The 3 Best Lawn Aerators (Manual and Machine)

Ed Wike
Written by
Last update:

Having a healthy, green lawn is a lot like taking care of a baby. A healthy lawn won’t just take care of itself. Deciding how to care for your lawn depends on many different factors. You have to consider the product(s) you use, the frequency of application, and the cost involved.

Unless you have a significant time and money investment in your lawn, there are easy ways to make things a little easier on you. They won’t replace manual labor and time, but they can fill in the gaps.

One of these options is to use a lawn aerator. Not all aerators are the same, so below are three of the best lawn aerators in the market, reviewed for your convenience.

NameCategoryProduct
Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual Grass Dethatching Turf Plug Core Aeration Tool ID-6CBest OverallYard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual Grass Dethatching Turf Plug Core Aeration Tool ID-6C
Greenworks 14-Inch 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher 27022Budget PickGreenworks 14-Inch 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher 27022
Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator,Orange & Black,LargeUpgrade PickAgri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator,Orange & Black,Large

1. Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual Grass Dethatching Turf Plug Core Aeration Tool ID-6C

Our rating: 9 / 10

Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual Grass Dethatching Turf Plug Core Aeration Tool ID-6C

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Works well for an aerator at this price point
  • Durable
  • Handles heavy traffic
  • Compatible with the Lawn Butler dethatcher
  • The dethatcher has 4 tines for de-thatching
  • Each tine has 2 rows of holes for aeration
  • The Lawn Butler has 4 dethatcher edges for de-thatching
  • Each dethatcher edge has 2 rows of holes for de-thatching

Cons:

  • Heavy and will take some effort to use
  • Difficult to choose between this and the Lawn Butler dethatcher
  • Arbor could wobble a little
  • Not the best choice for smooth surfaces

The YARD BUTLER Lawn coring aerator is a multi-use lawn aerator, dethatcher, and core aerator for your yard. It's made to be used for lawn aeration, dethatching, and for planting tree seed and bulbs.

It's meant to be used manually, so you won't need to connect it to an electric source to get it working. It can be used in all seasons of the year and you can use it on all types of soil except heavy clay soil and pavement. This tool has a lot of benefits over other aerators/dethatchers for the following reasons:

  • Heavy and will take some effort to use
  • Difficult to choose between this and the Lawn Butler dethatcher
  • Arbor could wobble a little
  • Not the best choice for smooth surfaces

2. Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator,Orange & Black,Large

Our rating: 8 / 10

Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator,Orange & Black,Large

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Available at various sizes
  • Designed for extended work with a 10-minute rest period
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble and use

Cons:

  • The plug can get stuck in the ground; needs to be pulled out
  • Large holes are left behind; can take some time to fill

The silver seat from Agri-Fab is a tow plug aerator, and it’s one of the best that we found. It’s affordable, and it’s highly rated online, which is why it’s our top choice. It features 48-inch tines that create 10-inch long, 2.5-inch holes in your lawn for improved water and air penetration.

The tines also break up thatch and loosen up soil. The aerator weighs about 40lbs, and the machine slides well over your lawn either behind a riding mower or inside a riding lawn mower trailer hitch.

3. Greenworks 14-Inch 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher 27022

Our rating: 8 / 10

Greenworks 14-Inch 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher 27022

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 14-inch dethatching and aerating assembly
  • Cuts through tough soil and turf with fewer passes
  • Works well on St. Augustine and Zoysia grass
  • All steel dethatcher and aerator shaft
  • Amp: 10
  • Easy to use
  • Wide 14-inch tines
  • Lightweight, yet durable
  • No assembly required
  • Two (2) year warranty

Cons:

  • Thatch build up
  • Storing is not easy
  • It is not meant for commercial use

The Greenworks 14-inch dethatching and aerating assembly is very easy to use and assemble, making it a great all-around tool to have in your garden shed. The dethatching and aerating assembly works exclusively well on St. Augustine and Zoysia grass. The dethatching and aerating assembly is made from lightweight and durable steel and has a 2-year warranty.

The assembly works well on all types of grass and soil. It is ideal for homeowners looking for a simple and effective tool to remove thatch build up from their lawn. It reaches 14-inches and can be used on even tough soils and turf. The Greenworks assembly is designed to minimize the number of passes since the turf is cut. The assembly does not require any assembly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best tool to aerate your lawn?

Lawn aeration is an important maintenance practice that prevents soil compaction and waterlogging. When opting for manual turf aeration, you can either use a fork to do the job or rent a core aerator. For small lawns, the fork is quick and sufficient and it’s also easier on the back. However, for larger lawns a core aerator or lawn aerator machine is best. And these cost more money to rent or buy.

Because manual turf aeration is manual, many homeowners tend to skip this important maintenance process because they simply don’t have the time to do it. Or they don’t even realize that they have a compacted lawn.

How can I aerate my lawn cheaply?

You can aerate your lawn cheaply by renting an aerator or aerator machine from your local rental store. Renting an aerator is a great way to save money. However, you can tie up significant capital and can only use the machine over your entire yard once.

You can also buy your own. Buying your own aerator machine can be a more cost efficient option if you plan to use it frequently or over a large area.

How do I aerate my lawn manually?

First you need to call in the drill. Aerating the lawn manually will require a shovel, a hammer, a wet-dry shop vacuum, and a garden hose.

First you’ll need to identify what part of the lawn needs aeration. This can be done by dragging the shovel over the grass and checking for areas that sound hollow.

Next, using the hammer, tap the shovel several times in a row in each area identified with a hollow sound.

Cover the top of the shovel with a wet-dry shop vacuum to form a seal around the edges and place the hose onto the vacuum machine. Also, cover the vacuum head with a plate or any other strong barrier to prevent soil from escaping out of the holes.

Turn on the power and suck all the debris inside the vacuum through the holes.

Once you’re finished, water the lawn.

Which is better core or spike aerator?

The big difference between these types of aerators is that a spike aerator uses a long core with sharp spikes, while a core aerator is like a long hollow tube with holes in it. They both do a good job of aerating the lawn, though some grass types benefit more from spike aeration and others from core aeration. You can use them on small lawns, but on large lawns they are too time consuming to be practical.

As for setting up, the spikes are more practical because you don’t need to run a rotary tiller through afterward to bury them. However, metal spikes are known to cause injury if you accidently step on them, which is less likely to happen with a core aerator. Still, you should be aware of the risk, especially if you have kids around.

Conclusion

We hope that after reviewing this review, you have a better idea of which aerator to get for your lawn. Aeration is an important step in revitalizing and restoring your lawn from damage and it is an important part of having a healthy lawn. So make it easy on yourself, and ensure easy lawn aeration by choosing the right aerator for your needs.

We hope we’ve helped you in your quest for the best yard aerators. While we can’t make the decision for you, we hope we can help you make an educated choice.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual Grass Dethatching Turf Plug Core Aeration Tool ID-6CBest OverallYard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator Manual Grass Dethatching Turf Plug Core Aeration Tool ID-6C
Greenworks 14-Inch 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher 27022Budget PickGreenworks 14-Inch 10 Amp Corded Dethatcher 27022
Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator,Orange & Black,LargeUpgrade PickAgri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator,Orange & Black,Large