher with 40-inch width and 20 tines will help you nourish your grass and keep the roots healthy and thriving. The tines are adjustable to fit every need.
It may even work just fine without any need to add weight for balance on the tray.
All of the strong stainless steel tines have been additionally heat-treated to ensure longevity and durability.
The 7-inch tires are tough and no terrain is a problem for them. You can set it up easily thanks to the assembly instructions.
The hitch is universal and easily attachable to a lawn tractor.
8. Yard Tuff 48-Inch Dethatching Rake
|Package Dimensions||38.5 x 8 x 21 inches|
|Item Weight||52.9 pounds|
|Manufacturer||TRI Global Enterprises|
- Easy to set up on tractors
- Strong stainless steel construction
- Reversible reel tines
Whether you need to dethatch, rake or turn loose leaves into neat rows, this rake has your back. Thanks to its pin-style hitch, you can easily set it up on any utility tractor, ATV or UTV.
It will help you tackle large areas fast thanks to its V-style design.
It’s consisted of 4 tine wheel-like reels, 20 inches in total diameter; they feature built-in bearings that ensure smooth performance and operation.
What’s more, these reel tines are reversible. The reel arms can be manually raised or lowered. You can also lift them separately for windrowing.
Thanks to the 12-inch pneumatic durable tires, it will ease its transport over rougher and various terrains. This rake boasts a one-piece construction from stainless steel for long lasting durability and optimal performance.
And, you can shop worry-free thanks to the 1-year warranty!
9. Precision Products 42-Inch Dethatcher
|Package Dimensions||33.25 x 50.75 x 37 inches|
|Item Weight||55.4 pounds|
|Manufacturer||Precision Products Inc|
- Strong construction
- Powder-coated steel
- Adjustable handle
- Easy to assemble
- Heat-treated tines
Say goodbye to the grass-destroying thatch with this dethatcher easy and fast. It will help you replenish the grass and make it easier for nutrients and water to enter its system.
The construction is amazing; all stainless steel and 12-gauge powder-coated steel construction. The tray’s capacity is 150 lb. and allows you to add or subtract weight for the needed soil penetration.
The cantilever handle enables you to raise or lower the 22 durable and heat-treated spring tines from the comfort of your tractor’s seat.
Thanks to the universal hitch, you can mount it effortlessly on any riding lawnmower, tractor, or ATV. It’s made in the US and can be assembled in half an hour.
The customers who bought this model gave the most praise for being easy to assemble and its sturdiness.
10. Strongway’sTow-Behind 40-Inch Dethatcher
|Package Dimensions||40 x 45.2 x 35 inches|
- Sturdy construction
- 20 steel tines
- Easy to assemble
This 40-inch dethatcher is ideal for various lawn tractors, ATVs, and other pull vehicles.
It will easily attach to their back thanks to the pin-style hitch. It boasts 20 heat-treated, 7-inch spring stainless steel tines that will comb the thatch for bagging and mulching.
What’s more, it has an adjustable handle that can easily be accessed from the driver’s seat of the vehicle, allowing you to easily control the unit while using it.
In order to maximize the tines’ penetration, you can add up to 50 lbs. of more weight on its tray.
Say goodbye to stubborn thatch and enjoy a thriving lawn with the best tow behind dethatcher. This tool is easy to use, practical, and efficient.
The models we presented are designed for small, medium, and big surfaces and you just need a tractor to attach them onto and start dethatching.
The wire tines will sink into the ground and rake out the thatch with each move and prep your lawn for the healing and thriving process.
Still, dethatching works optimally with short grass; make sure you mow it in advance.
You’ll appreciate our best pick if you want a premium tow-behind dethatcher that’s sturdy and efficient.
However, if you don’t want to spend a small fortune, but still want a quality unit, our budget pick will meet all your dethatching needs!