Breaking new soil is a time-consuming process for a gardener, but can be easily done with the right tools and equipment. So what are the best garden tillers?
Every gardener enjoys the sight of a freshly tilled garden, but the effort put into making it happen is just not worth it. But with garden tillers, you can simplify the task, reduce the time by half, and get better results.
Garden tillers are used for both new and established gardens. They are available in different types and vary in features. For example, Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Tiller, Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator, Earthquake 31635 MC33 Mini Tiller, and more are some of the best garden tillers available.
A tiller simplifies the task of loosening up compact soil using mechanical tines that cut through the soil like butter, but only if you use the best garden tillers in the market. Garden tillers are useful because they prepare your soil for sowing seeds and landscaping purposes, something which will be tedious and challenging if you do it with your hands. There are many different types of garden tillers available, so how will you choose the best fit for your garden?
In this article, we will discuss the best garden tillers, but first, let’s cover what we need to consider when buying garden tillers.
Garden Tillers Buying Guide – What You Need to Know
Types of Garden Tillers
As mentioned above, there are different types of garden tillers available, and it’s important you know the pros and cons of each before making a decision.
Front-tine tillers are gas-powered machines in which the wheels are attached at the front. It is easier to operate and is budget-friendly as well. You can also adjust the tines according to the width of the rows, so it’s great for both large and narrow areas.
The best type of tillers is the rear tine cultivator.Tine cultivators are heavy machines and are great for tilling hard-packed soil and working on larger areas. The size and weight are a bit challenging to get used to at first, but once you get the hang of it, tilling larger plots will be a breeze. A rear-tine tiller also has wheels in the front for easy maneuvering and can be used on smaller-sized gardens as well.
A cultivator is a popular choice for homeowners. Why? Because it is cheap, lightweight, and works best for small-sized gardens. They are usually motor-powered but lack the stability of front and rear tine cultivators because of their light structure, which isn’t capable of tilling up hard, compact soil and requires manual effort as well. It is ideal for narrow spaces, raised beds, and small gardens.
Electric or Gas?
Garden tillers are also differentiated depending on the power source used. For example, electric garden tillers use batteries or are corded. They are ideal for small gardens as a cord can limit your movement. They are also cheaper as compared to gas-powered garden tillers and are lightweight. They are easy to start and maintain and don’t require extreme upkeep.
Gas tillers are the ultimate choice for professional gardeners with large-sized gardens. Why? Because they are extremely powerful and are great at breaking new soil, removing weeds and rocks, and more. They require fuel to run and are costly to buy and maintain as well. These machines are heavier and larger, so you would have to put effort into maneuvering them around.
There are many advanced features you can find in some of the best garden tillers that further improve tilling and make the process easier. Listed below are some of the important features to look out for.
Tilling depth and width: depending on your planting needs, you need to look for a garden tiller with adjustable tilling depths and widths. This will help you work on smaller and larger gardens, despite their size and heaviness.
Storage: find a tiller that is compact and has foldable and ergonomic handles to make it easier to use while maneuvering it around.
Tires: the tires should be high quality and easy to maneuver and provide traction, so you don’t accidentally injure yourself.
Engine: garden tillers also differ in their engine cycles. For example, 2-cycle engines operate on a mixture of oil and gas. In contrast, 4-cycle engines do not require mixing gas and oil.
Size of Garden
The choice of your garden tiller also depends on the size of your garden. For example, if you have a large garden, go for gas-powered rear tine cultivators as they are heavy, functional, and powerful. But if you have a small garden with narrow spaces, go for electric cultivators as they have adjustable tines and are great for smaller spaces, but they don’t pack a punch, so they can’t be used for breaking new soil.
Garden tillers can cost anywhere from around $100 to $3000. Thus, you need to find a garden tiller with all your required features that fall within your budget. This might be a difficult thing to do, but you can easily find the best fit for your garden if you create a list. Buying a rear tine cultivator for a small garden will be costly and useless.
Other features to look for are a rear shield for protection, etc. Now that you know the important factors to look out for when choosing the best garden tillers for your home, follow the list above to make a well-informed decision.
10 Best Garden Tillers
Sun Joe TJ604E
Sun Joe TJ604E is equipped with a powerful 13.5 amp motor that effortlessly slices through compact soil, loosening it up and making it ready for planting. It is ideal for cultivating large areas and can cultivate up to 16 inches wide and 8 inches deep. The 6 tines are durable steel and angled for better reach and performance.
The handle is foldable, and thus, the unit can be stored easily. It also has 3-position wheel adjustment and height-adjustable rear wheels for easy maneuverability.
- Electric power source and thus requires less maintenance.
- Quick to assemble.
- Manageable and easily cuts through weed and rocks.
- Light and quiet.
- Makes a lot of dust.
- Stones get stuck in the blades sometimes.
Earthquake 31635 MC33 Mini Tiller Cultivator
Earthquake 31635 MC33 is one of the best garden tillers available because it is versatile and can be used for weeding, aerating, and mixing your soil. It is a small and lightweight garden tiller, making it easy to store and move around. It also has overhead controls available, which make maneuvering easy, and prevent you from cutting off your plants.
It is equipped with a 33cc Viper engine, making it great for pre-tilled earth of all types. It also has onboard wheels available for controlling the depth.
- Adjustable tilling width, around 6 to 10 inches.
- Works in forward and reverse direction.
- Easy to assemble.
- Easy to repair.
- The motor is hard to start initially.
- Works on soft soil only.
Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator
Mantis 7940 4-Cycle garden tiller is lightweight and weighs only 24 pounds. It has a handy carrying handle and a foldable handlebar that makes it easy to store. It is a versatile gardening tool that helps you dig, till, remove weeds, and cultivate. It is equipped with a 4-cycle commercial engine that requires no fuel mixture. It is designed to be lightweight and carry extra power. It is a durable garden tiller that can easily slice through packed soil and clay.
This multi-tasking machine can also be used as an edge mower and for ploughing. It is great for all sizes of gardens, and you can easily till near walls and fences without any damage.
- Easy to start and quiet operation.
- Perfect for raised beds and small gardens
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- The gap between tines misses spots.
- Difficult to start sometimes.
Sun Joe 16 Inch Electric Tiller and Cultivator
Sun Joe 12 amp electric garden tiller is perfect for aerating your soil and planting and seeding. The powerful motor slices through the dirt at 340 RPM and consists of 6 steel angled tines that make it easy to maneuver around. The handles are foldable and make the unit easy to store and transport.
Since it is powered electrically, it starts with a push of a button and requires minimum maintenance. The tines can cultivate 7-8 inches deep and around 16 inches wide.
- Powerful motor with thin blades.
- Perfect for beginners and slices through hard-packed soil and rocks.
- Good for clay soil.
- Jumps around while working.
- Grass gets stuck in the blades.
Earthwise TC70001Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
Earthwise TC70001 is an electric tiller perfect for medium-sized gardens. It is powered by a strong motor that provides gas-like power without harmful fumes. It is also extremely easy to start, has a lever switch, and is an ideal alternative to gas-powered garden tillers. The garden tiller is also lightweight and maneuverable and has a soft ergonomic grip handle.
The cultivator consists of 4 tines that can cultivate up to 11 inches in width and 8 inches deep. Its compact and small design is ideal for storage, maneuvering, and small spaces.
- The added wheels give you control over tilling depth.
- Easy to assemble.
- Lightweight and quiet.
- Great for removing weeds.
- Weeds get caught in the tines that need to be removed.
- Difficulty working around an extension cord.
YARDMAX YT5328 Compact Front Tine Tiller
YARDMAX YT5328 is one of the best garden tillers available. It is easy to use and has a compact design which makes it ideal for working in tighter spaces. It offers 3-position wheel adjustment, along with a height-adjustable handlebar, making it easier to maneuver around. It is equipped with a powerful 98cc engine that slices through compact soil at 180 rpm rotational speed.
It also has adjustable outer tines when you have to work on narrow spaces. The YARDMAX garden tiller provides multiple tilling widths and depths, such as 11”,16”, and 21” tilling width and 7” to 11” tilling depth.
- Works perfectly in both forward and reverse directions.
- Easy setup.
- Depth control options.
- Not suitable for new soil breaking.
- Low-quality parts.
SuperHandyMini Tiller Cultivator
SuperHandy Mini tiller cultivator is EPA certified and is one of the best garden tillers available. It has a compact design with adjustable rotating tines. The tines are made of durable steel and have a tilling width of 11.8 inches and tilling depth of 3.9 to 5.9 inches. It is equipped with a powerful 3HP 50cc engine giving it a rotating speed of 7000 rpm.
It is a multi-tasking garden tool and can be used for digging, tilling, aerating, and cultivating the soil. It is also helpful in removing weeds and loose seedbeds.
- Easily cuts through wood chips, hard soil, and sand.
- Easy to use and stop.
- Wheels included for added maneuverability.
- Difficult instructions.
Craftsman C210 9″ 2-Cycle Gas Tiller
Craftsman C210 2-Cycleis perfect for your home garden. It is powered by a 25cc 2-cycle engine which requires a fuel mixture and is perfect for tilling around narrow spaces, flower beds, and shrubs. It is easy to use and has a lightweight design with variable speed throttle, thus giving you control while gardening. It has 4 steel tines adjusted in 3-ways to help in digging and mixing nutrients.
Its tilling width is around 6 to 9 inches, and its tilling depth is 5 inches. Moreover, it is easy to start and has a V-grip handle for comfortable handling.
- Powerful and lightweight.
- Detailed manual instructions.
- Easily slices through rocks as well.
- Starting it can be difficult initially.
- The throttle doesn’t work properly.
GardenTrax Mini Cultivator Tiller
GardenTrax mini cultivator is considered one of the best garden tillers because of its rugged tines and smooth control. The rugged forged steel tines make digging and cultivating hard soil easier. It also provides a top handle for easier control and maneuverability. It is also equipped with a powerful 38cc 4-cycle engine which requires no fuel mixture and provides a rotating power of 250 RPMs.
It has a 36 oz fuel tank capacity and is perfect for deep tilling and in-row weeding. It can till as deep as 6 inches and as wide as 6 to 12 inches.
- Has a manual recoil with an easy-to-start system.
- Easy to assemble.
- Tears up the ground well.
- Height adjustment handles are not available.
- Sometimes the cord hangs up.
Greenworks 10-Inch Corded Tiller
Greenworks corded tiller is among the best garden tillers available in the market. It requires no batteries and charging. It is a plug-and-go garden tiller that can cultivate up to 5 inches deep and 8 to 10 inches in width. The comfortable grip handle folds down, making the unit easy to store and set up.
It is easy to start and doesn’t make much noise. It has four 8-inch forward rotating tines that can easily dig through hard-compact soil.
- Easy to use.
- Powerful enough to till rocky soil.
- Lightweight and quiet.
- Reasonable price.
- Built for light duty.
- The tiller jumps around while working and digging big holes.
Now that you know more about the best garden tillers, you can make a thought-out decision and find the best fit for your garden. A garden tiller is not a cheap investment; thus, make sure you find one with all your required features.
Gas-powered garden tillers are costly but are preferred because they can tackle hard, compact soil, but are difficult to start and require regular maintenance. In contrast, battery-operated garden tillers are easier to start, upkeep, and work with, but they are less powerful than gas-powered garden tillers. Thus, the ultimate choice depends on your need. We hope this article helped!
About THE AUTHOR
As an experienced gardener & landscaper on my own property over the last 20 years, I'm excited to share the things I've learned along the way, as I continue to learn.Read More About Elsie Moore