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10 Best Rototillers in 2020 | Reviews and Buying Guide

Long ago, gardeners need animals, such as oxen, to pull their tillers, so they could break up the soil in preparation for planting seeds.

Luckily, technology has served us well and made the process much easier. When you decide you want a garden, a rototiller may be one of the first large purchases you make.

There are many factors to consider before you make your selection of the best rototiller for your needs. The right rototiller can drastically reduce the physical toll of beginning a new garden.

However, you want to make sure you pick the right one. Rototillers come in three styles: front-tine, mini-tillers, and rear-tines. Let’s look at the difference and factors to consider.

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Product


Our Rating

Price

Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch Corded Electric Tiller Cultivator


Best Rototillers in 2020
Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch Electric Garden Tiller Cultivator


Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch Electric Tiller and Cultivator


TACKLIFE Electric Tiller, Tiller Cultivator


Greenworks 10-Inch Corded Tiller 27072


Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch Corded Electric Tiller Cultivator


Husqvarna Adjustable Width Front Tine Tiller


Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller Cultivator


Our 2020 Best Rototillers Top Pick

self propelled rototiller

LEARN MORE

If you are looking for a mini rototiller, the Mantis tiller has a strong, Honda engine, able to power through most soil conditions.


It is designed with comfort in mind. The Earthquake tiller is small, but strong. 


The Viper engine is perfect for tilling up your raised beds, and it has the ability to maneuver wherever you need it to be.

Kinds of Rototillers


1. Front Tine Tiller

best front tine rototiller

via: http://www.mtd-eu.com

These aren’t meant for the heavy-duty work. They are similar to cultivators and are best for mixing up soil in established beds.

However, front-tine tillers are more powerful than your typical cultivator. The tines are responsible for the propulsion, so they can be difficult to push at times.


2. Rear Tine Rototiller

Best Rear Tine Rototiller

via: http://www.mackissic.com

If you have some hard soil to break up, a rear-tine is the way to go. They come with rugged tires and can work in most conditions. Rear-tine can break through clay soils.

If you are turning a patch of your lawn into a garden, this is the type of tiller you will need. Rear-Tine tillers have a separate drive system, so they are much easier to propel through the garden.

3. Mini-Tillers

These are also referred to as cultivators. They can hard some tough jobs, but aren’t nearly as powerful the previously mentioned varieties. They have front-tines, which till and pull the unit forward.

4. Electric Tiller

best small rototiller for 2020

via http://shop.telegraph.co.uk/

​For small jobs, an electric tiller would be a great selection. They are quiet, dependable and powerful enough for smaller jobs.

You have to stay close enough to an electrical outlet. They come in different sizes, with the largest electric tillers running on around 10 amps.

5. Gasoline Powered Tiller

​Gas powered tillers come in a huge assortment of sizes and styles. There is something for every gardener. This is the way to go for larger projects or if you want to have more power.

They are the most powerful garden tillers available on the market. However, they can be very loud and not as environmentally friendly.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Rototiller

1. Size of The Garden

Choosing the right rototiller for your garden

via: chicagotribune.com

The first thing you need to look at is the size of your garden. This is going to determine how much power you need for your rototiller. If your garden is less than 1,500 square feet, a mini-tiller should perform the job perfectly.

If your garden is in between 1,500 and 5,000 square feet, you should look for a 5 to 6 horsepower tiller. For gardens that are larger than 5,000 square feet, the engine should be at least 6 horsepower.

2. Type of Soil

​Another consideration is the type of soil you have. Very dense or rocky soil can be difficult for smaller rototillers. If the rototiller isn’t strong enough to break through, it will just skip over it.

Look at your garden soil, and consider moving up to a stronger horsepower tiller if this is your soil type.

3. Types of Tines

What is a tine?

It is the blade that churns through the soil. The tines are going to get the soil all ready for you to plant your garden. They are one of the most important parts of the rototiller.

An ideal rototiller tines will be made from heavy duty steel with different cutting surfaces, so it can cut through a variety of weeds and roots. There are a few variations.

  • Counter-Rotating Tines: These move in the opposite direction of the rototiller. They dig in the deepest and are ideal for breaking new ground or working through tough, clay soil. 
  • Forward-Rotating Tines: Just as the name suggestions, these tines more in a forward direction just like the tiller. They are typically found on front-tine tillers.
  • There are three types of blades that come with rototillers: Bolo, for deep tilling, Slasher, for thicker weeds and roots, and a pick and chisel, for rocky ground.

4. Consider the Project

​When you make the selection, think about the project you are going to use it for. Are you going to break new ground for a large, brand new garden?

Or, are you primarily going to be using it for existing garden areas? This is going to determine the amount of power you need in your rototiller.

5. Tiller Depth

​The most ideal garden tiller will have an adjustable depth and width. For breaking new ground, you want a tiller that can reach 8 to 10 inches.

This is especially important if you want to plant root vegetables, such as carrots and turnips. Make sure to check this before purchase.


10 Best Rototillers on the Market

Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch 13.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller Cultivator via: amazon.com

Source: Amazon

Do you need a rototiller that’s quiet and yet still does the job? The American brand Earthwise has the perfect electric, zero-emission rototiller and cultivator for you, the 13.5 Amp Earthwise TC70016.


Adjustable Stainless Steel Tines

With its 11 to 16 inches clearing width and 8 inches tilling depth, this rototiller and cultivator can till mid-size to large gardens.


Its six adjustable stainless steel tines can quickly and smoothly mix and grind hard-packed soil. As a result, it aerates the soil and effectively delivers water and oxygen the plant roots need.


Easy to Store and Operate

This lightweight, 29 pounds rototiller is not only easy to store, but also easy to operate. It has 6 inches flip-down rear wheels which makes it easier to transport.


Its comfortable and ergonomic handle has a cord retention hook to secure your extension cord when in use.


Starting this tiller is an easy job, you just have to push the start button and squeeze the lever and it will do its work. 


Low Maintenance Rototiller

Since it’s an electric rototiller, you won’t have to worry about regular maintenance unlike when you’re using a gas-powered one. It’s even backed with a two-year warranty.

Pros

  • 13.5 Amp
  • Adjustable clearing width (11 to 16 inches)
  • 8 inches tilling depth
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Retention hook for your extension cord
  • Zero-emission
  • Easy maintenance
  • Two-year warranty

Cons

  • Takes a huge amount of attention and strength to operate.
  • Corded
  • Safety interlock trigger for the machine is a hassle
Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller Cultivator

Source: Amazon

Another powerful rototiller on the list is the sun joe tj604E  electric garden cultivator and tiller. This rototiller has a 13.5 amp motor that can effortlessly slice through soil at 370 Rpm. Its durable 6 steel angled tines can till soil up to 16 inches wide and 8 inches deep. 


Easy to Store and Transport

Storing this 27-pound rototiller won’t be a problem at all. Its handle can be folded so you can easily store it.


Plus, with its 3-position wheel adjustment, you can easily transport it when storing or maneuver around obstacles when in use.


Starts Up with just a Push of a Button

As it is electrically powered, it starts up easily every time with just a push of a button. Although it can be a bit loud, at least you won’t have to deal with smoke, harmful emissions, and even costly maintenance

Pros

  • 13.5 AMP motor with 370 RPM
  • Foldable handle for easy storage
  • 6 steel angled tines
  • 3-position wheel adjustment
  • Weighs 27 pounds

Cons

  • Tends to jump just a little bit
  • Only runs at one speed
  • Can be a little loud
Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

Source: Amazon

Yes, you read that right. We have another Sun Joe rototiller and cultivator in this list. Although this model is a lot similar to the Sun Joe TJ604E, they still have some huge differences. 


Just like the previous model, the Sun Joe TJ603E electric tiller and cultivator has 6 steel angled tines designed for maximum durability and performance.


It also has an adjustable clearing width that reaches up to 16 inches and can till up to 8 inches deep. Unlike TJ604E, the TJ603E model only has 12 amp motor and 340 RPM making it suitable for small to medium-sized gardens only.


Complete Tasks with more Comfort

This rototiller promises to be able to control weed and complete garden tasks easier and with more comfort.


To help achieve this, this model has a 3-position wheel adjustment that makes it easier to maneuver the rototiller around even when in use. 


In addition to that, it only weighs 27 pounds making it easy to transport and its foldable handle also makes it easy to store.


Starts Effortlessly and Easy to Maintain

Although electric, corded rototillers have their limitations, a few others enjoy using them because they are easy to maintain and start effortlessly every single time.


Aside from not having to mix oil and gasoline, these rototillers are also a lot quieter than the gas-powered ones.

Pros

  • Easy maintenance
  • Starts effortlessly
  • Comfortable to use
  • 3-position wheel adjustment for easier transport
  • 12 amp motor
  • 340 RPM
  • 16 inches clearing width and 8 inches depth

Cons

  • Not suitable for bigger areas
  • Difficult to use in tight spaces
  • Corded
  • Takes quite a bit of guidance for you to keep it on track
TACKLIFE Electric Tiller, 13.5 Amp Tiller Cultivator

Source: Amazon

Being lightweight doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be powerful enough to do yard work. One great example is the 22 pounds Tacklife Electric Tiller.


This rototiller is equipped with a 13.5 amp motor that can easily till soil with its 380 RPM.


Switch its Manganese Steel Tines from 4 to 6 Tines

In addition to its powerful motor, it also has tough and durable manganese steel tines that ensure the most stable performance.


Not only is its working width adjustable from 18 inches to 12.5 inches, but you can also switch them from 6 tines to 4 tines without even using any tools.


Its working depth can reach up to 8 inches perfect when you’re working on your garden and even in your vegetable plot. 


Storage is Never an Issue with its Foldable Design

With its foldable design, this 22 pounds rototiller is so easy to store. You can even fold it without using any tools, a feature you’ll definitely need if you have small storage.


Safety buttons and brake switches, as well as ergonomic handlebar with anti-vibration system, are some other notable features of this rototiller.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • 13.5 amp with 380 RPM
  • 4 to 6 manganese steel tines
  • 12 to 18 inches working width, 8 inches working depth
  • 22 pounds
  • Foldable even without any tools

Cons

  • Can get clogged up with grass easily.
  • The gearbox tends to heat up.
Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072

Source: Amazon

If you have some lightweight tilling work to do, the Greenwork Corded Tiller 27072 should be enough for your tasks.


This electric rototiller has an 8 amp motor that can dig in the forward direction up to 5 inches deep with 15 RPM, enough to get rid of weeds and prepare the soil for planting. 


8 inches Forward Rotating Tines

It has 8 inches forward rotating tines that with an adjustable width from 8.25 inches to 10 inches you can use to quickly till small areas.


With its 5 inches adjustable tilling depth, you can choose your preferred tilling depth. As it is an electric rototiller, it promises a smooth and less noisy operation.


Ergonomic and Foldable Tubular Handle

Like the other rototillers on the list, the 38.9 pounds Greenworks 27072 has a foldable handle for easy storage and transportation.


Its ergonomic tubular handle makes it more comfortable to push around plus it doesn’t add strain to the shoulders, unlike the two-handled models.


Push-Button Electric Start

With its push-button electric start, you won’t experience any problem when it comes to starting the rototiller. Since it is corded, it comes with an additional cord lock to make sure its cord remains connected when you’re working.

Pros

  • 4-year tool warranty
  • 8 inches forward rotating tines
  • Adjustable working width and working depth
  • Push-button electric start
  • Ergonomic and foldable tubular handle

Cons

  • Does not work on all soil types, especially rock hard dirt.
  • Works for lightweight work only.
Earthwise TC70001 - 11-Inch 8.5 Amp Corded Electric Tiller

via: amazon.com

Earthwise has created one of the best-selling rototillers on Amazon today. It is an electric, 8.5 amp tiller. It has dual 4 blade steel tines and moves fairly fast.


The Earthwise tiller can cut to a depth of 8.5 inches and a width of 11 inches.


This tiller would be perfect for raised beds or along a fence line. It wouldn’t serve you well to break in a new garden bed.


For those who are earth friendly, this rototiller has zero emissions. The weight of this rototiller is not overwhelming; it only weighs 26lbs.


It can only move forward, but it is strong enough to power through a multitude of soil types. The Earthwise rototiller is very friendly on the budget.

Pros

  • Budget friendly
  • Powerful
  • Earth Friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Simple to Use

Cons

  • Bucks when hitting roots or rocks
  • Narrow width
Husqvarna FT900-CA Adjustable Width Front Tine Tiller

via: Amazon.com

Are you looking for a stronger rototiller that can do nearly any job? Husqvarna has you covered. Their products are known for their superior quality and durability.

The power behind their machines are typically unmatched. This garden tiller features a 208cc Briggs and Stratton engine.

It will be able to go through most soil conditions. However, it is not the tiller to purchase if you plan to break new ground.

Husqvarna FT900-CA Adjustable Width Front Tine Tiller

via: Amazon.com

The width of the tines can be adjusted from 12, 24 and 36. This gives you a lot customizable options. Another feature for this tiller is it can go in reverse. 

These tillers can be referred to as “self-cleaning” because it will flip off the dirt when put into the opposite direction.

The depth can be adjusted with the depth bar, attached to the back of the rototiller. This bar is also called a drag bar, because it is pulled along behind the tiller.

Many people think rear-tine tillers are the best, but this front-tine tiller has great maneuverability around areas.

Given the amount of power and size of this rototiller. This can be quite a chunk of change for some people. However, Husqvarna made the assembly as easily as they could.

With the size of the tiller, you can till a garden over 5,000 feet, so long as it is previously worked ground.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Can handle large jobs
  • Reverse Option
  • Adjustable width and depth
  • Easy to Use
  • CARB compliant
  • Durable
  • Quality Brand

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only a Front-Tine
  • Not for breaking ground
Mantis 7940 Tiller 4 Cycle 25cc

via: Amazon.com

One of the first noticeably features on the Mantis tiller is the 4-cycle engine. Most people prefer not to have to mix oil and gas together; the 4-cycle engines take normal gasoline.

Another enjoyable feature is the weight of the tiller. It only weighs 24lbs, making it easy to transport.

Even though the Mantis is lightweight, it still features a powerful, 25cc Honda engine. It can power through compressed soil and sod.

The startup is designed to be easier, plus it has a finger controlled throttle with speed control. You can power it up for harder soil and pull back the power for easier jobs.

affordable front tine tiller

via: Mantis

Comfort is a factor to consider in your purchase. The tiller has soft grip handles, so your hands and wrists won’t suffer.

It comes with a 5 year consumer warranty to comfort your mind. The engine is covered for 5 years, but the tines are guaranteed for life against breakage!

The width and depth are not as impressive as one would hope. This tiller is meant for compact jobs.

The width is 9 inches, and the depth can till down to 10 inches. However, the tines can be turned to a shallow depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Pros

  • No fuel mixing
  • ​Powerful Engine
  • Easy to Startup
  • Ease of Use
  • Amazing Warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not a wide Width
  • Limited on Projects
Husqvarna CRT900L 17-Inch Rear Tine Tiller

via: Amazon.com

Husqvarna created the heavy-duty rear-tine rototiller that those with large gardens are going to want. It is a professional grade rototiller, with counter-rotating tines.

The speed of the tines is high, making even the toughest job easier.

The engine in this Husqvarna is tough. It is a 4-cycle engine and doesn’t review the mixing of oil and gasoline. It is a workhorse, built by Briggs and Stratton. The quality here is impeccable.

This is the rototiller you need if you want to break new ground. You can work for hours with this tiller, and it would never stop working.

You aren’t going to encounter much that this rototiller can’t handle. It will churn through roots and rocks like it is nothing. However, it can be a bit difficult to get into gear at times. With some practice, you will start it easily.

There is a rear tilling plow to help level out the soil as you till it up. It can also go in reverse, which kicks out any dirt that may clog up the machine.

Pros

  • Rear-Tine
  • Fast Speeds
  • 4-Cycle engine
  • Powerful
  • Cuts through clay and tough soil

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Transmission is hard to shift
Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator Tiller

via: Amazon.com

For a pre-tilled garden bed, you won’t find a better rototiller than the Earthquake MC43. It is small and lightweight, weighing only 33lbs, with great maneuverability.


This is a great choice to move around garden rows. Unlike other options, the MC43 isn’t known to jump as much while working soil.


Despite the small size, the Earthquake has a 43cc Viper engine, providing a great amount of power. It is a 2-cycle engine, so you will have to mix oil and gas together for the right mixture.


Like most front-tine tillers, you can only move forward with this machine. However, it is self-propelled and helps ease your arm muscles.


Given the price tag, you get a great machine. It is powerful and reliable, plus easy to assemble which everyone loves.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • ​Powerful
  • Affordable
  • Easy to Use

Cons

  • Very loud
  • Not Earth friendly
  • Difficult to Start

Best Rototillers in 2020

Product


Our Rating

Price

Earthwise 11-Inch TC70001 Corded Electric Tiller Cultivator


Best Rototillers in 2020
Sun Joe 16-Inch TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller Cultivator


Sun Joe 16-Inch TJ603E Electric Tiller and Cultivator


TACKLIFE Electric Tiller, 13.5 Amp Tiller Cultivator


Greenworks 27072 10-Inch Corded Tiller


Earthwise 16-Inch TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller Cultivator


Husqvarna Adjustable Width Front Tine Tiller FT900-CA


Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7940


Our 2020 Best Rototillers Top Pick

self propelled rototiller

LEARN MORE

If you are looking for a mini rototiller, the Mantis tiller has a strong, Honda engine, able to power through most soil conditions.


It is designed with comfort in mind. The Earthquake tiller is small, but strong. 


The Viper engine is perfect for tilling up your raised beds, and it has the ability to maneuver wherever you need it to be.

Wrapping Up The Best Rototillers in 2020

These are just a few of the amazing rototillers available on the market today. Each of these rototillers are different in their own ways.

We have the amazing, Earthwise tiller that is electric. If you want a rototiller for your smaller projects, this is a great option. Considering it is electric, it packs a strong punch.

Husqvarna has created two powerhorse rototillers. Both the FT900 and CRT900L have powerful engines built by Briggs and Stratton.

The Husqvarna CRT900L should be your choice if you want to break new ground, especially for a large square foot garden.

All of these rototillers are different in their own ways, but they all have their top quality in common. Is there a rototiller we missed that deserves recognition? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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