Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Do you dream of a well-kept and healthy lawn? An insider tip for making this dream come true is the lawn aerator. It removes leaves and weeds, giving the grass more oxygen and light. By damaging the surface of the lawn, it also allows rainwater to drain away better. With this device you can perform all these functions without much effort and soon enjoy a healthy and strong lawn.

Our big lawn aerator test 2021 should make your purchase decision easier. We have compared different types, such as the combi lawn aerator, the petrol lawn aerator, the electric lawn aerator and the manual lawn aerator with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This will help you find the best lawn aerator for you and your needs.




Summary

  • Lawn aerators are irreplaceable for a healthy and well-tended garden. They not only remove weeds, but also promote the drainage of rainwater and thus prevent waterlogging.
  • There are basically four types of lawn aerators: the combination device, the petrol lawn aerator, the electric lawn aerator and the manual lawn aerator. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on how thoroughly you want to maintain your lawn, certain devices are more or less suitable for you.
  • When making your final purchase decision, you should pay attention not only to the power and weight, but also to the number of blades, the catcher bag volume and the lawn area to be aerated.

The Best Lawn Aerator: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a lawn aerator

Before you buy a lawn aerator, you should first be aware of some basic questions about how to best care for your lawn. In the following, I will go into detail about the most important ones.

For example, the most fundamental question is what a lawn aerator is. Then how it works and how often you should use it to do something good for your lawn. Then, of course, there are the questions of purchase: namely, whether you can rent a lawn aerator or how much it costs.

Then I name some manufacturers and where you can find a suitable lawn aerator. Last but not least, I clarify the misconception that a scarifier is synonymous with a lawn aerator and why this is not the case.

Rasen

In order for your lawn to grow without restrictions, it is important to remove manure, moss and leaves so that the lawn can breathe and grow freely again.

What is a lawn aerator?

Of course, the most important question to ask first is what a lawn aerator is. A lawn aerator is a device that resembles a comb. It consists of a "board" with several so-called tines, which makes it look like a comb.

The aim of a lawn aerator is to remove moss and old leaves from the lawn. However, it does not cut completely into the lawn as would be the case with scarifying, a process that will be discussed in more detail below.

Once the lawn has been cleared of dead moss and leaves, it can breathe freely again and grow beautifully. This is because the lawn then has more oxygen and nutrients available again. It also gets more light.

All in all, the lawn aerator is a great tool to help your lawn grow fresh again and enjoy a beautiful garden.

How does a lawn aerator work?

Basically, the aerator works like a rake. You simply pull or push it over the lawn.

The only difference to a rake is that the "tines" or frames are thinner and therefore only scratch the soil very lightly, although all moss is removed. Since the lawn aerator only damages the soil superficially, it can and should be used at least every 6 weeks.

When should it be used?

A lawn aerator must be used every 4-6 weeks. You should do this in any case if you want to have a beautiful, healthy lawn. The aerator is therefore absolutely essential for anyone who takes care of their garden.

Can I rent a lawn aerator?

Lawn aerators can also be rented. This means that if you don't want to buy one, you can consider this alternative. However, you should be aware that a simple manual lawn aerator is very inexpensive (as you will see in the next question) and you will use it several times a year.

But it is possible to rent a lawn aerator. You can do this easily at pretty much any gardening company or DIY store. Even the smallest gardening club has a lawn aerator in its repertoire that you can rent for a few euros.

How much does a lawn aerator cost?

The price of a lawn aerator varies considerably depending on the type of lawn aerator you choose. I have already described the different variations of lawn aerators above.

The cheapest is of course the simplest, the manual lawn aerator. You can buy this for as little as €20. Then there are the more expensive ones that run either on petrol, an electric motor or a battery. These cost up to €100 but also more.

Combination units that can mow, aerate and scarify the lawn are in the higher price range. These can easily reach over 400 to 500 €. As you can see, it all depends on the type of lawn mower you choose and the level of comfort you prefer.

Type Price
Manual lawn aerator approx. 20 €
Petrol lawn aerator approx. 50-200 €
Electric lawn aerator approx. 50-200 €
Combination unit approx. 200-500 €

Which suppliers of lawn aerators are there?

There are lawn aerators from all the well-known garden equipment manufacturers, as they are represented in the DIY stores. The leading manufacturers are, of course, Gardena, Bosch and Wolf. In addition, as already mentioned, there are a large number of other smaller manufacturers. The internet is becoming increasingly important here.

On the internet, you have the opportunity to check out a large number of tools, whereas in a conventional DIY store you can only examine a few. On Amazon, you can compare an unbelievable number of different models and designs and ultimately decide on the best one.

On the internet and on Amazon, you are also able to get a wide range of opinions about the respective device, which is a huge advantage.

Rasenlüfter

The aim of a lawn aerator is to remove moss and old leaves from the lawn.

How is it different from a scarifier?

One thing to keep in mind is the difference between a lawn aerator and a scarifier. In common parlance, scarifying is often equated with aerating the lawn and used as a synonym. However, this is simply not the case, as they are two different things. I have already hinted at the contrast above.

The biggest difference is simply that a scarifier has much larger frames. This means that the scarifier separates all the blades of grass from their roots. As a result, the lawn resembles a field after scarifying and must be reseeded in any case.

This is not the case when aerating the lawn. Here the roots remain in the soil. Therefore, it is best to scarify your lawn only twice a year, as usual, while aerating your lawn approximately every four to six weeks.

Decision: What types of lawn aerators are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, there are several types of lawn aerators you can choose from.

  • Petrol lawn aerator
  • Electric lawn aerator
  • Manual lawn aerator
  • Combination lawn mower and aerator

Firstly, there is the classic petrol lawn aerator. Then, of course, there is also the electric version, either with or without a battery. You can also choose a manual lawn aerator and even a combination lawn mower and aerator. I will discuss each of these in more detail and describe their advantages and disadvantages.

How does a classic petrol lawn aerator work and what advantages does it offer?

With a petrol lawn aerator you can work on large areas. It has a combustion engine and is very robust. Therefore, even dry soils can be cultivated without any problems. Furthermore, it is easy to handle and similar to a conventional electric lawn mower or battery lawn mower. All you really need is petrol from the filling station and you're ready to go.

Advantages
  • very robust
  • suitable for dry soils
  • easy to handle
Disadvantages
  • not environmentally friendly
  • very loud

So if you don't mind making noise when aerating your lawn and don't mind the smell of exhaust fumes, you'll certainly make a good choice with this.

How does an electric lawn aerator work and what are its advantages?

An electric lawn aerator is equipped with an electric motor. This means that it logically runs without direct exhaust emissions and is quieter.

You can also use an electric lawn aerator to work on larger areas without any problems. You also have to decide whether you want a lawn aerator with a rechargeable battery or one with a cable that you connect to a socket or a cable drum.

Of course, it should be pointed out here that a corded aerator is a hindrance for many people, as they always have to keep an eye on the cord. Therefore, a lawn aerator with a rechargeable battery is definitely preferable.

Advantages
  • environmentally friendly
  • quiet
  • suitable for larger areas
Disadvantages
  • long charging times
  • difficult to handle with power cable

So if you want to protect your immediate environment, but don't mind charging or using a cable at the same time, the electric lawn aerator is the right choice for you.

How does a manual lawn aerator work and what advantages does it offer?

The manual lawn aerator is the simplest of the conventional lawn aerators. It resembles a rake with its long handle. You operate it by hand and pull it over the lawn like a comb.

However, it is more difficult to work on larger areas and harder soils. In addition, the whole thing is hard physical work and really only recommended for smaller areas. The manual lawn aerator is also the cheapest to buy.

Advantages
  • very, very easy
  • inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • not for larger areas
  • difficult to use on dry, hard soils
  • hard work

If you prefer more physical activity, you certainly won't go wrong with a manual lawn aerator. Besides, you can always get started right away.

How does a combination lawn mower and aerator work and what advantages does it offer?

As a last alternative, there are combi units consisting of conventional lawn mowers that mow the lawn and at the same time have a built-in aerator and often a scarifying function.

These combi-mowers are, of course, the most expensive, but they are all-in-one. In the long run, this option is definitely recommended if you really care about your lawn and maintain it. In this case, a combination is definitely the most sensible option compared to buying all three parts separately.

Advantages
  • all-in-one
  • cheaper as a package than buying all three parts separately
  • can work large areas and any soil
  • very energy-saving
Disadvantages
  • most expensive variant

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate lawn aerators

In the following I would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate lawn aerators. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Number of blades
  • Weight
  • Power
  • Working width
  • Working height
  • Height adjustment
  • Catch baskets volume
  • Lawn area
  • Special functions

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Number of blades

This is the number of blades in the machine. At the same time, you can also compare the number of steel tines. This is important because a certain number of blades means that the lawn will be worked thoroughly.

This usually means that more blades (for scarifying) or steel tines (for aerating) equals better lawn treatment and thus a better end result. Therefore, you should definitely look at the number of blades before buying a lawn aerator.

Weight

A decisive purchase criterion is also the weight. Especially when you compare petrol and electric machines, you will notice a considerable difference in weight. This is because a petrol engine is logically much heavier than an electric engine.

Now it depends on how physically strong you are. If you are, then a lawn aerator with a combustion engine is recommended for you, as it is also much more resilient. If, on the other hand, you are less able, then the electric version is clearly preferable.

rasenlüfter

If you compare petrol and electric devices, you will notice a considerable difference in weight.

Power

Very important for many people is the power of the device. With the manual aerator, this depends entirely on your physical strength. With the other devices, however, more power also means more lawn area to be worked on.

In addition, more power means that you can aerate more difficult soils and that the aerator is generally more robust. Therefore, you should also ask yourself how often you want to use the device. The more often you use it, the more robust and longer-lasting the aerator must be.

Working width

The working width simply tells you how wide the unit works. This can be an advantage if you have larger areas that you want to cover with your fan. Then you can cover more area in less time. This working width is also indicated on every lawn aerator, so you can easily compare the different types.

Working height

In contrast to the width, the height tells you how deep the machine goes into the ground. Since the aerator only works on the surface, this criterion is especially important for the scarifier. For the latter, it is essential how deep it can go into the ground. The criterion of working height naturally correlates with that of height adjustment.

Height adjustment

In correlation with the working height, the height setting criterion tells you how many different working heights you can set. In plain language, this means that the more height settings you have available, the more delicate your work can be. This means you will be able to work on your lawn even better and more professionally.

However, the more height settings a machine has, the more expensive it is, but also the higher its quality. Of course, you have to decide how seriously you want to maintain your lawn. For a real hobby gardener, this is definitely an important criterion for purchase.

Catch baskets

A catcher bag can be very useful. You don't have the problem of having to collect everything from the lawn by hand. In any case, you should consider the volume of the catcher bag and the size of your lawn. Because if you have to empty your catcher bag every five minutes, the whole thing is more counterproductive than beneficial.

Of course, you also need to know how much money you want to spend on additional equipment. If you want to spend less money on a lawn aerator, you should be aware that a grass catcher box only adds to the price. A basket is simply a convenience, but is not important to the way a lawn aerator works.

Lawn area

The penultimate criterion of interest is the approximate workable square metre of your lawn aerator. This is very important because individual aerators are simply not designed for lawns that are too large. This in turn can result in them simply giving up the ghost due to overheating or similar.

This means that the larger the lawn area, the more powerful and equipped the fan should be. Of course, it also depends on how often you use the device.

Functions

Finally, some good lawn aerators are equipped with special functions. In this respect, the larger and better-known manufacturers naturally have a lot of special features to offer. However, it may only be a small feature such as the drive source (e.g. by cable) that is mentioned in this point.

Facts worth knowing about lawn aerators

In this section I give some more facts worth knowing about the topic of "aerating the lawn". I address the question of a special accessory that is more of a variation on the conventional lawn aerator. Then there is the question of whether you can also replace the lawn aerator or even simply leave it out. You can also find out when the lawn aerator was invented.

What accessories are available?

When aerating the lawn, there are so-called lawn aerator shoes. This is simply a device with tines that you strap onto your shoes. You can then walk over the lawn in your garden and it will be loosened and get better oxygen.

The disadvantage of this is that, logically, neither moss nor old leaves are removed with these shoes. If you want a very good result, then you should definitely choose a conventional lawn aerator, which also removes moss and leaves.

Is there a replacement for a lawn aerator?

Replacing the aerator is difficult, if not impossible, if you take care of your lawn. Of course, you could just leave it out and use the scarifier more often instead. The only problem is that you have to reseed after each scarifying, as explained earlier. This is very labour-intensive in the first place, and also very time-consuming.

Of course, it would also be possible to do without both scarifiers and aerators and say to yourself that it is enough to mow the lawn every few weeks. In any case, this would result in a very unhealthy lawn that would consist mainly of moss and that is probably not in your interest.

When was the lawn aerator invented?

The lawn aerator was invented around 1970. In those years, the English garden was booming and everyone wanted to have a lawn in their garden. Before that, there were only rakes, which mainly removed dirt such as leaves from the surface of the lawn.

Since then, the boom for a beautiful garden and thus also for a beautiful lawn has not diminished at all. The preoccupation with the home and especially the garden is more topical today than ever before.

What tips are there for aerating the lawn?

Here are a few tips you can integrate into your work with the lawn aerator. These can be very useful and helpful in lawn care. For example, as mentioned above, there is no particular time of year to aerate your lawn. This can be done at any time.

It is also important to aerate the lawn after each dethatching. However, you do not have to scarify the lawn every time you aerate it. You should only use the scarifier twice a year.

Another tip is to add a little sand to the lawn. Before aerating, sprinkle a small amount of sand on your lawn. This has the effect of making the lawn less greasy.

Finally, I would like to point out that you should definitely think carefully when choosing equipment. In the end, the cheapest and/or simplest equipment could do more harm to the lawn than good.

Image source: Pixabay.com / Alexas_Fotos

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