Here are top 6 lawn aerators which, although of differing types, are considered among the best depending on the size of the lawn to be aerated
Although most lawn owners may know of the benefits to their lawns by regular aerating, as aeration is usually recommended only once or twice a year, many lawn owners do not bother to buy one and instead rent one as and when needed.
A good aerator though can have more than one use and so be a benefit several times a year which would make them a worthwhile tool for lawn owners to have. Here are some of the uses an aerator can be used for in the different seasons of the year
1. Do It Yourself Agri-Fab 45-0365
No need to rent expensive aerators when you have this do-it-yourself, walk behind aerator to keep your lawn healthy. Covering a width of 16” with every pass, aerating your lawn can be quick and easy.
The mix of 5” and 7” spiked wheels provide an aeration depth of 2 ½”, ensuring water and nutrients ample access to the roots of grass. A weight tray is included to hold cement blocks so adequate pressure is applied to the spikes, making them effective to their full potential.
Although easy to assemble, care has to be taken to ensure the bolts holding the weight tray are pointed outwards otherwise a cinder block, which the tray is designed to hold, may be difficult to fit in without cutting off the ends of the bolts. Whilst this aerator works nicely when the lawn is wet, some owners have experienced difficulty in getting the spikes to penetrate fully when used on dry lawns.
- Width: 16 inch
- Quantity of wheels: 5
- Spikes: 7″
- Aeration depth: 0.5-2″
- Easy to assemble and use
- Suitable weight tray included
- 16” width
- Needs careful assembly
- Only at its best on wet lawns
2. Flat Free Wheeled Agri-Fab 45-0299
With the convenience of flat free wheels, this aerator is always ready for use when needed. To facilitate easier use the towing arm is cantilevered reducing work when hitching or unhitching. The tow arm also has a universal attachment so anything can be used to tow it.
Designed to loosen the compacted soil in your lawn, this aerator takes out 3” plugs to allow nutrients; water and air to access your grass’s roots allowing it grow more healthy and attractive. As by placing weights on your aerator it becomes more effective, this aerator has a tray with a 175lbs capacity to ensure it can be as effective as you desire.
Due to its hassle free design, the 32 self-sharpening knives which make the plugs can be lowered or raised by a handle conveniently located to allow reach whilst sitting on the tractor towing it. Apart from the wheels being prone to slipping in wet conditions this aerator appears to work well once assembled, however some owners have found difficulties assembling it and have mentioned some parts seem flimsy for longevity.
- Width: 48 inch
- Quantity of knives: 32
- Aeration depth: 3″
- Heavy capacity weight tray
- Flat free wheels
- Self-sharpening knives
- Conveniently positioned raising lever
- Cantilevered towing arm
- Difficult to assemble
- Wheels can slip when wet
3. Scientifically Designed CoPedvic Aerator Shoes
These spiked overshoes have been scientifically designed to be able to penetrate all types of soil and can withstand weights of up to 400lbs.
These aerator overshoes require no lifting of weights or pushing of machines, simply walk across the lawn as aerate it as you do so. Designed to fit over any type of men’s, women’s or even children’s shoes, the overshoes are versatile as well as effective.
13 x 2.4” spikes attach to each overshoe by nuts and 8 leather straps hold the shoes in position. The overshoes come with specially designed mini shovels to clean the spikes as needed to ensure continued effectiveness. Most owners state these overshoes are effective but have been known to be received short of spikes, nuts or some straps so should be checked on receipt.
- Load Capacity: 400 lb
- Thickness of Sandals: 0.2″
- Length of Spikes: 2.4″
- Diameter of Spikes: 0.2″
- Easy to use
- Cleaning shovels provided
- Fit over any shoe
- Needs to be checked on receipt
4. Durable Brinly PA-40BH
With an all steel design and heat treated spikes this aerator has been built for longevity. The weight tray is designed to hold any type of weight and is enclosed to ensure the weight stays where it offers the most efficiency.
The aerator is designed to provide 3” deep plugs across a width of 40” with every pass, making quick and easy to aerate most lawns. The 10” flat free tires ensure uninterrupted lawn aeration and as the plugging spoons can be individually removed for repair or replacement, maintenance delays are kept to a minimum. A universal hitch with just one single retaining hitch makes the aerator easy to attach to any towing device with the minimum of effort.
Most owners state that this aerator works as good as advertised once it has been assembled but some had difficulties in assembling it due to poor quality control allowing the holes for screwing on the plugging spoons to be misaligned. This aerator may be ideal for larger lawns where not much turning is needed but as the lifting lever cannot be reached by the driver of the towing device, mounting and dismounting is needed on every turn.
- Width: 40 inch
- Quantity of plug spoons: 32
- Aeration depth: 3″
- 40” width
- Flat free tires
- Single, universal hitch
- Poor quality control
- Inconvenient placement of lifting lever
5. Yard Butler ID-6C
This is a hand held aerator which has a foot bar which allows better leverage to be used to provide for effective plugs to be made. The aerator’s height of 37” ensures less back strain for the user and more comfort whilst working.
This aerator’s directions instruct users to water their lawns before use so as to make it easier for the aerator to remove plugs but whilst owners do this, many still state that the tines get clogged and need to be frequently cleaned off.
Most owners have small lawns and say that this is ideal rather than paying for a more expensive towed aerator. By using body weight and the foot bar provided, aeration of small lawns can be quickly completed with this aerator without the need of adding heavy weights which are necessary with the larger aerators. The aerator makes plugs which are between 1” and 2” which is sufficient for most lawns.
- Length of plugs: 3.5″
- Diameter of plugs: 0.5″
- Other than watering the lawn, needs no preparation
- Convenient foot bar
- Hand operated
- Tines may clog frequently
6. Heavy Duty Brinly SA-40BH
With 11 galvanized steel stars for penetrating the soil and a 14 gauge weight tray this aerator is ready for heavy duty work. The steel stars operate independently to allow the soil to be penetrated as many as 66 times per foot and to continue penetrating whilst turning, making aerating a lawn easier and faster.
With the weight tray designed to hold as much as 100lbs, the stars penetrate the soil as deep as 2” providing adequate water and nutrient access.
With a single hitch tow bar the aerator is easy to maneuver and the stars do not damage themselves or the surface when crossing hard surfaces but due to the tow being short it can prove difficult to back up. Most owners do rank this aerator high but most also mention that the tow bar can give problems as it seems weaker than the rest of the machine.
- Width: 40 inch
- Quantity of tine stars : 10
- Aeration depth: 2″
- Rust proof penetration stars
- Heavy duty
- Stars work independently
- Penetrates whilst turning
- Weak tow bar
Grass is like any other plant in so far as it has roots and those roots need to have access to water and nutrients if the grass is to be healthy, strong and look good. Unfortunately the soil in which the grass sits can sometimes become hard denying roots access to the nutrients and water they need.
Aeration consists of spikes penetrating the soil to allow access of the water and nutrients. Some aerators remove plugs of soil which facilitates the same access as spikes but may compact the soil around the plugs and so most lawn owners have their own preferences.
Aerate compacted soil. Assist in the applying of herbicides in the early spring and low-nitrogen fertilizers in late spring. Assisting in the reseeding of any bare patches in the lawn.
Assist in applying anti-grub products in the early summer. Ensure good watering of lawn as and if needed.
If aerating of lawn and reseeding were not done in spring, it needs to be done in the fall. Assist in providing a light dressing of fertilizer at both the beginning and ending of fall.
Assist in applying fungicide in late winter.
As aerators are not used too regularly like mowers, any aerator will last for years an so buying your own can save you a significant amount in rental fees over those years and ensures the lawn can be aerated when it most needs it, not when one is available for rent.
Buyer’s Guide to Aerators
When deciding which aerator to buy there are 3 factors which most lawn owners take into consideration. The first is the size of the lawn to be aerated, the second is how much they want to pay and the third is how much physical effort they want to expend on aerating their lawns.
The largest aerators are towed behind either tractors or ride-on mowers. Smaller mowers are push along or the walk behind variety and smaller still are the ones which can be considered long handle hand tools. The smallest aerators however consist of overshoes with spikes which are strapped onto shoes. All of them can effectively aerate a lawn but will require differing amounts of physical effort to do so and so the size of a lawn is more often the predominant factor in deciding which one is the best for any particular lawn owner.
These are usually chosen by the owners of large lawns and as they have large lawns, probably already own a tractor or ride-on mower which can tow the aerator. These types of aerators may use spikes or spoons to dig out plugs of soil as both spikes and plug removers need to penetrate to a depth of 2” or 3”, many will have weight trays. A weight tray, often made of steel, will facilitate weights of some kind being placed above the spikes to ensure they dig deep enough into the compacted soil to be effective.
Walk Behind Aerators
As most aerators do not have motors, any aerator will require the owner not to just walk behind it but also to push it. Once again these walk behind aerators may have a tray where extra weight can be placed to ensure the spikes obtain good penetration of the soil but of course, any extra weights added will make the aerator harder to push and therefore cause the owner to use more effort.
Long Handled Aerators
These are used in a similar way to a long handled garden fork as the spikes need to be physically pushed into the soil. This means that the aerator will have to be of a height which is easy for the owner to use and may have a foot bar so the owner can apply more pressure, ensuring the spikes acquire good penetration.
As their name implies, these aerators are overshoes which are fastened to regular shoes and achieve aeration of the lawn as their owner walks up and down the lawn. Although you will have to walk the length and breadth of the lawn with these overshoes, you would have to anyway with a walk behind aerator but do not have to stop every minute as you would with a long handled aerator. With overshoes it is the user’s weight which pushes the spikes sufficiently into the soil to ensure good aeration of the lawn.
Once you have decided which type of aerator you should buy, as with all household and garden appliances and tools, there are several different manufactures or Brands which make similar ones and these can all vary greatly in price, quality and customer after sales service. If you already know of a reliable manufacturer you may opt for one of theirs however, it is always advisable to read owner’s reviews for several before making your final decision.
Whilst all of these different types and brands have their own prices, even the most expensive will afford you savings over their lifetime compared to the price you would pay to either rent an aerator or have your lawn professionally aerated year after year.
Lawns provide great areas for safe recreation for children and BBQ venues for adults but any lawn, regardless of the type of grass sewn or the climate, in order for a lawn to look good and offer its full potential, it needs continuous maintenance. That maintenance will consist of regular mowing and periodic aeration, plus of course the maintenance to the tools needed to complete those tasks. A lawn therefore also has an ongoing cost in fuels for mowers, fertilizers and even the water to keep it nicely watered.
Due to the time and effort real grass lawns require, an increasing number of people are opting to install artificial lawns on their properties. Most people are probably aware of artificial lawns from sports fields, children’s playgrounds or other developments but far fewer are aware that advances in artificial lawns now make them ideal for residential properties too.
Today an artificial lawn can offer the same advantages as any natural lawn but without the continued maintenance costs and of course the time and effort associated with that maintenance. More and more people have decided that although the cost of an artificial lawn may initially be relatively high, the savings made over the lifetime of a property allows for that expense to be recouped several times over and they never have to worry about how the lawn will look next summer.
If you decide though that nothing can beat a real grass lawn you are not alone but you will have to aerate that lawn at least annually if it is to keep its splendor and strength. Whilst hiring a professional to aerate your lawn may be convenient, it can also be expensive and whilst renting an aerator may save you year round storage space, finding one available to rent when you want it, may present an even bigger problem. That leaves the option of buying one and that will ensure you can keep your lawn looking its best year after year and helping to maintain your properties value.