When transplanting grass or planting bulbs, a good sod plugger can be an invaluable tool that will save you lots of time and effort. If you are looking to buy one, here are our top picks for best sod plugger to help make sure you choose the right one.
ProPlugger 5-IN-1 Lawn Tool and Garden Tool, Bulb Planter, Weeder, Sod Plugger, Annual Planter, Soil Test
If you are on the lookout for a good sod plugger, you will be wondering about the factors you should consider when choosing the best one for your garden work. Let’s look at some of the most important ones now.
Sod plugger or planter?
Sod pluggers are sometimes also known as planting tools, but these two tools slightly different uses.
Technically, a sod plugger is used for digging up plugs of lawn for transplanting – either you take a sod of lawn to plant in another location or you dig the hole in your lawn to plant a healthy sod there.
A planting tool is similar but is used to dig small holes for planting bulbs or flowers.
Since sod pluggers can be used to dig holes for bulbs and vice versa, we have included both types in this review – to a certain extent, one can usually be substituted for the other.
However, if you are looking for a tool primarily for extensive lawn use, make sure you choose one that works best for that application since the job will take much longer to complete with a smaller planting tool.
Otherwise, many tools make good all-rounders that can be used for both activities and more – and you will find several examples of versatile options below that are ideal for both types of work.
Rugged and durable
Make sure the tool you choose is sturdy and made to last. The metal parts should be corrosion-resistant and tough enough to stand up to some rough treatment. Stainless steel is always a reliable material.
Other parts should be rugged and durable too – otherwise, you may find you need to replace the tool after just one season of use.
Stand-up or kneeling?
If you need a sod plugger for extensive use on a large lawn, you will need one that you can use standing up. This will help prevent you from getting a sore back as you work.
On the other hand, if you just need to do a little light planting, you can choose a handheld planting tool that you use in a kneeling position since these tools are usually quite a bit less expensive.
If you have a specialist type of grass, make sure the sod plugger you choose can deal with it. For example, not all sod pluggers work well with zoysia, St. Augustine or similar species, and you will need to choose a tool that is made for these types of grass.
Depth, diameter and shape
You need to think about the size of the sod plugger you buy. If you need it for planting, make sure it can dig big enough holes for the type of bulbs or flowers you want to plant.
Also, think about the shape. Most standard sods you buy measure 3” x 3” square – so buying a sod plugger of this size and shape will ensure the sods you buy fit snugly into the holes you dig for them.
The Best Sod Plugger on the Market 2020
1. ProPlugger 5-IN-1 Lawn Tool and Garden Tool
If you are looking for a practical tool that will help with a range of garden tasks, including transplanting grass, planting bulbs, weeding and more, this 5-in-1 lawn tool could be just the thing you’re looking for.
With this tool, you can easily pull up plugs from your lawn. Each one is then stored inside the shaft of the tool – after every three or four, you just turn it upside down to recover them for later use.
The diameter of the tool is 2 1/8”, and it comes with three depth rings of 2”, 4” and 6” to give you greater control over the size of the plugs you excavate. It’s easy to work with, and since you use it from a standing position, it will help reduce pain and aches from bending over.
There are several things we like about this tool. Of course, we love the way it has several uses – it is a tool you can turn to throughout the year for multiple jobs.
The foam handles are also a welcome addition, making it even more comfortable to use. And then there’s the fact that it’s USA-made – it’s still produced in America by the family that originally invented it.
There are few downsides, but there are a couple of points to note. It works less well in soggy soil or clay – so if that is the type of soil you have in your garden, it won’t be quite as practical to use. Also, if you use it in rocky or stony ground, you may find the end can dent a little.
However, despite these minor issues, this is still an exceptional tool. If you are looking for a versatile sod plugger that is sure to see plenty of use, this is a product that should be high on your list of possibilities.
2. Yard Butler Sod Plugger Zoysia St. Augustine Fescue Centipede Grass
This is a sod plugger designed for a much more specific use than the multi-function tool we just looked at. This model is perfect for harvesting or planting sod plugs from your lawn – although it can still be used for other purposes too.
In particular, it is designed for use on specialist grasses like zoysia, Bermuda, centipede and St. Augustine, types of grass that other sod pluggers can struggle with. If you have these or similar species in your garden, this tool could help you no end.
The head is square-shaped, excavating a plug that measures 3” x 3”, the same size as most commercial sods. This means any sods you buy to fill the holes will fit perfectly, encouraging strong and healthy growth.
We like how comfortable this tool is to use. It has a padded handle, and at 33” tall and weighing 4lbs, it is just the right size and weight for most people to work with comfortably.
We also appreciate the easy ejector handle that makes removing the sods from the tool quick and fuss-free.
There are just a couple of minor negatives to mention. You will probably find the teeth are not sharp enough out of the box, and you will enjoy better results after sharpening them yourself, especially in harder ground.
Also, the metal the teeth are made of is a little thin and flimsy, and you may find it starts to bend if you put this tool through some rough treatment – again, especially in harder ground.
However, for the task it was created for, it performs admirably, so if you have any of the grass types we mentioned above, this could be an obvious pick.
3. CHUMAA Bulb Planter, Weeder, Sod Plugger, Flower Planting, Soil Sampler
For those who prefer tools that have many uses rather than just being suitable for a single task, this is another sod plugger and bulb planter that should appeal. It’s ideal for plugging, weeding, planting bulbs, planting flowers and sampling soil.
Like the ProPlugger we looked at above, this is a 5-in-1 tool. It will be handy for a range of jobs all year round, ensuring it will see plenty of garden action.
The plugs it digs up are 3.5” in diameter, the ideal size both for transplanting grass and for planting bulbs and plants.
Working with it is easy and practical, too – it features an extra-wide non-slip footplate that helps you remove plugs quickly and with great accuracy. Since it’s made of tough steel, it’s also durable and built to last.
Furthermore, it’s suitable for use with a range of grass types, making it even more versatile.
Perhaps our major complaint here it the price since it is relatively expensive for a simple tool. However, it is versatile and reliable, so many people won’t mind paying the money.
Also, unlike the ProPlugger above, it doesn’t store sods in the shaft, so if you think that’s a useful feature, the other model is probably a better option for you.
All in all, this is another useful and well-designed tool that is sure to make your garden chores easier – so for anyone looking for a multipurpose sod plugger, it’s well worth checking out.
4. Garden Weasel Bulb Planter
As the name suggests, the Garden Weasel Bulb Planter is designed more for planting than for working with lawns – but it is a handy tool and could work well as a sod plugger for use on lawns too.
With a T-bar grip and a non-slip footplate, it is designed to let you pull out plugs for planting without the need to spend time on your hands and knees, helping relieve stress on your back.
This tool boasts a sharp blade and a pointed tip, making it highly effective at what it does. You can easily slice into the ground, leaving perfect holes for planting, and the plug that is removed can also be picked up and reused – for example, when transplanting grass.
Featuring double-welded construction, it’s built to last – so you can expect to be using this versatile tool for many seasons to come. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you know the company is ready to support you if you encounter any problems.
Garden Weasel is a fine example of a successful all-American company, so if you like to buy tools that are made in the USA, this could be a great option, too.
Something that some people might not like is that the digging point is on the forward side (on the opposite side to the user), which means the tool has to be held vertically and not at an angle before you can step on it.
However, this probably helps ensure a more perfect hole, so it could also be seen as a positive.
Also, although it can be used for sod plugging, it is not specifically designed for this, so if that’s going to be your primary use, you might prefer something specially designed for that purpose.
In sum, a well-made, reliable and sturdy tool that is ideal for planting and that will come in handy for many other uses too. A little expensive – but still good value. A recommended option.
5. Radius Garden, 212, PRO Ergonomic Bulb Auger
This is another bulb planting tool that could also be put into service as a sod plugger. It features an extended blade tip with a sharp edge that’s ideal for digging into even dry or compacted soil.
The blade itself is made from strong stainless steel that is both tough and rust-resistant, meaning it should last a long time.
One of the outstanding features of this tool is the ergonomic and practical O-handle design. It is intended to give you four times the gripping surface of a regular handle while also providing extra leverage to work on difficult soil. It also helps to reduce hand fatigue while you work.
Along with the O-handle design, it also boasts an over-molded handle with a non-latex thermoplastic grip for extra comfort and control.
As with the Garden Weasel tool we just looked at, the main downside here is that this tool is not designed explicitly as a sod plugger but rather as a planting tool. While it can be used for both, if you only need a tool for working with grass, a more specialized option might be better.
Also, this tool is a little more expensive than some others, so if you want to save a bit of cash, you might prefer to look elsewhere.
However, if you are willing to pay the price, this is a versatile and practical tool that will get the job done – and it even looks cute, too. A big thumbs-up from us.
6. Edward Tools Bulb Planter
The Edwards Tools Bulb Planter is different from the other tools we’ve looked at so far in that it is supposed to be used while kneeling rather than in an upright position.
However, the concept is the same – you push it into the ground and pull out a plug of soil, leaving a hole that’s perfect for planting bulbs or flowers. It could also be used in the same way as a sod plugger if you don’t have to much ground to cover.
With an auto-soil release mechanism, it’s quick and easy to use. It’s also made of reinforced steel, so it shouldn’t bend or break under normal use.
In fact, the company that makes it is so confident about this that it comes with a lifetime guarantee – if it breaks, they’ll replace it for you.
We like the way it has a depth marker – this allows for greater accuracy and consistency when planting, which will result in more uniform flower growth. It’s ideal for planting bulbs such as tulip, daffodil, lily and dahlia, among others.
The main downside is the fact that it isn’t designed as a sod plugger. As we said, you could use it for this purpose, but if you need to dig more than just a few holes, it won’t be practical, and you should consider buying something better adapted to the job.
Also, although it is sturdy and resistant, it still has trouble when used on harder soil – if your soil is more compacted, you might find it hard work planting with this tool.
In short, this is a high-quality yet inexpensive planting tool that could also be used for small-scale sod plugging. A great option if that’s what you need – but if you need something for more intensive work, there are probably better alternatives to consider.
7. Yard Butler BPL-6 Long Handled Bulb Planter
If you prefer working standing up rather than kneeling and are looking for an affordable bulb planter and sod plugger that allows you to do so, this model could be just what you need.
Although it is designed as a bulb planter, it works very well as a sod plugger too – with one caveat that we’ll come to in just a moment.
The tool is 37” in height, weighs 4lbs and excavates a hole that is 6” deep and 3” in diameter, ideal for most bulb planting operations – it is great for tulips, crocus, dahlias, gladiolus, lilies, or many other types of spring bulbs.
We appreciate the powder-coated steel head that is designed to resist rust and other corrosion. It also has a wide footplate that makes it easy to use, even when you need to use a bit of strength to penetrate the ground.
If you’re planning on using it for bulb planting, you might miss a depth gauge if you need perfect uniformity – but if this level of accuracy is not necessary for you, this shouldn’t put you off.
As a sod plugger, it works well too – but the caveat we mentioned is that if you have a tough grass species like zoysia, you might find it tough going.
Overall, this is a tool we like. It is very reasonably priced and works well for both planting and sod plugging. A great option if you want a versatile tool that won’t cost you a fortune.
8. Burpee Steel Bulb Planter
This is a budget-friendly planting tool that’s perfect for use with a range of fall bulbs and other plants. It is designed to be used in a kneeling rather a standing position.
We like the way it’s constructed, with an ergonomic wood handle and a stainless-steel body that’s designed to last. The company that makes it is so confident nothing will go wrong that it comes with a five-year warranty in case you somehow manage to break it.
As we mentioned, this is an affordable tool, and its price tag is right at the bottom of the range. This means if you want a planter that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, this could be a great option.
However, this is a planter rather than a dedicated sod plugger, and while you can use it for small scale sod plugging, if you need to cover a more extensive area, you’re probably better off opting for something else.
Also, if you live in an area with clay soil, you might find it hard work using this tool for longer periods.
This is the kind of planting tool that will appeal to someone who wants something simple and inexpensive that will help save time and effort in the garden. If that sounds like you, you would do well to give it a try.
9. FLORA GUARD Bulb Planter with Depth Mark
This bulb planter is another option that should be of interest if you are looking for an inexpensive planter mainly for use in transplanting bulbs or flowers. It could also be used for some small-scale sod plugging.
With a spring-loaded, anti-slip handle, it’s comfortable to hold, and it’s easy to release the soil you pick up with it. It is suitable for all soil types, including clay, wet soil and dry soil.
The tool has a 3.2” diameter and a maximum depth of 4”. The metal part is made of rustproof, electroplated stainless steel that will resist corrosion and should stand up to some rough treatment. It includes gradations that allow you to measure the depth.
As with other similar tools, while it can be used as a sod plugger, for larger-scale work, you are probably better off spending more money on something designed for that kind of work. However, as a planter and occasional sod plugger, it could work well.
The only other issue we have is that it is on the small side. If you want larger holes for your bulbs, you might be better looking for alternatives.
Otherwise, this is a surprisingly high-quality item for the price. A great budget option that you can rely on – as long as you understand its limitations.
10. Fiskars Bulb Transplanter
This bulb transplanter from Fiskars is very similar in many ways to the Flora Guard model we just looked at. It is inexpensive yet well-made and includes measurements on the side so you can gauge the depth of the hole easily. It is for use when kneeling.
The diameter of the hole it cuts is 2.25” and it has an effective depth of around 4”. The comfortable plastic handle is spring-loaded, making it easy to release the soil once you have pulled it up.
There are two main limitations that you need to understand before purchasing this item.
If you intend to use it as a sod plugger, it could work well for smaller-scale operations. However, for larger jobs, you would ideally need something bigger and more substantial.
As a planter, it is a little small – the 4” depth means it is only suitable for smaller plants or bulbs, and if you need more depth, you will need to choose a different tool.
However, despite these limitations, this is still a solid tool. If you need a planting tool for smaller bulbs that can also double up as an occasional sod plugger, this inexpensive option could be just the thing.
Many solid tools to pick from
As you can see, there is a wide range of tools to pick from to suit all requirements and budgets. If you need a reliable sod plugger to add to your garden tool collection but don’t know which to go for, any of the options in our review would be a great place to start looking.