If you are an avid gardener, there is nothing better than spending countless hours working the soil, right? Yeah, we thought not! The thankless task of digging through heavy earth is probably why electric tillers were invented.
There are many different options available when it comes to an electric tiller. The hard part is deciding which one is right for you. Do you need a corded unit, or maybe an upright will be best? Regardless of the answer, the easy part will be putting it to use.
In an effort to help you decide which tiller is the best, we have put together a review of the top 10 best electric tillers on the market in 2020. We’ve compared the features of some of the most popular models available. This will give you all the details you need to make an informed, and well thought out decision. Also, check out our buyers guide for some extra guidance.
|Sun Joe TJ603E|
|Greenworks 27072||4 Years||4.45/5|
|Black + Decker LGC120||2 Years||4.35/5|
The number one spot on our top 10 list of electric tillers goes to the Sun Joe 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller. This bad boy is a corded electric tiller, and perfect for digging through clay, hard-packed earth, vines, roots, and anything else you can think of. With a 12-amp motor and 6 steel tines, this tiller can cut a swath 16 inches wide and 8 inches deep, making it perfect for aeration, cultivation, and more.
The Sun Joe also has a three-wheel adjustment, instant start switch, and 340 RPMs. You will be able to use this tiller for your small garden, or larger fields. Though it is lightweight, it has the power to till a 50’x50’ area in under an hour. It also has a folding handle for easy storage and a simple three-piece assembly.
The lack of an adjustable handle may be the only drawback of this tiller; however, the ease of use makes it a keeper for sure. With the powerful 12-amp 120V motor, the ability to get into tight spots, this will be your next favorite garden tool.
Our number two pick is a corded tiller that is the best for the money. It has an 8.5-amp motor, and it will be good for small to medium size gardens. With 4 steel tines, the Earthwise can cut 11 inches wide and dig to an 8-inch depth, which makes it perfect for plowing through packed dirt and tilling soil for planting. Other options of ease include adjustable tines, a push-button start, and back wheels for easy maneuverability.
This tiller allows you to get into small spaces and cuts through any material with one pass. On average, it can go through a 10’x 40’ space in an hour. With an easy assembly, this is a great option for small to medium home gardens.
Though it will easily cultivate hard-packed earth, it does get tangled in vines more easily than our top choice. It will also require you to hold the safety switch with one hand while turning it on with the other, which can be difficult. Other than that, unless you are need of a heavy-duty tiller, this may be for you.
Also see: The top front tine tillers of the year
Ranking number 3 is our premium choice, the Mantis Tiller. This corded tiller has a 540-watt motor with three speeds and an instant start button. If you are looking for a powerful yet light and compact option, this could be it, as it works well for small to medium sizes gardens.
The 7250-00-03 is ready for aeration, cultivation, planting, or just ripping through the grass. It can cut at a 9-inch width, and a depth of 10 inches. You are also able to flip the tines for a shallower depth of 2 to 3 inches. The 115-volt motor is double insulated for less vibration, it works well in tight spaces, and the handle folds for easy storage.
Ironically, the drawback to this compact model is the power. With such a lightweight tiller, the power it uses to cut through the earth can make it difficult to handle. It tends to bounce on hard surfaces, making several passes necessary. It is also not as user-friendly due to its lack of wheels, and the 40-minute assembly time. If you have experience with commercial or heavy-duty tillers, this will be great for small to medium gardens. Keep in mind though, it also does not perform well with damp earth.
Tiller number 4 is the Greenworks Corded Tiller. This garden tool has an 8-amp motor and four 8-inch forward rotating tines that are great for smaller garden projects with medium packed earth. This particular tiller is good if you have different sections that require different width cultivation. The Greenworks tiller has an adjustable cutting capacity of 8.25 to 10 inches wide and up to 5 inches deep.
While this Greenworks model doesn’t have as much depth as some others, it does have an easy start button and adjustable wheels for convenience. This tiller is also heavier than other models and can have a tendency to bounce on the hard-packed earth. You may need to make several passes with this tiller. You can accomplish about 15’ X 25’ in two hours.
While this tiller is easy to store away with a folding handle, it is a lot more difficult to assemble. The tines specifically are hard to adjust. Also, although it is heavier to move, it does better with pre-prepared soil and pliable weeds. Clay, hard-packed earth, and heavy roots can jam the tines. If you are in need of different width and depths, this could work for you.
The Black + Decker tiller is the number 5 pick and the first cordless upright tiller on our list. This is going to be a good choice for light garden work with pre-prepared soil. It has a 20-volt lithium-ion battery that will run for about 30 to 45 minutes of continuous use (approx 325 sqft per charge). Although, the battery does take about 8 hours to fully charge.
The LGC120 weighs about 8 lbs and will keep stress off of your back. It also has an adjustable handle and telescope tube for ease of use. The counter-oscillating tines keep weeds and vines from getting tangled. That being said, it is meant for light soil only. It will become jammed with clay or packed dirt.
If you need a tiller/cultivator for small jobs, in tight spaces, this will work. It goes about 4 inches deep in light sod. Also, the tines only go back and forth vs spinning. Though the battery lasts about 30 to 45 minutes, it does start to lose power after 25 minutes or so. Though it will require more passes than a rotary tiller, it will be good for a bad back with light garden duty.
The Troy-Bilt cultivator makes it to the number 6 spot on the list. This 6.5-amp motor is a less powerful motor making this option better for small gardens and flower beds. Like the upright option above, it is only meant for light soil cultivation.
This tiller does have 8-inch three-way adjustable steel tines that forward rotate. It also has an adjustable width of 6 to 9 inches, and a 5-inch depth. It does have back wheels for ease of use, and a heavy-duty gearbox to protect it from overheating.
Again, this is technically more of a cultivator than a tiller, especially since it does not move forward very well. As it is supposed to push forward to aerate the earth, this is a drawback. Also, it cannot handle anything more solid than pre-prepared sod. Even grass will jam the tines.
This model also a tendency to short out (perhaps due to the heavy gearbox), and the tines are easily bent. Though if you prefer a push handled cultivator instead of an upright for basic gardens or plant beds, this could work. Though be prepared to do several passes over the area.
The next tiller is another cordless option that is 40 volts and lithium-ion battery operated. It has four 8-inch steel tines that have an adjustable width of 7 to 11 inches and an 8-inch depth. It also has flip-down rear wheels, an easy start button, and a soft grip for ease of use.
This tiller/cultivator is rated to handle light to medium garden tilling, though it actually does not perform well with hard clay. The max depth ends up being around 6 inches, and it is rather heavy to use. The reason for this is it tends to bounce quite a bit on the hard-packed earth. It can have trouble digging in and will get tangled in weeds or vines.
That being said, it is a quieter model with a decent battery charge. While it does take up to 12 hours to charge, it will hold the charge for about 25 minutes of continuous use without a decrease in power. There is also a 20-minute assembly time for this model. If you prefer a cordless tiller/cultivator that is not an upright for light garden flower beds, you could do worse than this one.
Our next option is another cordless tiller that runs on a 60-volt brushless motor. The brushless motor gives it a longer run time and more power and torque. This tiller has 4-inch hardened steel tines, with an 8-inch wide and 5-inch deep tilling capacity.
The Powerworks tiller runs on a 2.5Ah battery, but only gives about a 30-minute run time tops. With 1700 strikes per minute (SPM), this model should be able to handle heavier tilling but is only capable of aerating light fluffy soil.
In this case, there actually may be too much power, and there is no speed control. The tiller tends to skip across the surface, and has a hard time going in a straight line. You will need to do several passes, and pull toward you.
Though the battery operating tool makes it better for the environment, the battery is very expensive to replace. It does have an adjustable handle with soft grip, but chances are, there is better tiller suited for small garden work.
Our number 9 choice is the Scotts Outdoor tiller and cultivator. It has a 13.5-amp motor and 6 adjustable tempered alloy steel times. This is also a tiller that is listed as a large to the heavy-duty tiller, but it is a cultivator at best.
It does have an adjustable 11 to 16-inch width and an 8-inch depth, but it does not work as well after about 5 inches of soil. It also has flip-down wheels for easy use, but they tend to get stuck and jammed making it difficult maneuver.
As mentioned, this cultivator is best for light soil. It does not have the power required for its size and any clay, hard-packed earth, rocks, vines, or even grass can jam it up. The tines are also easily bent. Besides those manufacturing issues, it is hard to handle and does not go in a straight line. It consistently unplugs and is really not comfortable for anyone taller than 5’7” (170 cm) as the handle is too short. All said and done, though it is not the worst, there are better options; even for your flower beds.
The last option on our list is the Sun Joe cultivator. It runs on a small 2.5-amp motor and has 4 steel tiling blades. The cutting capacity is 6.3 inches wide and 6 inches deep, though it can really only manage about 4 inches.
This model does have an instant start and a hand-held option, but to be honest you may have better luck with a rake or shovel. This cultivator is actually heavy for the hand-held use and puts a lot of strain on the back and arms. It does not do well even in soft soil and gets jammed constantly.
There is very little power to this option, and it overheats. Also, the safety grip and start button are hard to press at the same time making it even more difficult to work with. Even for small flower beds, this cultivator has a hard time breaking down sod. Lastly, the unit itself it prone to break downs.
If you need an upright cultivator or tiller, you would be better off choosing one of the reviews above as this one definitely is not worth the money or effort.
There are many things you want to consider when purchasing a tiller. The first thing to ask yourself is whether you are in the market for a tiller or a cultivator. A tiller is better for larger jobs with heavy earth such as clay, hard-packed earth, and roots. A tiller can aerate, cultivate, and plant prepare an entire field for crops. It can also be used as a weeder. A tiller generally is pushed in front of you.
On the other hand, a cultivator is used to cultivate the earth for planting. Though these models tend to do better in garden and flower beds, they excel at weeding and aerating the earth. Typically, a cultivator is pulled towards you.
The next thing you may want to consider is whether you prefer a battery operated tiller or a plugin. A battery-operated is better for the environment and can have just as much power as a plug-in option. Though you will want to consider how long the battery lasts and will you be able to use it with other tools from that brand?
An electrical unit can be more user-friendly though it will not be able to go as far. You will be restricted to the length of the cord, along with the possibility of cutting the cord by accident. If you go for an electric unit, make sure you check the amps. This can give you an idea of how much this will cost on your energy bills, especially if you use it often.
A few other considerations are going to be whether you want an upright or traditional tiller? Do you need a powerful one that can go through clay, remove rocks, and cut through grass, or are you looking for something to make taking care of your vegetable garden easier?
Regardless, criteria such as performance, cut capacity, width and length, wheel size, and height and weight will help you determine what kind of tiller is right for your home.
Our two best tillers, the Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller which is the best overall, and the Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5 Amp Corded Electric tiller which is the best for the money, are the best tiller options available this year.
After all is said and done, there are many things to take into consideration when it comes to choosing the right tiller for you and your home. We hope that the reviews we have provided will help make the choice easier.
An electric tiller can take a lot of stress from your body if you are an avid gardener. Make your garden life easier, and keep our reviews in mind when it’s time to make a purchase!
Feature Image Credit By: Earthwise TC70040, amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!