Written on: 13/05/2009 by Frank Cole (1 review written)
Good sized grass bag.
Machine can run away when using aerator blades.
I am very impressed with my ALKO 38VLE Combi Electric Scarifier. Nice throaty roar, it digs up thatch thoroughly, the grass bag holds a decent amount and the controls are easy to use. There are a few niggles though:
The cable can get caught in the back cover when fitting the grass bag so it is best to run the cable on the outside of the handle. This is not explained in the instructions. It would have been better if the cable cut-out in the top cover had been 1-2cm nearer the side.
The long handle makes the machine top heavy and it easily tips over especially when the grass bag is full. When stored the grass bag fits neatly on the top cover and if the cable is kept in the bag the weight helps to balance the machine.
The back cover needs to be raised to fit the grass bag but this is fiddly. There is a central ridge but it only allows fingertip access and looks as if it is actually intended to stiffen the flimsy looking cover. A T-shaped handle in the centre would have been helpful.
The assembly instructions are in pictograms and are clear. However titles of pictures showing aeration and scarification in action are transposed (but then quite a few adverts for similar products make the same mistake).
Two copies of the user ' s manual were included but only one had instructions in English.
Don ' t allow the scarifier to run over the lawn edge onto a patio or path as the tines make unsightly scratch marks.
Return the level adjustment to 1 when not being used to make it easier to push and to save damage to the tines if they catch on surface irregularities.
Do not use when stationary, for example at the end of a run, or the tines turn into mini-excavators! It is better to switch off, turn the machine and then start again.
I have used the aerator only once so far and that was quite an experience as the blades act as extra wheels and I had to run to keep up with the machine. It digs out a lot of thatch but only scratches the soil surface. I am not sure that this will be a very useful tool but I will try again once my heart has recovered!
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