The 8 Best Handheld Tillers in 2021: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Spring has come, and summer is right around the corner. That means it’s time for you to start tilling in your lawn or garden. With that in mind, we have the top 8 handheld tillers that you should consider for use in your garden.

The Top 8 Handheld Tillers Reviewed

#1. Yard Butler Twist Heavy Duty Hand Tiller

Yard Butler Twist Tiller Heavy Duty Manual Raised Bed Garden and Flower Box Claw Weeder Cultivator Aeration Hand...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN 38” tall with a step plate that centers you over the tool, a solid ½” powder coated steel shaft and a wide 12” T handle that reduces the effort of twisting, using the force of...
  • LOOSENS, TURNS, TILLS AND AERATES soil promoting the free flow of water, air, and fertilizer for a healthier and more beautiful yard and garden.
  • PERFECT SIZE FOR RAISED BEDS, flower boxes, around shrubs or bushes and other hard to reach areas. Ideal for mixing fertilizer or peat moss amendments and preparing a bed for planting. Makes weeding...

The Yard Butler Twist Heavy Duty Hand Tiller tops our list of the best hand tillers for your lawn or garden. This tiller is very tough and heavy duty, and is perfect for any job needed in your garden, like cultivating, aerating, and weeding. It is made with ½ inch powder coated steel and has 6 sharp angled claw tines that effectively penetrate even the most compacted soil. 

The shaft is 38 inches long, meaning it is ergonomically designed to require less back strain and bending over, allowing you to get more strength and torque with less injury risk. The steel step plate helps you to use your own body weight to more easily shove the tiller into the ground, and the 12 inch T handle with comfortably cushioned hand grips allow you to twist the tines more effectively, promoting a freer flow of air, fertilizer, and water within the soil. 

This hand tiller is great for raised flower beds, as well as mixing fertilizer or peat moss in hard to reach areas, like if you’re working around shrubbery or other plants. It can also be sold with extra attachments such as an aeration tool or a rotary cultivator if needed.

#2. Asano Japanese Ninja Claw Rake and Cultivator

The Asano Japanese Ninja Claw Rake and Cultivator is a perfect hand tiller for those looking to work on a budget. It is a small, inexpensive, yet highly effective tool that would be a great addition to any gardening toolbox. The Ninja Claw is the very definition of handheld – it is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It is only about 9 inches long, with a 5 ½ inch long wooden handle that is easy to grip and has that handmade, traditional feel. 

It also only weighs 6.6 ounces, which allows you to swing it and dig with it much easier and with more force and makes your soil tilling faster. The claw is made up of 5 prongs that are made from long lasting Japanese steel. The 5 claws have a spread of 4 ¾ inches, and are fully curved and sharpened at the points to more effectively break up and aerate the soil. This tool would be perfect for any hand cultivating work you could think of, like weeding, mixing fertilizer or soils together, and aerating.

#3. Edward Tools Hoe and Cultivator Hand Tiller

Edward Tools Hoe and Cultivator Hand Tiller - Carbon Steel Blade - Heavy Duty for loosening Soil, Weeding and...
  • Carbon steel blade and head for heavy duty use
  • Ergonomic rubber handle is more comfortable and grippy
  • Solid oak for extra strength and durability

The Edward Tools Hoe and Cultivator Hand Tiller is an excellent heavy duty hand tiller for loosening new soil, weeding, and digging. It is relatively inexpensive compared to similar models, and it is of high enough quality that it will last longer than competitors as well. It is a multi-use tool, with two different heads attached to the handle, both made with durable carbon steel. 

The first is a blade tool that is sharp and strong and acts as a hoe, which you can use to shape the soil in your garden as well as remove weeds, plant and harvest crops, and work through root systems. On the other side is a three pronged hand tiller that helps you to break through new soil, and to aerate and till the soil to allow water or fertilizer to mix in. 

The handle that both of these attach to is made of solid oak, which provides extra strength and durability. On the end of the handle is a soft, ergonomic grip designed for comfort and to provide extra grip. Edward Tools stands behind this product and backs it with a lifetime warranty, so they are sure it will stand up to many hours of hard labor. 

#4. Fiskars 79906935J 40 Inch Long Handle Steel Tiller

Fiskars 79906935J , 40 Inch Long Handle Steel Tiller
  • Ideal for breaking up tough soil when tilling
  • Welded, hardened steel tines and 19-gauge steel shaft provide durability that far outlasts wood-handled tools and won’t flex like fiberglass
  • Six arrow-tipped tines penetrate tough soil easily

Next on our list of the best hand tillers is the Fiskars 79906935J 40 Inch Long Handle Steel Tiller. This is a premium tool that offers durability and power unmatched by most of its competitors. It is an ideal handheld tiller for breaking new ground due to the long 40 inch shaft. This model is made with welded, hardened steel tines attached to a 19 gauge steel shaft, which combine to be more durable and last much longer than wooden tools and which won’t flex like fiberglass models. 

At the bottom end of the shaft are 6 arrow pointed tines that are angled and set up to penetrate and break up soil easily, even hardened soil such as clay or soil laden with roots or weeds. An extra large foot platform just above the tines provides a stable spot to put your weight on, meaning you can maximize your strength and drive this tiller into hard ground and as deep as it can go. Additionally the rubber gripped T handle means you can get more torque and power to twist the tiller and really aerate the soil and provide space for water or fertilizer to be mixed in. 

#5. DeWit 5-Tine Cultivator with P-Grip Handle

DeWit 5-Tine Cultivator with P-Grip Handle, Works as Garden Hoe and Tiller
  • QUALITY CULTIVATOR – Great for aerating, weeding, and breaking up soil, DeWit Cultivators are designed to be the perfect lifetime garden tool. The elasticity of the P-Grip Handle helps it bend...
  • LIFETIME DURABILITY – Crafted from hardened boron steel that has been heat-treated for strength, the 5-Tine Cultivator is the perfect long-lasting addition to your garden tools.The strong, but...
  • SUSTAINABLE – With our eco-friendly tools, know that you are caring for your plants and for the planet. Our Cultivators are designed with an ash handle harvested from environmentally responsible...

The DeWit 5-Tine Cultivator with P-Grip Handle is a more expensive, but premium quality option for a hand tiller. Dewit products are handmade in Holland by professional craftsmen, with the solid steel tines forged by fifth generation blacksmiths and the wooden handle made from ash hardwood responsibly sourced from regulated and FSC-certified forests, so this artisan Cultivator is guaranteed to be built ethically and sustainably. 

The 5 tines are made of hardened boron steel that has been heat treated for increased durability and strength, which makes it powerful but very lightweight. This means it will last a lifetime and can be used to break up hard ground, aerate and fertilize soil, and get rid of weeds and roots with ease. 

The wooden handle is made with a P grip that is ergonomically designed to increase leverage and therefore power while simultaneously limiting stress on your wrists and arms, which means you can work more comfortably for longer. The P grip handle is also elastic, so it can bend without breaking and also increase the amount of work you can do without damaging the tiller.

#6. Garden Weasel Garden Claw Pro

The Garden Weasel Garden Claw Pro is called such because it stands for all of the different jobs it can do – C.L.A.W. means cultivate, loosen, aerate, and weed. The versatility of this tiller really sets it apart from other comparable models. It can be used in large gardens or tight spaces, fitting around bushes or planted vegetables, and it works well in any type of soil, even hard clay soil. Even the tines are versatile – they can be adjusted into three different settings. The small setting is perfect for weeding in tight spaces, the medium setting is for cultivation and the largest option is great for tilling. 

The Claw Pro is made from durable and long lasting carbon steel. This makes it weather and rust resistant, and Garden Weasel back their product with a lifetime warranty, meaning they’re confident it will last for many years of tough labor intensive service. The shaft is 38 inches long, and it comes with a comfort grip handle and a large area to put your foot right on top of the tines. This means no more bending down and hurting your back when tilling, you can simply use your own weight and twist with your hands for perfect tilling every time. When done, the tines are completely repositionable for easy storage and they wash off with a garden hose.

#7. Yard Butler Terra Tiller All Steel 15” Hand Tiller

Yard Butler Terra Tiller All Steel 15” Tilling Weeding Loosening Cultivating Digging and Chopping Garden Hand...
462 Reviews
Yard Butler Terra Tiller All Steel 15” Tilling Weeding Loosening Cultivating Digging and Chopping Garden Hand...
  • DUAL ACTION HEAD One side has three sturdy steel prongs for cultivating, breaking, loosening and deep tilling soil. The other side is a sharpened beveled edge that is perfect for chopping and cutting...
  • PERFECT WEIGHT AND HEFT Heavy duty steel head is completely welded onto the all steel handle with comfort grip. PLANTS, TILLS, DIGS, CHOPS. No wooden handle to split or shrink. VIRTUALLY...
  • PERFECT SIZE FOR RAISED BEDS, vegetables, flower boxes, around shrubs or bushes, and other hard to reach areas. Makes gardening easy.

The Yard Butler Terra Tiller All Steel 15” Hand Tiller is another great hand tiller from Yard Butler, with this one being smaller and more suited to handheld jobs than the model listed above. The Terra Tiller is made completely from steel and is only 15 inches long, so it is lightweight and perfect for those small, tight jobs such as tilling around a bush or row of plants, or within a narrow section in your garden. The handle is covered with an ergonomic comfort rubber grip. 

The head of the tiller has two sides for dual action purposes. On one side there is a sharpened, beveled edge that is great at cutting roots and weeds, as well as shaping the soil and planting crops. The other side has three durable steel prongs that perfectly cultivate and break up new soil, as well as deep till already aerated soil. This means any job you could need it to do, the Terra will excel at. Yard Butler provides a full 30 day guarantee in which you can return it for a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied. 

#8. Fiskars 40 to 60-Inch Telescoping Rotary Cultivator

Fiskars 40 to 60-Inch Telescoping Rotary Cultivator
  • Ideal for loosening soil, removing weeds and aerating soil and mulch
  • Six rust-proof aluminum cultivating wheels power through tough soil
  • Telescopes to cultivate without forcing you to bend or kneel

The final hand tiller on our list is the Fiskars 40 to 60-Inch Telescoping Rotary Cultivator. What makes this hand tiller unique is that it has wheels with spokes on it rather than fixed tines. There are 6 wheels on this model, and they are all made from rust proof aluminum; attached are large spikes that stick out a few inches from the wheels. These wheels are spikes are perfect for cultivation and for aerating mulch and loosening the top layer of soil, as well as removing weeds, but if you want to do deep soil tilling then this model is likely not as useful. 

The telescoping shaft is adjustable, meaning you can lengthen it or shorten it to suit your needs – it can pull out to anywhere between 40 inches and 60 inches. This allows you to stand upright if you want to, and doesn’t bother your back at all, and when you want to bend down a bit simply contract the shaft and use it at a smaller length. Another feature is that the center wheels and spikes can be removed, meaning you can work around small rows of plantlings and vegetables. Additionally, Fiskars backs their product with a lifetime warranty.