To have a beautiful garden, most people use compost. You can turn your yard and kitchen waste into food for your plants. However, you’ve got to use the right tools to get the job done.
We’re going to discuss the best compost tumbler by looking at various models and telling you which ones are best. To ensure that you have the right information, we also discuss what these tumblers are, why they’re beneficial, and where to place them.
Table of Contents
What Is a Compost Tumbler?
Compost tumblers are just fully sealed containers that rotate to mix up the compost materials. Since it is enclosed, it retains the heat generated throughout the composting process. This speeds up the operation of turning your waste into compost.
Some tumblers turn in different directions. Typically, they’re made using recyclable materials and can be filled with organic yard waste and scraps from the kitchen.
It’s also possible to add some garden soil, fertilizer, and finished compost to help with the process. However, you’re not required to add anything else. Any organic waste added to the barrel gets broken down.
This is similar to the heap method because various living organisms and microbes feed off the waste and provide oxygen to speed up the process. Tumblers aren’t the same as traditional bins, which don’t turn and make it more difficult to create compost.
Pros and Cons of Compost Tumbler
There are plenty of advantages for using a compost tumbler. Let’s look at them now:
The compost tumbler makes it easier to turn and aerate the mixture. Sometimes, the device uses a crank, and you turn it to move the barrel around. Others might roll around the central rod, but they all work well if they’re not too large.
It can take more energy and time to turn a compost heap. You have to do it with a pitchfork and really use your upper back and arms to get the job done. This issue is eliminated with a compost tumbler.
2. Works Faster
When you’ve got ideal conditions, you can complete the composting process faster with a compost tumbler. You require the right balance of nitrogen and carbon waste, appropriate outdoor temperatures, and the proper moisture level. With that, you have ready-to-use compost in about two or three weeks.
3. Sealed and Concealed
Since the barrel lid closes, you can keep animals out of it. While there are small ventilation holes, most animals can’t get inside. Insects can, but this is often minimal.
4. Looks Better
A compost heap can look unsightly in or near your garden, and the bin often looks dirty and grungy, too. However, a compost tumbler is much more attractive. You can find many sleek designs with tidier operations so that the garden looks clean.
5. Less Odor
Since the compost tumbler is sealed, you don’t smell anything as the scraps and bits start to decay. This is a must-have for small spaces, and the neighbors are sure to appreciate it.
6. Easy to Use
You can often move the tumbler wherever you need it because it has wheels. This means it’s possible to put the tumbler where it’s most convenient to add scraps. Then, move it to the garden to compost.
Even with so many benefits, compost tumblers do have a few drawbacks. These include:
If the compost tumbler is large, you can have more compost. However, this means it can be harder to turn the barrel because there’s so much inside. Most manufacturers are required to have a size limit to avoid this issue.
2. Add Your Own Worms
With a compost heap or bin, worms can get inside. They’re essential to break down the scraps into fertilizer. You have to add and remove them yourself with a compost tumbler so that they don’t stay inside and die.
3. Less Exercise
When you turn the compost manually, it gives you plenty of exercises. You don’t have that luxury with the compost tumbler. However, most people have back, arm, and shoulder issues that don’t allow them to do this safely.
The 10 Best Compost Tumblers For Your Garden
It’s important to find out more about the 10 most appropriate compost tumblers out there. The table below shows you a list of options with pertinent information so that you can glance and go if you prefer.
|FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter||37 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|SQUEEZE Master Large Compost Tumbler Bin||43 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler||37 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|EJWOX Garden Compost Bin||43 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler||80 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|FCMP Outdoor Dual Body Tumbling Composter by HOTFROG||37 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|RSI MCT-MC Maze Compost Tumbler||65 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|Spin Bin Outdoor Compost Tumbler||60 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|FCMP Outdoor Roto Tumbling Composter||37 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
|Kotulas Wheeled Compost Tumbler||50 Gallons||Buy on Amazon|
Compost Tumbler Reviewed
1. FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter
The FCMP brand has the original eight-sided tumbler. With this design, you can be more efficient and mix everything easily. Just make sure your door is closed and turn it every two or three days for about five or six rotations.
Even if you’re a beginner, you can use it without an issue. There are larger openings, and the door comes off.
That way, you can add your clippings and scraps faster. Plus, it’s much quicker to remove the finished compost.
This dual-chamber composter has two separate sides. That way, one area can be finishing up while the second is ready to go. Continue swapping sides so that you’ve got an uninterrupted flow of healthy, rich compost.
With a total capacity of 37 gallons, you can make as much compost as you require for your garden. Plus, the aeration holes and deep fins can break up large clumps within the chamber. You rarely have to open it unless you’re getting compost out or adding fresh scraps.
2. SQUEEZE Master Large Compost Tumbler Bin
With the SQUEEZE brand, you are going to find it easy to rotate this tumbler. There are also plenty of air holes. This gives you more airflow and circulation to ensure that the compost is ready when you need it.
The base and barrel are black, but you can choose green, blue, or purple for the dual doors. Use one side first and then add fresh clippings to the second side. You always have fresh compost this way.
Plus, you never have to dig or mix the compost by hand. Just rotate it about seven times every two days for the best results. You’ve only got to open the doors to add scraps or use the compost.
You’re going to like the steel frame, and the barrel is made of PP and is BPA-free. It can handle loads of up to 352 pounds, though you may not need that much.
3. Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
Everyone tends to like well-known brands, and Miracle-Gro is a top one. It features a dual-chamber compost tumbler that looks unique in its design. Though it’s large, it’s also compact, so you can keep it on the patio or porch, or anywhere else you require it.
It comes as two separate containers that are hooked together. They rotate separately, as well, which gives you more ways to use the tumbler. Plus, it is easy to use and efficient when loading and unloading.
The design allows you to speed up the decomposition of the compost. That way, you have ready-to-use fertilizer in about four to six weeks.
We like that it’s crafted to be an all-season compost tumbler. The sides lock into place, but you’re going to appreciate the galvanized steel base. Plus, it seals tightly to keep out the pests.
Since UV-protected plastic is used, you get efficient and faster composting, regardless of the season. It’s never going to leach in harmful toxins, making the compost all-natural.
4. EJWOX Garden Compost Bin
Dual-compost tumblers are an excellent choice, and the one from EJWOX is streamlined to meet all of your needs. Since there are two separate doors, you can ensure you’ve always got compost at the ready.
There’s an internal bar to help mix the compost and provide airflow. The double-wall panels can help to retain and absorb heat. You also get a balanced rotation that’s easy to do yourself.
The steel frame is powder-coated. This gives you a sturdier base for the bin. The feet are made of galvanized steel, so the tumbler can stay outside without rusting or deteriorating.
We also like that it sits at the right height for loading. Whether you use a wheelbarrow, cart, or another container, you don’t have to bend over much to put things in. It also makes it easier to remove compost as it becomes ready.
5. Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler
If you only require a single-door tumbler, then the Lifetime brand might be ideal. It is made of polyethylene plastic and powder-coated steel for the feet and legs. You know it’s going to withstand any weather conditions while staying closed so that no pests get inside.
This is a larger model that holds 80 gallons or 10.72 cubic feet. However, it’s not too large of a build. That way, you can set it on a patio or balcony with ease.
The double-walled panels are thick. Since it’s a black construction, it absorbs plenty of heat, and the walls keep it inside where it belongs. That way, it decomposes the material faster.
There is an internal bar that can mix the compost for you. Plus, it helps oxygen get into the mix to break down the waste more easily. You’re going to appreciate that this tumbler turns easily on the axis and provides a more balanced rotation.
6. FCMP Outdoor Dual Body Tumbling Composter by HOTFROG
Dual-sided tumbling composters are quite popular, and the HOTFROG one from FCMP could be ideal. This product works well for beginners and features larger openings. Plus, you can easily slide the door out completely to make it easier to add scraps or take out the finished compost.
We like that the fins within the body can act as ergonomic handles. The fins are actually designed to break up the clumps within the chamber. There are also small aeration holes inside to mix more oxygen into the compost.
The barrels themselves are made of BPA-free polyethylene plastic. UV rays can’t get inside, which means it doesn’t break down the microorganisms needed to make the compost. Plus, the plastic isn’t going to degrade with time, meaning harmful chemicals don’t leak into your compost.
You’re going to find the galvanized steel frame is painted green. This makes it resistant to corrosion and looks great in almost any outdoor setting.
7. RSI MCT-MC Maze Compost Tumbler
For those who want more for their money, you’re going to appreciate the RSI brand. Its compost tumbler is made using high-impact, UV-resistant plastic. There’s also plenty of clearance under the barrel, making it easier to unload.
This product comes with its own wheeled cart. The low profile here ensures that you can get the compost out and take it to the garden where you require it.
The handle locks in place, which means you don’t have to worry about the kids opening or playing with it. There’s also a geared handle to make it easier to turn the composter. Even if it’s loaded very full, it’s going to balance and turn with ease.
In terms of capacity, the barrel holds 65 gallons, while the cart holds 12 gallons. This is often plenty for a trip around the garden, and the barrel ensures that you’ve got plenty of compost as you require it.
8. Spin Bin Outdoor Compost Tumbler
The Spin Bin brand has a unique method of doing things. You’re going to like that the composter holds 60 gallons of product. That means you can fill it full and have compost all year long.
There are also 20 ventilation slots, which means you aerate as you turn it. With two mixer bars at each end, the tumbler breaks up large pieces with ease. You don’t have to use a pitchfork or anything else to ensure that everything is composted quickly.
We like that the interior is ribbed, which also adds to the breaking down of the compost. On the outside, the Spin Bin provides steel legs that are strong and durable. To top it all off, the tumbler rotates effortlessly and sits on a slight angle.
This ensures that there isn’t too much weight in the bottom. You can easily grab the top and turn it slowly to turn and aerate the compost within.
9. FCMP Outdoor Roto Tumbling Composter
When you want a single door on your tumbler, the FCMP brand can help. It holds about 37 gallons of kitchen scraps and outdoor waste. You don’t have to dig or mix the pile by hand anymore.
Add the scraps and bits, close the door of the tumbler, and turn it every two days for five or six rotations. In the right conditions, you can have compost in about two weeks. However, it can take longer, based on various factors.
The frame uses galvanized steel to withstand the weight of the barrel and compost. Plus, it’s resistant to corrosion, so you can keep it outside where it belongs.
We like the UV-inhibited polyethylene plastic because it’s safer and doesn’t degrade in the sunlight. Since it’s also BPA-free, you don’t have to worry about toxins leaking into the compost from the walls.
You can appreciate the bigger opening. Plus, the door slides all the way out to give you easy access to the compost inside.
10. Kotulas Wheeled Compost Tumbler
Those who want something larger to hold their compost may like the 50-gallon tumbler from Kotulas. Though that makes it heavier, you can easily wheel it to wherever you require the compost. Keep it near to the house to toss in scraps and move it to the garden when you need it.
The steel tube frame is heavy-duty, making it strong enough to hold the recycled plastic drum and any compost within. We like the unique construction of it.
You’re going to like that the barrel is wider at the sides. While this means you may need to reposition things to keep it on the porch/patio, it has a unique design. We think it almost looks like a very short smoker and should go with any décor you have.
It’s a single-door tumbler, but the opening it creates is large. Plus, it uses a screw-style lid, so you know it’s easy to open. Pests can’t get inside, so you protect the compost pile and let it cook as long as it needs to.
How to Choose the Right Compost Tumbler?
Before buying a compost tumbler, it’s important to know what factors to consider. It needs to have the best features while fitting into your budget. Here is what you should focus on:
The tumbler’s capacity is essential because you want it to have enough compost for your yard. Some brands have exceptionally large interiors, but this can make them harder to turn or move around. If your family composts all types of material, you may want a bigger one with a wheel.
Most households use a compost tumbler between 17 and 50 gallons. However, it depends on how much waste you have.
Dual or Single Tumblers
It’s possible to find single and dual tumblers. We reviewed both styles to give everyone the right option for them.
With a single tumbler, all of the material goes into the barrel at once. You can add scraps, which means you may go to use the compost and have to sift through ripe and unripe bits.
Dual tumblers have an advantage because one side can be filled and cooked as long as necessary. As you have more scraps, you can add it to the second side to start the process of composting it. Primarily, the one you choose is based on how often you have scraps and how you want it to go.
You can find many materials used for tumblers. Typically, galvanized steel is used for the legs and feet. That way, it’s corrosion-resistant and can be kept outside in all weather conditions.
Recycled plastic is often used for the barrel and lid. Dark colors are preferred because they absorb the most heat and keep it inside where it’s needed most. This also helps to reduce the loss of moisture, which is necessary for the composting process.
Sometimes, recycled plastic is called polyethylene plastic, and it uses different resins and acids to hold it together. It’s best to choose BPA-free versions, making them food-safe. No toxins can leach out of the plastic and into the compost, making it all-natural.
Easy Sliding Door
The door on the compost tumbler should open easily. Most of the doors slide open and can completely come out for easy access to what’s inside.
You need proper ventilation for the tumbler so that the contents stay aerated. Microorganisms and worms are inside the barrel, and they need oxygen to work well. Without the right aeration, composting can be a tedious and slow process.
Where Is the Best Place to Put a Compost Tumbler?
Since the tumbler is sealed, you don’t smell any of the decaying material inside. Therefore, you can put it just about anywhere. Most homeowners like to have it on their patios and porches.
You can easily grab up the scraps from the kitchen and toss them inside without walking far. If the tumbler has wheels, it’s easily moved to the garden area. Otherwise, you can use a wheelbarrow or a small cart to get the compost out and use it.
What to Put & What Not to Put in a Compost Tumbler?
You can put many things into the compost tumbler. These include:
- Vegetable/fruit scraps
- Food leftovers
- Green leaves
- Green grass clippings
- Tea leaves and coffee grounds
- Hair and fur
- Wine or beer
- Fish emulsion
- Shredded paper
- Sawdust (untreated wood)
- Wood chips
- Dead leaves
- Raw milk
- Human urine
With so many things you can add, there are a few items to avoid. These include:
- Meat scraps
- Weed seeds
- Pet and human feces
- Citrus fruits
- Glossy paper
- Chemical fertilizer
- Baked treats
- Treated sawdust
- Oil and grease
We’ve come up with the best compost tumblers on the market. While they are all excellent, we chose the Kotulas Wheeled Tumbler for those who prefer a single compartment and door. With the wheels, you can have plenty of compost for a large garden without the hassles of transferring it to a wheelbarrow.
If you prefer a dual-chamber tumbler, the one from Miracle-Gro is ideal. Each side is separate from the other, and they turn at different intervals. This means you can always have ready-made compost and compost that’s still cooking.
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