I wouldn't use a machine that spikes the grass. That is counterproductive in my opinion. It is punching a hole, and the sides of that hole are compacted.
One of the benefits of proper aeration is the alleviation of compaction
I recommend pulling your plugs!....
they decompose, the roots get more oxygen and you
stress the lawn less
We have a Husqvarna with a 4 hp Honda engine. It's the best because it is orange.
64 tines, chain driven and it goes one direction only...and will go through gardens
and fences too. It weighs too much for one guy to lift, but two can get it up onto
the tailgate of a pick-up truck.
For small yards in the hoa's etc. it is more practical for us to use a three tine shovel type aerator. Some of those tiny grass areas can be up ten stairs and are only three feet by nine feet or smaller.
They go to school to become landscape architects, you know?