Are you looking for the best electric tiller to use in your yard or garden? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Electric tillers are very popular nowadays, because they are more environmentally friendly and quieter than gas-powered models, and they are just as effective. Here, we have researched and listed the top 10 electric tillers for you to choose from, and have put together a first-time buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for when evaluating the top models. Let’s get started.
Quick Answer: The Top Electric Tillers
- #1. Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller
- #2. Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- #3. Mantis 3550 Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- #4. Sun Joe TJ603E Electric Tiller and Cultivator
- #5. Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller
- #6. BLACK+DECKER LGC120 20V MAX Tiller
- #7. Greenworks Corded Tiller
- #8. Earthwise TC70001 Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- #9. Greenworks 40V Cordless Cultivator
- #10. TACKLIFE 13.5 Amp Electric Tiller
How to Choose an Electric Tiller: A Buyer’s Guide
What makes one garden lush and another yellow? In a word: soil. Seasoned gardeners know that no amount of watering, fertilization, or seed selection can take the place of healthy soil, and producing healthy soil starts with turning and tilling it.
Tilling the ground reverses the compaction of the soil and lets in healthy oxygen. This process is called aeration, and it helps to eliminate mold, rot, and other fungi. Additionally, if you spread compost or fertilizers on the surface, using a tiller would push it a few inches into the soil, mixing it evenly with the rest of the soil underneath. All this is essential for healthy plant growth and vivacity.
We’ve put together the following guide to help you know what to look for in your electric tiller.
Pros and Cons of an Electric Tiller
Electric tillers usually have everything a homeowner needs for a residential garden. Basically, an electric tiller would be perfect for a well-tended yard or garden, or perhaps a commercial lawn space that doesn’t have many challenges. They tend to be less expensive than a gas-fueled machine, lighter in weight, and generally easier to work with.
If you have a much larger space, or the land has irregularities, such as thatch or clay soil, then you might want to look for a larger, rear tine tiller.
Harder grounds or wider areas often call for the mighty powers of a gas tiller and cultivator. However, it’s worth noting at this point that the differences in price can be huge. An electric tiller is usually worth a couple hundred dollars, while a gas-powered tiller can be priced in the thousands.
Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of working with an electric tiller.
The Pros of Using an Electric Tiller
- Electric tillers are usually less expensive than gas tillers, as well as more environmentally-friendly.
- Electric tillers are light and compact, so they are easier to handle and transport, and they are quieter than gas, so you won’t disturb your neighbors.
- Electric tillers generally require less maintenance than gas tillers. You also don’t have to smell the gas exhaust fumes, and won’t run out of fuel or have to clean up excess oil or gas spilled on the soil.
The Cons of Using an Electric Tiller
- Electric tillers are often less powerful than gas tillers, and are less practical for larger, commercial lawns or gardens.
- Electric tillers are less capable of turning hard soil than cultivators.
- Corded electric tillers are limited by the length of the power cord, and battery operated tillers are limited by the battery run time and recharge time.
- Corded electric tillers need special care to fold the cord and avoid getting it tangled or cut in the tiller.
Manual digging and plowing take a lot of physical effort and muscle power, and the same idea applies to gardening machines.
Gas-operated tillers often work in the range of 1-8 kW, and that’s why they get the job done quickly and effectively.
Electric tillers, on the other hand, usually operate in the 0.5-2 kW range. This is often quite sufficient for tilling small to medium residential gardens with normal soil conditions. The power of corded tillers is typically given in amps, while that of cordless units is presented in amp-hours (AH).
Comparing these values might be a bit tricky, especially if gas-operated tillers are also thrown into the comparison, with their tongues and RPMs as indicators of motor power. There are ways though to convert all these values to kW. And of course, there’s the matter of working with experience, where one gets a ‘feel’ of all these parameters and values.
Corded vs Cordless
Corded electric tillers are quite convenient and effective. They’ll keep running as long as their power cord is plugged in the mains, and the work area is within the limits of the cord length. Tiller such as the Sun Joe TJ604E and the Earthwise TC70016 are good examples.
They usually have a great overall performance, powerful motors, and blade depths suitable for rough grounds. They’re typically compact and lightweight, so handling and storage shouldn’t be an issue at all. On top of that, they often come at good prices.
The main downside of corded electric tills is the cord length. Finding a suitable electric outlet is rarely a problem, but working within the confines of 50-100 ft cords is certainly limiting. Additionally, there’s always the inconvenience of watching where the cord is in relation to the blades. Trampling it with the tiller, while being very dangerous, can also set back your work by a long time!
Cordless tillers eliminate the cord issues entirely. They also provide total flexibility in tilling spots that aren’t necessarily near any electric outlets at all. The BLACK + DECKER 20V Max tiller is a perfect example of a powerful and versatile battery-operated model.
The downside of cordless tillers is primarily found in their short run-time. Typically, you can work with a tiller for 30-60 min. The recharge time is around 75 minutes, so any unfinished work would need to be suspended for an hour and a half, then resumed after the battery is reset.
This is clearly not an ideal solution, so some gardeners buy an extra battery to double the run-time. This would be ideal, but it costs more, and it’s worth noting here that the cordless models are usually a bit more expensive than the cordless ones to start with.
An uneven ground that hasn’t been tended or planted for a while would often need deep tilling. This is contrary to a flower bed that only requires seasonal preparation at a shallow tilling depth.
Electric tillers typically have blade depths ranging from 5-10 inches, with 8 inches being the most frequent depth. Cordless models on average have shorter blades, where the general idea is to perform the basic soil aeration only.
A tiller with adjustable blade depth is often preferred to the ones with a fixed depth. However, this option is found more frequently with gas-powered tillers, though you can find a working depth of up to 8 inches in some electric tiller models.
Ease Of Use
These three parameters show whether an electric tiller is user-friendly or made with professional gardeners in mind:
- Ease of Assembly
- Adjustment of depth and width
The first factor is the ease of assembly. This comes up a lot in gardener’s conversations and questions. Investing in a machine that takes skill, time, and effort to put together doesn’t really match the laid-back vibe of gardening. Especially since most gardeners invest in an electric tiller to make their lives easier.
Additionally, the user’s manuals aren’t often very clear, and this can be seriously frustrating. Some people just resort to guesswork, while others resort to asking the dealership for assistance.
A tiller that is highly maneuverable within small spaces and on various soil types is a huge plus. And so is the smooth tilling without having to clean up the tines every 5 minutes. Similarly, an adjustable tiller is preferable to one that provides only one depth and width for soil preparation.
Electric tillers mainly come equipped with 2, 4, or 6 tines. Depending on how the tines are arranged, the tilling width is typically around 6-18 inches. Some models are designed so you can remove the tines on both ends to make the tiller narrower.
A smaller tilling width is best used around flower beds, lawn edging, or irregular garden terrain. On the other hand, a wider tillage path is better-suited for larger areas and level ground.
If you compare the sizes of electric tillers to gas-operated ones, you’ll notice and appreciate the compact nature of the electric variety. They’re much easier to handle, store, and work with.
Tillers are available in various sizes and configurations, and each one performs best within certain settings.
For example, small gardens often have tight spaces, narrow paths, lawn edgings, and flower beds adjacent to hedges or walls. Working in any of these locations requires a narrow tiller that would easily fit into these spots.
A corded tiller would be great if there’s an electric outlet nearby, and if not, a cordless tiller would be a good alternative. As the garden is small, the cord length wouldn’t be a limiting factor, and the battery runtime would suffice to till the whole grounds.
The same rules apply to medium-sized gardens as well, to roughly the same extent. However, a wider tiller would be more suitable, as the spaces aren’t as narrow as small gardens. In addition, a bigger tiller would get the job done more quickly.
Large gardens are a different story, as the power cord of an electric tiller might not reach the whole area and the battery of a cordless model would probably need recharging before half the garden is done. This leaves gas tillers as the better option for commercial work or extra-large grounds.
Gardening typically requires performing various processes to prepare the soil for planting. Thus, a machine that’s capable of helping out in more than one function is often preferable to specialized units.
A tiller cultivator has plenty of uses in a residential garden. This is because the soil usually needs the extra power of the cultivator blades, either because of inherent irregularities or due to the presence of weeds and thatch.
Electric tillers are useful garden tools that aren’t too pricey. A practical small tiller often sells for $90-$150, including the tiller cultivator varieties. Larger units only get a slight bump in price, and reliable electric tillers can be found at $100-$300.
Cordless tillers are a bit more expensive, primarily because of the high price of the battery. These are mostly in the $300 range. An extra battery could easily cost $100 more, which would ramp up the bill significantly, but would also give you double the runtime.
The Best Rated Electric Tillers for Your Garden: Reviews
Now that you hopefully have a better idea of what to look for, we’ve listed 10 of our favorite electric tillers to provide you some options to see which is the best electric tiller for you.
#1. Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator
- Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
- 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
The Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator tops the list of our best electric tillers for your lawn or garden. With a 16 inch cultivation width and a cultivation depth of up to 8 inches, this tiller is great for any sized garden. It will take you less time and fewer rows to till the same amount of soil as other comparable tillers.
Additionally, the 13.5 amp motor on this tiller is strong enough to tackle any obstructions in its path. With the tines spinning at 370 RPM, they can pulverize regular soil and work through hard soil like clay, as well as cut up weeds and gnarled roots below the surface. The Sun Joe TJ604E has 6 angled steel tines that are very durable – they don’t rust or wear out, meaning you can get your money’s worth and use this tiller for many years.
The TJ604E is also designed to be intuitive and simple to store and transport. With the safety switch and instant start button on the handle, turning the tiller on and off is a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about any pull cords or refilling gasoline. The handles also fold down for easy and efficient storage.
#2. Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch 13.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- 6 adjustable tines
- Adjustable 11" To 16" Width/ 8" Working depth
- Powerful 13.5 amp
The Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch 13.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is the perfect combination of power and skill. With its 6 adjustable tines, you can cultivate a path anywhere from 11 inches wide to 16 inches wide. This is great if you want to have different rows of vegetables or other plants with different widths, or if your garden is narrower at some points than others. You can also till up to 8 inches deep, to really aerate all of the healthy soil and to help remove root systems and unwanted weeds.
Designed not only for power but also for comfort, the Earthwise TC70016 has an ergonomic handlebar that is padded, non-slip, and comfortable to operate. This means you can work on your garden for longer without cramping your hands or straining yourself trying to keep it under control. It starts quickly and easily every time without fail, and it’s low maintenance because it doesn’t need oil or gas to function. Although it is corded, there is a cord retention clip on the handlebar, meaning the cord won’t get caught up in the tiller. It is also lightweight and easy to store.
#3. Mantis 3550 Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- Powerful 120 volt 9 Amp Electric Tiller/Cultivator
The Mantis 3550 Electric Tiller/Cultivator is another tiller that offers an adjustable tilling experience to allow for more versatility in your lawn or garden. One of its main features is that it has two tilling speeds, that you can select and switch between using simple fingertip controls. This means you can use the high speed for tilling and the lower speed for cultivating, giving you much more precise control over your gardening work.
Additionally, the Mantis 3550 is a very convenient and straightforward tiller to use. It has an instant start feature built into the handlebar, which is also padded and designed to be ergonomic and help prevent muscle fatigue. The wheels it has are retractable, as well as multi-position adjustable, meaning you can easily use this machine to till over any terrain, as well as to work in hard to reach places. The handlebars can also be folded down into themselves for convenient storage and easy transportation.
This tiller is powerful and able to handle any and all kinds of problems your garden might have. It has a 120 volt, 9 amp motor that can easily aerate tough soil and any weed or root obstacles, and the 4 angled tines work together to make sure not a single part of the soil is left unattended.
#4. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator
- 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
Next on our list of best electric tillers for your lawn or garden is the Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator. Just like the TJ604E that tops our list, this tiller has everything you could need in one package. It has 6 durable steel tines that are all angled in different directions at the tip, which means they grab more soil and pulverize the ground more effectively and in less time. These tines don’t wear out either, so you can use this tiller productively for years with very little maintenance.
Being corded and electric means this tiller will always start instantly, as long as you have it plugged into a working power outlet. It is simple to store due to its folding handlebars and lightweight design, and an extra handle near the tines allows for easy transportation. The wheels are large and adjustable to three positions, meaning they will allow you to work even over bumpy and imperfect terrain.
This tiller gives you a cultivation path 16 inches wide and up to 8 inches deep. Its 12 amp motor spins the 6 steel tines at 340 RPM, meaning you can use it in any soil, no matter how hard, and it can cut through any subsoil obstacles like weeds and tree roots.
#5. Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller
- Quiet, instant-starting, 3-speed 540 watt motor
- Weighs just 21 pounds, but as powerful as a gas model
- The compact 9 inch width allows the tiller to get into tight spaces around your yard that larger tillers cannot get to
The Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller is a smaller, yet very powerful and versatile electric tiller for your garden. The cultivation path that it tills is 9 inches wide, which is less than any of the models listed above, but this means it can get into tighter spaces and work with more precision. So, if your garden has a lot of narrow parts or you’re looking to fit more rows in a smaller area, then this tiller would be perfect for you.
It boasts a 540 watt motor, making it as powerful as some gas models, while also being a lot quieter. It also comes with 3 different speed levels, so you can adjust the tiller between rows or different patches of soil, depending on your specific garden design. It also can till soil up to 10 inches deep, which is one of the deepest tillage paths, meaning it aerates more healthy soils from beneath the top layer, and more effectively removes deep root systems.
The handlebar is made to be as comfortable as possible, as well as easy to grip, so the tiller won’t ever get away from you. It is lightweight – only 21 pounds! – and the handles conveniently fold down, which makes it easy to transport and to store in your garden shed or garage.
#6. BLACK+DECKER LGC120 20V MAX Tiller
- Powerful transmission with dual tines break up soil to allow water and nutrients to reach plant roots
- Powered by 20-volt MAX lithium-ion battery, with longer lifespan and charge retention than NiCad batteries
- Cultivates up to 325 square feet per charge
The BLACK+DECKER LGC120 20V MAX Tiller is the highest rated battery powered tiller on our list. It is powered by a 20 volt lithium ion battery, so it has a longer lifespan and retains its charge better than comparable NiCad batteries. It holds enough power to cultivate a garden of up to 325 square feet in a single charge.
Additionally, the battery is extra light, and the entire tiller weighs only 8.1 pounds – even with the battery included. This means that, even though the tiller is handheld, it is very easy to transport and to handle for the length of a cultivating session. The handle is telescopic, which means you can adjust the length and be able to use it standing up or fully bent over.
The LGC120 comes with two tines that oscillate in opposing directions. This prevents it from getting tangled up in weeds or plant roots, and also keeps the soil agitated and fresh. It does not cultivate a path that is very wide or deep, but this means you can be more precise about exactly where you want to till and plant. As such, this would be a perfect tiller for a small to medium sized garden.
#7. Greenworks 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller
- Powerful 8 Amp Motor for reliable results with an easy electric start eliminates the need for mixing gas and hard to manage recoil cords
- (4) 8 inch forward rotating tines for highest performance when digging into earth
- Adjustable tilling width of 8.25 inches to 10 inches for quick reliable tilling; Assembly details: Assembly required, no tools needed
The next tiller on our list is the Greenworks 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller. This is a great tiller with a relatively low price point, and is perfect for a small to medium sized lawn or garden. It is powered by an 8 amp motor, and can easily be started with a simple push of a button, eliminating the needs for adding gas and oil every session and having to pull a choke lever and a heavy pull cord.
There are 4 forward rotating tines on this Greenworks tiller, each one measuring 8 inches. The tilling width can be adjusted between 8 inches and 10 inches wide, and an adjustable depth of up to 5 inches. This gives you an incredible amount of flexibility when you’re cultivating, as you can adjust both the width and depth to fit your garden’s needs. Additionally, the handlebar folds in, to provide you with easy storage options and transportation.
#8. Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- Earthwise tiller with a powerful 8.5-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 11" wide and 8" deep
The Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is a great option for medium sized and smaller gardens. It comes with 4 steel tines that are great at grinding up tough soil, and they don’t get caught in roots from plants or trees or weeds. The tines themselves are 11 inches wide and can cultivate up to 8 inches deep, which not only helps you shift around the topsoil but also the layer of earth underneath it.
This tiller is lightweight and easily maneuvered around your yard. It has rear wheels attached to it for a lighter push load and so it doesn’t get away from you. The long handle is designed with an ergonomic and soft grip at the top, which means it will be comfortable and easy to handle even after a full day’s work. The handle also has a cord retention hook so you don’t accidentally run over the cord in the yard. Additionally, with a single lever start mechanism, it is incredibly easy to start and stop each and every time you take it out.
#9. Greenworks 40V 10 inch Cordless Cultivator
The Greenworks 40V 10 inch Cordless Cultivator is only the second cordless tiller we have on this list. If you’re looking for the convenience that a cordless cultivator and tiller would afford you, this would be a great option. Like the corded version mentioned above, this tiller has 4 strong and long-lasting steel tines that are 8 inches long and all rotate forward. These tines are very efficient at loosening the ground you’re tilling and at removing dirt from the tilled soil as it moves forward.
The tines can be adjusted to cultivate a path from 8 inches to 10 inches wide, which is great if you want a variable width for your different vegetables or garden plants. They are also able to till 5 inches deep. It comes with an easy push button instant start, and the handles can fold in for conveniently small storage. The battery itself is a high performance 40 volt lithium ion battery that provides you with a powerful motor that doesn’t fade over time. Each battery will give you about 40 minutes of runtime, which is more than enough for a small to medium sized garden.
#10. TACKLIFE 18-Inch 13.5 Amp Electric Tiller
The TACKLIFE 18-Inch 13.5 Amp Electric Tiller is the widest garden tiller on this list. At 18 inches, it has the largest cultivation path of comparable models, meaning that you can till a large or very wide garden with fewer rows, saving energy as well as time. If this is too wide, however, you can easily adjust the number of tines from 6 to 4, reducing the cultivation path down to 12.5 inches if needed. This means if you need to do any tight areas or want narrow plant or vegetable rows, this tiller can do it all.
The handlebars fold down for easy storage for transportation, and the wheels are adjustable to help even out bumpy terrain. The 13.5 amp motor powers the tines to spin up to 380 RPM, and the tines themselves are made from manganese steel, so they can power through the toughest soil and cut straight through any roots or weeds that are in the way. With a tilling depth of up to 8 inches, there’s nothing the TACKLIFE can’t do.
Conclusion: Which one Should you buy?
That about wraps up our article on electric tillers. We hope it helps you make sense of everything and choose the right one for you and your needs. If you still aren’t sure exactly which one to buy, we would recommend the Sun Joe TJ604E, as it has everything a homeowner might need in their garden tiller and it comes at a reasonable price.
When it comes to buying garden tools and machines, there might not be a best model, but rather a most suitable one. Every garden is unique in its size, topology, and the nature of its soil, which is why we believe the selection criteria of the correct tiller for you must follow closely the requirements of your lawn or garden.
Electric tillers are among the most versatile and essential garden tools, and spending a bit of time getting acquainted with their features and specifications usually pays off. Using the correct tool saves money, effort, and time.