Are you an avid gardener? What does your lawn look like before the springtime arrives? As the seasons change, our grass starts to make its annual appearance, providing our yards with a graceful green landscape. However, if you’re having issues with your lawn, it could be due to several problems with the soil underneath your grass.
Your lawn needs air and water to thrive. When the ground starts to compact, it leads to thatching and a die-off in your grass. Gardeners need to keep their lawns aerated throughout the spring and summertime to allow for optimal lawn growth.
A tiller is an ideal tool for aerating your lawn. You have gas-powered, electric, and battery-powered models ready to ensure your grass gets the water, air, and nutrients it needs to stay green and luscious throughout the entire growing season.
However, a tiller isn’t a standard gardening tool, and many people have never even seen one of these machines in action. That’s okay. In this review of the best garden tillers, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about selecting, purchasing, and operating these machines.
Our Top Picks
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 Top 10 Garden Tillers
- 2.1 Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt – The Best Overall Garden Tiller
- 2.2 Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch – The Best Premium Garden Tiller
- 2.3 Yard Butler Terra Tiller All Steel 15″ – The Best Budget Buy
- 2.4 Sun Joe TJ600E Joe 14-Inch
- 2.5 Black & Decker LGC120 20-Volt
- 2.6 Greenworks 10-Inch 8-Amp
- 2.7 Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 7940
- 2.8 Drill Till 3-Tools-in-1
- 2.9 Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch
- 2.10 Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller
- 2.11 Yard Butler Twist Tiller Heavy Duty
- 3 Other Best Selling Options
- 4 Garden Tilers Buyer’s Guide
- 5 What are the Features of a Good Garden Tiller?
- 6 What Should Gardeners Look Out for When Purchasing the Best Garden Tiller?
- 7 Garden Tillers FAQ
- 8 Conclusion
If you don’t have the time to browse through all of our tillers, then check out our top three picks if you’re in a hurry. Each of our picks falls into a specific category, allowing you to narrow down your choice.
Best Pick: Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt
- Powerful cordless electric motor bundled with 20 volt 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery and fast charger
- Versatile cultivator ideal for any garden size, yard and flower bed; This tiller is also an effective weed control tool
- 4 durable steel tines with convenient cutting width of up to 7.5 inches and cutting depth of 6 inches
- Cordless tiller is a cleaner alternative to gas-powered tillers
- Lightweight tiller design for effortless operation and easy transport
For those gardeners working on small to medium-size lawns, the Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt is everything you need in a garden tiller. The battery-power pack and user-friendly operation make this machine the top choice for the best overall winner in this review.
Premium Pick: Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch
- Powerful: 13. 5-Amp motor cultivates up to 16 in. Wide x 8 in. Deep
- Durable: 6 Steel angled tines for maximum durability and performance
- Easy storage: handle folds for convenient storage and easy transport
- Wheel-adjustment: 3-position wheel adjustment
If you have a large garden with a sizeable lawn, then you’ll need a bigger machine. Fortunately, Sun Joe has a 16-inch model available as well. When it comes to producing the best tillers, Sun Joe is our leading brand of choice.
Budget Pick: Yard Butler Terra Tiller
- DUAL ACTION HEAD One side has three sturdy steel prongs for cultivating, breaking, loosening and deep tilling soil. The other side is a sharpened beveled edge that is perfect for chopping and cutting roots. This all-purpose tool will quickly become YOUR BEST FRIEND IN THE GARDEN.
- PERFECT WEIGHT AND HEFT Heavy duty steel head is completely welded onto the all steel handle with comfort grip. PLANTS, TILLS, DIGS, CHOPS. No wooden handle to split or shrink. VIRTUALLY INDESTRUCTIBLE.
- PERFECT SIZE FOR RAISED BEDS, vegetables, flower boxes, around shrubs or bushes, and other hard to reach areas. Makes gardening easy.
- EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AND VALUE. This is the best garden hand tiller available.
- YARD BUTLER’S NO RISK 30 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE. If it is not perfect for you, return it for a full refund or replacement.
If you have a small lawn and flowerbeds, then consider using manual aeration and tilling tools such as the Yard Butler Terra Tiller. The Yard Butler has everything you need to provide the roots of your grass and flowers with air and drainage.
Top 10 Garden Tillers
There are dozens of models of garden tillers available online. When making our selection for the top models for this review, we relied on a few selection criteria to assist with our decision-making process.
All of the machines and tools in this review meet the highest quality standards, and all of them offer efficient and effective tilling operation. While any of these tillers will make a great addition to your tool shed, you need to take into account your gardening needs when making your purchase.
If you still have trouble selecting the ideal tiller for your lawn after reviewing all of the machines on offer, then check out our buyer’s guide section later in this review.
Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt – The Best Overall Garden Tiller
The Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt tillerwins the top award for the best overall tiller in this review. The TC70020 offers the gardener a machine that can work the soil in the garden effortlessly.
This machine gets its power from the 20-volt, lithium-ion battery packs that provide 20 to 30-minutes of run time from a full charge. It’s the ideal choice for smaller yards and lawns. However, you might require a second battery pack if you want to till a large garden.
The unit comes with a fast-charging unit, and it’s capable of charging the battery pack in 90-minutes.
The ergonomic grip and lightweight nature of the tiller make it easy to move around the garden, and even seniors will have no issues with operator fatigue when using this tiller.
The four cutting tines feature design and construction with durable stainless steel. With an adjustable cutting depth of up to 6-inches and a cutting width of 7.5-inches, gardeners can aerate a small lawn on one charge.
- Battery-powered for use in large areas
- Charger and battery included with your purchase
- User-friendly operation
- Ergonomic grips
- Great for beginner gardeners
- Not the ideal machine for rocky soil
- Not suitable for heavy-duty use
Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch – The Best Premium Garden TillerSun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch wins our top pick for the best premium machine. Sun Joe is a household brand in snowblowers, and their range of tillers is also quite exceptional. We choose a few models for this review, but the 16-inch model makes it into our top three choices.
It may be a bit pricier than the other smaller models, but it’s an excellent choice for any homeowner with a large garden. The wide 16-inch cutting deck and 8-inch cutting depth for the six stainless steel tines does short work of aerating your lawn.
The only shortcoming with this model is that it requires a corded operation. Therefore, you’ll have to keep moving the cord out of the way of the machine during use, adding to operator fatigue. However, the 120-volt electric motor makes this model incredibly lightweight and easy to use.
The 16-inch Sun Joe comes with foldable handle design, allowing for compact storage of the tiller in your garden shed. You get three height adjustments with this machine and a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.
The 16-inch Sun Joe suits homeowners with larger yards and more robust spoil types. While it’s not as efficient as a rear-tine tiller, this model certainly provides the best cutting power of any residential model in this review.
- Dual function tiller and cultivator
- User-friendly operation
- 12-Amp motor
- Steel cutting tines
- 2-year warranty
- Not suitable for hard and rocky soils
- Corded operation
Yard Butler Terra Tiller All Steel 15″ – The Best Budget Buy
Some lawns and flowerbeds don’t require the use of a machine for tilling. If you live in a cluster home or townhouse, you probably have a pretty tiny lawn and garden. If this is the case, then the Yard Butler Terra Tiller is all you need to ensure your soil has excellent drainage and aeration.
The Yard Butler Terra Tiller All Steel 15-inch wins our top choice for the most affordable tiller to suit your gardening budget. This tool requires manual operation, so it’s not suitable for anything more than working on the smallest of lawns and flowerbeds.
The tool comes with a dual-function head for tilling and cultivating the soil in your lawn and flowerbeds. The Yard Butler is also a great tool to have on hand for weeding and planting tasks in the garden as well.
The Yard Butler also features an ergonomic handle and grip, ensuring maximum user comfort when working with the tool.
- Best choice for small lawns and flowerbeds in cluster homes
- Dual-function head
- Ideal for planting, tilling and weeding
- Ergonomic handle
- Requires manual operation
- Not suitable for large lawns
- Challenging for seniors with grip or hand issues
Sun Joe TJ600E Joe 14-Inch
While the Sun Joe 16-inch wins the top spot for the best premium model in this review, its 14-inch little brother is also a worthwhile investment into your gardening tools. Sun Joe TJ600E Joe 14-Inch model also comes with dual tilling and cultivating functionality.
It’s in the higher-end of the price range when it comes to tillers, but it’s a useful tool that best suits medium to small gardens.
The mighty 6.5-Amp electric motor powers the stainless steel tines into the ground, reaching cutting depths of up to 7-inches, with a cutting width of 14-inches.
As with the 16-inch model, this Sun Joe also features corded operation and also presents the same user drawbacks of managing the extension cord while you work the machine.
Some user reports suggest that this unit is also a little noisy, but nowhere near as loud as a gas-powered lawnmower. The Sun Joe is lightweight, thanks to no need for a battery pack, and even seniors will find it easy to move this tiller around the yard.
- Steel cutting tines
- The ideal machine for smaller lawns
- Corded electric operation
- Lightweight and portable
- User-friendly operation
- A little on the loud side during operation
- Require an electrical extension cord
Black & Decker LGC120 20-Volt
Black & Decker is one of the world’s premier DIT tooling brands. This company releases some of the best power tools on the market for DIY use, with exciting features and an affordable price tag.The Black Decker LGC120 20-Volt tiller is another example of a Black & Decker power tool that belongs in every garden shed. It was a tough choice to make between this model and our winner when selecting the top option for the best garden tillers.
With the Black & Decker, you get a dual-function machine capable of tilling and cultivating your lawn and flowerbeds.
This tiller comes equipped with a full transmission and dual steel cutting tines. This model receives its power from the MAX Lithium-Ion 20-volt battery pack. You can expect a runtime of 20-minutes, meaning that those homeowners with large lawns will probably need an additional battery pack to cover the entire yard in one tilling session.
Black & Decker claim that one charge on the battery is enough to cover 325-square feet. The tiller comes with a battery and charger included in the package.
We like the oscillating counter tines that provide an efficient and deep cut, along with effortless user operation and diminished operator fatigue.
Black & Decker give the homeowner everything they need in a tiller and cultivator with this model. The best part of this machine? – The affordable price tag.
- Cordless operation
- Dual-function tiller and cultivator
- User-friendly operation
- Covers up to 25-square feet on one battery cycle
- 2-year warranty
- Not a good choice for rocky terrain
- Low cutting depth
- Batteries make this unit heavy
Greenworks 10-Inch 8-AmpThe Greenworks 10-Inch 8-Amp tilleris another corded electric model worthy of mention in this review of the best garden tillers. This affordable model is definitely a top choice for homeowners with small gardens and lawns.
The Greenworks features an 8-Amp electric motor that requires corded operation with the use of an extension cord. Similar to the Sun Joe, this model will also have you throwing the cord around the machine during your tilling.
The 8-Amp motor produces an easy start-up for the beginner gardener, and the forward rotation of the steel tines improves the performance of this machine.
The adjustable cutting width is a nice touch, although we don’t see the need for it, as most gardeners will keep it on the widest setting of 10-inches. The tiller also offers gardeners adjustable cutting depths of up to 5-inches, which is a little on the short side.
The foldable handle of the tiller allows for compact storage in your garden shed, and the lightweight feel of the tiller in your hands makes it easy to maneuver in the garden.
Overall, Greenworks is another excellent choice for small to medium-sized gardens. The affordable price tag also makes the machine attractive as well.
- Ideal for smaller to medium-size yards
- Adjustable width and cutting depth
- Foldable handle for compact storage
- Somewhat noisy during operation
- low cutting depth
Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 7940The Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 7940 is one of the best offerings in the Mantis range. This rototiller suits extensive gardens that have plenty of ground to cover.
This gas-powered model is noisy, so it’s not the best choice if you live in a neighborhood that respects “quiet zones.” However, if you live in an area where noise is not a concern, then fire up this beasts 25cc 4-stroke engine.
This model takes standard gasoline right out of the pump, so there’s no need to add any oil to the fuel tank before you start it up for use. However, as you would expect with a gas-powered model, the engine adds some significant weight to the machine.
At 24-pounds, this tiller is a heavyweight contender when it comes to power, but it lacks the refined maneuverability of the electric machines. However, if you need power when tilling your lawn, this is the machine for you.
The stainless steel tines spin at a speed of 240-rpm, making short work of the most extensive lawns. The 9-inch cutting width seems rather short when we look at the power that’s on offer with this model. However, the 10-inch cutting depth is possibly the best in this review.
We like that the designers kept a priority on compact storage, with the folding handle allowing you to pack it away in your toolshed with ease. The unit also comes with a kickstand for when the machine is not in use.
- Impressive 10-inch cutting depth
- User-friendly operation
- Gas-powered machine
- Ideal for large lawns and landscaping contractors
- A heavy machine that increases operator fatigue
Drill Till 3-Tools-in-1The Drill Till-3-Tools-in-1 is a fantastic machine for the novice gardener that wants to aerate and cultivate their lawn and flowerbeds. The combination of three tools in one provides the gardener with one machine for weeding, tilling, and cultivating their garden.
This is an add-on tool for a power drill, so it’s not suitable if you don’t have that tool.
When you unbox the tiller, you’ll find three tools, the tiller, digger, and weeder, as well as two extension poles. The machine provides efficient operation in modest garden conditions, but it doesn’t have the power to break compacted soil.
However, the Drill Till 3-Tools-in-1 is excellent for providing the roots of your grass and flowers with air and water. The user-friendly operation and lightweight design make it an ideal choice for seniors that are dealing with grip issues.
While we prefer using this machine in small to medium-size gardens, it also does well with tilling large lawns as well. Unfortunately, we would have preferred this model to feature a cordless operation. The use of an extension cord can become a hassle when tilling, weeding, or digging with your 3-in-1 tool.
- Triple user functionality
- The ideal machine for beginner gardeners
- Suitable for use in all size gardens
- durable design and construction
- Not suitable for deep tilling
- Does not operate on rocky soil
- Requires Power Drill to operate
Earthwise TC70001 11-InchThe Earthwise TC70001 is another offering from this brand that’s worthy of mention in this review. This model offers the gardener dual-functionality, with options for tilling and cultivating your lawn.
This corded electric model features a robust 8.5-amp motor, providing the steel tines with enough force to penetrate your lawn. However, we don’t recommend this model for severely compacted soils.
The Earthwise TC70001 also features an 11-inch cutting width, along with an 8-inch cutting depth, making it suitable for medium to extensive gardens. As with the other corded models in this review, the addition of an extension cord during operation sometimes gets in the way when tilling or cultivating.
Due to the corded operation of this model, there is no battery pack, making this lightweight machine suitable for senior gardeners. It maneuvers well in tight spaces and corners of the lawn, and the ergonomic handle reduces operator fatigue.
Earthworks lawnmowers are fantastic products, and if the tilling machines are of the same quality, you can expect this machine to provide a long, hassle-free service life. Earthworks also offer a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty with this model.
- Lightweight and affordable for an electric unit
- Corded electric operation
- 8.5-Amp electric motor
- Ergonomic handles and grips
- Dual cultivator and tiller functionality
- Not the ideal choice for large gardens
Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller
The Manti range of garden tillers gets a second mention in this review for the Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller. This multi-use machine offers the gardener a tiller, cultivator and weeder, all in one unit.
Mantis has one of the best ranges of garden power tools, and this tiller is no exception. This electric tiller features a 540-watt motor that provides the machine with plenty of power to the 9-inch cu8tting width.
While the cutting width might seem somewhat short for this powerful model, it can drive the steel tines into the ground at depths of 10-inches. The active design of the tines makes them self-sharpening, allowing for a long service life of the tines.
The adjustable cutting depth goes as low as 3-inches for those more sensitive areas of your lawn that may have sunken electrical or water lines in the ground. What sets this machine apart from all the others on this list is the manufacturer’s warranty. Mantis offers you a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects with this model.
The electric motor produces 115-volts, along with ¾ horsepower, but it also has an instant-start feature, as well as quiet operation. This tiller is the ideal tool to use if you want to avoid enraging your neighbors with your Sunday afternoon tilling activities in your yard.
The three-speed motor makes short work of the toughest soils, but we would still not recommend this machine to anyone looking to break compacted ground.
With an overall weight of 21-pounds, it’s not a very maneuverable machine in tight spaces, and it produces operator fatigue with extensive use. Mantis also provides a folding handle, allowing for easy storage of this compact unit.
Once again, this model features corded use, meaning that you’ll have to toss the electrical extension out of the path of the machine while working. Corded models are a hassle to operate, but with this machine, it seems effortless to move it around the garden.
- Electric operation
- Ideal for smaller gardens and lawns
- Triple-operating speed functionality
- Corded operation
Yard Butler Twist Tiller Heavy Duty
If there are sections of your lawn or yard where the soil has severe compaction, an electric or gas-powered machine won’t be strong enough to break the ground. In this case, you’ll have to do the job using good old-fashioned sweat and elbow grease.
Yard butler gets its second entry into this review with theTwist Tiller Heavy Duty. If you have compacted soil in your yard or lawn, then this tool will help you break the ground.
This heavy-duty tool features manual operation. The extended 38-inch handle goes to a T-shape at the bottom, featuring a footplate to provide the gardener with leverage over the tool when digging into the ground.
This Yard Butler tool is affordable, and costs a fraction of the price of an electric or gas-powered model. The ergonomic design of the handle reduces operator fatigue, but it still requires some work to break up compacted soil.
The handle does allow for improved control while digging, but it’s probably not the best choice for seniors who are experiencing grip problems.
The 12-inch cutting width and the 6-inch cutting depth of the sturdy twines does easy work of tilling the toughest soils. This tiller is an excellent choice for both lawns and flowerbeds, allowing you to get into tight spaces with ease.
However, gardeners should note that this tool is not ideal for aerating large lawns. It could take you an entire day to till your garden using only this tool. The suggested use of this manual tiller is for breaking up the tough soil spots or areas with underground roots on your lawn or flowerbeds that won’t respond to the average garden tiller.
- Ideal for tilling tough areas of the lawn or rocky soils
- User-friendly manual operation
- Not intended for use on large lawns
- Limited cutting depth
Other Best Selling Options
- POWERFUL: 12-amp motor cultivates up to 16 in. (40. 6 cm) wide x 8 in. (20. 3 cm) deep
- DURABLE: 6 Steel angled tines for maximum durability and performance
- EASY STORAGE: Handle folds for convenient storage and easy transport; voltage (V): 120
- WHEEL-ADJUSTMENT: 3-position wheel adjustment
- Power source type: Corded Electric
- 【POWERFUL ENGINE】:This Tiller has a powerful 52cc gas 2 stroke cylinder engines, with a recoil starter & centrifugal friction clutch, that provides excellent power to weight ratio performance, where it counts. This cultivator has a max output power of 1.45kw, max rotating power of 9100RPMs.
- 【ADJUSTABLE】:MELLCOM gas tiller offers 4 manganese steel tiller tines that can be changed which allows the tilling width to be adjusted from 9.8" to 11.8". The working depth reaches up to 6 in. Tilling depthThe adjustable tilling width and two wheels for height adjustment can deal with different tilling requirements.
- 【EASY TO USE】You can easily turn on the switch key of the power Ttller with only one hand, and you can freely adjust the switch angle to control the air volume.The handle is covered with rubber, anti-skid and easy to operate. And it can be used for up to an hour. The elderly can also use it easily.
- 【BEST APPLICATION】: Our till are great for Garden & Lawn applications in Digging, Soil Cultivation, Aeration, Creating Loose Seedbeds & Dirt/Weed Removal. Our products can be used with all kinds of accessories to achieve all kinds of operations, in addition to the farmland blades we are equipped with, you can also buy other accessories to use.
- 【EPA CERTIFIED】: MELLCOM power tiller cultivator is the great machine that will empower you to have ultimate control of tilling over your land. This Tiller has sustained rigorous testing & is EPA Certified.Excellent customer service frees you from worrying about missing parts and damaged parts. Any question please contact us.
- 【HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL】This gas powered mini tiller is a high quality powerful machine, made of 65 manganese steel, heat-treated, hardness guarantee, firm and wear-resistant. High quality, long life, easy maintenance, low fuel consumption, high production efficiency. Suitable for sand texture, loose soil, cultivating and weeding of economic crops.
- 【HIGH POWER & LESS NOISE】This mini tiller is a universal model with front-wheel drive to make the operation easier. Features 4 blades and a high powered engine, producing less noise to handle a variety of tasks. Anti-skid operation handle provides guarantee for good operation and avoids danger. Large-diameter tires, easy to push the machine and improve work efficiency.
- 【MAIN PARAMETERS】Engine type: 1F44F-5 Air-cooled 2-stroke (single cylinder gasoline engine), Engine displacement: 52CC, Engine power: 1.9KW / 6500-7000 RPM, Engine idle speed: 2800-3200 RPM, Start mode: hand-pull recoil, Fuel ratio: 25:1, Fuel tank volume: 40 fl oz, Cultivated land width: 14'', Cultivated land depth: 2''-4'', Type of vaporized product: diaphragm type, Blade: 4 pieces (9.5'' diameter), Package size: 32'' x 19'' x 13'', Product weight: 37 lbs, Shipping weight: 42 lbs.
- 【EASY OPERATION】The lightweight design, integrated grab bar, and foldable plow handle make this unit easy to move and store. The two sturdy wheels make it easy to manoeuver making it easy for anyone to use. Cut through the toughest soil with ease with this lightweight multi-use garden tool.
- 【WIDE APPLICATION】Small weeder is designed based on hills, mountains, small plots, large height difference, and no cultivating road. It has light weight, small size, simple structure, easy operation, easy maintenance, low fuel consumption and high production efficiency. Widely used in field cultivation, plastic greenhouse, tobacco, nursery, orchard, tea garden management, tea planting, etc.
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN 38” tall with a step plate that centers you over the tool, a solid ½” powder coated steel shaft and a wide 12” T handle that reduces the effort of twisting, using the force of your body to easily rotate sharp angled claw tines into hard compacted soil.
- LOOSENS, TURNS, TILLS AND AERATES soil promoting the free flow of water, air, and fertilizer for a healthier and more beautiful yard and garden.
- PERFECT SIZE FOR RAISED BEDS, flower boxes, around shrubs or bushes and other hard to reach areas. Ideal for mixing fertilizer or peat moss amendments and preparing a bed for planting. Makes weeding easy.
- EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AND VALUE, this is the best garden hand tiller cultivator available
- ✅ powerful: 8-amp motor cultivates up to 12 in. (30 cm) wide x 8 in. (20 cm) deep
- ✅ Durable: 4 steel angled tines for maximum durability and performance
- ✅ easy storage: handle folds for convenient storage and easy transport
- ✅ wheel-adjustment: 3-position wheel adjustment
Garden Tilers Buyer’s Guide
Now that you have an idea of the best garden tillers available, it’s time to narrow down your choices. In this buyer’s guide section, we’ll give you everything you need to know to make an informed purchase decision for your new tiller.
What are the Types of Garden Tillers?
There are three types of garden tillers available. The first is a manual tool that you use much in the same manner as a garden spade or fork. The tool is around the same size and weight as a hammer and requires the user to manually till the soil.
The second type of tiller is an electric machine. These tillers are either battery or gas-powered and do a much better job of aerating and cultivating your lawn if you own a larger yard where a manual tool is inefficient.
The final type of tiller is a ride-behind tiller that you drag on the back of a tractor or seated lawnmower. These machines are suitable for large estates and farms during the planting season.
When choosing your tiller, it’s a good idea to match your machine to your gardening needs. Buying a ride-behind tiller for your garden is useless if you live in a cluster home with a small garden.
Therefore, the first step in choosing your ideal machine is to select the type of tiller that suits your gardening needs.
What’s the Best Choice – A Front-Tine or Rear-Tine Tiller?
Front-tine tillers are typically for use in residential gardens. The design of these machines allows the gardener to push them ahead of themselves, using either manual force or an engine to guide the tiller as it moves along.
Front-line tillers suit lawns and flowerbeds with moderate soil compaction. If you have severely compacted soil, you might need to invest in a rear-tine tiller to break apart the compacted soil.
However, in most cases of residential use, a front-tine tiller is the ideal option. Most of the models on this review are either front-line or manual tillers.
Cultivator Vs. Garden Tiller – What’s the Difference?
Many gardeners don’t realize there’s a difference between a garden tiller and a cultivator. However, the reality is that these machines have entirely different purposes in the garden.
A tiller is an efficient machine for digging deeper into the lawn than a cultivator. Tillers lift far more soil from the grass, providing better aeration while improving drainage.
A cultivator is great for getting rid of the dead grass around the roots of your lawn. If left unmanaged, thatching can start to cause die-off in your yard.
Tillers are also larger machines than cultivators, and you’ll only need to use the machine once or twice during the growing season to bring the best results to your lawn. However, a cultivator is more of a general-use gardening tool that you can incorporate into a monthly gardening schedule to improve the health and growth of your lawn.
What are the Features of a Good Garden Tiller?
Different types of garden tillers come with various features. Selecting the right features for your machine also depends on the size of your lawn. There are dozens of models of tillers, and each of them has different characteristics. Here are some of the elements of a good-quality tiller.
Choose your power source. Tillers come in electrical, gas-powered, or manual options.
Gas-powered options offer gardeners and farmers the most powerful tools. However, gas-powered models are noisy, and they are overkill for your average garden or lawn.
Electric tillers come in two varieties – coded and battery-powered models. Corded options are lightweight and user-friendly, but the cord gets in the way when tilling your lawn. Battery-powered models offer a higher degree of user-friendly operation, but they also suffer from limited run times before thee battery pack needs recharging.
Manual tillers and cultivators are an excellent choice for smaller yards, but you’ll struggle to aerate your entire lawn using a manual tool. Manual tillers are the ideal choice for small gardens and lawns where an electric model is too large for the task at hand.
Adjustable Cutting Depth
Garden tillers come on models offering both fixed and adjustable cutting depths. We recommend you go with an adjustable model is possible. An adjustable model allows you to choose the cutting depth to suit your terrain.
Machines that feature dual-rotating tines are the ideal choice for larger gardens and lawns. The dual tines give the machine additional cutting power, helping you get through your tilling faster. Not all machines have this feature, so check the product description before you make your purchase.
Some models of tillers come with counter-rotating tines. The counter-rotation helps the machine to dig deeper, providing a powerful cutting action.
What Should Gardeners Look Out for When Purchasing the Best Garden Tiller?
When purchasing your ideal garden tiller, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before you buy. A machine that works for one person might provide no value to another. Therefore, in this section, we’ll unpack some critical considerations when selecting your garden tiller.
The Size of Your Lawn
The size of your garden and lawn are the most significant factors to take into account when selecting your tiller. A small flowerbed or lawn only requires the use of a cultivator, or perhaps a front-line tiller. In some cases, you might even find that a manual tiller offers you the best value.
However, if you own a large farm or estate, then a rear-tine trailer tiller is your best option. However, since most readers are likely home gardeners, focus on the products listed in this review to make your choice.
Your budget is also a defining factor when purchasing your garden tiller. While a tiller is by no means an expensive machine, they vary in price from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, it’s important to note that price should not always be your deciding factor.
Cheaper models other than the ones listed in this review are available for purchase. However, many of them feature design and construction with inferior components, reducing the service life of the machine.
Choose the best tiller you can afford with your budget. This review has a machine that’s suitable for every price point and any gardening budget.
The Type of Soil
The type of soil in your garden is also another essential consideration when selecting your tiller. If you have your typical quality soil in your lawn and flowerbeds, then a standard front-line tiller is all you need.
However, those gardeners with rocky or sandy soil in their yard may require the use of a manual tiller to loosen the soil before planting.
Functionality User-Friendly Operation
If you’re looking for a front-line tiller for an average-size garden, then it’s essential to take the weight of the machine into account as well. Heavy tillers can cause operator fatigue in your arms. A lightweight machine is easy to maneuver and allows for smooth movement and storage.
Always ensure that any machine you buy comes with a manufacturer’s warranty to cover any unforeseen faults or breakdowns that aren’t your fault. Standard manufacturer’s warranties on garden tillers are typically 2 to 3-years.
Garden Tillers FAQ
If you’re still on the fence with your purchase decision, it’s probably because you still have a few questions left to answer. In this section, we’ll look at some frequently asked questions from gardeners regarding selecting the right tiller for your yard.
Do I Need a Rear-Tine Tiller?
Unless you own a farm or a large estate, then the chances are that you won’t benefit from buying a rear-tine tiller. However, these tillers are useful in breaking new or compacted soils. It’s for this reason that many contractors use these machines when landscaping a garden for the first time.
However, for most homeowners, buying one of these machines is both impractical and inefficient. Do you really need a tractor to till your lawn? As a homeowner, your best option is to go with a front-line tiller that you either push in front of you or walk alongside during operation.
What Type of Power Source is Best for My Tiller?
For those farmers and contractors in need of a heavy-duty tiller, the only options avail; able are gas-powered. Firing up a gas-powered tiller in your yard will have your neighbors screaming at you about the noise a few moments later.
Homeowners can benefit from buying a corded or battery-powered electric model. These machines run near-silent, and they want to bother your neighbors while you go about your gardening duties.
Corded machines are also easier to maintain than gas-powered models, and they don’t produce any emissions.
How Deep Does a Tiller Dig?
Tiller digging depth depends mostly on the power of the machine’s motor, it’s weight and the length of the tines.
In most cases, your average home garden tiller can cut to a depth of 7-inches, which is more than enough to provide the roots of your grass with all the air they need to grow while improving the drainage of your lawn.
Some models come with an adjustable cutting depth, allowing the gardener to adjust the cutting deck to their preferred cutting depth.
Is a Counterweight Necessary During Operation?
Some garden tillers come with counterweights to improve the digging depth of the machine. However, in most cases, these counterweights are only necessary on rear-tine tillers that are breaking new ground.
The counterweight adds stability to the tiller through providing more weight over the wheels and the cutting decks, preventing the machine from jumping around during use.
What Type of Wheels Are Best for Garden Tillers?
The wheels are an essential feature to take note of when purchasing your garden tiller. The wheels should feature robust plastic design and construction, with tread to help the tiller move along. The wheels need to be large enough to support the machine move over rocky terrain without getting stuck.
If your lawn needs help, then aerate it with the help of a garden tiller. A tiller will ensure that your lawn has the aeration and drainage it needs to thrive in the coming growing season.
If you find yourself struggling to decide on the models in this review, then you can rely on our top choices for guidance in your purchase decision. All of the models in this review are from leading manufacturers.
Choose your tiller based on your garden’s requirements and your gardening needs. With one of these tools in your garden shed, you can keep your lawn looking luscious all-year-round.