This Family Handman Approved Lawn Aerator Will Keep Your Yard Looking Great

To stimulate root growth, and keep your lawn healthy and looking great, check out the Family Handyman Approved Corona Yardbreather auto-ejecting, manual aerator.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Now that the snow has finally receded, and the spring showers and sun have arrived it’s time to take a good look at the condition of your lawn.  My lawn, like most in my quiet, blue-collar neighborhood, has some problem “spots” where I can never seem keep grass healthy and flourishing.   I know that aerating your lawn every few years is one of the best ways to keep it healthy and looking great.

Aeration entails punching small holes, or cores, into the soil to allow air, moisture, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the grass grow deeper into the soil and produce a stronger, and more sturdy lawn.

In the past, I have rented a big core-aerating machine and ran it over my entire lawn, but it would be a ton of hassle, and waste of money to rent one for such a small quantity of troubled turf.

On a recent trip to my local garden center, I was thrilled to come across the Corona Yardbreather Aerator, and thought it would be perfect for the job.  So, I picked one up to give it a try.

What is the Corona Yardbreather Aerator?

The Corona Yardbreather is a sturdy, lightweight steel, manual aerator, a little over three feet long from cutting tip to handle.  It has comfortable, soft rubber handles and a slip-resistant grooves on the footplate to add stability when in use.  The aerator is designed to repeatedly cut and eject 3-1/2-inch soil plugs with each step as you cross your lawn.

At first glance, the Yardbreather seems solid, sturdy, and well-built.   The length feels like an appropriate fit to my 5-foot 11-inch frame and my large work boots fit easily inside the footplate enclosure.  With a day forecast to be the warmest Saturday of this spring so far, I was eager to get outside and give it a try.

How We Tested It

Though I believe the Yardbreather is best equipped for aerating small areas, or repairing grass patches, I wanted to see what it is like to use the Yardbreather to core-aerate my entire 1800-square-foot front yard, on top of the problematic patches I have dotting the rest of my lawn.


Wow, what a workout!  I started aerating by plunging the tool into the ground and stepping on the footplate every eight-or-so inches and worked my way straight down my 90-foot property line.  Every time I stepped on the tool, the downward motion automatically ejects the two core plugs from each side of the aerator.  On the second row, moving in the same eight-ish inch pattern, the plug cutter on the right side of the tool started to clog and not eject the core plug.  I had to stop twice in that row, and at least once in every other row in the yard to pry out the lodged plug using a twig at first, then upgrading to a flathead screwdriver, I grabbed out of the garage.  This became irritating as time went on, but in the end, the final product looked great, and the yard was ready for fertilizer.

The tool itself is very comfortable, solid, and well-built.  The Yardbreather’s tubular steel shaft stays ridged and doesn’t allow for any bending or twisting as you stomp down on the footplate during the aerating process.  Even when colliding the plug cutters into a rock our tree root, the Yardbreather stayed stable and sturdy.

After I finished, I dug into the plug blockage issue a bit more.  I learned that there are many reasons that this can happen, but its most likely culprit is moisture, or soil makeup.  Being April, it had been raining plenty before I undertook this project. That moisture still in the ground led to the plugs being muddier and softer, making them more likely to jam.  Soil makeup is another thing to keep in mind.  The Yardbreather is not recommended for use in yards with large amounts of clay in the soil makeup, specifically for this reason.  If you are unsure of your soil makeup, ask a local gardener or swing by a nearby garden center and ask.  Otherwise cutting a core sample and taking a look will be your most accurate and well-informed option.

Why You Should Buy This

Corona Yardbreather Aerator Fhm Ecommvia merchant

The Corona Yardbreather Lawn Aerator is strong, well-constructed tool.  It’s a workout to use on large portions of grass, but ideal to tackle problem spots or small yards.  The aerator did its job well but works best if the soil has had some time to dry after a rain and is not of a clay-like makeup.  For around $30, I think the Corona Yardbreather is a fantastic addition to any garage or gardening shed and will help keep your lawn looking great for years to come.

Where to Buy

Pick up the Corona Yardmaster Lawn Aerator online or in-store at your local Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., or Lowe’s

Buy Now!

Ethan O'Donnell
An experienced woodworker, Ethan O'Donnell has built furniture, cabinetry and artistic elements for Fortune 500 companies as well as the National Park Service. He's also a certified rigger, forklift and telehandler operator with OSHA and UCOR safety certifications. When he's not renovating his rustic cabin in Minnesota's Northwoods, Ethan rides and repairs his fleet of bicycles and motorcycles.