Best 5 Garden Tillers for the Money

Tillers are one of the must-have tools for garden owners. They freshen the soil, remove weeds, and stir fertilizers.

And yes, it might be hard to find the best tools to be worthy of your hard-earned money. But it’s not impossible! That’s why we’ll tell you the cheapest garden tillers that match your budget and give you the best quality work at the same time.

We’ll also discuss things you need to know before buying a tiller, so make sure you stick around till the end of the article. Let’s go!

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Quick Overview

Our Top Pick: Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller

Best Corded Front-Tined Tiller: Earthwise TC70125 12.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Electric Tiller

Best Cordless Front-Tined Tiller: Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt 7.5-Inch Cordless Electric Tiller

Best 4-Cycle Front-Tined Gas Tiller: Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller

Another Worth-Mentioning Gas Tiller: Schiller Grounds Care 7920 Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller

The Products We Chose for You

Our Top Pick: Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller

Sale
Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator,Black
  • Powerful: 13. 5-Amp motor cultivates up to 16 in. Wide x 8 in. Deep
  • Durable: 6 Steel angled tines for maximum durability and performance
  • Easy storage: handle folds for convenient storage and easy transport
  • Wheel-adjustment: 3-position wheel adjustment
  • We’ve got you covered! : your new Tiller + cultivator is backed by the snow Joe + Sun Joe customer promise. We will warrant New, powered products for two years from the date of purchase. No questions asked. Contact snow Joe + Sun Joe customer Support at 1-866-766-9563 for further assistance.

Sun Joe is one of the best companies out there making outdoor tools. They made this tiller with a 13.5-Amp motor and 6 steel angled tines. Its tilling reaches 8” deep in the soil and extends to 16” in width. 

What’s great about this tiller is its amazing strength and power. With 370 rpm, you can basically cut through most of the hard soils, even the rocky ones.

To keep you protected, in case anything is wrong with the product within 2 years from purchase, customer support will replace it with a new product. No questions asked!

Pros

  • Electric
  • Foldable handle for easier storage 
  • Adjustable wheels to promote steering
  • Performs well in hard and rocky soil

Cons

  • Smaller spaces between tines may increase clogging

Best Corded Front-Tined Tiller: Earthwise TC70125 12.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Electric Tiller

Earthwise TC70125 12.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator, Green
  • Earthwise tiller with a powerful 12.5-Amp electric motor with superb run time and service life
  • Corded electric tiller ideal for small to medium-sized gardens
  • 4 tine cultivator long handle that can cultivate and till up to 16" wide and 8" deep
  • Lightweight and maneuverable 16-inch cultivator with single lever switch
  • Cultivator machine with a soft ergonomic grip that is an planet-friendly alternative to gas-powered lawn and garden equipment

This tiller comes with a powerful 12.5-Amp corded motor, 6 steel tines, 16” tiling width, and 8” tiling depth. These features make it a perfect option for mid-sized to large gardens. 

For easy handling and safe standing, this tiller is equipped with 6” flip-down wheels. Additionally, to make tilling your garden even easier, the handlebar is padded with a soft rubbery material. 

In case any hazard happened during use, you can instantly turn it off with the safety switch found near your grip. 

Pros

  • Lightweight (30 lbs)
  • Electric with easy on/off switch
  • Cord-retention hook to secure the extension cord during use 
  • Safety switch for emergencies 
  • Ergonomic handlebar

Cons

  • Medium stability in rocky soils
  • Some customers reported premature motor overheating

Best Cordless Front-Tined Tiller: Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt 7.5-Inch Cordless Electric Tiller

Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt 7.5-Inch Cordless Electric Tiller Cultivator, (2AH Battery & Fast Charger Included)
  • Powerful cordless electric motor bundled with 20 volt 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery and fast charger
  • Versatile cultivator ideal for any garden size, yard and flower bed; This tiller is also an effective weed control tool
  • 4 durable steel tines with convenient cutting width of up to 7.5 inches and cutting depth of 6 inches
  • Cordless tiller is a cleaner alternative to gas-powered tillers
  • Lightweight tiller design for effortless operation and easy transport

Another product from Earthwise, this time with a cordless 12-V battery. The tilling tines are 4 with 7.5” width and 6” depth. Such small depth, and the fact that it’s battery-powered, limit its use to small gardens with non-rocky soil. 

The small size and the single-pole adjustable handle makes the tilling experience comfortable and seamless. It also comes with a safety switch reachable to your grip in cases of emergency.

Pros

  • Lightweight (28 Ibs)
  • Single-pole adjustable handle
  • Safety switch for emergencies
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Unpowerful in hard soil
  • Unstable in rocky soil

Best 4-Cycle Front-Tined Gas Tiller: Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller

Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator, red
  • Comes with a handy carrying handle
  • Entire unit weighs Only 24-pounds
  • Handle Bars fold down for easy storage
  • 2-year limited Warranty
  • Come with standard kickstand

If you have a compact, hard, and rocky soil, this would be your go-to tiller. Its powerful Honda 25-cc engine spins 4 tines at 240 rpm. 

It can till up to 10” depth with 9” width. When idle, the product rests on a kickstand, which also makes refueling hassle-free. In comparison to the 2-cycle engine that needs oil and gas, this 4-cycle engine only needs gas.

What makes it stand out financially between other tillers are the optional attachments that can turn it into other outdoor tools, like a lawn aerator, lawn dethatcher, border edger, and plow. 

Additionally, it can be folded for easy storage after use.

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight (24 Ibs) 
  • Kickstand for balance
  • Doesn’t require mixing oil and gas
  • Adjustable speed

Cons

  • No wheels
  • Requires gas
  • It starts manually with a recoil pull starter. 

Another Worth-Mentioning Gas Tiller: Schiller Grounds Care 7920 Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller

Schiller Grounds Care 7920 Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator
  • Comes with a handy carrying handle
  • Entire unit weighs Only 20-pounds
  • Handle Bars fold down for easy storage
  • 2-year limited Warranty

Schiller presents another great tiller for the old-fashioned gardeners who prefer gas over electricity. 

Although it’s one of the smallest tillers out there, it maintains an overall good performance with a 21.2-cc motor that rotates the tines at 240 rpm. Its 2 tines are 9” wide and till at 10” depth.

Its main disadvantage is the 2-cycle nature of its motor. This requires both gas and oil, which is not as practical as other tillers.

Pros

  • Small size
  • Ultra-lightweight (20 Ibs)
  • Adjustable speed
  • Kickstand for balance

Cons

  • Requires gas and oil
  • Starts manually with a recoil pull starter

Things to Consider Before Buying a Tiller

It’s always preferable to make an educated decision rather than a quick review-based one. That’s why we’ll discuss topics you should know before actually buying a tiller. 

Tilling vs. No Tilling

It’s an ongoing debate that may never end. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages, so what’s actually right for you? You’ll have to decide on your own.

We’ll help you, though. Underneath, we discuss in brief what every choice has to give and take. 

Tilling

For Hard Soils

If your soil is rocky or contains a high amount of clay, then tilling is a no-brainer. Loose soil is crucial for healthy plant growth, it provides space for the roots to grow and spread. 

For Soil Nourishment

Tilling mixes organic fertilizers and composts deeper into the soil. This enhances their decomposition to provide a better and bigger benefit to your plants later on. 

For Weed Control

Weeds are by far one of the most irritating things to deal with in your garden. They may dig deep and spread out in your soil, exploiting much of the nutrients needed by your plants to grow. 

Tilling removes weeds effectively by cutting their deepest roots and pulverizing what remains, making it incredibly hard for weeds to grow again.

No-Tilling 

For Less Soil Erosion

Keeping the soil in its original non-loose form reduces the amount of soil lost to wind and rain. 

For Better Soil Composition

Some organic compounds, like carbon, may be lost in the atmosphere after the tilling process. Similarly, tilling exposes more soil to the air, leading to a higher evaporation rate, thus decreasing the soil moisture. 

Front-Tined vs. Rear-Tined Tillers

The main difference between tillers lies in the place of their tines, front or rear. 

Front-Tined Tillers

Usually smaller and lighter in comparison with the rear-tined design. Front-tined tillers depend on the tiller rotation for their propulsion, to leave the back wheels, if present, with the job of steering only. 

The lightweight makes it incredibly useful to use in small-sized gardens, where there’s a bunch of tight corners that require maneuverability.

The dependence on tines for moving, however, makes it imperative to only rotate forward, which can decrease the tilling quality to some extent. 

These features, of course, come in a handy budget to suit non-professional home use. 

Rear-Tined Tillers

These tillers have front wheels that pull the machine forward or backward when they’re put in gear. This leaves the tines with the sole job of digging. As a result, some tillers have the option of rotating its tines in the opposite direction, which allows for deeper and better digging.

Generally, this design comes with a higher horsepower than the front-tined. This enables the tiller to dig easily through harder soils of rocky nature.

The complex mechanics, however, increase the machine’s size, weight, and subsequently, its price. That’s why it’s more practical to use in large professional gardens that require heavy-duty digging.

Bonus: How to Properly Maintain Your Tiller

To live the longest and benefit the most from your hard-earned money, you need to learn how to properly maintain your tiller. 

Obviously, you’ll need to clean your tiller after each use to prevent clogging of dirt inside the machine. Hose-off the tines and pay special attention to confined areas. Inspect your tines’ axel for any wound roots or vines.

After varying periods of time, the tines will get dull, hindering the digging efficacy to a large extent. If you own a front-tined tiller, you can easily flip the machine over and sharpen the tines with a metal file. 

Rear-tined tillers, on the other hand, can be a nightmare to flip. So, it’s better to unhook the tines and hold them with a vise to be able to sharpen them. Instead, if you don’t want to bother hassling, you can go for the professional machine servicing options.

The Verdict

Tillers are undoubtedly indispensable for every garden. And yes, you can buy a cheap garden tiller that gives you premium quality.

Our top best garden tiller for the money is Sun Joe TJ604E, due to its high-performance rate, maneuverability, and the warranty.

If you prefer gas, the Schiller 4-cycle mantis tiller should be your go-to tiller. It depends on gas only and gives a powerful tilling in the hardest soils. 

After all, the best tiller won’t last unless given the best maintenance. Make sure to clean your tiller after each use and sharpen the tines regularly.