6 Best Rototiller Reviews for 2018 | A Garden Cultivator for More Fertile Soil

Plain and simple: rototillers are super convenient and efficient tools for mixing amendments into the soil. The best rototiller will make breaking down compacted soil hassle-free.

In addition, garden rototillers will also help you remove weeds and roots from the soil in order to create favorable conditions for growing grass, flowers or vegetables. A quality garden tiller is the first step towards turning a part of your yard into a garden bed.

Top 3 Rototillers

4.6/5

  • Light-weight and fairly sturdy
  • Easy to maneuver while tilling and positioning
  • Quality steel angled tines

4.5/5

  • Double-handled for stability and easy maneuverability
  • 4 robust steel tines with 4 extra-sharp blades
  • Enables 8.6 inches deep and 12.5 inches wide tilling path

4.4/5

  • Efficiently performs tilling, weeding, mixing and aerating
  • Adjustable tilling depth
  • Overhand control reduces bouncing

Tilling is a must if you need to turn the sod over and mix fertilizers and organic matter such as compost into the soil. This will provide a healthy base for a ready-to-plant garden bed.

It doesn’t have to be tiring nor time-consuming as long as you pick the best roto tiller on the market, and believe me, there are great models for gardening enthusiasts and professionals alike.

How do I pick the best rototiller for my needs?

We’ll go over the key features and facts about garden tillers which will help you make an informed decision about which model to buy to make the soil tilling a productive and enjoyable task

Electric tiller or gas tiller?

Think about the type of soil and what exactly do you need a tiller for.

If you are retilling or have a small garden with very soft soil, an electric rototiller will probably do the job well.

If you have a large garden or if you’re dealing with hard, rocky or soil full of roots and weeds, you will probably need a more powerful gas rototiller.

Electric tillers are less powerful than gas-powered tillers. On the other hand, as long as there’s an outlet nearby and you have a good extension cord, you can till as long as it takes. Electric rototillers are also more affordable.

Gas powered rototillers need to be refuled, they are noisier and pollute the air. However, when you need more power, a gas roto tiller is your best bet when dealing with hard soil. More power does come with a higher price tag.

Front tine or rear tine tiller?

Tillers are simple machines. Their main component is a set of tines, These are rotating metal blades that dig into the soil. The tines are sharp on the edge and have a specially engineered shape which can make or break the tilling task at hand.

When it comes to the position of the tines on a roto garden tiller, there are two designs available.

The front tine tillers move because the rotating tines set in front of the wheels provide the forward propulsion created as the tines dig into the soil. This pulls the tiller forward and the wheels are there for steering and giving stability.

These models are more affordable but require more passes and more effort on the part of the operator. To move the tiller to a certain spot, you need to lean on the handles in order to lift the tines and you then move the tiller using the wheels.

The rear tine tillers have tines mounted behind the wheels. The wheels are in charge of pulling your rototiller forward when you put the machine in gear. The rear-tines are often designed to spin in the opposite direction of traveling. This provides more friction and therefore you get to dig deeper.

To move the tiller where you want to till, you let the wheels turn and pull the machine forward until you get to the right spot. Then you pull the lever and let the tines start spinning and digging.

Are there other features to consider?

Yes, there are. Before buying your first rototiller or before upgrading, look for the features such as depth and width of tillage and adjustability.

The best rototillers can be adjusted depending on how deep you need to dig. The width of the pass is determined by the number of tines on a specific model. Smaller mini-tillers or cultivators usually dig 5-8-inch deep and provide a 15- 20 inches wide path. More powerful and bigger rototillers can dig as wide as 3 feet in one pass.

A few words of warning

Rototillers are extremely convenient machines but they do need to be maintained with great care in order to work well for a long time. You should detach the tines and rust-proof them after cleaning.

In addition, do not forget about your own safety when operating a garden tiller. Always start tilling in low gear especially on a slope or in loose soil. You can increase the speed gradually if the tilling goes smoothly.

If you notice that the tiller is about to go out of control for any reason, shut it down immediately. Do not try to wrestle with the machine. You will lose and hurt yourself. If you hit a rock patch or a strong root, stop the tiller and deal with the obstacle manually.

Read more for the best rated rototillers!

Rototiller reviews – Best garden tiller of 2018

4.6/5

Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller features a powerful 12 amp motor which will efficiently till your garden and yard soil, slicing through the ground easily with its 340 RPM. 

It will assist in preparing the ground for your flower or vegetable garden in an eco-friendly and convenient way.

The 12-amp motor and rear wheels allow you to operate this rototiller conveniently and in a hassle-free way. There are six steel angled tines for maximum durability and reliable performance.

This rototiller enables a pass of 16 inches in width and up to 8 inches in depth. The six angled tines allow for optimal tilling results in order to prepare the soil in your garden before you plant seeds.

The assembly is very easy with only a few knobs and bolts to attach, and requires no special tools. If you follow the instructions carefully, you should have the tiller fully assembled in about 15 minutes.

Once assembled, this rototiller weighs about 27 pounds. Weighing about average for the electric roto tillers in this price range, Sun Joe TJ603E makes the tilling easier, more comfortable and less tiresome.

Being an electric tiller, this unit is eco-friendly and quiet. You will need a long extension cord to reach the part of your garden that needs tilling. Make sure to use a cord that meets the safety requirements.

Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller is perfect for small and medium-sized gardens. It's easy to assemble, use and store and comes with a two-year warranty.

When you've finished tilling, the handle folds down so you can store the tiller away easily in your garage or shed. You should keep it clean and dry during the winter to make it last for many years.

Things We Liked

Light-weight and fairly sturdy

Easy to maneuver while tilling and positioning

Quality steel angled tines

3-position wheel adjustment

The handle folds for convenient storage and easy transport

Things We Didn't Like

More power and deeper tilling would be appreciated for harder soil

4.5/5

VonHaus 12.5 Inch 7 Amp Electric Garden Tiller comes with a set of 4 tines and an 850-watt motor. It will do a great job of breaking up soil to ensure your grass or plants seeds get the favorable conditions for the nutrients, air, and water needed for a healthy growth.

This powerful, lightweight and affordable electric tiller will save you hours of time it takes to manually break up the soil in your garden or your flower beds. It has four robust steel tines that cut 8 inches deep and 12.5 inches wide.

In the medium price-range, this is one of the lightest electric rototillers. It weighs only 20 pounds so anyone should be able to use this unit without the strain on their muscles and back.

The two well-spaced handles will provide stability and easy maneuverability. You will be able ti till the exact patch of soil you want without ever damaging the surrounding area.

Working with a tilling width of 12.5 inches means that you’ll get the job done in a fraction of the time compared to using manual tools. In addition, this tiller from VonHaus has a lightweight design which makes it convenient and easy to use.

It will take you some time to get used to the power of this model as it only has one speed. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to till exactly where you want reaching the depth of about 6".

You’ll have no problems tilling through the clay compacted soil, let alone garden weeds and ground thatch. For most homeowners VonHaus Electric Garden Tiller will be a perfect tilling solution without breaking the bank.

Things We Liked

Double-handled for stability and easy maneuverability

4 robust steel tines with 4 extra-sharp blades

Enables 8.6 inches deep and 12.5 inches wide tilling path

Safety cut out protection switch

Lightweight design makes it comfortable to use

Things We Didn't Like

Being lightweight, this unit can bounce at times

4.4/5

Earthquake MC43 43cc 2-Cycle Tiller is a compact but powerful garden rototiller featuring a triple mechanism to make your soil fertile and loose. It weighs only about 35 lbs so it’s relatively lighter compared to bigger tillers but does the job just as efficiently. The weight of this unit is concentrated in the so it’s very easy to move it, position it and maneuver it while tilling. It features a throttle control lever, a depth regulator, replaceable tines and adjustable height transport wheels so it can be easily transported.

MC43 43cc 2-Cycle Mini Tiller starts rather easily and runs well. The tines only turn when you grab the throttle. Once you apply a bit of throttle by squeezing the throttle lever, the tines start turning. If you squeeze more, the tines will go faster. Yes, it’s as simple as that!

When you let go of the throttle or handlebars, the tines stop turning and yet the engine keeps running waiting for you to start the tines again.

The additional user-friendly feature is the quick adjustment of the rear wheels. All you need to do is pull a sleeve on the axle and slide the wheels up or down to one of the three positions.

It’s also super-easy to unwind any weeds or vines that wrap around the wheels as well as to change the tilling width. You can unmount the tiller wheels quickly by pulling a hairpin and the wheels will slide off the driveshaft.

This model can be easily maneuvered without causing damage to any of your plants. With the tines in the narrow setting, you can till the soil right next to the plants without ever damaging them.

Overall, this is a versatile tool and it’s perfect for small gardens. It can till, weed, mix, and aerate any soil to prepare it for planting. Whether you need to mix fertilizers or put an end to the growth of weeds, the powerful 43cc Viper engine will get the job done at a fair price. 

Things We Liked

Efficiently performs tilling, weeding, mixing and aerating

Adjustable tilling depth

Overhand control reduces bouncing

Variable speed, throttle and clutch control

6-10 inch tilling width and 8 inch tilling depth

Things We Didn't Like

Not the fastest tiller to start – once you do, it works as intended

4.2/5

Mantis 7920 2-Cycle Tiller carries the title of the lightest tiller available weighing only 20 pounds. What's more important, it does a great job of tilling tough sod or digging a planting hole with ease. And that’s not all: with a simple flip of the tines, you can precision-weed around your most delicate plants.

Mantis 7920 2-Cycle Tiller features a commercial-grade two-cycle (gas and oil mix) engine with pushbutton priming for quick and easy start. The uniquely designed curvy tines help Mantis dig deep into the soil with no bouncing.

To power this tiller, you’ll need a 50:1 gas/oil mix, DIY style or pre-mixed fuel available in safe and small plastic bottles at home and garden centers or hardware stores near you.

Mantis 7920 2-Cycle Tiller generates sufficient speed to turn specially designed curvy tines. These enable maximum performance with minimum weight. With this tiller you can till up to 10″ deep to prepare your soil for planting.

Mantis 7920 2-Cycle Tiller has a sleek design and comfortable, Sure-Grip Handles. Over-molded grips will provide comfort even for lengthy jobs on rocky soil.

In addition, this gas rototiller features the flush-mounted throttle, a palm-controlled safety switch and great speed control for ease-of-operation.

A lifetime guarantee is provided against broken tines, which is welcomed business policy by Mantis. If one of the tines ever breaks, the manufacturer will replace it free of charge. No matter how long you’ve owned your tiller, you’re set for good. We have indeed confirmed this before we including the info in our review.

Things We Liked

Commercial-grade two-cycle engine

Flush-mounted throttle

Palm-controlled safety switch

Tilling depth of 10 inches

Mantis provides a lifetime guarantee against broken tines

Things We Didn't Like

Takes a degree of physical strength to operate this rototiller

4.2/5

Husqvarna FT900-CA Tiller is powered by 208cc Briggs & Stratton Engine. The reliable and powerful engine provides excellent lubrication and cooling as well. Although this is a gas operated roto tiller, you can expect low emission of fumes.

Husqvarna FT900-CA model will enable you to do your work safely, comfortably and with great stability while tilling. The counterweight on this tiller increases the weight on the wheels to improve the balance.

The powerful engines combined with the robust and reliable design ensures long service life and consistent, top-of-the-line performance. You’ll get adjustable tilling width of 12, 24 and 26-Inch to suit different tilling jobs at hand.

The throttle mechanism, choke and gas shut off are all stacked in the same position, one on top of the other. They are easy to reach and adjust.

The handlebar is a double instead of the single pole. This means minimal up or down adjustment when you attach the poles to the tiller.

Ergonomically designed with comfortable soft-grip and easy access controls, the handles ensure total control of the unit at all times.

The heavy tread, agricultural tires provide traction even in loose or muddy soil. In addition, the wheels are strong and you can adjust them to your preference.

The assembly is very simple: you need to attach the handle, tighten a few bolts and add a bottle of oil using a funnel and it is ready to go. There won’t be any lose bolts on arrival. However, considering the beating this tiller can take, we recommend that you check all the bolts regularly.

The tines rotate counter-clockwise to provide deep-soil penetration and better garden bed preparation up to 6.5 inches in depth thanks to the excellent angle for breaking ground and turning your hard soil into fine dirt. Probably the best gas garden tiller for the money that Husqvarna ever made.

Things We Liked

208cc Briggs & Stratton Engine

Adjustable Tilling Width - 12, 24 and 26-Inch

Efficient, reliable and durable tiller

Includes drag bar and counterweight

This unit is CARB Compliant

Things We Didn't Like

Considering the amount of power the motor puts out, stronger  construction would be an improvement


4.2/5

Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller comes with a 4-stroke, OHV engine with good torque. The counter-rotating tines cut through hardened soil easily and effectively. Since maneuverability is usually an issue with rear-tine tillers, the forward and reverse gear transmission system is specially designed to speed up the tilling.

This unit is more compact than other heavy-duty rear-tine tillers. This makes it suitable for smaller and medium-sized gardens. If your looking for a super strong, reliable and well built tiller, than this is the gas-powered garden roto-tiller to go for.

As an overhead valve engine (OHV), the Southland’s engine is more energy-efficient, quieter, and more durable than non-OHV engines. Being a 4-stroke, the engine increases the efficiency compared to 2-cycle engines.

In terms of power, it has 9.6 lb/ft torque, which is enough to cut through hard soil.

The counter-rotating tines can handle 11-inch width tillage. This makes it perfect for gardens with smaller spaces. The counter-rotating motion adds to the tines’ power so that they turn over and aerate even hard or rocky soil very effectively. The tilling depth on Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller is a solid 10 inches.

This roto tiller features heavy-duty quality pneumatic tires for better stability, convenience and durability even on rough and uneven terrain. If you are in the market for a heavy-duty tiller that’s maneuverable but still has enough power to cut through the rough ground, this tiller is a great choice.

Things We Liked

Self sharpening counter rotating tines

Forward and reverse gear drive system

13--inch heavy duty pneumatic tires

11-inch tine diameter with 10-inch tilling depth

Excellent choice for narrow spaces

Things We Didn't Like

You have to stop working to adjust the throttle on this unit