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9 Best Garden Tillers for Any Type of Soil – Buying Guide & Reviews

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When looking into buying a tiller for your yard and your garden, you will want to make sure that you have bought the very best tiller. By taking the time and effort to thoroughly research the tillers that are currently available on the market, you will be sure that you have the tiller that will best meet your needs and your goals for both your yard and the garden. During your research, there are a number of features about the tiller that you will want to look into and study in depth to make sure that you are getting everything that you will need.

Our pick

THE BEST TILLER

VonHaus Electric Garden Tiller

Beyond handling ground that has not been previously worked, it can also easily handle rocky ground without damaging the tines or causing any damage to the tiller. It can also easily be used in smaller flower beds or in raised gardens

Choosing the Right Tillers

Buying the right tiller depends upon knowing what features are among the most important in your potential tiller. Here are some of the factors to consider when purchasing tillers:

Size

The first thing that you must be aware of is what size tiller you are going to need. To determine this, you will want to measure out the area that you plan on using the tiller on. Smaller areas may only need a mini tiller while a larger area would benefit from a 5 or 6 horsepower tiller (or even higher for areas that will be more than 5,000 square feet). For major projects or industrial projects, there are tillers that offer even greater horsepower that should be considered.

Type of Soil

You should also be aware of what kind of soil you will be working with. If there are a lot of rocks or if the soil is very hard, the tiller should be bigger and heavier. Checking to make sure that the tiller you are interested in can handle rocks or hard soil is extremely important if you do not want to waste your time and your money. If your soil is very soft and there is not likely to be a lot of issues with rocks, a smaller or lightweight tiller could potentially do the job without any concerns or issues about the durability. Once you have this information gathered, you should move onto looking into the tines or the blades.

Tines

There are three different types of tines to choose from and they each serve different purposes to those looking to purchase a tiller. If you are needing a tiller that will work properly for deep tilling, one with bolo tines would be the best choice. Slasher tines are the appropriate choice if you know that you will have to chop a lot of roots or weeds. The final tine choice is the pick and chisel tines. These are the tines of choice for dealing with rocky soil and will often handle unknown soil types very well.

Beyond the type of tines that you will be working with, there are also different ways in which the tines move and each offers you a different type of benefit. If the tines move in a counter rotating manner, that means that they move in the opposite direction of the wheels. These are an excellent choice for breaking in new ground or dealing with either hard packed ground or clay. Tines that are forward rotating will move in the same direction as the wheels. These tillers are the most common choice and are perfect if you do not have any specific concerns.

It is also important to know whether or not you want your tiller to compact the soil after you have tilled the soil. If you do not want the soil to be compacted, a rear tined tiller would be the best option. This would till the soil and then continue on while a front tined tiller would compact the soil after it tills the soil.

Engine

The tines are only one small part of the package with regards to what makes a good tiller. The engine is another part that is important when investigating potential tillers. There are two types of engines. These are a gas powered engine and an electric engine. Which tiller you choose will depend entirely upon your personal choices and where you will use the tiller. If a cord will be impractical, a gas powered tiller would be the better choice. It is also important to look at where the engine is located. If the motor is located over the tines, you will get the best results for digging.

Looking into all of these areas will help you determine which tiller is the best for your individual situation and what you are expecting out of the tiller that you will be buying. You need to have an idea about the location of where you will use the tiller as well as the type of area in which you will be using the tiller. Knowing this information will help you make the best decision about which tiller you will go with.

Best Tiller on the Market

1. Earthwise 11-inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller

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The Earthwise 11-inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller is a compact design that offers the user many features within a well-designed model. The tiller has several features that make it desirable for many people. These features include:

  • This tiller is easily moved by anyone due to the flip down wheels.
  • The design of the grip was designed to make this tiller easy to handle by any user.
  • There is no need to mix fuel and oil.

While there are many positive features included with this particular tiller, there are some things that are not as good. Each of these negative features should be considered carefully before purchase and include:

  • If the area has hard soil, you may have to go over the area multiple times before you get the result that you want.
  • On some occasions, the tiller will buck which can make it hard to handle for some people.
  • The tines will occasionally get tangled. The only real way to handle this is to turn off the tiller and clear out the tines.

2. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

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Another tiller that is a good choice is the Sun Joe TJ603E 16-inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller. There are several reasons that this particular tiller is a good choice. These reasons include the following:

  • There is a collapsible handle which makes the tiller easy to store.
  • If your ground has a lot of rocks, this tiller can easily handle rocks without damage to the tines.
  • You do not have to mix oil and gas.

Despite how many positive features there are on this Sun Joe tiller, there are several areas that could be improved upon. These areas that you should be aware of include:

  • If you will have to till ground that is hard or clay, be prepared for a workout. The tiller does not handle these conditions easily.
  • The fact that this tiller is lightweight means that it is prone to bouncing.
  • This tiller only has one speed so there are no options for slowing the blades down.

3. Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator with 43cc 2-Cycle Viper Engine

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For a smaller tiller, the Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator with 43cc 2-Cycle Viper Engine is a good choice. Despite its smaller size, it has a lot of positive features that makes it a good choice for many different situations. The positive features on this Earthquake include:

  • Despite its small size, it is fairly stable when it hits rocks or other obstructions.
  • No matter how big or small you may be, this tiller is easy to start and to use.
  • The small and compact size makes it ideal to use in any situation, whether that is a flower bed or a larger garden.

As would be expected from a smaller tiller, there are several disadvantages. These disadvantages include:

  • The tiller will have to be stopped to clear out both rocks and roots that get caught in the tines.
  • If the ground has not been tilled before, you are going to have to backtrack and go over the area again.
  • It is not a good idea to store this tiller with gasoline in it. There is a decent chance that the tiller will not start.

4. Greenworks 27072 8-Amp Corded Tiller

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Many people search for a corded tiller that works well. The Greenworks 27072 8-Amp Corded Tiller meets many people’s expectations for what it can produce. The best parts of this tiller include:

  • This tiller can chop up roots which makes them easy to pull out of your garden area.
  • Starting this tiller is very easy due to the electric on switch.
  • The tiller is lightweight which makes it ideal for those who have problems using heavier tillers.

While there are many good reasons to use this tiller, there are a few drawbacks. These drawbacks include the following:

  • Hitting stones (especially larger stones) can damage or bend the tines.
  • There is only one speed which can be a drawback if you are needing a slower speed.
  • This particular tiller has problems working with sod which can impact the overall effectiveness.

5. Mantis Tiller (2 Cycle Gas #7920)

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One of the most famous tillers is the Mantis Tiller (2 Cycle Gas #7920). It has developed a reputation for being one of the top tillers on the market. Some of the reasons that it is so well thought of include:

  • The tiller is easy to start up and can be done by nearly anyone without difficulty.
  • The weight of this tiller is one of the lowest currently available on the market which makes it ideal for those who struggle with heavier tillers.
  • This tiller can be used to do precision weeding while also doing its job as a tiller.

There are many reasons that this tiller is chosen by so many people, there are several reasons that it is not a good choice for everyone. These reasons include:

  • This is not a good tiller to use on new ground due to the fact that it often jumps around and will not till like expected.
  • If your ground is hard, you may have to make multiple passes to get the final result that you are looking for.
  • There are occasions where some materials (such as roots) can get tangled in the tines and the tiller would have to be shut off while you got these materials out of the tines.

6. Troy-Bilt TB146 EC 29cc 4-Cycle Cultivator with JumpStart Technology

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Finding a tiller that can handle some of the tougher conditions without being extremely bulky can be difficult. Luckily the Troy-Bilt TB146 EC 29cc 4-Cycle Cultivator with JumpStart Technology fits this description very well. Some of its best features include:

  • This tiller can easily handle well compacted soil without any difficulty.
  • The tiller is easy to handle even if you have physical limitations such as back problems or similar issues.
  • Weeds are handled with ease and do not pose any issue to the tiller.

While this tiller has many positive qualities, there are still a few areas of concern for those who may be interested in using this tiller. These areas include:

  • The material that the tiller is made out of is the not the highest quality and may give some issue depending on the use.
  • Starting up the tiller may be awkward due to the fact that the pull cord is located towards the front.
  • The air filter cover vibrates during use and often comes open.

7. Husqvarna FT900-CA Adjustable Width Front Tine Tiller

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Some people prefer that their tiller be a little bit more hardy and durable. The Husqvarna FT900-CA Adjustable Width Front Tine Tiller is an excellent choice for this. There are many features that make it a great choice including:

  • This tiller can easily till leaves into your garden without any problems or issues.
  • Hard clay soil does not slow down this tiller or give it any difficulties with tilling.
  • The set up is very straightforward and is not complicated for anyone.

Even with all of these great features, there are a few things to watch out for. These potential issues include:

  • This is not the greatest tiller to use if you intend to break new ground. It has some difficulties with this chore.
  • In more heavily vegetated areas, you may be required to do a second pass.
  • This tiller is something that you will need to be in decent shape to use without difficulty.

8. Black+Decker LGC120 20-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Garden Cultivator/Tiller

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For those people who are wanting a tiller that is easy to handle and is ideal for quick jobs, the Black+Decker LGC120 20-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Garden Cultivator/Tiller is the perfect tool. This tiller has several amazing features, including:

  • This tiller works very well in small gardens and in flower beds.
  • It handles like a weed eater and is very well balanced with a decent weight distribution.
  • The tiller can be used to mix in compost into your soil.

While there are many great qualities to this tiller, there are some important downsides that must be taken into account. These negative aspects include:

  • A single charge will only last about 45 minutes to an hour at the very most.
  • This is a tiller that does not do well when working with dry or hard soil.
  • The tiller does not go very deep into the ground. On average, this tiller can be expected to easily handle about 2 to 3 inches.

9. VonHaus 12.5 Inch 7 Amp Electric Garden Tiller and Cultivator

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Some tillers were designed with endurance in mind. The VonHaus 12.5 Inch 7 Amp Electric Garden Tiller and Cultivator is one of those tillers. This tiller offers many benefits such as:

  • The handles can be adjusted to work in raised beds or on the ground which makes the work much easier to handle.
  • Larger rocks are pulled to the surface without difficulty and without damaging the tines.
  • This tiller can easily dethatch your yard or prepare a new garden area with no problem.

The drawbacks of using this particular tiller seem relatively minor but should still be looked at carefully before making a final purchase decision. These drawbacks include:

  • When first using, the tiller can bounce around slightly until it digs into the earth.
  • Tall weeds can become wrapped around the tines and will have to be removed.
  • This tiller is not ideal for major projects or anything that would be considered an industrial project.

Conclusion: Our Top Pick

While each of these tillers have their own uses and are appropriate for various situations, the VonHaus 12.5 Inch 7 Amp Electric Garden Tiller and Cultivator is among the best. This is a tiller that can handle new projects such as setting up a new garden area without any difficulty.

Our pick

THE BEST TILLER

VonHaus Electric Garden Tiller

Beyond handling ground that has not been previously worked, it can also easily handle rocky ground without damaging the tines or causing any damage to the tiller. It can also easily be used in smaller flower beds or in raised gardens

The VonHaus tiller is also ideal for working on many different sizes of projects. If you are needing something that can handle a relatively large vegetable garden, this tiller can also do that without difficulty. It will dig deep into the earth and can easily go down at least seven inches without slowing down or having trouble.

Ultimately, the final decision will depend largely upon your personal needs and desires. The VonHaus can easily handle most jobs but it should be remembered that it is an electric tiller which may not be what you need. Tillers can make the job of preparing your garden much easier and has the potential to turn a project that could take days into something that can be finished within a few hours. That is why taking your time and choosing the right tiller for you is so important.

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