Best Garden Tiller Reviews – A Buyer’s Guide

garden tiller reviewsInterested in buying the best garden tiller? You’re at the right place. On this website you’ll find my unbiased garden tiller reviews as well as several helpful articles on using garden tillers the right way.

Overturning and preparing a garden for planting can be exhausting and tedious work. Using garden tillers is the most efficient and back-saving ways for the gardener to accomplish this necessary task. Garden tillers save a great deal of time when compared to turning the soil with a shovel and break up weeds at the same time.

Garden tillers play a major role in maintaining gardens as well as preparing them for planting. There are basically two types of tillers that can specialize in different gardening capabilities: The front-tine tiller type is slim and compact and accomplishes weed control quite well.

The bigger rear-tine tiller type can till larger areas efficiently and can cut through the roots of small trees. The operator of the tiller can choose the depth that the tines will dig by using the depth bar adjuster.

The steel blades which rotate and perform the actual labor of the garden tiller are called tines. These tines dig into and break apart the ground, turning the soil. The placement of the tines on the tiller, either in front or the rear, dictates major differences between the two types.

Types of Garden Tillers – Front-tine Tillers vs Rear-tine Tillers

The steel blades which rotate and perform the actual labor of the garden tiller are called tines. These tines dig into and break apart the ground, turning the soil. The placement of the tines on the tiller, either in front or the rear, dictates major differences between the two types.

  1. Front-tine tillers – These tillers feature the placement of the tines underneath the engine and forward of the tiller’s drive wheels. This type is best suited to work on soft ground. This is the type used for relatively easy jobs like previously tilled soil. The reason for this is that these tines only rotate in the forward direction which effectively pulls the machine across hard ground as opposed to actually tilling it.
  2. Rear-tine tillers – These tillers have the tines placed behind the tiller’s drive wheels. This is the more powerful type of tiller with stronger digging capability. There is a safety shield of metal covering the tine area to minimize the danger of flying debris, rocks and dirt. The operation of this type of tiller will be powered by either standard rotating tines or counter-rotating tines. These are referred to as SRT or CRT.

Types of Garden Tiller Tines – Standard Rotating vs Counter-Rotating

  • Standard Rotating Tine (SRT) – On this type of tiller, the wheels and the tines rotate in exact same direction. These models are heavy weight and can break up relatively hard ground. This type also has superior compost mixing and fertilizer distribution capabilities due to the rotation direction the wheels and the tines go.
  • Counter Rotating Tine (CRT) – On this type of tiller, the tines and drive wheels rotate in opposing directions. The rotation of the tines presents resistance to forward-moving action of the wheels. This allows tines to most effectively chew and break hard ground. CRT models are the ideal choice for establishing new gardens or tilling large areas.
  • CRT/SRT Combinations – There are some models of tillers in which the tine rotation can be switched between the two options. This gives the operator the benefits of both functions.

How to Choose the Best Garden Tiller – Factors to Consider

There are many different kinds of tillers available for various applications. Some types are more suited to home or residential gardening while others are more appropriate for commercial operations. Choosing the best garden tiller for your purposes involves an evaluation of your future gardening plans. This is important so as not to purchase a tiller that won’t prove obsolete in relation to your future needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing garden tillers.

  • Front vs Rear-tine tillers. Front or mid-tine type tillers propel the tiller forward while digging and usually necessitate several passes to adequately prepare the planting area soil. These types of tillers are best choices for small or medium sized tasks. Although this type may require more labor from the operator, they usually cost less than the rear-tine type. Larger jobs are more appropriately handled by the rear-tine type of tiller. This is a heavier machine that requires less effort on the part of the operator than the other type.
  • Type of Ground. Preparation of the ground, especially hard ground, is best accomplished by rear-tine tillers because of the powered wheels on most models. front tine tillers or mini tillers should be used for softer ground.
  • How much will you till? Mini-tillers with front-tine operation are generally sufficient for residential gardening. They usually weigh around twenty pounds. These types cost less than the heavier tillers and are all that a medium sized garden requires for preparation. These compact tillers are actually capable of many tasks and often come with hole-digging features. But if you have a lot of ground to till, you should consider getting a larger rear-tine tiller.
  • Horsepower. Garden tiller prices vary according to brand, model and power. The horsepower measurements usually range from one to eight. Tillers with higher horsepower require less effort from the operator as they tend to pull themselves through soil. Models with lower horsepower take more manual effort from the operator.
  • Warranty/Repairs. Other considerations when purchasing your garden tiller is its depth capacity and the coverage of a warranty. Depending on your planting needs, the limited depth of some tillers may take them out of the running. Reputable manufacturers offer warranties on their tillers. They usually vary in coverage being either for parts and repair or replacement. This is a very important consideration as you will probably never intend to replace your garden tiller.

Some tillers are advertised on television as having the capability of one-hand operation in soft soil. Though tempting, it’s rarely soft soil you needed to be tilled. The investment in your garden tiller warrants some research. A great way to evaluate your options is to rent a couple of different types of tillers from your local supply store to evaluate the best choice for your needs.

Gardening can be a much more enjoyable process with the use of your garden tiller. It saves on strenuous labor and time taken before you can get to the garden you want.

Be sure to take into account the power, size and type of tiller you need as well as the availability of a good warranty. Garden tillers are an investment that should fulfill your gardening needs for many years.

Black & Decker GC818 Cordless Electric Garden Cultivator Review

After working for many years with either a heavy duty tiller or a hand shovel, I finally got smart and bought the Black & Decker GC818 18-Volt Cordless Electric Garden Cultivator. All I can say is what the heck took me so long?  Weeding is easy and now a pleasure rather than a burden.  This [...]

Read the full article →

Troy-Bilt TB154E Electric Front Tine Garden Tiller Review

I’m finally back to serious gardening after too many years focused on building my business.  The area I’m working isn’t huge, just a quarter of my back yard.  I decided to get the Troy-Bilt TB154E Electric Front Tine Garden Tiller in lieu of a larger, gas-powered tiller, and I’m glad I did.  This tiller came [...]

Read the full article →

Sun Joe TJ600E Tiller Joe Garden 14-Inch 6.5 amp Electric Tiller/Cultivator Review

I’ve been an avid gardener for years, and I’ve always rented gas-powered tillers in the past.  My wife and I finally decided to try out our own tiller, and when we read about the Sun Joe TJ600E Tiller Joe Garden 14-Inch 6.5 amp Electric Tiller/Cultivator, we were sold on all the qualities mentioned in customer [...]

Read the full article →

Mantis 7262-15-02 4-Cycle Honda Gas-Powered Tiller/Cultivator with Border Edger and Kickstand Review

We got the Mantis 7262-15-02 4-Cycle Honda Gas-Powered Tiller/Cultivator with Border Edger and Kickstand and accessories for vegetable and flower gardening and lawn care.  This is a really smart machine.  It’s very lightweight for such a heavy duty tiller – the 4-cycle Honda engine is powerful.  No more messing with mixing the oil and gas [...]

Read the full article →

Mantis 7250-15-02 3-Speed Electric Tiller/Cultivator with Border Edger and Kickstand Review

I decided to make the switch to electric and got the Mantis 7250-15-02 3-Speed Electric Tiller/Cultivator with Border Edger and Kickstand, not sure it would have the power I needed.  I got a pleasant surprise because the Mantis Tiller has exceeded my expectations.  It’s powerful, lightweight, easy to start, environmentally friendly, incredibly quiet, and gets [...]

Read the full article →