If you have hard ground, the type of ground or lawn your feet hurt after walking on it.
Then the 48" plug aerator is the tool for you (any size really). It makes a 1/2" hole 2 to 4 inches deep (pending on the weight on the top) and pulls out a small cores of dirt. You can do one pass or a few passes and you done. I drove around a bit after crushing up all the little cores. I seeded and watered. The lawn that was there responded almost immediately, getting air and nutrient's to the roots where it's needed.
Hey, I found a product made in America! Woo Hoo! This aerator made good plugs with only 130lbs of weight but the lawn had to have the right moisture. Too wet and the plugs would not slide thru, too dry and it would not penetrate. The best time was the day after a .5 inch rain. I have heavy clay loam soil and it worked great. And best of all it is made in the good old U.S.A. Please buy America and save our jobs.
I bought this to avoid renting a self-propelled unit every year. Assembly was tedious but fairly straightforward. There are a couple of steps where the instructions could be clearer. There are many, many small parts especially nuts and bolts. Unlike several other things I have assembled recently these were bagged not carded and I was missing a couple of items. Fortunately they were all common hardware store items and I already had them in my workshop parts bins. Care is required when assembling since all of the 32 plug spikes are very sharp and it is easy to cut oneself while putting the unit together. I have only used it once so far. The unit towed well and I liked the ability to use the lift handle from the tractor seat unlike several other models I saw. The lawn I aerated was quite damp so I expected good penetration using about 140 lbs of concrete blocks. The plugs, however, were a little shorter than I expected so I'll have to tune that the next time I use the unit so see if I can get better penetration. So far I am pleased with this purchase.
Took a while to assemble, and the spikes are very sharp. I used it on my lawn with about 80 pounds on top of it to weight it down after it had rained the previous day and it worked fine. Plugs were about 3 inches deep max - make sure you cut your grass before using it.
It work well going deeper 11/2 inch or more. In some other area were dryer and hard soil. It make a mark on the ground, I had 3 cement blocks on the table may be i need more weight. Overhaul this aerator is good. Not hard to put together, I did in 4 hours taking my time.