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Scarifier on a 2006 John Deere 772D Motor Grader
To scarify means to break up the surface of topsoil or pavement.[1] A scarifier is a type of surface preparation device used for tearing up pavement or surface soil with typical penetration between one to eight inches. 

The term also applies to an extension used for a grader or tractor.[2] For example, Bobcat produces scarifier attachments designed for ripping asphalt or for breaking up hard pack soil for digging and landscaping.[3] The device features a single long tooth or series of teeth that can be lowered for breaking up the ground. Scarifiers can also be used to strip and loosen soil or pavement, essentially preparing it for other applications. The tool is also used to break down hard surfaces.[4]

A version of a scarifier used for breaking up concrete, asphalt, or even steel surfaces features steel- or carbide-tipped cutters mounted onto shafts placed around the perimeter of a cylindrical drum. The drum rotates and the cutters cut and scar the surface at a high speed essentially fracturing it.[5]

Scarifiers come in various sizes and bear a design similar to that of a lawn mower. In early agricultural practices, a scarifier was an implement closely resembling a harrow, but more powerful and used to pull up to surface the roots of weeds.[6]

A version of this early agriculture implement today is the garden or lawn scarifier; an electrical device used in lawn maintenance for the removal of dead material that gathers around the base of grass roots.[7]

[edit] References

  1. Scarifier. The Free Dictionary. 2008-09-28.
  2. Garden Scarifier. Ebay UK. 2008-09-28.
  3. Scarifier. Bobcat. 2008-09-28.
  4. Scarifier.Ebay UK. 2008-09-28.
  5. Scarifying. Blastrac. 2008-09-28.
  6. Scarifying. Gardening Tools Direct. 2008-09-28.
  7. Ransome, James Allen. The Implements of Agriculture. Oxford U of P, 2006.