How do I maintain my Compost Crank®?
Maintenance is simple. If the handles begin to squeak, put a drop of machine oil into the hole on the side of each handle. Should your tool become dull at the tip, an angle grinder or metal file may be used to resharpen. Please keep a downward angle, as this is what allows the Crank and Twist to easily penetrate the pile.
How do you recommend storing the Crank?
Both the Compost Crank® and Twist can be left in the bin, in the elements, year round. If you wish to keep them in a tool shed, lean the Crank against a corner wall, or add a piece of twine or rope with a loop on it below one handle to hang on a hook or rack. The Twist can be hung on a nail, generic tool rack, or the side of your bin.
How do I use the Twist?
The Compost Crank® Twist can be used with two hands or one, and true to the name, the tool is twisted clockwise down into the pile. If you use one hand, place a hand on the shaft to steady the tool to start out. Once at the desired depth, the cane handle becomes a handy grip for lifting. The Compost Crank®, on the other hand, requires a hand on each handle, which you can use to turn the tool into the pile. You can pull up using these handles, making the tool very easy to use.
What makes the Compost Crank® and Twist different from other aerators?
Some tools are used for a large amount of tasks, like the pitchfork. A fork requires you to take apart the bin, put it back together next to the pile, and physically lift all the material into its new home. This method works nicely, in that the material on the outside gets moved to the center, active area of the bin. Other aerators use a poke method, where the user pokes holes into the material to aerate portions of the bin, but little to no physical turning occurs. Some winged tools can be poked into the pile and rotated down to aerate and lift material to the top.
The Compost Crank® and Twist both penetrate the pile like a poker by turning the tool to the bottom, then turning the opposite way without pulling to simply create air holes. The tools can lift material to the top from any depth, and can even move material from the outside of the bin to the middle, active area. This comes in handy when adding new material; a hole can be created in the center of the pile, scraps and debris deposited, and compost can be moved over the top to cover. Both tools can be turned down to every inch of the pile, so no anaerobic areas form.