Are you looking for a tiller to help work your garden? Worried about the size and want something smaller? If you have a small to medium-sized garden or yard, or if you want to plant small or narrow rows of flowers or vegetables, you might not need a large tiller.
This awesome piece of equipment is a must-have for those who want to make their gardening chores a notch easier. And it’s about time that you get yourself one. But what makes these so special, and how does one choose a mini tiller that’ll fit your needs perfectly?
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll discuss the answers to these questions in-depth, so let’s get started.
How to Choose a Mini Tiller: A Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve been on the fence about investing in a mini tiller, we might be able to make the picture clearer for you. First of all, there are numerous benefits to owning one of these helpful machines.
Why Get a Mini Tiller?
A mini tiller is an essential tool that may be of great help to people who have smaller yards. This easy-to-use machine can break up dense regions of soil to enable you to plant seeds effortlessly.
Not only is a mini tiller efficient in doing its job, but it’s also lightweight, weighing somewhere between 20 to 30 pounds. Plus, it’s much smaller than a full-sized tiller, which may be too bulky to use and maneuver in a small backyard.
If you have tight areas in your garden, a typical tiller will struggle to cultivate the soil effectively. Of course, that’s not the case with a mini tiller.
Another cool thing about mini tillers is that you’ll find a wide variety of accessories to pair them with. You could easily attach an aerator, border, or edger attachment to the tiller to speed up your gardening process.
Rototiller vs. Cultivator
Rototiller is another word for mini tiller, but many people have mistaken a rototiller for a cultivator. To give you a better understanding of each one, let’s do a quick comparison between these two gardening tools.
A cultivator is designed for lighter yard work. It can be perfect for aerating and mixing soil in a small garden, and especially working on the top layer of the soil. It’s different from a full-sized tiller, which is meant for heavy-duty gardening, namely breaking down rocky and thick soil.
On the other hand, you can say that the rototiller is a balanced mix of both. It can break dense soil into smaller pieces but won’t handle rocky soil as well as a normal tiller. Also, a rototiller is almost as lightweight as a cultivator, but more powerful.
The Different Types of Mini Tillers
Tillers are commonly available in two options if you wish to classify them by how they’re powered. You can either get a gasoline-powered or electric mini tiller.
Of course, both options have their upsides and downsides. So, you’ll need to know what you’re signing up for before you decide which type to buy for your yard.
Gas-Powered Mini Tillers
The great thing about gas-powered mini tillers is that they’re generally more powerful than their electric counterparts.
Additionally, these tillers have better mobility since you won’t need to plug in a power cord, giving you more freedom. In other words, you won’t have to worry about a tangled cord or accidentally stumbling upon it.
Another upside is that battery-powered mini tillers may die on you, causing you to pause your work while you leave them to charge.
However, gas-powered mini tillers aren’t exactly eco-friendly since they emit fumes into the air. Plus, they’re a lot more noisy than electric rototillers, which your neighbors might not appreciate.
Also, these tillers might require more maintenance, so they tend to be more costly than their electric relatives in the long run.
Electric Mini Tillers
Electric mini tillers have a charm of their own, in especially that they don’t produce any harmful gases. So, your conscience can rest assured that you’re not releasing any toxic fumes into the atmosphere while taking care of your yard.
Better still, electric mini tillers usually operate more quietly than gasoline-powered ones. Plus, they don’t need as much maintenance, saving you money in the years to come.
Yet, these machines also have some negative aspects. Electricity-powered rototillers have their limits when it’s time to use them. You’ll either have to restrict your work to as far as the power cord will allow you, or choose a battery-powered option that needs recharging often.
Because of these limitations, electricity-powered small tillers are good candidates for light work. For instance, you could use one for aerating your yard or loosening the top layer of soil.
Important Features to Look for in the Best Mini Tillers
Even with so many solid options on the market, it can still be hard to pick a mini tiller that matches your exact requirements. So, what could you do to make a well-informed decision without spending too much time thinking things over?
We would recommend that you consider each of the following aspects thoroughly, and once you match them to your needs, you’ll end up with the best option for you.
The first, and most crucial, thing you should make up your mind about is the type of engine of a mini tiller. Of course, this only applies if you’ve decided to go for a gas-powered rototiller.
There are two types of engines available in mini tillers, 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines. Here’s everything you need to know about both of them.
2-cycle engines have fewer moving parts, making them much lighter than 4-cycle engines. In addition to that, 2-cycle engines have no oil reservoir, so you’ll end up mixing oil with the fuel you’re using for lubrication.
Another thing you should know about 2-cycle engines is that they usually produce more fumes than their counterparts. Plus, they tend to be louder.
However, one of the coolest things about 2-cycle engines is that you can operate them in any position or angle. This is thanks to their smaller size. Therefore, they might be better candidates for lighter work.
Because 4-cycle engines are designed with more moving parts, they can be a tad heavier than 2-cycle engines, not to mention that their parts are also larger. For these reasons, 4-cycle engines only move in an upright position.
Yet, 4-cycle engines can withstand more heavy-duty work. Additionally, they don’t require you to mix oil and gasoline since they have special oil compartments for lubrication. Even better, these engines are more eco-friendly because they release fewer fumes.
The next thing to take into consideration when buying a mini tiller is the type of blades that the machine includes. You’ll typically find three blade options when it comes to tillers, and each one of them has a certain effect on the soil.
For example, the standard blade for a tiller is a bolo blade. This blade is meant to burrow deep inside the soil and break apart any dense area, so this blade can be suitable for soil with medium hardness.
The second blade type is called a slasher blade, which can be convenient for making your way through thick plantation while tilling. It does great with relatively soft soil that has plant roots inside it.
The final blade you can find on a mini tiller is a pick and chisel blade, which works best for heavy-duty tilling. This blade is the sharpest out of the three blade types, with an ability to break down stubborn rocky soil areas in your yard.
Luckily, some mini tiller models have all three blades, which can make your gardening work much easier and more efficient.
Width and Depth
You must also pay attention to the width and depth of the mini tiller you intend to buy. Not only should you consider the dimensions of the whole unit, but also the size of the tines included.
On the market, you’ll mainly find mini tillers with tines that are 6 to 12 inches in width. Better still, some machines come with adjustable widths, which can be perfect if you’ll be working on various landscaping projects.
Taking a minute to consider the attachments that arrive with the mini tiller can save you a lot of time and energy when working in your backyard.
Here’s a list of useful accessories that could enhance the performance of your mini tiller and increase its versatility.
- Plow attachments
Folding and Storage
Even though small tillers are more compact than their full-sized counterparts, it’s a huge plus if you find a foldable option. This can be a crucial point if you don’t have much garage space or if you live in a small house.
The overall size of the mini tiller, foldable or not, is another factor to think about to ensure that it matches your available storage space. Plus, it plays a major part when it comes to transportation.
The Number of Tines
A really important thing to check when shopping for a mini tiller is the number and material of the tines that it has. On the market, you’ll find options with two, four, and six tines.
Usually, the more tines there are, the more effective the machine should be in diving in the soil and breaking it into manageable pieces.
As for the material, always go for a tiller with steel tines because they’re the sturdiest. If you accidentally work them through stones or thick root systems, they’ll be less likely to break than other options.
Size of Garden
The size of your garden is another thing to consider before choosing a mini tiller. Generally, mini tillers shouldn’t be used for yards more than 1000 square feet. If your yard is larger than that, you should probably invest in a full-sized garden tiller instead.
The thing is that mini tillers are designed with medium to small gardens in mind. If you use yours for larger areas, it might lose power while doing its task.
To make sure that the mini tiller is suitable for your garden size, take a quick look at the details provided by the manufacturer. There, you’ll find information on the ideal garden size for your tiller.
Last but not least, you should determine whether the price of the mini tiller matches your budget.
Gas-powered mini tillers tend to be more expensive than their electric counterparts. Not only is their initial cost usually pricier, but their maintenance expenses add up as well.
So, if you have a large budget, you can go for a gasoline-powered mini tiller since they’re more efficient and powerful.
On the other hand, people with limited budgets could be better off with electric mini tillers. If you have a small yard that doesn’t need all the power of a gas tiller, you could invest in an electric option and save some money.
The Top 6 Mini Tillers Reviews
Now that we’ve gone through all of the minutiae of mini tillers, like their benefits and important features to take note of, we have a list of the 6 best Mini Tillers for your lawn or garden.
#1. 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. Maintenance free
The Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator is our number 1 choice for the best-rated mini tiller for your lawn and garden. It has the most powerful motor of tillers on this list – at 12 amps, it can spin the tines at a fast 340 RPM. This means your garden will be more thoroughly aerated and the soil evenly pulverized, even if you have hardened soil like clay. It will also cut through weeds and root systems very easily, so you don’t have to worry about them harming your plants.
However, the Sun Joe somewhat stretches the limits of being a mini tiller – it is the largest model on this list, with a cultivating path 16 inches wide. This is perfect for a medium to a large garden, but if you have smaller spaces to till it might be too big. It can till up to 8 inches deep, and the 6 tines are angled to provide the best and most thorough cultivation, and made of durable steel so that the TJ603E will likely last the life of your garden.
It is also very easy to use, all you have to do is plug it in and press the instant start button to turn it on. It has 2 strong wheels that adjust to 3 different positions, and additionally, the handlebar folds in on itself so you can store it very easily in your shed or garage.
#2. Earthwise TC70025 7.5-Inch 2.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- Powerful 2.5-Amp motor for superior power, run-time and durability
- (4) Durable steel tines; Cultivates and tills up to 7.5" wide and 6" deep
- Ideal for small to mid-size gardens and flower beds; Works well as a weed control tool
The Earthwise TC70025 7.5-Inch 2.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is a great mini tiller for use in a small to midsize garden or yard. The tiller is powered by a small but robust 2.5 amp motor, which provides the power of a gas tiller without any of the strong-smelling fumes or having to fill it with gas and oil every time you use it.
It has a tilling width of 7.5 inches and can dig down up to 6 inches deep, which is an ideal size for a home backyard garden. This means you can get into smaller nooks or work within narrow rows of vegetation or plants in your vegetable bed.
The Earthwise TC70025 has 4 tines made of durable steel that are angled at the tips to more economically churn up the soil, and which also work as weed control and can dig up roots as well. This tiller is also very easy to handle and use. It starts every time with a simple single-lever switch, and it is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 11.6 pounds. This means you can more easily transport it in and out of storage, and, along with the soft ergonomic grip, it is very comfortable to use and easy to maneuver around your garden.
#3. Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator
- Comes with a handy carrying handle
- Entire unit weighs Only 24-pounds
- Handle Bars fold down for easy storage
The Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Gas Powered Cultivator is the only gas-powered mini tiller on this list. Weighing in at only 24 pounds, it has a very small and light frame, making it easily manageable and maneuverable in your garden. Yet, despite the lightweight, it is still a powerful tiller that is able to work in any soil conditions, including hard clay. It boasts a Honda 4-cycle 25cc engine that can spin its tines at speeds of up to 240 RPM, which is twice as fast as comparable gas-powered mini tillers.
With a cultivation width of 9 inches, the Mantis 7940 is small enough to fit into tight garden spaces but wide enough to make quick work of a medium or even large yard or garden. It can also till down up to 10 inches deep, allowing for a deep soil tilling, or you can flip the tines around and do a topsoil shallow cultivation of only 2 to 3 inches. Additionally, this tiller is easy to use. It has a kickstand, meaning you can stop to rest without worrying about laying it down in the dirt, and it has a finger control throttle, meaning you can control the tines with a large degree of precision. Lastly, the handles fold down for easy storage and transportation.
#4. 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 next mini tiller on our list is also the second listed model from Earthwise, the Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator. Compared to the TC70025 model above, the TC70001 is larger and more powerful. It has a cultivation path that is 11 inches wide and can be up to 8 inches deep. This is great for a small or medium garden, as well as for maneuvering around shrubs or plant beds, but even with a larger garden this tiller is effective and can till more space with fewer rows.
This tiller features an 8.5 amp engine, which is powerful enough for any home garden work and is even effective against tough, hard clay or new ground, as well as both weeds and tree or bush roots. It has 4 durable steel tines that can aerate and cultivate your soil with ease, giving you healthy and fresh ground in which to plant vegetables or plants. Additionally, it has a long handle with an ergonomic grip, meaning you don’t have to strain or bend over as much as you would with a hand tiller, and the single-lever switch helps the tiller start immediately every time.
#5. Sun Joe TJ600E 14-Inch 6.5 Amp Electric Tiller/Cultivator
- ✅ VERSATILE: Ideal for small to mid-sized gardens and flowerbeds
- ✅ POWERFUL: Powerful 6.5-amp motor cultivates up to 14" wide x 7" deep
- ✅ DURABLE: 4 steel tilling blades for maximum durability and performance
The Sun Joe TJ600E 14-Inch 6.5 Amp Electric Tiller/Cultivator is the second mini tiller on this list from the manufacturer Sun Joe. The smallest tiller sold by them, it houses a strong 6.5 amp engine that is powerful enough to fully pulverize and aerate both soft and hard soil as well as weeds and root systems, but it only weighs 19 pounds. This makes it easy to carry or transport both to and from storage, as well as in between different lawn or gardening work.
The TJ600E has 4 angled steel tines that effortlessly loosen your ground to make for quick and easy cultivation and tilling, with a cultivating width of up to 14 inches and a depth of up to 7 inches. This makes it ideal for small to medium-sized flower beds and plant gardens. This mini tiller is also very simple to use, because you can start it with the single push of a button, and is completely maintained due to not needing tune-ups, oil changes, or gas top-ups.
#6. 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 final option on our list of the best mini tillers for your yard and garden is the Greenworks 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller. This 8 amp engine provides as much power as you would get from comparable gas-powered models, but without any of the hassle involved with gas engines, like the smell or the constant maintenance. With its simple, electric push-button start, you can get to work immediately instead of fiddling with a tricky recoil cord or wondering if there’s enough oil or gas in the tank.
This Greenworks tiller can till a path that is variable between 8 and 10 inches wide, as well as up to 5 inches deep, with its 8 inch forward rotating tines. This means you can choose how narrow or wide you want your vegetable beds to be, and an extra narrow part of your garden can be navigated without a problem. The handle is designed for comfort and is tall enough to not have to strain your back when in use, but it can be collapsed into itself, meaning it can be stored compactly in your shed or garage.
Conclusion: Which Mini Tiller Should You Buy?
This post has detailed the benefits and features of a mini tiller, as well as provided reviews of what we believe are the best options available on the market. We hope you were able to find some key takeaways, and that you are closer to choosing the best mini tiller for your lawn or garden.
If you’re still on the fence, we would recommend the Sun Joe TJ603E Electric Tiller and Cultivator, as it exemplifies all of the best qualities of a garden tiller in a compact and convenient package.
With any of the great mini tillers listed above, you can’t go wrong, and you will have a wonderfully manicured garden in no time, ready for rows upon rows of beautiful plants or delicious vegetables. Now get out there and get tilling!