Are you looking for a lawn and garden roller? Today I will tell you which are the best models and I will explain how to choose it.
The agricultural compactor roller is a tool often used for soil compaction, after sowing or re-seeding. In summary, it manages to compress the seeds in the soil and this favors their growth, as well as breaking the hardest clods. In reality, this tool can be used for many other purposes, for example to improve the tillering of lawns or to make the bottom of the earth more linear. I assure you that there are many things to say about rolling the ground, and about this cylinder only in appearance so simple.
What is the garden roller and how is it made
Just take a quick look at it to briefly understand how the soil press roller is made. First we find a large cylinder made of powder-coated steel or plastic, hollow inside and equipped with a cap. Once the cap has been removed, you can fill the roller with water or sand, in such a way as to make it very heavy and thus proceed with the pressing and compacting of the soil.
Driving it is child’s play, considering that the cylinder is connected to a comfortable handle, which you can use to push the tool above the ground to be leveled. Alternatively, you can also pull it towards you, perhaps to reinforce its compacting effect on the earth, after having pushed it the first time.
Of course, this goes for manual rollers, because in reality you can also find other types of models on sale. I’m talking about the tractor roller, for example, to be connected to a ride on mower, but which has a similar structure.
The only thing that changes is the type of handle, which includes a hooking system to the rear pin of the tractor. Some models are universal, in the sense that they have a handle that you can push by hand, and a possible accessory attachment to make it compatible with lawn tractors. Or, on the contrary, they have a tractor attachment and a handle-shaped accessory (often “T”) to allow manual pushing.
To complete this introductory talk, you will sometimes find a scraper on the roller structure. It is a cross bar that is used to detach accumulations of earth or other materials from the surface of the cylinder. Finally, I remind you that there are also machine compactors, also known as compressors.
Best rollers for gardens and lawns
1. Gardebruk 60 cm Ø33 cm Filling capacity 48 L
This is undoubtedly one of the largest garden rollers you can find for sale online. Its “identity card” says so, given that it has a diameter of 33 centimeters and a working width of 60 centimeters. In addition, the cylinder is able to accommodate up to a maximum of 48 liters of water, to be inserted comfortably through the appropriate side hole.
- Bracket height: 1.9 meters
- Cylinder width: 60cm
- Roller diameter: 33cm
- Filling capacity: 48 liters
- Maximum weight (when full): 60 kilos
- Empty weight: 12.8 kilograms
The performance is optimal, as it guarantees perfect soil compaction, useful for growing a lush lawn or for keeping the garden healthy. Furthermore, it is able to ensure a high level of soil compression, so as to increase the adhesion of the earthy particles to the seed. The maximum capacity of the roller is high, and of course you can fill it with both water and sand.
Then consider that the structure integrates a scraper bar for the removal of earth debris from the cylinder, while the bracket has an ergonomic handle and comfortable to hold. The stability during the dragging phase on the ground is also excellent, which guarantees an always homogeneous leveling of the soil. The work surface, then, is among the largest, and the roller is made of powder-coated steel.
- Very large dimensions
- High compaction of the earth
- Capacity up to 48 liters of water
- Mount a scraper bar
- Record roll width
- Weight above average (12 kg)
2. Wiltec Steel 57cm 45 L Foldable Handle
If you are looking for a garden and lawn roller that is easy to store, but at the same time effective, then I recommend this compactor from Wiltec. In addition to being affordable, it also has a handle that can be closed, so that it takes up less space when you are not using it. Excellent capacity and other technical data, with a width of 57 centimeters and a maximum capacity of 45 liters.
- Cylinder width: 57cm
- Filling capacity: 45 liters
- Maximum weight (when full): 55 kilos
- Empty weight: approx. 12 kilograms
- Resealable handle
The materials are quality, performing and reliable, with a powder-coated metal roller and a resistant steel handle. The weight is a little above the average, considering that it exceeds 12 kilos. The model in question is optimal for compaction of seeds and lawn care in land up to 100 square meters. The roller surface is very smooth, so you can get even results on the ground.
There is also a bar scraper in the package, which you can assemble and disassemble as you please, and can be adjusted from both sides. Trying it out, you don’t notice any particular annoyances given by the weight above average, probably due to the structure and ergonomics of the handle. It can be a bit of a pain to assemble the scraper bar, but at this price point it’s an acceptable sacrifice.
- Perfectly compact the earth
- It has a good size
- Excellent for land within 100 square meters
- The handle can be closed
- Adjustable scraper bar
- Very affordable price
- A little complex scraper assembly
- High weight
3. Einhell 3415302 GC Roller with Closure 46 Liters
It costs slightly more than the average, and this is one of the few flaws it has. For the rest, it has large dimensions, with a width of 57 centimeters and a diameter of 32 centimeters. Of course, the powder-coated cylinder can be filled with water or sand, due to the hermetic cap. Its maximum capacity, however, is equal to 46 liters.
- Cylinder width: 57cm
- Roller diameter: 32cm
- Filling capacity: 46 liters
- Maximum weight (when full): 60 kilos
- Empty weight: 10.5 kilograms
The structure also mounts a comfortable bar for scraping the dirt that accumulates on the cylinder with each pass. The weight is on average, considering that this lawn roller is just over 10 kilos (10.5 in total). The sturdiness is guaranteed, thanks to the quality of the materials, and the tool is not afraid even of water and humidity, thanks to the powder coating.
Assembly is quick and easy, within anyone’s reach, while the hermetic cap prevents water from escaping from the cylinder tank. In addition, I would like to emphasize the presence of an adjustable scraper bar, which allows you to customize its adherence to the roller according to different circumstances. Finally, it is possible to fill the roller reaching a maximum of approximately 60 kilograms.
- Large roller size
- Excellent leveling performance
- The scraper bar is adjustable
- It reaches a maximum weight of 60 kg
- Airtight anti-leak cap
- Price above average
4. Wiltec Roller 60 cm Ø 35 Compatible With Tractor
I decided to close my reviews by introducing you to this lawn roller with attachment for small tractors. Of course you can also use it by hand, since you just need to connect the special handle to the attachment. It is therefore a truly versatile agricultural compactor roller, as you can use it in both circumstances.
- For tractor and manual use
- Working width: 60cm
- Roller diameter: 35cm
- Filling capacity: 57 liters
- Empty weight: 14 kilograms
- T-handle included in the package
Let’s move on to the technical values: this tool has a roller with a width of 60 centimeters and a diameter of 35 centimeters, while the maximum filling capacity reaches about 57 liters. The cylinder can be filled with both sand and water, and the cap is very reliable, since it is not made of plastic but of metal. As far as performance is concerned, the product performs well both by hand and when you connect it to garden tractors.
Being compatible for manual use, the package includes the special T-handle to be mounted on the guide for the tractor. In addition, the handle is ergonomic and allows you to comfortably grip the tool. The assembly phase is not complicated at all, which obviously facilitates things, while the weight is higher than the average (about 14 kilos). Finally, there is also the adjustable scraper.
- For manual or tractor use
- The scraper can be adjusted
- Level performance on the lawns
- Metal leakproof cap
- Accessory for manual use included
- Not suitable for continuous use with the tractor
- Rather heavy weight
How to choose the lawn roller
Today I will limit myself to delving into the most important characteristics of a manual type garden roller, and with the possibility of using it also with garden tractors. In summary, I will not touch on the subject of compacting and compacting machines, because these are tools that are now rarely used in agriculture.
1. Dimensions and weight
Know that the cylinders of a roller to crush the earth can have different sizes, which is good, because in this way they can meet everyone’s needs. To give you an example, if you need to compact a small garden, you can settle for a cylinder with a smaller diameter and width. If, on the other hand, you intend to pave a larger plot of land, it is better to opt for a tool with larger dimensions.
- Diameter: generally it ranges from a minimum of 31 cm to a maximum of 35 cm.
- Length: the width of the roller can range from 50 cm up to over 60 cm.
- Height: the height of the instrument, including the handle, is approximately 1 meter.
In this regard, it is important that you also talk about the weight, which obviously changes in filling conditions. Usually an empty cylinder, handle included, rarely exceeds 12 kilograms, but can even reach 60 kilos, after filling it with water or sand.
2. Cylinder and filling
Let me start by telling you about the structure of the cylinder, which can have a smooth or toothed surface. The former are by far the most widespread, precisely because the purpose of this tool is the rolling of the soil and the compaction of the earth together with the seeds. Those with a toothed surface, on the other hand, are more useful for breaking up large clods and are also used as hand aerators, but they are much rarer.
As for the filling system, this is always present, consequently the roller will have a useful hole to insert the water (perhaps through a garden hose) or sand. From the filling you return to the weight again, because there are certain very large models that allow you to reach up to 100 kilos.
The capacity of the cylinder is a factor that I advise you to evaluate, but without banging your head too hard, because the values are almost always identical. Obviously they depend on the size of the roller, and are around 45-48 liters. And you will be free to choose the amount of water or material to insert, so you can customize the overall weight of the roller.
3. Handle and scraper
As I already told you at the beginning of this guide on how to choose the roller for lawn and garden, it is essential to evaluate the structure of the handle. Classic models have a type of stirrup handle, which you can then grab with both hands to push or pull the tool.
Sometimes you may find a clip supplied to hook the pin of your tractor to the bracket, so as to make the tool compatible for mechanical draft (indirect control). If you decide to buy a tractor roller, and intend to use it by hand as well, make sure there is a T-handle to connect to the attachment designed for the machine.
And the scraper? It is a perpendicular bar mounted on the rod, which has the task of scraping the soil debris and other residues that remain attached to the cylinder from the roller. In some models it can be adjusted or removed, due to the presence of the fixing screws.
4. Materials and painting
An agricultural compactor roller almost always has a hollow cylinder made of steel and powder coated. This mix is ideal for protecting the tool from problems such as metal rusting and damage due to violent impacts. There are also hard plastic versions, cheaper and lighter, but definitely less durable.
The quality and durability of the material are fundamental for a reason: a dented or damaged roller, when it slides on the ground, cannot guarantee a homogeneous compaction of the earth, due to its uneven surface.
Information on rolling the lawn
Now that you know how to choose your garden roller and which ones are the best on the market, it is important to understand what it is, how rolling is done and why it is so important. First of all, know that the soil compaction phase guarantees many advantages:
- Sowing: after sowing, rolling allows you to compact the earth around the seed, so as to favor its development.
- Pre-sowing: it is useful to roll the lawn even before sowing, to improve the health of the soil after winter frosts (generally done in spring).
- Resow: it is necessary to roll the ground even after having carried out the re-seeding or patching.
- Compaction: by breaking the clods you can give a tidier and more homogeneous aesthetic to your soil, leveling the earth.
- Lawn care: after winter frosts, the turf may have raised areas due to the cold. The surface is therefore “leveled” with the lawn roller.
When to roll?
The use of a garden roller is recommended at different times of the year. In the meantime, you should roll the soil in spring, so as to create an optimal situation for the vegetative restart of plants and grass. Rolling is also strongly recommended in early autumn.
Conversely, it is not wise to roll the ground during the summer season and during the very rainy seasons, because the earth could become too compact. If this happens, plants and seeds may not breathe and be unable to receive water, while the lawn may turn yellow due to lack of oxygen in the earth (asphyxiation).
Consequently, the use of the roller to crush the earth is excellent both for promoting the growth of seeds and for tillering the lawn, or for the development of herbaceous plants.