We’ve dug deep and pored over reviews to figure out what makes a great garden tiller.
While researching, we found that the best tillers match your power needs, either with rear or front tines and electric or gas-powered engines. The tilling area–both the width and depth–should also fit your garden in size. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve handpicked our favorite garden tillers available online.
Top 10 Best Garden Tillers to Buy Online
When deciding on a garden tiller, keep your garden space and soil in mind.
1. Earthwise 11-Inch 8.5-Volt Corded Electric Tiller (TC70001)
Best Value Tiller for Small to Medium Gardens
This light, compact tiller more than pulls its weight. It’s the perfect size for small to medium-sized gardens and works well as a weed control tool.
Reviewers write that this tiller provides incredible value for its price–it’s fast, cuts through almost anything in its way, and is comfortable in your hands. However, it does buck pretty strongly, so it might require a heavy grip to handle easily.
|Power Source||Electric (corded)||Weight||8.8 lbs|
|Tilling Area||11 inches wide, 8 inches deep||Extras||–|
2. Earthwise 16-Inch 13.5 Amp Corded Electric Tiller (TC70016)
Best Medium-Sized Electric Tiller
This medium-sized electric tiller features adjustable width tines that make it more versatile. It’s lightweight and features an ergonomic handle for easy maneuvering.
Reviewers write that it’s surprisingly strong for an electric tiller, and it’s able to toss rocks aside instead of becoming blocked. It cuts through hardened clay fairly easily and chews through roots. However, it is on the shallower side for a tiller of this strength.
|Tills||Front||Size||42 x 40 x 19 inches|
|Power Source||Electric||Weight||29 lbs|
|Tilling Area||11 to 16 inches wide; 8 inches deep||Extras||–|
3. Earthquake Victory Rear Tine Tiller (29702)
Best Consumer Level High-Powered, Heavy-Duty Tiller
This heavy-duty tiller makes an easy job of nearly any soil situation. It’s sturdy and strong enough to use with one hand without worrying about bucking or stabilizing and features airless tires for increased traction.
Reviewers write that almost anyone can handle it and that performance is about the best you can hope for from a consumer-level tiller.
|Tills||Rear||Size||41.5 x 17.9 x 23.4 inches|
|Power Source||Gas||Weight||173 lbs|
|Tilling Area||16 inches wide; 10 inches deep||Extras||–|
4. Earthwise Cordless Electric Tiller (TC70040)
Best Cordless Electric Tiller
This battery-powered tiller is ideal for those looking for a lighter tiller that’s easy to maneuver. It charges within half an hour and provides up to 2 hours of tilling.
Reviewers write that it’s much more powerful than you’d expect a battery-powered tiller to be and works even on unbroken ground. It’s easy to control and steer, even for those who aren’t particularly strong.
|Tills||Front||Size||44 x 15 x 37 inches|
|Power Source||Electric (battery)||Weight||27 lbs|
|Tilling Area||7 to 11 inches wide; 8 inches deep||Extras||–|
5. Honda 4-Cycle Forward-Rotating Gas Mini Tiller (FG110)
Best High-End Mini Tiller
This little tiller may be small in size, but it’s incredibly powerful. It starts quickly and can easily cut through tougher objects, like roots up to an inch thick.
Reviewers note that it’s well-built, works excellently as a weeder, and churns up soil mightily, though it may not be best for breaking new ground.
|Tills||Front||Size||26 x 23 x 16.5 inches|
|Power Source||Gas||Weight||30 lbs|
|Tilling Area||9 inches deep||Extras||–|
6. Craftsman 12-Inch Gas Powered Tiller (C405)
Best for Raised Beds or Shallow Tilling
This gas-powered tiller features six adjustable tines that give you a tilling area anywhere between 6 – 12 inches wide. This little tiller only goes about six inches deep, which makes it perfect for raised beds.
Reviewers write that it’s quick to put together and starts easily (often with only one pull). As it’s a four-cylinder motor, it takes regular gasoline and does not require you to mix it with oil.
|Tills||Front||Size||32.8 x 18 x 18.5 inches|
|Power Source||Gas||Weight||37 lbs|
|Tilling Area||6 to 12 inches wide; up to 6 inches deep||Extras||Variable speed throttle, adjustable tilling width|
7. Earthwise 7.5 Inch Corded Electric Tiller (TC70025)
Best for Tight Spaces
This compact electric tiller is ideal for tight spaces. While it does require an extension cord, it’s still much lighter and more eco-friendly than gas tillers.
Reviewers write that though it doesn’t have the strongest motor, it does a good job breaking up smaller roots and medium-hard soil, though you may have to pause to untangle the blades occasionally.
|Tills||Front||Size||54 x 10 x 7.5 inches|
|Power Source||Electric||Weight||9 lbs|
|Tilling Area||7.5 inches wide; 6 inches deep||Extras||–|
8. Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller (7940)
Best High-Powered Small Tiller
This small tiller is powered by a Honda engine. It’s tough enough to cut through compacted dirt while still being light enough to carry and easy to start.
Reviewers write that this tiller is extremely efficient and only requires you to pause if you’re tilling a particularly weedy area. It is on the expensive side, but many reviewers say that the price is absolutely worth it.
|Tills||Front||Size||48 x 17 x 38 inches|
|Power Source||Gas||Weight||24 lbs|
|Tilling Area||9 inches wide; 10 inches deep||Extras||–|
9. Earthquake Versa FTT (20015)
Best Medium-Strength Tiller
This larger tiller is easy to maneuver and features a low center of gravity for increased stability. It has an adjustable tilling width that lets you till areas 11, 16, and 21″ wide, and it’s great for soil of all textures.
Reviewers write that it’s powerful enough to cut through roots, though you may not want to use it to break hardened ground for the first time.
|Tills||Front||Size||51.2 x 35.5 x 24 inches|
|Power Source||Gas||Weight||85 lbs|
|Tilling Area||11 to 21 inches wide; 11 inches deep||Extras||Removable outer tines|
10. Yard Butler Twist Tiller
Best Manual Tiller
This manual tiller is perfect for spot-tilling or breaking up smaller areas. It’s made from a tough powder-coated stainless steel and is designed to harness the power of your body in a way that reduces the effort required to twist.
Reviewers write that it’s durable and easy to handle for those under 6 feet tall. When breaking new ground, reviewers recommend tilling only a couple inches deep at first before going for the full depth of the tiller.
|Tills||–||Size||37 in x 14 in x 6 inches|
|Power Source||Manual||Weight||4.5 lbs|
|Tilling Area||6 inches wide; 4 inches deep||Extras||–|
How to Choose a Garden Tiller – Buying Guide
While a tiller may look good on paper, always be sure to read reviews before making your purchase. It’s also a good idea to search for reviews from those who care for soil similar to your own.
Based on How Much Force You Need, Pick a Power Source and Tine Position
Gas, electric, and even manual tillers all have their place, though your garden probably needs one type more than than it does the rest.
For Heavy Duty Tilling Power, Look for Gas-Powered Rear-Tine Tillers
When it comes to tilling a large area of hard ground, you’re going to want to look for a tiller with a lot of strength. Gas-powered tillers are the most powerful and can reliably break up hard dirt. However, they do tend to be more expensive and require more maintenance than other power sources.
Coupled with that, having rear tines allows your tiller to more effectively break up harder, deeper soil.
For a More Economical Option, Look for Electric or Manual Front-Tine Tillers
If you don’t need a whole lot of power, on the other hand, it’s probably more economical to look for electric or manually powered tillers with front tines.
Electric tillers are cheaper and require less maintenance than gas, but they aren’t usually as powerful and require you to have an extension cord. Manual tillers are the cheapest and easiest to maintain. But their strength is largely dependent on the person using it, and they’re better for smaller areas.
Having front tines means that your tiller will be smaller, cheaper, and easier to maneuver.
Consider Depth and Width of the Tilling Area
When checking to see how much ground your tiller can cover at once, don’t forget to look at both width and depth.
Generally speaking, a wider tilling area will allow you to cover more ground more quickly, though a narrower one will give you more precise control. When it comes to depth, look for a depth of around 10 inches, which will ensure that you’re digging up any remaining roots.
Some tillers allow you to adjust your tilling area, so if you think you’ll be using the machine in a wide range of situations, you may want to look for one of these.
Think About Mobility and Storage When Looking at Size and Weight
Tillers can range from shovel-sized to lawn mower-sized, so it’s important to know how much space you have and whether you’ll be able to maneuver the tiller yourself.
Note that gas-powered tillers are the largest and heaviest (plus they’ll be made heavier when you fill them with gas).
Look for Extra Features that Make Tilling Easier
Especially if you’re planning on covering a large area, there are a few extra features that can help you save time and energy.
For example, a tiller with the ability to shift into reverse makes it much easier to go back and cover any missed ground without having to turn off your machine and reset it.
The Difference between Tillers and Cultivators and What You Use a Tiller For
To the untrained eye, tillers and cultivators can seem awfully similar. But there are some key differences that determine what you want to look for. Cultivators are largely used for blending soil, whereas tillers create new garden patches and break up earth.
Tillers tend to be higher powered and go a bit deeper than cultivators. Plus, they can handle a larger variety of situations. For example, on top of just preparing new land for planting, you can use a tiller to get rid of weeds, break up and remove roots, and level land.
Having a tiller can significantly decrease the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare your garden for planting. Finding the right one can make it an even easier task.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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