How to Operate a Dethatching Machine


A dethatching machine is a gardening tool used to remove large thatches of grass. Typically, dethatching machines are used by landscapers when removing one type of grass to plant thatches of another. Dethatching machines may also be used to reinvigorate thicker grasses, such as centipede grass, by keeping the grass thin enough to avoid disease.

Step 1

Check that the dethatching machine is in proper working order by verifying full engine and gas, checking that the shaft and external surfaces are free of debris and dirt and making sure that all the guards are tight and in their proper positions.

Step 2

Practice starting and stopping the dethatching machine in case of emergencies. Most dethatchers can be stopped by pulling the engine throttle control to the rear. The dethatching machine's rotation can be stopped by letting go of the clutch control bale.

Step 3

Adjust the handlebar to a comfortable height by loosening the knobs on both sides of the machine. Retighten the knobs once the handle bar is in position.

Step 4

Turn on the engine by first moving the height adjustment lever into position. This step ensures that no damage will be done to the machine if it encounters pavement. Next, move the throttle control into position. Stand on the right side of the machine while placing a foot on the right wheel and pull the rope starter in a smooth, steady motion until the engine starts.

Step 5

Set the height lever and clutch control to the desired raking height and speed.

Step 6

Move the dethatching machine forward slowly while lifting the clutch control bail to dethatch. Make sharp turns by releasing the clutch control bail and tilting the machine onto its back wheels.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never stand in front of an operating dethatching machine as it could result in serious injury. Never reverse with a dethatching machine, as it will damage the motor. Do not operate a dethatching machine around children. Always read the specific guidelines for the model being used, especially the safety guidelines in case of emergencies.

Things You'll Need

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  • Dethatching Machine Operating and Care Instructions
Keywords: dethatching machine, operating a dethatching machine, dethatching machine safety

About this Author

Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.