We may be in the dead of winter right now, but it’ll start warming up before you know it, and the second the spring rolls around you’ll definitely want a good rototiller to get your garden primed and ready so you can enjoy some delicious, fresh, homemade produce. Why not get ahead of the game and start looking at the best rototillers now?
It’s never too early to get a head start on things, and then you’ll be ready on the first day of the season to start tilling the soil and getting that beautiful garden ready. We want to help you find the best rototiller as quickly as possible, which is why we’ve made this list of the best rototillers for all of your gardening needs.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best Rototillers, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here .
- What Should You Look For in a Rototiller?
- What Are the Different Types of Rototillers?
- Here's How We've Determined the Best Rototillers
- #1: Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator (Best Rototiller)
- #3: Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller (Best Lightweight Garden Tiller)
- #4: Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator (Best Heavy-Duty Garden Tiller)
What Should You Look For in a Rototiller?
If you’re new to gardening, you might not know what separates the good rototillers from the bad ones. Even if you’re a pro, a refresher is always nice. We want you to understand how we made our list, so that you can keep up with our thought process and make a more informed decision. This will also help new users come up to speed and feel equipped to conduct their own research if they so desire. Keep reading to see the full list of criteria we used when assessing our rototillers.
Criteria #1: Motor Strength – Stronger is better. Your rototiller is going to help you dig and clear through the soil to make it viable for planting and gardening. The stronger the motor, the quicker and easier it will be for your garden tiller to clear that soil. Of course, there will be times where you don’t want to go full speed ahead, so we will also be looking for rototillers that give you the option of slowing things down in the situation that you need to be a bit more delicate.
Criteria #2: Digging Depth – In addition to being able to dig quickly, we want our garden tillers to be able to dig deep. How deep you need to go will depend on what you want to plant, so that will determine how important a deep digger is to you. But no matter what you’re growing, it’s always nice to have that option.
Criteria #3: Weight – The whole point of a rototiller is to make the physical labor of gardening a little bit easier, and we don’t want to defeat that purpose by giving you a crazy heavy garden tiller that will make you work up a sweat just dragging it out of the garage. In general, lighter is better, but there will be a certain correlation between size and motor strength, so there will be a balance that you need to find. What this balance is will depend on you and your preferences.
Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.
What Are the Different Types of Rototillers?
Just as with almost any product, there are different types of garden tillers, and it’s important to get the right one depending on what your needs are. In this section, we’ll quickly go over the main types of rototillers so that you can understand the differences among all of our different products and know which type of garden tiller to buy for your new home garden.
Front-Tine Tiller – Front-tine tillers – tillers with the tines placed in front of the wheels directly under the motor – are the cheapest garden tillers out there, and therefore might be more appealing to beginners and more casual gardeners. The tine depth on a front tine tiller can be adjusted, allowing the gardener to decide how deeply into the soil they want to burrow. These affordable rototillers are best for smaller gardens and softer soil.
Mid-Tine Tiller – Mid-tine tillers are a bit more niche and are specifically tailored for maneuverability. If you have a bad back or bad knees and want something that will be nice and easy to use, then you definitely want to go with a mid-tine tiller. Of course, they’re a little more expensive than front-tine tillers, but that tradeoff will be worth it to some customers.
Rear-Tine Tiller – Rear-tine tillers are the most expensive garden tillers out there, and they’re the best option if you’re dealing with really firm, hard, soil, or a yard that’s never been plowed before. The tine depth on these machines is usually adjustable, and they can be fitted with external attachments that make them a little more versatile. These are for the real gardening pros.
In addition to the location of the tills on a rototiller, it’s worth considering how your tiller is powered. Mostly, there are tillers that are gas-powered, electric-powered, and battery-operated. Gas-powered tillers will be amongst the strongest, but they’ll also be noisy and messy, and bad for the environment. On the other end of things, battery-operated tillers will be the most convenient, but also probably the weakest, and you have to worry about holding a charge. Of course, with electricity-powered tillers, you’re limited to the outlets outside your home. Which power source you want will depend on your home, your garden, and your personal preferences.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Rototillers
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best rototillers” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We also made sure to include a wide variety of different garden tillers on our list so that everyone will be able to find exactly what they need for their garden.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best rototillers.
#1: Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator (Best Value – All-Purpose)
The first product on our list of the best tillers is the Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator. This front-tine tiller offers accessibility and high-performance in a cheap package that makes it ideal for almost any gardener, specifically those buying their first rototiller.
The Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator features an 8.5-amp motor and tines that can cultivate and till up to 11″ wide and 8″ deep for a quick and effective start to your garden. Our number one tiller also has a safety-grip feature that causes the machine to turn off automatically if you ever let go of the handle. Our Earthwise front-tine tiller is also ergonomically designed, and at 27 pounds, it’s fairly light and won’t give you too much trouble while you’re tilling your soil.
As a front-tine garden tiller, the Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is definitely designed to be used on softer soil, but it will make nice and quick work of that soil. You have 6 steel-blade tines giving you that deep and wide cut we mentioned above, and your garden will be ready to go in no time.
This popular tiller is featured on multiple lists of the best garden tillers, and the paying customers loved it. You just need to take one quick look at the Amazon reviews to see that the crowd loves this rototiller. And, as we mentioned earlier, it’s one of the cheapest options out there, which makes it by far the best value for your money, and that’s why the Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator earned our spot as the best rototiller on the market.
#2: Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator (Best Rototiller)
The Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is our best tiller for anyone who wants the best value for their money and for most beginners making their first garden, but what if you want to splurge for the best? Well, if that’s the case, then you’ll need to check out the super-popular Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator. Our number two product is an electric rototiller just like our number one product, but it has slightly improved specs and some extra features that might catch your eye. If you’re the type of customer that wants to spend more money for the best product, then here are some reasons you might decide to treat yourself to the Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator instead of our best garden tiller from Earthwise.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Wider Till
This one is pretty straight forward, the Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator has a superior tilling width to that of the Earthwise TC70001 garden tiller, with the Sun Joe product boasting a tilling width of 16 inches compared to Earthwise 11 inches. That means that if you want to make a wide, multi-row garden with multiple types of vegetables, then it’s an easy choice, and the Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Rototiller is the way to go. It also digs at the same tilling depth as the Earthwise TC70001, so there’s no real trade-off for you to worry about or consider.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Foldable Design
If your garage is a little cramped as it is and you have a significant other who’s starting to get fed up with the clutter, or if you just want an easier time bringing your tiller inside when you’re done with it, then the Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Rototiller is by far the best tiller for you. This premium tiller features a foldable design that makes transportation a breeze, and the machine itself has the same 27-pound weight as our best tiller from Earthwise, so, once again, there’s not even a tradeoff. If you to go help your friend or the in-laws with their garden, the Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Rototiller is the number one tiller for you.
In addition to the improved tiller width and the foldable design, the Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Tiller features adjustable wheels, a safety switch, and a powerful 13,5-amp motor. You’re also getting 6 durable steel tines that will make tilling that soil a breeze. The wheel adjustment makes this tiller incredibly versatile in terms of maneuverability and the types of soil it can handle, and while it’s more expensive than our number one tiller, it’s still a fantastic value. If you want the best tiller money can buy, you probably want the Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Tiller.
#3: Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller (Best Lightweight Garden Tiller)
If you want something lightweight and portable, then look no further than the Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller. This battery-operated tiller will let you say goodbye to pesky cords and stay quick and mobile while you work the soil in your new garden. As a battery-operated tiller, it’s also very light, weighing a measly 8 pounds, so you’ll have no problem carrying this small tiller all over your garden.
Despite its size, it has a very impressive battery that’s said to be able to cultivate up to 325 square feet of soil per charge. You’ll still be able to get a decent garden going that’s sure to impress your friends but this is definitely not a tool meant for a garden that will be your source of livelihood. As the “20V” implies, the Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller boasts a 20-volt MAX lithium-ion battery that offers a longer lifespan and retains its charge 5 times longer than similar 18-volt NiCad batteries.
The two long tines are small enough to maneuver in between plants, and counter-oscillating tines prevent weeds from tangling. As it’s battery-operated and only has two tines, I would definitely not test this product against harder soil, but it’s fantastic for softer soil that’s maybe already been worked a little. And as a natural side benefit of being so small, the Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller is nice and cheap. So if you don’t want to feel weighed down while you prep your garden and till the soil, the Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller is one of the best garden tillers for you.
#4: Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator (Best Low Cost)
The second Sun Joe product on our list, the TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator features the same handheld design as the Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller, and it even has a collapsable telescope design that will make packing it up a breeze. It’s plug-operated, so you won’t have the same freedom with this tiller as you would with the Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller.
This two-tine tiller is definitely meant for smaller gardens, as it has a tilling width of 6.3 inches and a tilling depth of 6 inches flat. The biggest drawback of the Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator is probably that, despite its inferior specs, it’s about two pounds heavier than the Black and Decker tiller. Though if we’re being honest, you won’t notice the two pounds.
I wouldn’t blame you for feeling a little underwhelmed by the Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator compared to the other electric tillers on our list, but I wouldn’t dismiss this budget option too quickly. The bottom line is that it’s one of the cheapest options out there. While it’s definitely not the right choice for your tiller if you want to have a massive garden that can feed an entire block, it’s the perfect option for someone just looking to break into gardening as a small hobby.
If you don’t see the point in breaking the bank on a fancy new tiller when you’re not sure where your gardening journey will take you, then the Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator is the clear choice for you. And if you’re still feeling cautious, just look at the reviews. The customers were still more than happy with the performance of this lightweight and affordable handheld tiller, and it’s one of the best tillers out there at this price.
#5: Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator (Best Heavy-Duty Garden Tiller)
The first and only gas-powered tiller on our list, this heavy-duty tiller packs a punch, and you should only really consider it if you’re planning on seriously starting an extra-large garden. Any tiller that runs on a gas power source is naturally going to be more powerful than electric tillers, and this beast of a tiller from Mantis is no exception. The gas-operated Mantis 7940 uses a Honda 4-cycle motor and boasts a tine speed up to 240 rpm. This bad boy will have no problem tearing through even the thickest and toughest soil and helping you get started on your garden.
Our industrial-grade tiller is also compatible with a whole slew of attachments, so you can mod it out and make sure you have the perfect tiller for whatever type of garden it is you want to create. The Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator also has a convenient kickstand and a foldable handle to make it as portable as possible. Despite its incredible horsepower, it only weighs 23 pounds. This machine really is the perfect combination of brain and brawn.
Be warned this powerful tiller is the most expensive tiller on our list by a decent amount, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind. The Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator received glowing reviews, and one customer called it “probably the best small tiller on the market.” Its attachments also make it capable of handling a whole slew of your other outdoor chores. So, if you want to take care of your whole day’s worth of yard work with just one machine, and if you can afford it, then there’s no better option than the Probably the Best Small Tiller on the Market. In terms of raw performance, it’s one of the best tillers out there.
Verdict: Your Best Rototillers
We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the best rototiller that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our garden tillers and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each tiller has to offer for you.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator.
Our number one pick is an amazing default for anyone who’s not looking for any feature in particular and wants to keep their tiller at a reasonable price. It has a solid tilling width of 11 inches and a tilling depth of 8 inches that should be able to handle your needs, and it has a great 8.5-watt motor. You’re also getting a lightweight 8-pound tiller with a convenient safety switch that’s easy to use and will make sure nobody gets hurt. Add 6 steel-blade tines that will make quick work of your soil and slap a more-than-reasonable price tag on it, and it’s clear why the Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is our number one pick and the best tiller on our list for small gardens or medium-sized gardens.
If you need an extra-powerful tiller, pick the Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator.
If you’re trying to get a really big garden started and plan on tilling some new ground, then there’s only one item on our list for you, and that’s the Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator. This Honda-powered tiller is a heavy-duty machine that’s ready to tackle even the toughest soil around, and despite its power, it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver. It’s a bit expensive, but if you have a big endeavor on your hands or if your garden is going to be a source of income, then this powerful machine is more than worth the money to be the driving force behind your garden.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator.
Not everybody s going to be a professional gardener, and not everybody is willing to spend professional-grade money on their soil tiller. If you just want to keep things cheap while you explore a new hobby, then the Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator is the best choice for you. This handheld plug-operated tiller may not be very impressive on paper, but it’s light, comfortable, easy to use, and it’ll get the job done while you figure out how you feel about homemade produce and planting your own flowers. You don’t have to feel like gardening is going to be a crazy-expensive hobby. Keep it cheap with the Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator.
That finally brings us to the end of our list. We hope you’re starting to get an idea of which tiller is best for you, and if not, then we hope you feel ready to tackle the rest of the research without us. If none of the highlighted products above were quite what you’re looking for, you may be more interested in the powerful and foldable electric Sun Joe TJ604E or the incredibly lightweight battery-operated Black+Decker 20V Max Tiller.
It may help to start things out by thinking about which feature is the most important to you, as this will help you narrow things down and realize that even some of the more popular products may not have whatever it is you’re looking for.
That’s all for now. We hope you find the perfect tiller, and we hope you enjoy starting up your new garden!