The handlebars straighten to be held in place by two strong O-rings. A single hand-nut sets the depth — turn it to the right to lower the reel and to the left to raise it.
Starting and operating the machine is remarkably simple. A comprehensive, clearly laid-out and well-written manual is supplied, but the machine is self-explanatory. It’s recoil start, so give it a little choke and pull the chord.
A single lever on the main body of the machine converts the machine from transport to work mode — and while in work position this lever doubles as a safety device to prevent the removal of the collection box. Nice idea. Then it’s a case of setting the throttle and engaging the drive rotor — that’s the yellow lever on the handlebars, which also doubles as the OPC.
Our tester sets off at a belting pace and is almost running. “This is exactly what you want for a light scarification,” he says. The box is full after 10m or so. It has collected clover, daisies, unwanted grasses, moss and thatch.
“It’s really ripping the rubbish out,” says the tester. He finds that even more debris is thrown up if he resists the rotor’s pull and holds the machine back. “Used like this it will be great for autumn renovation work. It’s certainly got the power for the job. I can’t find fault with it.”
The scarifier is surprisingly quiet and our driver reports no vibration through the handlebars. He likes the attention to detail — like the wheel scrapers and the grab handle on the box. Maintenance is minimal.
The tester suggests this Charterhouse scarifier would suit amenity contractors needing a machine for small areas or a backup unit for finishing areas where work is carried out by a tractor-mounted scarifier. He is especially enthusiastic about its suitability for garden maintenance teams. When we tell him the price, he says: “This is definitely a value-for-money, very simple-to-use machine that does a remarkable job. It’s manoeuvrable and very well built. It’s a smashing piece of kit for people going from garden to garden.”
We used the machine with fixed blades in the test. The unit is also offered with swinging blades for use in locations where conditions are uncertain.
There’s no power to the wheels, only to the rotor, but our tester finds it no effort to use this scarifier as the blades dig into the ground and pull the machine along – a little too quickly at first.
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