Aerating your lawn is a great thing to keep the health of your lawn in great shape. Although you will not need to aerate your lawn all that often, the process can be time-consuming. Having an excellent lawn aerator will make your work much easier. There are many types of aerators on the market, and it is vital to understand the choices you have before you make your purchase. Here are our picks for the top ten best lawn aerators of 2021.
Things To Consider When Purchasing a Lawn Aerator
A lawn aerator can be operated using gas or batteries, but it can also be hand held. A hand held aerator is usually a bit slower, but you will save quite a bit of money. The first significant decision you will have to make is the type of aerator that you would like to own. Keep in mind that you will need something that fits in your budget but also allows you to complete this project in a timely matter.
Size of Aerator
The larger your lawn, the more important the size of your aerator is. If you plan on aerating acres of land with a 16-inch aerator, you will have to schedule a serious block of time. Be realisitc about the size of the property and the size of the lawn aerator you purchase.
Some lawn aerators will have adjustability when it comes to depth of the aeration. If you know you need an exact depth to treat your lawn correctly, do some investigating when you purchase. Choose a unit that has adjustable depth so that you can properly treat your grass. Another type of adjustability that you may find in a lawn aerator is the handle height. Aerating large sections of grass can be difficult on your back if you can’t adjust the height of the aerator.
Top 10 Best Lawn Aerator
1. AchieveUSA Heavy Duty Rolling Garden Lawn Aerator
- Very easy to use
- Plastic and steel for durability
- Great for loose soils
- 18-inch roller size
- Ideal weight for a lawn aerator
The AcheiveUSA Heavy Duty, Rolling Garden Lawn Aerator, has earned the top spot on our list. When you look for an excellent lawn aerator, you want something that is easy to operate and easy to maintain. The AcheiveUSA model will check both of these boxes.
All you will have to do to operate this model is roll it along your grass. You can use it to loosen soil in a new bed or to aerate the lawn. The Acheive is a steel material that makes for a very smooth operation. You can trust us on this one; a cheap and bumpy aerator is not worth purchasing.
The Acheive USA has an 18 inch roller. The 18-inch size is efficient but also allows you to have control over the aerator as you are working. The only downside of the Acheive is that you will need to put it together when you purchase it. You can have this done in a few minutes and have your lawn completely aerated just a little while later.
2. MTB Heavy Duty 18 Inch Aerator Roller
- Offered at a fair price
- Rolling model that is easy to push
- Must be put together
- Made with steel and zinc
- Long handle
Since a lawn aerator is not used all that often, it makes sense to purchase something that is affordable. Luckily the MTB Heavy Duty is an affordable but durable option for making sure that your lawn is healthy.
With the MTB lawn aerator, you will get a straightforward model consisting of a long handle and a rolling aerator on the bottom. The lawn aerator is not adjustable in any way, but it is made of steel and zinc to last you a long time.
With rolling aerators, you have to consider the weight of the unit. You want something easy enough to maneuver but heavy enough to aerate the lawn. If the lawn aerator is too lightweight, it will pop up and down and not spend enough time making holes in the lawn.
The length of the tines on the MTB Lawn aerator is 1 ⅓ inch. This will help you get a light but adequate aeration completed.
3. Cobra S3840V 38cm (15in) Cordless Battery Scarifier & Aerator
- Has five heights
- 45L Collection box included
- Folds for storage
- Battery operated for long run time
- Safety features for safe stat
Sometimes when you have the task of aeration in front of you, you will want to keep it as simple as possible. With the Cobra Aerator, you can do just that. This Aerator has five depth settings to make sure you give your lawn exactly what it needs.
This is a battery-operated model that comes with a rechargeable 40V battery. Since you don’t need to aerate your lawn every week, it is excellent that the Cobra can fold easily. The handles fold down to make it a compact model. In addition to being able to fold, the handles are also adjustable for the operator’s height.
Our favorite thing about the Cobra Lawn Aerator is that you can adjust the height of the aerator. Having five depth settings helps to make sure that you get the exact fit for your lawn. With the 45L collection box, you will not have any raking to do when you finish up your work. These are all things that we could get used to!
4. Agri-Fab AG45-0299 Towed Aerator
- Towed aerator
- Can adjust the depth with a weight on top of the aerator
- 6 Spools of knives
- Pneumatic tires
- 48 inches wide
If you are lucky enough to have a way to tow an aerator, the AgriFab AG45 is an excellent choice. This is a 48 inch wide aerator that will attach to a tractor or other similar vehicle. When you pull the Agri-Fab behind you, it will naturally aerate the lawn.
Although the Agri-Fab technically only has one depth setting, you can add weight to the top to have the knives cut deeper into the turf. A total of 140 pounds of weight can be put on the top of the aerator to pull it down into the turf.
The spools and the aerator’s knives are made of galvanized steel not to rust and break down through the years. The tires on the AgriFab are also high quality and capable of going across your lawn without damaging it. If you want a lawn aerator that works quickly and gets the job done with ease, the AgriFab AG45 is an excellent choice.
5. Agri-Fab 45-0365 Spike Aerator
- Walk behind model
- 16 Inches wide
- 7 Inch spikes
- Weight tray can push the spikes further down
- 2.5-inch aeration depth
Agri-Fab makes the tow behind option that we love, but they also make this effective push spike lawn aerator. This is a 16 inch wide aerator that will give you an aeration depth up to 2.5 inches. We love the adjustability that the Agri-Fab has when it comes to adding weight to the aerator.
You may notice that the Agri-Fab aerator has seven inch spikes, but the depth is only 2.5 inches. The spikes are going to rotate, and that is why they need to be a bit larger than the actual depth of the hole they dig in the lawn.
When you purchase this Agri-Fab, remember that you will need to get a concrete block to help push the aerator into the ground. For a very fair price, you can get an aerator with a lot of adjustability and durability.
6. Lawn Aerator Clamp with Spikes
- Made of iron
- Need a roller to attach to
- Comes as a set of five clamps
- Easy to assemble clamps
- Great if you are short on storage
This Lawn Aerator Clamp is a bit of a unique option. With this set, you will get five clamps that you can add to an existing lawn roller. You will need to have the roller in place already for this to work. A roller can be used for various yard projects; if you have one in place, the clamps are a great addition.
Each clamp is made of iron to easily enter into the ground as you use it. This set has five clamps, and each of the clamps has six spikes on it. When you attach to the roller, you will see how easy it is with the screws provided.
The spike included is 2.4 inches long, which is plenty long enough to get your aeration job done and increase the health of your turf.
7. Ohuhu Lawn Aerator Shoes
- Easy to get on and off
- Wearable aerator shoes
- Anti slip bottoms
- Adjustable size
- Long lasting and anti-corrosive
The Ohuhu Lawn Aerator Shoes are a unique choice for aerating your lawn. You won’t need to worry about much when you strap these on your shoes. These have hook and loop fasteners and can come on and off with ease. You should have a good pair of boots are sneakers to use with the Ohuhu so that you can keep your stability.
If you are a person who likes to keep things simple this is going to be your best choice for a lawn aerator. There is nothing more to do than to walk through your yard. The process will sometimes be slightly more labor-intensive. However, it’s hard to complain about the price and effectiveness of this option.
With a pair of aerator shoes, you have to make sure that the spikes stay in place. If they are not great shoes, you will lose spikes along the way as you walk. With the Ohuhu, you should not have to worry about that. The anti slip pads on the shoes also help to eliminate slipping when the grass is wet. Overall you will find these to be effective and honestly kind of fun to use!
We do recommend this option when you have a smaller property. For large plots of land, this is going to be a bit too labor-intensive.
8. Einhell GE-SA 1335 P Petrol Scarifier/Aerator
- Four-stroke engine
- Will aerate and catch debris
- 20 Stainless Steel Blades
- Adjustable depth
- Large catch bag
The Einhell is the only gas-powered lawn aerator on our list. Although the Einhell can be quite effective, it is certainly a different category purchase than something like a walk-behind lawn aerator. If you have the space in your garage and the money in your budget, the Einhell is undoubtedly worth considering.
Lawn aeration can be a long project if you plan on cleaning up the yard after the fact. You will have to rake the entire area and dispose of the plugs. When you use the Einhell, there is nothing to clean up; the machine does it for you. Considering the price of a model like this, it’s good that it cleans up after itself.
One of the best features of the Einhell is the ability to adjust the depth of the aeration. If your soil is in good shape, but you want to do light aeration, this is a great model to have. Paying for a lawn service to aerate is very expensive. If you can avoid those expenses by purchase the Einhell, it is undoubtedly worth it.
9. Yard Butler IM-7C Multi Spike Lawn Aerator
- 3-inch spikes
- 37 inches look
- Good for loosening soil
- Steel construction
The Yard Butler is the simplest aerator on our list thus far. This is a handheld model that you will place on the ground and step on with your foot. When you step on the Yard Butler, it will dig itself about three inches into the ground to make a spike.
If you have a small lawn that is dry and cracked, this is a great way to let water and seed get through. You will need a good bit of strength to get this into the ground and to pull it back up. The spike aeration is very narrow, which makes it easier to get into the ground.
For large areas that need landscaping work, the Yard Butler is not going to be the best choice out there. With the Yard Butler, there are four three-inch spikes and a handle that you can use with two hands simultaneously.
10. Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator
- Core aerator
- Removes two plugs at a time
- A handheld model with foot bar
- 37-inch tool height
- Ergonomic handle
Last but certainly not least on our list is another helpful tool from Yard Butler. As we mentioned with the Yard Butler IM-7C, it is a spike aerator. The Yard Butler ID-6C is a core aerator. With this tool, you will be able to remove two ½ inch wide plugs each time you push it into the ground.
With the Yard Butler ID-6C, you simply step on the foot bar, push the tool into the ground and remove the two plugs. The handle of this tool makes it easier to operate, but you will still need some strength.
If your lawn is very compact, you may have a hard time getting this coring aerator into the ground. The good news is that if you can make it work, a core is much more effective than a spike aerator. Made with durable steel, you will likely have no issues with the longevity of this model.
Lawn Aerator Buyers Guide
There are some considerations that you will have to make before you make your final decision on a lawn aerator. With the different models available and each individual model’s features, it is worth understanding a bit more before you buy. Here are the top considerations we would investigate on a new lawn aerator in 2021.
Walk Behind Lawn Aerator vs. Hand Held vs. Powered
The majority of affordable lawn aerators are going to be push models that you walk behind. They will have a roller on the bottom. The roller has spikes attached, and as you walk, the lawn is aerated.
This will take some physical ability on the part of the user. You have to apply a bit of pressure down to get the spikes to enter into the ground. If you don’t consider yourself to be in excellent shape, you will not want something like this.
The hand held models will push into the ground and pull right out after making a few holes. With the hand held model, you will use your foot to push the spikes or the corer into the ground. These are usually the cheapest type, and they are great for a very small plot of land or a trouble spot in your yard that needs your attention.
The powered lawn aerator is going to be either gas or electric powered. The process is quite simple with these types of aerators. You will set the depth you need, power the machine on, and walk slowly behind it while it aerates your lawn. Of course, this type of aerator is also going to be quite a bit more expensive.
It is hard to say which type of aerator is going to be best. Each of these models has its positives and negatives. You will need to consider what is best for you. However, keeping in mind budget, storage, and the size of your property will help you make a more informed decision.
Spike or Cores
When you talk about lawn aeration, there are two types. One type is spike aeration, and the other is where cores of turf are removed. With spikes, a small hole is poked into the ground, and there could be some debris when the spike comes up, but it won’t be much.
When you do a core aeration, a plug of dirt and grass will come up and be left on the ground next to where the hole was. A core aeration is a bit harder to complete because you are talking about removing a decent sized piece of turf.
The core aeration and spike aeration can both be good for your lawn; however, many will say that the core aeration is better. With a core aeration, you are really allowing a good amount of air, soil, seed, and water to get down into your grass. This will help the grass get stronger and not be so compact.
Although a spike aeration technically can do the same thing, sometimes the spikes are not big enough to make all that much of a difference.
When looking at a roller type aerator or a handheld aerator, it is very important to consider the material that it is made with. Since you will be dealing with dirt, water, mud, and grass, the aerator will start to deteriorate if it is not made properly.
We strongly suggest choosing something that is stainless steel or iron. You will notice that these materials are less likely to rust over time, and your aerator will stay in better condition. Purchasing something that is plastic will very likely fall apart in a short period of time.
Even though most of the aerators will be rust-resistant, don’t put your aerator away covered in mud and dirt. Clean it, dry it, and then put it away for the next time that you need it.
Depending on the area that you live in, and the current condition of your turf, the depth of the spikes on the lawn aerator can be important. If you are not sure how far down your aerator needs to go, you may want to research the type of grass you have and the best practices.
It can help to purchase an aerator with adjustable height for the spikes. This will allow you to get perfect aeration on your turf, all while using the same machine. If you are new to aerating your lawn, you may find it to be a little difficult when the dirt is compact. You can start with a lower depth and increase as your soil start to loosen up over time.
Catch/Cleanup after Using Lawn Aerator
When you do spike aeration, the mess is not going to be all that difficult to clean up. Most of the time, you can do a quick rake afterward, and things will be looking great. If you do a core aeration, there is a lot more cleanup involved. The amount of cleanup will depend on the size of the core.
You are likely purchasing a lawn aerator because you are trying to make your life a bit easier; however, you should consider the cleanup as well. The better-powered models are going to have a catch that will help you clean up. As you walk the aerator along, the catch will grab most of the cores. You can then dump them from the aerator into your compost or landscape debris bags.
Although you will have to stop quite often to empty the bag with the cores, it is going to be better than cleaning them all up after the fact.
As we mentioned, the power aerators are more expensive than the walk behind and hand held. Most of the rotor type aerators are going to be your best value. They are not powered, but they are efficient and a good model for most homeowners looking to take care of their lawn.
When you think about price, make sure to consider the number of times in a year that you will use your aerator. If you need it once or twice a year, it may not pay to spend a lot of money on it.
Lawn Aerator Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have a better idea as to which lawn aerator to purchase in 2021 let’s look a bit into lawn aeration in general. Here are a few things that you should know.
Why Is Aerating A Lawn Necessary?
When grass and soil are walked on and rained on through the years, it will start to get very compact. When the turf is compact, rainwater, air, and new seeds will not be able to penetrate the soil. Aerating allows the ground under your turf to open up and allow for a new life.
Aerating will make a big difference if you notice you have patches of lawn where the seed will not grow. The seed will dive down into these new aeration holes or cores and easily sprout up. When you can see visible cracks in your dirt and tell the ground is very hard, you should seriously consider aerating the lawn.
How Often Should I Aerate My Lawn?
Once you spend money on an aerator, you are going to want to use it. The problem is, you may end up using it a bit too much. You can absolutely overuse a lawn aerator, and that can be damaging to your soi.
Aim to use the aerator once a year at the most. For some homeowners, once every two to three years will be enough. Typically if your soil is sandy, you will need to aerate less often. The sandy soil does not get as dry and cracked, so it will not need aeration as badly.
Even though you will be eager to use your aerator try to stick with about once per year.
Do Lawn Companies Offer Aeration?
Many landscapers and lawn companies offer aeration services to do this process for you. Since it is not a necessary process to complete more than once per year, many people choose this route.
You will find that choosing a landscaping company to do your lawn aeration will probably cost much more than purchasing your aerator. If this is worth it to you, then, by all means, go for it. However, for most DIY homeowners, it will make more sense to purchase your own aerator.
When Should I Aerate My Lawn?
When you aerate your lawn will depend largely on your climate and where you live. Most of the time, you will want to aerate at the end of the growing season. At the end of the fall, you can aerate and get the lawn in great shape to make it through the winter.
Some will suggest aerating in the spring season before the start of the growth, but the problem with this is weeds. In the spring, weeds are going to overgrow. Sometimes you can go to bed with a weed-free lawn and wake up with a completely different view of the yard.
Since the spring offers so many weeds, you may not want to open your lawn up to this possibility. Between fungus, disease, and weeds, it is better to aerate in the fall when these possibilities are a bit less likely.
Should I Leave Debris On The Lawn After Aeration?
After you aerate the lawn, it is acceptable to leave some of the debris on the turf. This debris will decompose, and it will be spread around the next time that you mow the grass. If you don’t like the way it looks, it is also acceptable to pick it up.
When you are finished aerating, it is a great time to apply some fertilizers to the turf and get it looking great!