Everyone who knows a thing or two about gardening knows about the importance of garden tillers. Once or twice a year, the soil in your garden has to be loosened, stirred, overturned, or, in one word, tilled. In addition, tilling is the best way to remove weeds and mix in fertilizers that will improve the quality of your vegetable beds.
Obviously, doing this manually is time-consuming, back-breaking work. If you want to get the best results out of your garden (and save your back), you’ll get yourself a good tiller – it’s a necessary piece of equipment for every serious gardener. And out of all types of tillers, front-tine tillers are by far the most widely available.
Designed for weeding, breaking up compacted soil, as well as general garden maintenance, these machines are efficient and easy to use. They’re also much lighter than most rear-tine models, which turns them into an ideal choice for smaller and mid-sized gardens. Furthermore, they’re often equipped with a number of convenient features – from collapsible handles to adjustable wheels. (Read what are garden tillers used for)
But which front-tine tiller is the right option for your needs? To help you out, we’ve rounded up 10 of the market’s most popular models and took a closer look at their most important features. We’ve also compiled a short buying guide (which you’ll find at the end of the article) that should help choose the most suitable model for your garden.
The Best Front Tine Tiller
Choosing the winner wasn’t easy – all of the front-tine tillers on our list are great in their own ways. However, Husqvarna’s popular TF224 model is a standout, as it combines exceptional performance, impressive build quality, and overall ease of use.
Our Top Pick: Husqvarna TF224
- Great build quality – a sturdy & long-lasting tiller
- Powerful 208cc motor delivers unmatched performance
- Works well on all types of soil
- 6 depth adjustments & 3 width adjustments
- Quick-start engine technology
Best Front Tine Tillers Reviews
Tacklife Classic Front-Tine Tiller
- Weight: 25.9lbs
- Speed: 400rpm
- Power: 12amp
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- One of the best electric front-tine models
- Exceptionally lightweight & maneuverable
- A number of additional features
- Not as powerful as gas front-tine tillers
As the only electric front-tine tiller on our list, Tacklife Classic has quite a lot to offer for its size. While it does weigh only 25.9 pounds, this is a genuinely efficient model and a great choice for greenhouses, orchards, and vegetable gardens.
The 12amp pure copper engine of Tacklife Classic rotates its tines at the maximum speed of 400rpm. As such, this efficient tiller can make quick work of compacted soil in your flower beds or vegetable garden. Starting up the tiller is as easy as it gets – you only have to use its on/off trigger with a safety button.
The 6 durable tines of Tacklife Classic offer the maximum cultivation width of 16” and depth of 8”. They are made out of manganese steel and do a great job of crushing and turning the soil. They also help move the tiller forward, although that’s not as important due to the unit’s exceptionally low weight.
Other features we liked include the adjustable & foldable handle, cable hook & clamps, 2-position adjustable wheels, as well as the all-steel mudguard.
Tazz 35310 Front-Tine Tiller
- A compact gas-powered tiller
- 2-in-1 versatility
- Rugged construction
- Complicated assembly
Are you looking for a fuel-efficient, versatile front-tine tiller for your mid-sized garden? If so, Tazz 35310 is one of your best options, and for a couple of good reasons.
First of all, this tiller has a 79cc Viper motor at its heart. Not only is this engine easy to start, but it also delivers enough power to break through the toughest soil. The unit’s other components, such as the bronze gear transmission, are just as rugged, well-made, and long-lasting.
The model’s tines, on the other hand, are made out of forged steel and provide the maximum tilling width of 21 inches. By removing the unit’s side shields and outer tines, you can easily turn Tazz 35310 into a cultivator. The key difference between cultivators and tillers is that cultivators are easier to operating and handier for smaller size gardens. This kind of 2-in-1 versatility is undoubtedly one of the best features of this tiller.
Besides the generous digging depth of 11 inches, other features worth mentioning are the multi-position drag stake, adjustable handlebar, as well as 3-year limited warranty.
Yardmax YT5328 Front-Tine Tiller
- Compact – easy to fit between the rows
- Tilling depth and width are adjustable
- Height-adjustable handlebar
- Unsuitable for more complex tasks
While a relatively new brand, Yardmax has already established itself as a favorite of many gardeners. Their YT5328 front-tine tiller is a fine example of how efficient and well-made this company’s machines are.
Performance-wise, this small rototiller isn’t as potent as some of the other gas-powered front-tine models on our list. Yardmax YT5328 comes equipped with the company’s proprietary 79cc motor that delivers the maximum speed of 180rpm. If you own a smaller garden, this will be more than enough for all of your tilling needs.
Just like most of the other front-tine models on the market, Yardmax YT5328 provides customizable tilling depth and width. Its forward-rotating tines can be used at the maximum tilling depth of 11 inches. When it comes to tilling width, on the other hand, the user can choose between three different positions – 21”, 16”, and 11”.
In addition, this small tiller comes with a couple of convenient features that turn it into a genuinely worthwhile investment. These include the 3-position adjustable-height handle, the drag stake, two large 8” wheels, as well as the CARB compliance and EPA certification.
Earthquake 20015 Front-Tine Tiller
- Low weight & durable components
- Adjustable handle height
- Accompanied by a 5-year warranty
- No swing tail
Next up is a front-tine tiller made by Earthquake, which is among the market’s most renowned manufacturers of tillers. This particular model is one of the company’s best offerings – here’s why:
Featuring a 4-cycle 99cc engine made by Viper, Earthquake 20015 (also known as “Versa”) is a pretty potent machine. Not only does it offer quieter operation than most tillers equipped with 2-cycle motors, but it also provides excellent performance on all types of soil. Besides the powerful engine, Earthquake 20015 also has a rugged cast-aluminum gear-driven transmission.
As expected, the unit’s forward-rotating tines offer adjustable tilling – both the width (up to 21”) and the depth (up to 11”) can be adjusted. Another adjustable component is the frame with handles, which makes using this tiller genuinely comfortable. In addition, both of the unit’s handles come with durable rubber grips.
Earthquake 20015 is also backed by a 5-year warranty, has two 8” wheels, and is both CARB and EPA certified. While it’s not the most powerful front-tine tiller you can get, it certainly provides excellent performance for the price.
Craftsman 340 Series Front-Tine Tiller
- Equipped with high-quality 12” metal tines
- Loop handle & tine shield for safe and easy movement
- No complicated assembly
While it’s not the best tiller for gardening the money can buy, Craftsman 340 Series packs a serious punch. It’s a versatile, well-made front-tine tiller that is both efficient and exceptionally easy to operate.
The 140cc OHV motor found on this tiller powers its 12” tines, and these are more than capable of tilling even the toughest soil. These are metal-made, forward-rotating blades with a maximum cultivating depth of 7” and width of 24”. It’s pretty safe to say that these are among the best blades you’ll find on any front-tine tiller – they make quick work of compacted soil.
This tiller is also very maneuverable, as it comes equipped with a set of 8” pneumatic tires. The tine shield, on the other hand, is there to protect the user from flying dirt and debris. Finally, this tiller has a 74-gallon fuel tank and a loop handle. The unit arrives pre-assembled and is covered by the manufacturer’s 2-year warranty.
To make the most out of your garden, you’ll need an efficient front-tine tiller – Craftsman 340 Series is a great choice, and an investment you won’t regret making.
Dirty Hand Tools 101571 Front-Tine Tiller
- Weight: 70lbs
- Speed: 240rpm
- Power: 149cc
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- A versatile all-around gardening machine
- Powerful 149cc Kohler XT675 engine
- Excellent construction quality
- Can be hard to maneuver – the wheels are too close to each other
Made by Dirty Hand Tools, the 101571 front-tine tiller is a fantastic choice for anyone who needs a reliable machine to take care of the soil in his garden – whether we’re talking about cultivating, tilling, mulching, aerating, or weeding.
The best thing about this tiller is its engine – it’s a well-made, powerful 149cc Kohler XT675 motor that works just as advertised. Coupled with the durable belt-drive transmission system, the engine provides excellent performance. In addition, it is CARB-approved – you won’t have to worry about dangerous emissions.
The model’s counter-rotating blades reach deep into the soil, with the maximum cultivating depth standing at 10 inches. The tilling width, on the other hand, stands at 15 inches – Dirty Hand Tools 101571 is a great choice for those who need a tiller that’s compact enough to work in tight spots. The unit’s tines do a great job of chopping and slicing soil in order to create well-aerated, finely-milled soil.
Other features worth mentioning include the smooth-grooved handlebar, side/rear safety shields, two 6” wheels, a safety control lever, as well as the 2-year limited warranty.
Southland Outdoor Power SFTT142 Front-Tine Tiller
- Weight: 100lbs
- Speed: 3400rpm (engine)
- Power: 150cc
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- Exceptional performance & construction quality
- Swing tail with drag stake
- Adjustable tilling width and depth
- Assembly instructions could be clearer
One of the most renowned manufacturers of gardening machines, Southland Outdoor Power is well-known for its front and rear-tine tillers. Here we have the SFTT142, a front-tine tiller that looks and works just as advertised.
First things first – the engine. Southland SFTT142 comes equipped with a 4-cycle 150cc gasoline engine, which is coupled with a durable gear drive system. Just like in the case of other tillers for gardens of this type, the SFTT142 provides adjustable tilling. The tilling width is adjustable up to 21 inches and the tilling depth up to 8 inches. The tiles themselves are very sharp and made out of high-quality steel.
One thing we particularly liked about this front-tine tiller is its drag stake system. The model’s swing tail with drag stake makes switching from till to transportation mode effortless. We also liked the very maneuverable 6.5” rear wheels, as well as the overall build quality of the entire tiller.
Overall, it’s pretty easy to see why so gardening enthusiasts see Southland SFTT142 as the best front-tine tiller on the market – it’s a feature-rich model that you certainly won’t regret buying.
Champion 22-Inch Front-Tine Tiller
- Powerful 212cc engine
- Dual direction tine rotation
- Variable tilling width – great for narrow spaces
- Quite pricey
While it’s not our “champion” (top recommendation), this front-tine tiller certainly has a lot to offer. It is, in fact, one of the best-performing tillers of this type in its price category.
The most unique feature of this model is that it comes with dual-rotating tines. Once we combine these with the genuinely powerful 212cc motor, we get a real powerhouse – you won’t have any trouble with breaking clumpy, hard soil.
And when it comes to tines, this front-tine tiller has four of them, each of which is 13.8” long and made out of durable steel. Driven by the unit’s potent engine, the tines cut through compacted soil like knives through butter. Besides the fact that they’re dual-rotating, the tines of Champion 22-Inch also provide variable cultivating width (up to 22”).
Other important features of this versatile front-tine tiller include two 8” storable transport wheels, the low-oil shut-off feature, a 2-year warranty, as well as the CARB & EPA certifications. All in all, Champion 22-Inch is more than capable of turning even the toughest soil into perfect planting ground.
Troy-Bilt Colt Front-Tine Tiller
- A heavy-duty engine provides excellent performance
- Easy to adjust, maneuver, and transport
- CARB-compliant and EPA-certified
Troy Bilt’s popular Colt model is widely considered to be one of the best front tine-tillers on the market. It’s a well-made machine that effortlessly slices and chops through compacted soil.
At the heart of this front tine tiller is a 4-cycle 208cc engine. This is an efficient, heavy-duty motor, whose job is to power the unit’s durable steel tines. As expected, this powerful engine is precisely what makes Troy-Bilt Colt so heavy – at 128 pounds, it’s among the bulkiest front-tine tillers out there.
With Troy-Bilt Colt, you’ll be able to adjust both the tilling width (up to 24”) and the tilling depth (up to 7”). Besides the fact that it allows adjustable tilling, this tiller is also very maneuverable and portable – it comes equipped with a set of 8” wheels. Other features worth mentioning are the collapsible handle, the 2-year warranty, as well as the EPA certification and CARB compliance.
In summary, it’s pretty easy to see why so many people consider Troy-Bilt Colt to be the best front-tine tiller money can get. It’s a powerful, feature-rich machine that will make quick work of your garden without much effort.
Husqvarna TF224 Front-Tine Tiller
- An incredibly well-built front-tine tiller
- A powerful engine delivers unmatched performance
- Adjustable tilling width & depth
- Could be a bit lighter
Husqvarna’s outdoor power products are held in high regard by many homeowners around the world. Is their TF224 front-tine tiller just as good as their other gardening machines?
Considered by many to be the best front-tine tiller money can get, Husqvarna TF224 has a 208cc engine at its heart. As such, the model offers excellent performance and is one of the best forward-rotating models when it comes to breaking compacted soil. This is because the aforementioned motor rotates the unit’s tines at 190rpm – these will make quick work of your garden in no time.
As expected, Husqvarna TF224 allows adjustable tilling. In other words, it comes with adjustable tilling width (3 adjustments) and depth (6 adjustments). These turn Husqvarna TF224 into a very versatile front-tine tiller, and one you’ll be able to use to cultivate most soil types.
Other features worth mentioning are the quick-start engine technology, the convenient carrying handles, as well as the overall sturdiness of the whole tiller. All in all, it’s pretty safe to say that Husqvarna TF224 is a safe purchase and an investment you won’t regret making.
Front-Tine Tillers Buying Guide
To help you find the best front-tine tiller for your needs, we’ve explored some vital features you should keep in mind while shopping for one of these convenient machines:
Most front-tine tillers are either gas-powered or electric, with the electric ones being either corded or cordless. Obviously, both the gas-powered and electric models come with their own sets of benefits and flaws. Gas machines offer better performance, while the electric tillers sport a lower weight and cost less.
Out of the 10 models we’ve reviewed above, only one uses electricity as the power source (Tacklife Classic). It’s a lightweight, easy-to-operate tiller and a great choice for greenhouses and smaller vegetable gardens. If you want to make the most out of your garden, however, go for one of the gas-powered tillers – they’re much more powerful.
Size of the Engine
In our roundup, you’ll find models equipped with engines whose sizes range all the way from 79cc to 212cc. Obviously, the choice should depend on what you want to use your tiller for. The more powerful a particular model is, the easier it will break compacted soil, but it will also weigh more.
Another factor to pay attention to is whether a particular model sports a 2-cycle or a 4-cycle engine. While they’re more potent than their 4-cycle cousins, 2-cycle engines are noisier and not as fuel-efficient. 4-cycle engines, on the other hand, are much more eco-friendly and don’t require mixing oil and fuel every time you want to refill the tank.
Design & Material of Tines
Together with the engine, tines are the most important part of every front-tine tiller. The best tillers will have tines that are curvy, twisted, and self-sharpening. As the name suggests, self-sharpening tines remove the time-consuming task of having to sharpen them manually every now and then.
The best tines will also have a substantial working depth capacity – they will reach deep into the soil and make it easier to properly till the garden. Adjustable tilling width is just as important, as it allows the use of the tiller in tight and narrow rows.
Once you decide on the type and size of the model’s engine, as well as on the design and material of its tines, you can move to other, less-important features. While not as crucial, some of these features can make a particular tiller a lot more convenient to use.
The drag bar (stake), for example, makes it easier to achieve tilling consistency. A set of well-made, adjustable rear wheels can make a tiller much more maneuverable and easier to transport. Models that are CARB and EPA certified produce much cleaner emissions. A good warranty, on the other hand, will bring you peace of mind when it comes to the durability of your tiller.
Read my post on How to Use a Tiller to Remove Grass as well.
In our opinion, the best front-tine tiller in today’s market is Husqvarna TF224. Not only is this tiller exceptionally well-made and easy to operate, but it also delivers impressive performance. Powered by the potent 208cc engine, the unit’s durable tines rotate at the speed of 190rpm and cut through the soil like knives through butter, making it easy to cultivate the ground in your garden and prepare it for planting.