If you have a bumpy, uneven lawn – particularly after winter – you might be wondering how to can fix it.
There are all sorts of methods you can use, but the humble lawn roller has been a go-to choice for decades.
And it can also be used for pressing new grass seed into the soil, installing fresh turf, and creating attractive stripes after mowing.
So, read on to discover the best lawn rollers currently on the market, with a buyer’s guide and FAQ section to follow.
Ready? Let’s let the good times roll…
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- The 7 Best Lawn Rollers for 2021
- How to Choose the Best Roller for Your Lawn
The 7 Best Lawn Rollers for 2021
Agri-Fab Poly Tow Lawn Roller
First up we have this popular 36-inch poly tow-behind lawn roller from Agri-Fab. It’s also available in a 48-inch width, which is ideal if you have a larger area to cover.
The poly roller drum is internally reinforced, and weighs 50 lbs without water, ensuring it’s manageable when it comes to relocating to where it’s needed. When full, it will reach a maximum weight of 400 lbs, with the 48-inch version able to achieve 550 lbs in weight.
An integrated scroller bar prevents soil build-up and clogging, while a central baffler offers additional stability when towing, and metal bars are powder-coated for corrosion resistance. The convenient drain plug fills easily from any normal garden hose.
- Easy to use.
- Durable construction.
- Universal hitch for any tractor.
- Highly rated.
- There are some reported problems with the drain plug.
- Might not roll so well with sand (although it’s suggested you only fill it half full).
Brinly-Hardy Combination Push/Tow Poly Lawn Roller
Brinly-Hardy have been manufacturing quality lawn-care tools and equipment since 1839, and so of course their range extends to some of the best lawn rollers on the market.
The 8×24-inch poly roller is an excellent example, highly versatile in the fact that it converts between a push and a tow roller to suit your needs. The drum offers a 28-gallon capacity, which can hold sand or water up to a weight of 270 lbs.
The poly drum is durable enough so that it won’t rust or dent, while the rounded ends ensure you won’t accidentally damage your lawn – especially on the turns.
It can easily attach to one of these awesome riding lawnmowers – or any tractor or ATV with the universal hitch pin, and there’s even a video guide to help you with assembly.
- Name to trust.
- Lightweight when empty.
- Easy to store.
- Extra-large fill port.
- Ideal weight for flattening a bumpy lawn.
- Might require two people to put together.
Goplus Tow Behind Water Filled Lawn Roller
Although this lawn roller from Goplus claims to be a push and tow product – do bear in mind that it’s referring to manual pushing and towing only.
Still, it offers a little versatility depending on how you want to work, and it can be useful for getting in and out of tricky corners.
A 24-inch and 36-inch options are available, and the durable steel cylinder has been finished with an anti-rust coating to encourage long life and prevent corrosion. The 36-inch version offers a maximum weight of 165 lbs filled with water and 240 lbs filled with sand, while the smaller option gives you 105 lbs and 180 lbs with water and sand respectively.
I would suggest sand is a better option in this particular drum if you’re using it for leveling, but it’s certainly a good all-rounder for most lawn roller needs.
- Durable construction.
- Rounded edges won’t damage the lawn.
- Easy to store.
- Scraper bar built-in.
- Removable drain plug.
- The water levels are a little on the lightweight side for leveling a lawn.
Vingli Water Filled Pull Behind Lawn Roller
This Vingli lawn roller is one of the more budget-friendly offerings on the market, which is ideal if you want to try this method of lawn care without breaking the bank.
Available in a choice of sizes, the largest of which is 36-inches, it’s a manageable little unit that’s ideal for smaller areas – or spot treatment in larger gardens.
Capable of holding up to 16 gallons of water or sand with the removable drain plug, you’re looking at around 140-200 lbs of weight depending on your choice of filler.
The steel drum is sturdy and durable, with rounded edges to protect your lawn on turns, and the comfortable U-shaped handle makes it easy to push or pull the drum around your yard.
- Affordable price point.
- Fast assembly.
- Scraper bar.
- Easy to clean.
- Lightweight and portable when empty.
- Doesn’t come with instructions.
Winado Iron Lawn Roller
Here we have an iron lawn roller that’s finished in an attractive green coating, giving it an old-school vintage lawn-care vibe. And it’s not just for aesthetics, as it’s designed to prevent corrosion and rust in order to improve the longevity of the roller.
The large, U-shaped handle allows it to be pushed or pulled, and the drum is capable of taking up to 17 gallons of water – which by my calculation is roughly 141.78 lbs – not including the weight of the drum itself.
However, the manufacturer claims it only takes 120 lbs – so perhaps you can let me know which is right.
The rounded edges help to keep lawn damage to a minimum, while the drain plug can be filled and emptied easily – making the drum storage-friendly when out of season.
- Attractive, vintage look.
- Durable construction and design.
- Easy to assemble and use.
- Lightweight without contents for storage and portability.
- Not that heavy when filled.
Tacklife Lawn Roller
A well-designed and sturdy roller from Tacklife, this steel drum roller is backed by a high-quality, durable frame that has been powder-coated to protect it from rust and corrosion.
It provides a 20-inch rolling width, making it ideal for smaller yards and gardens, and it is particularly adept as a lawn-striping tool.
It will take 16 gallons of water that allows it to provide 155lbs of weight, which is more than enough for pressing new seed and sod into the ground – but might struggle when it comes to larger lumps and bumps.
Weighing just 25 lbs without water, it’s easy to move and store, and the well-designed, U-shaped handle ensures you can push or pull the tool with minimum fuss. It’s also capable of holding up to 230 lbs if you fill it with sand.
- Nice price point.
- Manageable size and weight.
- Rounded edges for lawn protection.
- Scraper bar.
- Sponge handle for comfort and to prevent fatigue.
- Large fill port.
- None to speak of – although it might be too lightweight for some.
Ohio Steel Steel Lawn Roller
Now we’re talking. This giant 60-inch lawn roller has been made from professional-grade steel and is one for seriously beat-up lawns only.
Capable of a whopping 1150 lbs in weight, you’d better make sure it’s not going to do more harm than good. Designed for commercial use, lawn-care professionals, or anyone with a lawn disaster on their hands, if this behemoth can’t flatten molehills, anthills, or any other lumps and bumps – then you might well give it up altogether.
Able to hold up to 117 gallons of water, you might be filling it up for a while, but it certainly offers the most weight out of any drum in this review.
Rounded edges offer those all-important easy turns, while the black, powder-coated finish will keep this tool looking and performing as it should for years to come. And well it needs to – considering how much it costs.
- Seriously heavy-weight.
- Solid construction and build quality.
- Scraper bar.
- Universal hitch pin.
- Tethered expansion drain plug.
- Zero-turn compatible.
- Very expensive for a lawn roller.
- Likely to be too heavy for most residential uses.
- Hitch welding could do with an upgrade.
How to Choose the Best Roller for Your Lawn
Below, you’ll find a handy guide on all the things you should be looking out for when choosing the best lawn roller for your needs.
Why Use a Lawn Roller?
There always seems to be some confusion with most homeowners when it comes to what a lawn roller is actually used for.
So, let’s clear it up right now.
A lawn roller has four main purposes in life:
First, it’s used in an attempt to flatten a bumpy or uneven lawn – which may have occurred after the freeze/thaw cycle of the winter, or as a result of unwanted critters and creatures digging holes and hills.
It’s also useful for pressing new seeds into the ground and away from the attentions of hungry birds or the elements.
Rolling freshly broadcast grass seed can keep it protected and help it to germinate, much more successfully than simply leaving it on the surface to be blown away or eaten.
Lawn rolling is highly recommended after you’ve laid fresh sod, and the roller weight can press the new material down and help it take root in its unfamiliar surroundings.
Finally – and arguably the most successful lawn roller use – is that it can be used to create attractive stripes on your lawn.
Lawn rolling kits are also available – but we haven’t covered such products in this article, given the fact that they’re rather limited in what they can do.
If you want to know more about how to make your lawn striped and look like a stunning striped baseball field, we have you covered.
And you should check out this article for a more detailed look at the benefits of lawn rolling – including some of the downsides, as well as tips and tricks on how to do it successfully.
Roller Size and Weight
Does size matter? It certainly does when it comes to lawn rollers.
When we’re talking about size, we’re referring to the width of the roller and not the overall bulk of the product. And the wider the roller, the faster you can get the job done in fewer passes across your lawn.
So, it stands to reason that if you have a large area to cover, you need a wider roller to tackle it.
When it comes to how heavy the roller is, “what’s the best weight for a lawn roller?” is a common question.
Professionals estimate that somewhere between 300-400 lbs are a good ball-park figure, with around 300 lbs being suitable for most residential homeowners.
Experts advise against anything much heavier than that (usually reserved for commercial purposes), as you can risk seriously damaging your turf if you’re not careful.
Of course, the maximum weight of a roller is only going to be achieved once you’ve filled the tool with water – and the more gallons it can hold – the heavier it’s going to be.
Be aware that filling a larger roller can take a fair bit of time and use a lot of water – so have a plan for what to do with it when you’re done.
However, sand might be a better option, as the roller will be heavier and likely more successful in flattening uneven terrain.
The trade-off is sand can be notoriously difficult to remove from the drum – should you need to for whatever reason – which might make storing and/or transporting the tool a bit of a headache.
Polyethylene (or other plastics), steel, and iron are common lawn roller materials, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
You’ll find poly rollers to be cheaper and more lightweight (without water) – which can be a bonus when you’re trying to transport them.
Plastic products are also resistant to rust, which means you don’t need to freak when you’ve left them outside all night in the rain.
However, metal rollers tend to be heavier when it comes to actually perform the job they’re supposed to do. And even though they’re prone to rust and corrosion – they will last longer – particularly those that have been powder-coated.
Push or Tow?
Lawn rollers are available in two distinct types.
Push rollers are designed to be used by hand, and you manually push them across your lawn – similar to the way you would use a lawnmower (only requiring much more effort).
Tow lawn rollers are designed to be used with a lawn tractor – like some of these awesome beasts from Husqvarna, John Deere, and Cub Cadet.
(They can also be used with a zero-turn lawnmower – and you can follow that link if you need a machine that can spin on a dime.)
So, which do you choose? Thankfully, it’s not rocket science.
For smaller yards and gardens – choose a push roller, and if you have a larger area to cover (and you have the vehicle to pull it) choose a tow version.
You can also get lawn rollers that convert between the two, which is a great option if you have a big lawn but with harder-to-reach areas that a tractor won’t be able to access.
There’s not a lot of bells and whistles that come with a lawn roller – it’s a fairly simple concept, really, like when we invented the wheel.
You certainly don’t need LED lighting, laser guides, safety locks, or other such technology. Although if someone could invent a self-propelling roller that would be nice.
But if there’s one extra feature you should be looking out for – it’s the inclusion of a scraper bar.
This is commonly positioned above the roller drum itself and is designed to prevent the wheel from getting bogged up with soil and other yard debris.
Make sure your roller has this small but vital feature, and you should have smooth rolling all day long.
Most lawn rollers aren’t going to break the bank, however, there is one major factor you need to consider before parting with your hard-earned cash.
How much use are you actually going to get out of it?
It seems that anyone who purchases their own lawn roller (as opposed to hiring one) does so because they’re going to get plenty of mileage out of it.
So, just make sure it’s not going to be collecting dust and taking up space in your shed, and spend your budget accordingly.
And always make sure to choose the right tool for the job – like when deciding which type of lawnmower is right for your yard.
Do lawn rollers really work?
Yes and no. Some people might experience the benefits, others not so much. It just depends on what you need it for and/or how bad your problem is.
For seeding, lawn striping, and turf installation – a lawn roller can be very effective if used correctly.
But for flattening a bumpy lawn after a long winter – the jury is out on how useful it actually is – especially if your lawn is like a whack-a-mole game.
And don’t even think about trying it on clay soil.
Do I need a lawn roller?
No. Considering you will use a lawn roller less than once a year, or only when you’re putting down new grass seed, you don’t actually need one.
However, if you’re one of those homeowners who desires beautiful stripes like a sports pitch – then a lawn roller is the best way to achieve this.
And if you have regular unwanted visitors under and on your turf, then keeping a roller on hand might not be such a bad idea to get rid of their creations.
Either way, consider how much you’d use it and how useful it will be overtime before making a purchase.
What is a lawn roller used for?
A lawn roller has four main uses:
- To flatten bumpy or uneven terrain.
- To push seeds into the soil to encourage germination and protect them from the elements.
- To help lay fresh sod and develop its root system.
- To create aesthetically pleasing stripes after mowing.
If you’re someone who needs to do any of those things with regularity, then picking up a quality lawn roller should be on your to-do list.
What’s the best lawn roller?
Everyone’s needs are different, so there’s no right answer to this question. The best lawn roller for me might not be the best for you.
That’s why I’ve included a good selection in the review above – any one of which could easily take the crown. Let me know in the comments which model you think is the best and why.
Will a roller flatten my lawn?
Possibly. It depends on the condition of your lawn. If it’s particularly bad, you’re welcome to try lawn rolling – but just don’t expect miracles. There are other methods at your disposal, however.
Try watching the video below for some more information, tips, and tricks for leveling a bumpy lawn.
If you’re going to attempt to level a lawn with a roller, then at least try it with one of the best lawn rollers on the market.
I’m keen to know how you get on, so drop me a line in the comments with your lawn rolling experience, if you’ve been successful or not, and which product you’ve gone with to try it.
I wish you the best of luck – and happy rolling!