Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 354
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by TheCatLady Worst composter
I agree with several of the other reviewers. I have had this composter for two years now. It took hours to put together and needed additional parts, etc., to actually make it fit and work. When filled, it leaks and creates slimy sludge that requires a lot of dry material to absorb. It also smells like a sewer most of the time. Once cured, you end up with big balls of dirt clods. That's after you wrestle the material out of the bin by hand, which is hard to do because of all the bumps and things inside the bin. The price was good and that was the only thing that it has going for it. Wish I had not purchased it.
April 9, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by JOVnTX Easy Assembly/ Nice look...productivity info to come later
After months of debating and deliberating, and getting approval from my wife once she heard from someone else about composting, I finally purchased this Composter. It was easy to assemble after reviewing the instructions and following the video on YIMBY website. It's very light weight and easy to move, and I don't think that's due to me being 6'3" 315lbs. I've already placed it in my backyard and added material. Don't be ashamed if you need help as my arms are longer which made it easier for me to carry. The reviews certainly helped, and I added the compost starter, also available at HD to help out. It even has a nice look to it. Also I took the other reviewers advice and sprayed the legs and metals with Rust inhibitors. I choose Rust-o-leum. The door is a bit smaller, but it should be easy to manage.
August 31, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by mike Great little unit
Firit; its 's "SUPPOSED" to leak; thats how rain water gets out. Many people use this TEA for new plants. Next, if its slimy and wet you need more dry material. Basicly its 2 to 1 of green/kitchen scraps to dry material IE leaves, dried grass ect. You should layer, leaves, wet, garbage, wet, some garden soil to add micro organisms, then more dry grass/ or leaves. FINALY dampen. YOU SHOULD ONLY DAMPEN EACH LAYER.
It heats up in a few days and you rotate "one turn", every few days add kitchen scraps and then a layer of dead stuff, in the summer sprinkle with some water, and rotate ONCE every couple of days.
If it smells or gets slimy its too wet and you need more dry material. After about teo weeks move it to the finished side and use a little between layers of garbage and dry leaves/grass as a starter.
April 13, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by GFE Best Composte Bin Ever
I've had many compost bins, i.e. wire fencing, homemade with plastic garbage cans, tall rectangular with bottom slots for getting the "Black Gold" out. By far this tumbler is the BEST. Easy to put together, works very fast, heats up nicely. My first was two years ago. This year getting rid of the rectangular one and purchasing a second tumbler.
April 17, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by julie NOT Durable, Impractical Design
Yes, it's a pain to assemble but the finished product is ideal for small urban households who don't produce a lot of waste and are looking to keep it off the ground and away from urban critters. These are the reasons I purchased this composter but the cheap materials and poor design have made me regret the purchase completely.
Reasons to avoid this product:
1. The plastic around the center turning point ripped under the weight in the bin, despite the fact that I tried to keep both chambers equally full. This resulted in leaking compost goop and an uneven spin. The rip also caused the chamber to only be able to sit in a way that caused the rip to worsen over time. By the second summer, this thing was completely broken and useless.
2. The chambers are stupidly difficult to empty: you cannot turn the chamber to have the opening completely upside down because then you cannot reach in and scoop anything out. Also, there are so many plastic flanges in the actual chamber that it's hard to scoop without hitting them, making emptying this thing only possible by one small scoop at a time.
3. The plastic expanded/contracted in weather changes, making sliding the door either way difficult, usually resulting in pulling too hard and taking the entire door off then fighting to get it back into place in its slots.
If you live anywhere with varying temperatures and/or wet weather, avoid this thing - it cannot handle the weight of the compost without breaking, let alone stand up to various seasons. It's cheap garbage that doesn't last!
April 11, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Mitch Not bad for the size and price
Good little composter. Perfect for beginners. Easy set up. Not sure how long it will last, but after a few months, still going strong.
May 21, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by OkieGardener Great Composter for the Small Home Garden
I purchased a tumbler because I got tired of attracting opossums, raccoons, herbivore dinosaurs, etc by doing the lazy mans way of composting....Dig a hole in the garden throw the kitchen scraps in and let nature do what it's designed to do! I mean the stuffs going in the garden anyway right? But this doesn't work well for larger volumes of yard waste like grass clippings and such. (The critters above also seemed to enjoy the desserts I left and didn't mind digging for them too.) This tumbler solved those problems and also made it easier to add rich compost to my newly built raised beds. I'm also convinced tumbling, rather than pitchforking your pile, multiple bin piles, or other methods - is the way to go. Seems more efficient, easier, and suitable for the small-potatoes gardener like myself.
Assembly of the unit was fairly easy and painless - just follow the directions, take your time, and think ahead. The directions aren't the best - but lay the pieces out and see how they fit together and you'll be good to go. It took me about an hour and a half to complete the process with only a few - reversals to get things right.
I've had the tumbler nearly a year now - bought it last fall and it's held up well. Decomposition was a little slow at first but I think that's because the compost had a difficult time getting up to speed with the cool temps. The barrel leaks a little bit but that's probably a good thing rather than having a soppy mess in the tumbler itself when it receives too much moisture. ( I need to find a suitable tub to catch the leakage for lovely compost tea.) Speaking of which? It if does get too sloppy inside? Just remove the lid and let the summer sun and the microbes evaporate the surplus. That sure works well in our Oklahoma heat! So also think about location too. Putting the thing under a shade tree might seem like a good idea, but then you're expecting biology alone instead of complete physics to work in conjunction with the barrel - especially since it's black and absorbs a ton of sun to help with decomposition. Also don't forget this IS a tumbler so the more you tumble? The faster stuff gets mixed up, aerated and breaks down. Tumbling when the compost gets sort of "settled" into a clump is a little tough, but add some more fluffy, loose stuff - tumble again - and you'll have a better mix and easier tumble.
The two chamber system works ok - but I've rarely used it simply because the chambers are relatively small. A necessary engineering design of course because if you get the thing too big then you won't be able to tumble it well. In the summer decomposition is happening so fast anyway that I just fill both chambers up and tumble frequently. Within a matter of days what used to be at the top is now reduced by at least half. When things look pretty well broken down - and not four-legged critter friendly - I throw the stuff in the garden where it's needed.
The two air vents on the side seem like a design afterthought. They don't stay in the full open position too easily (especially after a good tumble - they are rather loosey-goosey) and if your tumbler is anywhere near 2/3 full I'm not sure how much air is circulating to the pile through them anyway since the holes are covered by the compost. Oh well. I guess enough air is getting in through other means because in my tumbler things appear to be breaking down quite well.
I just shoveled compost out when one chamber looked ripe. I overlook the obvious and now it seems that probably the easier route would have been to rotate the barrel with one chamber open and just dump it out!
I know that there's all sorts of fancy advice and such to figure out what to put in the tumbler and how much - but again, I'm a lazy gardener and figure if nature has been making compost for millions of years without our help - it will continue to do so with minimal assistance from us now. Variety is the spice of life and so it seems it is with compost. I noticed better results when I threw in grass clippings, leaf litter, fruit and veggie scraps, compostable peanuts, sunflower stalks - the more variety the better. I add avocado pits and other roundish things too. In my head I'm thinking maybe these bang around the tumbler and help move things around and break up stuff too. Easily removed from the final compost if they haven't broken down already. Citrus peels add a nice aroma to the pile, break down fairly quickly and the decomposers don't seem to mind either. I also add a bit of old potting soil and garden dirt too. Figure there's good little buggers in there too. If the number of bugs I have crawling around eating the stuff that's in the bin is any indication - LOTS of decomposing is going on and therefore great compost thanks to this tumbler!
August 4, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by brandoncakes Did my research before buying, GREAT!
I did my research before buying this, and I hope you're doing the same. Don't just buy things on a whim expecting it to be guaranteed to satisfy!! Do your homework, so that you know in the end your finished product will be great!
I put this thing together all by myself in one hour with a beading pair of pliers, and a cheap (practically twisted) flat head screw driver. The instructions are worthless, so don't even pay attention to it, just use it as a guide for the contents. Check out this video on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz13KJ4PlyA which helped a lot. Lay out all your screws/nuts & pieces, and bundle the ones that are the same. Make sure when you're building the actual barrel that you are making sure all the pieces lock into each other. The panel with the sliding door has a different piece that fits into a specific side. Find that first before you start. If you will be using the partition to create two chambers, be sure to put that in BEFORE you finish adding the last three panels. I hand tightened everything while building, then went back and tool tightened them to secure(in case I made a mistake and had to take anything apart). I also took into consideration the rusting of the screws since I live in Hawaii(being surrounded by salt water makes EVERYTHING rust), so I used a spar urethane by Helmsman/Minwax I had on hand to paint each screw front & BACK.
Now onto the actual composting. You need to AGAIN do your homework on composting. Don't think that all you're going to do is throw your waste in there and it'll pop out like magic! There's a specific ratio of carbon(straw, dried leaves, paper, etc) to nitrogen(hay, kitchen scraps, weeds/grass, greens), airflow, and water in order for decomposition to work. If your ratio is off, you'll get a sludgy, stinky mess! It should never stink, but smell almost sweet like wet alfalfa. Your compost should also be creating its own heat as well, so on cold days there should be warmth coming from your tumbler. If there's no self heat, your ratios are off!! You may want to buy Compost Starter from Home Depot to give your compost a jump start on the decomposition process....or a handful of already composted material is just as efficient. Also, try your hardest NOT to fill the tumbler to the top, 3/4 is great. You need heavy tumbling to help break everything down. If you're looking for quantity, buy another tumbler, or a different brand that will hold more.
DO NOT ADD WORMS OR BENEFICIAL BUGS! They will die in the decomposition process with all that heat and constant tumbling! Add those later, outside of the bin.
The convenience of this tumbler is to fill one side, then start the opposite side. Once you fill one side CORRECTLY, do not add more things to it, otherwise it'll take longer. Also make sure you crumble everything as small as possible! The tumbler was meant for fast composting, but that can't be achieved unless you help it out with the breakdown process. Crush your leaves, finely chop all your kitchen scraps, break your branches as small as possible, soak your cardboard/paper to soften it, etc.
If using manure, be sure to dry it out well before adding to your compost. Manure needs to be aged thoroughly before adding to plants, otherwise it'll burn their roots. Dry it out for a month before adding to your compost pile, and be sure to add appropriate carbon ratios to balance it out. Manure is high in nitrogen, so a good balance is 3 parts carbon to every part manure.
Once your compost is thoroughly decomposed and ready for use, you can leave it in and scoop out what you need. If you want to lay it all in your garden bed, follow these instructions:
Allow your compost to dry out completely by opening all vent holes and leaving the sliding door open on that side. Wet compost will stick to the sides and not fall out easily. Place a tray or tarp under the tumbler and vigorously shake it to loosen anything from the insides. Spin your tumbler so the door faces the tray/tarp underneath, and now using the door as a "lock," slide it open through the legs to hold the tumbler in place. Now just bang the sides and all your compost will come flowing out.
April 7, 2016