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Reviewing The Best RotoTillers for your Garden


It’s that time of year! The season has begun and there is yard work to be done! This time of year means tidying, trimming and most importantly, laying the groundwork for this years plots by tilling and lightening up the soil. Having a quality rototiller that is right for you can make all the difference during prep work and can make the job so much easier. You don’t want a giant to till a small flowerbed but you also don’t want to be doing 1/8 of an acre with an 8” inch tiller. Whether you are buying your first rototiller or looking to replace an old favourite, this guide will help you choose the perfect one for the job.

We will provide you with a detailed overview and best uses for each model so you can get a feel for the differences. We have also come up with a short-and-sweet list of pros and cons for each model we selected to help highlight the important details. We will look at aspects such as ease of transport and storage, weight, maintenance requirements and till depth and width. Aspects such as safety features and relative prices will also be considered in our review. We decided to rank the smaller versatile models separate from the large models so that you can choose based on your needs are whether you have a small garden or a large one.

Here are our top picks for the smaller models available out there that are perfect for smaller home gardens and beds.

CLASS 1: small BUT MIGHTY

1. Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7920

The Mantis 2-Cycle 7920 is our top pick for the smaller rototillers. It compounds great power and light weight (only 22 lbs!) to get the job done quick and easily. Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver and use in small spaces but it packs enough punch to get larger jobs done too. The till depth is not adjustable but this model is so light you can manually adjust the till depth. The Mantis models have attachment kits you can buy to turn your machine into many different yard tools including a lawn dethatcher, lawn aerator, border edger and a plow.  To top it all off it has a 5 year consumer warranty and a lifetime guarantee on the tines which are the part that takes the most wear. If you need to do some heavy ground breaking or till very compacted soil, look into a larger or heavier model.

NOTE: It has a two-cycle engine so you must make sure you are putting in mixed oil/gas to lubricate the engine. This is a little different than your car but you will save time and maintenance work without having to do oil changes. If you are not comfortable with mixing your own, pre-mixed mixed gas is readily available.

Pros
  • Super lightweight
  • Many attachments available
  • Folding handle
  • Hand throttle for control
  • No oil changes
  • Safety switch on handle
  • 5 year warranty
  • Lifetime guarantee on the tines

Cons
  • Depth is not adjustable
  • Requires mixed gas
  • May not be heavy enough for really deep tills or fresh ground breaking

This class of tiller is all about maneuverability and versatility.

2. Earthquake MC43 43cc 2-Cycle CARB Compliant Engine Mini Cultivator Tiller

This tiller has a lot of power for its size with a 43cc engine but has an adjustable tiller width and till speed so it can be used for smaller jobs or in smaller spaces more easily or for larger jobs. The variable till speed may also make it a great option for those who want to slow it down. It also comes with a foldable handle so it doesn’t require as much storage space. Just like the Mantis 7920 above this is a two-stroke engine so you must use mixed gas which can potentially be a bit of trouble but it saves you from ever having to do oil changes. This tiller is a little lighter on the wallet than the Mantis but only comes with a 1 year product warranty and a 2-year engine warranty. It is also a little heavier at 33 pounds so does not provide quite as much maneuverability.

Pros
  • Adjustable width 6” or 10” for more versatility
  • Adjustable cultivating depth
  • Built in wheels for easy transport
  • More than enough engine power
  • Multi blade for finer tilling
  • No oil changes
  • Variable speed
  • Hand throttle for control

Cons
  • Requires mixed gas (oil/gas mix)
  • On/Off switch is on the engine

3. Remington RM4625 Homestead 25cc 2-Cycle Gas Garden Cultivator with Premium Tines

This is a tough little tiller with some versatility. Its bright orange engine has variable speeds and can be set to 6” or 9” width. It can till up to 8” deep and is lighter in build and on your wallet than the Southland SCV43 at the end of the smaller rototillers list for better maneuverability.

Pros
  • No oil changes
  • Adjustable till width
  • Lightweight
  • Compact

Cons
  • Requires mixed gas (oil/gas mix)

4. GreenWorks 27072 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller

Although we don’t recommend a corded tiller due to the extra hassle, this model is built for small jobs so the cord is not much of a problem. We rank it above the Southland SCV43 because even though it also has a shallow till depth of 5”, it is a little easier on the wallet. One benefit of electric models is they never require tune ups or engine maintenance. They are ready to go out of the shed.

 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Quieter
  • Easy to maintain
  • Variable till width
  • Easy start

Cons
  • Corded
  • Only 5” till depth
  • Can overheat if used continuously

5. Southland SCV43 Cultivator with 43cc, 2 Cycle, Full Crankshaft Engine

The Southland is towards the bigger end of this weight class. It features an adjustable till width of 7 or 10 inches width makes this a pretty versatile model. Although a quality machine, we had to rank this one last due to its shallow till depth limit of 5”. This model does have the redeeming trait of large 7” wheels which make transport and use slightly easier in this heavy model. Just like the other two cycle engines above, it has the benefit of not needing oil changes but does need mixed gas.

Pros
  • No oil changes
  • 2 year limited warranty
  • CARB and EPA certified
  • Folding handle for easy storage
  • Front handle for movement while not in use

Cons
  • Requires mixed gas
  • Only 5 inch till depth

CLASS 2: THE BIG GUNS

If you have a large plot or a big job to do, then you are looking in the right place! These heavy hitters are great for deep tills in larger home or market gardens or for landscaping jobs. Many of them are best suited for large spaces where their bulk will not be an issue. They come with larger till depths and till widths to make short and easy work of large jobs.

1. Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7940 Powered by Honda

And the mantis take the prize in the heavyweight class as well. This larger model is versatile and light weight with all the features you would need. It can do power weeding easily with a 2-3” till depth and with a quick switch of the outer blades, it can till up to 10” inches deep! It is compact and maneuverable in tight spaces like near walls and fences but with a 4-cycle engine it is can still get large plots done quickly and is built to withstand. Like the smaller model, this Mantis Rototiller also has attachments you can purchase to do all your lawn care and plowing.  It also has the 5-year consumer warranty and the lifetime warranty on the tines which will definitely come in handy. This model was ranked first overall in the large tiller class due to versatility and what you get for your money, but if you have some really heavy sod or clay busting to do, the larger, heavier Husqvarna in second place may be what you are looking for.

 

Pros
  • Foldable for easy transport and storage
  • Can till up to 10 inches deep
  • Powerful 4 cycle Honda engine

Cons
  • Light weight may make really heavy jobs a bit tougher
  • Requires some maintenance and oil changes

2. Husqvarna FT900-CA Adjustable Width Front Tine Tiller

This is the biggest rototiller we looked at in this review and we rank it second for the big guns. With an adjustable width up to 26” wide, this one is perfect for bigger jobs and more open spaces but can be downsized a little for more maneuverability. The adjustable till depth and variable speed also makes this model easy to use for deep tills before planting as well as power weeding between rows. It comes with a quality Briggs & Stratton engine warrantied by them. The rest of the tiller has a 3 year limited warranty and the tines are warrantied for life or until 7 years after they stop making the model. This model does however come with a big bill so unless you need a massive tiller with lots depth, this is a little overkill which is why we didn’t rank it first.

Pros
  • Two speeds
  • Widest till width
  • Weight can help with hard tills
  • Adjustable till depth
  • CARB compliant
  • 3 year consumer warranty
  • Limited lifetime warranty on tines

Cons
  • Heftier model = a heftier price tag
  • Heavy (100lbs), may be harder to maneuver
  • Requires some engine maintenance and oil changes

3. Troy-Built TB146 EC 29cc 4-Cycle Cultivator with JumpStart Technology

This rototiller has everything you would want in a larger model for larger gardens and jobs except the ability to till deep which puts it at the bottom of the gas powered tillers in our opinion. It has an adjustable till width of 6, 9, or 12 inches so even though its large size makes it more suited for big spaces, it can till narrow rows if needed. It also has a variable speed engine for different jobs such as weeding or shallow tills.

Pros
  • Variable speed
  • Folding handle
  • Variable depth
  • Jumpstart add-on for easy starting (costs extra)

Cons
  • Only 5” till depth
  • Requires some maintenance and oil changes

4. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

This electric model is the largest we reviewed and one of the easiest on the wallet making it perfect for maintaining already deep tilled plots. We ranked it below the gas models because a cord can be a bit of a hassle and a safety issue. This being said, if weight is an issue and you are not looking to do too much heavy tilling, an electric tiller like the Sun Joe TJ603E may be perfect for you. This model provides a variable till depth which makes it a little more versatile than the other electric tiller we look at below. This is the best fit electric tiller for medium sized gardens.

NOTE: An electric rototiller may also be what you need if you have respiratory problems that exhaust could aggravate.

Pros
  • Adjustable till depth
  • No pull start
  • Quieter
  • Larger motor than the Earthwise TC70001
  • Easy engine maintenance
  • Foldable handle for storage
  • 2 year warranty

Cons
  • Corded
  • Large till width which may strain the electric motor
  • Can overheat if used continuously

5. Earthwise 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller and Cultivator TC70001

This one is pretty big for an electric tiller with an 11 inch till width it is perfect for occasional use in larger gardens and is an awesome shade of green. It is also lightweight at only 23 lbs and is lighter on the wallet than the large tillers with engines. We ranked this one last because of the smaller engine and because the being built for bigger jobs may make the cord a little bit of an issue. However, if a pull start is an issue for you and you are careful, a corded rototiller is perfect for you.

NOTE: An electric tiller may also be what you need if you have respiratory problems that exhaust could aggravate.

Pros
  • Easy to maintain
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • No pull start
  • Electric engine is low maintenance
  • Two-year limited warranty
  • Quieter
  • Lightweight
  • Safety off switch

Cons
  • Depth is not adjustable
  • Corded
  • Electric engines can overheat more easily

 

That’s that folks! The top 10 Rototillers and how we rank them.  We hope that outlining our views and giving you the pros and cons for each of these ten machines helps you make an informed decision when you go to buy your next tiller. Remember to consider your specific needs and potential features that best suit your needs when you choose, what is best for a big heavy job isn’t going to be best for smaller beds and raised gardens. Also, be sure to read and understand your new machines owners manual so that you can properly maintain and store to help it last for years to come.

Happy gardening!

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