Best Garden Tillers 2019 – Complete Buying Guide

Best Garden Tillers

All gardening enthusiasts will agree with the fact that preparing soil for a new garden or flowerbed is not a piece of cake. It can be super exhausting, no matter the size of your garden.

To make gardening less heavy, tillers can be lifesavers and time savers as well. They accomplish the task much easier due to its power and as a rule does  most of the work for you. Tiller is an invaluable tool for gardeners, as well as farmers.

In this article, we will help you find the best tillers out there, which will get the job done, in the best way possible. But before we jump to the products, we will tell you everything that you need to know about what kinds of tillers are there and what are the factors you should consider before buying one.

Types of Tillers

There are different types of tillers, all made for different purposes. Your decision to buy one, will entirely depend on what kind of work you want to do and the level of power you need.

  1. Cultivator Tiller:  Cultivators can do your tilling job just fine. They are lighter and affordable in comparison to most tillers, which can stir the soil well. If your garden is already made, and does not require a complete new ground, then cultivators might be a good option for you. Cultivators are generally easier to use than their tiller counterpart, as they come in electric models as well and are less heavy. If the gardening needs are not too extensive, cultivators can reduce considerable amount of work for you.
  2. Front-tine Tillers: These tillers are the ones with two tines present below its engine, in the front of it’s wheels. They are better than cultivators in terms of power. However, they are less powerful, as compare to other tillers. Front-tine tillers are more useful for gardens that have narrow rows, due to their design. Breaking a new ground is still hard with front-tine tillers but they have other uses such as weeding out rows, composting or soil mixing. They basically fall in middle category; more powerful and expensive than cultivators, but less powerful and less costly than rear-tine tillers.
  3. Rear-tine Tillers: If you are looking for a powerful kind of a tiller for breaking new ground, then rear-tine tiller is the tool for you. They are more powerful than cultivators and front-tine tillers, and will make your job easier if the soil you’re working on is tough. They come with the large wheels and have their tines at the back of it. Their tines can also be rotated in the different directions, such as counter-rotating or forward rotating.

Which Product is Best for You?

Now that you are familiar with the main types of tillers and their usage, it’s time to look at some products that you might want to buy. We have reviewed top products in each category, to make it easier for you to take the most appropriate decision.

Best Cultivators

Mantis Cultivator 7940

It is a powerful Honda 4 cycle cultivator which runs on gas only, with no fuel mixing required. It has 25cc engine which makes the tines spin much faster than the majority of tillers. It comes with a 5 year warranty, applicable to the machine including the engine. Its tines are very strong as they come with a lifetime warranty against breakage.  This cultivator is very lightweight and weighs just about 24 pounds. Its tines can run up to 240 RPM. It also has a finger controlled system for changing speed, which makes it easier to operate. The cultivator has a 9 inch width, which can help you in tilling tight spaces in your garden that a tiller with a bigger width would not get into. It has curvy tines which can till the ground 10 inches deep, or it can be used to till the surface only 2,3 inches deep. It also comes with a kickstand for placing it, when it is not in use. The cultivator can fold up, for easy storage and portability.

However, if you have a large piece of land for tilling then this cultivator might not be a good idea for you as its width is 9 inches and it will probably take you a lot of days to cover a large area.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 48 x 17 x 38
  • Item weight: 24 pounds
  • Item model number: 7940

Sun Joe TJ603E

It is a powerful 12 amp cultivator that is 16 inches wide and can till up to 8 inches deep in the soil. Its tines are made from steel, which are high in durability and provide good performance. Its handles are foldable which makes it convenient to store and carry. Its wheels can be adjusted in three different positions, and it comes with a 2 year warranty. The green color product can slice through the soil with ease, at the speed of 340 RPM, preparing it for plantation.

However, the product does not work super efficiently on hard soil.

Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 55 x 43 x 17
  • Item weight: 27.1 pounds
  • Item model number: TJ603E

Earthwise TC70016

This cultivator comes with an adjustable width from 11 inches to 16 inches and goes 8 inches deep. This means that it can be used in narrow spaces as well as large places. It comes with a power of 13.5 Amp cord and ergonomic handle which provides great comfort to the user. It has 6 tines made from steel, which ensure durability. The product is lightweight and easy to operate. It can also be stored easily.

Due to the lightweight, these cultivators often don’t till as deep as heavier ones could. It might not be suitable for hard soil.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 40 x 19 x 42
  • Item weight: 29 pounds
  • Item model number: TC70016
  • Warranty: 2 years

TrimmerPlus GC720

TrimmerPlus GC720 comes with four tines made from steel, along with 8 blades to help you make a good garden bed. It has an adjustable width of up to 9 inches and a poly guard to keep debris, dirt and dust away, so that it does not reach the operator. It can also be attached to trimmers, such as Remington or Troy-Bilt. It is perfect for small gardens, and is equipped with a die-cast gearbox.

However, it might not be a good option for you if you have a large piece of land.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 11 x 12.5 x 31
  • Item weight: 9 pounds
  • Item model number: GC720
  • Warranty: 2 years

Mantis XP 7990

Price: $599.00
Was: $639.95
Mantis XP is designed by Honda and has a powerful engine, which runs on gas only. It is a four-cycle 35cc engine which runs the tines with a great speed; much faster than its competitors. The product comes with a 5 year warranty, along with a lifetime warranty on tines. It is similar to its model 7940, but has extra width of 16 inches. The curvy tines can run 10 inches deep or can be turned around for a shallow 2 or 3 inches tilling as well. It is easy to operate as it has a finger controlled throttle.  With the kickstand, the tiller can be parked when not in use.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 48 x 18 x 36
  • Item weight: 34 pounds
  • Item model number: 7990

Best Front-tine Tillers

ImageNameCheck
Troy-Bilt Colt ReviewTroy-Bilt Colt
Earthquake 20015 Versa ReviewEarthquake 20015 Versa
Husqvarna FT900-CA ReviewHusqvarna FT900-CA
Maxim Mid Tine GX160Maxim Mid Tine GX160

Troy-Bilt Colt

This product is the answer to all your garden needs. The Colt equipped with a powerful 208cc OHV engine with 4 cycles. Its Bolo tines cut the soil with great ease. The curvy design of the tines helps them to dig and cut the soil at offset angles. It has a recoil starting system, which makes it super easy and totally hassle-free to bring the machine alive. This front-tine machine is designed for preparing soil and its width can be adjusted to 13, 22 and 24 inches. It can till up to 7 inches deep. It comes with a good hand grip; a plow handle can be folded, for convenience.

However, if you garden requires deeper tilling than 7 inches, then you might want to consider other options than this product.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 28.5 x 27.5 x 32.5
  • Item weight: 128 pounds
  • Item model number: 21B-34M8766

Earthquake 20015 Versa

It is a very versatile front-tine tiller which comes with removable outer tines. It can be converted into a cultivator, which makes it suitable for a wider range of the gardening tasks. It has easy maneuverability, as it is super convenient to control with very light weight. Earthquake 20015 gives a good grip to the ground due to the low center of gravity, which means that it is more stable than most tillers. It also has a smooth recoil start system.  It is a 4 cycle 99cc engine, with a tilling depth of 11 inches. The tilling width is adjustable to 11, 16 or 21 inches.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 51.2 x 35.5 x 24
  • Item weight: 85 pounds
  • Item model number: 20015
  • Warranty: 5 years

Husqvarna FT900-CA

Husqvarna FT900-CA is a front-tine tiller equipped with 208cc Briggs and Stratton engine. Its tilling width is adjustable to three sizes; 12, 24 and 26 inches. Here is used recoil pulling start system. Its depth is adjustable and it is CARB compliant.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 47.5 x 33.4 x 23.5
  • Item weight: 100 pounds
  • Item model number: 960830009

Rear-tine Tillers

ImageNameCheck Info
BCS GX340 ReviewBCS GX340
Southland SRTT196E ReviewSouthland SRTT196E
Poulan Pro Rear Tine Tiller ReviewPoulan Pro Rear Tine Tiller
Yard Machines Rear Tine Tiller ReviewYard Machines Rear Tine Tiller
Troy-Bilt Pony ESTroy-Bilt Pony ES

Southland SRTT196E

Southland SRTT196E rear tine tiller comes with 196cc four-cycle 9.6 FT OHV engine. With an 11 inches tine diameter and a 10 inches tilling depth, it provides the user with a good powerful gardening experience. It has a forward and reverse gear drive system. With its self sharpening counter rotating tines, you don’t have to remove the tines to sharpen them by yourself. It is equipped with pneumatic tires which are heavy duty 13 inches in size and provide great maneuverability over an uneven terrain. The portability and durability of the product is recommendable. The tilling depth of this product is 10 inches and a fixed width of 18 inches. It is EPA certified.

Most tillers provide adjustable widths for versatility, however, this tiller comes with a fixed 18 inches width.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 40 x 120 x 18
  • Item weight: 176 pounds
  • Item model number: SRTT196E
  • Warranty: 2 years

Poulan Pro Rear Tine Tiller

Poulan Pro 960920037 is a rear tine tiller which features 13 inches counter-rotating tines. It is easy to operate and suitable for small or large jobs. It can cultivate hard soil as it has a powerful engine.  Forward and reverse operation is possible in this machine through heavy duty chain drive transmission. Its design makes it very easy for the tines to move forwards and backwards effortlessly. Another cool feature is that it has a split loop adjustable handle which can be raised or lowered according to ones need and can be operated single-handedly from either right or left side of the tiller. It has a LCT OHV engine.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 48 x 23.5 x 32.9
  • Item weight: 240 pounds
  • Item model number: 960920037
  • Warranty: 2 years

Troy-Bilt Pony ES

Troy-Bilt Pony ES rear tine tiller is equipped with a powerful engine of Briggs and Stratton, 250cc 1150 Series. This engine makes this product one of the best choices for tilling hard soil, as it provides the user with the right amount of power to get the work done. It has an electric start system, which is convenient for the user. It comes equipped with a 16 inches tilling width, a good 12 inches diameter, along with an adjustable tilling depth of up to 7 inches. The tires of the machine are 13 inches in size and protective front bumper is included in the design as well. It uses gas as fuel and is a forward rotating tiller.

Specifications:

  • Product dimensions: 62 x 23 x 30
  • Item weight: 200 pounds
  • Item model number: 21AE492K766

Before Making a Final Choice:

With so many models available, from so many leading brands which produce tillers, it might be hard to make ONE best choice. We can help you make a checklist of all the factors that you might need to consider before making a final choice. If your products check all the points, you’ll know that you’re making a decision that you won’t regret!

    • Use: whether you want to use it on your small home garden, or big piece of land, such as a farmhouse.
    • Soil: whether the soil is hard, or soft. Soft and loose soil is easier to cut and dig, and the job can be done by a cultivator. But if the soil is hard, you might need a rear tine tiller to help you prepare the ground.

Power source: whether the tiller uses gas, or electricity to operate. Electric tillers are mostly less costly but they are usually less powerful than gas ones. Electric tillers are also lightweight but they have to be plugged in with a cord which can limit the area you want to be covered.

  • Cost: tillers with higher power are generally expensive than most cultivators with low power.
  • Storage: smaller tillers are easier to store, when not in use. Large rear tine tillers can become difficult to store as they often don’t fold or come with a kickstand.
  • Weight: lightweight tillers often bounce off, if the soil is hard. But they are also easier to manage and carry.
  • Safety: tillers that are complicated in their design must be dealt with care by reading instructions carefully.
  • Maintenance: cleaning of the tillers for their longer use is also important.
  • Look for Extra Features: extra features such as good handles, folding handles, and protective bumpers often make a machine user-friendly. For example, an electric start system is quite easy for a user, as compare to gas startups.
  • Tine Rotation: there are four different kinds of tine rotations available in rear-tine tillers; Standard rotating tines (SRT), Counter rotating tines (CRT), Dual rotating tines (DRT) and Vertical dual rotating tines (VDRT).

SRT: rotates in the same direction of the wheels and is a good option for tilling 5 inches in depth.

CRT: it rotates away from the wheels and is a little more powerful. They can be used for tougher soil, with clay in it.

DRT: has both options mentioned above.

VDRT: this rear tine it is quieter than others because it tills downwards and then turns, which also makes it more efficient.

For any of these tine rotations to work properly, you need to know the type of soil you are going to work on.

Conclusion

Not just any tiller will do the job for you, but you’ll need a tiller that fulfills your specific needs, keep in mind all the factors that are discussed above. It is wiser to research all the products that are available on the market, and check for reviews as well. Products with warranties are often a priority when it comes to buying machines, as they are subject to faults in manufacturing. Your decision of which tiller to buy, will entirely depend upon the size of the garden, the kind of soil, and your personal preferences of how much power you need in your machine. Last but not the least; it will also depend upon the cost of the product. Some brands are expensive than others, which might be due to their goodwill and security. The brands from which these above mentioned products are reviewed, all guarantee quality, and are leading the market with high customer satisfaction.

If you buy the right tiller, it can make your gardening experience great; can save you a lot of hard work, energy and time, while also keeping your garden maintained and beautiful.

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