Table of Contents
- What characteristics make for the best small tiller?
- Reviews of the Best Mini Tillers
- What factors should you consider when choosing a mini tiller?
- What’s the best way to use a mini tiller?
- Some famous brands to keep in mind when shopping for small tillers.
Are you still tilling your garden with a shovel or broadfork? The only reasons behind such craziness are that you’re preparing for a prize fight or you’re a young muscle bound stud who wants to show off what he’s got.
For the rest of us, there are tillers. Even if you don’t have a lot of space to work with, the use of a mini tiller is an excellent option. Choosing the best mini tiller to fit your needs might be a challenge, but we’re here to help.
In the event that you need quick recommendations on the best mini tillers, they’re right up front. A while later, you will find full reviews to think about tillers:
| - Brand: Earthwise|
- Item Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Item Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Motor: 8.5-Amp
- Cultivating Width: 11 in.
- Cultivating Depth: 8 in.
- Tines: 4
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Sun Joe TJ603E
| - Brand: Sun Joe|
- Item Dimensions: 19.3 x 18 x 17 inches
- Item Weight: 27.1 pounds
- Motor: 12 amp
- Cultivating Width: 16 in.
- Cultivating Depth: 8 in.
- Tines: 6 steel tilling blades
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| - Brand: GreenWorks|
- Item Dimensions: 33 x 15 x 15 inches
- Item Weight: 29.3 pounds
- Motor: 8 amp
- Cultivating Width: 8.25'' to 10"
- Cultivating Depth: 5"
- Tines: 4
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What characteristics make for the best small tiller?
Though we’ll go into a bit more detail for making the best choice when it comes to mini tillers, let’s take a quick look at some of the characteristics to look for. Some general characteristics of a small tiller include:
• Light weight and easy to maneuver.
• Easy to operate and maintain.
• Plenty of safety features.
• Enough power to break new ground.
• Gentle enough, shallow enough, and narrow enough to double as a cultivator.
• Small storage footprint for when it’s not being used or transported.
A small tiller cultivator can perform any of three functions: breaking up hard ground (tilling), stirring up softer soil (cultivating), or eliminating unwanted plants between the rows (weeding). To achieve all of these functions requires several built-in features, which we’ll discuss in our buyers guide at the end of these small tiller reviews.
Though most mini tillers tend to be powered by an electric motor, there are gas motors on mini tillers as well. We’ll get into the advantages and disadvantages of each in our buyer’s guide, but let’s take a look at five mini tillers, their features and benefits, pros and cons first. If you have a wide garden and you are considering the full-size tiller, we have chosen tillers for you.
Reviews of the Best Mini Tillers
1. Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
The compact design of the Earthwise TC70001 electric tiller is an eco-friendly, hassle free and low maintenance mini tiller with enough power to really dig into your tilling job.
Some tillers are underpowered, but the Earthwise packs the power necessary to work your way through firmer soil or dig deep without it bogging down or cutting out. The width of its tines allows you to cover more ground in each pass as you till as well, helping you to finish a tough job in less time.
• The electric motor on this unit provides for lower maintenance than required with a gas powered unit and is more eco-friendly.
• The design is compact enough for easy storage and maneuverability and the adjustable wheels are certainly a plus when it comes to deeper or shallower tilling, cultivating and weeding, as well as providing assistance when turning corners.
• At 1.31 HP, it has pretty decent power for a mini tiller, which is a necessity given its wide tine width.
• This unit has decent digging depth and moderate width for efficiency when breaking new ground, but works very well for tilling and weeding.
• More passes over the ground that you are tilling with be required with the narrower tine width of this unit.
• Because of its weight, the Earthwise is a little bit more challenging to maneuver and transport, even with the addition of the wheels.
Choose this mini tiller if…
You need to accommodate for moderate to heavy tilling, weeding or cultivating near an electrical power source. You won’t be as pleased with the weight of this unit if you have to transport it often.
2. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator
The Sun Joe TJ603E will provide you with the extra muscle and digging power to break new ground and get your garden started faster each year, but it still falls in the category of an electric mini tiller.
Adding six tines to this tiller makes the Sun Joe an excellent digger, but it wouldn’t be so, if this unit did not include the higher horse power motor as well. In addition to these features, the wider tine platform and depth adjustments allows you greater control in firmer soil and allows you to dig up more soil with each pass.
• The 1.85 HP motor on the Sun Joe makes it a lot more aggressive at breaking new ground or quickly getting the dirt turned over in an existing garden plot.
• The six tines and the overall width on this unit also add to its aggressiveness when tilling and allow you to take fewer passes over the ground you’re tilling.
• An added feature on this machine which gives you a little bit more control over your tilling, weeding or cultivating is its depth adjustment capability.
• The electric motor on the Sun Joe gives you the power of a gas motor, but is maintenance free and eco-friendly.
• This model also come with a full 2 year warranty.
• Keep in mind that the extra width of this unit might be great for getting your tilling done quickly, but it is going to require greater distance between the rows of your plants in order to be used as a cultivator or weeder.
• The aggressiveness of the six tines on this model, though their depth can be adjusted, might be a little bit too much for weeding and cultivating around more delicate plants.
Choose this mini tiller if…
You need to break a lot of new ground or have a larger garden plot to till and want to get it done more quickly. You might not be pleased with the Sun Joe when it comes to weeding and cultivating around more delicate plants that are not spaced more than 20” apart.
3. Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072
When it comes to versatility among mini tillers, the Greenworks 27072 is a hands down leader that has the capacity to perform all three functions of a mini tiller with ease.
The tine adjustability features of the Greenworks tiller give it a boost when it comes to versatility. Both the width and depth of the tines can be adjusted giving complete control over making it a tilling, cultivating or weeding machine. In addition, this unit has a very small footprint for storage and transporting along with wheels to make it more maneuverable.
• The major pro of the Greenworks tiller is its adjustability. Not only are you able to work your way down narrower rows when cultivating and weeding, but you can also make it wider in order to cover more ground when you’re tilling.
• The Greenworks can also be set to shallower depths for weeding and cultivating.
• Its four tines design make it work well when performing any of the three functions a mini tiller needs to perform.
• Though it is a little heavier than some of the models in this review, it does have wheels to help maneuver it around corners with ease.
• This unit comes with a 4 year limited warranty as well.
• The limited power of the motor and maximum width of the tines will make it a little bit less than efficient when tilling a large existing garden plot.
• The maximum depth of the tines is a little too shallow for breaking new ground as well.
Choose this mini tiller if…
The primary purpose of your mini tiller is for weeding and cultivating your garden or if the soil you are tilling is lighter and less compact. You will not be happy if you need to break new ground with this tiller.
What factors should you consider when choosing a mini tiller?
We made a brief list of some of the most basic characteristics of a mini tiller above, but it is helpful to examine those characteristics and a few others in a little bit more detail when it comes to choosing the mini tiller which best suits your needs. Here are the features to take into consideration:
• Number of tines – The number of tines can vary from 2, 4 or even 6 tines, though 4 tines is pretty common among mini tillers. The more tines, the more aggressively the unit will dig.
• Speed of rotation – Tine rotation speed below 200 rpm (idle speed) should be avoided, because the lower rpms just won’t cut through the soil efficiently enough.
• Variable speed – A special feature which allows you to slow your tiller down for cultivating or weeding is variable speed control.
• Folding and carrying handles – Transport and storage can be greatly enhanced by these features which are typically standard on mini tillers.
• Wheels – When you turn at the corners or ends of the rows while weeding, cultivating or tilling, wheels on a tiller can make it a lot easier to handle, especially if your tiller is pretty heavy.
• Cord lock – A cord lock prevents an electrically powered unit from becoming unplugged while you’re working.
• Variable depth – Tilling, cultivating and weeding tend to be performed at varying depths, so being able to adjust the depth for a specific function is an added plus.
• Variable width – Variable depth allows you to maneuver between rows that are closer together while weeding or cultivating, but also allows you to widen out the machine in order to make fewer passes while breaking ground or tilling your existing garden plot.
• Motor power –Lighter motors or motors with less horsepower will limit how aggressively you till, because they will bog down more often and either shut off or burn up the motor if you push them too hard. On the other hand a lighter motor might be something of an advantage when cultivating or weeding.
• Variable blade rotation – Being able to reverse the blades either manually or during tilling helps you control how aggressively you till, weed or cultivate. This feature is not always present on mini tillers, so it is something of a bonus when you find it included.
With these characteristics of a mini tiller in mind, being able to select the mini tiller which best suits your needs is a little less complex, but knowing how to best use a small tiller is another factor to keep in mind.
What’s the best way to use a mini tiller?
There are limitations to the efficiency of even the best small tillers. Consequently, understanding the best use of a mini tiller will help you avoid some of the frustrations associated with purchasing a tool which is not quite up to the task you want it to perform. Here are the basic functions you can expect best small tiller cultivator to perform in a small, home garden:
• Breaking ground: Breaking ground involves churning up soil that has never before been utilized as a garden plot or breaking up the soil of an existing garden plot that has hardened during the winter. A higher powered tiller accomplishes this task more easily than a lighter powered tiller. A small tiller can perform this function as long as your plot is small and you’re digging up relatively loose soil.
• Cultivating: After plants have pushed through the soil and are growing, cultivating helps to aerate the soil, which allows nutrients and water to reach the roots system with greater ease. It is something of a delicate operation to perform around some plants, but a mini tiller is often well suited for this task.
• Weeding: If you have ever gotten down on your hands and knees to pull weeds in your garden, you can quickly appreciate the fact that a small tiller can assist you in ridding weeds from your garden. The width and depth of the tiller as you work between rows as well as the tillers aggressiveness come into play during this task.
Some famous brands to keep in mind when shopping for small tillers.
Though our mini tiller reviews cover models which can be purchased on Amazon, there are some famous brand name tillers to keep in mind while you’re shopping for the best small tiller. Here are two main ones to keep in mind.
1. Honda Mini Tiller
Those who do not have a power source readily available near the space they are tilling, weeding and cultivating will be more interested in purchasing a gas powered tiller.
One of the best lines of gas powered tillers are Honda mini tillers. Honda designs some of the most powerful, lightweight and easy to use motors for small tillers and other powered small garden equipment. They have a name backed by solid performance, longevity and customer service after the sale.
2. Craftsman Mini Tiller
Craftsman is a trusted name brand in tools and power tools for both home and garden. A Craftsman mini tiller has the solid backing of the Craftsman name, quality and customer satisfaction built into it whether you are purchasing a gas powered tiller or an electrically powered model. Keep them in mind as you shop for the best small tiller.
Your needs and your budget will ultimately determine which of the models we have reviewed is the best mini tiller for your home garden. Keep in mind the primary functions and limitations of a small tiller whenever you shop.
Consider and compare the various features of individual models as you consider which one will work best for you. Above all, ditch the shovel and/or the broadfork and dig into the soil for your summer garden with a mini tiller.