This article will help you decide which is more suitable for you: A compost tumbler or a compost bin.
Compost Tumblers vs. Compost Bins
What is a Compost Tumbler?
Compost tumblers are closed containers that are used for batch composting (one-time). They come in different shapes and sizes with a rotating mechanism for compost mixing.
What is a Compost Bin?
A compost bin is used for ongoing composting process. The design is simple, you can keep on adding the compost materials, and you can withdraw the ready compost for the bottom with the help of small doors or spigot at the bottom. Compost bins do not have a rotating mechanism, so you have to mix up the compost with a pitchfork or a shovel.
Compost Tumbler and a Compost Bin
Composting bins are larger than tumblers and can house around 5-20 cubic feet of waste, whereas tumblers have a capacity of 3-10 cubic feet. There are some models with larger capacities in tumblers and smaller capacities in bins. The reason that tumblers have a small capacity is that it gets difficult to rotate a large tumbler. Smaller bins are not feasible as bins are used for continuous composting.
Tumblers and bins occupy the same space commonly unless you buy a very unique or custom model. Bins have hatches for withdrawal, so most of the models are stationary. Tumblers are stationary too; you can collect the ready compost in a bucket or use a wheelbarrow for transporting the compost.
Composting Time (Efficiency)
A tumbler is pretty efficient when it comes to producing compost. There are a couple of reasons behind this: a small quantity of compost and an easy rotating mechanism. Compost tumblers also provide better aeration and help in maintaining the optimum temperature for composting. Indoor composting bins, on the other hand, need more time to prepare compost because they have a large capacity, and you need to mix the ingredients yourself. Bins are for people who want to ensure that they have a batch of compost ready every 2-4 months.
A tumbler needs less time from you as you just need to rotate the tumbler with the rotator and occasionally mix the contents for better results. Composting bin demands more time from you. You have to mix up the waste materials yourself, take out the finished compost and also ensure that rodents do not attack your compost.
Ease of Use and Functionality
Compost tumblers are user-friendly compared to bins as they require minimum effort from your end. You can rotate the bin with the rotator and hardly need to use a shovel. Compost bins require manual mixing and waste material management.
Compost bins are easy to assemble as they come with simple clipping, and it just takes 10-20 minutes for the complete setup. You will rarely need any tool for assembling a bin. Tumblers need a couple of hours and proper tools to assemble as they have to be fixed with some nuts and bolts.
It depends on the build quality of the product you are buying.
Tumblers are costlier than bins because they have more features.
Bins and tumblers come in aesthetically pleasing designs that add beauty to your garden. You can chose from different designs and colors.