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What Kind of Soil Sifter Do You Need?

Turn rocky soil or raw compost into filtered topsoil! Sift seeds for storage and future use! Also great for rock hounds, treasure hunters, archeologists. Smaller models are perfect for Bonsai enthusiasts! Look for our newer models, or suggest one of your own. (See below.)

Find your Sifter in the listings below and click on "More Information..." to get more details, view prices and place your order, using PayPal! To see a complete list of Sifters arranged by size, click on the link to our Size Chart. PLEASE NOTE: The Sifter I build for you will be just like the ones I built for myself. They are made from #2 white pine, which has knots and occasional defects. The Sifters I make are sturdy, but not fancy. If you have some ability as a carpenter, I urge you to try building one for yourself! Then let me know how it worked out.


NEW! An economically priced Sifter with handles, designed to be held and shaken by hand.
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NEW! A Sifter that fits small, 5-to-10-quart pails.
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NEW! A new, smaller version of the popular Super Mini.
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A Sifter that fits on top of a standard full-size wheelbarrow (the Original Soil Sifter).
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A Sifter that fits over the top of a standard full-size wheelbarrow but is half the length.
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A Sifter that fits on top of a handy Gorilla Cart Plastic Dump Wagon with four wheels.
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A Sifter that fits on top of a Smart Cart Garden Cart with raised handles.
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A Sifter that fits on top of a Flowtron Handy Hauler Garden Cart or other similar plastic cart.
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A Sifter that fits on a Rubbermaid "Roughneck" bin or similar plastic bin.
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A Sifter that fits on top of a 5-gallon pail (not a 5-quart pail) for easy sifting and storage.
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A smaller, rectangular, lightweight, inexpensive Sifter with handles that can be shaken.
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A small, economical Sifter measuring only 16" on a side and made entirely from 1x2s.
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A heavier-duty version of the Soil Sifter Mini that uses 1x3s on the top to hold more material.
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A handy wheelbarrow Sifter with wood on only two sides for easier dumping.
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New: A six-inch Soil Sifter with a handle to use as a scooping device.
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A very small Sifter, measuring 6" x 6" and designed for small jobs or to be used by children.
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An economical sifter that is perfect for small jobs or for Bonsai sifting.
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Order almost any Sifter with a set of six-inch legs so that it can be slightly elevated!
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Save big when ordering three different size Sifters in combination!
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To see a complete list of Sifters arranged by size, please see our handy Size Chart.

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The History of the Soil Sifter

Until now, if you wanted topsoil suitable for a new flower bed or vegetable garden, you had to hire somebody to haul in bags or even a truckload of expensive soil, or if you're handy, you could build something yourself to filter or screen rocky soil or raw compost into top soil. But not any more! We've built a simple, lightweight device that fits on top of a standard wheelbarrow (or can be used without one if you prefer) and filters out stones, roots, and other debris from soil being prepared for planting, leaving nothing but smooth topsoil that your plants will love, especially if you mix it with compost, manure or peat moss as part of the process. We've even created more than a dozen other versions to fit different needs, including a compact version of the regular Soil Sifter, several mini versions, and Soil Sifters that fit on a Roughneck bin, a 5-gallon pail, plastic garden carts, and our newest models that fit on the Gorilla Cart and on a 5-quart pail. Soil Sifters aren't just for gardeners, either. We have sold them to rock hounds, treasure hunters, archeologists, Bonsai enthusiasts, you name it!

Necessity Was the Mother of this Invention

When I needed to do something about the rocky soil around my house in Michigan when I was putting in new planting beds, I searched the stores and the Web for something I could purchase to help me screen the soil. I found nothing at all in the stores, and on the Web I found a description of how to build something that seemed needlessly complicated, plus lots of how-to instructions and conflicting ideas. The screeners I did find for sale were either too small or too expensive, or both. So I made something myself, and after consulting a professional carpenter, The Soil Sifter was born. (Today, the workshop has taken over half of my basement!) It's nothing fancy (all Soil Sifters are made from unfinished #2 pine, galvanized hardware cloth, #6 screws and 3d/4d finish nails, with some finish sanding on the corners), but still, people would walk by and see me working with it and ask where I got it. Some wanted to buy one on the spot! Maybe it's because of the results I got with my gardens. Some people have asked us what's so "amazing" about a wood frame with a 1/4" screen. What's amazing is that something so simple gives such great results! And because the screens are cut just slightly smaller than the frames, there are no jagged edges poking out as you often get with homemade filters. For more information about how to use the Original Soil Sifter, please visit our How to Use page.

Great For Many Other Uses

I have also learned that The Soil Sifter can be used to sift seeds, search for fossils, find artifacts, discover buried treasure, find lost jewelry, filter unwanted substances (cat poop, for example) from your kids' sandbox -- in other words, anything that requires careful sifting of sand or soil. Especially if you don't want to spend a lot of money doing it. Bonsai enthusiasts please note: Our models are cheaper and hold more than the standard round metal screens used for bonsai potting.

One of the Soil Sifters can be used as a shelf or rack to store fruits and vegetables that need good air circulation, or even to sun-dry them, cooked or uncooked, in the proper weather conditions outdoors. Place parboiled fruits or vegetables on the screen, then leave the screen in the sun when weather is hot and dry.

Other ideas:

Adding amendments. Mixing soil amendments such as peat moss and manure can be difficult with just a shovel, and the result is often a marbled-fudge effect of improperly mixed soil. A soil sifter does a great job of mixing soil and amendments.

Making potting soil. Make a nice potting soil rich in organic material and free from stones.

Making gravel. Sometimes you need a small amount of gravel. Instead of buying a truckload, use a soil sifter to produce a small bit of gravel quickly, by sifting the tiny stones out of the soil.

Sifting worms from a worm bed to be distributed around the garden.

If you have other uses, please let us know.

New: For an additional $5 charge, you can include a set of four legs with any Soil Sifter model that will raise it approximately six inches off the ground so that it can be used in place, without a wheelbarrow, like this:

To order any Soil Sifter with this option, simply add it to your cart, but don't forget that you also have to order a Sifter! (If you are an existing customer who has purchased a Sifter in the past and would like a set of six-inch legs, please email us about it!)

Try stacking them! As shown in the photo below, if you are trying to sift for two or more different types of material (Bonsai enthusiasts, take note), you can order two or more Sifters of the same type and simply stack them on top of each other using wooden brackets or the adjustable metal brackets. This works best with a design such as the Pail Buddy (as shown), or the Gorilla Screen, Roughnecker, or Campact. No modifications are necessary, except for specifying a different screen size for one of them. Please write to us after you order and let us know this is what you want to do, in case any changes are necessary for other models (such as the Super Mini, which has handles instead of brackets. Not available with the Smart Screen, the Soil Sifter II or Mini. Email us if you have any questions.

ADJUSTABLE BRACKETS -- Included with the Original, the Compact, the Gorilla Screen, the Pail Buddy and the Roughnecker, or by request with any other Sifter (please email us to ask).

You can order any of the Soil Sifters with a coarser (1/2") or finer (1/8") screen, each for an additional $5 charge (because the odd-sized screen has to be special ordered and is not purchased at a quantity savings like the 1/4"). We do NOT recommend either the 1/2" (lets too much material through) or the 1/8" (not quite sturdy enough) for normal sifting of garden soil, but they may be perfect for other purposes. Be sure you know what you really want before ordering them! You can use the drop-down boxes below each model to specify which screen you want. Remember that the 1/4" screen is the regular size.

PAINTING AND VARNISHING are unavailable due to facilities issues. However, you can certainly add a finish to yours after you receive it if you like. All Soil Sifters are made from unfinished #2 pine, 1/4" galvanized hardware cloth, #6 screws and 4d/3d finish nails, with some finish sanding on the corners and brackets.

SHIPPING is by Federal Express, and usually takes only a few days, depending on where you are located. All Sifters are made to order, which can take anywhere from a day to a week, depending upon how busy I am and if I have raw materials on hand. In any case, if you order on Thursday or Friday, your order may not be shipped until the following Monday. In other words, if you need your Sifter in less than a week or so, please let me know and I'll do my best, but there are no guarantees. And FedEx Overnight shipping is very expensive!

SHIPPING COSTS (Federal Express) are included in the price of each item. (It is an average cost, not an exact shipping cost, and includes the cost of the box and packing material.) If you order more than one item, you may receive a shipping rebate depending upon whether or not more than one Sifter can be shipped in a single package. Larger quantities of the same item may be shipped at a greater discount. Please email us for more information before ordering. If you plan to order three Sifters of three different sizes, please scroll down and take a look at our specially priced Combo Package.

Before you order, you might want to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email us at postmaster@thesoilsifter.com if you have any questions. Read a few testimonials from satisfied customers. And take a look at some before and after photos of our own experience with this tool. Plus, be sure to check out the other versions listed below, all of them less expensive and in smaller sizes to fit your needs. We can even make you one if you have another idea. Be sure to email us with your needs.

If for some reason you prefer not to use PayPal to place an order, or are unable to do so, email us at postmaster@thesoilsifter.com and tell us which products you want and where you live so we can give you a price and alternative payment method. We cannot accept credit cards directly, however, but you may also pay by certified check or money order. There is no obligation until you pay, of course!

Bookmark this page and come back again any time: http://www.thesoilsifter.com. We are also looking into offering some related products for one-stop-shopping convenience for gardeners, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, check out our affiliated gardening sites by clicking on the links below.

soil sifter
Order Your Soil Sifter today!

Some Helpful Gardening Sites

25 No-Cost or Low-Cost Gardening Tool Ideas
From Better Homes and Gardens -- everything from milk cartons to newspapers to chopsticks!

Gardening at About.com
The very comprehensive and useful site for gardeners on the mega-site About.com.

National Gardening Association
A nonprofit leader in plant-based education, serving a national audience with timely materials designed to foster an appreciation for the benefits of gardening. Lot of great information here!

My Ideal Garden: Landscape Design and Home Garden Ideas
Created by professional designers, My Ideal Garden is your online guide to pictures and advice that will help turn your landscape design idea or flower garden plan into reality.

Dave's Garden
A favorite site for gardeners around the world, articles and videos show you how to start seeds and learn how to make a garden. Members can chat with other gardeners in forums, and learn how to identify plants, pests, birds and butterflies.