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Best Pull Behind Plug Aerator

Is your lawn a tad dry and hard as blocks of brittle chalk, such that the roots of your plants such as grass and the like have a hard time penetrating deep into the soil or getting nutrients into them? First, water your lawn. Second, get an aerator to aerate the land. When looking for the best pull behind plug aerator on the market to date, you need to a device that has heavy duty plug spoons, perfectly positioned wheels, a tray to add more weight, and durable material composition, among other things.

What Are The Hallmarks of an Excellent Pull-Behind Plug Aerator?

What is a pull behind/pull-behind plug aerator anyway? It's a type of device that takes care of the soil by aerating or making holes on the soil to allow nutrients, air, and water into the roots of your plants and grass without harming them. With that in mind, here are some of the things you should take into consideration when looking for the best pull behind plug aerator you could get your hands on.


Are spike aerators effective? Yes, they are. Some models more than others. When it comes to aerating soil particularly soil that's just wet enough without harming the surrounding grass in the process, it certainly beats a rake, a shovel, and elbow grease. When getting a good aerator, it should at the very least accomplish the above mentioned tasks. All aerators should meet this bare minimum standard but many of them don't or do poorly even when passing this criterion.


How strong is your aerator? You need a strong aerator in order for it to be able to consistently penetrate the soil on your lawn with the right depth of holes. If you have rather compact soil in your lawn with grass already growing on it, a strong aerator will be able to do its job without killing the grass underneath it. Strong aerators are also capable of working all lawn sections with amazing ease. The strength of the aerator specs-wise depends on how high its capacity is.


 How big is your aerator? The size of your aerator should match the size of your lawn, garden, farmland, or whatever else you've got. The compacter your land is the smaller your aerator should be so that it can make tight turns without engaging and disengaging it constantly. Meanwhile, if you have a big lawn, a small aerator will be the equivalent of trying to cut a jungle's worth of tall grass with tiny scissors. It's also easier to store small aerators versus big ones the size of a lawnmower.


What should your plug aerator be made of? Many aerators use anti-corrosion materials or use techniques like galvanization in order to combat rust formation. Wet soil is one of the most corrosive substances there is to metal next to seawater and outright acid. The spikes or knives of the plug aerator should have enough sharpness and durability in them to penetrate though damp land or even dry land. Extra materials could even be added like aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure rust-free durability.


What's the price of your plug aerator? You want to save money of course but you don't want to be so stingy and cheap that you end up with an inferior product. To do so would defeat the purpose of investing in an aerator in the first place. Furthermore, you should set your budget early on to know which aerators you can afford then save up for better aerators outside your budget in case you feel that they're worth the investment. Usually, it's better to spend more to get more than to spend less and get what you paid for.

A good example of a decent aerator is the strongway tow-behind plug aerator - 48 inch w, 32 coring plugs. However, it hasn't made the list below that's mainly composed of Agri-Fab and Brinly products because they're all superior to the Strongway in many ways, particularly in terms of cost-effectiveness.

1. Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator

The Agri-Fab 48-inch Plug Aerator is a tow-behind lawn groomer you can depend on because it does the standard duty of making your lawn better by punching holes in the ground in no time without harming the grass and other plants as well as so much more. It makes a good case as one of the Best Lawn Aerators out there. Why? This is because it's capable of loosening your yard's compacted soil with the right amount of depth.

To be more specific, it enables your soil to grow healthy with the depth of plugs that are dependent on grass height or mass, soil hydration or compaction, and the weight load. We used 190 pounds for our specific soil circumstances and the unit didn't buckle to the pressure. That's why it's among the Best Plug Aerators out there in our estimation. You can even town the plugger behind your ATV serving as the lawn mower.

However, remember to drive slowly in order to really sink the tines into the soil. It's best used in damp areas after mild rain in order to truly get desired results. Also, remember that the longer the plugs the better your aeration with. It's a good candidate for the best pull behind plug aerator because of how well it worked and how few our complaints are about it. It gets a lower score in light of quality control complaints on the Amazon page among verified-purchase customers.


Thing We Liked

  • Performs well with ATVs as a pull-behind aerator
  • Works best on a large lawn with slightly damp ground

Thing We didn't Liked

  • Quality control issues

2. Brinly PA-40BH Tow Behind Plug Aerator, 40-Inch

As for the Brinly PA-40BH, it represents itself quite well as one of the best tow behind aerator out there. After all, it comes complete with 24 heat-treated plugs, weight tray, universal hitch, and transport lever. It's actually rated a little better than the previous entry of Agri-Fab 45-0299 despite lacking inches. All-in-all, the unit we got works as expected.

It does have issues when it comes to lawns that involve a lot of engaging and disengaging or have tight corners involved. There's also a brinly 48 plug aerator available if you want 8 extra inches of aerating length. This is a better aerator than the Agri-Fab 45-0299 because it has better quality control even though they share the same limitations when it comes to aerating small, compact lawns.

In any case, it got its higher ratings mostly because it works quite well in wide areas like farmlands or big sweeping lawns. Like the Agri-Fab 45-0299, it also works best with proper soil moisture. The brinley aerator spreader will get stuck with a muddy lawn that has too much water. It also can't get good penetration when the soil is too dry. It should be just right. Be careful with the small pin that holds the lever because it get can loose during bumps.


Thing We Liked

  • Consistent quality control
  • Works best when aerating large, damp lawns
  • Comes complete with lever, universal hitch, trays, and plugs

Thing We didn't Liked

  • Small pin can get loose during bumps

3. Brinly SAT-40BH Tow Behind Spike Aerator with Transport Wheels, 40-Inch

This is another Brinly brand aerator. This model, the SAT-40BH, is rated only slightly lower than the PA-40BH diy pull behind aerator but still higher than the Agri-Fab 45-0299. It comes with easy-to-engage wheels, durable steel tray that holds 100 pounds of extra weight, and galvanized tine stars to avoid rust and corrosion of the unit.

This SAT-40BH unit also gets plus points when it comes to its economy of packing and design. The materials used on this aerating tool are all first-rate. It's a good plug aerator spreader combo from where we sit because it works just as well as the PA-40BH despite its lower score. It does have flaws when it comes to the instructions. You should run the axel through the end panels first before assembling the tines to the axle.

It indeed got lower user ratings from people complaining about missing nuts and bolts from the kit, so you might need to buy missing parts if you're unlucky with your bought unit. Regardless, many pull behind aerator reviews will agree that this model is a good Brinly PA-40BH alternative although when you round off user ratings, the aerators so far are roughly the same caliber. Its main flaw is in the construction and instructions, not necessarily its performance once assembled.

Thing We Liked

  • Economy of packing and design
  • Galvanized rust-resistant tine stars
  • Ability to hold 100 pounds of extra weight

Thing We didn't Liked

  • Instruction and assembly issues

4. Agri-Fab 45-0474 SmartLink Plug Aerator

The package includes rustproof aerator knives (like in the case of the galvanized SAT-40BH unit) that removes all the soil plugs in order to loosen your lawn's compacted soil to make it easier for grass and other plants to grow. You can mount it to the pull behind drum plug aerator without the assistance of tools as well. It's plug-and-play.  It also comes with a 3-year limited consumer warranty to boot.

 SmartLink platform to make it a complete lawn aerator model not included. Only buy this product if you have the platform. In fairness to this model, the whole thing really does rate high when you combine platform with aerator knives, and it's easier to construct than SAT-40BH. In regards to complaints, it mostly has to do with poor packaging and missing pieces (the latter of which could be a shipping issue).

Thing We Liked

  • Rustproof aerator knives
  • Tool-free linkage with the SmartLink platform
  • Easy aerator replacement without replacing the whole unit

Thing We didn't Liked

  • Quality control and lack of wheels without the platform

5. Brinly BS-38BH Sleeve Hitch Tow Behind Box Scraper, 38-Inch

Last is the Brinly BS-38BH. Take note that we didn't say last but not the least. Technically, the Brinly BS-38BH is the least on this list, as in the lowest rated by the users on Amazon. However, it still belongs on this list because of its compactness and durability. Many aerator spreader combo reviews will agree that this unit is a good example of the combo or 2-in-1 design, thanks to its side plates and scarifier bar.

Furthermore, you can remove those parts from the box scraper in order to turn the unit into rear blade mode, which is perfect for moving materials such as gravel, snow, and dirt as well as backfilling and grading. There are also tow behind aerator reviews that could vouch for this unit's ability to maneuver in tight spaces, which is exactly what the wide-angle, big-lawn aerators such as Brinly PA-40BH and Agri-Fab 45-0299 lack.

So why did this compact and maneuverable aerator that can double as a snow plow and gravel mover get last place on this list? It's because even though it's versatile, it's a jack of all trades and master of none. What's more, there are customer complaints regarding how the blades and bar kept falling out. Even though it can be transformed into two modes, those removable parts can be quite hard to put back together. 

Thing We Liked

  • 2-in-1 design that lets it double as a gravel and snow plow
  • Detachable bar and rear blade to allow for a second mode
  • Compactness allows aeration of smaller lawns with tight corners

Thing We didn't Liked

  • The bar and rear blade keeps falling out


Which lawn aerator is best? By the ratings and customer consensus, the answer should be obvious. In 1st place is the Agri-Fab 45-0474, in 2nd place is Brinly PA-40BH, in 3rd place is the Brinly SAT-40BH, in 4th place is the Agri-Fab 45-0299, and in 5th place is the Brinly BS-38BH. However, take the user ratings with a grain of salt. The Agri-Fab 45-0474 is arguably in 1st place if you were to also buy the SmartLink platform along with it. The other items from 3rd to 5th place range from a good substitute for the 1st and 2nd place aerator winners to unique units with unfortunate flaws, like Brinly BS-38BH and its detachable bars and blades that keep detaching.

Technically, as far as more complete and cost-effective packages are concerned, the Brinly PA-40BH is a better fit because it already comes with a wheeled platform and getting an ATV to pull it around is mostly optional. Therefore, the best pull behind plug aerator of the bunch is Brinly PA-40BH when wheeled platforms are concerned and the Agri-Fab 45-0474 when you only judge by user ratings. Also, watch out for the overall price of the Agri-Fab 45-0474 because it requires an extra attachment that adds to your financial burden regardless of its standalone quality as an aerator part.

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