Top critical review
A decent product from a horrible company.
June 6, 2017
A decent product from a horrible company.
With one major exception, this is a great little machine. It arrived yesterday afternoon, and I assembled it this morning. It only took a few minutes to assemble although the instructions are incomplete in one instance and completely wrong in another (more on this later). Luckily I had read other reviews that pointed out the problems so I was aware of them and worked around them before they became issues. The company is aware of the problem and has made no attempt to correct it.
I used the machine for the first time today and was able to dethatch a 3500 square foot yard in about an hour. I was moving at a leisurely pace and probably could have done it in less time if I had wanted to. Raking up the thatch that was kicked up took another hour or so and was actually a lot more work than using the dethatcher. I tried to use my lawnmower to bag the thatch but it was too dry and light so half went into the mower bag and half just blew out from under the mower. The bag was also filling up after less than 2 passes so I decided to just grab a rake and some large lawn bags. I raked the thatch into 15 piles and then bagged each pile. My dog “helped” by tearing apart each little thatch pile until she got tired and then went to sleep in one.
Others have reported that the machine overheats, but I had no problem. I used a 100’ foot, heavy duty extension cord. I stopped the machine briefly after each length of my yard (about 70’) to flip the cord to the other side so maybe that helped keep it cool. I suspect the extension cord used and the amount of time the machine runs continuously are two factors that cause overheating. Another reviewer reported that the extension cord kept coming unplugged from the machine. I used the cord clip that comes in the box and the cords remained securely connected the entire time I used the machine.
My lawn is a weird mix of PGA-quality grass and total crap. I quickly learned to adjust my walking speed as I went over the lawn so that I wasn’t tearing up the good stuff but was clearing the “thatchy” stuff. The machine is also light enough that I could pick it up and move it around the yard as needed. It did bog down occasionally when I was going through heavy thatch. On a couple of occasions I released the handle to stop the machine, picked it up, and gave it a shake to clear the the thatch that had built up underneath the housing. I only had to do that a couple of times and given this was the first time my yard had been detached in years, I was impressed it did as well as it did.
Compared to the cost and hassle of renting and transporting a gas-powered dethacher, this thing will be a steal if I get 5 or 6 uses out of it. I suspect it’ll last a while and I’m glad I bought it given the price.
There is one thing about this machine (company?) that really pisses me off. The instructions are wrong and the company has been knowingly sending out incorrect instructions for OVER 3.5 YEARS!!! The manual has the height settings reversed. It also instructs you to assemble things without ever mentioning you need TO FIRST install the cord lock on the lower handle. If you use the recommended height settings you risk bending the tines or trashing your lawn. If you follow the assembly instructions as written, you’ll need to disassemble things and start over. The manual has a revision date of January of 2015, meaning Greenworks has had 3.5 years to make things right. But they haven’t. They reply to lots of customer reviews on Amazon but ignore comments that call out the issue with the documentation. A simple sticker on the machine or on the front of the manual would fix this but Greenworks doesn’t seem to give a damn. Poor form on their part and I would never buy a product from them that costs a substantial amount of money given the way they’ve handled the documentation problem.
I’m happy with the product but any company that ships incorrect instructions for more than three years doesn’t get any more of my money. Get it together, Greenworks.
As always, your mileage may vary.
Photos show the job halfway complete, completed, and my helper relaxing in a pile of thatch.