Last updated: August 7, 2021

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If you want to improve your garden many times over, then buying a garden roller would be the right thing for you. Due to the simple operation of a garden roller, everyone is able to achieve a well-kept and even lawn.

We have carried out the big garden roller test 2021 for you so that you can find the best garden roller. We have compared garden rollers filled with sand and water with those filled with concrete. We have also listed other important criteria to make your purchase decision as easy as possible.

The most important facts

  • The simple operation of a garden roller means that anyone can roll the soil evenly. In addition to the garden roller, some models are equipped with spikes that increase the air supply to the soil.
  • There are two types of garden rollers. One is equipped with a water or sand filling and the other is filled with concrete.
  • Garden rollers are available from a variety of dealers and can also be purchased online. Another option is to rent a garden roller.

The best garden roller: Our picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for garden rollers

In this section we will list some of the criteria you should consider before buying a garden roller. These are the following criteria:

In the following paragraphs we will go into the criteria in more detail.

Filling a garden roller

A garden roller can be filled with concrete, sand or water. A filling with concrete usually weighs considerably more. The advantage of this is that the seed is pressed into the soil better and the soil becomes flat more quickly due to the weight.

One disadvantage of a concrete fill is that the increased weight makes it more difficult to transport the garden roller.

Another disadvantage is that once the garden roller is filled with concrete, it is no longer possible to change to another filling.

In contrast to a concrete filling, a sand or water filling can be replaced at any time. Because the contents can be emptied at any time, such a filling is a massive relief for transport. In addition, the roller can be filled to different degrees.

Roller width

The width of a roller can vary greatly. It can vary between 40 and 70 centimetres. A large width allows the soil to be rolled more quickly.

However, such a garden roller is also more spacious, which means that the garden roller must be given enough room.

A smaller width takes more time. However, it is easier to transport. I would recommend a narrow garden roller if you only have small jobs in mind.

It is important to note that a wide garden roller requires more power.

If you are used to heavy gardening, this will not be a problem for you.

With / without dirt scraper

The purpose of a dirt scraper is to ensure that there is no excess soil on the roller. This can be adjusted depending on the machine.

If a garden roller does not have a dirt scraper, then the soil will not be rolled evenly due to the soil that has stuck or the clay that has stuck.

Since the goal is an even soil, the process of rolling must be repeated another time until a satisfactory result is achieved.

With / without spikes

A garden roller can be additionally equipped with spikes. These are mounted around the roller. Depending on the garden roller, the spikes can be purchased separately or are supplied directly with the roller.

The purpose of the spikes is to loosen the soil. This is to allow water, air and seed to penetrate the soil.

I would recommend equipment without spikes if you only want to roll the soil.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying garden rollers

We have put together a guide that answers the most important questions for you.

What is special about a garden roller and what are its advantages?

The special thing about a garden roller is that it is easy to handle and anyone can operate a garden roller.

It is easy to transport, but only suitable for everyday use. There is no requirement for operation, anyone can operate a garden roller.

In comparison, the roller is difficult to transport and can be used for larger construction work. There are also requirements for use.

Gartenwalze

A garden roller makes the lawn grow much more evenly and beautifully. This enhances the entire garden and leaves a neat appearance.(Image source: Fran Hogan / unsplash)

The added feature of spikes allows air to get into the soil, working the seed in deeply and nourishing the soil with air.

For everyday use in your garden, I would recommend a garden roller. A roller has the disadvantage of being too large and difficult to transport.

What types of garden rollers are there?

There are mainly two types of garden rollers, those that can be filled with concrete and those that have a filling of sand or water. I have listed both types in the two sections below.

Concrete garden rollers

A garden roller can be filled with concrete. To make your decision easier, we have listed the most important advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • weighs more than sand and water
  • does not run out
Disadvantages
  • the heavier weight makes transport more difficult
  • the filling cannot be replaced

If you do not want to transport your garden roller or if this does not matter and you are looking for the heaviest garden roller, then I would recommend a roller with a concrete filling.

Garden rollers with sand or water

A garden roller can easily be filled with sand or water. I have listed the most important advantages and disadvantages in a table.

Advantages
  • Filling can be replaced
  • easy to transport
  • filling easy to obtain
Disadvantages
  • lighter weight than filling with concrete
  • if the roller is of poor quality, the filling could leak
  • waste of water

If you are looking for a garden roller to transport, I would recommend a garden roller that can be filled with sand or water.

Who are garden rollers suitable for?

Whether you are a hobby gardener or a professional gardener, a garden roller should have a place in every garden and is a must-have. Its ease of use means that anyone can roll the soil evenly.

Unlike a large roller, a garden roller does not require a pass.

Gartenwalze

After you have rolled the soil with a garden roller, you can spread the seeds on it. This method will give you the best results. (Image source: Neslihan Gunaydin / unsplash)

If you want to have a more beautiful garden, I would recommend buying a garden roller. The even way the grass grows after use will enhance your garden many times over.

What are the alternatives to a garden roller?

There are a number of alternatives to a garden roller. We would like to introduce you to them in this section.

Gartenwalze

Many different tools are needed to remove soil. This demands physical strain. (Image source: Zan / unsplash)

To roll the soil using a garden roller, only one implement is needed. This is not the case with the alternatives.

In the following table I have listed some alternatives and provided a short description.

Alternative Description
Filling To level the soil, additional soil, sand and gravel can be used. This fills in the deeper areas to even out the unevenness.
Removal A similar method to filling is removal. The excess soil is removed for a more even overall surface. Removal requires a spade, gloves, push trowel, shovel and optionally a pickaxe.

In contrast to the alternatives listed above, a garden roller offers a convenient and quick solution.

How much does a garden roller cost?

The cost of a garden roller can vary significantly between products. The reason for this is the quality that a garden roller brings with it.

An inexpensive garden roller is already available for less than 40 €. The price of the middle class starts at 70 €. The most expensive tools in the upper class can be up to 400 €. Thus, there is a wide variety of different expensive garden rollers on the market.

How heavy are garden rollers as a rule?

The weight of a garden roller varies greatly depending on the size and filling. The empty weight of a garden roller can weigh up to 13 kilograms. A filling with concrete is significantly heavier than one with water or sand.

A filled garden roller can weigh between 50 and 120 kilograms. A filling with sand or water, unlike a garden roller filled with concrete, can be continuously adjusted by removing part or all of the filling.

Where can I rent a garden roller?

You can easily rent a garden roller from a specialist shop such as the OBI DIY store.

Here we have prepared a table for you which roughly reflects the rates so that you have a point of reference.

Duration costs
4-hour rate 10 €
daily rate 12 €
weekend rate 17 €
weekly rate 45 €

In addition to the costs, there is also a deposit. As a rule, you can expect to pay about 45 €. Another provider where you can rent garden rollers is the online provider erento.com.

Conclusion

There are a large number of different garden rollers on the market. These differ in weight, filling and equipment. The heavier the garden roller, the flatter the soil is pressed. However, it must also be remembered that the heavier the roller, the more difficult it is to transport.

The same must be considered when deciding between a sand and water fill or a concrete fill. It is a great advantage if the garden roller is equipped with a dirt scraper. Equipping with spikes is optional and must be decided according to need.

Image source: Gorin / 123rf

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