Best Lawn Aerator Reviews 2017 | For a Healthy Lawn

Aerator is a tool or a machine which is used to perforate the soil. The small holes an aerator makes allow your lawn to live and breathe. This enables the roots to grow deep, the grass gets more air, water and nutrients and your lawn becomes healthier and more beautiful.

Aeration is the naturally occurring exchange of air between the soil and the surrounding atmosphere. In terms of gardening, aeration is the process of mechanically removing small plugs of soil and thatch from your lawn to improve natural soil aeration.

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. Brinly PA-40BH Tow Behind Plug Aerator, 40-Inch
2. Brinly AS-40BH Tow Behind Combination Aerator Spreader, 40-Inch

3. Yard Butler ID-6C Coring Aerator
4. VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator - 12 Amp 13" Corded Electric with 4 Working Depths
5. Agri-Fab 45-0365 16-Inch Push Spike Aerator
6. Brinly SAT-40BH Tow Behind Spike Aerator with Transport Wheels

Why aerate the lawn?

The main aim of aerating the soil is to reduce its compaction. Compacted soil makes it difficult for grass to have healthy circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil and this is exactly what best lawn aerators prevent.

Aeration, as a lawn care practice, is performed to create openings in lawn turf and the underlying soil layer in order to penetrate the root and thatch layer. This allows essential air and water down into the soil where it can reach the grass roots.

This process is usually called "core aeration" and refers to the practice of punching small plugs, or cores, into the lawn. Usually, the practice is done with a machine or a tool called aerator. This machine is your best way to aerate lawn and it can be tow-behind, electrical or even a hand tool which can be practical on very small lawns.

Aeration, however, does not do much to help with the problem if thatch is already there. Where thatch is a real problem, dethatching is a better solution.

After aeration is done, the plugs are usually left on the surface and are ground up and worn away by subsequent mowing or a raking. The plugs will decompose on their own in time so some gardeners just leave them there.

At this time, you can also top dress the lawn with loam, compost or other soil amendments. The holes provided by aeration are entry points for nutrients, air and water, but this should not be regarded as preparation for seeding as many novice gardeners think. While core aeration is a good preparation for seeding, it’s not the only one: the lawn will need additional preparation in order for grass seeds to germinate.

Aerating can also be done with solid tines. In this method, no core is removed, so topdressing and over-seeding are less effective. The lawn surface is still penetrated, however, allowing for more air, water and nutrients uptake and some relief of compaction.

This method is considerably less effective than core aeration, but will still improve a badly compacted lawn.

To sum up, aeration is important for your lawn because the process that breaks up the soil surface or perforates allows air and water to access the roots. It also helps relieve thatch buildup and encourages deeper rooting of your grass.

As for the favorable time of year for aeration, spring is not best time to aerate lawn because the aeration holes might provide a perfect way for weed seeds to take root.

Late spring aerating may be useful if the ground is extremely compacted, or if there is really thin turf. Later in the spring is a better time as weeds have established but they haven’t sprung seed yet.

The best time to aerate lawn is in the fall: the temperature has cooled off, the weed threat is minimal, and grass is still actively growing.

Buying Guide And Useful Tips

Aeration is a useful practice for maintain your lawn beautiful and healthy, so you should make it a part of your lawn care routine. Your lawn will be thankful for your efforts to let it breathe again and provide it with better and more efficient water and nutrients intake.

When choosing your best lawn aerator, there are several types to consider and they differ in the way they penetrate the soil, what they do to it to improve aeration and how they are operated.

Core aerator

Core aerator tool is one of the most effective and most commonly used lawn aeration tools. The core aerator has hollow tines which are about 2 to 3 inches deep and 2 to 4 inches apart from one another. There are a lot of different designed core aerators available on the market. There are core aerators with tines placed vertically and moving up and down at a very high speed while other types of core aerators have a drum with tines attached to it. The drum rotates as the aerator is moving and the tines create holes.

Spike aerator

This type is also very common and popular with many homeowners. This type does not remove plugs of soil but just makes holes. This also helps achieving better aeration but is less effective than core aerators.

Spike aerator is pulled over the soil and the spikes that are attached on the blades are poked into the ground. They create a 2 inch deep hole which is about 1/8 inches wide. One drawback of spike aerators is that the holes created by the aerator might be too far apart or too narrow for perfect aeration.

As for the operation, aerators can be towed behind your vehicle, they can be electric combo machines (with dethatchers for instance) and there are models which resemble a shovel and are stepped on to make holes.

Tow-behind aerators are usually bigger and can cover more ground but you need a small tractor or an ATV to operate them while electric tend to be more useful for medium-size lawns. For very small lawns, hand and foot tools can do the job as long as you put some weight and strength into it.

How to prepare lawn before aeration and give it the care afterwards

Once you’ve bought the best lawn aerator machine for your needs, mow your grass a little lower than usual and water it well for two to three days before aerating. After you have finished using the aerator, you need to break up the clods, and help the lawn recover from the stress of aerating. To do this, you need to water the lawn again immediately after you have finished aerating.

To improve the soil structure a few days after aerating, you can top-dress the soil with compost or other soil amendment and rake it into the holes. Earthworms and soil insects will do their part improving the soil quickly.

Using a lawn aerator properly will improve the overall health and looks of your lawn, but also reduce the amount of time you need to spend caring for it later.

Now let’s go over our top picks and try to find the best lawn aerator for you!

6 Best Lawn Aerators

Editor Rating:


Brinly PA-40BH Tow Behind Plug Aerator, 40-Inch

Brinly PA-40BH Tow Behind 40-inch Plug Aerator is a great tool to help your lawn breathe and get more water and the needed nutrients! The 24 heat-treated 16-gauge steel plug spoons pull 3" soil plugs from the lawn, decompressing the soil and allowing water, seed and fertilizer to reach the root system.

The fully enclosed all-steel weight tray offers flexibility for adding additional weight up to 150 lbs. The added weight will be of huge help to aerate heavily compacted soil or hard clay. Each plugging spoon is individually replaceable, allowing for quick and inexpensive servicing.

It will do a great job aerating your lawns. You can use some top soil, salt or sand bags to weigh it down and pull it behind your ATV. The easy-to-engage transport wheels make crossing driveways and sidewalks a breeze.

The three independently rotating, welded plug tine sections ensure reliability and compensate for uneven ground passes and tractor turns. The single transport lever and large treaded wheels make crossing driveways and walkways simple and safe.

The steel trailer tongue with universal hitch pin design easily attaches to lawn tractors allowing you to plug aerate your yard all from the comfort of your lawn tractor or ATV seat.

Brinly PA-40BH Tow Behind 40-inch Plug Aerator is the best lawn plug aerator as regards the build quality. Thick powder coating, heavy gauge steel, solid fasteners, and overall quality make it a good deal for the price. It will do a great job aerating your lawns.

You can use some top soil, salt or sand bags to weigh it down and pull it behind your ATV. The easy-to-engage transport wheels make crossing driveways and sidewalks a breeze. If you are looking for best lawn aerator to use with your ATV or a small tractor, this is a good unit to buy. Your lawn will certainly be greener and healthier than before.

Things We Liked

  • ​24 heat-treated 16-gauge steel plug spoons
  • ​3 independently rotating, welded plug tine sections
  • ​Fully enclosed all-steel weight tray
  • ​Sturdy solid non-pneumatic wheels

Things We Didn't Like

  • Takes quite some time to assemble and tools are required



Editor Rating:


Brinly AS-40BH Tow Behind Combination Aerator Spreader, 40-Inch

Brinly AS-40BH Tow Behind Combination Aerator Spreader allows you to simultaneously aerate and spread granular materials. The heavy-duty aerator perforates the ground while the steel drop spreader drops seed, lime or fertilizer directly into the soil where it works fast and won’t wash away.

This hard-working tool is built tough with durable tubular steel framing and drawbars. The 100 lb. capacity hopper is made from 18 gauge all-welded steel to minimize twisting and flexing when loaded. The aerator’s 8” galvanized steel tine stars stay sharp, won’t rust and penetrate up to 2 inches to allow air to reach the root system.

The 2-in-1 aerator-spreader drops seed, fertilizer or lime while you aerate to expedite your time in the lawn and ensures material enters the soil. The steel hopper prevents twisting and flexing for long lasting durability.

The heavy-duty spacers provide maximum strength and reliability. The flow control includes an adjustable stop to ensure accurate spread patterns with minimal waste.

The tine spikes are not prone to rust and do a good job perforating the soil up to 2" deep providing access for air, water and nutrients to root system. The tow tube design and solid tine shaft ensure maximum reliability.

A minor con noted is that the top lever which adjusts the spreading speed, or which is used to shut off the spreading, moves around too freely. When you’re using the spreader, you may find yourself opening and closing the spreader so that you don't overlap spots while turning the mower around.

So because the lever also moves and gets dislodged, you may need to keep one hand on the lever and one hand on your mower steering wheel while using the spreader.

If you are unable to reach the lever from the seat of your mower, or you are not strong or flexible enough for this, you may encounter the noted issues with this otherwise fine aerator and spreader combo tool.

Things We Liked

  • ​2-n-1 design drops seed and fertilizer while aerating the lawn
  • ​18 gauge all-welded steel hopper
  • ​Durable tubular steel framing and drawbars
  • ​8” galvanized steel tine stars stay sharp, won’t rust and penetrate up to 2 inches

Things We Didn't Like

  • The top lever which adjusts the spreading speed needs improvement



Editor Rating:


Yard Butler ID-6C Coring Aerator

Yard Butler ID-6C Coring Aerator reduces soil compaction, water run-off and puddling while letting air, water and fertilizer get down to the roots. What you do is pick the problem areas, aim the aerator, step on it and pull it out.

Yard Butler ID-6C Coring Aerator also revitalizes old lawns while using less water and fertilizer. Old lawns can become compacted and thatch from dead roots can also build up to create a thick barrier, keeping water and air from reaching the roots.

By removing two 3 ½ inch cores, Yard Butler ID-6C Coring Aerator reduces compaction and thatch to let air, water, and fertilizer down to the root zone. At the same time, it stimulates root growth by pruning the roots.

The heavy duty powder coated steel is guaranteed to last a lifetime while this tool does a good job promoting vigorous root growth and increasing tolerance to drought and heat stress. This tool is 37 inches tall, 9 inches wide and weighs 4 lbs so it leaves next to no footprint in your garage or shed.

Both the T-handle and the central platform for pressing the prongs into the soil are robust and will work well on even the most compacted soils. This model is also conveniently light for easier gardening.

If you have problems with compacted clay soil, aeration is one of the few options to help your lawn in these difficult conditions. If you need to focus on certain areas and do them frequently you can’t really use full size best plug aerators for lawns as they’re not the most practical solution for special care of small patches of compacted clay soil.

A manual tool such as Yard Butler ID-6C Coring Aerator is the best manual lawn aerator by far, and it’s also the most affordable. You can use it on small areas that are still hard and aerate them as long as the soil is wet enough for you to pull out plugs of about 3 inches.

Things We Liked

  • ​Removing two 3 ½ inch cores
  • ​Extra durable, all steel construction
  • Perfect for small patches of compacted clay soil
  • Lifetime warranty

Things We Didn't Like

  • It easily clogs up



Editor Rating:


VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator - 12 Amp 13" Corded Electric with 4 Working Depths

VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator is efficient and reliable combo of two tools in one: aerator and dethatcher. It will help you maintain a healthy, aerated and thatch-free lawn without spending hours and hours raking, forking and scraping.

VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator is equipped with a dual purpose drum and two easily interchangeable rollers to change the function of the machine to suit the job.

It aerates your lawn although it is not a core aerator but simply uses spikes to perforate the ground. It’s not as efficient as core aerators but it still helps with getting more air, nutrients and water to the grass roots. On top of this, it removes thatch, moss, leaves and other debris from your lawn, helping to prevent issues such as water logging, lack of air supply and lawn diseases.The Aerating roller perforates the soil to encourage new growth and keep your lawn looking tidy. The Dethatching roller removes embedded moss and thatch and enables better nutrient and moisture absorption.

The 4 adjustable working depths let you select the type of action you want on your lawn with the powerful drive of 12-Amp motor which has two point start switch for safety. At 18.7lbs, VonHaus 2 in 1 Lawn Dethatcher & Aerator is lightweight. Its design with 16-inch power cord and height adjustable handle allows for outstanding flexibility.This aerator comes with a 40L collection mesh box which is suitable for smaller lawns. For larger grass areas of grass we recommend removing the bag and manually raking the cuttings after use. Otherwise, the bag will need to be emptied more frequently than you’d like and it will slow you down.The aerator feature has 4 adjustable working depths for outmost adaptability and efficiency. Its working width for the dethatcher feature is 13 inches. Being powered by electricity, this eco-friendly unit is your best aerator for lawn with a dethatcher as a nice bonus. We recommend using extension cords of appropriate and safe gauge.

Things We Liked

  • ​Easy to use blade changing system
  • ​Powerful 12-Amp motor
  • ​Combines aerator and dethatcher

Things We Didn't Like

  • Small collecting bag



Editor Rating:


Agri-Fab 45-0365 16-Inch Push Spike Aerator

Agri-Fab 45-0365 16-Inch Push Spike Aerator is a walk-behind push spike lawn aerator measuring 16 inch of aerating width. It has 5 aerating wheels with 7-inch spikes. The star-shape tines slice into the soil to allow air, seed, fertilizer, water, and light to reach the grass roots.

It does a good job of exposing grass to air, nutrients, and water and achieves 2-1/2-inch aeration depth. The steel weight tray can hold concrete block to give weight which creates pressure and pushes spikes into ground. Secure the weight thoroughly.

It requires a pretty significant weight load to get useful penetration depth. The weight tray isn't sized correctly to fit a standard cinder block, so you have to lash it down to keep them from falling off. On a sloped lawn, more than one block is quite a load to haul so it can be both tiring and dangerous if you’re not careful.

If pushing the aerator is too tiresome for you, you can pull it behind you. Pushing it in front of you does a better job and it’s faster, but if you're going to get too tired to cover the intended area it’s easier to pull it.

Your lawn must be damp for the spikes to penetrate to their maximum depth or it’ll be too hard to penetrate it. So, if the weather has been with no rainfall for some time, water your lawn well before aerating it.

Agri-Fab 45-0365 16-Inch Push Spike Aerator is covered by Agri-Fab 12-month warranty on parts and labor. It comes with the instructions but they are pictures only. However, the instructions clearly state the name and ID numbers of parts if you need to replace any.

Things We Liked

  • ​Sharp tines and simple to use if the conditions are ideal
  • ​Convenient for small areas
  • ​The price is right for this handy tool

Things We Didn't Like

  • Needs a lot of weight on a not the best weight plate
  • Difficult to assemble



Editor Rating:


Brinly SAT-40BH Tow Behind Spike Aerator with Transport Wheels

Brinly SAT-40BH Tow Behind Spike Aerator penetrates the soil up to 2" deep so seed, fertilizer and water reach your lawn’s root system. The durable, heavy-duty spike aerator comes with 11 galvanized steel stars, 132 tine tips to ensure maximum aeration.

Each 8" diameter star rotates independently and continues revolving during tractor turns ensures that no area is left without aeration. A fully enclosed, 14 gauge steel, 100 pounds capacity weight tray provides a stable platform for additional weight to maximize penetration in hard soil.

This aerator comes with transport wheels perfect when crossing driveways, sidewalks, gravel paths, etc. Simply reach behind you and pull the lever to engage the wheels instead of the tines.

The 132 galvanized steel tine spikes are not prone to rust and will perforate the soil up to 2” deep providing access for air, water and nutrients to enter lawn’s root system. The sturdy, fully enclosed weight tray provides maximum durability and support for additional tray weights for maximum soil penetration.

Things We Liked

  • ​132 galvanized steel tine spikes
  • ​Fully enclosed all-steel weight tray
  • ​3 independently rotating, welded plug tine sections
  • ​Transport wheels ideal for crossing driveways, sidewalks, etc

Things We Didn't Like

  • Needs a stronger hitch and additional bracket in the center of the spikes



Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I’ve tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me.

I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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