Which Sun Joe dethatcher is best?

Lawn care seems simple on the surface — just trim it when it gets long and keep it watered. But suddenly, you have to combat weeds, pests and diseases. On top of that comes thatch that can strangle your yard to death. Most of these issues are complicated to handle, but at least dethatching can be easy with a Sun Joe dethatcher.

The best Sun Joe dethatcher is the Sun Joe AJ805E Electric Dethatcher And Scarifier. It has a large head and collection bag so you can clear medium-sized yards in one go.

What to know before you buy a Sun Joe dethatcher

What is thatch?

Thatch is a collection of natural and artificial materials that settle on top of your yard. In a perfect yard, thatch decays as fast as it accumulates to provide valuable nutrients to your soil. In an average yard, thatch accumulates faster than it decomposes — eventually blocking the nutrients your soil needs to thrive. Some of the most common causes of thatch accumulation are using chemicals, poor drainage and cold temperatures.

Once your yard has too much thatch, a dethatcher comes in to slice it up so you can easily remove it. Most Sun Joe dethatchers use collection bags and its special AirBoost technology to gather most of the thatch as you go.

Types of dethatcher

Sun Joe dethatchers fall into the electric category. There are also manual and towing dethatchers. Each category best serves certain yard sizes.

  • Manual dethatchers are for the smallest yards only and are effectively just extra-sharp rakes. 
  • Electric dethatchers are generally best for medium-sized yards, but they can also handle small-ish and large-ish yards depending on the power source.
  • Towing dethatchers are best for the largest yards. They are typically dragged or pushed by a tractor, and so are most often used commercially. They’re also expensive.

Power source

Sun Joe dethatchers come cord- or battery-powered.

  • Cord-powered Sun Joe dethatchers are best used for small-ish and medium yards. Be extra careful not to run over the cord. You can handle larger yards with the help of an extension cord, but double-check that the extension cord is compatible with the dethatcher. 
  • Battery-powered Sun Joe dethatchers are best used for medium and large-ish yards. There’s no need for cables but the battery life is rarely longer than 20-30 minutes.

What to look for in a quality Sun Joe dethatcher

Head width

The best Sun Joe dethatchers have wider heads, but they cost more and may be overkill for the size of your yard. Most have 12- to 15-inch heads.

Scarifier head

The best Sun Joe dethatchers are also able to scarify thanks to a special head that can be swapped with the dethatching head. Scarifying is essentially a more intense dethatching for yards in dire shape.

How much you can expect to spend on a Sun Joe dethatcher

Sun Joe dethatchers typically cost $150-$350, though most cost no more than $200. Sun Joe dethatchers above $200 typically include extra functions and accessories.

Sun Joe dethatcher FAQ

How do I know when I have too much thatch?

A. First, know that having a little thatch is beneficial to your yard’s health. It helps maintain healthy temperature and moisture levels. Typically, you don’t want more than half an inch of thatch. The easiest way to check your thatch thickness is to cut out a small slice of your yard with a trowel and measure it. If it’s longer than half an inch, go ahead and dethatch.

When should I dethatch my lawn?

A. The short answer is once it’s too thick. This can be as often as once or twice a year to as infrequently as once every several years.

Additionally, you should dethatch your yard when it’s in its growing season. This is so the damage a dethatcher can do is able to grow somewhat back before your yard goes dormant again. Otherwise, it could never grow back.

What’s the best Sun Joe dethatcher to buy?

Top Sun Joe dethatcher 

Sun Joe AJ805E Electric Dethatcher And Scarifier

Sun Joe AJ805E Electric Dethatcher And Scarifier

What you need to know: Grab this dethatcher if you have a medium-to-large yard.

What you’ll love: Its head is 15 inches wide with a five-height depth control knob and it includes a dethatching and scarifying head. The detachable collection bag holds up to 13.2 gallons of thatch. Everything is covered by a two-year warranty.

What you should consider: A few consumers had issues with the collection bag — one bag came loose and got sucked into the dethatcher and another’s plastic hinge broke.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top Sun Joe dethatcher for the money

Sun Joe AJ801E Electric Dethatcher And Scarifier

Sun Joe AJ801E Electric Dethatcher And Scarifier

What you need to know: Save a little money with this dethatcher if you have a small yard.

What you’ll love: Its head is 12.6 inches wide with a five-height depth control knob and it includes a dethatching and scarifying head. The detachable collection bag holds up to 8 gallons of thatch. It propels itself forward for breezy dethatching.

What you should consider: A few customers reported the bag filled up fast. It requires some assembly. Yards that are medium-sized and up may need an extension cord.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Worth checking out

Sun Joe 24V-X2-DTS15 Scarifier And Dethatcher Kit

Sun Joe 24V-X2-DTS15 Scarifier And Dethatcher Kit

What you need to know: This kit is a great choice for those with large yards.

What you’ll love: The kit includes a 15-inch wide base unit with a five-height depth control knob, dethatching and scarifying heads, a 10.6-gallon detachable collection bag, two batteries and a battery charging base that charges both batteries at once. Sun Joe’s AirBoost technology makes collecting thatch easier.

What you should consider: You need to use both batteries at once and the best battery life is only 20 minutes. Purchasers in colder climates had worse battery life.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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