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The 11 Best Gas & Electric Garden Tillers Review

A garden tiller is an excellent tool for new and established gardens alike. These machines can break up your soil in minutes, whether you’ve been blessed with a rocky clay garden or acres of silty fields. Now, garden tillers come in all shapes and sizes – gas or electric, small or large.

If you’re shopping for one, you likely have a lot of factors to consider before you can settle on the best one for you – but we’re here to help.

We’ve rounded up our favorite gas and electric garden tillers and compiled an honest review of them here. You’ll find the pros and cons of all our top picks in this article, plus a direct comparison of each one.

By the end, you should be able to determine exactly what you need in a tiller. Sound good?

Let’s do it!

Table Of Contents
  1. The Best Gas-Powered Tillers and Cultivators
  2. The Best Electric Garden Tillers
  3. The Best Rear Tine Tillers
  4. Best Garden Tillers Buyer’s Guide
  5. How Much Dirt Will You Till?

The Best Gas-Powered Tillers and Cultivators

Sometimes, a gas-powered machine is the best way to go. Gas tillers are almost always more powerful than electric models, as their motors can run faster.

Gas-powered tillers are durable, powerful, and heavier than their electric counterparts. That means that, while they may be heavy and more challenging to fuel, they can break through soil better than electric garden tillers.

So, if you are looking for a way to break up acres of clay-based, rocky, or compacted soil, a gas-powered tiller is the way to go.

Still, if you’re going to get a tiller, you surely want to get one with the power, maneuverability, and a size that fits the land you plan to till. After all, you don’t want to be caught lugging a 50-pound beast up a steep incline. And you likely don’t want one that will blow out after hitting gravel.

So, let’s discuss some of our favorite gas tillers that we love enough to recommend:

1. Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator

The Mantis XP Tiller has a gas-powered engine positioned directly over the tines for immense tilling and digging power.

If you prefer to have tight spaces in your garden, this is the go-to tiller for you. Its tines till down 10 inches deep and has a compact cultivating width of 9 inches. This tiller has handles that fold down for easier storage and transportation. This tiller basically promises less stress and more progress!

It’s also very lightweight at only 24 pounds, but it has a great tine speed of 240 RPM.

One great feature of the Mantis XP Tiller’s is its finger-controlled throttle, making way for infinite speed control. This means you can run this garden tiller at any speed you want.

It’s very easy to operate, too, which is great for your workload and your safety.

Mantis Tiller Specs

  • Power: Honda 4-Cycle 25cc engine
  • Tines: 4 steel tilling blades
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Maximum Tilling Width: 9 inches
  • Maximum Tilling Depth: 10 inches

Pros of the Mantis Tiller

  • Finger-controlled throttle enables infinite speed control
  • Handles fold down for easy storage
  • Engine only takes gas, no fuel mixtures
  • Impressive tine speed of 240 RPM

Cons of the Mantis Tiller

  • This tiller will be a bucking bronco if you till virgin grass-covered soil, roots, or rocks
  • Creeping grass and roots can easily wound up around the tines

Read More – Mantix XP Extra Wide vs 2-cycle 7920

2. Tazz 35310 2-in-1 Front Tine Tiller/Cultivator

Gas-powered tillers that can perform heavy-duty yard tasks give you reassurance, especially when they don’t need too much gas.

The Tazz 35310 2-in-1 Front Tine Tiller has an impressive 79cc Viper engine that is fuel-efficient and starts up easily with a smooth pull recoil.

The components that make up this Tazz tiller are built for long-term durability. The forged steel tines and the bronze gear transmission are just the cherries on top.

Don’t let its heavy weight of 83.8 pounds scare you, either. Because of this weight, this tiller is balanced and maneuverable. You can effortlessly turn this garden tiller without worrying about it kicking off the ground.

A major plus of this tiller’s design is its adjustable tilling widths. Its maximum width of 21 inches gives this tiller the title of Most Valuable Player.

Tazz Front Tine Tiller Specs

  • Power: 79cc 4-Cycle Viper engine
  • Tines: 4 steel tilling blades
  • Weight: 83.8 pounds
  • Maximum Tilling Width: 11 to 21 inches
  • MaximumTilling Depth: 8 to 11 inches

Pros of the Tazz Front Tine Tiller

  • Fuel-efficient engine starts up easily
  • No tools are required for tine removal
  • Steel handlebar has 4 different height positions
  • Tazz offers a solid 3-year warranty for this tiller

Cons of the Tazz Front Tine Tiller

  • Its weight of 83.8 pounds makes it challenging to carry around
  • It takes at least 2 hours to assemble, even if you are mechanically inclined

3. Earthquake 31635 MC33 Mini Tiller Cultivator

While it doesn’t have the strongest gas engine on this list, the Earthquake 31635 MC33 Mini Tiller Cultivator has a great combination of versatility, convenience, and control.

What more could you ask for?

Perhaps an odor-eliminating mechanism, but cut Earthquake some slack!

This tiller’s 33cc 2-Cycle Viper engine requires a mix of gas and 2-cycle oil. You can’t avoid messy oil mixing but this tiller is easy to control once you start using it.

You have overhand control of this tiller, meaning the possibility of bouncing or jumping is reduced.

The wheels are height-adjustable for better transport and for more depth control.

Also, for a gas-engine tiller, it is very lightweight at 33 pounds. Plus, you gotta appreciate that 5-year warranty Earthquake offers!

Earthquake Mini Tiller Specs

  • Power: 33cc 2-Cycle Viper engine
  • Tines: 4 steel tilling blades
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • Maximum Tilling Width: 10 inches
  • Maximum Tilling Depth: 8 inches

Pros of the Earthquake Mini Tiller

  • Ideal overhand control enables less bouncing and jumping
  • Height-adjustable wheels promote transport and depth control
  • Easy to assemble, no tools required
  • Earthquake offers a 5-year warranty for this tiller

Cons of the Earthquake Mini Tiller

  • There is a concern that it may not be powerful enough for clay dirt
  • Questionable fuel lines, along with gas leak concerns

The Best Electric Garden Tillers

Whether they have cords or go cordless, electric tillers save boatloads of time and trouble! While they are generally less powerful and rock-proof than gas tillers, these electric powerhouses can still make a real dent in your soil.

Additionally, electric tillers are less messy, lighter, and better for the environment than gas tillers.

For these reasons, electric garden tillers are a great option for people who don’t want to fuel up with gas, only have smaller areas to till, or have nice, loose soil already.

Sound good?

Then let’s look at our favorite electric tillers on the market – starting with our top pick!

1. Sun Joe TJ600E Electric Tiller and Cultivator

The Sun Joe TJ600E is one of the smaller tillers on this list, but there are many reasons why it ranks at the very top. This electric tiller made by Sun Joe has a powerful 6.5 Amp motor that can cultivate up to 14 inches wide and 7 inches deep

If you want to make a mid-sized garden and flowerbed in your yard, you go with this tiller. This tiller is also very quiet, distributing a noise level of 93 Decibels (DB). 

Any durability questions can be tossed aside like the tilled grass, as its four steel tilling blades can pick up just about anything in its path. Let’s not forget how affordable this tiller is. $100 is a breathtaking deal!

Another reason why this small tiller ranks number one?

Cue the drum roll… this is my go-to tiller! 

sun-joe-tiller-steven- best-electric tiller
Steven’s Sun Joe Tiller

I have tested this guy out for some time, and I am more than satisfied with its performance. 

Sun Joe made such a great quality product in a small gardening tool. Yes, I have to deal with an extension cord and make sure it stays plugged in, but that doesn’t bother me. 

While this isn’t the most robust garden tiller you can buy, trust me when I say that you will grow to appreciate the Sun Joe TJ600E. 

Sun Joe TJ600E Specs: 

  • Motor: 6.5 Amp
  • Tines: 4 steel blades
  • Weight: 18.7 pounds
  • Maximum Tilling Width: 14 inches
  • Maximum Tilling Depth: 7 inches
  • Instant Start?: Yes
  • Foldable Handle?: Yes

Pros of the Sun Joe TJ600E

  • Powerful 6.5 Amp motor is super easy to start.
  • Very quiet at 93 Decibels.
  • Incredibly affordable with more than 1000 excellent reviews
  • Ultra-lightweight at just under 19 lb.

Cons of the Sun Joe TJ600E

  • One of the smaller tillers on this list, so if your soil is heavy, clay-based, or you need to till a lot of ground, it probably won’t be big enough.
  • You’ll need to lug an extension cord around.

2. Sun Joe TJ603E 16″ 12-amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

You can safely call this one of the best garden tillers out there.

The Sun Joe TJ603E has a powerful 12 amp motor that runs at 340 RPM. This piece of equipment will quickly cut into the dirt with its 6 steel angled tines. This tiller’s range is 16 inches wide and as much as 8 inches deep within seconds. 

If you don’t like any hassles filling up machines with gas or oil, you will love this tiller. The TJ603E starts instantly with the push of a button. No additional rocket science is necessary.

Its collapsible handles make it easy to store this garden tiller. Weighing just 27.1 pounds, it gives you no problems carrying it around. The only knock against the TJ603E is that it runs at only one speed.

Sun Joe TJ603E Specs

  • Power: 12 amp motor
  • Tines: 6 steel tilling blades
  • Weight: 27.1 pounds
  • Tilling Width: 16 inches
  • Tilling Depth: 8 inches
  • Instant Start?: Yes
  • Collapsible Handle?: Yes

Pros of the Sun Joe Tiller

Cons of the Sun Joe Tiller

  • Runs at only one speed, so it can’t perform at variable speeds
  • The extension cord tends to disconnect easily during use

3. Greenworks 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller, 27072

 At first glance, you could comment on how cute this little tiller looks, and you would be right. However,  the Greenworks 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller, 27072 gives you more options than some larger tillers.

Though it only has a 8-amp motor, this small tiller is shockingly powerful. It gets through rocky soil without an issue.

The wheels behind the tines are retractable and can be moved into multiple positions. If you want to control the depth of your tilling, these wheels will help your cause. 

While its cultivating depth may not be the most impressive on this list at 5 inches, both its depth and cultivating width are easily adjustable. 

One big thing that makes this little garden tiller amazing is the assembly time. It takes less than 15 minutes to attach the cable and handles. You won’t break a sweat!

Sometimes it is not easy to fit gardening tools like tillers inside your garage (and take it from me, I would know with my tiller). The ergonomic handle of this tiller can fold down for storage and transportation!

The Greenworks Corded Tiller Specs

  • Power: 8 Amp Motor
  • Tines: 4 steel blades
  • Weight: 29.3 pounds
  • Tilling Width: 8.25 to 10 inches
  • Tilling Depth: 5 inches
  • Instant Start?: Yes
  • Collapsible Handle?: Yes

Pros of the Greenworks Corded Tiller

  • Super easy to start
  • The handle folds down so it’s easy to store in a garage or shed for winter
  • Small and lightweight
  • Shockingly powerful

Cons of the Greenworks Corded Tiller

  • 8 Amp motor may be underpowered for big yards
  • Max tilling depth is 5″

4. Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch 13.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator, Grey

While gas-powered tillers perform well, they send out harmful fumes that can affect your health. You don’t need to worry about that with the Earthwise TC70016 Tiller because it is completely electric-powered.

This tiller is easy to start with a single lever that you grab and hold down. Remember the old push lawn mowers with levers you had to hold down? Apply that same kind of use here. Although I don’t have fond memories of push lawnmowers, this lever mechanic is very convenient. 

Don’t miss: How to Till a Small Garden Without a Tiller

Along with a powerful 13.5 amp motor, this tiller has 6 adjustable tines that have a maximum tilling width of 16 inches. These features make it ideal to create medium garden beds or vegetable plots.

The wheels located behind the tines enable a more comfortable tilling experience. Not all tillers have wheels attached. The wheels could remind you of an old push lawnmower!

The handle’s cushioned grip is non-slip, so you can control the cultivating process and guide the tiller in the way that you want. 

This Earthwise tiller weighs 29 pounds! The power that this tiller packs inside is something to be appreciated and admired. 

This tiller would be an outstanding choice for starting a raised bed for flowers or vegetables. 

Earthwise Garden Tiller Specs

  • Power: 13.5 amp motor
  • Tines: 6 steel tilling blades
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Tilling Width: 11 to 16 inches
  • Tilling Depth: 8 inches
  • Instant Start?: Yes
  • Collapsible Handle?: No

Pros of the Earthwise Garden Tiller

  • Completely electric-powered, so no hassles with gas
  • Soft ergonomic grip gives you more maneuverability 
  • Easy to start with a single lever switch
  • The wheels fold up if more depth is needed while tilling

Cons of the Earthwise Garden Tiller

  • The motor runs at a single high speed that doesn’t vary
  • Its overload circuit can be easily popped by wound-up grass

5. Scotts TC70135S Corded Tiller and Cultivator

If you want a gardening tool that will dig deep into the dirt and make a difference in your yard, then this tiller could be your ideal choice. 

Scotts is a brand specializing in gardening products, so it isn’t surprising to see a powerful electric tiller made by the brand. 

A 13.5 Amp motor coupled with six adjustable alloy steel tines makes for a reliable piece of equipment. 

It is easy to set up and start at the push of a button, and its soft ergonomic grip helps you have a comfortable tilling experience.

With a cultivating depth of 8 inches, you should have no problems getting the garden patch you want as you maneuver this tiller through your yard. 

You can also have better handling and transport thanks to the tiller’s flip-down rear wheels. So, the 30 pounds of weight this garden tiller has won’t be such a burden to carry around. 

This tiller from Scotts is also well worth the low price.

Scotts TC70135S Specs

  • Power: 13.5 Amp
  • Tines: 6 steel blades
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Tilling Width: 11 to 16 inches
  • Tilling Depth: 8 inches
  • Instant Start?: Yes
  • Collapsible Handle?: No

Pros of the Scotts TC70135S Electric Tiller

  • One of the more powerful tillers in our review at 13.5 Amps
  • Nice, wide tilling width of 16″ max.
  • Lightweight at 30 pounds

Cons of the Scotts TC70135S Electric Tiller

  • A bit more pricey than some of the other options.
  • Some users didn’t have much success on hard or virgin soil that hasn’t been tilled before. You’ll most likely find this with most electric tillers, though. If you need a tough job done, look into gas tillers.

6. LawnMaster TE1318W1 Corded Electric Tiller 13.5-Amp 18-Inch

The LawnMaster TE1318W1 Corded Electric Tiller has a working width of 18 inches, giving you plenty of working space to get the job done in one go.

Incredibly lightweight at 22 pounds, this tiller’s ergonomic folding handle has an anti-vibration system that is merciful on your arms. What a relief!

Don’t miss: Tiller vs Cultivator – Which Is Best for Your Garden?

What makes the TACKLIFE Advanced Tiller one of the best tillers is its 13.5 amp motor which runs at a speed of up to 400 RPM. If you want a vegetable plot, this highly efficient motor can easily loosen the soil. The one-two punch in power and efficiency is found in this garden tiller. It also has safety buttons and brake switches that prevent random, accidental starts. 

  • Power: 13.5 amp motor
  • Tines: 6 steel tilling blades
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Tilling Width: 18 inches
  • Tilling Depth: 8.7 inches
  • Instant start? Yes
  • Collapsible handle? Yes

Pros of the Lawnmaster TE1318W1 Advanced Tiller

  • Anti-vibration system means less stress for your arm
  • Safety buttons and brake switches help you start the engine with ease
  • Its folding design provides more convenient storage space
  • Adjustable wheels for various tilling depths and easy transport

Cons of the Lawnmaster TE1318W1 Advanced Tiller

  • It doesn’t have a plow to push the tines into the dirt
  • Struggles with dry soil

The Best Rear Tine Tillers

Are you looking for a tiller that can break up tough, dry, rocky, or clay-based soil? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Rear tine tillers are powerful machines that can cut into overplanted, grassy, rocky soil without jamming up, bumping out of the soil, or getting bent out of shape.

1. EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller, Powerful 209cc 4-Cycle Viper Engine

Looking for a great piece of equipment that will cut through the soil faster than you can say “rear tine tiller?” Then the EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller is the beast for you.

This shiny, beautiful rear tine tiller has an impressive 209cc Viper four-cycle engine that can power through clay and rocks without a scratch, helping you make uncultivatable land fruitful.

Despite its hefty 163-pound weight, this rear tine tiller is easy to move thanks to the large 13-inch tires and great weight distribution.

It also has an automatic backup feature, which is very rare in rear tine tillers. Accordingly, it has dual-rotation tines, meaning that you get both backward and forward-rotating tines that will accommodate you whether you want to push or drag the machine.

EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller Specs

  • Power: 212cc 4-stroke Viper engine
  • Tines: 6 steel blades
  • Weight: 163 pounds
  • Tilling width: 16 inches
  • Tilling depth: 10 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes

Pros of the EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Has a rear backup feature that makes it even easier to move around
  • The handle is height-adjustable
  • Bronze gear drive transmission

Cons of the EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller

  • It may be bulky and difficult to store
  • Replacement parts can be challenging to find

2. CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller

If the EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller is a bit too pricey or large, check this guy out! Champion Power Equipment makes some fantastic products (many of which we’ve recommended in the past), and this tiller doesn’t disappoint.

With a 212cc engine and a massive tilling width of 19 inches, the CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller can cover an impressive amount of land in mere seconds.

This tiller has no issues working in deep clay and rocks, so there’s no terrain it can’t take.

Champion Power Equipment Rear Tine Tiller Specs

  • Power: 212cc 4-stroke Champion engine
  • Tines: 4 steel blades
  • Weight: 161 pounds
  • Tilling width: 19 inches
  • Tilling depth: 8 inches
  • Self-propelled: Yes

Pros of the Champion Power Equipment Rear Tine Tiller

  • Surprisingly easy to maneuver, but not as easy as the EARTHQUAKE
  • Impressive speed and power
  • Easy to assemble
  • Perfect for deep clay and rocky soils
  • The price is right

Cons of the Champion Power Equipment Rear Tine Tiller

  • Some people have had difficulty starting it
  • Larger roots tend to get tangled on the blades
  • Many people have had to get new parts, such as wheels, within the first year of use

Best Garden Tillers Buyer’s Guide

sun-joe-electric-garden-tiller-review
Want to create a garden patch for your yard? You’ll want a garden tool that works quickly and efficiently! You’ve probably realized that trowels, shovels, and post-diggers can only take you so far. You need a long-term solution instead of a short-term fix. Enter: garden tillers.

Garden tillers are the unsung heroes of gardening tools, and I believe they are one of the handiest machines to have for garden maintenance.

Now, if you are new to garden tillers, you probably have more questions to ask. This buyer’s guide has got you covered. 

It’ll walk you through some of the things to look for in garden tillers. Then, using these criteria, we’ll compare each garden tiller that made this list and help you see where each one shines.

What is a Garden Tiller?

A garden tiller is a machine that mechanically turns over soil, lifting and cutting dirt that is heavy and compact. Tillers make short work of turning and breaking up your soil, eliminating weeds, working in soil amendments, and aerating the soil for healthy plant roots.

A tiller’s tines will always cut through the soil much faster than what you can do with your hands. 

What is a Good Garden Tiller?

A good garden tiller will typically adjust to your needs, no matter how light or heavy it is. While you should aim to have a powerful tiller, it won’t help you if it isn’t mechanically sound.

Don’t be concerned about extra accessories if you just want to till in a compact area.

How to Use a Garden Tiller

Tilling a garden takes 6 simple steps.

  1. First, prepare your gardening area by removing any existing grass or plants. You should also remove any obstructions that could harm your tiller. These include large rocks and thick tree roots.
  2. Secondly, prepare yourself by wearing personal safety gear. You’ll want safety glasses, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and strong shoes (not necessarily boots).
  3. Next, set your desired depth for tilling. I recommend not going too deep on your first go. I tried going deeper than I should have early in my tilling experience, and that was a comedy sitcom! Try taking it just an inch or two at a time, slowly working deeper and deeper by adjusting the wheels or blades.
  4. After this, get a good understanding of how your tiller works. Study its mechanics. Every tiller is different, so be sure to become familiar with yours before you get those blades spinning.
  5. Once you get a good feel for your tiller, steps five and six involve tilling the soil and then turning the tiller off when you’re done. Keep your tiller tipped forward as you cut into the ground, and keep this tilling pressure consistent while walking through your gardening area.

Machine tilling is pretty easy work, especially compared to the manual process of lifting, cutting, and digging into your soil.

The Best Tillers Comparison

Below is a chart of how each tiller that made this list stacks up against one another. 

The differences between each tiller are not dramatic, but it is worth noting what exactly you will get with the tiller of your choice. 

TillerTypePowerCultivating WidthCultivating DepthBladesWeight
Sun Joe TJ600EElectric6.5 Amp14 inches7 inches4 blades18.7 pounds
Sun Joe TJ603EElectric12 Amp16 inches8 inches6 blades27.1 pounds
GreenworksElectric8 Amp8.25 to 105 inches4 blades29.3 pounds
Earthwise TC70016Electric13.5 Amp11 to 16 inches8 inches6 blades29 pounds
Scotts TC70135S Corded Tiller and CultivatorElectric13.5 Amp11 to 16 inches8 inches6 blades30 pounds
LawnMaster TE1318W1Electric13.5 Amp18 inches8.7 inches6 blades24 pounds
Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered CultivatorGas25cc 4-cycle engine9 inches10 inches4 blades24 pounds
Tazz 35310 2-in-1 Front Tine Tiller/CultivatorGas79cc 4-cycle engine11 to 21 inches 8 to 11 inches4 blades83 pounds
Earthquake 31635 MC33 Mini Tiller CultivatorGas33cc 2-cycle engine10 inches8 inches4 blades33 pounds
EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller, Powerful 209cc 4-Cycle Viper EngineGas
Rear Tine
209cc 4-cycle engine16 inches10 inches6 blades160 pounds
CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine TillerGas Rear Tine212cc 4-stroke engine19 inches8 inches4 blades161 pounds
These tillers, both gas and electric, each have a few areas where they shine the best.


What we can take from this battle royale (and not a demolition derby!) of tillers are some fascinating details.

So, let’s look at all the features to consider in the tillers we picked and determine which one would be best for you and your soil.

Garden Tiller Power

When it comes to electric tillers, a few stand out as the most powerful:

On the other hand, the Tazz 35310 2-in-1 Front Tine Tiller/Cultivator outshone every other electric and gas garden tiller in terms of sheer power.

Then, the rear tine tillers are in a whole other league, with the CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller outshining everyone else.

But ultimately, not all of us are dealing with a situation where we’d need a rear tine tiller or the Tazz to rip up tough, compacted soil.

Sometimes, a lighter, more affordable, or smaller option might be just what the doctor ordered – especially if you only want to use your tiller once a year to make a vegetable garden or simply turn your beds’ soil.

Electric vs Gas Garden Tillers

Electric Tillers vs Gas-Powered Tillers

There are two main types of garden tillers: gas and electric. Whether you are having a great debate or a cheerful discussion, you likely want to know which kind of tiller is best to use.

Electric tillers require a power outlet and a long extension cord. They are often less powerful than gas garden tillers, but electric tillers give you relief when it comes to maintenance. In addition, most electric tillers have a push-button start, making them very simple to use.

It’s worth noting that some electric tillers are cordless and use a battery. There are few good cordless tillers, as battery-powered tillers rarely have enough sustained power to work without getting jammed.

If you own large areas of land, then gas tillers are the devices to have. They are usually more powerful than electric tillers, allowing you to plow through clay and rocks with ease. However, expect a higher rate of maintenance with these guys.

In addition, gas garden tillers are usually heavier and require a bit more muscle power to move. Still, with their greater weight, they are more balanced, which reduces the chances of skipping out of the dirt.

Cultivating Width

Let’s break down cultivating width! 

There are five clear winners when it comes to square footage: 

My little buddy tiller, the Sun Joe TJ600E, can’t be counted out with its width of 14 inches. That width is suitable enough for many yards. 

Cultivating Depth

Cultivating depth may be one of the biggest concerns you may have if you want to dig into the dirt. I find it surprising that a few of these tillers don’t offer much depth, even though they’re super-powerful. 

Still, the tiller with the deepest cultivating depth is the gas-powered Mantis 7250, with a tilling depth of 10 inches, even though it doesn’t offer much cultivating width. From the electric tillers, the LawnMaster TE1318W1 stood out as the deepest tilling, with a max depth of 8.7 inches.

Number of Blades

The amount of blades a tiller has, in my opinion, is a non-factor. A tiller with four blades is just as good as any tiller with six blades, depending on your needs. 

In this category, I will call this a tie between all the tillers. 

Tiller Weight

The weight of an electric tiller comes down to your preference, and there is no wrong answer here. 

In my case, I prefer lighter tillers because I feel like I have more control over where they can go. Yes, there will be the occasional kickback motion when a lightweight tiller hits the dirt, but you have to roll with it. 

My little buddy tiller, the Sun Joe TJ600E, is the lightest weight garden tiller on this list, and I love it! Still, if you really need a tiller with a stable, sturdy construction for breaking up hard ground, a heavy tiller might be best for you.

What is the Best Tiller for Hard or Rocky Soil?

best-garden-tiller-review-2021
In most cases, if you have especially hard or rocky soil, you should choose to use a gas garden tiller.

The best garden tiller for hard soil is a gas-powered rear tine tiller like the EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller, Powerful 209cc 4-Cycle Viper Engine and the CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller. Rear tine tillers break up tough soil even better than gas tillers.

Still, if you’re only working with medium-hard soil, you can use a gas tiller like the Tazz or the Mantis. Gas-powered tillers have higher-torque motors, ensuring they don’t die or lose revs once their tines bite into the clay.

Only a select few electric tillers have these characteristics.

Soil that is rich in organic material and is free of most weeds only requires cheaper tillers. Electric tillers like the Sun Joe are perfect for this soil. However, heavy, clay-based soil that contains rocks and gravel needs more powerful tillers.

What’s the Difference Between a Tiller and a Rear Tine Tiller?

The differences between a tiller and a rear tine tiller are the power and blades. Rear tine tillers are predominantly gas-powered and often have about six times the power of a standard tiller. They are perfect for tilling deep into difficult, compacted, rocky, or clay-based soils.

While tillers can till the ground, a rear tine tiller practically plows the ground. Rear tine tillers come with powerful gas engines that spin the blades at high speeds to cut deep through difficult dirt.

So, if you want the speediest, most powerful tiller to cultivate large fields and plots, a rear tine tiller might be perfect for you.

What’s the Difference Between a Cultivator vs. Tiller?

The differences between a cultivator and a tiller are subtle but also very clear. 

If you already have an established garden and intend on improving it, cultivators are best suited for this job. However, garden tillers are more powerful and have no trouble breaking up virgin soil.

Here are the two big differences between a cultivator vs. tiller:

  • Cultivators are made to turn loose soil and add organic material or amendments to the dirt. On the other hand, tillers are made to cut and loosen the soil no matter how hard it is. Rear tine tilllers, on the other hand, are expressly for cutting into the soil and can cut deeper and wider than standard tillers.
  • Cultivators typically have smaller tines than garden tillers, and they are easier to move around since they are generally smaller machines. 

If you only want to tear up patches of land that have overgrown weeds, plants, or grass, the tiller is the best option. If you are thinking about long-term, larger-production farming, you get a tiller out to create a field. 

However, if you want to mix seeds, fertilizers, or soil amendments into your soil, a cultivator is the machine to look for.

Want to learn more? Read our epic guide about cultivators vs. tillers and how to choose the right option for your homestead!

Can a Tiller Remove Grass and Roots?

gas garden tiller
Some tillers are powerful enough to rip straight through turf, but others may have trouble working around the stringy grass.

In my experiences tilling the ground, I can safely say that you will have a much easier time removing grass with a gas tiller than an electric garden tiller or cultivator. However, removing roots with only a tiller is not recommended.

A rear tine tiller can remove grass and roots best. These tillers have tines that move independently from the motor, working like plows to cut into the most compacted or difficult soils.

You can remove your grass with a gas or electric tiller, but you have to be patient and be willing to go over patches of grass multiple times to tear it up.

If you want to remove roots before using an electric or gas tiller, I suggest buying a unique tool such as the Root Assassin serrated shovel. And, couple that with a tree lopper. 

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10/03/2023 11:00 am GMT

Do You Need a Garden Tiller?

Garden tillers make a very (very) difficult task super easy, which is why we love them so much! However, not everyone needs to outsource their tilling tasks to a machine.

You don’t need a garden tiller if you are able to use a hand tiller or twist tillers like a Garden Weasel, have animals to do the work for you, or use landscaping methods to aerate and loosen your soil.

The most common tool that can help you till would be a hoe, including wheel hoes and regular manual hoes. 

Alternatively, you can use a hand tiller like the Claw Pro made by Garden Weasel, which will dig into heavy soils. 

If you want to put some elbow grease into your yard, you can use a pickaxe or a mattock tiller.

Hand tillers are not suitable for big projects, but if you only want to make a couple of pots in your backyard, they are probably the most effective option. Hand tillers are pretty inexpensive, and while they take muscle power to use, they do the job nicely.

I also invite you to read our post about how to till a small garden without a tiller! Perfect if you have a small garden patch to work – but you don’t have the tools to spare.

The Verdict: What is the Best Garden Tiller?

So now we come to this question…

Which one of these garden tillers is the best to buy? Ultimately it is up to you how you want to make a garden patch!

But, here are my best tips for choosing the right electric tiller:

  • If you want a wide garden patch, you go with a tiller with a width of at least 11 inches. 
  • If a tiller has an adjustable width, then that’s even better. 
  • If depth concerns you, try to aim for a tiller that can dig at least 8 inches into the dirt. 
  • If power isn’t a factor to you? Then you will do fine with the smaller Sun Joe TJ600E or Greenworks tillers

As for me, I will stick with my little buddy tiller, the Sun Joe TJ600E, until further notice. I haven’t been disappointed by it yet, and it does the job it is supposed to do for my yard. 

How Much Dirt Will You Till?

Choosing the best garden tiller for you depends on how you envision your garden. How much dirt do you want to cut? Do you want a large majestic garden out front? Or do you want a small cute garden patch out back?

The yard is your canvas, and you are the artist.

Do you like to use electric tillers or gas tillers? What are your tips on how to use garden tillers? Let us know in the comment section below.

More on Landscaping and Gardening:

The 11 Best Gas & Electric Garden Tillers review and head to head comparison

Author

  • Steven Vitte

    Steven is a passionate gardener who loves to dig holes and take care of plants. If you need advice on how to shape your garden and what to add to it, give this guy a call. When he's not preoccupied with feeding a group of barn cats in his backyard, he can be seen planting flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables. Whether it's mowing lawns, trimming pesky weeds, or tilling garden patches, this guy can tell you the ins and outs of yard work at home.