The Arnold power rake is a dethatcher blade specifically built for 21″ and 22″ push-behind, lawn mowers. The purpose of a power-rake, of course, is to ease the pain and burden on your back and hands associated with manually raking up your dead grass and thatch. A good power rake is a tool that can be rented from an equipment shop and costs hundreds of dollars to buy. A power rake or dethatcher blade is a very inexpensive part that you replace with your lawnmower blade in a matter of minutes. The Arnold power rake, unlike other dethatcher blades which use metal tines, has a number of rigid, orange plastic tines which are spread out across the length and width of the dethatcher blade. The plastic tines, according to user reviews, do not risk doing as much damage to the lawn as the traditional, metal-tine dethatcher blades. There are other dethatcher blade sizes made by Arnold, but the 21-22″ size is probably the most common and happened to be the one that fits both of my lawn mowers. As you can see by the photo, the Arnold power rake is quite a bit different than most dethatcher blades. I bought this blade because it got better ratings from users than the traditional thatcher blades.
Why Power Rake Your Lawn?
I can see a couple of good reasons for power-raking your lawn as opposed to doing the manual, back-breaking, old-fashioned, annual, Spring hand-raking. One, after the dead cold chill of winter, spring raking becomes necessary for removing the dead grass and debris from the grass and giving your lawn plenty of fresh air and room to breath and produce new, green grass. My north-facing front yard happens to face the brutal cold winters of Colorado. Not only is the climate hard on the grass, but the debris and salt from shoveling snow off the driveway gets left on the lawn. It is going to take more than hand-raking to clean up the harmful substances on the lawn, even if it means mowing at a very low setting. It becomes absolutely necessary for me to rake up the dead grass and remove the harmful chemicals and soot from the driveway as efficiently as possible. The second reason is that hand-raking is never as easy as it looks and usually turns into a seemingly endless job. Whenever I begin my spring lawn raking, I always tell myself, I will just concentrate on the dry spots and won’t bother to even rake the areas that are already green. Once I get started, I can never seem to stop. There seems to be an endless amount of thatch to remove and once I get done with the dry spots, I feel as though I’ve neglected the rest of the lawn that is green. So, I usually end up raking the entire lawn and it becomes very tiresome after a while. Getting started with a rake is easy, but finishing the job is not. The Arnold rake makes it possible to bypass the rake entirely. The job is as easy as mowing your lawn once or twice. The final reason, of course, is that a good, professional power rake will do a much better job than human, back-breaking, manual hand raking. So, the question then becomes, ‘can a simple replacement dethatcher blade do a better job than you can do with your old fashioned rake? I decided to look at power rake reviews and the one that looked the best was, Arnold.
How to use the Arnold Power Rake
Installing the power rake onto your lawnmower is a simple, 10 minute process with a socket tool. My Snapper Lawn mower had two bolts which had to be removed. The blade comes with an assortment of washers which I ignored because they didn’t appear to be necessary. The biggest complaint from users about power rake mower blades is that they tear up your lawn. One of the reasons I bought the Arnold power rake is for the softer, yet rigid tines which would seem to do less damage. The most important thing to realize with this product is that you need to be patient and take your time. The first thing I did was mow my lawn with the original blade to get the grass short and make power raking an easier process. I used my bag to collect the lawn clippings. I also used the bag throughout the dethatching process. Why force yourself to have to rake up all of the loose clippings and thatch afterwards? The bag did an excellent job collecting all of the thatch. One other thing that is important to realize is that the level of the grass in early spring is not even throughout. Power raking the yard requires experimenting with different settings to achieve a good raking of all the dead surfaces and debris. I actually ended up going over my lawn three and a half times. I started with a high setting, then switched to a medium setting than a low setting. Finally, I switched to an even lower setting, for the lowest, thinnest sections of grass.
Power Raking Performance of Arnold
First and foremost, I am pleased to say that the power rake did not once tear up my lawn so I could see sheer dirt underneath. I did have some sections of the lawn where grass was already missing and even on the lowest setting that I used, the power rake did a very gentle job removing thatch. The secret is to start with the higher settings and adjust as needed. I collected two very heavy bags of finely shaved grass. One thing that impressed me was how the power rake minced up the grass into very fine, dust like material which saved space and required much less bagging. After I had finished power raking with the low setting, I was satisfied that the job was finished without ever once being tempted to pick up my hand rake.
The picture to the right shows how my grass looked after the job was done. Unfortunately, I was not thoughtful enough to take a picture before I started the job. If nothing else, the photo proves that the Arnold power rake did not cause any undue harm to my lawn.