Best Compost Tumbler – Buyers Guide
Using a tumbler, you can mix your compostables together and make sure they are broken down quickly and easily. But what is the best compost tumbler?
There are lots of options on sale which give you different sizes and shapes to give you a way to save your leftovers from landfill.
We’ve put together some compost tumbler reviews so you can choose the best one for your home.
- Spin Bin Composter 60 Gallon Compost Tumbler
- Yimby Tumbler Composter
- Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler
- Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler
- Good Ideas EZCJR-BLK 7-Cubic-Foot Compost Wizard Jr
It works by mixing your compost bin thoroughly so you get a well mixed, and therefore well rotted, final compost.
The reason many gardeners opt for a compost tumbler is to make sure the different materials they get in their compost are mixed without needing to use a shovel or manually dig it. When you compost, you need to make sure you have the proper ratio of brown and green compostables. Brown compostable material is classed as dried leaves or cardboard whereas green is vegetable peelings and grass clippings.
Having the right balance of these “ingredients” makes for the best compost and mixing them together thoroughly means your compost will be rich in nutrients and be fine enough to sprinkle on your garden or use in pots.
Another thing to bear in mind is where your bin is. If it is in direct sunshine you are likely to get compost faster as heat breaks it down quicker so think about this when you are installing your garden compost tumbler.
Some tumblers are designed like a barrel that you roll along the ground. This motion mixes the compost inside the sealed unit. Some of them are designed like a barrel with a central axis which spins around that and they can be rolled around by hand. The third kind is operated with a handle that then spins the container along the central axis.
Barrel Type Compost Barrel Roll Along the Ground
Barrel Type Compost Barrel with central axis
Handle Operated for Spinning
While you might be tight for space in the garden, the bigger the tumbler the more efficient it will be as there is more space for the compostables to mix in together.
Try to leave your compost for as long as possible so it can rot properly. While it might be tempting to whip out all your compost as soon as it seems ready, leaving some in there can help to keep a level of bacteria in there and act as a “starter” for your next batch of material.
- Warranty: 2 years
- Simple to assemble and use with step by step instructions
- Openings at both ends
- 60 gallon capacity
Straightforward to build and made of strong plastic, the black colour also helps to conduct heat which will rot down your compost materials quicker.
- 20 ventilation holes and a ribbed interior
- Holds 60 gallons inside
- Side openings can be difficult to fill through
- Hard to empty without the use of gravity
- Warranty: Not available
- Two chambers to hold the compostables
- Adjustable air vents
- Made of BPA free, UV resistant plastic
The manufacturers say it can produce compost in as little as two weeks. The handle design means you don’t have to mix it by hand, you can just crank the handle and mix it thoroughly and efficiently.
- Barrel made from UV resistant plastic and galvanised steel frame means it is weather proof
- Opens at the top and can be spun so it will empty into a wheelbarrow or bucket
- Relatively small capacity
- Takes a while to assemble
- Warranty: 1 year
- Can collect up to five gallons of compost tea in the base of the design
- Two chambers
- Low maintenance design
The barrel itself is made from 100% recycled material which is BPA free. The good thing about this composter is that it has a base to collect up to five gallons of compost tea. This is the liquid produced when you compost your scraps and can be watered down to use as a liquid fertilizer.
- Comes fully assembled
- Has twist on lids so it is secure
- No crank handle – moulded grips on the barrel itself instead
- Sits on the ground so it could attract pests
- Warranty: Lifetime
- BPA free plastic construction
- Double walled panels which insulate and retain heat
- Internal bar to mix the compost
The tumbler itself has double walled panels which absorb and retain heat which makes your compostables break down a lot quicker. There is an internal bar which helps to break up the materials as the composter turns around. It has an extra large lid which makes adding and removing your compost much easier. It also has a spring loaded pin which means it will stop rotating while you add compost materials. This product also includes a “How to Compost” DVD.
- Huge capacity at 80 gallons
- Turns easily on its axis for efficient tumbling
- Complicated to assemble
- Plastic is not UV resistant
- Warranty: 1 year
- Black colour to absorb heat
- Made in the USA with FDA approved plastics
- 12 inch wide twist off lid
Aeration holes are in both ends which brings air through the compost bin and helps to break down compostables quicker. The low profile design will keep it safe from tipping over in the wind and will stay out of sight. It comes fully assembled and the manufacturers say it can produce compost in as soon as 14 days.
- Moulded handles and wheeled base for easy turning
- Sealed unit so prevents pests getting in
- Rainwater can accumulate in the base
- Does not roll as easily as a freestanding design
So now we’ve looked at all the features and options in these compost tumbler reviews, the clear winner of the product reviews has to be the Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler.
This design has seven cubic foot capacity and it is split into two sections so you can break down compostables in two halves. The BPA-free plastic means that no harmful chemicals will leach into your compost and the twist on lids means the bin is sealed so even though it is on the floor it will still keep pests out. Moulded grips on the barrel make turning the tumbler easier and an added bonus is collecting compost tea which in most tumblers is lost through the ventilation holes.
It comes ready assembled so it is easy to use and maintain which means it is ideal for people who have never used a compost tumbler before.