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5 Best Small Tiller Reviews in 2020 For Home Gardeners

If you’re in the market for a mini tiller, then you have come to the right place. Let us tell you everything you need to know in choosing the best small tiller.

A small tiller or mini tiller is a fantastic piece of equipment for smaller yards and gardens, effectively breaking up compacted soil for easy planting. 

Weighing 20-30lbs, mini tillers are easy to use, maneuverer, store and maintain, and come with a great range of accessories to make your yard work even easier.

Check out our reviews on the best small tiller of 2020 to find the perfect fit for your yard and your budget!

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Best Small Tiller 2020 Winner

Sun Joe TJ603E Best Electric Small Tiller for 2020

via amazon.com

Out of the 5, the best reviewed and trusted small tiller is the Sun Joe TJ603E.

There are a number of reasons why we selected this as the best out of the 3.

First, it has the most AMPs – 12. It has the widest tilling width out of all the tillers listed – an impressive 16 inches. The depth is also the most – 8 inches.

These are important for tilling up those larger, garden beds. It is still lightweight, but at 27lbs, it will be less likely to jerk you around while in use.

Difference between a Rototiller and Cultivator

A man using a Sun Joe TJ600E in his garden

Source: Amazon

Rototillers and cultivators are often referred to as if they are interchangeable pieces of landscaping equipment, but they’re actually pretty different.

A cultivator is used for light work in small spaces while a tiller is heavier equipment used for more difficult terrain. You can read more about the differences between a rototiller and a cultivator here.

Is a Mini Tiller Right for My Yard?

Mini tillers are not designed for working large yards or very challenging work.

If you have difficult terrain, are creating a garden from scratch on compact, native ground or have a medium or large yard where lots of work needs to be done, a full size rototiller is a better option.

This will be able to get the job done more easily and faster.

What Should I Use a Mini Tiller for?

What Should I Use a Mini Tiller for

Source: Amazon

A small tiller should be used in small, established yards on soil that isn’t too compact – for example, in flowerbeds.

It’s used to aerate and break up the soil, as well as mix in fertilizer and compost easily. It should not be used to create new beds in hard, compacted soil, or where there are lots of rocks and stone.

Types of Small Tillers

There are two main types of small tiller – the gas powered tiller and the electric tiller – both with different pros and cons.

Gasoline Powered Small Tillers

Gas powered small tillers tend to be the more powerful option and are easy to transport and use, no matter where you are.

The downside is that they are noisy and let off fumes while running, and require a bit more maintenance than their electric counterparts.

Electric Powered Small Tillers

Electric tillers come in both corded and battery powered options, and are best-suited to light work. They are better for the environment, as they don’t let of fumes, they run quietly and require little maintenance.

The downside is that they can cost a bit more than gas options, and you’re limited in use either by the length of the power cord or the capacity of the battery.

They’re best used where you need to aerate and break up compact soil that has been loosened in the past.

Features of Small Tillers

2-Cycle vs. 4-Cycle Engines

Example of a 4-Cycle Cultivator

Source: Amazon

Gas powered small tillers either have a 2-cycle or a 4-cycle engine, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s look at the differences between the two.

  • 2-cycle engines require you to mix oil and gasoline together, whereas 4-cycle engines run off just gasoline. You can use whatever gasoline you use for your lawn mower.
  • 4-cycle engines are more environmentally friendly than 2-cycle engines. They release less fumes, so it is better for your health if you use it for long periods of time.
  • 4-cycle engines are, in general, more powerful than their counterparts. This is makes them better suited to tougher jobs.

Width and Depth for Small Tillers

When looking for the best mini tiller in the market, look at the width and depth of the tines to see if they suit your gardening needs. 

The width of the tines can vary from 6 inches to 12 inches, and the best small tiller have adjustable widths, which is ideal if you’re going to work on a number of different projects or landscaping work.

Extra Attachments for the Best Small Tillers

Extra Attachments for the Best Small Tillers

Source: Amazon

Some mini tillers have a range of accessories you can attach to them to make yard work a lot easier. Some great attachments to consider include dethatchers, planter/furrowers, rakes and edgers.

Folding and Storage

One of the great things about a mini tiller is how easy they are to store.

The less storage you have, the more important it is to consider the weight and size of the tiller, as well as additional features, like the ability to fold away. 

This will help you fit it into the most compact storage spots as well as making it easy to transport.

The Number of Tines

Before you buy a mini tiller, check the number of tines it has and the quality of the tines. Generally speaking, the more tines it has, the more effective it will be at breaking up compact soil and mixing in fertilizer or compost.

The best small tiller will have steel tines, as these are the best quality.

They’ll stay sharp for longer and are very durable, so they shouldn’t break in compact soil or if you hit rocks and stones accidentally.

How Much does a Small Rototiller Cost?

This depends on the brand, the fuel type and the engine in your small rototiller, but they generally cost about $120-200.

If you don’t think you’ll use your mini tiller very often, it may be better to rent your equipment, as this costs about $20 per day on average.

5 Best Small Tillers for 2020 Reviewed

Sun Joe TJ603E Best Electric Small Tiller for 2020

via amazon.com

Sun Joe created a wonderful electric tiller + cultivator. Despite the fact that it is electric, the 12 AMP motor is strong enough to go through a variety of difficult soil.

It will churn up the soil at a rapid 340 RMP. Your garden beds will be ready for planting quickly.

The TJ603E has a wide cultivating area – an impressive 16 inches wide. This is bigger than most small tillers, so if you beds are wider, the TJ603E is a great option.

It also has a great dip depth, at 8 inches deep. With this width and depth, you can dig out even the deepest of weeds.

The motor powers 6 steel, angled tines. This is one of the reasons why this Sun Joe tiller is so highly rated.

Sun Joe TJ603E Best Small Electric garden Tiller

via amazon.com

You won’t have to be concerned about start up; Sun Joe made an easy startup. Just press the button and your tiller will start. A lot of gasoline powered engines require a difficult cord pull. This takes away all those frustrations.

The TJ603E is a bit heavier than other mini tillers. It weighs 27.1lbs. You will get less bounce with this tiller due to the added weight.

When you encourage clay or rocky soil, the TJ603E will power right through it. This is why it is included in the best small tiller list. 

It is important to remember that this is a corded tiller. The given cord is quite short, so you are going to need a heavy duty, outside extension cord.

Sun Joe TJ600E Electric Tiller

via amazon.com

Sun Joe is a leading brand in garden tillers. They create a number of quality machines that will peform well. One of these are the TJ600E.

This mini tiller will help loosen up dirt easily and effectively. It is an electric motor, with 6.5 AMPs.

With this tiller, it is corded, so you don’t have to worry about running out of gasoline or dead batteries.

You start the tiller with an easy push of the Instant Start button; no more frustrating starts! Don’t let its size fool you; it may be small, but it is mighty in power.

The TJ600E has 4, steel blade tines. The width of the cut is 14 inches, and the depth is 7 inches. This is a good depth and width for a smaller tiller.

Sun Joe is concerned about safety; they installed a safety switch so you won’t accidentally start the machine.

Comfortable and Light Weight Mini Tiller

If you are worried about comfort, Sun Joe has you covered. The handles are oversized and ergonomic, for comfort while in use.

Plus, it is lightweight, weighing only 17lbs. You won’t struggle to push or maneuver it around garden beds or other plants.

One of the nicest features of the TJ600E is the folding handle. If you want to transport or store the tiller, simply fold down the handle, and it will only take up a small amount of space.

This is handy for those who may have a small shed or a small vehicle to transport.

Earthwise 11-inch 8.5 AMP Corded Electric Tiller

via amazon.com

Earthwise sells one of the best small tiller on the market today. There are some reasons why this tiller is so loved.

First, it has an 8.5 electric AMP. It is a corded tiller, so you will need an outlet or a large, outdoor extension cord to use this tiller.

Despite the electric engine, it works great; it can even break up clay soil, and that can be a hard job.

Also, an electric tiller means easy startup; just push a button and go!Earthwise built this tiller with 4 steel, blade tines. They cut to a depth of 8.5 inches and a width of 11 inches.

The tine speeds are faster than an engine with less AMPs. The faster tine speeds means it can break up most things like clay, roots and thicker vegetation.

The price of the Earthwise makes it very appealing. A very nice feature is the wheels. They can flip out of the way when you want to dig deeper, and then they fold in when you are digging shallow. This is an awesome feature that helps customize the tilling.

The only disadvantage to the Earthwise is its lightweight size. It is around 20lbs, but it tends to buck and bounce around when in use.

You will have to keep both hands on tightly while in use.You will be pleased with the quality of this machine.

It is surprisingly well made and easy to assemble. It will last for years to come.

Troy-Bilt TB146 EC 29cc Gas Powered Garden Tiller

via amazon.com

Troy-Bilt is a trustworthy, well-known brand that makes quality products. One of the differences in the Troy Bilt is it is a gasoline powered, 29cc, 4-cycle engine. You won’t have to worry about mixing oil and gas for this engine.

The startup of this tiller is great. There is no pulling of the cord, which usually just becomes an annoyance.

The JumpStart technology makes it very simple. This very powerful engine powers and turns 6, 8-bladed tines.

One of the nice features about the tines are they are adjustable. You can adjust the width of the rows to 6 inches, 9 inches, and 12 inches.

This is great for a customizable till; you can fit in between your garden beds, or till a whole row. You can till up to 5 inches in depth.

The TB146 does a nice job of knocking down weeds and vegetation. Due to its shallow dig depth, it wouldn’t be effective at breaking new ground, but it would be very effective in an already established garden.

One of the best ways to use this tiller is mixing in compost to your beds.

Despite the slower and shallow tines, the Troy-Bilt tiller has solid performance.

If you are looking for quality, picking a reputable company will give you a solid choice for a garden tiller.

Green Works released a new, 8 AMP corded cultivator and tiller. 8 AMPs are strong enough to power through most types of soil.

It provides reliable results, plus it has an easy, electric startup that eliminates the need of starting cords.

Electric tillers are handy since you don’t have to mix gas and oil. This is a corded tiller, so you need to have extension cords for it to work across your yard.

Green Works 27072 8 AMP Corded Electric mini Tiller

via: potatofeed.com

The powerful motor powers 4, 8 inch forward rotating tines. These tines can dig to a depth of 5 inches. The width of the till can adjust from 8.25 inches to 10 inches.

This makes the till more custom and quick. The wheel height is adjustable as well. The tines will power well through clay-like soil, as well as sandy soil.

Despite the strength, this wouldn’t be recommended for breaking new soil. It is a great tiller for established garden and flower beds.

Landscaping will be a breeze with the Green Works tiller. The price is under $100, making this an exceptional value for the power.

Another important feature about the Green Works tiller is the size. It collapses and folds compactly for small storage areas.

If you want to transport or have a tiny shed, this would be feature to consider.

Best Small Tiller Winner 2020

2020 winner Best Small Tiller Electric Sun Joe TJ603E

via amazon.com

Out of the 5, the best reviewed and trusted small tiller is the Sun Joe TJ603E. There are a number of reasons why we selected this as the best out of the 3.

First, it has the most AMPs – 12. It has the widest tilling width out of all the tillers listed – an impressive 16 inches. The depth is also the most – 8 inches.

These are important for tilling up those larger, garden beds. It is still lightweight, but at 27lbs, it will be less likely to jerk you around while in use.


Safety Tips for Using the Best Small Tiller

Follow these tips to stay out of harm’s way when using your tiller.

  • Wear safety glasses or goggles.
  • Wear closed shoes or work boots with non-slip soles.
  • Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught on the machine.
  • Use ear protection if you are using a gas powered tiller.
  • Keep away from the tines while the engine is running
  • Never leave the tiller unattended with the motor running.
  • Get to know the controls and read the manual before you turn it on.
  • Do not try to make adjustments to the tiller while the engine is running unless the manual tells you to.
  • Be careful around utilities infrastructure, fences, hard paving or buildings.
  • Only use attachments recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not overload the tiller – the manual will have guidelines.
  • Do not transport the tiller with the motor running.

We Hope You’ve Found the Best Small Tiller for Your Yard!

Mini tiller help make the work of aerating, fertilizing and planting an established bed so much faster and easier, helping to grow the best flowers and vegetables in the neighborhood.

We hope our review of the best small tiller for 2020 has helped you find the best for your yard, whether it’s gas or electric, and helped ensure you use it safely for many years to come!

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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