7 Best Garden Tillers – Front & Rear Tine Tillers

Best Garden Tillers

Being new to gardening or you having never used a garden tiller before, you probably are wondering what a garden tiller is. Well, garden tillers are used to break the soil as you work your garden. They do this by splicing through the soil and turning the soil over. As they turn over the soil, they break up the hardened soil and create loose soil which is perfect for the growth of the plants you intend to grow. They take away a lot of hard work of preparing the soil for planting. In an hour, you will without a doubt get more down than with your traditional fork and shovel.

Structure wise, these units resemble lawn mowers. You can pull or push them and the tines included will slice the earth and turn it over. They can be powered by engines that either run on gas or electricity.

7 Best Garden Tillers - Reviews

#1. Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller and Cultivator 

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller and Cultivator

Sure there are some notable differences between tillers and cultivators. But the Earthwise TC70001 seems to fall in both categories. With a motor sporting an 8.5-Amp rating, you most definitely will have the power you are looking for. This power is complimented with a cutting width of 11 inches and an 8-inch depth capacity. As for the weight, the unit weighs just 25 pounds which is good enough to provide good balance.

This unit comes with a basic pair of tines (4 blades) made of steel. These tines are designed to be used on modest gardens though the unit can still be used on a hard earth. Those who have used the unit before are constantly raving of the ease in which the product churns through the heavily weeded ground and with great speed as well.

Being an electric model, you do not have to tire yourself from pulling on a lever to start the unit. A simple press of a start button will do the trick. The unit is also relatively quiet and has a handle that is padded for improved comfort. And in the event, you let go of the handles while at work, the unit stops.


  • Lightweight weighing only 25 pounds ensuring you use minimal effort to push
  • Easy to maneuver courtesy of the adjustable wheels
  • Easy start since its features a push to start button
  • Powerful motor at 8.5 Amps which uses 120 Volts


  • Does not till hard ground with ease and perfection though it does
  • Some individuals claim the unit overheats and needs timeouts in the middle of tilling to cool down

Who Should Buy

Owners of a mid-sized garden looking to till and cultivate will find their perfect match in this unit. The fact that it is designed to do both jobs will work to your advantage.

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

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amps Electric Tiller and Cultivator

The Sun Joe TJ603E is one of the most powerful electric tillers and cultivator available on the market. The unit comes with a 12-Amp electric motor that was designed specifically for the hard beds that you have not gotten to tilling before. Without spending extra dollars on oil and gas, you will get a motor that has the same performance levels of high-end engines that till the solid ground.

The unit comes with 6 angled tines made from steel for durability and strength purposes. They are designed to be in an angle for effectiveness. These steel tines can cut an impressive 16 inches wide and go 8 inches into the ground. The tines work at a speed of 340 RPM which makes this unit great to cut weeds, aerate the soil as well as mix the hard dirt.

This unit has been made with rear wheels which make it easy to tip the tiller and roll it around when the need arises. The wheels have been made to be adjustable in 3 different positions to provide the unit with flexibility. The wheels also serve to make the Sun Joe TJ603E portable.


  • No maintenance needed since the unit runs on an electric engine
  • Can handle rough ground courtesy of the 12 Amps engine it runs on
  • The rear wheels make it easy to store and transport


  • Being an electric unit, the cord just might get in the way which can be very annoying

Who Should Buy?

The Sun Joe TJ603E is both a cultivator and a tiller. It is best suited for people who need to work on the rocky and hard ground. The 12 Amps motor is powerful enough to work through the small rocks on the soil.

#3. Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator Tiller

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator Tiller

The Earthquake MC43 has been designed to be highly effective at the work that it does. The unit achieves the desired level of effectiveness courtesy of the 2 cycle, 43 cc Viper engine that it sports. The engine is designed to use both gas and oil simultaneously. The engine turns the tines at a speed of 250 RPM and as such, the unit is more than able to loosen the soil, mix up the soil and fertilizer and tear up weeds on its way.

This unit provides you with the option of a 10-inch or 6-inch tilling width. With this choice, you have the flexibility to make a judgment call depending on the size of your garden. If you have some of your seeds germinating already, you might want to use the narrow width so as not to cut through your plants accidentally. The power from the engine is also enough to aerate the soil as well as get rid of all weeds in your garden at one go.

The Earthquake MC43 comes with wheels which have been designed to make transportation of the unit easier as well as to control the depth that the unit cuts. Adjusting the wheels helps you to adjust the cutting depth as well as make them easier and smoother to roll.


  • Adjustable cutting depth thus providing you with more options for the type of plants you plant
  • Lightweight thus easy to maneuver. You will not need to put in all your strength to till the ground
  • Comes with 2.6 ounces of oil to start you on the tilling immediately


  • Tends to be loud and is not exactly environmentally friendly. The 2 cycle engine produces a lot of noise and also expels a lot of exhaust

Who Should Buy?

Individuals who are looking to perform multiple gardening tasks all at once like weeding and soil aeration should consider this unit. Being a cultivator and not a tiller, this unit will prove to come in real handy during these tasks.

#4. GreenWorks 27072 8-Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

GreenWorks 27072 8-Amps 10-Inch Corded Tiller

This unit comes with a clean and powerful engine that makes weeding and digging an easy task. The engine runs a powerful 8 Amps motor that features an electric start. The fact that GreenWorks 27072 is an electric unit means that you do not have to worry about running out of gas, oil or any of the annoying recoils that gas tillers have. With the powerful 8 Amps motor, you will get to work on the hardened soil and tough weeds.

The motor provides power to 4 tines each measuring 8 inches each. These tines are designed to rotate forward. Many tillers on the market work with only 2 tines. As such, with 4 tines you will till the ground faster and ease. The tines feature adjustable depth and width between 8.25 to 10 inches and a depth of up to 5 inches.

The unit has a lift handle that can fold up. With this feature, you get to carry the unit around and then when you are done fold it up again for storage. This will help save you on space and also makes the unit highly portable.


  • Lightweight weighing only 32 pounds. With this unit, you will not tire out fast
  • Adjustable depth and width provides you with more plot options
  • Can handle tough ground courtesy of the powerful 8 Amps motor


  • Being an electric unit, the tiller has a cord which can get in the way when you are busy at work. The cord can be very annoying.

Who Should Buy?

This unit is perfect for those individuals who have small pots and gardens to till. But also, the unit is great for midsized gardens since it features an adjustable depth and width (10 inches).

#5. Mantis 7920 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Mantis 7920 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator

Mantis, the manufacturing company, likes to market this unit as one of the lightest unit weighing only 20 pounds. And true to their word, the unit actually is one of the lightest if not the lightest there is. In addition to being lightweight, the unit has been designed to be of great quality, and powerful enough to till greenhouse quality soil.

When the unit is fully assembled, it stands at an impressive 53 inches from one end to the next while measuring 15.5 inches wide and 19 inches tall. The handles to this unit have been designed to fold down for easier storage. The folding design reduces the length to 30 inches.

As for the engine, the unit features a 2 stroke 21.2 cc model and is listed as an OEM engine. This engine design and construction supports the use of both gas and oil at the same time. The fuel tank, on the other hand, can hold up to 0.14 gallon and is in a translucent compartment which makes it easy to detect when you are running low on fuel. However, a full tank should get you about 1.5 hours of tilling your garden. Speaking of tilling, this unit has about 10 inches of digging depth and 9 inches in tilling width.


  • Small size which is perfect when tilling ground in tight spaces
  • Lightweight at just 20 pounds. Best of all units available on the market
  • Easy to maneuver courtesy of its lightweight and compact design


  • Engine may be a pain to start since it requires you to pull
  • May prove difficult to work compacted soil since the engine is not as powerful
  • Oil and gas blending required. This needs to be done according to instructions and before you get to working on your garden

Who Should Buy?

Owning a small garden and are running low on storage space, you should prefer this unit. This Mantis has been designed to be small and compact and even better, foldable thus taking up very little space.

#6. Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator

SunJoe is one of the best companies in the market. They have been around for the longest time and excel in terms of quality and performance. Sun Joe TJ599E is best used on flower beds and small gardens.

The Sun Joe TJ599E is simple, compact and in all manner of ways functional. In addition to this, the unit features a powerful motor that helps to get the job done in your small garden. The motor is rated at 2.5 Amps. For a unit its size, the power is impressive.

The blades on this unit have been made from steel. This guarantees you that the blades are strong and that they will last for a longer time. Being made of steel also means that the blades are resistant to rust. The blades can till 6.3 inches wide and up to 6 inches deep.

The unit features an ergonomic design for its handle. The handle ensures that you work for prolonged periods without getting tired or getting aches as a result of taking up uncomfortable postures as you till your garden. The unit also features a telescoping shaft which is adjustable for added convenience.

Last but not least, the unit comes fully approved by ETL and has a 2-year warranty which acts as a back up to the quality the company claims the unit to have.


  • Compact making the unit easy to store even when you are low on space
  • Ergonomic handles which provide you with comfort while you are busy at work
  • Steel blades increase strength of the unit as well as durability


  • The 2.5 Amps motor is not powerful enough to till hard ground

Who Should Buy?

If you intend to work in a flower bed or a small garden, then the Sun Joe TJ599E is perfect for you. Also, if you are a sucker for products that have been approved by relevant bodies in the industry for safety and quality, this unit is also perfect for you.

#7. Mantis 7940 4-cycle Tiller Cultivator 

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Mantis 7940 4-cycle Tiller Cultivator

Mantis 7940 features a highly powerful Honda 4-cycle 25 cc engine that spins the tines twice as fast as other units available on the market. The engine to this unit unlike it is the case with other units runs on gas only. The unit does not require a blend of oil and gas to run. Given that Mantis 7940 features a 4 cycle engine, the performance is exemplary in that the unit is quiet and has better fuel consumption that most units.

Mantis 7940 features uniquely designed tines that can be used to till up to 10 inches deep or if you please, you can have the unit till just 2-3 inches of soil. They are made of steel and thus are durable and quite strong.

The fact that the Mantis 7940 is compact, at only 9 inches, makes it very easy for you to till even in tight spaces where the larger bodied units cannot get to. In addition to the compact size is the light weight nature of the unit. At only 24 pounds you will be able to move the unit around.

As for additional features, the unit comes with a kickstand to provide a steady placement when the unit is not in use and to fuel easily. Also, you should not that the Mantis 7940 fold making it easy to store as well as transport.


  • Compact and light making the unit easy to use
  • Powerful with a 4 cycle 25 cc engine that runs quietly
  • 5 years warranty complimenting the quality of the unit


  • Difficult to operate on rocky soil

Who Should Buy?

If you are on the market for a product that will perform a host of tasks for you, not just a cultivator and tiller combo, but a unit that is versatile, this Mantis is perfect. With different attachments, designed to make the unit useful on lawns and gardens, you will be pleased with how well this unit works.

Types of Garden Tillers

When you start shopping for a garden tiller, you will realize that there are many types of garden tillers available. They may be overwhelming to just look at if you do not have a clue what you are looking at. Below are the two types of garden tillers available.

#1. Electric Tiller

Electric tillers are perfect to be used on small gardens. They have been designed to work with electricity and as such you will never have to worry about running out of gas. You will, however, be limited to locations with power outlets, though there are those that come with longer power cords you still will be limited to a given radius.

Electric tillers also have inferior power compared to gas powered tillers. With small gardens, however, this is not a problem that can make you lack sleep at night. On the flip side, when it comes to starting these units, they prove to be easier since there is no cord that needs to be pulled as opposed to gas tillers. They also are cheaper to maintain.

#2. Gas Tiller

Gas tillers, come packing a punch. If you have a large garden to till, these are the units you need to have working for you. As stated above, they are far more powerful than electric tillers and they are able to handle rocks, weeds and compact soil with such finesse and ease.

But as you would expect, all this power come at a price. In addition to this, the unit proves to be slightly more difficult to push around. You will feel like you have just come from working out and as such, you should be well prepared to break a sweat. These units also come with a whole lot of maintenance and require you to know your mechanics.

Read More: 7 Best Mini Tillers

Styles of Garden Tillers

Garden Tillers

Types and styles of Garden tillers are two different things. Garden tillers come in two styles which include rear tine and front tine. The style you decide to purchase should depend on what you intend to use the tiller for.

#1. Front Tine Tiller

There are perfect for working on the large garden and to break soft ground. They have been designed with rear wheels which allow the unit to be reversed and turned with ease thus increasing maneuverability. They are perfect to be used to dig some small to medium sized gardens and loosening the group as well as breaking hard ground.

#2. Rear Tine Tiller

These styles allow you to leverage the machine weight in order to get more power. Generally, they are large and are as such, far less maneuverable. They are ideal for creating loose soil and working on large tracts of land.

Cultivator vs. Tiller

No doubt, cultivators, and tillers are useful machines to have in your home. While the two are important, there are certain circumstances where one would prefer either one of them courtesy of their difference in features and application. While tilling a 100 square feet garden, a cultivator is best since the unit can break the soil before you plant and even after the plants have grown to help get rid of the weeds.

Tillers use a slightly different mechanism and could very well uproot the seedlings. If you however are working on a large garden and you intend to till even when the seeds have germinated, you best have both units.


When purchasing a garden tiller, you will struggle with not knowing what to be on the lookout for. However, with this guide and product reviews, you are now in the know and are better equipped to make a decision that is best for you.

Buying a tiller is a big investment you cannot afford to go wrong on. And while the information provided in this guide might be overwhelming for some, it will most definitely make your gardening easier not to mention give you more productive and rewarding results.

Resource: tillersdirect.comtractorsupply.com

Last Updated on January 19, 2019 by

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Tom Bradly

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise. See more at TomBradly.com

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