Best Lawn Aerators for Healthy & Lush Grass UK 2023

By   | Last Updated :   June 6, 2023 | Filed In :   Product Recommendations & Advice

Over time, the soil underneath the lawn will become compacted. Above ground, a thick impenetrable layer of thatch and organic debris develops, preventing air, water and nutrients from reaching the grasses root system. If you want a lush, healthy lawn, chances are that you need a good lawn aerator.

Aeration is the process of making holes in the lawn to create ventilation. You could use a simple fork, but solid or hollow-tined manual aerators will provide more effective aeration. Electric machines are also available for more extensive gardens.

Scarifying will remove the thatch and debris, but aeration is needed to remove or loosen the compacted soil beneath the lawn.

We have reviewed the most popular aerators and compiled a list of the best models on the market, both manual and powered, helping you to find the lawn aerator best suited to your requirements.

best lawn aerators uk 2023

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Best Lawn Aerators

Listed below are what we consider to be the eight best Lawn Aerators:

  1. Walensee Lawn Coring Aerator
  2. Einhell RG-SA 1433 Electric Scarifier & Lawn Aerator
  3. Agri-Fab 48-inch Tow Behind Plug Aerator
  4. Hyundai 1500w Electric Lawn Scarifier & Aerator
  5. Ohuhu Lawn Aerator Shoes
  6. Greenkey Rolling Lawn Aerator & Grass Spiker
  7. Ames 2917400 4 Spike Lawn Aerator
  8. Swardman Professional Stainless Steel Hollow Tine Aerator

Walensee Lawn Coring Aerator

Best Lawn Aerator for Small Gardens
Walensee Lawn Coring Aerator
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Features

We rate the Walensee Lawn Coring Aerator as the best aerator on the UK market. The Walensee is an affordable, effective and sturdy hollow tine aerator designed for manual operation in small to medium-sized gardens.

The Walensee lawn aerator is a t-shaped manual fork aerator with two prongs that extract cores from the lawn to relieve compaction and dethatching, allowing air, water and nutrients to get down to the root system.

This aerator is constructed from heavy-duty, lightweight steel and feels light but sturdy. The T-Bar handle is padded, making it easy to grip and it provides a comfortable stance while aerating.

The foot bar provides extra leverage and the foot ring is a good size to fit even large shoes or work boots.

Tapered and unique conical prongs ensure easy, deep penetration of the lawn. Cores approximately 10cm deep and 2cm in diameter are quickly ejected and it works effectively on all soil types.

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Einhell RG-SA 1433 Electric Scarifier & Lawn Aerator

Best Walk Behind Lawn Aerator for Small to Medium Lawns
Einhell RG-SA 1433 Electric Scarifier and Lawn Aerator
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Features

A manual aerator works well for small gardens, but if you have a medium to large-sized lawn, aerating becomes labour-intensive and it would be advisable to use an electric-powered aerator.

The Einhell RG-SA 1433 is a 2-in-1 aerator and scarifier with a 48-claw aerator roller and a 20-blade, stainless steel spike drum for scarifying. Both are ball-bearing mounted to ensure smooth operation.

Although the body and wheels on this model are all made of plastic, it feels robust and solid. Changing from the aerator to the scarifier roller is a simple operation and can be done quickly using an Allen key that is supplied and always at hand as it can be attached to the handle.

A 1400-watt electric motor delivers more than enough power for scarifying and has three adjustable heights. It is advisable to test the height on a separate patch of grass to get the settings right, especially when using the aerator, so you don’t damage your lawn accidentally.

The Einhell’s height-adjustable handle allows you to get into a comfortable position and it can be folded up for easy storage. The 28-litre capacity collection bag only tends to collect about 75% of the debris but does at least assist in cleaning up.

This machine is perfect for those making a fresh start to reviving their dying grass. 

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Agri-Fab 48-inch Tow Behind Plug Aerator

Best Tow Behind and Heavy Duty Plug Aerator
Agri-Fab 48-inch Tow Behind Plug Aerator
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Features

The Agri-Fab plug aerator has 32 galvanised plugs that will penetrate to a depth of 7.6cm. It’s the ideal heavy-duty lawn aerator when you have heavy soil and large areas to aerate. As with all tow-behind aerators, you will need a lawn tractor to attach to the universal hitch.

The plug aerator is best used in late autumn or spring when the moisture content of the soil is at its highest. Due to its 63.5 kg weight tray, the AgrFab Plug-Type Aerator can penetrate the most challenging soil types.

Heat-treated steel coring points remove 2cm plugs from the lawn. They won’t break or buckle under heavy loads, and with a 122cm working width, you can cover a large area with each pass.

The cantilever transport handle enables the plugs to be raised and lowered easily, while the ten-inch tires roll smoothly even over rutted terrain.

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Hyundai 1500w Electric Lawn Scarifier & Aerator

Best Aerator for Medium to Large Lawns
Hyundai 1500w Electric Lawn Scarifier & Aerator
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Features

The powerful Hyundai 1500W Electric Scarifier/Aerator includes a 10-metre power cable. It is ideal for spongy or sparse lawns and lawns prone to flooding. It features adjustable handles for comfort while aerating, the handles are also foldable for easy storage.

This lawn mower is lightweight, weighing only 11.5kg, and the robust wheels make this unit easy and comfortable to move around. At the same time, the designed wide treads protect the lawn from damage while using the aerator.

The 36cm working width with 20 hardened steel blades will work efficiently across a large lawn removing moss, lawn thatch and dead grass when scarifying or cutting into the ground when aerating.

The Hyundai HYSC1500E has five working depths ranging from -12mm to 10mm and the depth can be controlled using an adjustment lever.

When used as an aerator, this machine cuts into the lawn to create air pockets and should be set at -6mm for the best results. If it is set lower, too much lawn will be dug up.

Although the 45-litre collection bag is a good size, not all the debris will be collected and raking will be necessary to remove all the cuttings.

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Ohuhu Lawn Aerator Shoes

Best Lawn Aerator Shoes
Ohuhu Lawn Aerator Shoes
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Features

Ohuhu Lawn Aerator Shoes are spiked aerator shoes that attach to the bottom of regular shoes using velcro straps.

They are easy to fit and remove, fully adjustable and can fit both male and female shoe sizes. Anti-slip pads connect to the sole of your boots, helping to prevent slipping.

Each shoe has 13 spikes, approximately 5cm long, that can penetrate all soil types for effective aerating. These spikes are also replaceable if required.

While these aerator shoes are easy to use, you will have to get used to walking in them as initially, it will be challenging to maintain balance. Aerator shoes work best on a lawn that has been thoroughly watered. If the soil is dry, the spikes can be difficult to push into the ground.

Ohuhu Aerator shoes are a quick and easy way to aerate your lawn and are ideal for busy gardeners as they can aerate the lawn while performing other tasks in the garden.

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Greenkey Rolling Lawn Aerator & Grass Spiker

Best Rolling Lawn Aerator
Greenkey Rolling Lawn Aerator & Grass Spiker
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Features

The Greenkey Rolling Lawn Aerator is a lightweight aerator made with sturdy spikes. It’s perfect for aerating small lawns and will effectively loosen the soil, allowing air, water and fertiliser to reach the roots.

This aerator has a T-bar handle grip with an adjustable shaft for the most comfortable height. The drum is 30cm wide, narrow enough to manoeuvre around smaller areas, making it one of the better aerators for smaller gardens.

The Greenkey Aerator includes 30, 45mm long metal spikes that work well to aerate moist ground. However, it must be noted that for this unit to be effective, the soil must be damp. This unit is relatively light and the spikes will have difficulty penetrating hard ground.

Assembly of this unit can take time and will require more tools than those supplied.

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Ames 2917400 4 Spike Lawn Aerator

Best Manual Spike Aerator
Ames 2917400 4 Spike Lawn Aerator
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Features

The Ames 4-Spike Lawn Aerator is built for aerating smaller lawns. It has four spikes that are manually pushed into the ground to allow water, oxygen and nutrients to reach the grassroots. This aerator is perfect for those with small gardens and little storage space.

The Ames aerator isn’t hollow-tined, so it won’t remove a plug from the soil, but it is still very effective.  Four 6mm spikes, create holes that will allow air, water and nutrients to get deeper into the soil.

The stirrup design and foot bar make it easy to insert the spikes into the soil. This is an affordable, simple, comfortable and easy-to-use tool that’s ideal for small gardens.

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Swardman Professional Stainless Steel Hollow Tine Aerator

Best Aerator for Clay Soils
Swardman Professional Stainless Steel Hollow Tine Fork Aerator
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Features

The Swardman hollow-tine aerator is made entirely of stainless steel and is built to last. If one of the tines breaks, it can easily be replaced as spare tines are sold separately. The fork features three hollow tines, 90 mm apart, with a length of 130 mm and an internal diameter of 16mm.

This aerator includes specially designed open-faced tubes, not solid cylinders like most plug aerators, reducing the possibility of soil getting blocked in the tines.

This aerator is more expensive than other manual hollow-tine aerators. Still, it is sturdily built with durable materials and is one of the best if you are looking for an efficient hollow-tine aerator for clay soil.

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How to Buy the Best Lawn Aerators

There are many factors to consider when choosing an aerator. For example, do you want something with more power or an aerator you have more control over? Also, is your soil soft or thick with clay?

This buyer guide will provide information and advice on the various lawn aerator products to give you a better idea of choosing the aerator best suited to your needs.

Aerator Types

The type of aerator you choose will depend on the condition and size of your lawn and your personal preferences and skills. For example, if you have a thatch problem, a 2-in-1 aerator/scarifier may be an option.

Powered Aerators

The main advantage of powered aerators is that they are powerful, quicker, labour-saving and are generally used on more extensive lawns. In addition, powered aerators typically come as a 2-in-1 combination that also scarifies, a bonus if you have a thatch problem.

It’s important to note that powered aerators use metal blades that create shallow slits rather than deep holes. Although they will help maintain a healthy lawn by allowing air, water and nutrients to move through the top layer of soil, they are ineffective if you have clay soil.

Powered aerators are also more expensive, especially considering that you will only use them twice yearly and require more space to store them.

Types of Powered Aerators

Powered aerators are available in electric, cordless or petrol models:

Roller Spike Aerators

The rolling drum garden aerator is a popular type of aerator. They are affordable and effective at getting the job done. It has two wheels that propel a drum with spikes attached to push down into the lawn creating small thin holes.

As a guide, 27 spikes will give you about 180 spikes per square metre, and the spikes should be at least 5cm long to ensure that they penetrate the soil deeply. Also, check that the roller is heavy enough to push the pines quickly into the ground.

Aerator Spike Shoes

Aerator spike shoes are cheap and easy to use and are most effective on soft ground and in small gardens. They look like the soles of a shoe with spikes and are attached to your shoes using Velcro straps.

They are a “one size fits all” type of attachment and must be properly tightened to avoid the shoes falling off. Once tightly fitted, you walk on top of the grass, and the spikes will push down into the lawn and allow air and water to reach the roots.

The ground must be soft enough to allow the spikes to penetrate quickly. In addition, you will have to get used to walking on them as, initially, it will be challenging to maintain balance.

Manual Aerators

There are two different methods of aerating your lawn manually:

  1. Spiking – involves solid spikes to create holes in the ground that are a couple of millimetres wide and several centimetres deep to allow air, water and fertiliser to reach the grassroots.
  2. Hollow tining –the process of pushing hollow tines into the ground to remove cylindrical plugs of turf a centimetre wide and a few centimetres deep. This method is perfect for aerating compacted and clay soil.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Type of Lawn Aerator?

The manual hollow tine aerator is excellent at removing and providing the best aeration, and many quality models in the UK market will eject the plugs efficiently. However, although arguably the most effective method of aerating your lawn, it is labour-intensive and will tire you out quickly.

How Long should Lawn Aerator spikes be?

You can spike your turf between 5cm and 15cm using a rolling lawn aerator, aerator sandals or multi-prong aerators. Aerating with spikes can be repeated every few months.

How much does it cost to rent a Lawn Aerator?

It costs around £45 plus a £100 deposit to rent a solid or hollow tine petrol lawn aerator for one day. It may not include petrol. Prices may vary according to the time of year and where you rent the equipment.

Roller spike aerators can be rented at roughly £16 per day

When is the best time to aerate your lawn?

Usually, the best time to aerate your lawn in the UK is either in autumn or spring, when the soil is most likely to be naturally moist and therefore easier to aerate effectively.

Conclusion

Lawn aerators improve the appearance of grass over time by penetrating the ground and allowing air, water and nutrients to reach the grassroots.

There are several different types of lawn aerators available that can produce different results.

After considering all the factors mentioned in this guide, we trust that you can choose the model and type that best suits your needs and requirements.

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By Charl Jooste

Charl is a full-time writer with a range of passions and expertise in lawn mowers and other garden power tools. After many years in the corporate rat race, he decided to follow these passions. When not writing, Charl can be found in his garden, tending to or propagating plants, keeping the lawn near perfect, and enjoying the outdoors with his dogs. He is also fascinated by emerging technology and tries to squeeze in a round of golf as often as possible.

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