Sleek and sturdy design
Easy to use
Quickly and effectively breaks down food
Doesn’t attract bugs
Difficult to assemble
A bit small
FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter
We purchased the FCMP Outdoor Composter so our reviewer could put it to the test in her backyard. Keep reading for our full product review.
FCMP Outdoor’s best-selling IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter features two separate sides strategically designed for “quick compost turnaround.” For those looking for a way to reduce their waste and live more sustainably by turning leftover food into nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer, an outdoor composter is both an easy option and a long-term investment in recycling.
Sturdy construction and a compact size allow the FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter to fit neatly in your backyard, while its tumbling design breaks down food quickly and requires minimal work on your part. To see if this popular gardening gift lived up to its great reputation, we gave it to a reviewer who's familiar with composting. We asked her to evaluate it based price, design, ease of use, and overall quality. Read on to hear about her experience.
Performance: It’s highly functional
Our reviewer thought that this composter produced compost quickly and easily compared to other models she had tried in the past. Instead of digging and mixing her scraps by hand (or with a shovel), she loved that she could simply load her leftover food scraps and turn the handle to tumble five or six times every two to three days.
The position of this composter in your yard affects how it works: It needs to be situated in full sun. In hot, sunny conditions, depending on the combination of ingredients, your compost can be ready in as few as two weeks, according to the brand.
“It did a great job of breaking down food scraps,” our tester said. In fact, she said, “It seemed to break down my food scraps faster than a non-tumbling composter.” She also felt the tumbling component functioned well without a ton of effort on her part. “It turns really well since there are multiple handles on each side,” she explained. “It's hard to start spinning, but once it gains momentum, it's easy.” The amount of compost in the chambers didn’t seem to affect its ability to turn, either.
It seemed to break down my food scraps faster than a non-tumbling composter.
Design: Sleek, sturdy, and easy to use
The composter consists of a barrel that sits on raised legs. It's compact enough (36 x 30 x 28 inches) that it's perfect for a small backyard. Our tester felt that it fit nicely in hers and appreciated that the sleek black exterior meant the composter wasn't an eyesore for her or her neighbors. “It's a really sharp-looking composter,” she said. “I actually think it looks pretty nice in the backyard!”
The body is made from BPA-free, UV-inhibited recycled polypropylene, which won't degrade under direct sunlight. Plus, the galvanized steel frame is corrosion-resistant. Durability is a major selling point, not just in terms of longevity. The sturdy build is also helpful in protecting your compost from rodents and other animals.
Composters can also attract flies and other bugs, but our tester had no issues with this model. “It seemed to keep the bugs away,” she observed.
The doors keep neighborhood animals out but still give you easy access, according to our reviewer. “The door is clearly labeled for where to add what type of scraps,” she reported. “It's extremely convenient. Since it easily slides open and closed, I could carry scraps out with one hand and easily add them in with my free hand. You can simply peek in to see if the scraps have broken down yet, too.”
Helpful Features: Dual chambers, adjustable air vents, and more
The FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter boasts dual chambers, which allow you to start a fresh batch of compost while the other side is still “cooking,” aka decomposing. This creates an “uninterrupted flow of rich, healthy compost,” according to the brand. Our tester felt the process was simple and straightforward and would be even if you're new to composting.
It's a really sharp-looking composter. I actually think it looks pretty nice in the backyard!
In general, tumbling composters are designed to allow for more aeration over standard models. Therefore, in terms of quality, the compost produced by this model is thought to contain more oxygen. The FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter also features adjustable air vents and deep fins to break up clumps inside the barrel and mix lots of oxygen in with the decomposing food scraps.
Setup Process: Complex and time-consuming
The one major downside of this device, according to our tester, is the assembly process. “It took almost two hours and there were extra screws and parts,” she revealed. “I was worried I put it together wrong but I followed the instructions very closely.” The manufacturer does provide a step-by-step tutorial with pictures on its website. In addition, you can find a Troubleshooting Guide, which has answers to questions about the initial setup as well as helpful information about the process of composting.
Size and Capacity: Too small for some households
The size of the barrel itself will come down to personal preference, but our tester ultimately felt the 37-gallon capacity was too small for her household’s needs. “I wish it could hold a little more,” she commented. “We use tons of vegetables daily, and you need to add grass clippings each time you add food scraps. We had to hold off on adding scraps so it wouldn't fill up too quickly.”
As with most backyard composters, this one isn’t very portable. It weighs 26.5 pounds, so you’ll most likely want to find a spot and leave it be.
Price: A great value overall
Among outdoor composters, the FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter falls somewhere in the middle of extremely budget-friendly and higher-end models. However, among tumbling composters, it’s one of the more affordable options. Plus, at around $100, it holds more than most cheaper options, and its efficiency is a major selling point.
Competition: Maximize your money with the FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter
There are lots of choices when it comes to composting, from countertop bins to large backyard contraptions, but we looked at how the FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter stacks up to similar models in terms of its usage and overall value.
If you’re looking for a high-end composter, you might consider the Envirocycle Composting Tumbler Bin. Branded as “The Most Beautiful Composter in the World," the device produces both solid and liquid compost (known as compost tea). It’s also super compact (25.4 x 21.5 x 27.7 inches), making it more suitable for city dwellers, and it comes fully assembled.
However, with a price tag of over $250—more than triple the cost of the FCMP Outdoor—you still only get a capacity of 35 gallons, and there aren’t dual chambers. This means you can’t start a fresh batch of compost while another is still decomposing, cutting down on efficiency.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are more budget-friendly options, like the Redmon Green Culture Compost Bin. For less than $70, you can get a capacity of 65 gallons, meaning it can hold considerably more food scraps than the FCMP Outdoor. Where the Redmon model falls short, though, is design and efficiency. Many people prefer tumbling composters because they produce compost more quickly than compost bins, which our tester found to be true in her experience. Your personal preference and space restrictions will ultimately be deciding factors when it comes to size and type of composter, but in terms of quality design and functionality for the money, we found the FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter to be the more value-driven purchase.
Check out our guide to the best composters you can buy today.
It’s a worthwhile investment.
Whether you’re looking to live more sustainably, reduce your waste, or produce a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer for your soil, the FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter is a great choice. Based on its durability, effectiveness, intelligent design, and reasonable price, the FCMP Outdoor Tumbler Composter will satisfy most households’ basic usage—without breaking the bank. As long as you have the space for it, and understand its capacity limitations as well as the tricky setup process, you won’t be disappointed with this purchase.
- Product Name Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter
- Product Brand FCMP Outdoor
- Price $99.95
- Weight 30 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 36 x 31 x 28 in.
- Color Black
- Model Number IM4000
- Color Black
- Material BPA-free UV-inhibited recycled polypropylene
- Capacity 37 gallons