We have all been to that lawn that is covered in green and thick, and you wonder how is it that a lawn could be so healthy and green?
Maybe you have even hired someone to aerate the lawn for you but are still not satisfied with the results you’re getting. So, you want to do it yourself and looking for an aerator. The best pull behind aerator is one that matches your needs.
If you don’t know which type to choose, we have reviewed the top pull behind aerator available, including things to consider before purchasing. If you’re in a rush, you can confidently pick from our top three picks below.
We may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, when you buy from our link to support us. More
48 inch spring activated core plugger that can mow the lawn and remove loose clippings. Manufactured in United States to maintain build quality.
40 inch aerator with weight tray that can hold up to 150 lbs. Universal hitch allows you to hook it up with mower or lawn tractor.
Durable and sturdy spike aerator with 40 inch width to cover large area with each pass. Reasonably priced to maintain your lawn without spending much.
Top Pull Behind Aerator in the Market
- 40 inch wide plug aerator
- 24 galvanized coring knives
- 140 lbs weight tray capacity
- 40 inch wide plus aerator
- 24 heat treated knives
- 150 lbs weight tray capacity
- 40 inch wide plus aerator
-8-inch diameter spike wheel
- 70 lbs weight tray capacity
- 48 inch wide plus aerator
- 3/4 inch steel axle
- Spring assisted tines
- 40 inch wide plus aerator
- 8-inch diameter spike wheel
- 100 lbs weight tray capacity
Our Top Pick
The Brinly tow behind plug aerator is an easy-to-use tow behind plug aerator designed for lawns and small to medium-sized yards.
It works safely on turns and uneven terrain with three independently rotating welded tine sections. These are balanced for turning with even ground penetration for the entire lawn.
This plug aerator can cross driveways, walkways, or rooted areas with a transport lever that engages transport mode using the 10-inch semi-pneumatic rubber tread tires.
What is a tow behind plug aerator (pull behind aerator), and how to use it?
A tow behind plug aerator is an excellent choice for those who need to aerate large areas of soil. It’s attached to a lawnmower, ATV, or a tractor that pulls the aerator and creates drilling holes in the heavy clay soil.
You can aerate large yards with a tow behind plug aerator than you can with a manual aerator. It’s a great option to aerate highly compacted and toughest soil that could be difficult to do with a manual aerator.
Most pull behind aerators also provide you with an option to put additional weight on them to push tines deeper into the ground.
For a hard and compacted ground surface with no extra weight on the roller, it will simply roll over the field without making any holes. The weight depends on the type of soil, degree of compactness, and desired depth to aerate.
When you’re ready to use a pull-behind aerator, attach it securely to a tractor and clear any obstructions from your yard. You should also lightly water the yard to soften the surface and mow grass to medium size. You may have to run over few times for proper aeration.
What to consider when choosing Pull Behind Aerator
Spike vs Plug aerator
For small garden with less compaction, you can choose spike aerator. For best aeration performance choose plug aerator.
Number of cores
Core determines how many holes you can get in each pass. Choose cores with at least 10 to 12 spoons. For bigger lawn choose 40-45 spoons
Ability to add extra weight on top allows you to dig tines deeper in the ground. Consider weight capacity depending on your soil condition.
Have questions about buying a pull behind aerator? Contact us
Best Pull Behind Aerator Review
#1. Agri-Fab Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
Lawn Aerator for Residential and Commercial Use
If you’re looking for an aerator that can plug up a lot of ground at once, Agri-Fab’s Tow plug aerator is the perfect tool for you.
Weighing 140 pounds, it's easy to transport and features 24 galvanized and sharpened plug coring knives. It has a wide working width of 40 inches that gives you 1/2 inches of the soil plug hole.
These tines create good-sized holes that allow water, air, and nutrients to reach the grass's root systems. The heavy-duty gauge steel deck and welded drawbar make it easy to handle the tough compressed soil.
At the top, the weight tray (16 × 40 inches) allows you to place cement cinder blocks or bricks to press tines to the ground. Flat-free wheels run smoothly and maintain good traction even when rolling on uneven ground.
The universal hitch assembly makes it quick and easy to attach tractors, lawnmowers, or ATVs to pull the aerator.
The sturdy plugs give you 3/4 -inch aeration depth for moderately compressed soil. The aerator doesn't include a strap to hold weight blocks, but you can use any strap to secure the weight in place.
For the best results on dry and hard soil, lightly moisturize the ground before starting the aeration. The solid and durable tines stay sharp even after hitting small rocks or roots in the ground.
You have to assemble it after you have received the aerator and the instruction manual isn't very clear. But you can quickly figure it out yourself. The aerator comes with a three-year warranty for added peace of mind.
See More Information about: Agri-Fab Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
#2. Brinly Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator
The Brinly Tow behind plug aerator aerates your lawn faster and easier than ever. This tow-behind aerator is easy to use and a great way to make your property look its best in spring.
This tow behind plug aerator is built to last with all steel, heat-treated construction. It features a durable 150 lb fully enclosed weight tray supported on the hard airless plastic wheel.
This machine will have you get started in no time, with a fully enclosed weight tray to hold up to the pressure.
The aerator’s plugging spoon design and heat-treated construction allow you maximum penetration on compacted soil and remove up to 3-inch plugs of soil. Also, the narrow ends will let you reach areas that a lawnmower can’t reach easily.
It has 24 heat-treated, 16 gauge plugging spoons to penetrate compacted soil. It’s also a perfect tool for removing thatch and allow proper water penetration in the ground.
The aerator features 10-inch semi-pneumatic rubber tread tires that work on drives and planted areas without causing any damage.
It has three independently rotating, welded tine sections that are balanced for turning and even ground penetration. It works safely on turns and uneven terrain and includes a single transport lever for easy transport.
The universal hitch design means you can attach it to most lawn tractors and ATVs. It’s easy to maintain because you can replace each plugging spoon individually.
The assembly is simple, with the included assembly pack. The illustrated installation instruction makes it a 20-minute job to put it all together.
See More Information about: Brinly Tow-Behind Plug Aerator
#3. Strongway Spike Tips Aerator
Spike Aerator for Medium Compressed Soil
If your lawn has a lot of compaction, or if you’ve had a hard winter and the soil becomes dry, Strongway Spike Aerator is just the tool you need to give your lawn some much-needed care.
This spike aerator has 40-inch working width to cover a large area with each pass. The ten 8-inch diameter spikes wheels penetrate up to 2 inches deep in the ground.
This helps loosens soil and promote plant growth. The durable steel tray allows an additional 70 lbs of weight to improve the penetration.
The spike aerator helps you to get through the hard-packed ground so that you can lay down some new grass seed in the spring. The universal hitch pin design arrangement makes it easy to attach to lawnmowers and ATVs.
The aerator comes with a weight tray to push spikes deeper into the ground. This helps break up roots and open up the ground layer to allow water and nutrients to reach the roots.
It’s a good alternative to a core aerator that you can use in lightly compacted sandy or loamy soil. The easy-to-use powder-coated finish ensures these aerators will stay looking like new for years to come and maintain healthier grass.
See More Information about: Strongway Spike Tips Aerator
#4. Ohio Steel Spring Activated Core Aerator
Strong and Durable Plug Aerator
Some people say this is the best yard tool they have ever used. No more stooping and struggling with hand tools to remove the dirt, grubs, and clumps from your lawn.
With these Ohio Steel Spring activated core aerators, you can mow your lawn and remove loose clipping before using the plugger.
It’s a perfect way to take care of your lawn in one easy step. Simply mow the lawn and remove clippings before using this aerator. The plugger does all the work for you, so there’s no need to strain yourself on a manual push-style core aerator.
It saves you time and effort in maintaining your lawn. Use this aerator in areas where you want to improve soil density and water retention, such as low spots, slopes, and around trees. It’s also easy to use and handle. It has a 3/4-inch tow plug aerator with solid steel axle for professional results.
The machine has 48 spring-activated cores that remove soil core plugs with little effort. The durable steel construction and added weight tray make it easy to use on a highly compacted soil surface with consistent penetration.
The easy placement lever handle makes it comfortable to engage without needing to get off from your tractor. The comfortable grip makes it easy to work for hours with minimal fatigue.
This product is best for those who like to have a professional-looking lawn and don’t want to spend much time in its upkeep. It’s made in United Stated to maintain high quality.
See More Information about: Ohio Steel Spring Activated Core Aerator
#5. Brinly Tow Behind Combination Aerator Spreader
Combo Aerator for Residential Use
The Brinly Tow behind combination aerator/spreader is the perfect tool for those who are looking to finish their lawn in no time. With a two-in-one design that combines aeration and spreading, it’s the best for expediting your time on the property.
The multifunction design allows you to drop seed, fertilizer, or lime while you aerate. This ensures material enters the soil and cuts your lawn care time in half.
It has a durable all-steel hopper with a 100 lbs capacity. The sturdier construction makes the hopper prevent twisting and flexing for long-lasting durability.
You can get the job done faster without any added hassle with this high-quality tow behind combo spreader. A durable steel hopper and heavy-duty nylon spacers make sure you’re getting the most out of your time in the yard.
The calibrated flow control and galvanized knives tine stars will make your soil even more fertile for a healthy lawn with improved water retention.
Efficient design ensures accurate spread patterns with minimal waste. The 8-inch diameter, 132 galvanized star-shaped tine tips prevent rusting while digging up to 2 inches deep in the ground.
You can quickly eliminate the hassle of aerating those hard-to-reach areas with this machine. To make sure your yard is always at its best, use the single lever to engage the diamond tread (9-inch x 1.75-inch) transport wheels to cross the driveway and sidewalk with ease.
With the heavy tubular design and solid tine shaft, this lawn care essential will be the most dependable thing in your yard maintenance arsenal.
See More Information about: Brinly Tow Behind Combination Aerator Spreader
What type of lawn aerator should you use and why?
There are several different types of lawn aerators on the market. They all do the same thing, but some are better than others. The kind you need depends on the type of soil you have, your budget, and the lawn's size.
For example, if you have clay soil, you’ll need a more powerful lawn aerator. If you want to aerate a lawn that’s a quarter acre or less, a small aerator might be your best bet. Fundamentally, there are two aerator types available.
1. Spike aerator
2. Plug aerator
Spike aerator: It has solid spikes or needles on a metallic roller that leaves holes in the soil. It’s straightforward to use and maintain, and you get up to 2 inches deep holes in the ground.
As the spike aerator doesn’t remove any soil, the ground holes quickly expand and close in a short time. Spike aerator works best for soil that is not highly compacted.
You won’t get the desired result on heavy clay-type soil. Plus, it’s limited in effectiveness due to the small narrow holes it creates on uneven surfaces. It generally costs less than a plug aerator and suitable for smaller size yards.
Plug aerator: Some people also refer plug aerator as a core aerator. In this, a metallic drum has several hollow tines installed on it. These tines dig deep in the soil and pull out cores from the ground.
Removing soil from the ground is more effective than pushing it around. It keeps the hole stay open for longer, allowing nutrients, water, and air to reach the grassroots. It works best for most types of soils, including highly compacted clay soil.
Plug aerator is great for large yards, and you can choose a tow-behind plug aerator that you can hook up directly to the lawn tractor or lawnmower.
But using a plug aerator makes your lawn look unsightly for a while as it leaves several small chunks of soil plugs on the grass. You can break the plugs with a mower or manually to make your yard look pretty, but that’s some extra work.
You shouldn't remove these soil cores as they are full of nutrients, and they automatically dissolve after a while. It also takes some work to clean these plug-style hollow tines that get clogged after use.
How often should you use a lawn aerator
If you want to know when you should aerate your lawn, it’s best to aerate in fall. During this time, the soil is still moist, and the damage caused by aerating gives the lawn plenty of time to recover before spring.
As a guideline, if you have cool-season grass such as Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Ryegrass, early spring is suitable for aeration. For warm-season grass, you should aerate it in late spring or fall.
To answer, how often should you aerate the lawn? Experts recommend aerating every 2 to 3 years. It will ensure you loosen the grounds to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn. This will help your grass grow and become greener, healthier, and lusher.
What to look for in a pull-behind aerator?
When you’re looking for a pull-behind aerator, there are some key features you should consider before buying one. Here are some things to look for:
Plug vs. spike pull behind aerator
Whether to use a plug or spike aerator is the fundamental decision you need to make before looking for other features.
The spike aerator's sharp points penetrate the soil to allow air and nutrients to reach the roots. The size of the garden and soil types you have will determine which type to choose.
Pneumatic or flat-free tires?
Most lawn aerators will either come in pneumatic or flat-free tires. Pneumatic tires are filled with air and have a hard rubber cover.
Flat-free tires are made of solid rubber. Now, there are pros and cons to both types of tires.
Pneumatic tire model aerators will be more expensive because they have a more rigid rubber cover, and the tire has to be filled with air. However, the air inside the tire makes it easy to pull the aerator. The tires are also more durable than flat-free tires.
If you have many hills on your lawn or have a low-powered tractor, you may want to use pneumatic tires.
Aerator size and depth
The size and tilling depth of the aerator you choose should depend on the size of your lawn. Small garden aerators cover about 1500 sq. ft and have a tilling depth of about 6 inches.
A medium-sized aerator covers up to 3000 sq. ft with a tilling depth of 7 inches. A larger aerator can cover an area over 5000 sq. ft.
When using a plug aerator, choose tines that can remove up to 6 inches of dense soil cores and remove 0.5 to 0.75 inches wide soil. Some models come with adjustable depth settings. This enhanced soil penetration gives you more flexibility in use.
According to gardening experts, a quality aerator should be able to pull the plug of dirt that is at least 1/2” thick and comprise 20 percent of the lawn’s surface area.
Number of cores in aerator spoons
The number of core aeration spoons or tines determines how many holes you can get in each pass. The spacing of these aeration spoons determines how close or far it can create the aeration.
For the best results, it’s recommended that the plugs should be up to 3 inches apart. Small-size plug aerators usually contain 10 to 12 spoons, while bigger and wider can contain anywhere from 40 to 54 core aeration spoons.
A large number of spoons means it can remove more cores in each pass. You should also look for removable aeration spoons to replace any worn-out or damaged parts.
A multi-functionality aerator comes with a spreader to allow you to drop seeds or fertilizers in the lawn. It saves you time as you can do two tasks at the same time.
The weight carrying tray helps you easily secure the additional weight to dig deeper into the soil.
There is no doubt that pull behind aerators is bulky to use. Depending on your garden layout, you want to choose a highly maneuverable aerator that can easily pass through narrow garden layouts. You don’t want the aerator to damage flower beds.
A full-degree rotation wheel on the aerator makes it easy to move around narrow spaces or take quick turns at corners.
Option to add extra weight
A higher-load capacity aerator allows you to put extra weight on top of it to let tines dig deeper in the ground. This may help you deal with tough clay soil or a highly compressed soil area with more extensive foot traffic.
Build quality and durability
The most important thing to look for when shopping for a tow-behind aerator is the build quality. A premium quality aerator is usually made of reinforced or galvanized steel tines that don’t get rust and last longer.
Pay attention to the accessories as one aerator may have used steel tines while the other used aluminum. Some may have cheap plastic wheels, while others may have pneumatic tires.
The build quality is also reflected in pricing. This doesn’t mean that you should always look to buy the most expensive model, but being aware of these things can help you make a more informed decision.
Warranty is one of the crucial considerations when it comes to choosing a product. Some companies will offer several years warranty, and other simply a limited consumer warranty. The more time you’re covered for, the more you can count on a product.
So, there you have it, our review of the best pull behind aerator that you can buy with confidence. Remember that gardening can be a simple and relaxing hobby, but it can also be time-consuming and expensive.
Aerating your lawn is one of the simplest and most important parts of lawn care. It helps to remove or loosen compacted soil around your lawn’s roots, allowing for healthier growth.
Our top pick for the pull behind aerator is Brinly Tow-Behind Plug Aerator. It gives you the most out of your investment and also easy to care for and use.
We have also reviewed best lawn aerator tools (Included manual aerator) that you can also check out.
Don't forget to share this post!