Compost aerator is the right tool to prepare quality compost with minimal energy input. Using it also eliminates hard work that is often associated with traditional methods.
There are several compost aerator models in the market which makes it confusing to choose. To choose the best compost aerator, we recommend considering below factors…
- Type – There are two types of compost aerators, corkscrew and plunger.
Corkscrew is suitable light compost. For heavy compost with lots of dry leaves, we recommend to go for plunger. At the bottom, titled spikes are provided which make it easy to separate even toughest soil granules.
- Design and Body
Compost aerators are available in 12 inch to 38 inches sizes. If you are looking for convenient, high-end, ergonomic design and sturdy body, then go for 38-inch model. With this option, you will not have to grind through or bend to use it.
- Build Quality
Most of the compost aerators are made up of either aluminum or stainless steel. Among these two, stainless steel models are durable, strong and equipped with anti-skid grips on handles to maintain stability.
Apart from these three factors, you should also consider like length, warranty, handles and price. You can read a detail information in our “BUYING GUIDE“.
A list of 5 Best Compost Aerators is provided below for your convenience. We have shortlisted them after several hours of research and testing.
Best Compost Aerators
|Compost Aerators||Model Type||Height||Weight||Buy Now|
|Lotech||Corkscrew||32 inches||1.5 pounds||Check On Amazon|
|Garden Weasel||Corkscrew||38 inches||2.5 pounds||Check On Amazon|
|Bosmere||Plunger||36 inches||2.1 pounds||Check On Amazon|
|Lotech||Corkscrew||45 inches||2 pounds||Check On Amazon|
|Yard Butler||Corkscrew||38 inches||4.5 pounds||Check On Amazon|
5 Best Compost Aerator Reviews
The compost crank twist is specially designed for an easy, fast, and highly effective way to use in any compost bin (that has just leaves and food scraps or dense sticks and vines) to enhance the composting process. You can use either one hand or both hands for performing this action comfortably.
Body Material – It is made of 3/8-inch stainless steel material (with anti-rust finish) and equipped with a non – slip comfortable grip. The depth of 29 inches and height of 32 inches will make it as an effective product with light weight of about 1.5 pounds.
Working Mechanism – It is a corkscrew compost aerator that works by simply grasping the curled handle and start twisting the tool clockwise down into the pile. Then lift it straight up without turning. This action will pull the compost up from the bottom and thereby mixes thoroughly and aerates. The process of twist in and twist back out will create air holes and spread moisture. Twist in the center, lift out and shake compost to the side to dig a hole and bury fresh material which makes this compost crank twist a complete and high-quality composting tool.
- The aerator never clogs
- Highly durable
- Easy to use, clean and store
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Rated as one of the best corkscrew compost aerators – produced by Lotus products, USA.
- It breaks clods from the bottom after lifting
The Garden Claw is a versatile garden tool which is specially designed to cultivate, loosen, aerate and weed (CLAW) your land. It also works best in turning your compost material into composter.
Body Material – This medium duty tool is great for many soils and bins (small or big). The tines are made of durable stainless steel material in which its design and construction is in line with industrial standards and requirements. The weight of this product is 2.5 pounds with dimensions 6X12X38 inches.
Working Mechanism – Just stand fully upright over the area and place the head on the soil or compost bin and then turn the comfort grip handles to aerate your compost. The tool has four turning tips that produce twisting action to turn the contents of your compost for enhanced aeration and quick decomposition. It also works best in aerating your land. So, this compost turner is great for any compost bin with its spiral turn action and no bending feature. It is easy to hang and has comfortable grip handles.
- Easy to clean and store
- Fully assembled and ready to use
- Made of sturdy material
- Alternatively used as a lawn aerator
- Won’t experience any bending or lifting while using this tool for turning any material or soil.
- Allows you to reach a decent turning depth with its 38 inch height and use for any taller compost bins (commercial use).
- Cost effective and time saving
- Rotates moisture in the ground and packs the compost with air
- Cause a little muscle strain while turning in closely packed materials
- The tines may clog while using this aerator for commercial purposes
The Bosmere compost aerator comes under the design of plunger aerator. This aerator will activate the compost heap at all different levels and thereby assist the decomposition.
Body Material – It has two sects of activating wings which fold to push into the compost and open out to aerate. The tool is made of non-rust steel with a vinyl hand grip. You can adjust the handle for left or right handed use. It weighs 2.1 pounds with 36-inch height.
Working Mechanism – Place this aerator over your compost and push down and pull up to mix the compost heap. When folded, the wings give a streamline structure that makes it easier to push turner into the pile and pull the tool upwards to activate the wings. This process will enhance the mixing and aeration for proper decomposing.
- Suitable to aerate the compost heap at all different levels
- Durable and effective tool
- The wings fold for easier penetration
- Handle can be adjusted for left handed or right handed use.
- Some users say that the wings are a bit fat which makes it hard to push into the pile.
Another effective tool manufactured from the Lotech Products is compost crank compost aerator which works well for compost tank that has high walls. It is a highly effective tool that penetrates any material easily and can be suitable to use in any type of compost bins.
Body Material – It is an American product and the machinery are made from recycled parts. The tool is highly durable made of solid 3/8-inch stainless steel with comfortable free spinning glass filled nylon handles and stainless steel washers with anti-rust finish. The most important feature in this tool is 45 inches tall with an effective depth of 29 inches and weight of 2 pounds that makes it easily work through vines and other troublesome ingredients.
Working Mechanism – All you need is to simply grasp the free spinning handles and then crank clockwise into the pile. Lift it upwards without turning and repeat the same action layer by layer for proper aeration and to enhance decomposition. Here the corkscrew pulls compost up from the bottom to get thoroughly mix and aerate the compost. When once the material is loosening with repeated actions then you can go deeper into the pile. You can reach every corner of the bin with this tall compost aerating tool
- Highly durable and easy to use
- Effective at turning and aerating compost
- Comes with lifetime limited warranty
- Handcrafted in USA
- Taller turner at 45 inches
- Featured with free spinning glass filled nylon handles and stainless steel washers.
The extra wide high leverage handle and weight centering middle step plate of this Yard Butler Twist Tiller will make it as an effective aerator tool that works best for both your lawn and compost. This is widely used for mixing compost, adding soil amendments and digging holes for planting.
Body Material – It weighs 4.5 pounds and 38 inches tall with a step plate that centers you over the tool for proper pushing. It has solid 1/2-inch powder coated steel shaft and a wide 12 inches T handle that helps to reduce the effort of twisting.
Working Mechanism – Simply drive the six claw spikes of this tool deep into the compost and twist it by using the force of your body to rotate the sharp angled claw tines. Pull it to mix the compost heap. Repeat it till the contents in your compost pile are mixed thoroughly.
- Yard Butler offers a full No Risk 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- Used as a best lawn aerator
- Solid steel shaft – unbreakable tines
- The tines may clog if used for a longer time.
- Not suitable for big compost bins (or) for commercial purpose.
Best Compost Aerators – Buying Guide
What is a Compost Aerator?
A compost aerator is a garden tool that specializes in aerating and turning the contents of a bin or compost pile. By using this aerator, you can speed up the whole process of distributing oxygen, moisture and bacteria in the compost pile without getting your hands dirty. Before buying a compost aerator, let’s know all about a compost aerator in detail.
1.Models of Compost Aerators
Basically, there are two major types of compost aerator designs – plunger and corkscrews. Both these aerators are easily inserted deep into the compost heap and disrupt it. The pulling action will move the contents and circulates air in the compost.
- A plunger has a pointed pole and has two folding tines (or retractable blades) in which the tines get close when the aerator is pushed into the pile and open up when it pulled.
- This process will create air packets and it is suitable for compost that has a lot of dry heaps.
- The T handles of this aerator will make it easy to push and pull the content of the compost without straining your muscles.
- The one who wants to use this aerator tool should twist the tool into the compost and then pull it out to create air and spread moisture evenly into the compost mix.
- Most gardeners suggest that this tool works effective for light compost (the material in the compost should not be heavy) why because twisting and pulling may somewhat strain your muscles.
2. Body Material & Durability
The material used in preparing the tool will decide the longevity of the tool. Most aerator tools are made of stainless steel or aluminium in which they have protective coating to handle the constant use without bending or rusting (anti-rust finish). This will make the material firm whether you are twisting, plunging or pulling.
3. Length & Design
One should check the design and length (height) whether it reach their general comfort for aerating process before buying this compost aerator tool or else it results in uneven decomposition.
Check the warranty given by the tool manufacturer before buying this gardening tool. Warranty will allow you to test the strength and functionality of any tool. Sort out the best which suits your requirements.
5. Padded Handles
Checking ergonomic factors has been quite common in these days before buying any product. Some gardeners suffer from arthritis, sore muscles and other ailments in which they need tools that are designed to keep the hands and muscles comfortable with proper grip on handles without applying too much strain on your body parts throughout the process.
Before buying any product, you should decide how much to spend on that product. It may depend on the need and features as per your requirement. It is also advisable to go through customer reviews to know the pros and cons of that tool.
How does a Compost Aerator Work?
It creates an aerobic environment by adding vital oxygen and moisture to the mix. The pointed ends of the aerator will stab the compost pile to create large pockets of air deep inside the compost. This pulling and pushing action will spread the moisture, air and heat up the pile for proper decomposition. Some gardeners might use a pitchfork or shovel for performing this process but it works only if you have a single bin/ smaller heaps.
Reasons behind using a Compost Aerator?
Always remember that aerating your compost regularly will provide the regular influx of oxygen to the pile and thereby speed up the process of getting compost in 5 – 8 weeks instead of 4 – 8 months. If you don’t use a compost aerator, then the pile will only collect bacteria for decaying. So, without enough supply of oxygen, the decomposition process will get slow down and thus results in some problems like strong odor (smells like ammonia), compost attracting unwanted critters (like mice, insects, flies, rats). Have a look at the few reasons that explain why you should use a compost aerator.
- Reheats the Pile:
Do you know that the center of a healthy compost pile should be at 120 degrees Fahrenheit? Circulation of fresh air and periodic influx of oxygen will fluff the whole pile to some degree which are essential for proper decomposition process. Also, the organic materials (produce nitrogen) in the compost bin helps to produce heat and make it stay in an aerobic state.
- Creates Passageway for Moisture:
Whenever the material starts to decompose then the pile will begin to shrink and compress in its size, which in turn cause the pile to cool down sooner without decomposing the rest of the compost. So, to prevent this problem, you have to use a compost aerator to expose more particles and to fluffs up the mixture to speed up the decomposition process (allows the pile to reheat itself) with proper spread of air, heat and moisture.
- Eliminate Odors:
The compost pile becomes stale if left without aerating for a longer period of time. The odor is an indication that the pile has too much moisture or nitrogen. So, if you aerate the compost (frequent turning of the mix) will help to reduce the odor.
How a compost aerator works best than other composting tools?
Most of the gardeners think that why should purchase a compost aerator tool when we have tools like a shovel or forks or spades. Here are a few reasons that explain you why the aerator works best than others.
- They are specially designed to get into the bottom of the compost and turns the heap evenly in a big, compacted piles or in a bin (somewhat difficult with a fork or spade) to ensure the air and moisture present for decomposition process.
- The usage of aerator will make you work without getting messy, as it works without splashing the liquid compost or making the hands dirty.
- The handles on the aerators will allow you to work without much strain on the back or shoulders unlike a trowel or hand forks do.
- The aerators are easy to use, clean and maintain and you can easily manage the compost without the accumulation of odors.
The products mentioned in this article will work best in aerating the compost but one will differ somewhat best when compared with others. So, have a look on expert advice which will help you in choosing the correct product for your compost aeration. If you prefer Corkscrew aerator model, then go for Lotech Compost Crank Compost Aerator (or) Garden Weasel 91316 Garden Claw If you want to use Plunger aerator model, then use Bosmere P845 Compost Aerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
By using a compost aerator, the food or garden scraps will take a few weeks (rather than months) of time to turn into soil with its technique of even distribution of bacteria, moisture and air. The ideal compost should have even layers of each green waste and brown waste. So to achieve this a compost aerator will work well in balancing these waste. Regular inspection like adding brown material if the compost is smelly and wet (or) pouring some green material is needed for improving this process.
Compost is an organic material that can be added to the soil to make it fertile. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that around 30% of what we throw the food scraps and yard waste into garbage will produce methane gas (leads to global warming). So, composting is an effective way to minimize the amount of garbage and also controls the odor produced by trash can. Another important factor is that it acts as a rich organic fertilizer that you can use in your garden for healthy plant growth.
First of all, you have to choose an outdoor space of at least 3 square feet and a bin for your compost. You can choose a closed bin if you worry about the smell or the look of the compost pile by simply either by ordering outside or buying at your local gardening store. The diameter of the bin should be about 3 feet and won’t be much taller than your waist. Also, use fencing or chicken wire to protect the bin from animals.
You can add almost any waste collected from your kitchen and garden. To keep your compost healthy, you have to maintain a perfect balance between green waste (includes moist material like fruit and vegetables waste) and brown waste (dry matter like dry leaves, wood shavings or old newspapers). Green material supply nitrogen which helps for building the cell structure of the new soil and the brown material supply carbon to feed the organisms that break down the scraps. Also, make sure the compost needs moisture (sprinkle the compost with water) and air. Avoid adding insect ridden plant waste, dairy or animal products into your compost why because it starts to smell after a few days and attract pets
The one who has shoveled or turned compost should know it’s a hard work and back breaking task why because it requires physical strength to complete the task. Older people, young kids and others who are out of shape should avoid using this compost aerator but they may use a tumbling compost bin. Turning the compost in the bin properly is not an easy task but if done properly then you can have the best results. Rather than using commercial bins which have small openings why don’t you create a natural compost bin. Also, remember to use compost aerator after every few weeks by checking the moisture levels of the bin. Remoisten the compost if the pile seems too dry for proper decomposition.
Compost aerator is an essential gardening tool that helps to spread the air, heat and moisture throughout the bin by fluffing the compost to enhance the decomposition process and thereby to get a natural fertilizer. So, choose the best aerator which offers features like comfortable grip handles, build quality, height, easy to use, durability to use in a longer run.
Hope the detailed buying guide and the products mentioned above will help you in investing the best compost aerator that suits perfect for your need and requirements.