The Best Lawn Aerators in Australia (Buying Guide)

Aerating your lawn is the process of opening up holes in your soil, allowing air and water to reach deep into your lawn’s roots.

Aeration can be done by using a variety of tools, including plug aerators, spike aerators, tow behind rolling aerators, and even aerator shoes.

To help you in your search for the right aeration solution for your lawn, we’ve rounded up the best aeration tools in Australia below.

Our top pick: Yard Butler Manual Lawn Coring Aerator

The Yard Butler is a great tool for anyone who wants to keep their lawn healthy and looking great.

It removes two cores with each push, which reduces compaction and thatching on your lawn. It also allows air, water and lawn fertiliser to get down to the roots.

This tool is built to last with durable powder-coated steel construction, so it’s heavy-duty and rust-resistant.

The cushioned handles give you comfort as you work your way through your yard, while the foot bar provides extra leverage.

The Yard Butler aerator comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can be confident that this tool will last for many seasons to come.

Also great: Lawn Aerator Spiked Shoes

If you’re looking for an affordable and effective way to keep your lawn green and healthy, these lawn aerator shoes are the perfect solution.

The spikes are 2″ deep, so they puncture the ground easily with your body weight, and make it easy to get the water, air, and nutrients down deep into your lawn’s roots. All you have to do is walk!

These shoes are made of high-grade plastic with 3 durable straps and non-corrosive metal buckles.

If you’ve got a small yard or limited time for upkeep, these shoes will help you keep your lawn looking its best all year round.

Best alternative: Cyclone Garden Fork

While aeration tools certainly have their place, many gardeners prefer the tried and true method of aerating with a sturdy garden fork.

The Cyclone Garden Fork is a lightweight but strong tool that serves as an attractive alternative to lawn aeration tools.

It features 4 tines (prongs) that are roll forged from a single piece of steel for extra strength and durability. The oval tines are factory sharpened, with 60mm spacing at their points.

The square socket provides additional strength, while the comfortable grip makes it easy to use.

The Australian Hardwood handle is lacquered and sealed, which protects it against weathering and splintering.

Types of lawn aerators

  • Core or plug aerators: These are the most common type of lawn aerator and can be used by hand. They have hollow spikes which push out soil when pressure is applied on top.
  • Spike aerators: Spike aerators stab downward into the ground to create holes for air and water to penetrate into the soil below. The surrounding soil is compacted rather than removed.
  • Tow behind rolling aerators: These devices can be spike or plug. They have wheels affixed underneath them so they can roll across your yard while simultaneously probing down into its surface with either spikes or blades. Rolling core aerators eject plugs of dirt after each pass.
  • Aerator shoes: These are a type of shoe attachment that have spikes on the bottom so they can dig into the soil as you walk with them. They’re made specifically for aeration.

Plug vs spike lawn aerators

Lawn aerators generally fall into the categories of plug aerators or spike aerators.

Plug aerators remove a core of soil from your lawn, while spike aerators create narrow holes.

Plug aerators are more effective at improving the water penetration and airflow in your soil, but they can be harder to use. Often people find that the soil gets blocked inside the tool and requires frequent manual clearing.

While spike aerators create a narrow opening in your soil, improving air and water flow, they also compact the soil around the hole in the process. However, they are easier for most people to use.

Types of soil

There are three main types of soil in Australia, and each requires different amounts of aeration: clay soil, sandy soil and silt soil.

Clay soils tend to need more frequent aeration than sandy soils because they compact more easily. This makes it harder for water, air, and nutrients to penetrate.

Sandy soil has fewer issues with compaction, so aeration is not as important. Sandy soils are more porous and can hold more air than clay soils, so they don’t compress as easily.

Silt soil sits in between these two and will benefit from aeration if it has been compacted.

Why aerate your lawn?

Aerating your lawn can improve its overall health and prevent weeds, compaction and other issues.

Here’s why:

  • Water penetration: If water cannot penetrate the soil, it will pool on top of it. This means that grass roots will not receive enough water for healthy growth. By aerating your lawn you increase its ability to absorb water more quickly and evenly throughout the soil column.
  • Nutrient uptake: Aerating your lawn allows nutrients (including fertiliser) to be more easily absorbed by the soil, which feeds the grass’s root system. This helps it grow faster and stronger.

Should you aerate your lawn?

Not all lawns are created equal, and some will not benefit from aeration. 

If your grass is growing well in sandy or silt soil, has good colour and doesn’t have a spongy feel when walked on, you might not need to worry about aeration. 

However, if your lawn has 1.5 cm+ of thatch, or has a spongy feel to it when walked on, it will likely benefit from dethatching and aeration.

Likewise, if it receives a lot of foot traffic, has puddles or bare patches, or is growing in clay soil, then you should aerate.

What is thatch?

Thatch is a layer of dead grass, roots, and other organic material that accumulates on the lawn.

Thatch can restrict water, air, and nutrients from reaching the roots. It also prevents water from penetrating into the soil as effectively as it should.

When you aerate your lawn, you also remove thatch, giving it more space to grow healthily.

Traditionally people have viewed thatch as something to be cut away or removed entirely; however, it’s actually an important part of your lawn!

A layer of healthy thatch makes sure water doesn’t drain too quickly through your grass; if there isn’t enough moisture held in this layer then there may be dry patches or areas where no grass grows at all.

Dethatching vs aerating

If you’re wondering how to aerate your lawn, you may be confused by what the difference is between aerating and dethatching.

In short, dethatching is the process of removing thatch from the surface of your lawn.

Aerating involves creating holes in the ground to improve the flow of air and water to grass roots below soil level.

Both should be done in combination to improve the health of your lawn.


Aerating your lawn is an important part of lawn care, as it helps to prevent weeds and pests from taking hold in your soil.

It also allows water to penetrate deeper into the ground so that plants can take up nutrients more easily.

In addition, aeration will help break down thatch buildup on topsoil which can lead to compaction issues over time if left unattended

There are a variety of options when it comes to aeration, so it’s important to consider your lawn size as well as what kind of aerator you want before making a purchase.


How often should you aerate a lawn?

Aerating your lawn at least once per year is generally recommended, but some people like to do it more often. Clay soils generally require more frequent aeration.

When should you aerate your lawn?

While you can aerate your lawn at any time of year, the best time is during the growing season. For warm season turfs, this will be in spring and summer. 

How long does it take to aerate a lawn?

The time needed depends on several factors such as size and type of equipment used. However, most homeowners will find that an average job takes around an hour or two at most.

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Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.


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