Best Lawn Aerator Reviews & Buying Guide

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As a homeowner with a lawn or garden around your house, you might wonder how come your neighbors have lush green grass and you don’t. The answer is quite simple: they use a lawn core aerator or a rolling lawn aerator all over their properties, depending on size.

Coring is essential in gardening as it helps the soil to better receive water, nutrients, and air. Luckily, this process only needs done once a year, usually in spring, but you should still consider getting a good quality device or machine.

Best Rated Lawn Aerators

It may not be that easy to find the best pull behind plug aerator, but hopefully the products we review below will help you when trying to decide. The first thing to know is that there are several types of devices that you can use: tow behind for really large areas, push type for medium size lawns as well as manual tools that are best for really small yards, or patches of land.

These also come as 2 further types: plugs and spikes. The spikes just poke holes, while the plugs remove samples of soil that get reassimilated in time.

No matter the type, usually they can be used for more than one purpose, while some specific models are designed to help you finish faster by doing 2 things at once. For instance, some people use their push plug lawn aerator for dethatching as well, but keep in mind that not all properties need this process. Most lawns need aeration, but if the thatch is thicker than half an inch should be removed.

When searching for the best plug aerator, you must consider the size of the plot you’ll be using it on, type of soil, as well as your physical condition. This means that what your neighbor thinks is a really good product, might be the worst choice for you.

There are many people thinking that the best tow behind aerator is one that is heavy enough as not to require much of extra weight. Being able to spread seeds or fertilizer at the same time with the plug, is a feature many folks based their decisions on. With this type of 2-in-1 machines it’s also possible to spread seeds, fertilizer and to plug, all at once.

A residential aerator is another option for you, but you should know that most such models consume a lot of electricity. Not only they’ll skyrocket your electricity bill, but they also have a high price tag and maintenance can be costly too, depending on the issue.

A hand held aerator is the cheapest possible solution on the market. Most models look like forks, and they require a lot of effort and time to use. Their main advantages are saving you money, helping you work out and being as eco-friendly as it can get.

At this point it’s easy to see that it’s almost impossible to name a product as the best yard aerator, since not everyone has the same needs and financial means. We do hope that the next reviews will give you a better idea of the products currently available on the market.

Agri-Fab 45-0299

This Plug Aerator is 48″ wide and features 10” tires, which allow for deeper soil penetration. The device can hold up to 175 lbs, and includes 32 steel knives that make it easier for the roots to receive the air and nutrients they need. Designed with a sturdy steel deck and welded drawbar, this machine is less prone to damage and will last for years to come.

Featuring pneumatic tires and a cantilever transport handle, the Agri-Fab can be easily maneuvered around the lawn. However, this aerator cannot be pulled by hand due to its heavy weight, so you will need a lawnmower or tractor. Unlike other aerators that only dig holes, the Agri-Fab removes plus from the soil.

This item needs to be assembled before use as each part comes packed separately in the package. Make sure to use gloves in order not to get injured. Some of the previous customers reported the aerator is somewhat difficult to put together, so read the instructions carefully when opening the box. The aerator doesn’t require any maintenance, and comes with a 3 year warranty period included.

Pros

  • 48 inches wide
  • 32 steel knives

Cons

  • Comes disassembled

Brinly PA-40BH

The 40” Brinly plug aerator can turn a tired looking lawn into a fresh one in a matter of days. The aerator features 24 steel plug spoons and delivers great performance even on compacted soil. The machine comes with a 150 lbs capacity rigid tray that helps the spoons to perforate the soil, and make up to 3 inch holes for better aeration.

The tray is fully enclosed for extra weight support and the plug spoons can be easily removed, which makes the item easy to maintain if a part gets damaged. Its transport wheels and single crowbar are user friendly for more convenient crossing of the driveways.

Although some customers reported the aerator taking only 30 minutes to assembly, others noted it does take longer. The machine comes in a box with its components and an instruction manual.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • 24 steel plugs

Cons

  • Needs assembling

Brinly AS-40BH

Time is precious, and using a tool to 2 actions at once sounds like a smart idea. Brinly has a solution for those who want to save some time: the AS-40BH model that is a 2-in-1 aerator spreader machine.

By towing this tool behind your tractor, you can aerate your lawn or garden and spread seeds at the same time. Of course, you can spread either seeds, lime or fertilizer, based on needs. Whatever you choose to spread on your lawn, it will drop behind the blades. You should know that you can’t use this item to spread compost manure, as the compost will either not pass through or the results won’t satisfy you.

If you want to control the flow of the seeds, there is a lever allowing you to increase or decrease the size of the holes. For an increased efficiency, you can spread the seeds and the fertilizer at the same time.

You can fill it with up to 120 pounds of seeds that get spread on a 40 inch wide strip of land. You might still want to fit some extra weight on top, for better results, so don’t fill it up. The blades used for aerating are star shaped, with a length of 2 inches. They’re also galvanized, so rust won’t pose issues.

Pros

  • 40 inches wide
  • Can spread many types of seeds

Cons

  • Not for use with compost manure
  • Needs extra weight

Agri-Fab 45-0518

This product is designed for really large properties because it is both large and heavy. Of course, you also need a tractor in order to operate this aerator. Just like with many other soil aerators, this one also gives best results when the ground is still relatively wet. To maintain its lifespan, avoid running it over paved areas.

However before using it, you must put it together, as it comes in pieces. Many customers complained the packaging was very poor and that various parts partially destroyed the box. This led to some of the smaller pieces to fall out and it’s difficult to assemble an item if parts are missing.

Several customers had to use some extra weights on this machine to ensure its knives go deep enough. Speaking of weight, it can hold up to 140 pounds, therefore it’s easy to customize the pressure. The knives are galvanized and there are 24 of them in total.

One great selling point for this machinery is that its handle folds, making it easier to put away when not in use.

Pros

  • 40 inches wide
  • 24 galvanized knives

Cons

  • Needs assembling
  • Poor packaging

Scuddles Shoes

If you need an excuse to walk more, the shoes made by Scuddles might be it especially if you have a garden or a lawn. All you have to do is to put these sandals over your shoes and walk all over your property especially if you want to improve its appearance because they have 2 inch long spikes attached to the soles.

These sandals fit just about anyone as long as their shoe size is not bigger than 13 inches in men’s wear. One great advantage of this product is that it comes assembled therefore all you have to do is to put them on and start walking.

The straps are adjustable as well, therefore you can be certain the product will stay on. Some folks complained about the straps as they seemed not to stay tightened around the foot.

Their best feature must be that you can wear them while mowing your lawn. By doing so you complete 2 tasks at once, saving you precious time.

Pros

  • Low priced
  • Heel stopper
  • Lifetime warranty
  • No assembly needed

Cons

  • Only 2 straps
  • Possible problems with the buckles

RVZHI Shoes

Many people prefer using lawn aerator shoes on their properties because they can cover a larger area at a faster pace. These shoes are more similar to sandals that have spikes attached to their soles and they’re meant to be worn over another pair of shoes. These spikes are 2 inches long.

These sandals must be assembled, but you get all the needed parts, as well as the appropriate wrench for the task. You also get instructions on how the pieces must be placed, also both as pictures and written text.

This product has 4 adjustable straps making easy for just about anyone to use the product, no matter their shoe size. Should be noted that some buyers found the clasps on the straps didn’t stay closed, causing the sandals to come off.

Just like with many other items used for aerating the soil, this one is also used best after some rain. The harder the soil is, the more this is recommended. You’ll not only get better results, but you’ll also protect the shoes’ lifespan. Many customers like wearing them while mowing their lawn, just like with the previous pair.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Heel stop
  • One size fits all

Cons

  • Needs assembling
  • Possible issues with the clasps

Yard Butler M-7C

This tool makes holes in the soil and not plugs, and for the best results you must use your body’s weight. It has 4 spikes that are 3 inches long and also a little hole where you can place your foot for more weight. Beware that the hole is not much wider than your foot and that you will need sturdy soles on your shoes.

Yard Butler designed this aerator for use on clay, and despite their claims that it will work on really well on hard soil, consumers contradict this claim. Their best results were seen on at least partially wet ground. Very few folks were disappointed by this product and they most likely have a particularly hard soil to work with.

Many of those who purchased this item said it does a good job at dethatching their property as well. Other customers used it to make holes to plant their seeds and they were pleased with the results. Working on small areas at a time can give you a better idea of how helpful this tool is.

Pros

  • Four 3 inches long spikes
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Designed for clay

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Not meant for large yards

Fiskars 9862 and 9863 Deck Flosser

Many people consider a set of items as a good deal, and Fiskars offers just that: a set of 2 gardening tools. You’ll receive a flosser and a manual aerator. Of course using them in a big garden might take some time to finish, so they’re better suited for small lots.

The aerator has 2 prongs, a horizontal step and a horizontal bar as a handle. You’ll need to use your own weight to ensure the prongs are properly coring the soil. The handle of the flosser can be adjusted from 38 inches up to 62 inches, helping you reach all sorts of places for a wide range of tasks.

The stepping platform has an anti-slip design, and you’re advised to wear some shoes with a sturdy sole while coring. The prongs are made of steel and quite sharp. Their holes are quite large too, something some gardeners pay attention to.

Pros

  • A set of 2 items
  • Steel prongs

Cons

  • Not meant for large yards

Agri-Fab 45-0365

This is a very dangerous looking but easy to use aerator for your garden. The wheel is equipped with 5 spiked disk that have a diameter of 7 inches, while its width is 16 inches. They penetrate 2.5 inches into the lawn.

Thanks to its width you’ll be able to cover a bigger area in one go. The spikes are made of metal so you know they will last a while. Just like with similar products, the results will be more obvious if you use it when the soil is still wet after the rain.

If you plan on using it when the ground is dry, you’ll need to put more effort into it. Its most convenient feature must be the horizontal bar that serves as a handle. This handle is easier to hold and maneuver.

Pros

  • Wide
  • Horizontal handle

Cons

  • Not recommended on dry soil

Goplus 18-Inch

The lawn aerator designed by Goplus brings best results when the ground is wet, like after a heavy rain. Trying to use it on dry land will not bring the sam results, or it will simply break apart. You also must ensure the area to aerate is clean of debris as various items tend to get stuck in the spikes.

This product comes disassembled, but others who got said it’s really easy to put together. The instructions however have just one picture which can be confusing for some folks.

Many of its buyers recommend it for small plots of land. What’s more, it apparently works better on shorter grass.

The height of this tool is 50 inches and it seems a better fit for shorter people. Taller folks might find themselves with a stiff back after aerating their lawns with it.

Pros

  • Good for picking dead leaves too
  • Better fit for shorter people

Cons

  • To be used on wet soil
  • Short spikes
  • Needs assembling

Compost Aerators

Let’s have a look at some aerators used mainly for composting that you might find useful.

Lotech Products Compost Crank

Lotech Products suggests a crank type of lawn aerator for your compost that is made in USA and measures 45 inches in length. It has 2 handles with an ergonomic design for a better grip. While it may look like it won’t last for too long, remember it is made of stainless steels and glass filled nylon handles to help it last longer.

Given the materials it is made of, you can easily leave outside exposed to the elements as it won’t rust. Users praised it because it doesn’t require much effort to use, even though they have to spent a bit more time turning the compost around than with other tools.

It can reach a depth of 29 inches, and it can pass easily through a variety of composting materials. The corkscrew end is a bit short and not very wide therefore you’re supposed to use it gradually in a large bin to loosen the accumulated matter.

The major complaint regarding this aerator was related to its price tag as it was seen a bit high. Those complaining about their backs hurting must have tried to go really deep in their bins from first time, instead of working their way down.

Pros

  • 2 handles
  • Doesn’t rust

Cons

  • Using it takes longer than expected
  • The price

Reln Garden Compost Aerator

The first thing that stands out about this Reln Garden tool is its flimsy appearance. However, it’s made of steel, therefore it’s rather strong. It also has a good shape with a spiraled end and with a handle and a twist at the other end. This design will make the tool easier to use, though both hands are needed for the purpose.

That you should know about this device is that you need to crank it for it to work. It measures 35.4 inches in length and perhaps taller people will be able to maneuver it better than shorter folks.

For the best results, you have to pierce the pile of compost several times with this tool. The first few times, try not to go too deep as it will be counter-effective. It might take several attempts to completely turn and aerate the pile, but the results will be better than with a regular fork.

Pros

  • Ergonomic design
  • Made of steel
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Several tries for best results
  • Just 1 handle

Redmon Wingdigger

The Redmon Wingdigger Compost Aerator is a bar with flaps on one end and a handle on the other end. To use it, all you have to do is piece the compost pile with it as deep as you can, and then pull it out. When piercing, the flaps close and when trying to pull out, they open, thus turning the matter around and helping it get some air.

This tool is meant for taller people as it measures 34 inches in length. Shorter people could use it if their compost pile is not too tall. Folks that suffer with their backs or shoulders are advised not to use the Wingdigger as it can worsen their conditions. This tool uses no electricity and therefore it is eco-friendly.

Some users recommend shredding the leaves going into the compost especially if you want to use this specific compost aerator. Not doing so, you may not be able to mix and turn the pile as efficiently. Some users think that bigger flaps would do a better job than the current ones.

Many of those using this aerator recommend it for smaller piles of compost. Its price tag is what made it a popular purchase.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • One hand use
  • Doesn’t go deep in the pile
  • Not for those with bad shoulders or backs

Some Final Words

It’s easy to see we tried to choose a wide variety of lawn aerators, from the most expensive to the cheapest. We also included aerators used in composting as this is an important aspect of gardening and farming for many.

As you can tell, many of the items on the list need to be assembled and usually their packaging gets destroyed during transit. A damaged box means parts could go missing. It’s recommended to take this risk into consideration when deciding as finding replacement pieces can be tricky or more expensive altogether.

Should you go ahead with any such product, make sure to inspect it when you receive it to be able to either send it back or have a representative send you the missing elements. Waiting for too long can easily mean you’re no longer eligible for a refund or product replacement.

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