If you have a garden, then you probably would already be aware of tilling. If you are not then let me explain, tilling is breaking up the clods and lifting the soil so that plants can have aerated roots and have a nutrient-rich growth.
A lot of people get confused between a cultivator and a tiller. A cultivator is used for small areas like flower beds while the Tiller also known as rototiller is meant for a big one.
They are powered by electricity, gas, and petrol depending on what model you have bought. There are also manual tillers as well which are not machine powered; they take a lot of effort and workforce. You can also adjust the depth of tiller according to the requirements.
Honda is one of the best brands when it comes to garden tillers, though we’ll cover some other brands as well in detail. There are also garden tiller rental service provider nowadays that gives you more freedom and everything is taken care of by the company only.
When it comes to tractor supply and alternatives, then there are other options available as well. But, here in this article, we’ll talk about buying the guide, parts like battery, blades, belts, gearbox, and DIY as well.
Types of Garden Tillers
When it comes to the working of the ground tillers, there are two types of tillers. Front Tine Tillers and Rear Tine Tillers while on the basis of the power source, the tillers could be electric, gas and petrol ones.
When you are dealing with a small size garden where the soil is not very solid, but it’s medium in terms of firmness, then Front-Tine tillers are the best options. Husqvarna is one of the most popular brands when it comes to front tillers.
In this case, the wheels are on the rear side and blades are at the front. If you never used a tiller or cultivator before then, you will feel more comfortable using this one than the rear tiller. These tillers are also smaller in size comparatively, and you can easily store them in small places.
This is meant for larger area, and here you get more power and torque in the blades. This one can break the rocky ground as well. Husqvarna TR 430 petrol tiller could be the right choice in this regard. They are heavier in size, and you’ll need the expertise to handle them. If you are a beginner, then it’s highly recommended to read the manual or have someone who can tell you how to use the rear tine tiller. When it costs, they are also bit costly as well.
Difference between Tiller and Cultivator
Don’t get mistaken for tiller as a cultivator. They both have completely different uses. The sole purpose of the garden tiller is to break the hard soil into small pieces so that it can become more aereated while Cultivator is used for mixing and stirring up the already loose soil.
Some people try to use the cultivator for tiller purpose, but that’s not right. Tiller mix the compost and fertilizers so that you have even ground with more fine soil. Most of the companies which make the tiller have also produced the cultivators as well.
Things to keep in mind before buying a Ground Tiller
This is a very important section; here we’ll talk about some of the important things that you have to keep in mind before buying a ground tiller.
This is one of the most important aspects that you should consider before buying a ground tiller. As they are a very powerful tool, a silly mistake and things can go wrong. Check the safety rating of the machine before you make the purchase. Also make sure that you have all the required accessories like long pants, boots, earplugs and safety glasses. Also, read the instructions carefully so that you know how to use them.
If you have a garden then use of tillers is required every once in a while. So, long durable life is very important. There are certain guidelines that you have to follow when it comes to the maintenance of the product. Though, they are very sturdy and last for years without any glitch. Below are some of the important points that you can do for its longer life.
Store the tiller at the appropriate place, away from humidity and moist which can cause rusting on the blades.
Sharpening and cleaning of tines are also very important to maintain its proper performance.
You also get some advanced features with some high-end tillers that makes the process easier and you feel more comfortable using it. Check, what is the forward and reverse speed do we have. The multiple speed options let you control the tiller at your disposal. The gas starter can be tricky sometimes, so check do you have an electric starter in your machine or not. Few tillers come with an adjustable handle which lets you move the tine up-down, left-right which ultimately gives you more control. Keep in mind that these extra features will also increase the cost of the tiller. More price you pay, the better quality you will get, so choose the one that suits your requirements.
Storage & Size
You need to store this equipment somewhere. So, cross check that you have enough space to store them. If you don’t have much space available, then go with the smaller unit, or you have the garage of your own then you can go with the larger and heavier end. When it comes to weight, there are very lightweight and heavyweight, both the options available. For commercial use, you can go with a bigger size if you want for personal use then you can go with the smaller size as well.
Ease of Use
If you never used the tiller before then, this is one of the main factors that you have to consider. As using the tiller could be tricky at the starting, so choose the one which you can handle comfortably. You also can choose between the cord and cordless ones, though the latter one gives you the more freedom to use it. Gas ones have high maintenance, heavier and require more expertise to handle it. Then, you also have the option of 2 cycles and 4 cycles. Four cycles one is comparatively better as in this case you don’t have to worry about mixing gas and oil. Also, make sure that it has an electric starter so that you can have glitch free quick electric start. The power requirement of the tiller depends upon what purpose you are going to use. If you are using it for small personal use, then you can go with the beginner level, or if you want to break the rocky soil, then you can go with the more powerful option.
Checking the soil type is very important before you make your decision for the tiller. You should have an idea about the soil in your garden. If the ground is completely solid and hard, then you have to buy the high-end extra power rototiller, and if it’s not hard enough, then you can go with some beginner level tiller as well. If the soil is very rocky, then you might have to use the special type of chise tine as well to break it up. Though there is no thumb rule as such to judge the soil hardness, so here you have to do little research and your common sense so that you can find the best solution for your garden.
Size of the garden is also a very important factor like a type of soil. If it’s very big then better to go with the cordless version as you have to cover a very large area. But, if the garden is small, then you can go with a beginner type tiller as well, something which is cheap and cost around 300-400 dollars. In case you buy the small tiller for your large garden, then, things are going to be a bit hectic for you. As you will have less power and you have to spend a lot of time tilling it.
When it comes to the power source, you get multiple options that include electricity, gas, and petrol. Most of the bigger garden tillers have gas power while the smaller ones have electric power then you also have the cordless battery powered and cord options. The cordless ones provide you the long range of use. Electric tillers are cheaper than the gas ones and also very affordable at the same time. But, Gas tillers are always the best choice as you get more power and the whole garden can be taken care in less time. So, if you can spend some extra bucks, then gas tillers are one of the best and efficient options that you can go for.
What is the budget decides what kind of tiller, you are going to get? If the soil is not that hard and you think, cultivator can handle everything; then you can go with 100 to 200 dollars cultivator. Front tine tillers start at the range of $300-$550 while rear tine tillers can cost from $500-$3,000. If you are going for the advanced features, then the price can increase significantly. You can go with multiple tine options where you can control the rotational speed.
Top 10 Ground Tillers
In this section, we’ll talk about the top 10 garden tiller that you can buy in 2019. We’ll cover all different varieties and price range.
1- Mantis Tiller 7250
Mantis 7250 is one of the best and value for money tiller that you can buy in 2019. It works on electric motors, and you can easily take care of your small garden with this. When it comes to weight, it only weighs 21 pounds which makes it quite portable as well. Its compact design makes the storage of the tiller bit convenient as well. It costs around $400 dollars, and it has also received a very good rating online. I would say hands down, if you are looking for best front tine tiller, this could be the best choice for you. It has 540w motor and three-speed options. The tilling depth and width that you get around 9 and 10 inches respectively.
You also get reversible tine option that allows you to have shallow cultivation.
It comes with five years of warranty which clearly shows its durable and sturdy build quality.
The foldable design of the tiller makes it more compact, and you can easily store it at small available space.
As it is very lightweight, the controlling and maneuvering is very simple and easy. You can also easily transport it from one place to another.
As the width of blades is 10inches which makes the handling of a larger garden bit difficult. I would say that it is the best solution for the small sized garden.
2- Husqvarna FT900-CA
This is the second tiller in our top list of garden tillers. It is suitable for a larger area as it is powerful and comes with 208cc Briggs & Stratton engine. You can also adjust the tine width over here from 12inches to 26inches. This is also a front tine tiller and also CARB compliant as well. When it comes to weight, it weighs around 100 pounds. There is also an option for drag bar and counterweight. The working depth is 6.5inches and company gives you two years of warranty that it decent enough. The adjustable tilling width allows you to cover the more area without comprising with the maneuverability. Below are some of the important things about the tiller that you should be aware of.
It also has the reverse tilling option as well which allows you to take care of areas in a better way.
It is very heavy and not suitable if you are not experienced in tilling. Be careful if you are using the tiller for the first time.
This is one of the most affordable mid-level tillers that you can go for in 2019.
3- Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller/Cultivator
This is one of the best gas garden tiller or cultivator which comes with 2 cycles. The tilling depth of the tiller is 10 inches. The engine that you get with the tiller is of 21.2cc. It weighs around 20 pounds, and oil is also mixed with gas. You also get reversible tine option that helps you to have the shallow cultivation. The speed that you get is around 200rpm. The tilling width of 9 inches that you get is perfect for maneuvering around the tight spots and 10inches tilling depth is suitable for loosening and aeration of the soil. The foldable design of the machine makes it more compact, and you can also carry it from one place to another without a glitch. Below are some of the important things that you have to keep in mind regarding Mantis 2 Cylinder gas tiller.
The tiller is very lightweight, and even though, you are not an expert you can still handle with ease.
It comes with five years of warranty that gives you the idea about its sturdy and durable build.
In weed, you might face some problem. The weeds get tangled if they are not mowed properly.
This mantis tiller doesn’t have a wheel, so moving it from one place to another is not that simple.
4- VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller
If you are looking for a cheap option, then VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller could be in one of your priority lists. It is very light in weight and easily movable as well. If you are looking for a tiller that you need to move easily from one place to another, then this could be a perfect choice. It comes with 1050 watt motors which give it good torque and thrust as well. It can cultivate 12 inches of width and 8 inches of depth. It’s very hard to find a garden tiller in which you get these many features at this price range. You also get 10m of cable with the machine that provides you enough range for the tilling. Below are some important features of the VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller.
It has very important overloading protection feature which eliminates any kind of possible damage to the motors in case they get stuck. It also has the kill switch so that you can decrease the power immediately in case of emergency.
It has received good reviews on Amazon Online which shows the product credibility and value for money deal.
It has two years of warranty as well. I would say you won’t find any better deal than this one at this price range.
5- Sun Joe TJ601E Tiller Joe
This is not a very popular company when it comes to the Sun Joe, but they do make some affordable cultivators and tillers. This one is suitable for small to medium size gardens. It has powerful 9 amp motors and six steel tilling blades which is very durable and also gives you an efficient performance. The company claims that with this machine, you need zero maintenance. The machine can till any surface without oil, gas or tune-ups. Below are some of the important points that you have to know about the Sun Joe TJ601E Tiller.
The machine has a quick start feature which allows you to use it with ease and have a smooth performance without a glitch.
It has a powerful motor with 370rpm which quickly removes the dirt and tiller goes easily in the soil.
It tills 7 inches deep and 18 inches wide in just seconds. Its handle is collapsible which makes the storage more convenient.
6- Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller
This is also not a very popular brand, but this model, in particular, has some advanced features which make it worth having a look at. You can use it for your lawn, flowerbed or veg garden. Garden maintenance can be painful if you don’t have the right tools. The Southland SRTT196E is a four-stroke tiller comes with the 196cc engine. It goes eleven inches deep in the soil and gives good aeration. It also has an anti-clockwise rotation as well which takes care of the hard spots. Below are some important features of the Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller.
It can easily be transported and stored. It also has the wheels which give it the mobility, and foldup pistol handles make it compact for storage.
It has manual recall easy start system which gives it trouble-free consistent start without a glitch.
It has a gear drive system which enable the forward and reverse action that can easily penetrate the hard soil
You don’t have to remove the tines for sharpening here as it comes with the self-sharpening system.
It is also EPA Compliant and could be your great companion in difficult terrain.
7- Troy-Bilt TB154E
This is also one of the hand garden electric tiller cum cultivators. This is very easy to use and have a push-button start. The company claims that it doesn’t require any kind of maintenance. It also has very powerful 6.5 amp motor which gives it sufficient torque to deal with pretty hard soil. It has four forward rotating tines which can dig up to 5 inches. Its three-way tines do the digging, tearing and soil turning at the same time. Below are some of the main features of Troy-Bilt TB154E.
It also has two wheels as well which make it movable, and you can easily move it from one place to another.
It is suitable for aeriating the smaller garden and flowerbeds. It’s not recommended for large and rocky areas.
It is very durable as well. It will last for years without any glitch.
8- Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch
This is an electrically powered tiller driven by 13.5 amp voltage which gives it the good torque. You can also do it intense tilling with the machine. The tilling width can vary between 11 to 16 inches according to your requirements. When it comes to building quality, it is very compact and can be easily stored in a small space. Below are some the important points about this corded electric cultivator cum tiller.
The machine is very easy to operate, even though you are a beginner, you can handle it very easily.
It has ergonomic built, and you can comfortably hold it. Its soft grips allow you to have good control over the tiller.
9- Sun Joe TJ603E
This is the second machine from Sun Joe Company in our top 10 list. It has powerful 12 amp motors which can easily till the medium level soil. Its tine is 16inch wide and gives you around 8 inches deep tilling. The tines are made up of heavy-duty steel which makes it durable, and it works well even in rocky surface. The build of the machine is ergonomic, and you also have soft handles which give you good control over the tiller. You also get the cord of 100feet long which gives you enough room for movement.
With a push button, you can easily start and stop the tiller which eliminates the hectic process of starting.
The company also adds that it is a very low maintenance machine; you can use it for years without any wear and tear.
It has 340RPM motors which make the process very quick, and it can easily pulverize the soil.
10- Earthwise 11-Inch Electric Tiller and Cultivator TC70001
This is the last tiller in our top 10 list. This tiller is super compact; you can easily carry it one place to another by easily flipping up. It also has wheels which make it more mobile. It is also very lightweight, and you can easily use it even though you are not very experienced in it. It has an 8.5Amp electric engine which is made by an American Lawn Mower company. This tiller is very strong and has huge power, and it can easily deal with the hard soil. Though, it also has some negatives as well. People complained that it bounces around and very difficult to control sometimes. To activate the ON/OFF switch, you have to release one hand that might lead to disbalance of the tiller.
It has dual four blade tines which make the tilling process efficient, and the job can be done quickly and easily as well.
It is suitable for a smaller garden and flowerbeds, not recommended for a larger area.
It has a slim design which makes it look stylish as well.