RSI Maze Two-Stage Compost Tumbler: Is it Worth It?
This large dual-chamber composter comes with a convenient crank to make turning compost easier than ever.
In hands-on testing of five of the best compost tumblers on the market, the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler topped the list. This large compost tumbler beat out others because of its durability and unique geared handle and ratchet lock, which makes it easy to turn compost even when the tumbler is heavy and full.
This compost tumbler is one of the hundreds of home, lawn, and garden products made by Riverstone Industries (RSI) Corporation. RSI focuses on offering quality, environmentally friendly products, 90 percent of which are made in the United States (though this compost tumbler is not one of them).
After weeks of testing at my home outdoors and in direct sunlight, I found this RSI product to be high quality. It’s very durable, thanks in part to its rust-resistant zinc coating. Additionally, it’s relatively simple to assemble, and it’s easy to use—particularly compared with other large composters that I tested.
RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler: At a Glance
- Easy-to-use hand crank makes turning the compost simple with less effort
- Durable rustproof frame allows for improved longevity
- Large size with dual bins allows for 2 separate composts to develop at the same time
- Crank gets stuck occasionally when the bin is full
- Doors can freeze shut in low temperatures
- The composter is heavy even when not full of compost
Get the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler at:
- Amazon for $277.09
- Lowe’s for $289.99
- The Home Depot for $277.09
- Overstock for $282.62
- Tractor Supply Co. for $289.99
What is the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler?
The RSI Maze two-stage composter is designed for outdoor composting. The tumbler is attached to a metal frame and has a hand crank that allows for easy turning of the compost. The tumbler is large enough to hold scraps from medium to large households, and it measures 44.5 inches tall by 41.3 inches wide by 30 inches deep.
What sets this compost tumbler apart from the competition is its geared handle and ratchet lock. This unique feature makes the compost tumbler easy to turn even when it’s full, although it may require two hands to turn for some individuals. It also has a higher ground clearance, which makes emptying compost into a cart, bin, or onto a tarp easier.
Made from UV-resistant plastic and a zinc-coated frame to prevent rusting, this durable composter weighs 54 pounds when fully assembled and empty. It also has air vents with built-in covers that allow for better control of airflow or to cut off airflow and allow the compost to cook.
How easy is the RSI Maze to put together?
The product is relatively simple to assemble, but it requires some work and is easier with two people. (My husband helped me assemble this one and it still took more than 2 hours.) It includes an Allen wrench, screws, and the plastic attachments necessary to put it together. In addition to the included pieces, I also used a screwdriver to assist with the frame.
The product did not have digital instructions but instead included an instruction booklet for assembly, which was relatively straightforward. Still, I would have preferred the option of digital instructions along with the booklet, as I have found with composters that the digital instructions with actual photos of the composter (rather than illustrations) can be much clearer and are helpful when assembling a large product such as this.
How to Use the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler
To use the composter, place it outside once it’s assembled. Keep in mind that the composter is heavy, so once it is placed and full of compost, it will be difficult to move. Keep adding compost to one side, mixing green ingredients such as vegetable and fruit scraps with dry ingredients such as dry grass and leaves. Turn the compost about 10 rotations every few days. Once one chamber is full, switch the doors to put the “+” sign door on the other side where fresh ingredients will be added. Continue to add new ingredients while the composter cooks the sitting compost.
When it’s time to use the compost, use the hand crank to turn the bin toward the ground. The bin will automatically lock wherever the hand crank is stopped. Open the door and empty the compost into a small cart or container, then use it in your garden, raised beds, or planters as needed.
Is the RSI Maze Tumbler easy to use?
Yes, especially when compared with other large compost bins. The product has a few features that make it easy to use.
The first is its hand crank, which allows the dual-chambered bin to be turned easily even when full of compost, although some people may need to use both hands to operate the crank when the bin is full. However, I found during testing that the crank did get jammed on occasion when the composter was full. I later found out that this was due to the doors of the composter not being completely closed. The doors must be shut completely to prevent jamming when turning the compost.
The second feature is the composter’s ground clearance, which makes emptying compost via a cart easier. The durable doors are also easy to slide off and on, and they can be switched when the compost on one side is done to indicate which side of the bin to fill: One door is marked with the “+” sign, meaning the user can add compost to that side, while the other has a clock symbol, meaning that the compost needs to “cook.”
How well does the RSI Maze Compost Tumbler cook compost?
The RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler cooks compost well, depending on the material added to the compost, the temperature, and whether bugs help break down the compost.
The tumbler also has aeration holes that can be blocked with built-in covers, which helps control the temperature and the humidity in the tumbler for accelerated decomposition. For wetter compost, the aeration holes should remain open. For dry or complete compost, the holes can stay closed depending on the temperature and humidity levels and how dry or wet the compost should be.
Since the bin can be turned easily and frequently, it helps accelerate compost decomposition combined with the aeration holes. The compost took roughly 2 months to cook, and I added organic fruit, vegetable, and herb scraps for the green material and dry leaves and grass for the brown material.
Is the RSI Maze Tumbler good quality?
Yes, the compost tumbler has a durable construction. The frame is made out of metal that is coated with zinc to prevent rust. The frame also helps balance the tumbler even when it’s full, so the tumbler is less likely to fall or tip over. The high-impact plastic used prevents damage from the sun, rodents, and even freezing temperatures.
However, if the compost is wet or it has rained and the temperatures drop, the doors can freeze shut. This wasn’t a major inconvenience, but it did prevent me from filling the composter when it was very cold outside. I waited until the next day when the sun warmed up the composter enough to unfreeze the doors before adding more leaves and vegetable scraps.
Is the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Tumbler worth the cost?
The RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler is worth the cost because of its durability, ease of use, and size. The regular retail price hovers around $280 to $290, but there are sale prices for less than that. Some options allow the tumbler to be purchased with a cart, which can make unloading compost and transporting it easier. The tumbler does not require any maintenance outside of wiping it clean when it gets dirty or has debris on it. It can also be hosed off for cleaning. Compared with other large composters I tested, this bin is worth the cost, especially considering that compost can help replace (or at least supplement) fertilizer, depending on the quality and nutrient content of the existing soil.
Should you buy the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler?
The RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler is best for medium to large households (two to six people depending on the amount of “scraps” generated) that want an easy way to compost their food scraps and create nutrients for a garden or potted plants. The size of this composter makes it best for those with medium gardens of roughly 130 square feet, depending on how much compost is necessary for the plants. This compost tumbler is also a worthy consideration for those with limited mobility or other physical challenges because it is so simple to turn with its hand crank. Its size and color can make it appear obvious in a small yard, so it may be best placed out of sight or behind bushes or greenery if possible.
Where to Buy the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler
Get the RSI Maze 65-Gallon Compost Tumbler at: