One of the best tools a gardener can have is a lawn aerator. It can help stimulate the growth of grass for a lawn that is healthier and more aesthetically pleasing. If your yard has issues with stunted growth, using an aerator is offers a solution to that problem. However, it’s also important to aerate your lawn at least once a year to keep things healthy. Lawn aerators feature spikes or tines that reach into the soil and lets water, air, and nutrients reach the grass roots.
Even if you know you wish to start aerating your lawn, you’re going to run into the issue of looking for the perfect tool to do so well. There are many on the market and many of them work in unique ways. Choosing the right type of lawn aerator is the first step you need to take, followed by selecting the specific tool that will offer your lawn what it needs.
We’re going to share some insight into what you need to know about lawn aerators and list the seven best on the market today along with what makes them better than the competition. By the time you peruse the options and learn a bit more about aeration, you’ll be ready to make your choice and ensure your garden is in perfect shape this season.
The Best Lawn Aerator
|Agri-Fab 45-0544 40” Spike Aerator||48 Inches||10 galvanized steel spike discs|
|Brinly PA-40BH Tow-Behind Plug Aerator||40 Inches||32 steel plugging spoons|
|Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual ID-6C||Two ½ Inch Plugs||2 3 1/2 inch plugs|
|Brinly AS-40BH Tow-Behind Combination Aerator-Spreader||40 Inches||Galvanized tine spikes|
|Titan Drum Spike Aerator 3-Point||60 Inches||126 long spikes|
|Mantis 7321 Power Tiller Aerator/Dethatcher Combo Attachment||15 Inches||60 spring steel picks|
|Agri-Fab 45-0299 Tow Plug Aerator||48 Inches||32 plug aerator knives|
Agri-Fab 45-0544 Spike Aerator
If you want a heavy-duty lawn aerator that will get your large lawn looking great in no time, the Agri-Fab 45-0544 is one of the best options on the market today. This aerator has a 40-inch spike system with a collapsible hitch, making it easier to store it away when not in use. The spike aerator uses ten galvanized steel spike disks to deeply penetrate the soil so nutrients can more easily make it to the root systems of plants.
Another plus of this aerator is that it comes mostly pre-assembled so that you can get going quickly. It features two seven inch tires for simple transport and has a weight tray that can hold up to 100 pounds to allow it to penetrate the soil better. It features a cantilever handle to quickly lower and raise the spikes along with a universal hitch that will fit onto any tractor. This tool also comes with a three-year limited warranty, so you know it’s going to be durable and last a long time.
- Features 10 galvanized steel spike disks for thorough aeration
- Easy to assemble and includes folding hitch for storage
- Included weight tray holds up to 100 pounds for soil penetration
- Offers a three-year limited warranty
- May be too heavy duty for a smaller sized yard
Brinly PA-40BH Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
The PA-40BH by Brinly is a tow-behind plug aerator designed to relieve the compacted, tight soil located in your yard or garden. It features a total of 24 heat-treated spoons which penetrate into the ground. It can pull up plugs of land that are three inches in length to allow water, air, and fertilizer to reach the roots inside the soil. It can penetrate quickly through a narrow plug design with a steel design and plenty of durability.
The weight tray included on the aerator is fully enclosed and can hold up to 150 pounds. This is an easy to use device with a single transport-level, which makes it simple to move from a driveway to a lawn or other location without a lot of effort. This is a great two plug aerator that will be especially useful in more extensive yards and gardens.
- Weight tray can hold an impressive 150 pounds
- Narrow plug design that pulls out three inches of soil
- Features 24 heat-treated spoons for aeration
- Comes with a simple to use transport lever
- Some have experienced missing parts after shipment
Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual ID-6C
Those who are interested in a handheld aerator that is simple and easy to use may want to take a look at the Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator ID-6C. It’s beyond easy to use and can loosen up the soil to offer aeration to stimulate root growth and ensure nutrients reach them. This too has four tines that are three inches long, which can break into even the densest soil. It also offers a vinyl grip that makes it comfortable to use for long periods.
It offers a foot hole where you insert your boot or shoe to provide pressure to push in the tines and aerate the lawn. For those with small yards or gardens that need aeration, this is an excellent manual to use that even comes with a lifetime warranty. While it can be used in soil with lots of clays or roots, it is recommended to water it first to soften it up and avoid bending the spikes under your feet.
- Super lightweight for easy storage
- Features a powder coated and rust resistant resin frame
- Offers a vinyl grip handle for comfort
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Not the best option for aerating large sections of lawn
Brinly AS-40BH Tow-Behind Combination Aerator-Spreader
Many of the spreaders on the market for tow-behind are awkward and difficult to use. However, the Brinly AS-40BH is a low to the ground device that works with any ride-along mower. It can handle fertilization and material coverage with durable construction and easy to use controls. In addition to spreading fertilizer, it also functions as a high-quality aerator to keep your soil in the best possible shape.
With a great price, you can spread anything you need in your garden. The aeration feature puts it heads above other quality spreaders, especially if you have a need to fertilize several times a month. The hopper can hold up to 120 pounds, which is large enough capacity not to need to refill even with a large garden.
- Offers a 2-in-1 design for aeration and spreading
- Made from galvanized steel with a rustproof construction
- Works well with ride-along lawn mowers
- Made in the USA with a two-year warranty
- Small and medium yards will not need this large of a spreader
Titan Drum Spike Aerator 3-Point
The Titan Drum Spike Aerator features a high-quality steel construction that offers durability and a tool that will last. It has spikes that are almost three inches long that create small slits while rolled across your garden or lawn. With 125 spikes, you can be sure your lawn will get the optimal aeration that it needs for fertilizer and water to reach the roots easily.
It has a large drum that you can fill up with water or other items to ensure the pressure is enough to dig down into the soil and get to the roots of all your plants. It has been designed for use with tractors and loaders and is compatible with one, two, and three-point hookups.
- Made of high-quality steel for a long-lasting design
- Features 126 spikes to thoroughly aerate your lawn easily
- Fits any loader or tractor with Cat 1, 2, or 3 hookups
- Large drum can be filled with water for top performance
- May be too much power for a smaller yard
Mantis 7321 Power Tiller Aerator/Dethatcher Combo Attachment
This 7321 aerator and dethatcher by Mantis is created for use in compact and troublesome clay soil. It has a set of four tempered steel blades to cut through the ground under your lawn and remove any thatch there. It has 60 spring steel picks which can dethatch up to 15 inches of soil in a single stroke. The attachment combo pack of a dethatcher and aerator help you get the versatility and performance that you want in your lawn or garden.
This is a corded version that makes it easy to maintain your lawn. It can remove thatch, moss, leaves, any other debris that is in your lawn. It has a dual purpose drum and two rollers that are interchangeable depending on your needs when using the aerator.
- Dethatcher and aerator combo pack for a beautiful lawn and garden
- Equipped with 60 spring steel picks for aeration and four steel blades
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Can dethatch up to 15-inch swatches with a single stroke
- Guards have fallen off during use for some users
Agri-Fab 45-0299 Tow Plug Aerator
The 45-0299 tow plug aerator from Agri-Fab offers a weight tray that is a massive 48 inches and holds 140 pounds to provide the best ground penetration possible. It has blades for aeration that are heat treated for longevity and durability. It also has a total of six spools of knives for aeration to add power and strength to your yard work so you can get done quickly and move on to other things.
Handling this tool is simple with a cantilever transport handle which lets you easily raise and lower the device as you need to. It has wide pneumatic tires to ensure your lawn isn’t damaged while using the tool.
- Powerful use with heat treated aeration knives
- Features a cantilever transport handle for easy use
- Wide pneumatic tires for smooth movement and transport
- Offers a weight tray that holds up to 140 pounds
- Some have experienced not getting all parts after ordering
Considerations When Thinking About Purchasing a Lawn Aerator
With a lawn aerator, you can easily make holes in your soil, which allows air, water, and nutrients to get deeper into your ground to directly reach the roots. Over time, the soil under your lawn may become compacted, which means it is harder for the roots to achieve what they need to thrive.
If you have a lawn which has a lot of foot traffic or which is older, it is likely it suffers from the most substantial compaction. Using an automatic or manual aerator helps fights against compaction for a yard that is lusher and healthier. It is recommended by lawn experts that you aerate your lawn at least once a year as part of your maintenance schedule, which should also include weeding, watering, and fertilizing.
It’s easy to see when an aerated lawn is thriving and doing well. The grass will be a brighter green, look thicker, and appear to be healthier.
That isn’t the only reason that you should aerate your lawn, though. It can offer you a break when it comes to effort and money. Many people spend hundreds of dollars annually on items like fertilizer, grass seed, and water but still find their lawn doesn’t look as healthy as it could.
Using a grass aerator helps get the nutrients down to the roots of your plants so they can have the most significant effect, which can save you money in the long run. If the fertilizer has issues making it through soil that is compacted, you could otherwise be wasting money and time.
Deciding Whether to Aerate Your Lawn on Your Own
If you want to hold to the recommendations of experts and aerate your lawn every year, in many cases, it makes sense to pay for an aerator and handle the job on your own.
The reality is that many garden maintenance and landscaping companies charge hundreds of dollars for a single lawn aeration, which means purchasing your own lawn aerator may pay for itself the very first time you use it. After you have an aerator on hand, you can use it as many times as you like any time you want. Since these devices are made to be sturdy and durable, you can expect them to work for many years with minimal maintenance.
Another consideration to think about is whether you will have the time to aerate your lawn on a regular basis and whether you enjoy tasks like these in your yard or garden. If you answered no to those questions, an aerator tool might not be worth the cost if it is never going to be used and will just take up precious space in your garage or shed.
Things to Look for When Choosing the Right Lawn Aerator
One of the first things you want to think about when choosing the best lawn aerator for your needs is how ample the space is where it will be used. There is a vast difference between a small, portable aerator that might be utilized manually than one that has a supply of power behind it that is intended for a huge lawn or garden.
How Large is Your Lawn Area?
Individuals who have large lots or need to aerate several plots of land will be best off choosing one of the larger aerators to keep the lawn in good shape. A tow-along or gas-powered aerator is capable of handling the most enormous garden while requiring little effort from the user.
On the other hand, those with small lawns may only need a small manual aerator to handle this maintenance task each year. Setting up a tow-along aerator can take a lot of effort and may not be worthwhile for a smaller patch of lawn. Tow-along aerators are also more challenging to maneuver in smaller spaces.
Those who want to go with a tow-along aerator will need a vehicle to pull them along, which means you need to be aware of which aerators are compatible with the vehicle you have available. Ride-on mowers, lawn tractors, and ATVs are all capable of pulling aerators. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a way to transport the two-along aerator, as well.
Do You Prefer Indentions in the Lawn or Removed Soil Plugs?
Another essential thing to consider when choosing the perfect aerator is whether you want to make indentions in a lawn, or you prefer to remove plugs of soil out of your garden. There are some people who use aerators that will say spiking the lawn is pointless as the compacted soil doesn’t move and is only compacted in a different way.
With an aerator that does plugging, cores of soil are removed to allow the lawn to breathe better. However, whatever side of the controversy you fall on, many individuals use spike aerators and find they work quite well, so your choice is going to come down your specific preferences.
On the side of plug aerators, some people have issues with them because the spikes can fill up with soil. When that happens, you will need to empty them before you start working the earth again. This can add time and effort to what is already a dirty job and something that won’t be needed when using a spike aerator.
Different Methods of Aerating Your Lawn
Using a manual tool to aerate your lawn can require a considerable amount of physical exertion, which not everyone is capable of. Some individuals choose to use spiked shoes, which take less energy to operate than plug or spike forks, which require a great deal of physical force. After you’re used to using these shoes, they can be slipped on while mowing your lawn to get both things done all at once.
When using a manual aerator, you will get an all over body workout rather than only using the shoulders and arms for power. This makes it a bad choice for those who have back problems. However, a power aerator can take over and handle things for you if you aren’t able to be that physical.
Types of Lawn Aerators to Choose From
There are four primary types of lawn aerators on the market which you can choose from. These include the plug tow-style aerator, the spike tine or core aerator, the push-style roller aerator, and spike aerator shoes. We’ll share a bit about what to expect from each option so you can decide which is the best for your needs.
A spike aerator, which can also be called a step aerator or tine aerator, looks a bit like a fork with four to five spikes that push down into the ground and loosen up the compacted soil. When using a spike aerator, you will place your foot on the foothold and then push down for the spikes reach into the ground. Then you simply pull it out and remove the soil that is attached.
This aerator version is excellent for a small yard or a lawn which has only small problem areas. If you have a large or even medium-sized yard, it may not be ideal since it can take a lot of effort to use on a larger space.
Spike Core Aerator
Those who have lawns with a large amount of soil that is densely compacted will find that the core aerator tool is an excellent option. This tool looks like a fork, just like a spike aerator, but there are two very sharp tines a number of inches apart that can reach far down into compacted soil. Once inside the earth, those tines can remove a few inches of soil to stimulate better growth of grass root.
Spike Aerator Shoes
Those who do large amounts of mowing and gardening may find that spike aerator shoes are a reasonable choice. While they can feel a bit strange to use at first, they offer a quick and straightforward way of ensuring your lawn is properly aerated.
All you have to do is strap on the shoes and use them as you walk around doing all your regular chores in the yard and garden. The spikes on the shoes are sharp and poke into the soil and grass. However, this tool should be handled carefully since they are very sharp. Keep them away from your children and pets.
Push-Style Roller Aerator
Those who have small or medium sized lawns and those who want an option that doesn’t require as much energy expenditure may want to choose a push-style roller aerator. These look very similar to the old roller lawn mowers that used to be in use. The tool is made from tubular steel with two durable plastic wheels along with a tray between the wheels which has those steel spikes that go into the soil.
However, this aerator choice may not be the best option or a massive yard since they aren’t made for heavy duty work. They typically penetrate only about an inch into the soil and aren’t prepared for rock or highly compacted lawns.
Those who are older or who simply want an easy lawn maintenance tool will appreciate the push-style rolling aerator. It is also one of the most exciting of the tools to use so you may be able to convince your teenager to use it and get outside while helping with the chores in your lawn at the same time.
Tow-Style Plug Aerators
People who have large lawns or multiple properties will find a two-style plug aerator, also called a tow-style core aerator, can make it easy to keep the garden looking great. As with a ride-on motor, tow-style aerators are going to come in various sizes like 40 inch or 48 inches. These devices are made from heavy-duty steel with a towing bar that is compatible with ride-on mowers and tractors. They also have a tray that can hold a large amount, usually around 150 to 175 pounds. This added weight helps the aerator penetrate more deeply for compacted areas of soil while keeping the aerator well balanced.
The large pneumatic wheels used with this kind of aerator makes it the best fit for operating in moist soil or over uneven terrain. These aerators also offer a dethatching process where they can dig 2.5 to 3 inches into the ground and remove a plug of soil to avoid over thatching.
These aerators are typically easy to operate with an action handle to allow you to disengage or engage the tool form the driver’s seat. Some even let you adjust the height based on the specific needs of your lawn.
Putting it Together
As you can see from looking at the top lawn aerators, there are plenty of options out there to meet your needs. If you need something to handle a considerable space, you might want to choose a tow-along aerator that will last for years. Those with smaller lawns have a more extensive selection to choose from. Take care to decide what your situation is and which tool will fill your need in the best way.
Any of the tools on our list are known for being high quality and capable of handling even the toughest lawns. Good luck and have a good time out there!
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