Rated 4.0 out of 5 by 8
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by FloydR Great composter!
I have the 400 model and have had it for over a year now. This machine makes excellent compost. I put everything in there from kitchen stuff to grass clippings, other yard waste and even dog waste. I noticed for a while that the stuff in the inner drum wasn't necessariy compost for quite a while (seemed dry), but gave it some time, watered it well and before long I had my first batch. Put that stuff right into my garden and my ornamentals are growing like a house on fire. In the beginning I had a few difficulties with getting the right consistency to my compost, but I called Sun-Mar and the staff there were very helpful and gave me a few hints and things have been "rolling" along beautifully since then. Great product.
April 27, 2009
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by HappyComposter Composter
We just bought it so I don't have a ton of experience with it. The assembly itself is simple but the instructions make it confusing and one of the parts broke when we tried to put it together - they give you a back up though so they must realize that this part is hard to put on.
It is easy to use and a basic composting guide is included to help you get started. I used to use a worm composter but seperating the worms from the compost was time consuming esspecially as we started producing more food and garden waste. This seems to be much simplar.
September 30, 2011
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Lionel Garden composter
I have recently purchased the Sun-Mar 400 garden composter. I have never had a composter before and did a a bit of research before selecting this one. I was easy to assemble and appears to be well built (should last for years). I placed it next to our garden and have started filling it with grass clippings and kitchen waste. I'm sure it will likely take a while to figure out how to compost but this unit was definetly a good choice.
May 30, 2011
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by JMG007 Great composter
I am glad that Home Depot delivered that big composter to my house as it wouldn't have fitted in my small car. Was very pleased with the speed of the delivery and friendly service. Product is solid and easy to assemble. Can't wait to see the results in a few weeks.
May 9, 2011
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Tarcylynne Would have gotten 5 stars, but.....
The composter itself is well made & so far seems to work well (only have had it about 2 weeks). My only complaint is that the website claims you can assemble it in 5 minutes & it took my husband & I over 2.5 hours. Neither of us are particularly 'handy' but we're both intelligent people (engineer & optician) but the instructions to put it together require a bit of interpretation & were a bit out of order.
Now that it is (finally) assembled, we've got it in the backyard & have no complaints. The opening to put your materials in is sufficient & once everything is inside, just close the door & give it a spin. The handle makes it very easy to turn the drum - just be careful - if the load hasn't shifted to the bottom completely the handle tends to spin around until the drum centers itself - I've been whacked by the handle once so learned that from personal experience.
Now we're just waiting for some compost. The manual gave a wait time of 6 weeks, but we're just heading into winter now, so I imagine it won't be until 6 weeks after spring arrives that we see the results.
November 3, 2011
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Jesse Great product
Would be 5 stars but I haven't had it long enough to really know. Very nice product, fit and finish is great. Some reviews complain about difficult assembly, but I had mine out of the box and fully assembled in minutes. Still working on my first batch but it really seems to be coming along nice. The center chamber tends to fill with dry, uncomposted material during the first batch but it's easy enough to run it back through. Be careful with the crank!! if you let go or slip off the handle at the wrong time it will give you a good 3 smacks before you know what's happening.
November 4, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by anonymously Works as advertised, mostly easy to setup
i have had the compost going for a few weeks now and I can feel heat coming off even at almost freezing temps (stored in warm garage but brought out for air). Its definitely self warming a little already.
I didn't think I could do it, I was going to buy one of the electric composters thats advertise they can handle meat/dairy (unlike almost all composter)... however the more I read the more I found out this is mostly accomplished by adding sawdust or something with the food. I really wanted something bigger and more sustainable than another "machine" so I kept looking. I liked the sound of the sun mar design because it is big and it is continuous which is very unique.
So my compost smells normal and I have put some meat and dairy in, I don't know how it will go in the summer (sun mar does not recommend using meat/dairy for smell/pest reasons) but right now its fine. Also I use plenty of bulking junk like old cat food and I also started off with one of those coconut bricks sun mar makes.
Not following directions like I do sometimes, I just threw the brick in and pored old beer and juice on it. Some of the liquid drained out then, so I highly recommend leaving it outside for the first few days until you learn all the quirks. Realize NONE of the vents are watertight- but once the compost hits a reasonable consistency its doesn't drain and you could put the thing inside.
setup was easy except for the wheels, which they tell you to put together and then "tap in" with hammer. My experience was more like put wheels together and then take them apart again to get the axle out, to prestart the mount holes which were poorly done at the factory. Then they mounted ok but required more pounding than tapping. The whole composter has almost no metal and is all injection molded polymer or something, which is great for about 90% but for a couple things is still rough around the edges
Be wary of the green sun mar compost-swift liquid... once I got mine started and the coconut brick desintegrated, every thing smelled great and was turning perfectly. Then I added some compost swift mix and the compost stuck to one side of the drum for the next week and wouldn't turn all the way, making the handle slip. I thought it was frozen for a little while because it was march, but even above freezing the drum wouldn't turn except by hand. However it randomly started turning fully again yesterday, even as I kept adding things, so I guess its ok. It still smells good and has the proper consistency.
This appeared to be the best composter I could find at any price and it has met all expectations so far. I would have bought the 600 if I could find it anywhere.
April 6, 2011
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by paul72345 Great idea Horrible product
I have had 3 of these composters due to warranty replacements.
They work wonderfully for 3-6 months and then fall apart when the center seperates and it falls out of the cradle.
I have tried 2 all-thread rods through the side and a bolt in the back to hold the center drum in and they still fail.
Customer service has been great but what a headache... save your money
December 5, 2012