Cost to Rent a Motorized Aerator

Aerating or plugging a lawn every other year can help revitalize your grass. But most people don’t wish to own a large tool they only use once every two years. So, I surveyed a number of nation-wide and regional companies to find out the costs to rent a motorized lawn aerator or plugger.

Based on a survey of 12 different aerators and 9 different rental companies, the average cost to rent a motorized aerator for a day is approximately $92. The cost ranges between $58-$205 dollars per day and is based on the size. This price does not include any delivery fees, which can run around $50-$100 if you can’t transport it yourself.

A self-propelled aerator

Just how much does it cost to rent a aerator?

We conducted a survey of national and regional companies that service the United States and parts of Canada. The cost data is compiled below;

Lawn Aerator / Plugger Rental CostsCost
*Based on 9 companies and 12 different aerators

What companies had the best prices for renting lawn aerators?

In doing this research I found that it is more costly to rent a sod cutter from a large nation-wide Rental company. While the smaller regional or local hardware stores had better prices. But, some big-box home improvement stores were also competitive. The most important factor in renting a lawn aerator is to get the right sized aerator so you don’t spend too much.

Should I just buy an aerator instead of renting?

Motorized aerators like the one pictured above often cost over $4000. However, there are many un-motorized aerators that can be towed behind a riding lawnmower or tractor. Pull-behind aerators generally cost $100-$500 depending on the size and brand. You will need to have a place to store the aerator all year until it is needed.

In addition to pull-behinds, there are manual hand aerators, and even aerators that strap on to your shoes! However, I would careful about purchasing those unless you have a very small lawn, like 1/10th of an acre or less.

Why should you aerate your lawn?

Aerating your lawn will reduce compaction making it easier for oxygen and organic matter to reach down into the soil. This will help your turf grass grow more full and lush. According to Phil Blevins – Washington County Va. Extension Agent, aeration will help by “improving microbial activity, increasing water, oxygen and nutrient movement into the soil.” A thick healthy lawn is by far the BEST defense against weeds.

The primary benefits of aerating your lawn are

  • Increase soil pores, allowing more oxygen to be available to roots
  • Improve and grow root structure/strength of grasses
  • Increase water retention, rain infiltration, and reduce runoff
  • Reduce compaction
  • Increase soil Microbe activity

How frequently should you aerate your lawn?

Most yards should aerate their lawn every other year. If you have compacted clay soil, you should consider aerating it every year. Do this before winter sets in so that your grass can repair any damage before it goes dormant in the winter.

A freshly aerated lawn with plugs strewn about.

Other signs that it is time to Aerate your lawn

In addition to an every-other year schedule, (or every year if hard clay soil) there are several other signs you should aerate your lawn.

If your lawn is played on by children, driven on, or you regularly use a riding lawn mower you may require more frequent aeration. To test this, dig 6″ deep section of grass up using a post-hole digger or flat shovel. Inspect the roots – if the grass roots penetrate 2″ or less into the soil, you should aerate your lawn.

Read More Gardening Tips HERE


1 – Virginia Cooperative Extension, Publication 430-002, Aerating Your Lawn. Marc Aveni, Extension Agent, Prince William County. David Chalmers, Extension Agronomist, Virginia Tech. Retrieved 29SEP2020.

Joe Foster

Hi - I grew up outdoors in nature - hiking, fishing, hunting. In high school I got my first job at a garden center where I learned to garden and landscape. I've been growing plants from seed and designing native plant gardens for over 10 years. I hope to share some of my knowledge with you! You may have seen some of my videos I create on our YouTube channel, GrowitBuildit (more than 10 million views!). You can find my channel here: Additionally I am a wood worker / DIY enthusiast. I enjoy designing/building projects (with hand tools when I can!). I hope to give you some tips and useful information!

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