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Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator – Reviews 2019

Lawn care and maintenance are more than just mowing. There is a need to spike, core or plug the soil often to produce a dense folder in lawns since this allows optimum nutrients intake, water seepage, and airflow. Core aeration is a type of lawn aeration whereby the lawn aerator mechanically removes plugs of soil and thatch from the lawn. This done to reduce soil compaction and creates a channel to allow water, oxygen, and soil to penetrate the soil. Aerating is the process of loosening tough compacted soil using a core aerator which removes small lumps of soil or a spike aerator that only forms holes.

A lawn is an important part of a home and must be taken care of correctly to ensure proper growth of grass. You will need to maintain the soil integrity and thus requiring you to have a good aerator. A plug aerator accomplishes this by making holes to allow air circulation.

Since there are many pull aerators, it is recommended to get the best pull behind plug aerator that suits you perfectly by identifying the exact one that has the features you are searching for.

Signs that you need a pull behind plug aerator

  • A flooded lawn after a downpour.
  • You drive on your lawn regularly.
  • The soil is had to dig especially when gardening.
  • Your lawn is full of bare grass.

Factors to consider when choosing an aerator

Aerator Size

Knowledge of the size of the aerator you want to buy is very crucial. You should also identify the size of spike, penetration depth and spike diameter. It should cover a broad area of your backyard and possibly complete the task in the shortest time possible. Select an ideal aerator size depending on the size of your lawn and also the storage place when it is not in use.


Most of the plug aerators are made of strong durable material. While others have that extra material to make them stronger.

Ease of movement

The aerator should be easy to maneuver around the lawn. You should consider wheel designs and the ability of the machine to navigate around tight spaces and sharp corners.


It should be durable and offer service for a good period of time. The machine should not break soon after you have purchased it.  A durable machine is likely to feature a robust frame work made of steel, reinforced or galvanized metals.


Every aerator is sold at a different price. Your choice should that which is affordable at the same time offer the maximum number of features. Remember sometimes cheap ca be quite expensive in the long run. You should consider your budget plan when getting an ideal aerator. It is better to spend more however for a quality product that will last long.

 Load capacity

This is a crucial factor too to consider when purchasing an aerator.

Money-back guarantee warranty

Pull behind aerators have warranties of up to 3 years. You need not worry about your tool failing within the first 3 years and that includes repair cost too.

Our Selection of Best pull behind plug aerators with reviews

Core aeration can solve problems like moss growth in the lawn. It is recommended to perform core aeration of cool-season grasses during early fall while for the warm season grass core aeration is performed between mid-spring to early summer.

Here are our picks of the best pull behind plug aerators:

Agri-Fab 45-0299 48 Inches Tow Plug Aerator (48 Inches)-Best value

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This pull behind aerator is an ideal choice for you if you need a big machine. It has wider aeration facilitated by the 48-inch-wide base. This assures you of saving your sweet time when aerating your lawn. It is not only easy to pull behind your tractor but it will also do a better job in aerating the soil and improve soil compaction by getting rid of soil cores from your lawn. The machine can handle tough soil conditions and work efficiently on uneven ground.

The Agri-Fab 45-0299 has 8 spoons reaching up to 3 inches in the surface. With the use of its 32 galvanized spikes, the machine opens up compacted soil by penetrates thatch and getting rid of plugs from the soil surface to promote better moisture and air circulation. The overall dimensions of the unit are 21 inches high and 49 inches wide. Furthermore, the spikes are easily operated from the driver’s seat.

The tray can be filled with blocks of concrete or loaded with bags of sand to provide enough weight to sink the knives into the soil surface. This allows more room to open the soil surface allowing for more penetration of the aerator.

This aerator gives you value for money. You only have to use the universal hitch to attach your ATV or lawnmower in a matter of few seconds. The trays can be loaded with up to 175 pounds. Furthermore, the knives are made from galvanized metal which doesn’t rust easily thus ensuring its durability and makes the digging edges easy to sharpen. Adjusting the machine to an aeration depth of 3 inches, it will give you a long life of service. In addition to that, the equipment comes with a durable pneumatic flat tire that ensures smooth movement on even tougher terrain.


  • Easy to assemble
  • Performs the job effectively and efficiently.
  • It is robust and well-built.
  • Comes with a 3-year limited consumer warranty.
  • Perfectly positioned wheels and a tray to support more weight for deeper soil penetration.


  • It is bulky hence the difficulty to store
  • Its heavyweight can damage grass.
  • Has few spikes.
  • Spare parts not easily available.

Agri-Fab 45-0544 Tow Behind Spike Aerator – Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator for Low Budget

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The Agri-Fab 45-0544 is ideal for softer soil. It has 40-inch swath and 10 galvanized steel spikes to help your lawn thrive. It has a tray which can hold up to 100 pounds to improve soil penetration and the spikes can penetrate 2.5 inches of soil to promote aeration, water, and fertilizer penetration.

It comes already pre-assembled and has a folding hitch design simplifying storage. It is made of high-quality material to last a long time. The 40-inch working width of the spike aerator maximizes the area to be worked on.


  • The aerator spikes come pre-assembled saving time.
  • Two 7-inch tires to facilitate smooth movement.
  • Simple to use cantilever transport system.
  • Has a folding hitch that simplifies storage.


  • Difficult to repair in case it breaks down.
  • Spare parts not readily available.

Brinly BS-38BH sleeve Hitch 38 inches Tow Behind Box Scraper

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It offers all-round gardening services such as landscaping and yard work just to name a few. It can perform all sort of operations such as uprooting, debris removal and leveling the lawn because of its versatile attachments and the efficiency of its work. You can easily remove the scarifier and side plates to get a blade perfect for backfilling grading and getting rid of gravel or snow. The machine can easily navigate through corners and tight spaces.

For the tool work with more efficiency, you need to buy a sleeve hitch separately. It has a robust make and goes for an affordable price.


  • Ability to perform almost all gardening services.
  • It is a very effective tool.
  • Ability to maneuver with ease around tight areas and corners.


  • You need to buy a sleeve hitch separately

Brinly PA-40BH Pull Behind aerator

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This unit is a smaller version of the Fab-45 thus cannot handle as much weight as the Fab-45. It is a great machine for anyone who desires quality results but for small operations on an even ground. It has 25 solid plug spoons that can penetrate up to 3 inches deep of a very compacted soil. It is highly effective in breaking through tough thatch and decompressing turf surfaces thus allowing better penetration of nutrients, water, and air into the soil.

The Brinly PA-40BH features three independently rotating part that consists of 24 solid plug spoons and is made of 16 steel gauge. This model has a durable loading tray that can give maximum support an extra load of up to 150 pounds. The tray is enclosed ensuring that the weights do not fall off when maneuvering on uneven ground and at high speeds.

This model also guarantees you that it would not fall apart when operating on an uneven soil surface. This feature ensures that the unit is effective when operating on compacted ground. Lastly, the machine is equipped with semi-pneumatic wheels that are durable no matter the type of terrain.


  • Can penetrate harder surfaces.
  • Very robust construction.
  • Able to navigate through sidewalks and driveways with ease.


  • Takes time to assemble

Brinly AS-40BH Tow Behind Combination Aerator Spreader – The best pull behind plug aerator overall

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This is an example of a combination unit that apart from spreading let’s say fertilizers across the lawn, while simultaneously aerating the surface. It has a steel drop spreader for releasing seeds together with fertilizers directly into the soil while the aerator loosens the surface simultaneously. It is designed to achieve a healthy green lawn with minimal effort.

It is a manual model, made to withstand tougher surfaces. The weight tray can withstand an additional load of up to 100 pounds. The hopper is made of 18-gauge steel, welded to minimize twisting when loading. The aerator has eleven 8-inch tines made of galvanized steel to keep them rust-free and sharp enough to penetrate the turf up-to 2 inches deep. This machine is also equipped with a heavy-duty spacer giving it more strength and reliability. The adjustable stop installed in the flow control ensures accurate spread pattern minimizing wastage. The Brinly AS-40BH thus guarantees you that both aeration and spreading jobs will be completed within a short time.

This product is popular for minor and moderate soil compaction. The wheels equipped on this tool ensures smooth movement across rougher surfaces. The tool has a handle used to raise the spikes in position as you navigate around rocky areas of your lawn. The tow tube design and the solid tine shaft provide maximum reliability. This feature is definitely a winner as it is our top pick for the best pull behind plug aerator on the market.


  • Durable drawbars and tubular steel framing.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Aerates the lawn simultaneously drooping fertilizers.
  • Tine stars are galvanized and rust-resistant.


  • The star tines are not strong enough.
  • Relatively low weight capacity.

Agri-Fab 45-0474 smart link plug aerator (40 inches)

This machine has unique features, unlike the previously stated aerators. The stainless steel knives are much more durable and stronger. The aerator is made of tough material also to ensure it doesn’t break easily. These features combined make the Agri-Fab smart-link aerator the most durable of all the aerators in the current market. You will not only get a long-lasting aerator but also at an affordable price. Another advantage of this model is that you would not be constantly needing repairs of parts since it has high durability.

The equipment is designed in such a way it requires a small space when being put in storage. It is coated with a tough material giving it durability even when working under harsh conditions. Its design also allows it to perform well in all types of soil conditions even in rocky areas. The smart-link feature makes it an amazing machine to have to work on your lawn and the precise soil aeration it performs is an added bonus.

With this tool, you can perform proper plugging ensuring there is an improvement of nutrients and water and air penetration to the deepest roots for healthier lawn grass. The unit comes with a 3-year warranty, how cool is that?


  • It has durable galvanized knives.
  • Has a 3-year warranty.
  • Easy to put it in store. Requires little space.
  • Made using robust and durable material.


  • Not as effective as Agri-Fab 45
  • No readily available spares
  • Not easy to repair.

Brinly PA-48BH tow behind plug aerator (48 inches)

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This model has the ability to loosen and aerate compacted soil allowing room for air, water, and fertilizers to easily penetrate the soil. Its 16-gauge steel plug spoons can penetrate compacted soil up to 3 inches deep. The PA-40BH is narrower and its sharper ends enable it to penetrate compacted soil with ease without needing a lot of extra weight.

Its design is all steel making a strong and durable model. Furthermore, the weight tray can withstand an extra 200 pounds. The tires of this model are heat-treated to make them more durable. In addition to this, the machine is made more portable by the single transport lever reachable from the tractor seat. This makes the aerator able to move with ease along with drives, crosswalks and rooted areas.

The model has three rotating parts and the ability to move easily in uneven terrain and corners.


  • Easy to transport along cross-drives, walks, and rooted areas.
  • Ability to work in uneven terrain.
  • Durable construction.
  • it comes with a 2-year warranty.


  • Not as effective as the Fab 45.
  • A lot of work in assembly

Strongway Drum Spike Aerator (36 inches)

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This type of aerator is made of a simple design to make it easy to attach to your tractor when you need to use it. It offers 36 inches of aerating space and covers a wider ground with each pass. Therefore, you won’t have to repeatedly move about your lawn to aerate it well. This saves you a great deal of time. It has a drum 14 inches in diameter with 78 spikes each three inches long and can penetrate the ground 2.5 inches deep. This depth is enough to ensure proper aeration and mineral circulation in the soil. The drum can hold up to 24 gallons of water adding the extra weight to allow the spike to penetrate even deeper into the ground. The frame is powder-coated making it corrosion resistant increasing its robustness.


  • It is a simple design, and easy to use.
  • Durable structure.


  • There is another better aerator out there.
  • The unit is heavy and may end up damaging the grass.

Ohio Steel 48CP Pro Spring Activated Core Plugger (48 inches)

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The Ohio steel 48cp has the ability to easily aerator your and deals away with loose clippings. It is easier to use and handle when aerating your garden. It has a ¾ inch solid steel axle that holds everything together. This feature makes the Ohio steel 48CP quite durable. This plugger has spring assisted tines that provide expert results whether you do it yourself or hire skilled labor to mow the garden for you. The tines are steel making them heavy-duty and resistant to damage by rocks or rough terrain. The outcome is the same; spectacular. It has a working width of 42 inches making it an ideal size. It has a weight tray that can support up to 160 pounds. It has a single lever placed to allow it to be pulled with ease. It comes with a 10-inch semi-pneumatic wheels for easier mobility.

This model is assembled in the US by experts with years of experience in aerators. It has a warranty of two years against any defects that may be as a result of the manufacturer’s blunder. Rocky ground or roots cannot damage this plugger that easily. This plugger gets the job done without much fuss leaving your garden with improved aeration, moisture, and other nutrients.


  • The tines strong hence not easily damaged.
  • Its body to is powder-coated to enhance durability.
  • Easy to tow.
  • Has a large weight capacity.


  • The lever can easily break if overworked.
  • Spare parts are difficult to find.

Strongway Tow-Behind Plug Aerator (48 inches)

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This is another aerator from the Strongway brand that has been tested to be effective in aeration of your lawn. It is made of 32 coring plug spikes that can make a penetration of up to a depth of 2.5 inches of solid compacted soil.  The aerators weight tray can withstand up to a load of 140 pounds. This provides you with enough room to easily load up cement blocks for improved surface penetration. The unit is easy to move around given its 10-inch pneumatic tires that can roll smoothly over any kind of train, be it rocky surface or muddy ground, you name it.

You should also be aware of the pin-style hitch that provides you with a quick way of removing the ATV or the lawnmower. The powder coat finish gives this aerator a long-lasting service term making corrosion resistance increasing its resilience. It is equipped with 10-inch pneumatic tires to provide smooth movement.


  • Has strong wheels to hold substantial weight perfectly.
  • Has a perfectly positioned lever.
  • Has a powder-coated body to protect it from corrosion making it more durable.
  • Performs on any type of soil condition.


  • Spare parts not easily available.
  • It is too wide.


Which the best size for an aerator?

It depends on the size of the land or workload. Large aerators will manage to finish heavy tasks within a short time. For small gardens, the lesser and less complicated aerators are recommended.

What is the advantage of using plugs over spikes?

Though they both have the same function, plugs are better since they get to aerate all the soil instead of compacting other portions like the spikes.

Is an aerator similar to the scarifier?

Not really. People mistake the two because they look similar but they have different functionalities. The scarifier removes organic deposits on the soil while aerators penetrate the soil to promote air, water and nutrients circulation.

Can I purchase an already assembled aerator?

Tractor Supply has an assembled unit for sale. However, this unit is simple to assemble just follow the step to step construction pamphlet.

What is the need of an aerator?

An aerator is a good choice for anyone with a lawn. It is used to aerate the soil allowing circulation of water, air and mineral salts resulting to stronger and healthy garden.

How much does an aerator cost?

Price depends on the brand and features. You can get one with as low as $150.

How to maintain an aerator

Most common maintenance activities include cleaning the unit after every use, ensuring proper lubrication of all moving parts and you can also paint metallic parts to prevent rusting. Some of these maintenance activities can be carried out at home and be advised to take your aerator to an expert mechanic in case you run into a more serious issue with your aerator.

Recommendation and conclusion

The budget pick of all pull-behind plug aerators is the Agri-fab 45-0544 40inch spike aerator. It has star-shaped tines that penetrate into the ground for quick lawn aeration. Equipped with a 40-inch swath and 10 galvanized steel spikes, this aerator is very useful for softer soil. It also comes already pre-assembled saving you the pain. It has a foldable hitch for easier storage. It is made of quality material, built to last making it the best alternative if you are on a shopping budget.

The Agri-fab 45-0299 makes aerating tough soils and big lawns easy and manageable. This heavy-duty has a universal hitch coupler perfect for zero-turn mowers and tractors. It can penetrate harder soils with the aid of the tray which can hold up to 175 pounds. It is capable of tackling all jobs and comes at an excellent price. This heavy-duty aerator is definitely the best value pull behind aerator for large lawns.

The best overall pull behind plug aerator is the Brinly AS-40BH which combines aeration, fertilizing the lawn and adjusting the soil pH all at once. This top-rated pull behind aerator spreader gives you the opportunity to aerate and spread grass seeds or fertilizers at the same time. This machine speeds up the entire process of lawn maintenance. Its star-shaped tines are galvanized and can penetrate up to 2 inches of compacted soil. It is equipped with a hopper that holds 120 pounds of spreading material. the flow control is maintained by a lever to minimize wastage. This is definitely a winner, the best spike aerator out there.

You need the best pull behind plug aerator according to your preference and the size of your yard will also be a factor not forgetting your budget plan. In the end, the best pull behind plug aerator should loosen soil giving room for proper aeration and better support on plant growth.