To till or not is no longer a question if your yard is piled up with castoffs and is making the house look bad. If you have space for a garden, then you definitely deserve a beautiful one! So get out and loosen that ground to have a sanctuary of your own.
If you are checking out this review, it would not be hard to believe that you are looking for a tiller to help you out. So, without wasting much time; we bring you the top 20 tillers we came across and in our experience, are the best tillers of 2018.
- 1 Top 20 Garden Tillers of 2018 (our Top Picks)
- 1.1 1. Earthwise TC70001 Electric Tiller
- 1.2 2. Sun Joe TJ603E Electric Tiller
- 1.3 3. Mantis 7940 Tiller Cultivator
- 1.4 4. Sun Joe Electric Garden Tiller
- 1.5 5. VonHaus Electric Tiller
- 1.6 6. Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator Tiller
- 1.7 7. Mantis 7920 Tiller Cultivator
- 1.8 8. Sun Joe TJ601E Tiller
- 1.9 9. GreenWorks 27072 Tiller
- 1.10 10. Husqvarna FT900-CA Front Tine Tiller
- 1.11 11. BLACK+DECKER LGC120 Garden Tiller
- 1.12 12. Troy-Bilt TB154E Electric Garden Tiller
- 1.13 13. Mantis 7250-00-02 Electric Tiller
- 1.14 14. Sun Joe TJ600E Tiller
- 1.15 15. Mantis 7225-00-02 Gas Tiller
- 1.16 16. GreenWorks 27062 Cordless Cultivator
- 1.17 17. Mantis 7262-00-02 Gas-Powered Tiller
- 1.18 18. Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller
- 1.19 19. New Power Glide Electric Garden Tiller
- 1.20 20. Earthquake 12802 MC440 Mini Cultivator
- 2 What is a Rototiller?
- 2.1 Difference between Tilling and Aerating?
- 2.2 Difference Between a Cultivator and Tiller?
- 2.3 Why Buy a Rototiller?
- 2.4 What Should You Look for in a Tiller?
- 2.5 Difference Between a Front-tine, Mid-tine and Rear-tine Tiller?
- 2.6 What Kind of Tines Should My Garden Tiller Have?
- 2.7 What’s the Range of Tilling Width in Rear Tined Tillers?
- 2.8 How Deep Can They Dig?
- 2.9 What is a Rear-tined Tiller’s drag bar for?
- 2.10 How important is a Counterweight?
- 2.11 What Should I Look For in a Rototiller’s Transmission?
- 2.12 When Should You Till Your Garden?
- 2.13 Different Motor Types and Power Options for a Rototiller?
- 2.14 Difference Between a 2-cycle and a 4-cycle Engine?
- 2.15 What Kind of Engine is Best for a Garden tiller?
- 2.16 What’s the Benefit of an OHV Engine?
- 2.17 How Much Power Should the Tiller Have?
- 2.18 What is the Right Rototiller Blade?
- 2.19 Caring Tips for Your Rototiller
- 2.20 Conclusion
Top 20 Garden Tillers of 2018 (our Top Picks)
A revolution in the world dominated by Gas-Powered Tillers, Earthwise TC70001 is a great alternate with an 8.5 Amp motor, the cutting depth of 8” to 11”, and the powerful steel tines which pulverize the dirt seamlessly without much noise. The handle bar and mere 22 lbs. weight make it very easy to manoeuvre across the garden. If you are thinking to buy a tiller now, you should definitely consider this.
Sun Joe TJ603E is a sleek, easy-to-work-with tiller which saves the trouble of handling a bulky machine. Sun Joe has a robust 12 Amp motor which rotates at 340 rpm, making its tines slice through the tightly packed dirt and rock. I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed if you choose to buy this tiller.
A ground which has never been tilled before requires something robust like Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7940, which uses a powerful 25 cc Honda Motor. The motor runs on gas and does not require you to mix water or oil to it. Plus, the 24 lbs. weight makes it easier to move while the 4 cycle blades show their magic by upturning the entire ground soil like never before. Click here to know more about this beast.
The 16” wide and 8” deep blades of Sun Joe 16 Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller will leave you stunned by their action on the toughest grounds. The adjustable wheels make it less physically taxing and the 16-inch tine takes lesser time to till the ground. You can checkout this tiller online at Amazon – click here.
This ultra-powerful 7 Amp motor tiller leaves no room for worries and the 12.5” width is an advantage when it comes to manoeuvring in tight spaces. VonHaus machine is best suited for tilling quickly as it runs at a speed of 380 rpm, and the compact design doesn’t let storage be much of a problem. If you want your garden beautiful again, you can definitely consider this tiller.
Why opt for just the tiller if you can go for a tiller-cum-cultivator with Earthquake MC43 43cc which will not only be a great tool to treat the garden soil but will also be a cure for aerating and de-weeding as well. The tiller comes with 2 inner blades and 2 detachable blades which makes using it a way lot easier.
If taking care of the electric cord while tilling is keeping you from stepping out, you must replace that electric tiller for Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7920 which is gas powered. Each of its blades has 10 sharp edges, leaving no room for another lump but the roots of your plants from flourishing in your garden.
The Sun Joe TJ601E Tiller is lightweight and has a unique blade design. Durability is one of its best feature. It comes with drilling width of 18 inches which helps you cover a large area at once. It has a speed of 400 rpm and fulfills American safety standards, thus being a quick tiller for your garden.
GreenWorks 27072 is the talk of the town as has an 8 Amp motor which easily tills the most difficult of soils, such as clay. It is definitely one of the top performing tillers in the market. Its adjustable tilling depth that varies from 5” to 10” is an added advantage and makes it easier to work with in different environments and plants.
When working with gas tillers, last thing you ask is a fuel tank that needs to be refilled from time and again, but Husqvarna FT900-CA comes with a gas tank that is large enough to ensure you don’t have to take many breaks for refueling. An OHV engine makes it environment friendly, quieter, fuel efficient and durable. This environment-friendly tiller is available at an affordable price on Amazon. Check it out by clicking here.
With BLACK+DECKER LGC120 you can till as you chill. As this tiller is battery powered and will suffice all your daily tilling needs and doesn’t require you to spend more on either electricity or fuel. It is rechargeable and causes no harm to the environment and ensures a great consistency of the soil for the plants to grow in it without any hassle.
If you are looking for an easy to manoeuvre, compact and hassle-free tiller which tears the soil apart in a jiffy then Troy-Bilt TB154E is something you would love to invest in. The tines designed in the tiller dig as deep as 8 inches and serve the three-fold purpose of tilling, tearing and moving the soil on either side, out of its way. The steel design is again a plus for this machine as it makes it a lot more durable and easy to use for the novices in gardening.
Mantis 7250-00-02 tiller comes with a powerful 3-speed, 540-watt motor which makes it as powerful as the gas tillers which are quite taxing physically. The machine serves as a multi-purpose tool as it can switch between three different modes, namely: tilling, cultivating and weeding. Plus, the compact design of the machine makes it easier to transport, store and most importantly move around in smaller spaces.
With a tilling width of 14”, Sun Joe TJ600E Electric Tiller is equipped with a safety switch which protects you from sudden jerks when dealing with hard grounds. The 6.5 Amp capacity motor in the tiller ensures that you have a good time watching the sods of soil turning into a garden you always desired to have. And with a warranty of two years, a tiller this good is definitely a bargain.
Mantis 7225-00-02 Gas-Powered Tiller is a commercial grade tiller which has a sleek design with the tines that can dig from as shallow as 2-3 inches to as deep as 10 inches. The 2-cycle engine uses gas as fuel, which makes it a heavy-duty tiller, that can till across the toughest of grounds. The tiller is also CARB compliant.
If you are looking for a garden tiller with utility, then you should go for GreenWorks 27062 G-MAX as the 40V 4Ah lithium-ion battery ensures that it does not lack in performance and once recharged fully, it can till your garden for as long as 40 minutes, which is all you are looking for in a cultivator-cum-tiller. It has 8, 4” adjustable tines which provide the tilling width of 8.25 to 10 inches.
Our next pick is a heavy duty tiller – Mantis 7262-00-02. This tiller enables you to till the rockiest and the most clayey soils one could ever come across. The 25 cc honda engine powers the motor to move at an incredible speed of 240 rpm and every stroke is strong enough to turn the sods of soil upside-down.
Southland SRTT196E Tiller is a blessing in disguise for those who are planning to get rid of the junk flourishing in their yards and transform it into a beautiful garden. It is a strong tiller to help you till the grounds, cut across the tightly-packed soil and rocks without much ado, as the counter rotating rare tines offer you a tilling depth of 11 inches and the tilling width of 18 inches, which will make sure that this is the best investment you could make for your garden.
19. New Power Glide Electric Garden Tiller
The New Power Glide Electric Tiller is budget friendly and easy to use. It weighs a mere 13 lbs and can easily work as a tiller or cultivator. It is not a burden on the back and even an old man can use it without any hassle, and works great for a tiller this small with 24 tines and tilling width of 6”.
20. Earthquake 12802 MC440 Mini Cultivator
Earthquake 12802 MC440 is safe to handle as it fulfills all north American safety standards. The handle bar helps to facilitate easy maneuvering with minimal jerks and better digging. The speed ranges according to the type of soil and the air-filter design keeps the engine from catching dirt, making it more durable.
What is a Rototiller?
A Rototiller is the gardening tool for those who want to transform their boring yards into lush green sanctuaries. They make soil soft and moist, allowing the roots to penetrate the ground easily. Rototillers run on motor and hence they are easier to operate than hand tools which take a lot of time and effort to work on.
Difference between Tilling and Aerating?
Tilling is the process of loosening and upturning the soil to make it suitable for roots of the plants to penetrate the ground.
Aerating is a technique to pull out weeds from amongst the plants and keeping soil loose enough to keep it oxygenated.
Tilling and aerating are similar processes but tilling is done before the plants are sown in the ground to give them room to grow. Aerating is done after the plants start growing to remove weeds and keep the soil full of oxygen. Tillers are used to till the soil and cultivators are used for aerating. Cultivators are smaller in size than tillers so that they don’t harm the plants while aerating and de-weeding the ground.
Difference Between a Cultivator and Tiller?
While tillers and cultivators are to upturn the soil, a tiller is for the beginning of the planting season to improve the consistency of the soil for sowing seeds, and sometimes, in the end, to mix the dead and decaying matter within the soil. And cultivator is a smaller tool, which not only looks like a tiller but can also double up as one. The cultivator is used after the plants have grown to de-weed the ground and keep the soil airy. Latter is small to save the plants and their roots from harm.
Why Buy a Rototiller?
A spade, hand trowels or even hand forks can till a piece of land if one has the time and energy. Plus, lifting and handling these tools involves serious risk to spine health. Rototillers with motors are a blessing if you want a perfectly tilled yard with a uniform soil consistency in no time. They can also enrich the soil with fertilizers, compost manure and other additives.
What Should You Look for in a Tiller?
Length and Position of Tines
Tines are the most important feature of any garden tiller as they loosen the soil in the garden. They have to be positioned right in a tiller to ensure that the soil is getting cut into properly.
The front-positioned tines are easier to push through loosened soil, whereas, rear-positioned tines cut deep into the soil, great for a very tough ground.
Electric, Gas, Battery-Operated or Hand-Powered Tiller?
Before buying a tiller, it is very important to consider its power source. If you have a small garden, it is advisable to go for an electric tiller as you will never have to worry about the fuel. Then again, you will have to stay near the power source or might have to invest in a longer power cord if you own a larger piece of land.
Gas tillers are more powerful than electric ones and can tame the soil of the toughest grounds easily. They can cut deep through compact patches of dirt, rocks and roots but are harder to push and take a lot of arm strength to operate. They can also be a handful to maintain and consume oil and gas even when not in use. So be sure to fill-in no more than needed fuel.
Battery operated tillers are a great option for avoiding the use of electricity and gas and are safer too. But can turn out to be less durable. Therefore, it is advisable to go through the customer reviews before buying one for your garden. Plus, the ones with a Ni-cad Battery will run out soon so, it is better to go for the ones with Lithium-Ion batteries.
For those of you with small gardens that don’t require frequent tilling, hand-powered tillers are a great option. Although they require more physical work to operate, they are perfect for weed removal, loosening soil and are cheaper compared to gas and electric-powered tillers.
Difference Between a Front-tine, Mid-tine and Rear-tine Tiller?
Front-tine rototiller has two metal prongs protruding from the front of machine wheels and is directly under the engine. They require a lot of strength to operate and are suitable for the land area of less than 1000 sq. feet. They can be quite tough on your back and knees but are a cost-effective option.
Mid-tined Rototillers are less physically taxing as the engine is placed exactly above the tines, making the tiller more balanced and easy to manoeuvre and push across the garden. Though they are quite pricey as compared to the front-tined tillers but the comfort they offer is worth the price.
Rear-tined Rototillers are available in either counter or standard rotation, and in some, the digging direction can be reversed to make the process of upturning the ground easier. They are a great option for large gardens and are easy to steer and control.
What Kind of Tines Should My Garden Tiller Have?
If you own a garden which is small and the soil is not very compact and needs to be upturned in order to achieve a good consistency, then you should go for front-tined tillers. They will do the job well and won’t cost much. But, if your garden is about a 1000 sq. feet with lumps of dirt for soil, then you should definitely go for a Mid-Tined Tiller which won’t be a burden on your back and knees as they are easy to work with. While for a tough ground which needs serious tilling, a rear-tined tiller will do the job best as they are easy to control and are heavy duty tillers to deal with densely tight rocks and lumps.
Rototillers can have counter-rotating tines which work in opposite direction to the wheels, and forward rotating tines, which work in the same direction as wheels. A counter-rotating tine digs deeper and is tough of the tightly packed soil and rocks. Dual Rotating Tines are also available in Rear-Tines Tillers but, even powerful ones are Vertical Dual Rotating Tines, which face downwards and rotate, making the quietest of all.
What’s the Range of Tilling Width in Rear Tined Tillers?
The tilling width of a tiller depends on the units’ size and type of tines. The width range varies from 6 inches in a small tiller to up to 20 inches or greater in a heavy-duty tiller. The rear-tined garden tillers are available in the width range, which varies from 16 to 18 inches.
How Deep Can They Dig?
The Rear-tined tillers have adjustable digging capacity, with an option to change to suit the ground requirements. For a comparatively shallow ground with compact soil, a 6-8-inch depth would do but for a ground which has never undergone tilling before, a 10-inch-deep-digging tiller is the best option.
What is a Rear-tined Tiller’s drag bar for?
To keep the Rototiller digging at a consistent level, it is important to have a steady drag bar to adjust it according to your height. A good rototiller will always come with a drag bar to help you keep the ground even and the balance of the tiller.
How important is a Counterweight?
If the terrain you want to tiller is very rough and is full of rocks then the counterweight is important to save you from jerks it might experience. The counterweight will ensure that the weight of the tiller has a good balance, stability and the wheels are heavy enough to keep the tiller on the ground.
What Should I Look For in a Rototiller’s Transmission?
A tiller which you can maneuver and move smoothly is crucial. The transmission has to be durable, cast-iron with a bronze gear drive, or seal chain. Also, the ability to go forward and backward, which fastens the tilling process is also by good transmission.
When Should You Till Your Garden?
Do tilling at the beginning of the planting season, to make the soil consistent and perfect for the roots to penetrate. Tilling also helps to de-root the weeds and mix the decaying matter back into the dirt to keep the ground fertile.
Fall is the season to till the garden soil as the leaves shed by trees get tilled along with the soil, making it fertile and it gets enough time to settle during winters before the spring arrives.
Different Motor Types and Power Options for a Rototiller?
A tiller Can have either an Electric Motor or a Gas-Powered Motor.
The power options for a rototiller are:
- Electric Powered Tillers
- Gas Powered Tillers
- Hand Powered Tillers
- Solar Powered Tillers
Difference Between a 2-cycle and a 4-cycle Engine?
The number of cycles or strokes a tiller engine has is also a feature to look out for. The rototillers come in two variations, 2-cycle and a 4-cycle engine. The difference between the two is that the 4-cycle engine is more ecologically efficient, lasts longer and make the work easier. While, the 2-cycle engines get a better power boost, which works better for the soil. They are cheap and lighter versions which might last very long. If you can invest more, then go for the former, 4-cycle engine as the durability will pay off.
What Kind of Engine is Best for a Garden tiller?
Most of the powerful Rear-Tined Tillers use gas for power because electric engines aren’t just powerful enough to support such heavy-duty tasks. Engines manufactured by Honda, Briggs and Stratton are the best ones in Gas Engines and some generic ones like the ones in Southland’s are also quite durable.
What’s the Benefit of an OHV Engine?
OHV Engines stand for ‘Overhead Valve’ Engines. An OHV Engine run Rototiller has many advantages over a non-OHV Engine because they are of better quality, consume less fuel, provide higher torque, seldom heat, last longer and most importantly, they work cleaner than others. as they consume less fuel, they are better for the environment and are less expensive to maintain and operate.
How Much Power Should the Tiller Have?
The power of the tiller you need depends upon the task you want to employ it for. A corded electric tiller is less expensive and is best for your garden or backyard needs. The electric powered motors strength is in amps, the smaller ones range from around 5 to 6 amps while larger ones can be of up to 10 amps. And some can go even up to 12 amps.
Gas-Powered Rototillers are on any day more powerful than Electric-Powered ones until you are out of gas. They maybe more powerful but are less eco-friendly as they cause more pollution, much louder and to use them you have to stock gas or mixture of oil and gas.
What is the Right Rototiller Blade?
The right blade depends on what you want to do with the tiller. Here are a few you can choose from:
- Bolo Blade: Burrows Deep in the soil and is used in the basic tine design
- Slasher Blade: It cuts through the flowerbeds you think have overgrown, well.
- Pick and Chisel: A blade designed specially to part the tightly packed soil and rocks.
Caring Tips for Your Rototiller
- All garden tools get dirty easily because of they of their use on mud, and so does a Rototiller. Therefore, to ensure the longevity of the machine you must invest time in keeping them clean.
- After using the device, remove the roots and other things from the tines with the garden hose.
- The tines might lose their sharpness overtime. Therefore, to sharpen them again, you can turn them over and file them with metal.
So, with quite a bit of information, inspiration and suggestions to select one of the best rototillers of 2018, we are sure you are now aware of the tiller that is going to help you get your garden ready for the planting season!
Last Updated: 19 April 2018