Tumbling Composter

Best Tumbling Composter Review

You did not stumble upon this article by accident. You came here because you want to start composting your organic wastes, right?


If you have no idea, you don't need to have a large backyard or garden to start composting. All you need is the will to reduce and reuse organic wastes.


Read our Best Tumbling Composter Review to find out.

FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter, 37 gallon, Black


FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter, 37 gallon, Black

FCMP’s IM4000 T dual-chamber tumbling composter can take up to 37 gallons of the compost pile or five cu ft. The composter has two bins where you can separate newer compost piles from older compost piles.


Supported by a galvanized steel frame, the body is an environmentally friendly construction of recycled, BPA-free, and UV inhibited propylene.


It has aeration vents to take up more oxygen to feed the compost for faster decomposition.
What I like most about this composter is that I’m able to mix a new batch while waiting to harvest the old one. It also saves up time as I can produce two batches in a few turns. I can feed them in my garden in three weeks.


Pros

  • Mix up the pile hands-free.
  • The right mix of compost pile lets you harvest in as short as two weeks.
  • Mix two batches at a time.
  • The aeration vents let more oxygen in and speed up decomposition.
  • Safe and environmentally friendly bin
  • Design and construction last for years.
  • Fits in tight spaces and remains neat

Cons

  • The sliding door can be a bit small, and may chip or freeze during winter.
  • Hot days may dry your compost easily.
  • It has over 50 screws and nuts, so you might have a longer time to assemble.
  • May release odor or attract pests.
  • Vents close during winter.
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SQUEEZE Master Large Compost Tumbler Bin - Outdoor Garden Rotating-Dual Compartment


SQUEEZE Master Large Compost Tumbler Bin - Outdoor Garden Rotating-Dual Compartment

With over 50 screws, it has minimal to zero chances of leaking when installed correctly. However, it may take some time to assemble as there are no clear instructions on how to put them together. However, as soon as you’ve set up this tumbler, you’ll find that it’s sturdy after all.


This dual-chamber composter has a compact design molded in BPA-free polypropylene. It can carry up to 43 gallons of compost with a capacity of 21.5 gallons for each chamber.


The aeration holes provide efficient air to maximize and produce healthy compost with the right mix.


The steel frame allows your tumbler to stay put even when spinning.


However, I find the doors a bit short when opening. If you’re used to composting on huge spaces, you might want to remove the partition.


Pros

  • Adequate air circulation that aids in producing quality compost
  • It has medium to large capacity.
  • Mix your compost piles hands-free by slightly turning the bin.
  • The durable construction lasts for longer years.

Cons

  • Not advisable to tumble down compost in a small amount
  • Improper assembly or loose screw may cause small amounts of leakage
  • Small opening lids
  • Precise assembly instructions could save more time.
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Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler, Black, 80-Gallon


Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler, Black, 80-Gallon

This one massive composter is a single tumbler that can take up to 80 gallons of the compost pile. It has an internal mixing aeration bar that helps speed up composting. It ensures that the mix gets an even distribution of air that it needs, especially when your compost is piling up.


While it takes an hour or two to set this composter, you may have to pre-drill the holes required for assembly. However, as soon as you’ve put them together, you’ll see that it’s one sturdy tumbler.


While it can take and process a massive amount of compost, you may find it hard to turn. Good thing, its axis design allows ease of turning and a balanced rotation.


Putting in and harvesting your compost is not a problem as you can lock the rotation feature so that it stops turning. Another convenience is that the lid is removable and will give you more access inside.


Pros

  • Large capacity of 80 gallons or 10.7 cubic feet
  • The design allows ease of rotating the tumbler.
  • Made of durable high-density polyethylene or HDPE
  • The sturdy UV-protected panels have double walls that keep the heat inside.
  • A pin secures the tumbler in place while loading and unloading.
  • The internal aeration bars keep a balanced distribution of air in the compost for speedy decomposition.
  • Supported by a galvanized steel frame
  • Prevents attracting rats and insects

Cons

  • It takes a long time to set up.
  • May be heavy to turn.
  • May occasionally leak
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Miracle-Gro Small Composter, Compact Single Chamber Outdoor Garden Compost Bin, Heavy Duty 18.5 Gallon


Miracle-Gro Small Composter, Compact Single Chamber Outdoor Garden Compost Bin, Heavy Duty 18.5 Gallon

If you are looking for a stable yet durable construction, Miracle-Gro is one that can go in tight spaces. This small but robust single chamber tumbler fits in little spaces in your apartment like the balcony, rooftop, or patio. Its slim design could carry up to 18.5 gallons of compost.


The hexagon design and internal bars are intelligent engineering that mix oxygen thoroughly to the compost and decomposes them quickly.


It has a side locking system that pins the bin into place when loading pile and unloading compost. It has a large feeding mouth. You only need a small effort to turn the tumbler.
The hot weather would help you produce healthy composts easily in as short as 4 weeks or less.


All in all, this one makes a perfect tumbler if you don’t have a huge backyard. You can still feed your garden with healthy soil. Make composts from the back of your kitchen and still have a decent amount of compost in 4 weeks or more.


Pros

  • Construction of high-quality non-toxic polypropylene
  • Has a stopping pin to prevent turning when loading and unloading composts
  • The tightly locked sliding door eliminates the attraction of pests like rats.
  • Goes well in tight spaces or indoors
  • Comes with gardening gloves

Cons

  • The tumbler gets full easily.
  • The doors may not fit during assembly.
  • The locking pin has poor construction.
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MaxWorks 80699 Garden Compost Bin Tumbler, 42 Gallon Capacity


MaxWorks 80699 Garden Compost Bin Tumbler, 42 Gallon Capacity

This dual-chamber compost tumbler can take up to 42 gallons of the compost pile. One good thing about going for dual-chamber tumblers is that you can separate batches that are already cooking from the one that is still breaking down. Some models even have options to remove the partition if you opt to make it a single chamber.


MaxWorks is one robust tumbler made of polypropylene and held by a powder-coated steel frame. Because of this structure, you can expect to compost more in the next few years.


It contains aeration holes or vents to feed the compost with the air it needs to turn itself into healthy compost.


While you might find the instructions confusing, you’ll get a sealed dual-chamber tumbler if done properly. Another thing I liked about this tumbler is it’s able to store the compost safely without attracting pests.


It can take up small spaces but is still not enough to place indoors.


Pros 

  • Sturdy construction and built
  • Aeration holes to speed up composting and provide oxygen supply
  • The dual-chamber lets you mix compost in batches.

Cons

  • May take time in assembling the panels and screws.
  • May take time heating when it’s getting full.
  • Alignment may become off when not installed right from the start.
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What is Composting?

Tumbling Composter

The oldest and most natural way of nurturing the soil can be tidy and systematic even it has to happen in a small garden. Not to mention that the process can be as easy as tumbling a barrel now and then, you still have to know the science of decomposition to achieve better results.


And if you still doubt how much it helps, here are some benefits[1] you and your garden can get from composting.


  1. Recycle and reuse organic wastes in the kitchen and yard.
  2. Serve as conditioners and natural supplements to your soil.
  3. Use natural fertilizers instead of harmful chemicals.
  4. Reduces backyard and kitchen wastes
  5. Contribute to a healthy environment
  6. Reduces waste going to the landfills

Things You Need to Know about Tumbling Composters

While there are other composters that you can use to store and decompose your food and yard wastes, tumbling composters have proven to have a simple but effective mechanism to speed up decomposition.

How Does Composting Tumblers Work

These composting tumblers or batch composters may take four to six sq. ft. space as much as composting bins in your yard. Composting tumblers serve as a large mixing bin for composts.


Here, you place sorted organic wastes by color or material. Browns could be dry leaves, newspaper, shredded paper, small twigs, or sawdust.


Green wastes can be food scraps, tea leaves, green comfrey leaves, flower trimmings, fruit and vegetable scraps, or lawn and garden weeds.


Or, you can also classify them as carbon-rich or nitrogen-rich wastes.


Since you will be able to harvest your compost in three to four weeks, you may sort and pile these wastes in bins until they are good enough to put in your tumbler.


You will have to start the layer with the browns or the carbon wastes first. Then add the green wastes or nitrogen wastes.


Keep a ratio of 1/3 greens or nitrogen-rich wastes and 2/3 browns or carbon-rich wastes to make a healthy pile of composts. This ratio enables oxygen to nourish and fully penetrate the composts.


You would also want to add a small layer of compost soil in this mixture to keep balance. 


Nitrogen-rich wastes are prone to releasing foul odor in the open air. Carbon-rich wastes should, therefore, overpower the density of the nitrogen-rich wastes. The carbon balances, and releases fresh air, and eliminates foul smells.


Once you have layered these composts into the tumbler, you can add a decent amount of water to moisten the layers and close the lid. Now, you can leave your tumbler and turn it now and then. Ideally, you can tumble down your composter at least once a day.


You must use a pitchfork to turn the pile sometime every few weeks. Keep the pile moist. Eventually, you will spot some steam brought about by decomposition. You do not have to worry as this is a sign that your compost is decomposing properly.


Here's more on how to compost using a tumbling composter.


Wastes not to Add in the Pile

  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Oil
  • Animal wastes
  • Any treated plant, fruits, or vegetable
  • Fish scraps
  • Diseased plants or perennial weeds
  • Sawdust with residues
  • Black walnut leaves

These wastes may attract pests. Chemicals may mix with your compost. It is essential to keep your compost pile organic to become a nutritious supplement to the soil.


During the winter, when composting becomes a challenge, you must shred wood branches or twigs of ¼-inch diameter.

Choosing Your Tumbling Composter

Since you already know enough on how to handle your wastes like a pro using a composting tumbler, you must have been excited to know how to select the right composting tumbler for you.


Here are a few reminders before getting a tumbler:


  1. A larger tumbler can be more efficient in composting than smaller ones.
  2. You can harvest compost earlier if you fill up your tumbler in one go. Adding up more to your pile means you have to wait longer before you can get your desired results.
  3. Choose a tumbler that you can turn easily.
  4. Composting in winter can be a challenge as the compost tends to freeze and the cold weather may prevent the pile from heating up.
  5. Make sure to track the temperature, especially in winter.
  6. Leaves, sawdust, cardboard, or straw can be of better help in insulating the tumbler during winter.

Things to Consider in Getting a Tumbler

Space

In choosing your composting tumbler, you must consider your space. As the average space can take maybe four to six sq ft, you need to set a location. Do not install your tumbler near your neighbor’s house.


A large tumbler is more suitable for a large yard. If you have a large garden or backyard, you must have an abundance of trees with lots of fallen dried leaves.

Capacity

Consider your batch preference in choosing a composting tumbler. Do you need a continuous supply of compost? Do you need a one-time harvest of compost? Do you prefer harvesting in a smaller batch?


It matters to decide if you will need a tumbler that can handle large amounts of the pile. Generally, a larger tumbler can be harder to turn. The average capacity of a tumbler is four to fifteen cubic meters.


However, some tumblers have countered this weakness of larger tumblers.

Material

While tumblers are generally sturdy to carry heavy loads, you must also consider the materials for its handle.


However, some tumblers do not have handles. The molded handles are body parts of the drum. 

Spinning

Your tumbler should be easy to turn. The handle should not add more weight to the load. After all, tumbling should be fun!

Compartments

You can either choose from a single compartment or a double compartment. A dual compartment composter gives you the freedom to compost in batches, so that you can sort the old ones from the new ones.

Aeration

Some tumblers have aeration vents that allow the tumbler to clump oxygen and speed up decomposition.


Still not sure how to get your composting tumbler? No worries! We’ll make picking the right one easy for you. 

Conclusion

If I had a huge backyard, I will go for the Lifetime 60058 compost tumbler. Not only that, it can hold a massive amount of compost, but the build itself is worth keeping for many years. I really wouldn’t care about the cost if I can maximize its full potential.


However, I also like that you can place Miracle-Gro in the littlest space it can take. It has a durable construction that can compete with large composting tumblers.


Finally, if you are really into composting and turning your wastes into soil supplements, you must learn the art of mixing and tumbling. Learn when it’s time to place under the heat. Find out how to make your composter work during the winter.


Also, be cautious when it comes to tidying up your composter space. Check for leaks and possible attraction of pests and insects.


Remember to always make your tumbling fun!

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