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8 Best Lawn Aerators (Reviews For 2023)

Best Lawn Aerators for DIY Aeration and a Healthy Lawn

If you want your grass to be healthy, thick, and green, it’s essential to use one of the best Lawn Aerator models regularly. The turf grass experts at Penn State University recommend aerating your lawn once or twice yearly.

Our reviews below will help you discover the Best Lawn Aerators you can buy in 2023 and which lawn aerators are the best to consider for your size yard.

Few people know the best way to aerate a lawn – but in a nutshell – it comes down to root system development. They help by relieving compacted soil and allowing oxygen, water, and essential nutrients to the grassroots. Healthy grass means fewer weeds.

Yes, you can drive to your local rent-all shop and rent a lawn aerator at roughly $50 – $60 per day. However, you can also buy the best aerator featured below – for about the same price as renting a lawn aerator twice.

And bonus; you won’t have to drive to the rental store and pick up their lawn aerator (and return it) every year.

Quick Word about Different “Types” of Lawn Aerators.

A tiny yard may only require Manual lawn coring tools like the Yard Butler or Aeration Shoes from Punchau.

While medium size yards – that don’t require a riding lawn mower – would benefit from a simple and Small Dethatcher (Think of High Powered Rake), such as the Greenworks or Sun Joe Dethatcher, a dethatcher is not only practical. Still, it is also one of the cheapest ways to aerate a lawn.

If, however, you have a riding lawnmower and a medium-large lawn, you will get the best results using a pull-behind “plug aerator” (also called “core aerator”) or by using a “spike lawn aerator like the Brinly 40″ Spike Aerator.

For your convenience, each of these types of Lawn Aeration Tools is featured in our Reviews below:  Choose the one that best suits the size of “your yard and your budget.”

The Best Lawn Aerators for 2023


Editor’s Choice:   Greenworks 27022 (Electric) Dethatcher

Greenworks 10 Amp 14” Corded Electric Dethatcher (Stainless Steel Tines)

Why We Like It

With a maintenance-free electric motor and a 14-inch width, this aerator from Greenworks is considered the best lawn aerator machine for small or medium-sized yards. We also like the 3-position wheel height and the folding handles, which make it easier to store in small spaces.

For having received excellent user reviews, and all of these features, we name the Greenworks 27022 as the Best Motorized Lawn Aerator.


  • 14-inch dethatching width
  • 10-amp electric motor
  • Three depth settings
  • Folding handles

Our Take Away

Although electric tools are sometimes hit-and-miss, this one is a winner. The Greenworks electric aerator does a great job of removing compacted soil and thatch.

Because of its electric motor and requires no spark plugs, this model is also a maintenance-free way to make sure your lawn always looks its best. Overall, we feel very comfortable labeling this as the best yard aerator from our reviews.




Runner Up:  Sun Joe AJ801E (Electric) Dethatcher

Sun Joe AJ801E 12-Amp 13-Inch Electric Dethatcher and Scarifier w/Removeable 8-Gallon Collection Bag, 5-Position Height Adjustment, Airboost Technology Increases Lawn Health, 13 inch, Green

Why We Like It

With a bit more power but less width than the Greenworks, this electric lawn aerator from Sun Joe is a respectable runner-up for the best-motorized lawn aerator. We like its collection bag since it won’t leave excess thatch all over your yard.


  • 12.5″ dethatching width
  • Includes Grass Collection Bag
  • 12-amp electric motor
  • Collection bag included

Our Take Away

Overall, we were very impressed with how well the Sun Joe performed when removing thick thatch from lawns, and the bag catcher is a big advantage over the Greenworks model, which has no bag collection.

If it weren’t for the Greenworks’ 14″ width – requiring fewer rows to aerate – Sun Joe would have our vote as the #1 aerator. 

With Sun Joe, you’ll easily be able to free up your grass to grow green and healthy for the best lawn you’ve ever maintained, and it does it at a bargain price.

Keep in mind that by dethatching your lawn and removing dead grass, you also open up the yard to receive more oxygen, nutrients, water, and sunlight. These factors contribute to growing your lawn quicker, healthier, and greener.  A healthy lawn also deters weed growth!

Sun Joe



Best Value:  Yard Butler Lawn Aerator

Yard Butler ID-6C Manual Lawn Coring Aerator - Grass Dethatching Turf Plug Core Aeration Tool - Grass Aerators for Small Yards - Loosen Compacted Soil - Gardening Hand Tools - Gray, 37 Inches

Why We Like It

While we stand firmly behind the benefits of using aerator lawn tools, not everyone can afford to buy a power tool just for lawn aeration. For this reason, we wanted to include the Yard Butler as the Best manual aerator on our list of lawn aerators.

The Yard Butler allows anyone to remove soil and thatch cores from a small yard at this price point.


  • Two plug design
  • Steel construction
  • 37 inches high

Our Take Away

While this small aerator tool will take longer than a motorized model, it gets the job done and is one of the most cost-effective lawn aerators. And while we wouldn’t recommend using it for a big yard, you would be surprised how well it works on an average-sized lawn.

Yard Butler Core Aerator - Best Home Gear
The Yard Butler Removes Two 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ Core Plugs Per Application- Besthomegear.com.

Yard Butler



Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator:  Agri-Fab 48″ Plug Aerator

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

Why We Like It

A tow-behind attachment for a riding lawnmower is usually the most efficient aerator tool for large yards. This model from Agri-Fab can help you make short work of your lawn without forcing you to get up from the comfort of your mower seat.


  • 48-inch width
  • 32 plug knives
  • Steel construction
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • The Weight Tray Holds Up to 175 Lbs.
  • Transport Handle Reachable from Riding Mower
  • Universal hitch


Our Take Away

The Agri-Fab 48” Plug Aerator Tow Behind Lawn Groomer Model #45-0299 can handle virtually any yard. This is probably the best core aerator tool you’ll find if you have a huge lawn. Being an attachment powered by a riding mower, the Agri-Fab is also virtually maintenance-free.

To maintain a healthy lawn, you have to give it some attention.  The 3″ plug aerator knives in the Agri-Fab aerator – offer the deepest penetration available, allowing your yard to receive the maximum amount of water, oxygen, and nutrients it needs to perform its best.




Best Value Pull Behind Aerator:  Brinly 40″ Spike Aerator

Brinly SA-40BH Tow Behind Spike Aerator, 40'

Why We Like It

This is the option if you love using a pull-behind aerator but want to keep costs low. In its price range, this Brinly 40-inch aerator is the model that stands out from the pack.


  • 40-inch width
  • Ten tine stars
  • Steel construction
  • Universal hitch

Our Take Away

Despite its low price point, we were impressed with how well this Brinly aerator worked. Overall, we think this is one of the best lawn aerators for a homeowner on a budget or someone trying out soil aeration for the first time.

Brinly Aerator



Best 36-inch Pull Behind Aerator:  Craftsman 36″ Spike Aerator

Craftsman CMXGZBF7124336 36-Inch Tow Spike Aerator, Red/Black

Why We Like It

If you have a smaller lawn or a riding mower with less towing capacity, you may find a smaller pull behind an aerator like this Craftsman model to be a good fit. This model is also of great value and won’t force you to break the bank to aerate your lawn.


  • 36-inch width
  • Nine tine stars
  • Steel construction
  • Universal hitch

Our Take Away

According to our research, this Craftsman “Spike” aerator works exceptionally well and can effectively help you improve the appearance and health of your lawn.

Although it doesn’t have the same width as the larger pull-behind models discussed above, it’s a good fit for a smaller lawn, especially those with tight corners or obstacles in them.  As mentioned, it’s also one of the best values in a quality tow-behind aerator.




Best Aerator Shoes:  Punchau Lawn Aerator Shoes

Punchau Lawn Aerator Shoes w/Metal Buckles and 3 Straps - Heavy Duty Spiked Sandals for Aerating Your Lawn or Yard

Why We Like It

Although these may seem like a take on the old joke of mopping floors by tying sponges to your shoes, these aerator shoes are exceptionally efficient for aerating small to medium-sized yards.

The spikes in these shoes easily penetrate the ground, and you won’t have to buy or maintain a large piece of equipment to see the aeration results.


  • 2-inch spikes
  • It fits any shoe or boot
  • Metal strap buckles
  • Heavy-duty plastic base plate

Our Take Away

These aerating shoes are a cost-effective and convenient way to aerate the soil in your yard. As a bonus, you’ll get a surprisingly good lower body workout by using them!

Punchau Aertation Shoes



Best Liquid Aerator:  Simple Lawn Solutions

Liquid Soil Loosener- Soil Conditioner-Use alone or when Aerating with Mechanical Aerator or Core Aeration- Simple Lawn Solutions- Any Grass Type-Great for Compact Soils, Standing water, Poor Drainage

Why We Like It

Up to now, we’ve discussed only mechanical aeration options. This liquid soil conditioner, however, lets you break up compacted soil through chemical action instead of mechanical action, making it easier than ever before to aerate your lawn.


  • 1-quart bottle
  • Breaks up compacted soil
  • Pet and child safe

Our Take Away

We were skeptical about this product, but based on our research and other user reviews, it appears to work quite well. Simple Solutions has garnered over 1,000 reviews on Amazon – With an average 4.5 rating. That’s impressive.

Liquid Aerator is especially useful for those with smaller lawns and those who do not want to invest or have room for more equipment but want to promote better water absorption to their grass.

Honesty, as good as this product fills another aeration solution, liquid aeration doesn’t effectively promote a healthy lawn – as well as mechanical aeration does.

Simple Solutions – Liquid Aeration 



Frequently Asked Questions – Lawn Aeration Guide


How Often Do You Aerate Your Lawn?

How often to aerate depends on the type of soil you have in your lawn.  If you have a lot of clay in your soil or heavy traffic in your yard, you will want to aerate your lawn at least once, preferably twice a year.

If you have sandy soil with exceptional drainage, you can most likely get away with lawn aeration once every two years.  With that being said, to maintain a fully nourished lawn – experts recommend aerating your property a minimum of once a year.

What is the Best Commercial Lawn Aerator?

The best commercial lawn aerator type is the “core aerator,” also called a “plug aerator.”  In our review, the best lawn aerator for commercial applications would be the 48″ plug aerator from Agri-Fab sold at Amazon.

How Do You Use a Lawn Aerator?

Knowing How to use a lawn aerator depends on which type of aerator you choose.  As the article above describes, you can aerate lawns with a lawn dethatcher, plug aerator, manual core aerator, spike shoes, or liquid aerator. 

See the manufacturer’s suggestions and step-by-step instructions for each method.

If you choose to use a lawn detacher, the process of aerating a lawn is quite similar to that of using a lawnmower.

What is the Best Time To Aerate Your Lawn?

The best time to aerate a lawn is during the peak season for growing grass.  These are early spring and early fall when temperatures are cooler and ideal for healing the yard after aeration. This time of year is the best for providing vital nutrients, grass seed water, and oxygen directly to the roots of your property.

What Is the Best Type of Lawn Aerator to Buy?

We generally prefer electric and pull-behind options between electric, pull-behind, manual, and shoe aerators. Electric models are the most effective and usually the easiest to use, while pull-behind aerators are great for aerating large yards quickly.

Manual and shoe aerators have their place for aerating grass lawns, especially if you’re on a budget. However, they tend to be a bit more tedious and challenging than mechanical or other lawn aerators.

Does Liquid Aerator Work?

Yes, but there’s a catch. Liquid aerators can help break up compacted soil and improve drainage, but without spikes or plug holes, they won’t stimulate the root growth of your grass in the same way natural aeration can and is, therefore, not quite as effective.

Liquid aeration products also work very slowly—the active ingredient, ammonium lauryl sulfate, works to break down dense soil.  Over time, the fortified liquid solution loosens the ground and creates airways for oxygen to improve root growth.  

While spike or plug aeration offers immediate results, liquid aeration may require one or two growing seasons to recognize beneficial effects.

Which Is Better, Plug or Spike Aerators?

Though both have advantages, plug aerators are better if your soil is severely compacted. Plug aerators also allow more water, oxygen, and nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn.

If your yard has relatively loose soil to start with and you want to keep it from getting compacted, a spike aerator should do the trick.

What Is the Best Way to Aerate Lawn?

Considering everything, including the initial Cost, Ease of Use, and Storage, we believe that an electric aerator is probably the most practical option for most residential lawns.

However, If you have a larger budget, a large yard, and the room to store one, you should seriously consider investing in a pull-behind core aerator. Plug (Core) aerators are widely considered the best aerator on the market.


Overall, we found the GreenWorks, Sun Joe, and Yard Butler hand tool to be the most cost-effective and best aerator lawn tool for most homeowners. The Agri-Fab 48″ plug aerator, however, stands out as the best tow-behind lawn aerator on the market.

With that said, it’s vital to consider your yard’s size, layout, and soil condition when choosing the right lawn aerator for your needs since one of the other options on this list could be a better fit for your unique needs.

Thanks For Visiting Besthomegear.com, and  Please leave us a Short Comment or Suggestion Below!

References & Additional Reading:

Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear. In addition to his work in publishing, Kevin enjoys exploring the Outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, Hiking, Cycling, Fishing, Reading, and Completing Projects for Home and Garden.


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