When your lawn is looking a bit drab, you probably turn to all the classic sprucing methods: watering, fertilizing, and re-seeding. If these tried and true methods fall short, it might be time to aerate your lawn. There are plenty of lawn aerators on the market to fit your needs, whether it’s a simple manual rolling aerator or an expensive mechanical piece that attaches to a riding lawnmower.
The best option for you depends largely on the size of your yard, your physical capabilities, and, of course, your budget. Before you waste time scrolling through hundreds of different aerators, check out these four options that reviewers swear by.
Best lawn aerator: tow-behind
Best for larger yards, a tow-behind aerator works quickly and doesn’t require much muscle power. Simply attach it to the back of your riding lawn mower or ATV, weigh the aerator down with cinder blocks or weights so the plugs or spikes get deep into the soil, and pull it along the grass.
Agri-Fab 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator
Users love this 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator by Agri-Fab due to its high quality, sharp knives, and durable construction. With a whopping 32 knives to penetrate the soil as well as a tray that holds up to 175lbs of weight, this heavy-duty attachment is the most efficient option for large lawns.
What we love:
- Universal hitch attaches to any pulling vehicle
- Flat-proof tires require minimal maintenance
- The easy-reach handle lets you raise and lower the attachment while seated
Best lawn aerator: push operation
Push-operated aerators are optimal for medium-sized and smaller lawns. They’re more intensive than a tow-behind attachment but certainly easier than a fully manual one. This affordable aerator rolls in front of you as you walk, so you don’t need to use a ton of physical arm strength, and the timing just depends on how long it talks you to walk the full area.
Step ‘N Tilt Core Lawn Aerator
Reviewers rave that the Step ‘N Tilt Core Lawn Aerator is sturdily built with super-sharp tines that won’t clog easily. With this easy-to-use aerator, you simply roll it to the spot you want to aerate, tilt it forward, and push your body weight on the step platform to force the tines into the soil. It also comes with a detachable container to collect the removed core tubes so you can redistribute them on your lawn as you please.
What we love:
- Equipped with a core collection basket
- Includes a clog-removing tool
- Shoe guards on the sides prevent muddy messes on your feet
Best lawn aerator: manual
A manual aerator is definitely labor-intensive, but it’s also the most cost-efficient solution for smaller yards. To use these hand-operated tools, press down on the handles or the foot bar to plunge the spikes into your lawn, pull it out, and repeat the process across the entirety of the yard.
Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator
Yard Butler’s Lawn Coring Aerator is durable, comfortable, and finished with cushions on the handles to prevent cramping, blisters, and other types of discomfort. The stepping bar makes for easier soil penetration, as you don’t need to rely on your arm strength to push the tines into the ground. Further, the taller height of the tool ensures you can keep your back straight while aerating.
What we love:
- The ergonomic design keeps your back in alignment
- Soft handles deliver maximum comfort
- Tough steel construction ensures long-lasting durability
Choosing an aerator shouldn’t be an intensive task. Consider the size of your lawn and the amount of physical labor you’re willing to put in, then use this to determine whether a manual or mechanic option is best. Either way, with any of the top-of-the-line aerators on this list, your lawn is sure to get the love and care it needs to flourish.
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