Going green is not only beneficial to our pockets but also to the planet. One of the ways to reduce our carbon footprint is by recycling and using organic supplements on your soil.
Composting is an excellent way to attain healthy soil to grow our food. 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away is food scraps and yard waste. These items end up going to landfills where they not only take up space, but they also release methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.
We can compost them instead.
Finding the perfect rotating composter for your needs can be quite a challenge, especially for beginners.
For this reason, here at GardenEaze, we have come up with five garden tumblers and provided a review of each one of them to make your purchase easier.
After the compost tumbler reviews, we then look at some of the essential things to note in general when buying a rotating compost bin. And what tips you might need to start that magic process of making your first batch of home made mulch.
Best Compost Tumbler
|Best compost tumbleroverall||Lifetime 60058 Tumbling Composter||80 gallon capacitySingle barrelLift up lid for easy loadingEasy to turn||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Largest capacity compost barrel tumbler||Mantis Compact ComposTumbler CT02001||88 gallon capacityGood aerationGeared handle for easy rotation||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Best small compost tumbler||Envirocycle The Cutest Composter in the World||17 gallon capacityProduces compost and compost teaMade in the USA||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Dual Body Tumbling Composter by HOTFROG||37 gallon capacityDouble chamberExcellent aeration||CHECK THE PRICE|
|EJWOX Composting Tumbler||43 gallon capacityEasy slide doors for loading and unloadingDual chambers||CHECK THE PRICE|
Compost Tumblers Reviews
Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler
Best Compost Tumbler Overall
The Lifetime compost tumbler is one of the most massive tumblers in the market at a capacity of 80 gallons. This is an excellent capacity and should be enough for most householders. Indeed anything in excess of 50 gallons is a good indicator of size.
It is a single tumbler fashioned out of high-density polyethylene plastic and comes with a powder-coated steel stand.
One of the most frustrating things about looking for a compost tumbler is finding one that locks in enough heat to cook the organic material so it is just right. This compost bin tumbler is UV protected and locks in heat. So much so that it is recommended you store it in the shade if you live in a sunny area.
It also has a lock pin that stops it from rotating when you want to fill or empty it.
Moving the finished product from the barrel into a wheelbarrow is easy since when standing, its opening is 12 inches above the ground and the wheelbarrow can easily fit under.
Things we like
- It is constructed using heavy duty paneling which gives it a long lifespan.
- It doesn’t require significant accessories. Once assembled it is ready to go.
- Its internal mixing bar ensures there is adequate aeration inside.
Things we don’t like
- It lacks a hand crank and could be difficult to use.
- The process of assembling it is tedious and time consuming This may not be suitable for you if you are not handy with tools.
- The company doesn’t sell spare parts. That might be a problem later on if for some reason you require them.
Overall, the high quality materials used in making the Lifestyle 60058 Composter makes it a good choice and we think you can see from this tumbling composter review that this is our pick of the crop for the crown of best tumbling composter.
Mantis Compact ComposTumbler CT02001
Largest capacity compost barrel tumbler
The mantis mini composter tumbler comes with an 88-gallon drum with a large door that makes filling simple. It also has a gear driven handle which makes turning the compost mixer tool a less demanding affair.
This rotating composter is designed with ventilation ports at the door to ensure there is enough aeration which also guarantees you a short maturing period of just a few weeks.
Quality was not left to chance as the unit is made using galvanized steel that will not be damaged by the elements too soon. This is reinforced by the company’s two-year warranty, the longest we have seen so far in any tumbling compost bin.
Things we like
- The gear driven handle makes the turning of the material seem like child’s play.
- The vents ensure there is enough air to hasten the maturing process.
- The unit is made of non-toxic materials, so your health is safe.
- The assembly process is simple and doesn’t take too much of your time.
Things we don’t like
- It has some odor so it’s advisable not to store it near windows.
- It may require some time-consuming maintenance to keep the galvanized steel rust-free.
- It is not great option for people with large gardens.
The Mantis tumbler composter gives you your finished product in just a few weeks with no hard labor. We recommend this rotating compost bin for someone just starting out on their composting career.
Envirocycle The Cutest Composter in the World
Best Small Compost Tumbler
This small compost tumbler is perhaps, one of the cutest rotating compost bins in the world and makes for a welcome change. You can now have a compost mixer which is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Its design makes it easy to place anywhere because of its physical appeal.
It is a two in one compost bin tumbler with a drum, or perhaps more a ball, for the organic material and a tea maker for a base. It also has deep grooves, a critical feature when it comes to turning the device. Unfortunately is is a perhaps the smallest of the range of composting tumblers and not really suitable for medium to large gardens.
You will no longer need to scoop your material into a wheelbarrow to transfer it to the garden. This rotating composter design allows the drum to conveniently roll off the base so you can dump the contents where you need them. Additionally, you will no longer need to reach in, just open the door and the manure rolls out effortlessly.
You do not have to be limited by the company’s specs. You can have it in 17 and 35 gallons.
Things we like
- It comes with both a compost drum and a tea maker.
- It is ready to use. It doesn’t require any assembling.
- It matures the compost much faster than other brands.
- It is easy on the eyes.
Things we don’t like
- It is a mini composter tumbler.
- It may sometimes attract insects.
- Quite expensive compared to other brands.
- It does not have a stand, so you have to keep bending to work with it.
If you would prefer not to own one of the many hideous looking rotating compost bins, the Envirocycle is best suited for you. Because of its size we would suggest this is a candidate for the best compact compost tumbler for a small or urban garden. Less useful for a larger one.
Dual Body Tumbling Composter by HOTFROG
This dual batch compost tumbler is ideal for beginners because it is easy to use and maintain compared to other tumbling composters. It has two sides which makes it easy to create a rich and fertile organic material for your garden, but in small batches. Additionally, its BPA free polyethylene exterior will not be damaged by the sun.
Composting tumblers work best when the material you use is placed into the compost mixer all at once. This can sometimes be a problem to achieve but having a tumbling composter with twin turnable chambers this problems is essentially solved. You can use one chamber first, get that started and then begin to gather material for the second chamber to start later.
The sliding doors make filling a breeze.
Assembling this unit is easy and straightforward, all you need is an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver. You will also love how sturdy the frame is.
Things we like
- It has a high capacity.
- It has wheels and can, therefore, be easily moved around.
- It is made of products which are durable.
- It is quite simple to assemble.
Things we don’t like
- It is a bit expensive compared to other tumblers.
- It is big and bulky compared to other tumblers of its capacity.
These Hotfrog barrels are one of a number of double compost tumblers available. The ease of use of this one is the reason why we recommend it here as it is not really a cheap compost tumbler.
EJWOX Composting Tumbler
The EJWOX is another dual batch compost tumbler, a feature which makes it ideal for use in different seasons. You can use one batch of rich fertilizing material as the other is percolating. Its slide doors allow you to monitor the compost without much hassle. Loading the tumbler is also an easy task.
Quality is a big deal when it comes to any purchase, and this turning compost bin does not disappoint. It is made of high quality sturdy material which assures you of longevity.
It also has a two-legged stand keeping it off the ground and helping you with emptying the compartments. You can easily put a wheelbarrow beneath it to scoop the manure into.
Turning a mixer barrel can be difficult as the material inside may be heavy. Especially if the unit doesn’t have a turner in its designs. Fortunately this machine has a metal spinner attached in a couple of points around the box drum which allows easy rolling of your pile of compost.
Things we like
- It has a high capacity.
- The two chambers ensure you get maximum yield.
- It is easy to rotate.
- It is not bulky and can easily fit in a small yard.
Things we don’t like
- The time it takes to put together may be a bit too long for some people.
Best Tumbling Composter Buying Guide
You’ve seen our composting tumbler reviews. We know move on to what to look for in your preferred model. This buying guide contains all the things you need to know to help you buy the best tumbler composter. You will also find out why you need to get yourself one if you haven’t already.
What types of garden compost tumblers are out there?
There are three types of rotating compost bin available: the sealed drum, the aerated drum, and the double compost tumbler.
The sealed drum rotating compost bin
It is tightly sealed and doesn’t even allow moisture to drain. It is either set on a base with rollers that would enable you to spin or it is raised on an axle.
It should also have an internal mixing bar that will allow for the contents to mix rather than just slosh inside it.
You can decide to install it with a drain to let out a “compost tea” which you can use as a spray or liquid fertilizer. The only downside to this model is that is does not work very fast since it doesn’t allow air in.
The aerated drum compost tumbler
These tumblers deliver air directly to the compost. The air helps to speed up the composting process and so this tumbler works faster than the sealed drum method.
The speed is a significant advantage; you can get by with a smaller tumbler because your compost matures faster and you can remake it more times.
The dual bin compost tumblers
This design has two side by side chambers. They can either have a separate door for each bin or a single shared door.
A model with separate doors is more advantageous because it allows you to have one chamber maturing while you are using the manure and refilling from another for another round.
You should make sure the hinges are sturdy because if the doors do not work, you lose functionality in your compost mixer tool.
Since most of the modern models have aeration, it is also swift and functions in the region of twice as fast as an aerated drum tumbling compost bin.
Key features to look out for when buying a compost tumbler
Now that you know the different types available, what are some of the things you should bear in mind to ensure you have the best composter?
What material is it made of?
The best materials for your compost tumbler would be dark and plastic. This type of material is best for absorbing and retaining the heat required to cook the compost materials.
Some parts like hinges may be metallic. It is imperative that they are rust proof because too much rust may make the tumbler wholly unusable or inefficient.
You should also consider the strength of the material; a flimsy plastic, for instance, will not last as long as a heavy duty one.
The capacity they can hold
The capacity you choose will depend on how much manure you need at any given time. If you have a small garden and only need a small amount, you shouldn’t get a large compost tumbler and vice versa.
The amount of space available
Apart from your manure needs, you also need to look at your available space. If your yard is big, storage space will not be a problem. If on the other hand, it is tiny, you will have to look for a tumbler that will fit without inconveniencing you.
How easy is it to use
The newest models of tumblers have handles and gears which help turn the organic material inside. There are simpler versions that lack these implements and may be a bit more challenging to use. Creating the best compost is a relatively simple task which we have examined in detail for anyone interested in how to use a compost tumbler.
The type you choose will depend entirely on how much you mind the hard work. If you love a physical challenge, you can opt to turn it the manual way. If you are busy and can do without the extra work, or maybe you have back or other limiting problems, these composteur mixers will be more convenient for you.
How fast do you want your finished heap?
Tumblers generally produce manure faster than other container boxes. Get the recipe right and you can make a full drum of compost in a few short weeks with one of these machines. If you want your fertilizer as soon as possible, you may want to get an aerated tumbler as opposed to a sealed drum one.
How much are you willing to spend?
It doesn’t matter how much you love a tumbler, if you cannot afford it, you can’t have it. We would suggest making a list of specifications and the prices of the compost tumblers that meet your needs. You may not afford your favorite, but there will definitely be a similar one in your price range. There are many places to buy them, but we have found Amazon to be almost always the best sale price available and would recommend you look there first, even if it is only to give you a guide price.
What are the benefits of using a compost tumbler?
Compost tumblers have become popular because of the immense benefits they provide to composters. Here are a few that will make you a believer.
Vermin will no longer have access to your compost
Open air composting can create a breeding ground for rats. Since the tumbler holds the compost off the ground and closed away, your compost will mature away from the pesky rodents. In fact they are solidly animal proof against almost all predators, even bears.
Turning the compost is easier
There are plenty of ideas around to build your own composter. For instance there are lots of instructions to be found on the net showing how to build a composter from trash or garbage cans. We’ve even seen some connected to a motor to turn regularly using an electric supply, although this would perhaps be a little industrial for us. Wooden pallets are also popular. However, building these DIY ideas are often easier on paper than in real life to do.
Whatever you choose, a compost pile or even a composting container may require more than one person to turn it as the original material may be a considerable weight.
We prefer to concentrate our energy in more rewarding areas of our garden. Tumblers, especially the ones with handles, are much easier to turn and require little if any general maintenance
They produce less odor
Provided your ratio of green and browns is correct, tumblers are more likely to produce less odor than other composting media.
Speedy turnover time
Bins and pits may take months to produce mature compost. Tumblers, on the other hand, take just a few weeks.
Frequently asked questions about compost tumblers?
Here are a few questions regarding the tumblers.
Can I get spares for my compost tumbler?
This will depend on the company from which you get your tumbler. Some companies sell spares while some do not so be sure to ask this question when buying. It shouldn’t generally be a problem, many parts are made from tough plastic or stainless steel and should survive the outdoors without too many problems.
My composter is too hard to spin. What might be the problem?
This may be because of two reasons. One, it may be too full and hence heavy for you. To remedy this, do not fill it to the brim. You should have it at two thirds full.
The other reason is that it is lying horizontally on the ground. To avoid this ensure the tumbler is on solid ground. Make sure you place your tumble on level ground. It spins more easily when the internal weight is distributed evenly.
Do I Need to Add Worms?
The short answer here is no. You should not add worms to a compost tumbler. In simple terms, the drums tend to be insulated and sealed and when the material begins to break down, it generates a surprising amount of heat. Any worms inside the barrel are unable to escape the heat and will perish.
Can I Use My Tumbler in Winter?
You can use your tumbler during the winter months, however there are a number of factors that you need to pay attention to.
To continue the composting process, you do need to try to keep some warmth inside the composting material. This means you should consider making the drum insulated, and also try to move the tumbler into a warm, sunny area in your backyard. The sun still shines in the winter, just not as often and not for as long. However, any help counts.
The other major problem is moisture. If too much moisture gets into the barrel then it can prevent the composting process from working. If it looks as though the moisture content is getting too high, get a bucket, remove a portion of the most soggy material and replace it with dry naturally aerated material such as straw.
Follow these guidelines and you may well be able to kick of the early growing season with a rich, fresh and nutritious new compost.