Finding the Best Compost Tumbler - The Styles and their Benefits

Before you buy a compost tumbler, you have to consider the types available and the features it has to become best compost tumbler for your garden.  There are at least four types of compost tumblers that work well for different conditions and purposes.

Crank it Up!

The first type of compost tumbler available in the market is crank-operated drums which are mounted horizontally on its framework. A crank is then placed on the side of the framework so you can turn your compost tumbler easily. There is an internal framework in these tumblers so they can help mix the compost materials and add air to them.

It is very easy to empty these types of compost tumblers because of their mounting position. You just need to push the wheelbarrow under the drum and then open the hatch to pour the compost directly into the cart.

A word of note for this type of compost tumbler though. This type of tumbler is more expensive than the other tumblers but it is worth the cost because it is very easy to use.

Two of the most noteworthy compost tumblers using this type of mechanism are the Mantis ComposTwin and the CompostTumbler. The first one has two drums you can use for your compost, while the second one has only one drum.

A Drum Roll Please!

The other type of compost tumbler is a center-axle drum which is vertically mounted on a framework made either from wood, PVC or metal. Like the crank-operated drum, this compost tumbler is easy to use because it has doors you can open at both ends.

A central axle in this framework would help you break and mix the composts properly.

These types of compost tumblers are usually mounted lower to the ground, making it difficult to empty unless you use a low-body wheelbarrow that you can slip under it. Two known models featuring this type of compost tumbler are the Urban Compost Tumbler and the Tumbleweed.

A Little Bit of Base

The next type of compost tumbler is base rolling drum which is also horizontally mounted to a ground-level base. Some base rolling drums can even have rollers while others only have rounded parts that help it rotate. With these rollers, it would be easy to turn these tumblers for your composts.

These types of tumblers have more features to make rotation easier as they have steps in them so you can use your feet and legs to help turn your tumbler without straining your back.

Base rolling tumblers are often close to the ground so emptying them can be a little difficult because you need to use a shovel to take out your compost. They also have small openings that you can use to remove your compost.

Some of the most noteworthy brands using this type of compost tumbler are the Step-down Composter, the Envirocycle and the EZ Composter.

Keep Rolling!

Finally, there are roll-around sphere compost tumblers that look like a giant molded ball and you can fill it up with composting materials then roll it around to mix your compost. However, like the base rolling drum, emptying this type of compost tumbler is very difficult and awkward.

The mixing is also very complicated because the only parts that would be mixed are the ones close to the equator. You cannot roll this compost tumbler easily too once it becomes heavy. Two brands of tumblers currently offer this style and they are the Large Batch Composter and the Bio Orb.


Now that you are aware of the types of compost tumblers, you have to consider that not all advertisements of compost tumblers are accurate since a lot of factors can determine the quality of compost that would be made from these tumblers.

According to the studies, it is often a good idea to get a compost tumbler that is easy to use, easy to clean, pest and odor free and can be used anywhere you go.

Your tumbler must also work well with your environment since some areas prohibit the use of specific types of tumblers and composting practices. You can also get an enclosed tumbler which retains moisture even when there is a draught.