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7 Best Compost Tumblers For Beginners

Publish Data: March 30, 2022

by Mr. Green

A compost tumbler is a rotatable container that allows mixing contents without using hands or shovel. They are made to quicken the composting process more efficiently. Their sleek design with eco-friendly materials is very much suitable for your home. The question is what are the best compost tumblers for beginners?

You can find various types of compost tumblers. But you need to compare them before buying, otherwise, it will be a waste of time and money. For example, you can find both single-chambered and double-chambered tumblers online. Now if you have a bigger family but brought a single-chambered one, it will not fulfill your needs.

For this reason, you need to carefully select your product considering all the factors related to it. The following guide will help you to find the best compost tumbler for your home or garden.

Our Top 7 Picks for Beginners

  1. FCMP IM4000 37 Gallon Tumbling Composter (Best Overall)
  2. Miracle-Gro All Season Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler (Another Top Pick)
  3. EJWOX Garden Compost Bin Tumbler (Best Durability)
  4. VIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter (Best Ventilation)
  5. FCMP Outdoor Half-size Rolling Composter (Overall Space-efficient)
  6. MaxWorks 80699 Garden Compost Tumbler (Octagonal Shape)
  7. RSI Riverstone Industries Maze Two-Stage Tumbler Composter (Best Volume)

1. FCMP IM4000 37 Gallon Tumbling Composter (Best Overall)

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B09MS2V2K2&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gctlove 20&language=en USFCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter

Since the beginning, the company Forest City Models and Patterns Limited of Canada has been making very innovative and user-friendly composters. This specific model FCMP IM4000 has been very popular on the internet, and we have found it very efficient and suitable for your usage.

The design is very efficient to make the mixing properly and you will feel comfortable using it. For best efficiency, this tumbling composter has dual chambers that will allow you to finish on one side while leaving the other side available to add fresh kitchen scraps and clippings.

You don’t have to worry about the materials used to construct this device. It has BPA-free plastic, so no harmful chemicals will affect your compost. The product developers have used thick layers of polypropene to construct the body of the composter. It is very durable and will last longer you. The legs are made of galvanized steel that is corrosion resistant. So, it should tolerate both sunlight and rain.

You can easily store up to 18.5 gallons of waste on each side. The octagonal structure of the container will prevent stickiness as you rotate it. This model has enough aeration holes that allow air to ventilate properly and get mixed with the compost.  A proper mixture of ideal components according to the weather will yield a good supply of compost for you. Hopefully, you will be able to get your compost within two or three weeks.

Pros:

  • Detach able doors make inserting contents easy.
  • Comfortable to handle.
  • Produces compost much faster compared to other compost tumblers.
  • Big aeration holes for ventilation.
  • Strong and sleek design.

Cons:

  • Might take a couple of hours to assemble.
  • 37 Gallon may be small for some households.

FAQs about FCMP IM4000:

1. Is it possible to leave the composter outside during the winter months without causing harm to the plastic?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to be outside in frigid temperatures throughout the winter. When adding scraps, however, do not twist the barrel. The early compost will decompose into mushy balls and will not decompose into fine soil or compost. Once every two weeks or more, rotate the barrel.

2. How long will this compost tumbler last if continuously used throughout the year?

Answer: This will last at least 5 to 6 years if used properly with care. The materials are very durable.

2. Miracle-Gro All Season Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler (Another Top Pick)

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0785HCXB5&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gctlove 20&language=en USDual Chamber Compost Tumbler – Easy-Turn

Developed by Miracle-Gro, this all-season compost tumbler will be a suitable one for your home. Similar to the model of FCMP, this composter has dual chambers in it. The dual chambers allow you to put kitchen scraps and other materials on one side, while the other chamber is already processing for composting. You can fasten the composting process as a result.

The locking mechanism will allow you to keep steady after rotation. The composter is hexagon-shaped with central paddles, so there is less chance for your scraps to get stuck. While materials may get stuck in a cylindrical container, this 6-sided one will prevent such issues during rotation.

Due to strong metal legs, you will feel less jerk while rotating. The length of the doors is about 10 inches, so it will be easy for you to use a small shovel or your hand to put straps inside. Moreover, there is a separate door available for each chamber. You may usually find it in yellow and green colors.

Along with the door facilities, you can turn each of the chambers independently. So, you don’t have to worry about disturbing the contents of one chamber while putting scraps in the other one.

Its volume is 37 gallons in total. But don’t worry, you can only move one chamber at a time which is 18.5 gallons. This weight won’t be that much problem for you to rotate. But it may take extra pair of hands for you to assemble the composter.

Pros:

  • Garden gloves are included in this product.
  • Easy to unload contents.
  • Produces less odor.
  • Both chambers can be rotated individually.
  • Heavy-duty and sturdy.

Cons:

  • Similar to FCMP IM4000, 37 gallons may not be enough for professionals.
  • Might not be long-lasting and parts may break if not used carefully.
  • The harsh cold or excess heat may weaken the attachments.

FAQs about Miracle-Gro Compost Tumbler:

1. Is the tumbler rodent-proof?

Answer: Yes, except for the vents, the composter is entirely sealed when the doors are closed, thus rats should not be able to get inside. Keep tumbling it now and again to prevent an odor from forming.

2. Does it function in below-freezing temperatures?

Answer: Yes, it still functions in harsh weather conditions. Its two chambers allow composting the whole year as long as you keep supplying scraps and leaves.

3. EJWOX Garden Compost Bin Tumbler (Best Durability)

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077972KCR&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gctlove 20&language=en USDual Rotating Outdoor Composting Tumblers

Developed by EJWOX, this is a heavy-duty composter with a volume of 43 gallons. This can generate a bigger amount of compost for you easily as a result. But unless you have enough space and muscle power to operate in this composter, you should think twice before buying it.

All parts of this composter are totally BPA-free, so you don’t have to worry about your compost at all. No toxic chemicals will leak into your compost. It may require more than half an hour for you to put it together. There are two metal legs, two doors, seven different panels, and metal frames too. You may consider having an extra pair of hands with you beforehand.

The doors are very tight, so it can easily prevent any insects and pest infestation. As the metallic frames holding the composter keep it more than a foot above ground level, you can take out finished compost easily by placing a trolley or bucket under it.

You can find two models available for this composter. The first one is 10.6 inches by 8.5 inches and the second one is 10.23 inches by 6.1 inches. Notice that there is a significant difference in size, which has a big impact on the doors. You need to be extra cautious while dealing with the second one as it has smaller doors. The first one has wider doors, thus giving you better access to the contents. It is more user-friendly and safer.

Pros:

  • Simple sliding doors for better unloading.
  • Suitable in small yards for easy composting.
  • Materials are BPA-free and non-toxic.
  • The metallic body is covered with powder-coated steel.
  • Two different models are available for the users.

Cons:

  • The instructions manual may seem sketchy to some people.
  • Requires more muscle power to rotate.
  • It may be tough to find right-sized screws during assembly.

FAQs about EJWOX Compost Tumbler:

1. Can I use it as a single-chambered tumbler?

Answer: Yes, you can do it by removing the divider from the middle. Although the design of the two doors will become irrelevant, you can still use it as the structure is very sturdy.

2. How long does it take for compost to be ready for the garden?

Answer: It is dependent on the temperature and rotation period. In general, you need 30 days in the summer and 60 days in the winter to get the finished product.

4. VIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter (Best Ventilation)

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B08346W5S6&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gctlove 20&language=en USVIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter Dual Rotating Batch Compost Bin

Designed by eco-friendly garden experts of VIVOSUN, you will find this product very reliable for your home.

The structure is made with galvanized steel and high-quality BPA-free plastic. So, you don’t have to worry about toxic leakage into your compost. it is also corrosion-resistant and pest repellent. The composter is dual-chambered that allows you to cook compost on one side while you can put your scraps on the other one. This will easily make the process faster. Its size is 43 gallons will be suitable for your family.

One of the cool features of this composter is that you can adjust the aeration holes to regulate the oxygen supply. You can expect the finished compost within 4 to 5 weeks. On top of that, this product includes durable garden gloves. Its construction with latex rubber will protect your hands from sharp objects and they are waterproof also. The gloves come with 4 ABS plastic claws. It will help you in digging soil or planting.

Pros:

  • Adjustable ventilation holes allow better oxygen supply.
  • Garden gloves are included in this product.
  • All materials are eco-friendly and high in quality.
  • The steel is galvanized and made corrosion-resistant.
  • Good ventilation produces less odor.

Cons:

  • The divider at the center may be tough to keep in place while assembling this product.
  • The instructions may be unclear to some people. You may find bolts and screws harder to locate and put in.

FAQs about VIVOSUN:

1. Should I put animal poop in this tumbler?

Answer: We recommend you not to put animal poop inside any chamber. It is best to use food items like kitchen scraps and brown materials like dry leaves as contents. They are less likely to produce a bad smell and produce healthy compost.

2. Is the tumbler safe from roaches and rodents?

Answer: Yes, it is completely safe. So, you should not be concerned about harmful pests and rodents. The ventilation holes are small enough to prevent encroachment of them.

5. FCMP Outdoor Half-size Rolling Composter (Overall Space-efficient)

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B08HPKGL4X&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gctlove 20&language=en USFCMP Outdoor Half Size 19 Gallon Plastic Rolling Composter

While FCMP is mostly known for its dual-chamber composter, this specific model has quite a good review in the market. So, among all the other ones chambered compost tumblers, we recommend you rely on this one.

You don’t need to assemble any parts as the whole product can be used straight out of the box. So, we think this will be very much suitable for beginners. For a single chamber, its door is large enough to insert and take out materials. Its body consists of deep fins which are very comfortable for handling with fingers.

Its construction is BPA-free, And the polyethylene is recyclable. The UV inhibited material will not degrade due to direct sunlight. Another cool feature is its rolling design, which allows you to move the compost when necessary. So, you don’t have to use an extra trolley or bucket.

Its total capacity is 19 gallons (2.5 cubic feet). So hopefully you won’t have a problem rotating even if you have less muscle power. With the mixture of proper ingredients, this compost tumbler can provide you finished product within 2 or 3 weeks.

Pros:

  • No hassle of assembling parts.
  • Suitable for small households.
  • Easy to rotate and does not require much muscle power.
  • Simple and compact design.
  • Perfect for beginners and children.

Cons:

  • The parts may break sometimes if used without care.
  • The door may not be wide enough to load and unload contents.
  • The ventilation holes might leak liquids and make a mess.

FAQs about FCMP Half-size Rolling Composter:

1. Does this tumbler roll on its base? Or does it need dismounting to rotate?

Answer: This compost tumbler can easily rotate on its base, so it does not require taking it out. There are no rollers inside the base that this tumbler can ride on.

2. Is this tumbler bear-proof?

Answer: As this is a small tumbler without a heavy lock, it is easy for a bear to tear off the door and take out the contents inside. So, we don’t think this product is bear-proof.

6. MaxWorks 80699 Garden Compost Tumbler (Octagonal Shape)

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07177P4FH&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gctlove 20&language=en USMaxWorks 80699 Compost Bin Tumbler for Garden and Outdoor

Developed by MaxWorks, one of the leading garden accessories suppliers, this model will be very suitable for your home. The quality of the product is great as reviewed by most of the users.

This design is very space efficient for your purposes. Its octagonal shape will prevent your compost from sticking inside during rotation. The assembly size is 28.50″ X 26″ X 36.80”, and the volume is 42 gallons. The doors are tight enough to repel insects, and they can be slid individually. The composter is constructed from a durable polypropylene bin. Its steel frame is powder-coated for providing long-lasting service.

There are a good number of air vents that will allow oxygen to flow inside the chambers. The dual chambers will allow you to put new straps on one side while the other side is already processing your compost from old scraps. You can expect to get the finished product within 2 to 5 weeks.

Pros:

  • Crafted from sturdy materials that ensure long-lasting services.
  • The octagonal shape prevents the compost from getting stuck.
  • Dual chambers allow faster composting.
  • Design is space-efficient and suitable for gardens.
  • Repels insects.

Cons:

  • Some users may find it frustrating to assemble.
  • The divider may not fit as expected.
  • The attachments might be defective or missing sometimes.

FAQs about MaxWorks 80699:

1. Is there a lot of fruit flies attracted to it?

Answer: This tumbler doesn’t attract any fruit flies in general. But make sure not to put any cheese and meat items in the compost tumbler, they attract a lot of fruit flies. You may also want to avoid onion and garlic because they produce a bad smell.

2. Is it possible to empty it using a trolley?

Answer: No, you cannot use a wheel barrel or trolley under it to unload the compost. There is only 18 to 20-inch space between the legs. This may not be enough for sliding in a trolley. But hopefully, you can place a small bucket between the legs and rotate the doors downward to take out the finished product.

7. RSI Riverstone Industries Maze Two-Stage Tumbler Composter (Best Volume)

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07G8J6L4Q&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gctlove 20&language=en USRSI Riverstone Industries Maze Two Stage Tumbler Composter

With an overall good review on Amazon, this composter will be a suitable one for your purposes. Its volume is 65 gallons, with a separator inside. So, you can keep a constant flow of scraps in one chamber while the other one is processing.

Its body is constructed from UV-protected plastic, which is also BPA-free. You can easily rotate the cylindrical structure with the help of its geared rotating handle. This handle makes it significantly easier for rotation than any other composters. The legs are more than one foot above the ground, and its durable framework is rust resistant.

The adjustable air vents allow more oxygen supply when necessary. You can easily place a bucket or trolley underneath to empty the composter. Its wider doors will make this work much more comfortable for you.

Pros:

  • Its volume is big enough for bigger households.
  • The geared handle makes it easy to turn and unload materials.
  • Instructions are easy to read for assembling.
  • UV-protected plastic body and sturdy base.
  • Can generate a large volume of compost within a few months.

Cons:

  • Compared to its volume, the size of the ventilation holes is very small. So, materials can get clogged easily.
  • May require an extra pair of hands for faster assembly. Otherwise, it will take 2.5 hours.

FAQs about RSI Riverstone Tumbler:

1. How long does it take to produce compost in this tumbler?

Answer: It will take about 3 or 4 months to get the finished compost. You can also make some compost tea alongside. Make sure to maintain the ratio of green to brown materials properly to ensure better productivity.

2. How do I collect worm tea from this tumbler?

Answer: This product does not include any composting cart. So, you have to slide in a trolley or bucket underneath to collect the tea. You don’t have to open the doors, just use the ventilation holes to collect the liquids.

Buying Guide

How to choose the best compost tumbler:

Door / Lid Size:

It is better to have a tumbler with wide doors or a lid. It will allow you to insert big scraps and take out compost conveniently.

Dual / Single Chamber:

Depending on the weight of kitchen scraps your family produces each day, you have to choose how many chambers you want. Generally, a single chamber works out for a small family. And dual chambers will produce compost quickly in two batches.

Space consumption:

You will generally find the dual chambers taking up more space in your garden. On the other hand, single chambers may fit easily in a garage or basement.

Quality of Plastic / Metal:

It is better to buy compost tumblers having BPA-free and UV-protected plastic. This will be toxic-free for your compost and no harmful chemicals will leak while cooking. The metal body should be made of rust-resistant steel. This makes the legs sturdier and more durable.

Non-cylindrical container:

Most gardeners prefer hexagonal or octagonal-shaped tumblers. Because when you rotate such a shape, there is less possibility of contents getting stuck with the inside wall. Such containers also have fins that allow the user to grab them comfortably.

Geared handle for rotation:

Depending on your muscle power, you can choose to have tumblers with geared handles or not. In the case of a dual-chamber, we recommend you buy tumblers with geared handles.

Types of compost tumblers:

Single chambered (Small):

The small and single-chambered compost tumblers are suitable for indoor purposes. You can easily fit them in a corner of your garage or your basement. This tumbler can be rotated easily even if the user lacks muscle power. Moreover, this is suitable for homes that produce fewer kitchen scraps as there are few members of the family.

Single chambered (Large):

If your garden is small, but you have a high amount of scrap production each day, you may consider having a single-chambered large compost tumbler. The single chamber makes it less spacious and still fits a good amount of scraps. Compared to the small one, its door is quite wide, allowing you to put in and take out contents easily. Some even have fins that prevent scraps from getting stuck.

Dual chambered (Cylindrical):

The dual-chambered compost tumblers will take a lot of space, as usual, so you may consider this issue before buying them. You may find the cylindrical shape easy to rotate, but scraps may get stuck inside the tumbler. Some of these tumblers also come with a geared handle for better rotation.

Dual chambered (Hexagonal or Octagonal):

This type of tumbler usually has long legs that allow you to use a bucket or trolley underneath for emptying compost easily. Moreover, the non-cylindrical shape prevents scraps from sticking. You may require good muscle power to rotate it because they might not have geared handle.

Benefits of The Best Compost Tumblers for Beginners:

Multiple chambers: The construction of multiple chambers allows faster composting. This means when you put scraps in one chamber the other one is already cooking. This is highly suitable for families with more members.

Ability to rotate: The most advanced feature of a tumbler is that you can rotate the container easily to mix contents. So, you don’t have to use a small shovel or your hand.

Pest repellant: As the container is rotatable, there is less chance of rodent or pest infestation. Moreover, the door is very tight-fitting which discourages insects to go inside.

Less odor: Due to proper rotation and aeration holes, the contents inside can get a better oxygen supply from time to time. As a result, it produces less odor than compost bins.

Easily emptiable: Most of the tumblers can be emptied easily by placing a trolley or bucket between the metal legs. You can also carry it comfortably provided they have wheels under the legs.

10 FAQ About compost tumbler:

How often should I turn the compost tumbler?

A compost tumbler should be turned on daily. This allows better oxygen flow through the ventilation holes, and you will be able to get your desired product at the right time.

How long does it take to prepare compost in a tumbler?

The answer depends on the weather condition of your area. Generally, when the weather is ideal and balanced, you can expect a finished compost within three or four weeks.

How should I empty a compost tumbler?

To empty the compost tumbler, you need to rotate it in such a way that the doors face downwards. Then you have to open it slowly and take out the contents. You can use a spade or rake to pull it out. Also, if the legs are wide enough, you can slide in a trolley or bucket to pour the finished compost.

What size compost tumbler do I need?

The answer depends on the quantity of kitchen scrap or clippings you produce each day. There is also an issue of space. So, if you think you have less space for tumblers, you can keep a single-chambered one. On the contrary, if you can collect a big amount of scraps and you also have more space, you can always go for dual-chambered tumblers.

How long does a 55-gallon drum compost tumbler take?

A 55-gallon drum will obviously have more space inside than a single chamber compost tumbler. With proper air ventilation and balanced contents, it will require a minimum of 4 to 5 weeks to get finished compost.

What should I put in the compost tumbler?

For household and gardening purposes, you should add grass clippings, plant trimmings, kitchen waste, shredded papers, coffee grounds, eggshells, straw, sawdust, etc. Just make sure that you add both green and brown materials in the right proportion because too many green materials will make the contents soggy.

How much water do I add to the compost tumbler?

You do not need to add water manually to the tumblers. Remember, compost should not be soggy, it is better to keep it moist. And you can do that by maintaining a proper ratio between green and brown materials. But if you feel the compost needs more moisture, you can add some water.

How much compost should I put in a tumbler?

Try not to overfill the tumbler with contents. This will only make it harder to rotate. To obtain better results, we recommend you keep at least 30% to 40% free space inside the tumbler for proper ventilation.

Where should I place the compost tumbler in the yard?

Don’t keep the compost tumbler under bright sunlight for too long. Because excess heat may dry up the water contents inside, thus affecting the decomposition rate. Also, don’t keep the tumbler in shade all the time. Because without sunlight, the rate of decomposition will be prolonged. So, choose such a spot in your yard that gets both sunlight and shade periodically.

Can I convert a 55-gallon drum into a compost tumbler?

Yes, you can convert a 55-gallon drum into a tumbler. First, you need to prepare strong support for holding each end of the drum. Then you need to drill and connect both ends with the supports so that it rotates. You also need to make a door on the curved surface of the drum with proper locks.

Finally, drill a few ventilation holes for the air supply. In this way, you can easily make a cheap compost tumbler from a 55-gallon drum.

Conclusion:

Having a compost tumbler rather than a pile will help you greatly. It is simple to rotate, space-efficient, and easily movable. It will speed up the composting process by utilizing the kitchen scraps you produce daily. On top of that, they prevent rodents and pests by eliminating the foul odor.

However, you must also keep in mind the cost, time to assemble, eco-friendly materials, sturdy attachments, volume, space efficiency, etc. factors before buying one for your home. My personal perception is that FCMP IM4000 37 Gallon Tumbling Composter and Miracle-Gro All Season Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler will give you more satisfaction.

We hope that this write-up will be useful to you while selecting the Best Compost Tumblers for Beginners. Happy composting!