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10 Best Compost Aerators Right Now

If you have a compost pile that needs maintenance, you will probably agree that turning it is the best way to maintain the system.

Female gardener digging soil with gardening fork at greenhouse

Compost piles need perforation with holes to make sure water flows freely through them, and so does air. Not only that, even while gardening or maintaining the general hygiene of your backyard, it is essential to turn the soil so that roots get every nutrient they need.

Buying a compost aerator makes sure that you are providing your garden and bins with added help. Now the problem arises when you look to buy an aerator. With so many options flooding the market, the selection becomes challenging.

But do not worry at all! We understand the issue, and we are here with 10 top-notch compost aerators to take care of your needs. Along with it, you will find a buyer's guide towards the end, which will help in the decision-making process.

So, without further ado, let's dive in!

Best Compost Aerators

Here is the list of the 10 best compost aerators that you can use to optimize composting and simplify your composting tasks.

1. Martha Stewart MTS-TEC Telescoping 3-Prong Garden Cultivator - Best for Small Gardens

Do you have a small garden that needs to be taken care of, or are you bothered about the compost bin in the backyard? The Martha Stewart MTS-TEC Telescoping Cultivator will make sure your needs are fulfilled and give you a beautiful and aerated garden to boast.

Martha Stewart MTS-TEC Telescoping 3-Prong Garden Cultivator...
  • [MARTHA STEWART + SUN JOE]: Two great brands, one powerful...
  • [AUTHENTIC]: Old-world style craftsmanship meets precision...

Why Did We Like It?

With a height of 35 inches, this cultivator will ensure you do not have to bend down while working. We know the terrible back pains which can accompany heavy hours of work. But with this, you do not have to change postures giving you a pain-free experience.

Besides this, we found that the body is very sturdy and is made for heavy-duty work. You can use it with hard clay, and it will pierce through it with ease. The body does not bend or get disfigured, as we found after having used it for 7 months now. 

Also, it is very compact and can easily be stored in your storeroom. It fits into almost any space and does not weigh much at all. So you would not need to be struggling with the product in any way.

What Could've Been Better?

The one drawback that this product comes with is that it cannot dig too deep. This is good for turning over soil and compost in small amounts. But it does not have the capacity to operate on deep pits. So buy according to your need.



Pros

  • Easy to store
  • Turns over clay dirt with ease
  • Reliable and durable
  • Helps minimize back pain




Cons

  • Cannot be used to dig deeper



Length: 18" (Up to 35" Handle) | Weight: 1.3lbs | Material: Carbon Steel (Cultivator Head) | Number of Claws: 3

2. Yard Butler ITNT-4 Twist Tiller Tool - Best for Raised Garden Beds

Are you looking for an aerator to work on raised gardening beds? The Yard Butler ITNT-4 Twist Tiller Tool is one of the best options out there. It will take care of small compost bins and soil loosening them enough for plants to be able to breathe and the water to pass through easily.

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Yard Butler Twist Tiller garden cultivator & hand tiller...
  • LIFETIME GUARANTEE: Stop buying plastic or cheap metal...
  • LONG HANDLED GARDEN CLAW CULTIVATOR's step plate and wide 12...

Why Did We Like It?

We have a small but dense garden bed, and we needed a tool to turn the soil over. This proved to be the perfect device to do so. It may have a smaller capacity but is very sturdy and can easily work with dense vegetation. We had the whole bed loosened up to 4 to 5 inches deep.

Along with it, the six angled claw spikes are very sharp and will get the aeration process done very quickly. All you have to do is take the equipment, push it into the soil, take some of it, and turn it over. The claws should make it an easy job for you, even if there is clay in the soil. 

Besides this, It does have a very sturdy body that allows you to apply pressure without worrying about it breaking or bending.

To add on, the company provides a No-Risk 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. This ensures that you do not face any difficulties with exchanging the product in case you face any kind of challenges with it.

What Could've Been Better?

The product mentions that it contains lead and may be harmful if it reaches your body. So the company advises everybody to wash their hands after using it. This should be strictly followed, and it is best to keep it away from your kids.



Pros

  • Promotes water to flow through the soil
  • Perfect for raised bed gardens
  • Can be used to dig holes before planting
  • All metal construction




Cons

  • Comes with California lead warning



Length: 37" | Weight: 4.5lbs | Material: Powder-Coated Steel | Number of Claws: 6

3. True Temper 2812200 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork - Best for Heavy Clay Soils

Next up is an effective tool that works excellently well with compost tanks as well as gardens. The True Temper 2812200 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork is suitable for all types of compost bins and can help you aerate your garden soil with ease. Read on to know the other features.

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True Temper 2812200 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork with 30 in....
  • Forged spading fork head
  • 4 diamond pointed steel tines for easy soil penetration

Why Did We Like It?

With 4 diamond steel tines that can work with hardened clay as well as soft soil with equal ease, we were impressed by the sharpness and the precision that this offered. Clay is the most difficult to turn over and penetrate as it can become quite hard. But it should not be a problem with a product as strong as this.

Also, its handle is 30 inches long. This length makes sure that you can stand up straight while working. It also enables you to reach deeper into the compost bin if required. It is best to pull up materials from the bottom and then turn them over when they are on the top. 

To top it all, this is one of the most affordable products till now. It comes at a very reasonable price, and you would not have to go over your budget for sure.

What Could've Been Better?

We found that the handles were not as sturdy as the rest of its body. It had loosened up by putting a little more pressure than normal. We had to then get it fixed before using it again. So it is essential that you use it very carefully.



Pros

  • Easily penetrates soil
  • Known for its strength and durability
  • Steel tines are very sharp
  • Forged spading fork head




Cons

  • The handle could be stronger



Length: 30" (Handle) | Weight: 3.9lbs | Material: Poly, Hardwood, Steel | Number of Claws: 4

4. Yard Butler Garden Weasel Carbon Steel Claw Pro - Best for Regular Heavy Use

Known for its adjustable tines and high durability, the Garden Weasel Carbon Steel Claw Pro is a convenient choice to make. It will weed and aerate with absolute precision leaving you with a properly mixed compost bin and a neat garden.

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Why Did We Like It?

We felt that the six angled claw spikes were very sharp and would drive deep into the ground when pushed hard. The sharpness makes it easier for it to pick up weeds and unwanted plants while the soil gets aerated, and water flows freely through it.

Also, coated with carbon steel, the body is very tough and is known to be super durable. We were looking for a unit that can be used on a daily basis when we found this. It can easily account for heavy work without any form of frequent maintenance. 

Another advantage we got was the foot placement option. There is a compartment where you can place your foot for added pressure and more convenience. This will enable you to work with thick materials and clumps.

What Could've Been Better?

The one issue we found with this device is that it would need more pressure than usual to get it to work. While this should not be a problem with physically strong adults, it may not be a great choice for senior citizens.



Pros

  • Rubber grip for easy handling
  • Claws can be adjusted
  • Centralized handlebar
  • Can go deep into the soil and uproot the weed




Cons

  • Could be tiring for senior citizens



Length: 38" | Weight: 2.5lbs | Material: Carbon Steel | Number of Claws: 4

5. Redmon Wingdigger Compost Aerator - Best for Small Compost Bins

Next up is another brilliant option that will turn your compost perfectly well. The Redmon Wingdigger Compost Aerator is a superb addition to your gardens and will be one of the best companions for your green culture compost bin. This will spread the bacteria nicely throughout the material, adding to its efficiency.

Redmon Green Culture Compost Aerating Tool, Green
  • Make your composting easy and effective
  • Makes aerating your compost easy, which is critical to...

Why Did We Like It?

First off, the handle of this compost aerator is 33 inches long. This will benefit anybody trying to reach deeper into a bin without bending. Accompanied by an angled handle grip, we were very impressed with the smooth performance.

The handle allowed us to move the unit around easily without having to twist our hands. Since turning a compost involves a lot of movement, this extra provision made sure we had a very smooth experience.

Adding on, the body is pretty strong, too, and will not bend or break from the middle while you are tackling heavily packed compost. It aerates and makes sure there is the right amount of moisture and air penetrating the mixture. You will have a properly loosened pile very quickly, thanks to this.

What Could've Been Better?

Honestly, it is a great fit for smaller compost bins but is inefficient when it comes to larger ones. Because the wings are not too big, it is incapable of handling huge masses of compost. But these wings are pretty strong and can manage smaller amounts easily.



Pros

  • Does not twist or bend
  • Convenient to use
  • Turns materials easily
  • Aerates well to prevent the smell




Cons

  • Not meant for large compost bins



Length: 33" | Weight: 1.5lbs | Material: Galvanized Steel | Number of Claws: 2

6. FreeGarden FORK Enviro World Compost Turner

With solid steel wings, the FreeGarden FORK Enviro World Compost Turner is a great aerator that takes care of your compost bins with ease. It is sturdy enough to handle bins of all sizes and shows excellent performance. This is much appreciated for being an inexpensive option with an ergonomic design to boast of.

FreeGarden FORK Enviro World Compost Turner
  • Specially designed wing tip to maximize the pile aeration
  • Easy-to-use, 32" long weighs 2 pounds

Why Did We Like It?

At a length of 32 inches, this is one tall product that can be used easily while standing up straight. You would not need to bend down, eliminating back pains. We were very relieved with this feature.

Along with it comes two wings with specially designed tips for better aeration. They helped in easily turning compost, and you would be able to do it in very little time. All you need to do is push the wings in a pile and turn. The wings will take care of the rest, letting air and moisture into this pile and making sure it is properly mixed.

Apart from this, the steel frame adds to the sturdiness. It is powder coated and can face strenuous work with ease.

We also liked the handle, and the grip is provided. You could use any hand to hold it in place, and the comfortable grip will allow you to work easily without straining your hands.

What Could've Been Better?

We found that the product is not resistant to rust. This was a disappointment as we were constantly working with wet compost, and the wings were very prone to rust. We saw a slight reddish tinge in about 7 months.



Pros

  • Specially designed wing tip for better aeration
  • Powder-coated for added sturdiness
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight at just 2 lbs




Cons

  • Not protected from rust



Length: 32" | Weight: 2lbs | Material: Powder-Coated Steel, Solid Steel | Number of Claws: 2 (Wings)

7. Garden Weasel 91316 Garden Claw

If you are looking for a versatile tool to aerate, loosen, and cultivate your garden, the Garden Weasel 91316 Garden Claw is our topmost recommendation. It can be used to turn compost materials in a composter to easily break it down, thus providing you with a well-aerated pile and a healthy backyard.

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Why Did We Like It?

This product has 4 tips, which can turn to produce a spiral action. This is essential for aeration when you are turning organic heaps into a compost bin. You are sure to see results very quickly, thanks to the brilliant tips.

To add on, you can do all of this while standing upright; there is no need to bend down and try to work through the heap. This prevents you from getting back aches from long hours of working in the garden.

And that’s not all; the tool is 38 inches long, making it more convenient for you to reach deeper into compost bins. For those of you who invest a significant amount of time tending to the gardens, this will help you get the job done quicker and much more easily.

Lastly, the package arrived wholly assembled, and we did not need to go through any hassle for installing it. 

What Could've Been Better?

The only issue we had is that while trying to move about and turn tightly packed materials or thick clumps, one would need more muscle strength. It is not a Herculean task for sure and can be done by most people. But some users may have to put some extra effort into it.



Pros

  • Can work in an upright posture
  • No need to assemble
  • Can cultivate and loosen
  • Easy to clean




Cons

  • Requires more muscle strength to turn densely packed materials



Length: 38" | Weight: 2.5lbs | Material: Carbon Steel | Number of Claws: 4

8. Lotech Products Compost Crank Compost Aerator

If you are worried about turning composting materials inside a tank with high walls, fret no more. The Lotech Products Compost Crank Compost Aerator is one of the longest options available and is made to tackle deep tanks without you having to empty them. Also, you don't have to bend while working.

Lotech Products Compost Crank Compost Aerator
  • MADE IN THE USA - Handcrafted in Tucson, Arizona, USA on...
  • EASY, FAST, AND FUN TO USE - Crank clockwise into your...

Why Did We Like It?

We loved how well it functions. It can pull up 2 quarts of materials every time you pull with it and then carry the entire amount to the compost bin. Almost no residue is left behind and even if there is, you can easily rinse it off with water at the end of your gardening session.

The body is made of stainless steel and would not catch rust, however much you wash it. This is an excellent advantage as it needs to be washed frequently if you are a gardening enthusiast.

Also, we loved the handles and the smooth rotations that it allowed. It is made of plastic with glass-filled nylon and is exceptionally sturdy as well as comfortable to hold.

Besides this, we have to talk about how durable the product is. It is made to last and will not bend or warp under pressure. It has a very sturdy body and can handle heavily packed materials.

What Could've Been Better?

With such brilliant features comes a slightly expensive price tag. But we believe that it is worth spending a few extra bucks if you are going to get such an excellent device. It also lasts long giving you true value for money, so if you have the money to spend, go ahead and choose this.



Pros

  • Works through vines and thick roots
  • Reliably aerates bins
  • Glass-filled nylon free-spinning handles
  • Made of solid 3/8 inch stainless steel




Cons

  • Slightly expensive



Length: 46" | Weight: 2lbs | Material: Stainless Steel, Glass-Filled Nylon, Copper | Number of Claws: 1

9. Compost Crank Twist Compost Aerator

Being one of the most lightweight options out there, the Compost Crank Twist Compost Aerator will impress you a lot. Designed in an innovative fashion, this is a popular choice among DIYers and gardening enthusiasts. It is very efficient and easy to use, so even beginners can handle it well.

Lotech Products Compost Crank Twist Compost Aerator
  • MADE IN THE USA - Handcrafted in Tucson, Arizona, USA on...
  • EASY, FAST, AND FUN TO USE - Twist clockwise into compost,...

Why Did We Like It?

We loved the innovative handle design. The handle is designed in such a way that you can use either one hand or both hands to grip it depending on the pressure needed. Also, it is suitable for both left and right-handed people and will work with ease for both. It has a non-slip grip that takes care of the hold that you have.

Accompanying this is the sturdy body. Made with stainless steel, the body is very strong and is resistant to rust too. This makes it a great choice to have and can be left outside without worrying about anything.

Along with this, we found that the claws do not clog. This is one problem we have noticed with a few aerators here. They tended to get clogged, and it became time-consuming to clear them. But this product does not clog and makes it very easy to keep clean.

What Could've Been Better?

While it works well when the compost amount is small, it is not a good fit for larger quantities. When we used it on bigger bins, it only left a few holes for aeration and was very difficult to move around, So make a note of the amount of materials you are looking at before purchasing.



Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Easy to handle
  • Does not clog
  • Can be used with one or two hands




Cons

  • Not for large compost pits



Length: 33" | Weight: 1.5lbs | Material: Stainless Steel, Textured Vinyl | Number of Claws: 1

10. Bosmere P845 Compost Aerator

Do you need a perfect companion that will assist you while working with compost heaps? The Bosmere P845 Compost Aerator is an excellent product that will come to your rescue. It is lightweight and can easily be stored when needed. Also, this comes with a set of features that will get the job done easily.

Bosmere Compost Aerator, 36"
  • Compost aerator for activating the compost heap at all...
  • Made of non rust steel with a vinyl hand grip

Why Did We Like It?

Designed for decomposition, this tool is a perfect fit for all compost bins. It is 36 inches in length, easy to operate, and will not have you bending down too much.

Another feature we loved was the handle. It is made in such a way that it could be adjusted for both left-handed and right-handed people. With a vinyl hand grip that provides a comfortable grip, you should not face any kind of hand fatigue afterward.

Also, the body of the product is made of steel which will not rust. This is a very beneficial feature as you are going to be working with a lot of wet waste, and there is a chance that you may be leaving it outdoors. We could easily store it in the garden itself, thanks to this property.

What Could've Been Better?

The only problem we had was with hard-to-penetrate piles. The wings are a little fat, and it gets difficult to push and penetrate into the pile. It takes a lot of physical effort to do so and may not be the best option for physically weak individuals to use.



Pros

  • Effectively activates compost heap
  • Made of non-rust steel
  • Is suitable for both left and right-handed people
  • Lightweight at 2.05 pounds




Cons

  • Wings are wide making it difficult to use



Length: 36" | Weight: 2.05lbs | Material: Non-Rust Steel, Vinyl | Number of Claws: 4 (Wings)

Best Compost Aerator Comparison Table

ProductLengthWeightMaterialNumber of Claws
Martha Stewart MTS-TEC18" (Up to 35" Handle)1.3lbsCarbon Steel (Cultivator Head)3
Yard Butler ITNT-437"4.5lbsPowder-Coated Steel6
True Temper 281220030" (Handle)3.9lbsPoly, Hardwood, Steel4
Garden Weasel Compost Aerator38"2.5lbsCarbon Steel4
Redmon Wingdigger Compost Aerator33"1.5lbsGalvanized Steel2
FreeGarden FORK Enviro World32"2lbsPowder-Coated Steel, Solid Steel2 (Wings)
Garden Weasel 9131638"2.5lbsCarbon Steel4
Lotech Products Compost Aerator46"2lbsStainless Steel, Glass-Filled Nylon, Copper1
Compost Crank Twist Compost Aerator33"1.5lbsStainless Steel, Textured Vinyl1
Bosmere P84536"2.05lbsNon-Rust Steel, Vinyl4 (Wings)

Female gardener digging soil with gardening fork at greenhouse

Buying Guide For The Best Compost Aerator

A good compost aerator will be the one which suits your needs perfectly. It is important to buy one according to your garden, its size as well as your specific needs. We have tried to make the choice easier by listing down some of the points you should make a note of before purchasing.

Length of the handle

The handle is one of the most important parts of this product. A long handle ensures that you can easily reach great depth and is perfect for deep compost bins. It also works well in uprooting weeds, which have grown deep into the soil. But while they work well for people of average height, they may not be a good choice for those who are very short.

A shorter length would better suit them. Also, handles that are smaller allow you to exert more pressure and are the best choice for compost bins, which are not too deep.

Claws

The claws at the end of an aerator play a vital role in turning compost and soil. Always choose the ones which have sharp claws as this will help you get your job done quicker. Some claws are closed when you push it into the soil and then open up when you pull out. These are very beneficial, especially when digging through a lot of closely packed compost materials.

Material used

The material determines the longevity of a tool and thus should be paid attention to. Many of the bodies are made of stainless steel, while some are made of aluminum. Some have a protective coating on them, which prevents the body from catching rust.

Since it is a product that will see a lot of water, wet waste, and soil, it is best if the body is resistant to rust or rust-proof. You could also not remember to carry it inside always if you are working very frequently with it. Leaving it out could mean that it would catch rust easily if the body is not resistant to it.

Also, a strong body ensures that it does not bend or break due to constant pulling, plunging, and twisting.

Compost Aerators FAQs

  • Can using a compost aerator make composting faster?

    Yes, using a compost aerator can make composting faster. Aeration helps to increase the activity of the aerobic bacteria in the compost, speeding up the decomposition process. In this way, finished compost can often be created in a few weeks to a few months.

  • Can a compost aerator be used in any type of compost bin or pile?

    While most compost aerators are designed to work well in traditional compost piles, some designs may not work as efficiently with certain compost bin systems (like enclosed or tumbler bins). Always refer to the product’s specifications and reviews or contact the manufacturer for specific usage guidelines.

  • Do compost aerators help control odor?

    Yes, an aerated compost pile is less likely to produce unpleasant odors compared to an unaerated compost pile. This is because adequate oxygen helps accelerate the decomposition of organic waste, which reduces the chance of foul odors developing.

  • Are compost aerators easy to use?

    Yes, most compost aerators are designed to be user-friendly. Aerators like the compost crank are designed to penetrate the compost pile easily and churn compost with less physical exertion than conventional methods like fork turning.

  • How often should I use a compost aerator?

    The frequency can vary depending on the size of your compost pile and the materials in it. However, a good rule of thumb is to aerate compost once every one to two weeks to ensure that all parts of the compost pile get enough oxygen.

  • How do I clean and maintain a compost aerator?

    After using your compost aerator, rinse it off with a hose or in a bucket of water to remove any leftover compost matter. Dry it thoroughly after cleaning to prevent rusting. Store it in a dry place when not in use.

  • How long will a compost aerator last?

    The lifespan of a compost aerator will largely depend on its quality, material, and how well it’s maintained. With good care, a well-manufactured compost aerator could last for several years.

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    Conclusion

    After an in-depth examination and testing of some of the best compost aerators on the market, we have identified three standout models. Each of these brings unique features to the table that cater to varied gardening needs, ensuring a tailored experience for garden enthusiasts and professional cultivators alike.

    From the above 10 best compost aerators, these are the top three expert recommendations:

    For those with smaller gardens requiring detailed attention, the Martha Stewart MTS-TEC Telescoping 3-Prong Garden Cultivator is an ideal option. The product's sturdy body ensures resilience for heavy-duty work, and its compact size enables easy storage, providing a superb solution for modest spaces. However, its ability to dig is somewhat limited; this cultivator is ideal for turning over soil and compost in moderate amounts.

    For people with raised garden beds, the Yard Butler ITNT-4 Twist Tiller Tool is a good option. Although it has a smaller capacity, it is robust and can easily deal with dense vegetation. It loosens garden beds up to 4 to 5 inches deep, and its sharp six-angled claw spikes expedite the aeration process, making it an excellent tool for raised garden beds. Safety precautions must be taken as it contains lead, and users must wash their hands after use.

    For those dealing with heavy clay soils commonly found in larger gardens or compost projects, the True Temper 2812200 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork is the right choice. Its diamond steel tines can effortlessly work with hardened clay as well as soft soil, making it a versatile choice for a variety of gardening contexts. Although highly effective, users should proceed with care as the handle may not be as sturdy as the rest of the tool.

    Each tool's unique features and design cater to a different style and size of gardening, making them the perfect choices for their respective categories. Whether you have a small garden plot or a larger outdoor space, selecting the right compost aerator can bring about significant improvements in the quality and efficiency of your gardening labor. With the right tool, composting becomes an easier, more streamlined process, bringing life and vibrancy to your plants and garden.