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  • Writer's pictureNoah O. Thompson

I Tested And Reviewed The Sun Joe Dethatcher In 2024

If you want to get your lawn in top green shape and you’re looking for an affordable solution, the Sun Joe is probably the best you can get for the money.

sun joe dethatcher

FYI, prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


Sun Joe Electric Dethatcher and Scarifier with a Removeable 8-Gallon Collection Bag


sun joe dethatcher

Highlight: The 12-amp motor rakes a 13" wide path to get the job done faster.

Helpful review: "Before trying the Sun Joe Dethatcher, I referred to myself as my wife’s yard man. Well now, I’ve officially been promoted to gardener. It doesn’t matter how often I mow the yard, I’d always end up with a buildup of thatch–dead grass that gets stuck between the soil and the fresh blades. I decided to give this a go after my boss tried it out. His yard looked awesome. It was cheaper than I expected, about the same price as renting one. Worst-case scenario, I return it. Best case, I’m saving money by not having to return the rental and then buy one.
Before this, I used a push mower to keep my yard looking neat–and that’s saying a lot considering it’s a quarter of an acre and I live in Florida–aka it rains a lot. Now, I’m not out here winning any lawn of the month awards, but I wasn’t getting any angry emails from the HOA either. In the summer, I’d mulch to keep moisture in the ground (that Florida sun is no joke), and in the fall I’d bag whatever leaves fell. What I’m trying to say is that I did enough. More than enough that I really didn’t think I’d find that much thatch. Well, boy was I wrong. And yes, according to my wife, that’s not something I admit often.
After cutting and bagging the grass in one direction, I went back with the Sun Joe in the opposite direction following my own steps with the dethatching attachment. I ended up not using the bag on the Sun Joe. It wasn’t great, I got over it more in the cons, but I liked my way better. I went back over the thatched debris with the lawnmower. Even though I had to do this in both directions, it bagged it up super easily.
I considered using my Billy Goat blower but ultimately decided against it, mainly because blowing can sometimes create a bigger mess. The mowing route worked well. Overall, it took me about four hours for 9,000 square feet. Sounds like a lot of time, but let me tell ya, it was worth every dang minute. I wish I’d taken photos because the amount of dead grass that came up was disturbing. I knew thatch could prevent water from reaching the soil, but I had no idea I had that much in my yard. Suddenly it makes sense why mulching wasn’t helping the way it should.
PROS:
- Overall, it was easy to assemble. The only tool I needed was a Phillips screwdriver. Just make sure you push the handle part of the tube all the way into it. A lot of reviews I read complained about this, but it really is just as simple as shoving it all the way in. You’ll see what I mean when you try it out. I put the rest of the handle together using these large plastic thumbscrews. They were super convenient and easy to use.
- The height/depth settings were easy to change. All you have to do is push the green t-handle in and switch it to the setting you want. I tried the zero setting first, mainly because I didn’t want to damage the grass. But after a few times, I found that moving it to the five setting worked even better, and still didn’t cause damage. Some parts of my yard have moss and for that I found level ten the best. It worked exactly as described.
- Overall, hands down, worth the value you get for it.
CONS:
- The bag. Yeaaaa. It’s a joke. However, it doesn’t make this useless. I just left it off and used the bag on my mower to pick up the debris.
- Extension cord. This one’s a biggy. If it’s short, you’re going to have problems. Because I have a larger yard, I chose a hundred footer, but I also picked a 12 gauge to make sure it had enough power. The machine kept going and never overheated. Job well done if you ask me. If you’re having trouble keeping it powered as you move around, just tie a bungee cord to the handle. The angle of the power switch can get a little uncomfortable over time, but really didn’t bother me too much.
Final thoughts? I wouldn't change a thing–even the bag. Yeah, it could have been improved, but let’s be real, it would take a HUGE bag to make this convenient (remember I have a big yard) and my mower’s bag worked just fine. From my new promotion as my wife’s gardener, I give it a five out of five."

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sun joe dethatcher

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