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6 Best Lawn Rollers in Australia (2022 Buying Guide)

If your lawn has seen better days, don’t worry. Like every problem in the garden, history has a tool for it. Traditional lawn rollers might seem outdated, but sometimes, the best solution isn’t tech and flashy gadgets, it’s just honest graft.

If you’re unsure how to use a lawn roller though, or whether you even need one, read on. We’ve got reviews of the best lawn rollers on the market, as well as a comprehensive guide on using them to their fullest

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Best Lawn Rollers in Australia

Product


Our Rating

Price

1. AL-KO Hobby GW50 Lawn Roller

AL-KO Hobby Lawn Roller
Top Rated Best Lawn Roller in Australia

2. Agri-Fab 45-0267 Push & Tow Lawn Roller

Agri-Fab 45-0267 Lawn Roller
Premium Choice Lawn Roller in Australia

3. Einhell GC-GR 57 46L Garden Roller

Einhell GC-GR 57 Garden Roller
Best Value Lawn Roller in Australia

4. Draper Tools Garden Lawn Roller

Draper Tools Lawn Roller

5. Crommelins 60PLR 60L Lawn Roller

Crommelins 60PLR Lawn Roller

6. Black Garden Lawn 68L Grass Roller

Black Garden Lawn Grass Roller

Lawn Rollers Buying Guide

What is a Lawn Roller?

Best Lawn Rollers Australia

Lawn rollers are designed to flatten out lawns, and maintain pristine turf. While they might seem old-fashioned they are still used regularly today by professional lawn care experts, and enthusiastic gardeners. 

Lawn rollers are rolling barrels, with basic handles, and do one very simple job; flatten. The heavyweight tools make light work of hillocks and divots, which can easily be filled with sand and compacted down into a flat, even surface for re-sowing seed.

When do you need a lawn roller?

Lawn rollers have two primary uses, but can also be a helpful hack for perfect stripes if you’ve got a budget lawnmower. The main reasons to use a lawn roller are for seeding new lawns and repairing bumps and divots in old ones.

When seeding new lawns, most people will simply wet the surface to create fuller adhesion between the seed and the soil. The problem with this is that it can open up the bare soil structure and cause bumps where the soil was unevenly compacted.

Lawns need some level of compaction so that grass seed can grow into a tough matt, without being pulled up from loose soil. By pre-rolling the bare soil, you create even compaction, so when you water the seed later the soil stays completely level.

There are all sorts of reasons why existing lawns get bumps and divots, from kids to wildlife. Turf rollers are perfect for fixing these imperfections.

What to Consider When Buying a Lawn Roller

Weight

Manual lawn rollers should be between 50 and 70kg. Any heavier can compact soil. For tow bar lawn rollers, designed to be used on the back of quad bikes or lawn tractors, they should be significantly heavier – around 150-200kg when filled.

The reason for the discrepancy is speed, and support. Tow behind lawn rollers are supported and towed by other vehicles, meaning they make contact with the soil for less time.

These are perfect for golf course or sports field maintenance, but far too big for domestic use. Domestic lawn rollers are heavy objects, and take some serious graft to move.

Any heavier than 70kg is just too much for most people, while less than 50kg will barely make (or fix) a dent.

Best Lawn Roller Reviews

Size

Two factors should determine the size of lawn roller you choose; storage and speed. Narrow lawn rollers take longer to do their job, while larger lawn rollers are harder to store.

Like all tools, everything is relative too. If a 60cm wide lawn roller weighs 50kg, it will do a worse job than a 50cm lawn roller of the same weight. 

Either choose a 50cm, 50kg model, or a 60cm, 60kg model. It’s not an exact science, but the width and weight have a clear relationship to the quality of the outcome.

Scraper Bar

99% of lawn rollers are sold with scraper bars. In reality, scraper bars aren’t actually necessary if you’re rolling turf on a dry day (which is the only time to do it). However, they serve an additional purpose, as well as removing mud and dirt from the roller as you go.

Roller bars add stability to rollers, which are often built with hollow turned steel handles. The added support of the roller bars help these tools to cope with the strain on the handles.

Different Types of Lawn Rollers

Without going to an antique shop, you’re very unlikely to find a solid, or thick skinned lawn roller, like the traditional tools used on cricket pitches. They’re industrial and so heavy that they’re almost impossible to deliver.

So, when it comes to modern lawn rollers, what separates them from each other?

Plastic vs metal lawn rollers

Plastic lawn rollers are better than metal lawn rollers. There, I said it. Metal lawn rollers are hollow, and thin skinned these days, making them very susceptible to denting and damage.

If filled with water they can rust from the inside out, and when filled with sand they are incredibly hard to empty. Plastic lawn rollers are built with thicker walls, are easy to empty, and usually have a double spout, meaning water drains fast and thoroughly.

The other advantage of plastic lawn rollers is that they scratch rather than dent when they hit an obstacle, which helps them keep their shape for longer.

Solid vs water filled lawn rollers

Solid lawn rollers are significantly better tools than filled lawn rollers. Filled lawn rollers are supplied as hollow barrels, which you then fill with water or sand to add weight.

The solid metal tools are heavier, and much more durable, but very difficult to store, and hard to move around when not in use. So, despite solid rollers being better tools, most gardeners will be better off with hollow turf rollers.

How to Use a Lawn Roller

A man using a tow behind lawn roller

Source: amazon.com.au

lawn rollers are heavy, it’s how they work, so let’s not get caught up in the idea that you can use a lightweight tool to do this job. Flattening lawns and levelling ground involves compacting the soil. For most garden tasks, that’s a big no-no. For lawns, it’s essential.

So, get comfortable clothes on, and get set for a workout. 

Using a lawn roller to lay new lawns, turf rolls, or grass seed:

  1. Start by raking over the soil to a visibly even layer.
  2. Push or pull (whatever is most comfortable) the lawn roller over the area until it is even and mostly compacted.
  3. Water the ground, and let it sit for 24 hours.
  4. Fill in any divots caused by watering. Overfill these holes.
  5. Repeat the turf roller over the whole area.
  6. Gently rake the surface with a leaf rake to loosen a fine layer on top of the soil.
  7. Sow grass seed according to instructions (different seeds need different densities), or lay your turf rolls.
  8. Roll the seed into the dry soil for full contact.
  9. Water thoroughly, then continue watering each day until the lawn is established (4-6 weeks).

Repair bumps in lawns using a lawn roller:

  1. Loosen any upwards bumps with a hand fork.
  2. Roll over with a lawn roller a few times, until flat.
  3. Sow grass seed on the repaired patches.
  4. Water patches well for a few weeks until they germinate.

Using a lawn roller to repair divots in lawns:

  1. Loosen the soil inside any divots in your lawn to improve adhesion.
  2. Mix 50% garden soil and 50% garden sand in a bucket, then overfill every divot so it is slightly mounded.
  3. Roll over with a turf roller until the divots are flat and flush with the rest of the ground.
  4. Sow grass seed onto the repaired patches.
  5. Water each patch, and continue watering until the lawn has re-established.

Lawn Roller Reviews

1. AL-KO Hobby GW50 Lawn Roller

AL-KO Hobby GW50 Lawn Roller

Source: amazon.com.au

The AK-LO Hobby GW50 Lawn Roller is one of the best-designed lawn rollers I’ve come across in a while. Its durable rubberised plastic barrel is super easy to use and runs smoothly over most surfaces.

The scraper bar is a generous width and reduces fallen dirt. And, while the handle is designed for stability, it’s still easy to fold away and store.

It’s only 50cm wide, making your job slightly more arduous, with more passes to get the right levels, but, for home gardeners, the smaller barrel is probably a good thing, as it's far easier to store, and takes up much less garage space.

Pros

  • Good weight to width ratio (50cm:55kg)
  • Sturdy handles
  • Durable drum
  • Tough scraper bar
  • Good value

Cons

  • Narrow roller

2. Agri-Fab 45-0267 Push & Tow Lawn Roller

Agri-Fab 45-0267 Push & Tow Lawn Roller

Source: amazon.com.au

If you’ve got a large landscape to manage, or work with golf courses or professional sports fields, then this tow-behind lawn roller is ideal for re-seeding and flattening out bumps and scrapes in large lawns.

The durable barrel and tough frame are ideal for industrial use and working quickly. Obviously, for domestic purposes, this outweighs the needs of most gardeners, but a really good value product for professional lawn keepers.

Pros

  • Great weight to width ratio (60cm:120kg)
  • Tow behind lawn roller for commercial, or large landscapes
  • Durable
  • Easy to operate
  • Sturdy scraper bar
  • Good value

Cons

  • Too heavy for domestic or manual use
  • Expensive

3. Einhell GC-GR 57 46L Garden Roller

Einhell GC-GR 57 46L Garden Roller

Source: amazon.com.au

Einhell’s basic garden roller is super durable, and priced well below its quality, making it one of the best value lawn rollers you’ll find today. 

This simple but tough turf roller is ideal for domestic spaces, with a good width, that’s not too big, and not too small, and the ideal weight-to-width ratio for smoothly flattening and compacting soil without completely impacting its structure.

Pros

  • Perfect weight to width ratio (57cm:57kg)
  • Great value
  • Perfect width for fast rolling
  • Stores neatly & folds away
  • Easy to fill / empty

Cons

  • Flimsy handles

4. Draper Tools Garden Lawn Roller

Draper Tools Garden Lawn Roller

Source: amazon.com.au

Draper’s steel framed, steel barrelled garden lawn roller is a good-looking tool, but it’s packed with budget features that are slightly concerning.

Take its rolled steel handles, with fairly basic bolt connectors. They create a clear weak point for this heavy tool, and mean you really do need to pay attention to larger bumps while using it to avoid twisting the frame.

That said, the split handles make it easier to store, and the barrel is really easy to empty out after use. For gardeners with limited storage space, the Draper turf roller is a good choice. Just be wary of its weak points.

Pros

  • OK weight to width ratio (50cm:45kg)
  • Good value
  • Sturdy steel drum
  • Easy to fill & empty

Cons

  • Flimsy handles
  • Narrow roller

5. Crommelins 60PLR 60L Lawn Roller

Crommelins 60PLR 60L Lawn Roller

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

Crommelins’ 60L turf roller is ok, rather than great. You get what you pay for, but with some big limitations on material quality. The barrel looks and feels flimsy, and brittle, and the rolled steel bars are fairly flexible.

If I was rolling over a completely unprepared surface, I’d be a little worried about the performance of this, but on partly prepared, pre-raked soil, it performs well.

Pros

  • Good weight to width ratio (60cm:65kg)
  • OK value
  • Perfect width for quick and easy use

Cons

  • Weak scraper bar
  • Brittle barrel

6. Black Garden Lawn 68L Grass Roller 

Black Garden Lawn 68L Grass Roller

Source: kingswarehouse.com.au

This simple tow-behind lawn roller is good for a gentler approach, but it’s far too narrow to make a real impact on tough divots and bumps in lawns. 

Where it excels, is in the alternative use cases. Like striped lawns and ongoing levelling. If you’re regularly using lawn rollers to get perfect finishes on lawns, this is a useful addition to a lawn tractor, but we definitely wouldn’t suggest it as a start point for brand new lawns.

Pros

  • Tow behind for easy use
  • Easy to fill / empty
  • Durable barrel
  • Tough, adjustable scraper bar

Cons

  • Bad weight to width ratio (98cm:68kg)

Lawn Roller Top Picks for 2022

Best Lawn Roller - Our Top Pick

Top Rated Best Lawn Roller in Australia
AL-KO Hobby GW50 Lawn Roller

Source: amazon.com.au

AL-KO aren’t exactly a household name, but if you’ve ever had the pleasure of their garden tools, you’ll know just how effective they can be. AL-KO’s tool range is well designed, and only really held back by their lack of marketing. 

If you’re prepared to take a leap of faith into their products, the tough and durable AL-KO Lawn Roller is by far the best on the market right now, thanks to its well-considered handlebars, hardy scraper bar, and impact resistant barrel.

Premium Choice Lawn Roller

Premium Choice Lawn Roller in Australia
Agri-Fab 45-0267 Push & Tow Lawn Roller

Source: amazon.com.au

Agri-Fab’s 24-Inch Tow Lawn Roller is a perfect tool for industrial-scale lawn care. For anyone managing commercial or public gardens, it’s well worth considering a large-scale turf roller option like this to help manage lawns on a regular basis.

The first time I encountered a lawn roller was working at a local cricket club, and I still think back to that today when we’re using them. So often, we think of them as preparatory tools, or occasional fixes, but the groundskeepers there would use them after every game.

Best Value Lawn Roller

Best Value Lawn Roller in Australia
Einhell GC-GR 57 46L Garden Roller

Source: amazon.com.au

Perfect width, perfect weight, and a durable barrel. There’s not much more you can ask for from a lawn roller. The Einhell GC-GR 57 Garden Roller is the best budget-friendly turf roller you can buy, and I doubt that’ll change anytime soon.

Plus, it looks good. Garden tools that look clunky are fine if they work, but once in a while, it’s nice to treat yourself to a tool that makes you happy. This stripped-back lawn roller does that and performs well too.

Lawn Roller Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use a roller on new turf?

Never, ever, use a lawn roller on newly laid turf. Turf needs time to establish before being walked on, or pressurised at all. When laying turf it’s important to agitate the soil underneath to allow roots to properly connect to the soil. By rolling over, you compact that surface layer.

How heavy should a lawn roller be?

There is no ideal weight for a turf roller, as weight is relative to size. For every 10cm wide, about 10kg of pressure is ideal. The wider the roller, the heavier it should be. A standard 60cm roller should be 60-70kg for proper compaction.

Should I roll my bumpy lawn?

Yes and no. Rolling bumpy lawns helps revive their surface and prevents raised areas from losing water. However, it’s essential that you loosen any raised soil, and roll over afterward.

Simply rolling raised soil flat can over-compact it, and create a solid patch of ground where roots can’t establish.

What can I use instead of a lawn roller?

For seeding lawns, the best alternative to a turf roller is water and hard work. For repairing bumps and divots, the best alternative to a turf roller is a hand fork and your feet.

Lawns need compacted soil to keep their form, but also like loose surface soil while they establish. If you don’t have a turf roller, or can’t get hold of one, simply walk up and down, compacting the soil with your feet, then loosening the surface gently with a sprung rake.

For more product reviews on tools you may need for your lawn, see our list below:

Wrapping Up Our Lawn Rollers Guide

Professional and DIY gardeners can both make use of lawn rollers, but these tools have got a bad name for themselves. The reality is that there is plenty of terrible advice out there about how to use a turf roller which makes it sound simple, which has led to gardeners blaming lawn rollers, rather than method, for their problems.

Turf rollers are part of a solution, not the whole thing. They should be used in conjunction with proper irrigation, and the best rakes you can find to create a good mix of compaction, and loose surface soil.

Don’t overdo it, or you’ll create a barren, bog where grass can’t grow. But, if you get it right, the best lawn rollers will completely renew your outdoor space.

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Author:

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