A lot of people like the idea of having a vegetable garden in their own backyard – even if it’s a small one. However, even the smallest garden requires proper tilling if you want to get the best results. This process won’t only remove the pesky weeds, but also soften and aerate the soil.
And for that, you’ll need a garden tiller. These practical, convenient machines make soil preparation efficient, easy, and a lot less tiresome. Luckily for those with smaller gardens, lightweight and mini tillers are also available – they typically weigh less than 40 pounds and are exceptionally easy to maneuver, maintain, and store.
But here’s the catch – there are dozens, if not hundreds of brands and models of mini tillers on today’s market. This can make the task of choosing the right model for your needs very challenging, particularly if you don’t know much about tillers.
Have no worries, though – we’re here to help you out. In the next part of the article, you’ll find our short but comprehensive and informative reviews of the market’s 10 most popular mini tillers. Together with our buying guide, these should help you find the most suitable mini tiller for your small garden.
- 1 The Best Lightweight / Mini Tiller
- 2 Best Lightweight & Mini Tillers Reviews
- 3 Lightweight / Mini Tillers Buying Guide
- 4 Conclusion
The Best Lightweight / Mini Tiller
You haven’t got the time to read through all the reviews? If so, you won’t make a mistake by going with our top recommendation. Since it‘s lighter than most gas-powered models but also more powerful than most cordless units, it’s no wonder that Sun Joe’s TJ603E tiller is so popular with gardening enthusiasts all over the world.
Our Top Pick:
Sun Joe TJ603E
- Lightweight but very efficient
- Equipped with 6 heavy-duty angled tines
- Foldable handle for easy storage
- 3-position wheel adjustment
- Accompanied by a 100ft long cable
Best Lightweight & Mini Tillers Reviews
Earthwise TC70025 Tiller
The very first mini tiller we’ll be taking a look at is Earthwise TC70025 (Not to be confused with Earthquake 31635 MC33, which you’ll find later in the article). Ideal for small plots, this is a corded electric tiller with a couple of convenient features.
The 2.5amp electric motor of this front-tine tiller is sufficiently powerful for basic tilling and digging. The engine powers 4 durable tines that can dig up to 6” deep and 7.5” wide. Obviously, this turns Earthwise TC70025 into a suitable choice for uprooting weeds or creating flower beds in smaller gardens – it certainly isn’t a tool you’d want to use on a big plot of land.
Moreover, this is an extremely lightweight model, and, as such, it will jump and bounce quite a bit if you use it on excessively rocky terrain. Other features we liked are the transport handle, the built-in cord retention hook, the soft ergonomic grip with a safety button, as well as the budget-friendly price.
- A budget-friendly solution for small gardens
- Decent working speed & digging depth
- Ergonomic, easy-to-operate design
- Not for heavy-duty use
Greenworks 27072 Tiller
Next up is something a bit more powerful – Greenworks 27072. One of the most potent mini front-tine tillers on the market, this model undoubtedly deserves a closer look.
With an 8-amp electric motor at its heart, this mini tiller is quite a bit more versatile than Earthwise’s popular TC70025 model. In other words, Greenworks 27072 is powerful enough to cut through all types of soil typically found in smaller gardens. While you can’t expect the performance found on rear-tine tillers, this model is certainly one of the best options in its price category.
There are 4 forward-rotating tines here, and each of these is 8” long and can dig up to 5 inches in depth. The tilling width can also be adjusted – from 8 to 10 inches. As expected, this kind of adjustability allows the user to perform a myriad of gardening tasks during the planting season.
Other features we liked are the tool-free assembly, limited 4-year warranty, as well as a foldable handle that allows convenient transportation and storage.
- An efficient mini front-tine tiller
- Adjustable tilling width & depth
- 4-year limited warranty
- Flimsy motor cover
Honda FG110 Tiller
Everybody knows about Honda – it’s one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers. But did you know that they also manufacture gardening machines and great ones at that?
Their FG110 model is one of the market’s best mini front-tine tillers – it’s as simple as that. A gas-operated tiller, FG110 has a four-stroke 25cc GX25 engine at its heart, which is easy to start and work with. In addition, all other components of this tiller cultivator are well-made and long-lasting, but that’s something we totally expected from Honda.
The tines of this garden tiller deserve special words of praise. Half of them are angled for tilling, with the other half being angled for cultivating. This kind of hybrid design turns the Honda FG110 into one of the most versatile mini front-tine tillers on the market.
We should also mention the front engine guard, a pair of 2-position wheels, adjustable depth bar, folding handle, and the 2-year homeowner warranty. All in all, if you’re looking for a genuinely versatile model, Honda FG110 is one of the best garden tillers you can get.
- Powerful, easy-to-start Honda GX25 motor
- Hybrid tine design for optimal cultivating/tilling action
- Durable components – a long-lasting garden tiller
Sun Joe TJ600E Tiller
Although not as powerful or popular as Sun Joe’s TJ603E model (which we’ll analyze a bit later), TJ600E is still a solid electric tiller. In fact, it’s one of the best options for at-home use on the market.
With a 6.5 amp motor at its heart, TJ600E provides a powerful kick when you need it. It works wonderfully when it comes to simpler gardening tasks, such as taking care of your flower beds or weeding. Don’t expect the performance of large, rear-tine tillers, though – you’ll need something much more powerful if you want to cultivate a large garden.
Unlike TJ603E, which has 6 blades, TJ600E has only four of them. They are, however, made out of high-quality steel and successfully penetrate soil up to 7” in depth. The maximum cultivating width, on the other hand, stands at 14 inches.
While a more timid version of its more potent cousin, TJ600 is also equipped with a number of convenient features. These include the instant start button, the safety switch, the ergonomic & collapsible handles, as well as 2 years of warranty.
- One of the best tillers for a small garden
- Four high-quality steel tines
- Easy start-up & collapsible handles
- One-speed only
Earthquake 31635 MC33 Tiller
Many gardeners consider Earthquake 31635 MC33 to be the best gas-powered mini tiller on the market. While not flawless, this model certainly has a lot to offer.
While not as powerful as your standard rear-tine tiller, Earthquake 31635 MC33 is actually quite potent for a lightweight model. With a 33c gas-powered motor at its heart, this front-tine tiller cultivator makes quick work of unbroken soil and offers excellent performance.
Of course, the Earthquake 31635 MC33 can be used for a lot of other gardening tasks, such as weeding around plants or mixing in fertilizer. This is possible due to the presence of well-made tines that allow both the forward and the backward operation. In addition, they make cuts that are 10” wide and 8” deep.
Another thing we liked about this gas-powered mini tiller is the overall practical design – you won’t experience much jumping and bouncing while using this model. Its handle, for example, successfully dampens the vibrations and makes tilling with this unit comfortable and effortless. Finally, this garden tiller is equipped with a block-style foam air filter whose job is to prevent dust and dirt from coming into contact with its vital components.
- One of the most maneuverable mini tillers
- Versatile – great for tilling, weeding, mulching, and aerating
- Accompanied by a 5-year warranty
- Hard to start sometimes
Mantis 7940 Tiller
One of the best gas-powered, front-tine garden tillers, Mantis 7940 is truly something special. If you’re looking for a light model that’s using gas as a power source, this tiller cultivator is one of your best options.
First of all, this gas-powered tiller is equipped with a 4-cycle 25cc motor made by Honda. It is powerful enough to make the unit’s 4 heavy-duty steel tines spin at the maximum speed of 240rpm. It goes without saying that this is more than enough to make quick work of compacted soil in any garden.
Thanks to the low weight of the unit’s 4-cycle engine and the rest of the components, Mantis 7940 weighs only 24 pounds. This compactness will allow you to easily reach narrow areas, which can come in particularly handy if your garden is really small. In addition, its tines cover a tiling depth of 10 inches and a tilling width of 9 inches.
One thing we particularly liked about this gas-powered garden tiller is that its tines are removable and don’t bounce back as much as the ones found on more expensive tillers. Don’t get us wrong, though – Mantis 7940 is still quite pricey, which is its only real flaw.
- Stable, potent, and versatile mini tiller
- Compact – easily enters narrow areas
- Allows cord-free operation
Sun Joe TJ603E Tiller
No roundup of mini tillers is complete without at least two models made by Sun Joe. This company is well-known for manufacturing some of the market’s best lightweight tillers, with TJ603E being a great example.
For an electric tiller cultivator weighing only 27.1 pounds, Sun Joe TJ603E is quite a potent machine. At its heart, it has a 12-amp motor, whose job is to power the model’s 6 heavy-duty tines. These are made out of steel and leave cuts that are 16” wide and 8” deep.
An important thing to mention about Sun Joe TJ603 is that this is one of those corded garden tillers – close proximity to an electric power source is a must. Fortunately, however, the tiller comes together with a 100ft long cable. With a cord of that length, you shouldn’t have any issues with reaching all areas of your garden.
As expected, the Sun Joe TJ603E garden tiller allows adjustable tilling. In other words, its wheel can be set into different positions and the depth at which its steel tines cut through the soil can be adjusted. The tiller is also foldable and comes with a safety switch and an instant start button.
- Low weight & potent engine
- Equipped with 6 adjustable steel tines
- Easy to maneuver and store
- Somewhat shaky handles
Troy-Bilt TB146 EC Tiller
One of the best garden tillers out there, Troy-Bilt TB146 EC provides an efficient and reliable tilling experience. However, that’s something totally expected when it comes to gardening machines made by this renowned brand.
First of all, this is a gas-powered mini-tiller, equipped with a 4-cycle 29cc engine. The motor powers 6 premium-steel tines at variable speed, providing the user with a lot of leverage while tilling. Each of the 6 tines has 8 blades, and these reach the maximum depth of 5”. They are designed for turning, tearing, and digging the soil in order to prepare it for planting.
Just like most other garden tillers of this type, Troy-Bilt TB146 EC also has a set of pneumatic wheels, as well as a foldable handle with a soft grip. These features contribute to the model’s overall maneuverability and portability. One feature that deserves special praise is the so-called “JumpStart” technology, whose job is to make pulling the cord (and therefore starting up the tiller) a lot easier.
- Powerful 4-cycle 29cc engine
- Premium construction quality
- Easy transportation & storage
- Poorly-organized owner’s manual
Mantis 7250-00-02 Tiller
Here we have yet another Mantis-made machine – the 7250-00-902 mini front-tine tiller. Unlike the company’s 7940 model, which we have analyzed above, this is a corded electric tiller.
Suitable for smaller yards and gardens, Mantis 7250-00-02 is equipped with a 540-watt engine that can generate speed up to 240rpm. This turns it into a pretty good alternative to gas tillers, particularly if you don’t have a large garden. You only have to make sure that there’s an AC socket close to your yard.
The engine powers a set of 4 serpentine tines that go up to 10” in depth and 9” in width. As we already mentioned, these spin at the maximum speed of 240rpm, which is more than enough to break through compacted soil. In other words, Mantis 7250-00-02 is the only mini electric tiller you’ll need for simple cultivating, weeding, and digging.
We also liked how comfortable the unit’s handles are, as well as the fact that they can be folded for easier storage.
- Light and convenient
- Closely-packed, high-quality serpentine tines
- Comfortable & foldable handles
- Not as stable as we’d like it to be
Greenworks 27062 Tiller
The last mini tiller we’ll be taking a closer look at is yet another model made by Greenworks, but this time it’s cordless. Those who’d like to avoid the hassle of dealing with extension cords or gas emissions should definitely consider this cordless tiller cultivator for purchase.
The heart of this model is its 40V Li-Ion battery, which is capable of continuously powering the unit for about 40 minutes. The battery itself comes with a convenient status button that allows the user to check how much juice is left. The manufacturer recommends removing the battery and storing it in a dry place whenever it’s not in use.
As one of the market’s best smaller front-tine tillers, Greenworks 27062 comes equipped with 4 adjustable tines. These can dig up to 10” in width and 5” in-depth, allowing the user to create loose soil by breaking up compacted clumps. The 6” wheels of this front-tine cultivator make it more maneuverable and easier to transport.
Other features worth mentioning include a 2-step start-up switch, a foldable handle, as well as a 2-year warranty for the battery, and a 4-year warranty for the tiller.
- A battery-powered tiller – cord-free operation
- A single charge lasts for 40 minutes
- 4-year warranty
- Low-quality foam padding on the handle
Lightweight / Mini Tillers Buying Guide
The task of shopping for the best mini tiller is all but easy. Just like with other gardening machines, there are several important factors you’ll have to keep in mind – these are the most important ones:
As you can see in our roundup, we’ve reviewed mini garden tillers that are powered by either gas or electricity. Moreover, electric models can be corded or cordless. The type of power is the first thing you’ll have to consider when shopping for one of these convenient machines.
Corded Mini Tillers
Corded tillers come with a huge advantage – you never have to worry about charging the machine. And they’re quite potent, too – our top recommendation, Sun Joe’s popular TJ603E model, is equipped with a 12 amp electric motor and is an ideal option for small to mid-sized gardens.
Cordless Mini Tillers
Cordless electric garden tillers, on the other hand, are the best solution for those who’d like to avoid the hassle of having to deal with an extension cable. Although less powerful than corded models, cordless garden tillers are exceptionally lightweight and easy to use.
Gas Mini Tillers
If you want the best performance, however, make sure to get a gas-powered mini tiller. These garden cultivators provide all the power you’ll need for weeding, tilling, mulching, cultivating, and aerating. Don’t forget to keep the long-term cost of gas in mind, though.
Whether you decide to go for a gas, corded, or cordless garden tiller, you’ll have to think about what kind of a motor it’s equipped with. The more powerful the motor is, the easier it will be to deal with compacted soil – it’s as simple as that.
For example, the 12 amp electric motor found on our top-recommended mini tiller is more than capable of dealing with tough dirt. A model with a 2.5 amp motor, such as Earthwise TC70025, won’t fare as well when it comes to more demanding gardening tasks but can be of great use for creating flower beds or uprooting weeds.
The tines are another important consideration. For stress-free tilling, get a model equipped with a set of well-made, long-lasting tines.
An important thing to mention here is that all of the models we’ve reviewed above are front-tine tillers. This is because rear-tine tillers weigh a lot more and can’t really be classified as mini tillers. In addition, a rear-tine garden cultivator will almost always be a lot more powerful – get one if you own a large garden that requires frequent tilling.
The best garden tiller will also have a set of pneumatic wheels – these contribute to the overall maneuverability and make it easier to get into tighter spots. In addition, the best models come equipped with features such as the cord lock, ergonomic grip, and foldable handles.
Pay attention to the warranty, too – it’s one of the most vital considerations when it comes to determining the longevity of a particular model.
While it’s not the most powerful or the most maneuverable unit on our list, Sun Joe’s TJ603E model is undoubtedly the best garden tiller out of all models weighing less than 40 pounds.
It’s a jack of all trades – TJ603E weighs only 27.1 pounds, has 6 heavy-duty tines, and is incredibly easy to maneuver and store. These and other features turn it into the best mini tiller money can get today and a truly worthwhile investment.