man using a garden tiller

Best Garden Tillers

Is your garden making the entire property look bad? Is it piled up with castoffs and unpleasant to look at? If so, “to till or not to till” is no longer a question. It’s something that has to be done.

However, unless you’re a gardening expert, knowing which type of tiller is the right choice for your garden can be exceptionally difficult. While some models work best with hard and rocky soils, others can only be used on softer, easy-to-manage soils. In other words, where one type may help you take care of your garden, another could destroy it.

On top of that, there are hundreds upon hundreds of different brands and models of tillers in today’s market. The result of this is pretty obvious – those who don’t know much about these devices can easily end up with a low-quality, inefficient tiller. Finding the right model for your project is the key, but it’s certainly not an easy task.

To help you out, we’ve decided to round up a number of models from each of the six primary categories of these machines – mini, front tine, rear tine, pull-behind, electric, and hand tillers. So, without further ado, here are our short reviews of the market’s best garden tillers:

Mini / Lightweight Garden Tillers

While they don’t pack the same power as large-sized models, mini garden tillers are a great choice for folks who don’t have a lot of space to work with.

Sun Joe TJ603E Tiller

Sun Joe TJ603E Tiller

Features:

  • Weight: 27.1lbs
  • Speed: 340rpm
  • Power: 12amp

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The first mini tiller we’ll be taking a look at is also one of the most popular – Sun Joe TJ603E. Quite potent and durable for its weight, it’s one of the best products of this type made by Sun Joe.

First things first – Sun Joe TJ603E is equipped with a 12-Amp motor that powers its 6 steel tines. These will cut through your small garden with ease, leaving cuts that are 8” deep and 16” wide. As a corded model, Sun Joe TJ603E comes accompanied by a very lengthy cable (100ft) that increases the machine’s reach.

One particularly great thing about this lightweight tiller for gardening is that it provides the user with a good degree of control over cultivating. Adjustable tilling is possible thanks to the tilling depth adjustment capability, while the model’s wheel can be set into three different positions. There is also an instant start button, a safety switch, and the model’s upper part can be folded for easier storage.

All in all, Sun Joe TJ603E is a potent, small rototiller that quickly pulverizes the soil, ensuring maximum aeration in the process.

Pros:

  • Lightweight & potent corded electric tiller
  • 6 angled steel tines reach deep into the soil
  • Collapsible design – easy storage

Cons:

  • Wobbly handles

Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Tiller

Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator, red

Features:

Weight: 24lbs
Speed: 240rpm
Power: 25cc

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Using gas as a power source, Mantis 7940 is a bit different from Sun Joe’s popular electric tiller. It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for a lightweight, gas-powered tiller for your small garden.

The 25cc Honda engine of this tiller cultivator generates the maximum speed of 240rpm, allowing the unit’s 4 strongly-built steel tines to make quick work of any garden. The model’s tines cover a tilling width of 9” and a tilling depth of 10” – you’ll be able to cover quite a lot of ground in a single pass. And, since this is a cord-free tiller, you’ll have no limits when it comes to portability.

Furthermore, Mantis 7940 4-Cycle is quite compact and lightweight. This allows the user to easily enter narrow areas and get to all those places that larger garden tillers can’t reach. Its uniquely-designed tines don’t bounce back and are very easy to remove. What’s more, turning them another way round turns the Mantis 7940 4-Cycle into a convenient weed remover.

In summary, Mantis 7940 4-Cycle is a fantastic gas-powered mini-tiller, whose only real flaw is the hefty price tag it comes with.

Pros:

  • Powerful & versatile gas-powered mini tiller
  • Removable steel tines that don’t bounce back
  • Cord-free operation

Cons:

  • Quite pricey

Earthquake 31635 MC33 Tiller

Earthquake 31635 MC33 Mini Tiller Cultivator, Powerful 33cc 2-Cycle Viper Engine, Gear Drive Transmission, Height Adjustable Wheels, 5 Year Warranty,Red

Features:

  • Weight: 33lbs
  • Speed: 250rpm
  • Power: 33cc

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Here we have yet another gas-powered mini tiller – Earthquake 31635 MC33. One of the best tillers in its price category, this model has quite a lot to offer.

Performance-wise, Earthquake 31635 MC33 has a 33cc Viper engine at its heart. The motor powers the unit’s strongly-built tines, which are capable of making cuts that are 8 inches deep and 10 inches wide. Both the forward and backward operation are available with this gas-powered garden tiller – you won’t have trouble maneuvering around delicate plants.

Just like other gas powered-tillers made by Earthquake, this one sports a practical design that optimizes user control and reduces jumping and bouncing. One thing we particularly liked is the design of the handle – it dampens the vibrations and makes it easy to complete tilling tasks in small gardens. The block-style foam air filter also deserves a mention, as it resists dust and dirt.

One of the best gas-powered mini tillers on the market, Earthquake 31635 MC33 is certainly a worthwhile investment. With it, you’ll be able to effortlessly tile, aerate, mulch, and weed your small garden.

Pros:

  • An exceptionally maneuverable mini tiller
  • No bouncing, jumping, or vibrations
  • 5-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Can be hard to start

Front Tine Garden Tillers

By far the most widely available tillers on the market, front-tine models are typically hand-operated and suitable for use in small to medium-sized gardens.

Husqvarna TF224 Tiller

Husqvarna TF224, 24 in. 208cc Front-Tine Tiller, CARB

Features:

  • Weight: 100lbs
  • Speed: 190rpm
  • Power: 208cc

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Everybody who knows a thing or two about gardening knows about Husqvarna. The outdoor power products made by this Swedish company are among the best on the market, and their TF224 garden tiller is no exception to that rule.

One of the best front tine tillers the money can get, Husqvarna TF224 is powered by a 208cc motor that will make quick work of any garden no matter its soil composition. While this powerful engine contributes to the model’s overall weight, it also rotates the tines at the speed of 190rpm, which is more than enough to cultivate and turn most soil types.

To ensure adjustable tilling, Husqvarna TF224 allows its user to adjust the tiling depth (6 adjustments, up to 6.5”) and tilling width (3 adjustments, 26”, 24”, and 12”). Other features worth mentioning are the carrying handles for easy transportation and the quick-start engine technology whose job is to deliver first-pull starts every time you want to get something done with this tiller.

Sturdy, reliable, and very powerful, Husqvarna TF224 is undoubtedly one of the market’s best front tine tillers.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty construction quality
  • A potent engine that handles all types of soil
  • Adjustable tilling width and tilling depth

Cons:

  • Heavy

Southland SFTT142 Tiller

Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SFTT142 Front Tine Tiller

Features:

  • Weight: 100lbs
  • Speed: 3400rpm (engine)
  • Power: 150cc

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Just like Husqvarna, Southland is yet another renowned manufacturer of outdoor power equipment. Their SFTT142 front tine tiller is, in our opinion, one of the best tillers of this type on the market.

Southland SFTT142 is powered by a 150cc 4-cycle gasoline motor and uses a heavy-duty gear drive system. As such, it provides efficient but also adjustable tilling – you can adjust the tilling depth up to 8” and the tilling width up to 21”. The model’s tines are made from durable metal and are super sharp.

Just like most gas-powered high-end front tine tillers, Southland SFTT142 is also exceptionally maneuverable. This is possible due to its 6.5” rear tires – these allow quick and easy movement on all types of soil. The swing tail with a drag stake system, on the other hand, is there to ensure effortless swapping from till mode to transportation mode.

Overall, Southland SFTT142 is a fantastic gas-powered front tine tiller – it is powerful, compact, rust-resilient, easy-to-store, and allows adjustable tilling of most soil types. It is backed by the manufacturer’s 2-year warranty.

Pros:

  • A potent, well-built front tine tiller
  • Adjustable tilling depth and width
  • Easy to maneuver and store

Cons:

  • Somewhat unclear assembly instructions

Troy-Bilt Colt Tiller

Troy-Bilt Colt 208cc Forward Rotating Front Tine Tiller

Features:

  • Weight: 128lbs
  • Speed: 1 forward
  • Power: 208cc

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Here we have one of the best front tine tillers money can get – a heavy-duty model that effortlessly slices and chops through the soil. Let’s take a quick look at its primary features:

First of all, this front tine tiller has a 208cc OHV-4 cycle motor at its heart. As one of the forward-rotating front tine tillers, it is equipped with durable steel tines that help move the unit forward. All of these significantly contribute to the overall weight – Troy-Bilt Colt is among the heaviest front tine tillers on the market.

As expected, both the tilling depth (up to 7”) and tilling width (up to 24”) can be adjusted. Other features that increase the versatility of this tiller are the fold-down handle and 8” wheels – you won’t have to worry about maneuverability or storage. In addition, this tiller is CARB-compliant, EPA-certified, and comes accompanied by a 2-year warranty.

All of these features turn the Troy-Bilt Colt into one of the best tillers of this type on the market. Although heavy, moving it around the garden isn’t that hard thanks to its forward-rotating tines.

Pros:

  • Efficient tiller with a heavy-duty engine
  • Maneuverable, adjustable, and storable
  • EPA-certified & CARB-compliant

Cons:

  • Heavy

Rear Tine Garden Tillers

With its blades placed at the back, the best rear tine garden tiller will always dig deeper and have a better balance than any front tine model. It’s an ideal choice for hard, compact soil.

Yardmax YT4565 Tiller

YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller, 208Cc, Briggs

Features:

  • Weight: 205lbs
  • Speed: 190rpm
  • Power: 208cc

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The first rear tine tiller we’ll be taking a look at is Yardmax YT4565, a powerful, easy-to-use machine that allows deep and secure cultivation of any garden.

At the heart of this rear tine tiller is a potent 208cc Briggs & Stratton Engine, which is more than capable of breaking up even the toughest soil. This is a dual-rotating tiller – its tines can rotate forward (great for cultivation) but also in reverse (ideal for deeper tilling). The engine delivers the maximum speed of 190rpm and an impressive 9.50 ft-lbs gross torque.

The model’s 18″ wide rear tine design will allow you to quickly cover a lot of ground. The tilling depth can be adjusted up to 6.5”, with 7 different adjustments in total. The 13″ tines of Yardmax YT4565 are self-sharpening and make will make quick work of your soil, helping you turn your garden into what you’ve always wanted it to be.

Other features worth mentioning are the rear and side shields for added safety, the frontal counterweight, an easy-to-adjust drag bar, two 13” pneumatic wheels, as well as the 2-year warranty.

Pros:

  • A powerful, feature-rich rear tine tiller
  • Adjustable tilling depth & wide ground coverage
  • Dual rotation for deeper cultivation

Cons:

  • Awkward engine oil filling

Husqvarna CRT900 Tiller

Husqvarna Counter Rotation Rear Tine Tiller Briggs & Straton, 14' - CRT900

Features:

  • Weight: 190lbs
  • Speed: 210rpm
  • Power: 205cc

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When it comes to rear tine tillers, people often tend to look for machines made by reputable companies. Swedish Husqvarna is undoubtedly one of them – their rear tine tillers are among the best on the market.

The Husqvarna is equipped with a slightly less powerful engine than the one found on Yardmax’s model – here we have a 205cc Briggs & Stratton motor. The ground coverage is also smaller, with CRT900’s maximum tilling width being at 14 inches. However, these numbers don’t mean that Husqvarna CRT900 is among the weaker rear tine tillers – it is, in fact, extremely potent.

A true workhorse for tough tilling jobs, this tiller for garden is very efficient when it comes to cracking the soil for the first time. Its counter-rotating tines are 10 inches long and provide deep and effective penetration of soil, with 3 different gears of operation available – neutral, forward, and reverse. In addition, the unit has a couple of agricultural-grade tires that allow easy maneuvering in muddy soil.

Once we combine these impressive features with Husqvarna’s 2-year consumer warranty, we get one of the best rear tine tillers money can buy today.

Pros:

  • A powerful, self-propelled rear tine tiller
  • Counter-rotating tines & 3 operation gears
  • Large agricultural-grade wheels

Cons:

  • Flimsy control trigger

Champion 100380 Tiller

CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller with Self-Propelled Agricultural Tires

Features:

  • Weight: 160.9lbs
  • Speed: 1 forward, 1 reverse
  • Power: 212cc

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The last of the rear tine tillers we’ll be taking a look at is Champion 100380, a dependable dual-rotation machine with a couple of interesting features.

As you can see in the specifications, Champion 100380 is powered by a 212cc engine. Once we couple this potent motor with a cast-iron transmission that’s housed in a heavy-duty casing, we get a model that is both efficient and durable. In addition, this garden tiller is self-propelled – using it is pretty much effortless.

Its 212cc engine powers four tines that are made out of hardened steel and have a length of 13.5 inches. With these, you’ll be able to achieve a maximum tilling width of 19” and depth of 8”. Switching between forward-rotating and reverse-rotating modes is as simple as pressing the button on the unit’s handle controls.

Other features worth mentioning are the large 13” wheels, 2-year limited warranty, as well as the fact that the Champion 100380 is both EPA-certified and CARB-compliant.

Pros:

  • Powerful motor & durable gear-driven transmission
  • Forward and reverse gears (dual rotation)
  • Self-propelled, agricultural-grade tires

Cons:

  • Not as fuel-efficient as we’d like it to be

Pull Behind Garden Tillers

Tow behind or pull behind tillers, these tillers are not-hand operated but pulled by ATVs, ride-on lawnmowers, and small tractors. As such, they’re a perfect option for homeowners with very large plots or gardens. In some instances, a plow could be better, see plow vs tiller.

Agri-Fab 45-0308 Tiller

Agri-Fab 45-0308 Multi-Fit Univeral Tow Behind Tiller

Features:

  • Weight: 207lbs
  • Tilling width: 36”
  • Power: 206cc

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If you’re looking for a tow-behind garden tiller that will make quick work of hard soil in your garden, Agri-Fab 45-0308 is a great choice. This USA-made model is reliable, feature-rich, and provides an excellent performance.

First things first – the power. The Agri-Fab 45-0308 is equipped with a 206cc motor made by Briggs & Stratton. This engine is capable of delivering 12 HP of tilling power, which is more than enough to deal with any type of soil.

When it comes to tines, this tiller has six of them. Each sports a heavy-duty, double-edge construction and cuts through compact soil with ease. With the width of tilling being 36 inches, you’ll be able to cover quite a lot of ground in a single pass. The depth, on the other, is adjustable – Agri-Fab 45-0308 can dig to a maximum depth of 5.5”.

In summary, this model is undoubtedly one of the best garden tillers of this type on the market. You won’t need any other machine to prepare the soil for planting – only the Agri-Fab 45-0308.

Pros:

  • Robust 206cc Briggs & Stratton engine
  • Durable double-edge tines
  • Adjustable depth

Cons:

  • The chassis is a bit too flexible

Field Tuff ATV-3665 Tiller

ATV Tiller with 205cc Briggs and Stratton (ATV-3665)

Features:

  • Weight: 264lbs
  • Tilling width: 36”
  • Power: 205cc

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Next up is Field Tuff ATV-3665, one of those tow-behind garden tillers that work the best when they’re pulled by ATVs. However, just like most tillers of this type, ATV-3665 will work just as well with a regular tractor or a ride-on lawnmower.

Those in need of a tow-behind model equipped with a potent engine will be pleased to know that this tiller has a 205cc Briggs & Stratton motor at its heart. This engine delivers enough torque to deal with any type of non-cultivated soil – it’s what it was made for.

The model’s motor powers 24 tines that are protected by a metal shroud. Each of these is 12 inches long and delivers excellent results on compact soil. With each pass, the blades will cover 36” of ground in width, which means that those with small gardens won’t have to tile for too long.

Other features worth mentioning are the 15” turf tires, the universal shock-absorbing spring hitch, as well as the 1-year limited warranty provided by Field Tuff.

Pros:

  • Makes quick work of all soil types
  • Robust & shielded 12” tines
  • Wide working path – 36 inches

Cons:

  • Very heavy

DR Power Roto-Hog Tiller

Roto-Hog Tow Behind Tiller, 7-1/2' Length of Tines, 208cc Engine Displacement, 10' Tilling Depth

Features:

  • Weight: N/A
  • Tilling width: 36”
  • Power: 208cc

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If you want to save your back and arms from strain and need a good tow-behind garden tiller, DR Power’s latest model is one of your best options. Powerful, maneuverable, and adjustable, the Roto-Hog is the only machine you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting.

This tow-behind tiller cultivator is equipped with a potent 208cc Briggs & Stratton engine. This motor transfers the power via the belt-drive system to 24 bolo-style tines. These are adjustable, made out of tempered steel, and have a maximum tilling depth of 10 inches. Once we combine this with the working width of 36”, we get an efficient tiller that effortlessly pulverizes soil and prepares it for planting.

In terms of maneuverability, Roto-Hog has a couple of 14” pneumatic wheels that handle uneven terrain with ease. The proprietary Smooth-Trak hitch, on the other hand, successfully absorbs jolts and shocks. Finally, the entire tiller is coated with a special powder finish that resists corrosion.

While pricey, Roto-Hog is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment – it’s one of the best garden tillers of this type and the only tool you’ll need for your landscaping projects.

Pros:

  • A durable & powerful tow-behind tiller cultivator
  • 24 bolo-style tines made out of tempered steel
  • Exceptionally maneuverable & adjustable

Cons:

  • Expensive

Electric Garden Tillers

Unlike gas-powered models, the electric garden tillers don’t produce as many emissions and are a lot quieter and easier to use. If you need a tiller for quick, nimble maintenance around your veggies, plants, and flowers, you won’t make a mistake by going with an electric tiller.

Earthwise TC70016 Tiller

Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch 13.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator, Grey

Features:

  • Weight: 29lbs
  • Speed: 360rpm
  • Strength: 13.5 amp
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One of the most popular electric tillers on the market, Earthwise TC70016 is lightweight, ergonomic, and powerful enough to till compact soil. If you need an electric tiller but have no time to read through all the reviews, go with this one – you won’t regret your decision.

The 13.5 amp motor of this corded electric tiller powers its 6 tines, whose maximum tilling depth reaches 8 inches. This turns Earthwise TC70016 into an ideal choice for those who need an electric tiller to prepare their soil for planting. Keep in mind that you can always go deeper by passing over the same area multiple times.

You can easily transport and store this tiller thanks to its 6” pneumatic wheels. Furthermore, Earthwise TC70016 has comfortable, ergonomic handles, so you won’t have to worry about blisters or numbness.

Pros:

  • Equipped with a potent 13.5 amp motor
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Comfortable, ergonomic handles

Cons:

  • Corded – close proximity to a power source is a must

Black & Decker LGC120AM Tiller

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Tiller (LGC120)

Features:

  • Weight: 11.73lbs
  • Speed: N/A
  • Strength: 20v

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Considered by many to be the best garden tiller of this type on the market, Black & Decker LGC120AM is a cordless model. With no cable to hold you back, you’ll be able to reach every part of your garden and make quick work of unbroken soil.

At only 11.73 pounds, this model is the best choice for those who need a truly lightweight garden tiller. In fact, the LGC120AM is the lightest out of all of the electric tillers on our list. In addition, it’s the best tiller for those with really small gardens – there’s no need to buy anything bigger than this if you only want to take care of your flower beds.

When it’s fully charged, this tiller can till an area of over 300 sq.ft. in size. Other features worth mentioning are the adjustable handle, a telescoping tube, a 2-year warranty, as well as the counter-oscillating tines that prevent weed tangling.

Pros:

  • The best tiller for small-scale gardens
  • Cordless, lightweight, and very maneuverable
  • Equipped with counter-oscillating tiles

Cons:

  • Charge takes 8 hours

Scotts TC70135S Tiller

Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70135S 13.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Tiller/Cultivator, 11' Wide and 8' deep, Green

Features:

  • Weight: 30lbs
  • Speed: 360rpm
  • Strength: 13.5amp

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Those who know a thing or two about gardening also know about Scotts. This renowned brand is well-known for its quality gardening products, with the TC70135S garden tiller being the newest addition to their lineup.

The 13.5 amp motor of this tiller may not be the best on the market, but it certainly gets the job done. It powers the unit’s 6 alloy-steel tines, which, in turn, effortlessly cultivate hard-packed soil. Just as we expected, the width of the tilling can be adjusted – from 11 to 16 inches.

Other things we liked about this simple but efficient tiller are the ergonomic handle, cord retention hook, push-start button, flip-down rear wheels, as well as impressive 3-year warranty. While it’s not the best garden tiller money can get, Scotts TC70135S is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment and a great choice for those looking to save money.

Pros:

  • Great value for the money
  • Adjustable tilling width
  • 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • A bit jumpy on hard soil

Hand Garden Tillers

Not everybody needs a big, powerful machine to prepare the soil for planting. Simple hand tillers are a much better choice for those who need to take care of their small vegetable or flower gardens.

Fiskars 79906935J Tiller

Fiskars 79906935J , 40 Inch Long Handle Steel Tiller

Features:

  • Weight: 2.25lbs
  • Dimensions: 6.25” x 11” x 40”
  • Materials: Steel

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Probably the best garden tiller of this type on the market, Fiskars 79906935J is truly something special. This is a well-made, heavy-duty hand tiller manufactured to outlast tillers made from materials such as wood and fiberglass. This model, on the other hand, is built from 19-gauge steel – you won’t have to worry about its durability.

With this model, you won’t need to bend forward while tilling thanks to its 40-inch long handle. Other features that save the user from unnecessary strain are the extra-large foot platform and the T-handle with a two-handed grip. All in all, Fiskars 79906935J gets the job done efficiently and is definitely worth the price.

Pros:

  • Durable steel construction
  • Padded T-handle
  • Extra-large foot platform

Cons:

  • Handle not adjustable

Asano Japanese Ninja Tiller

ASANO Japanese Ninja Claw Rake and Cultivator (Basic Pack)

Features:

  • Weight: 7oz
  • Dimensions: 9.45” x 4.53” x 3.94”
  • Materials: Steel, wood

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Here we have something completely different – one of the best garden tillers for small gardening jobs. With this model, you’ll be able to tackle tasks such as mixing compost into the soil, spreading mulch around flower beds, and raking small areas of wood chips.

Extremely lightweight, Asano Japanese Ninja is a sleek, small tool with five curved tines. As the name suggests, these are made out of durable Japanese steel and effortlessly dig into the soil. A solid wood handle provides a good grip and makes working around the plants comfortable and easy.

Pros:

  • The best tiller for small gardening jobs
  • Long-lasting Japanese steel
  • Comfortable wood handle

Cons:

  • Only for the less-demanding tilling tasks

V & B Manufacturing 85231 Tiller

V & B Manufacturing Handy 2lb Mattock Tiller (85231)

Features:

  • Weight: 3.6lbs
  • Dimensions:36” x 9.3” x 2.8”
  • Materials: Iron, wood

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Hand tillers for gardens come in all shapes and sizes – V & B Manufacturing 85231 is a great example. Completely different from Fiskars’ and Asano’s models, this garden tiller is a good option for those who need something truly versatile.

The 2-pound iron head of this tiller provides momentum and extra leverage no matter which one of its two sides you decide to use. While its 2¼” blade smooths excavated dirt and chops through roots, its 5” prongs on the other side efficiently remove weeds. While it does provide a good reach, the 36” hickory wood handle comes without a padded grip.

Pros:

  • Two-pound iron head for extra leverage
  • Versatile – features a blade & three 5” tines
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • The handle isn’t padded

Conclusion

So, there you have it – 18 of the market’s best garden tillers of all types, shapes, and sizes. We have an article on what are garden tillers used for, that could also help your decision making. Whether you need a tow-behind model for your ATV, a battery-operated unit that will let you reach every corner of your garden, or a simple hand tiller to take care of your flower beds, this roundup got you covered. Choose a tiller that suits your needs and keep your garden in perfect condition.

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