The Best Dethatching Blades of 2022

Remove the dead grass that’s suffocating the lawn with this simple mower attachment.

By Tony Carrick | Published Aug 31, 2022 10:14 AM

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The Best Dethatching Blades Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Lawn clippings, dead leaves, and other organic matter are important fuel for a yard, fertilizing it naturally and ensuring it’s well-fed throughout the growing months. If that organic material builds up faster than it can decompose, however, that thatch can suffocate the soil, starving it of water and nutrients that grass requires. When that happens, thatch should be manually removed. Although renting or buying a dethatcher is an option, a more affordable solution is to attach a dethatching blade to the lawn mower.

Though these blades look similar to standard mower blades, they have metal springs or a plastic nylon trimmer line attached to them that dig into the lawn, grab hold of dead grass, and pull it out. Dethatching blades can be as long as 21 inches, allowing the blades to remove large amounts of thatch with each pass of the mower. Ahead, learn more about these specialty lawn-mower attachments, and find out why the models below are some of the best dethatching blades.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Oregon Universal Dethatcher Blade
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Arnold 16″ Dethatching Replacement Mower Blade
  3. BEST FOR LARGE YARDS: Arnold 21″ Walk-Behind Mower Replacement Blade
  4. BEST FOR SMALL YARDS: Power Care Universal 16″ Dethatching Power Rake
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: MaxPower 16″ Universal Power Dethatcher Mower Blade
The Best Dethatching Blades Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Dethatching Blade

There are two types of dethatching blades: those with metal spring attachments and those that employ plastic nylon trimmer line. Understanding how they differ, along with determining which types are compatible with the various mower brands, is crucial. To shop smarter, read on to learn more about these and other characteristics of dethatching blades.

Type and Material

Dethatching blades consist of a steel lawn-mower blade with metal spring tines ornylon plastic trimmer line.

The former consists of two metal springs—each with a pointy tine that juts outward—that attach to holes on opposite ends of the blade. As the blade spins, the two tines dig into the thatch, pulling it up and out of the soil. Nylon trimmer lines, in comparison, use the same type of line used with lawn trimmers to grab and lift thatch.

Metal spring dethatching blades are more durable and better able to remove dense thatch than blades that use nylon; however, metal tines have a tendency to pull out healthy clumps of grass along with thatch. Although blades that use nylon plastic trimmer line will do less damage to healthy grass than blades equipped with metal springs, they don’t last as long and aren’t effective against thicker layers of thatch.

Size

Blade size is crucial when selecting a dethatching blade as it determines whether or not it will fit the mowing deck as well as how much ground the blade can dethatch in a single pass. Dethatching blades range between 16 and 21 inches long. A dethatching blade should not be longer than the mower’s standard cutting blade to ensure it doesn’t come into contact with the mowing deck. Though the blade can be smaller than the mower’s stock-cutting blade, it should not be more than 6 inches smaller than the size of the deck to ensure it functions properly.

Tines

Dethatching blades use either metal springs or nylon plastic trimmer line to remove dead grass and other debris from the lawn without damaging the healthy grass. Spring tines attach to the blade and dig into the thatch layer as the blade spins to remove the dead grass. The tines are removable, allowing the user to replace them as they wear out without having to replace the entire blade. Plastic tines consist of nylon trimmer line that grabs dead grass as the blade spins. Since the tines are flexible, they are gentler on the yard than metal tines. Though they wear quickly, the tines are easy to replace.

Compatibility

Most dethatching blades are designed to fit all the major lawn-mower brands. The blades typically come with various hardware to suit a variety of blade-mounting designs. That said, it’s still important to check the manufacturer’s list of compatible lawn-mower brands to ensure the blade fits the mower before purchase.

Our Top Picks

The blades below are made with durable, heavy-gauge steel and have universal mounting designs that allow them to fit most walk-behind lawn mowers and many riding models as well.

Best Overall

The Best Dethatching Blades Option: Oregon Universal Dethatcher Blade
Photo: amazon.com

Durable construction, smart design, and universal compatibility make this dethatcher blade by Oregon a great choice for a broad range of push-mower brands. It comes in two different size options—18 inches and 20 inches—suitable for walk-behind mowers with decks up to 26 inches wide. Plus, at ⅜ of an inch thick, the blade is more robust than thinner versions.

Its spring metal blade does an excellent job of pulling up dead grass and even stubborn moss, but the blade does tend to leave most of the thatch sitting on top of the lawn rather than in the mower bag, forcing the gardener to rake up the debris. Oddly, Oregon does not provide a list of specific compatible brands, though the company claims the blade fits most walk-behind mowers. The blade comes with an assortment of washers and bolts, allowing for installation on a variety of mower types.

Product Specs 

  • Length: 18 inches or 20 inches
  • Type: Metal springs
  • Compatibility: Universal

Pros

  • 2 different blade sizes
  • Heavy-gauge metal construction
  • Fits most lawn mowers

Cons

  • Leaves thatch on lawn instead of in bag

Get the Oregon dethatching blade on Amazon

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Dethatching Blades Option: Arnold 16" Dethatching Replacement Mower Blade
Photo: amazon.com

At half the cost of many other dethatching blades, this model from Arnold is a great budget option for those who don’t want to spend a lot on a tool they may use only occasionally. Unlike other dethatching blades that have dull edges, this Arnold blade has a sharpened edge, allowing it to cut and dethatch simultaneously.

The tines are also removable, so the user can convert the machine from dethatcher to standard mower simply by taking off the spring tines. The blade comes with a variety of washers, nuts, and bolts, allowing it to fit various lawn-mower brands, including Bolens, Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, and Lawn-Boy. Its 16-inch size can handle small-to-medium-size yards and will fit mowing decks up to 22 inches.

Product Specs 

  • Length: 18 inches or 20 inches
  • Type: Metal springs
  • Compatibility: Universal

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Doubles as a standard mower blade
  • Cuts and dethatches at the same time

Cons

  • Shorter blade doesn’t cover as much ground with each pass

Get the Arnold 16-inch dethatching blade on Amazon.

Best for Large Yards

The Best Dethatching Blades Option: Arnold 21" Walk-Behind Mower Replacement Blade
Photo: amazon.com

With its ability to cover more ground with each pass and nylon tines that are easier on grass, this blade is ideal for larger lawns with light-to-moderate thatch buildup. At 21 inches long, this blade suits mowers with decks up to 27 inches and can remove thatch more quickly than shorter blades. In addition to dethatching, the blade also cuts and mulches grass clippings, cutting down time spent on yard maintenance.

Although the blade’s six nylon lines aren’t as effective as blades with metal tines at removing dense thatch, they are gentler on the yard, exacting less collateral damage on healthy grass. The blade has a universal fit and comes with hardware to suit most major lawn-mower brands, including Toro, Huskee, Honda, Poulan Pro, Snapper, and Husqvarna.

Product Specs 

  • Length: 21 inches
  • Type: Nylon tines
  • Compatibility: Universal

Pros

  • 21-inch length is ideal for larger yards
  • Mulches and cuts as well as dethatches
  • Gentler on healthy grass than metal spring blades

Cons

  • Not as effective at dethatching as metal spring options

Get the Arnold 21-inch dethatching blade on Amazon

Best for Small Yards

The Best Dethatching Blades Option: Power Care Universal 16" Dethatching Power Rake
Photo: amazon.com

With its 16-inch length, this dethatching blade from Power Care is a great choice for smaller jobs. As with longer blades, it works by using two metal spring tines to loosen and remove dead grass. The blade is made of thick, heavy-gauge steel, giving it excellent durability. Since it comes with an assortment of mountinghardware, it’s compatible with most major lawn-mower brands, including Troy-Bilt, Craftsman, Poulan Pro, Lawn-Boy, and Ryobi.

In addition to dethatching, the blade will also cut the grass, reducing time spent on yard maintenance. The Power Care dethatching blade fits mowing decks up to 22 inches wide.

Product Specs 

  • Length: 16 inches
  • Type: Metal springs
  • Compatibility: Universal

Pros

  • Universal design fits most mowers
  • Cuts and dethatches simultaneously
  • Durable metal tines

Cons

  • Short length has less coverage than other blades

Get the Power Care dethatching blade at The Home Depot

Also Consider

The Best Dethatching Blades Option: MaxPower 16" Universal Power Dethatcher Mower Blade

Though many dethatching blades are universal, the broad range of hardware included with this model makes it suitable for many different lawn-mower brands. Along with the blade itself, this kit includes six reducing washers that range in size from 3/16 of an inch to ⅝ of an inch, allowing it to adapt to a variety of mounting designs.

The blade itself consists of heavy-gauge steel and includes two replaceable spring tines. Its 16-inch length makes it suitable for dethatching small-to-medium-size yards or for use with large riding lawn-mower decks that use two separate 16-inch blades.

Product Specs 

  • Length: 16 inches
  • Type: Metal springs
  • Compatibility: Universal

Pros

  • Comes with broad range of mounting hardware sizes
  • Heavy-gauge steel construction
  • Replaceable metal tines

Cons

  • Shorter blade has less coverage

Get the MaxPower dethatching blade on Amazon.

Our Verdict

With its universal design, heavy-duty steel construction, metal tines, and multiple size options, the Oregon dethatching blade is the best all-around option for walk-behind lawn mowers. Those looking for a bargain-priced blade should consider the Arnold 16-inch dethatching blade, which comes in at half the cost of many other products.

How We Chose the Best Dethatching Blades

A dethatching blade has a simple yet somewhat delicate job. It must be able to pick dead grass out of the yard without damaging the existing lawn. Keeping that in mind, we chose blades with either metal springs or nylon tines that are capable of removing debris without ripping up the yard. A dethatching blade should also be durable, so we chose models with heavy-gauge steel construction. Mower compatibility is important, which is why we selected only universal blades capable of fitting a broad range of popular walk-behind lawn-mower brands and stuck with models that come with all the mounting hardware needed for installation. Finally, since few want to spend extra time on lawn maintenance, we also leaned toward blades that simultaneously cut while dethatching.

FAQs

If you’re wondering if your lawn needs dethatching or whether there are other ways to banish thatch, then read on for answers to these and other common questions.

Q. Is dethatching my lawn necessary?

Dead grass clippings can build up over time, suffocating your lawn by preventing new grass seed and fertilizer from reaching the soil. Although it usually isn’t necessary to dethatch a lawn every year, it’s a good idea to do so every few years. Check the lawn yearly to see how much thatch has accumulated. If the thatch is an inch deep or more, your lawn needs dethatching.

Q. Is it better to dethatch my lawn if it is wet or dry?

It’s best to dethatch when the lawn is moist but not too wet. If the soil is too dry, the blade will struggle to remove the thatch. If the lawn is saturated, the dethatching blade is more likely to pull out clumps of healthy grass along with the dead grass clippings.

Q. How do I get rid of thatch naturally?

To get rid of thatch naturally, create conditions that will help it decompose. First, make sure the soil underneath the layer of thatch remains moist by watering regularly. Second, when you mow, bag grass clippings to avoid adding to the problem until you have the thatch issue under control. Finally, fertilize the lawn regularly with a product that contains nitrogen to speed up the decomposition process.

Q.How do I dethatch my lawn with a lawn mower?

To dethatch your lawn with a lawn mower, purchase and install a dethatching blade. Once the blade is installed, set it to the proper height so that its tines remove the thatch without yanking out clumps of grass. It typically takes a little trial and error to find the proper height.