Best Tillers for Breaking New Ground

best tillers for Breaking New Ground

So you plan on planting crops right behind your home – that’s great!

When it comes to breaking new ground and preparing it to be fit for planting, you would need a good tiller to help dig and aerate the soil. To make sure that it gets the job done right, you have to look into how sturdy and sharp the tines are vis-a-vis how powerful the motor is.

But most importantly, you have to check its cutting and digging dimensions to make sure that it is compatible with your garden.

All of these considerations may seem to be too intimidating to a beginner. Fortunately, you came to the right place. Here, we will give you a comprehensive buying guide to serve as your reference. We have also reviewed ten of the best tillers for breaking new ground to give you an idea of what you should look for in a great tiller.

Our Top Pick
Without a doubt, the Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller is the best overall tiller for breaking new ground. With its adjustable cutting width, you can use it for digging different-sized plots in your garden. We also love that it is easy to turn on and operate, so even beginners wouldn’t have a problem with using this tiller. Overall, we think this is the best because of its functionality, ease of operation, and maneuverability.

The 10 Best Tillers for Breaking New Ground: Reviews

When you’re looking for a tiller, two of the most important features that you have to look into are its cutting width and tilling depth. To give you an idea of what our list contains, here is a product comparison table of our top picks.

Product NameCutting WidthTilling DepthCheck Price

1. Best Overall: Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller

11 to 16 inches8 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

2. Best Lightweight: Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller

9 inches10 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

3. Best for Shallow Plots: Craftsman C210 Tiller

6 to 9 inches5 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

4. Best Powerful: Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller

9 inches10 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

5. Best for Beginners: Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller

16 inches8 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

6. Best for Vegetable Garden: Troy-Bilt TB154E Garden Cultivator

6 to 9 inches5 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

7. Best Front Tine: VonHaus Front Tine Garden Electric Tiller

12.5 inches8.6 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

8. Best Noiseless: Greenworks 27072 Corded Tiller

8.25 to 10 inches5 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

9. Best for Heavy-duty: Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller

11 inches10 inchesCheck Price on Amazon

10. Best Manual Tiller: Yard Butler Twist Tiller

No DataNo DataCheck Price on Amazon

Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller

The first on our list is the futuristic Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller. But despite its eye-catching and modern aesthetic, this corded electric tiller can surely get the job done.

To start, this tiller has an adjustable cutting width between 11 to 16 inches. You can easily make adjustments to make sure that it covers the entire area of your garden. It also has a tilling depth of 8 inches, which is deep enough to prepare the soil for a variety of plants. Considering these dimensions, this would be the best tiller for small farms to medium-sized gardens.

Aside from its impressive dimensions, the Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller also uses 6 adjustable steel tines to effectively till and prepare the soil for planting. You don’t have to worry about these durable tines breaking any time soon.

To make sure that the tiller performs optimally, this front tine tiller uses a powerful 13-amp motor. This is electrically powered, so as long as it’s plugged in, you can continue working on your garden with no problem.

But what we love most about the Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller is that it is designed for our convenience. It has a large handle that’s comfortable to grip, and this is paired with a set of tires located at the back of the tines to make it maneuverable.

It also features an easy-start push button that eliminates the need for pulling the engine to get it started. Once you squeeze the lever, you can already begin tilling. As soon as you let go of the lever, the tiller also immediately turns itself off for your convenience. This also assures you that you won’t accidentally leave the tiller running.

Because the Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller uses electric power, you don’t have to worry about gas refueling, fume emission, and regular maintenance work. This also makes it lightweight, so operating the tiller won’t be a problem. In all, this is one of the best electric tiller for breaking new ground in 2021.

Pros:

  • It is lightweight and highly maneuverable.
  • It has an adjustable cutting width between 11 to 16 inches.
  • It has a decent tilling depth of 8 inches.
  • It has an easy start button function and operating it is as easy as squeezing on the lever.
  • It requires less maintenance work.
  • It uses 6 adjustable front tillers made of durable steel.
  • It has an automatic off function once you let go of the lever.

Cons:

  • It is corded, so the area you can till is limited to the length of the cord.
  • Some users note that weeds tend to get caught between the tines.

Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller

For a tiller that can easily make its way between tight spaces, then we recommend the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller.

This tiller has a cutting width of only 9 inches, and that allows it to squeeze between areas that are usually unreachable by larger tillers. It can also till up to 10 inches deep with its tines going as fast as 240 rpm. Considering its size, we were quite impressed by how this tiller performs.

To make sure that this machine performs optimally, it uses a 25-cc engine that delivers unparalleled power to get the tines spinning. Because of this powerful engine, the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller boasts being twice as fast as its competitors.

This tiller uses curvy tines to effectively break through the soil. While it can dig as deep as 10 inches, you turn them around to cut shallow plots of 2 to 3 inches.

We also love that the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller is easy to operate. It is built with a finger-operated throttle so you don’t have to do much while adjusting the speed settings.

Weighing 24 pounds, you could say that this tiller is pretty lightweight. This makes it easy to maneuver around your garden. It also conveniently folds into a compact space-saving shape, which allows for better storage. If you are a woman and love gardening, you need a lightweight tiller with easy to use feature. We can recommend that, the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller the best tiller for a woman to use on the market.

Overall, the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller is one of the best tillers for breaking new ground, thanks to its sharp and curvy blades and compact design.

Pros:

  • It only weighs 24 pounds, making it easy to maneuver.
  • It has a cutting width of 9 inches, which allows it to fit between hard-to-reach areas.
  • It has an impressive tilling depth of up to 10 inches, which is also adjustable if you want to till shallow plots for your garden.
  • It uses a powerful 25-cc 4-cycle engine to guarantee optimum performance.
  • Its curved tines allow it to till hard soils effectively.

Cons:

  • Some users report experiencing vibrations while using it.
  • It is not easy to turn on.

Craftsman C210 Tiller

If you’re looking for a tiller that’s meant for creating shallow plots for your home garden, then we highly recommend the Craftsman C210 Tiller.

This tiller has an adjustable cutting width between 6 and 9 inches, coupled with a tilling depth of up to 5 inches. These dimensions make it perfect for small home gardens – especially if you want to plant in places that are normally hard to squeeze in.

We also love that the Craftsman C210 Tiller comes with four patented 3-way steel tines. Thanks to its durability, you can use it to till tough soil, cut through roots, and even mix in fertilizer to make sure that the soil is ready for planting. If you are looking for the best tiller for hard soil and cutting roots, you can choose this one without any doubt.

What’s interesting is that this petite tiller comes with a 25-cc 2-way engine – and this delivers amazing power output. As a result, you can only expect unparalleled performance from this machine.

Another impressive feature from the Craftsman C210 Tiller is that it is built with an easy-start technology. You can easily get the engine started with 3 easy steps, so you can focus all your time and energy on the tilling task at hand.

We love that the Craftsman C210 Tiller is built with a V-Grip handle that’s comfortable to hold onto as you work. It also has a pair of wheels at the back of the tines to allow for maneuverability across your garden. 

Pros:

  • It has an adjustable cutting width of 6 to 9 inches, and this allows you to till smaller spaces accurately.
  • It can till up to 5 inches deep.
  • It comes with a comfortable V-Grip handle couples with a set of durable wheels for easy maneuverability.
  • It uses a powerful 25-cc 2-cycle engine.
  • It has an easy-start feature.

Cons:

  • A 5-inch tilling depth may be too shallow for some users.
  • It is not easy to set up.

Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller

If you’re looking for a lightweight yet powerful tiller for your garden, then we recommend the Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller.

You may think that a 9-inch cutting width would take you hours to plot your entire garden, but this electric tiller proves otherwise. It uses a 3-speed 540-watt motor that delivers incredible power that helps you till faster. And since the width is only 9 inches, this allows you to get into areas that are normally unreachable.

The Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller is built with curvy and sharp tines that can till up to 10 inches deep. This shape makes it easy to get rid of clumps to make sure that the soil is perfectly suitable for planting. If you prefer more shallow plots, then you can simply turn the tines around and cultivate about 3 inches only.

We also love that this electric tiller has a compact design. It can also be easily folded, so transport and storage are no problems.

And while we talk of portability, you’d be pleased that this lightweight tiller only weighs 21 pounds. This makes it easy to maneuver all over your garden.

Being an electric tool, the Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller boasts noiseless operation and an easy-start feature. This also means that you don’t have to worry about it emitting nasty fumes that are harmful to the environment.

We believe the Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller is one of the best tillers for breaking new ground because it allows for a 3-speed operation for digging, weeding, and cultivating. This makes it an all-around garden tool for your home. The fact that it can squeeze into small areas is a bonus.

Pros:

  • It is built with a 9-inch cutting width paired with a 10-inch tilling depth.
  • It has a 3-speed operation that allows users to dig, remove weeds, and cultivate.
  • It is powered by electricity, thereby eliminating the need for maintenance work and frequent need to buy fuel.
  • It only weighs 21 pounds, making it lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • It can be folded easily for better storage.

Cons:

  • It is not easy to assemble.

Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller

If you are looking for an electric garden tiller that offers a wide cutting width coupled with large and sturdy tines, then the Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller is perfect for you.

With a cutting width of 16 inches, this electric garden tiller can surely get the job done fast. It also has a tilling depth of 8 inches, and this is quite a decent depth for its size. These dimensions would work great with medium-sized gardens with minimal obstructions.

Thanks to its 13.5-amp motor, you can expect the Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller to perform powerfully to get the job done efficiently.

To make sure that the soil is properly tilled, this electric tiller is built with 6 steel angled tines that are known for durability. This can break down even the toughest clumps to make the soil perfect for planting.

Maneuverability isn’t an issue, either. The wheels are adjustable to three positions, and this allows you to make the necessary customization to make sure that you’re tilling the soil perfectly. And for added convenience, it is built with an instant start feature to reduce the time you spend in trying to get the engine on.

Pros:

  • It has a cutting width of 16 inches and a tilling depth of 8 inches.
  • It uses a powerful 13.5-amp motor that guarantees efficiency.
  • It comes with 6 durable steel tines.
  • The wheels can be adjusted into three different positions for your convenience.
  • It has an instant start feature to make operation seamless and hassle-free.
  • It is easy to use and assemble, making it perfect for beginners.

Cons:

  • The blades are designed too close to each other, and it tends to get weeds stuck between them.

Troy-Bilt TB154E Electric Garden Cultivator

Troy-Bilt Electric Garden Cultivator

Another one of our favorite tillers for lawn is the Troy-Bilt TB154E Electric Garden Cultivator. Despite its conservative tilling dimensions, this tiller is made with high-quality parts that promise to get the job done.

This electric garden cultivator has a cutting width that’s adjustable between 6 and 9 inches. This is paired with a tilling diameter of 5 inches. Together, these dimensions make it perfect for cultivating the soil on your lawn to make it habitable for plants.

Thanks to its four forward-rotating tiller tines, you can expect it to break through hard soil and large clumps to make it soft enough for your plants. These tines are also capable of three functions: digging, tearing, and turning the soil. Thus, you’re assured that the bed for your new plants is prepared accordingly.

We also love that the Troy-Bilt TB154E Electric Garden Cultivator is designed with our comfort in mind. Aside from having large wheels that make it easy to maneuver, the weight on this machine is evenly distributed. As a result, you wouldn’t feel exhausted after a long day of work.

Overall, the Troy-Bilt TB154E Electric Garden Cultivator is perfect for tilling and aerating small to medium-sized gardens and lawns.

Pros:

  • It has an adjustable cutting width that’s between 6 and 9 inches.
  • It has a tilling depth of 5 inches, which is perfect for small plots and aerating the soil.
  • It is easy to maneuver.
  • It is capable of digging, tearing, and turning.

Cons:

  • Some users claim that the tines tend to get caught between weeds.

VonHaus Front Tine Garden Electric Tiller Lawn Cultivator

One of the best front tine tillers for the garden is the VonHaus Front Tine Garden Electric Tiller Lawn Cultivator. This medium-sized tiller may seem plain at first sight, but we were surprised by how well it performs.

To start, it is built with a powerful 850-watt motor. This guarantees that it is built for heavy-duty work – expect unparalleled performance from its tines.

For its dimensions, the VonHaus Front Tine Garden Electric Tiller Lawn Cultivator is built with a 12.5-inch cutting width paired with an 8.6-inch tilling depth. Together, this is quite a promising combination for most small to medium-sized gardens.

The tines are also quite impressive. This electric tiller comes with four robust steel tines that are meant to break new ground to make it perfect for soil cultivation. Boasting a speed of 380 RPM, you know that this is a tool that’s bound to do great things.

For our safety, the VonHaus Front Tine Garden Electric Tiller Lawn Cultivator has a built-in safety cut-out protection switch. This effectively stops the motor during emergencies, and this helps prevent damage to the blades. As a result, you know that this is a machine that’s meant to last for years.

Considering its medium-sized dimensions, we were also impressed that the VonHaus Front Tine Garden Electric Tiller Lawn Cultivator only weighs a little over 20 pounds. This makes it incredibly lightweight – and therefore, manageable.

Pros:

  • It is incredibly lightweight at 20.7 pounds.
  • It is easy to control and maneuver.
  • It uses a powerful 850-watt motor.
  • It has a cutting width of 12.5 inches and a tilling depth of 8.6 inches.
  • It has an impressive speed of 380 RPM
  • It is built with a safety feature to protect the blades.

Cons:

  • It is not very durable.

Greenworks 27072 Corded Tiller

The Greenworks 27072 Corded Tiller is another head-turning tiller that promises reliable results. Coming in at an affordable price, this is the best tiller under $200 in our list.

This tiller comes with an adjustable cutting width between 8.25 to 10 inches. This allows you to personalize how you want to plot your garden, and you can do so with ease. It also features a tilling depth of 5 inches, which is deep enough for most garden plants.

Thanks to its 8-amp electric motor, you don’t have to worry about frequent tune-ups, refuels, and engine maintenance. This motor also allows the engine to function efficiently with minimal effort from the user. You can turn the engine on with ease.

But one of our favorite features of electric tillers is that it offers noiseless operation. Thus, even if we want to work on our garden on an early morning, you wouldn’t worry about disturbing your neighbors.

We were also impressed by how large its tines are. The Greenworks 27072 Corded Tiller comes with large 8-inch tines – and this guarantees unparalleled digging performance.

It is also made for our convenience. This electric tiller comes with foldable handles to allow for better storage. And although you have to assemble it at first, assembly is quite easy – you don’t even need tools to piece them all together.

Pros:

  • It is easy to assemble and operate.
  • It has an adjustable cutting width of 8.25 to 10 inches.
  • It has a tilling depth of 5 inches, which is perfect for shallow plots.
  • It is easy to maneuver.
  • It promises a noiseless operation.

Cons:

  • Some users claim that it tends to stop working after a few months.

Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller

One of the heavy-duty rear tine tiller for breaking new ground we have is the Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller. Because of its bulky size, people often mistake it for one of the strong and sturdy tillers for lawn tractors.

It is capable of cutting 11 inches in diameter and 10 inches deep to get your garden ready. This rear tine tiller also boasts a forward and reverse gear drive system for the utmost control.

The Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller also boasts self-sharpening tines, so you don’t have to keep removing the tines – and that guarantees its longevity.

Despite its large size, this tiller is easy to maneuver. It is built with large 13-inch wheels, and this makes it highly portable. The lugs on each wheel are so deep, and this gives it great traction regardless of the terrain.

Pros:

  • It has an impressive cutting width of 11 inches and a tilling depth of 10 inches.
  • It is very durable.
  • It features self-sharpening tines to guarantee longevity.
  • Its large 13-inch wheels offer maneuverability.
  • It boasts a manual recoil easy start.

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive, considering what it offers.

Yard Butler Twist Tiller

For those who want to get back to basics, then the Yard Butler Twist Tiller is the perfect tiller for you. Being a manual tiller, you may have to exert the extra effort to prepare the soil, but its features certainly take a lot of effort off of your shoulders.

We love that the Yard Butler Twist Tiller has six claw spikes that you can easily drag onto the soil to break new ground. These spikes are so placed in a way that would promote air, fertilizer, and water flow onto the soil as long as you keep tilling it.

Thanks to its convenient T-handle, you don’t have to exert a lot of effort into trying to break the ground. This also helps facilitate faster planting.

But most importantly, it is made of premium and durable steel. Thus, you know that the Yard Butler Twist Tiller is a garden tool that’s meant to last.

Pros:

  • It is made of premium and durable materials.
  • It is designed for comfort and maximum performance.
  • It does not require a motor to run, and therefore low-maintenance.
  • It is highly maneuverable.
  • It has six claw-like spikes that help till the soil.

Cons:

  • It requires more manpower from the user. 

Buying Guide – Tillers for Breaking New Ground

Before immediately buying the first tiller that catches your eye, we strongly advise making a careful assessment of your tilling needs first. This will help you determine the perfect tiller for you – and in the long run, that will give you the best value for the money.

Construction

It goes without saying that the construction of the tiller is of primary importance.

As much as possible, go for one that’s made of metal – whether it’s the outer shell or the poles. This assures you that it won’t be susceptible to cracks, regardless of how hard the tiller vibrates as it works.

As a result, you know that you’re paying for something that will surely last for a long time.

Dimensions

Another important factor that you should look into is the dimensions of the tiller.

When it comes to this machine, longer doesn’t always mean better. While longer tillers can cover an entire area faster than a smaller one, it may not be able to reach narrow areas as well as the shorter ones.

Also, the tilling depth is something that you should look into. Not all plants require you to plot very deep holes, so it’s best to plan what kinds of plants you want to grow first before buying a tiller. 

Tine Orientation

Tillers often come in two types: front tine tillers and rear-tine tillers.

Those with tines located in front of their wheels are called front tine tillers, and these are known for their maneuverability. Thus, we advise getting this type of tiller if you’re just a beginner.

Alternatively, those with tines at the back of their wheels are called rear tine tillers. While these are harder to maneuver, they are built for heavy-duty tilling action. Thus, this is what you want to look for if you have to break extremely hard ground.

Tines

Of course, you should also look into how the tines are built.

While a tiller with more tines is better at breaking the soil and clumps apart, it may cause weeds to get stuck between those tightly-knit blades. As a tip, if you’re using a tiller on an area that’s filled with weeds, we advise using one with tines that are not too close to each other.

Also, we strongly advise getting a tiller with durable tines, preferably made of steel. Steel is known for being hard, and when it’s sharpened, its ground-breaking impact is incredible. You might read our latest article about how to Use a Tiller to Remove Grass.

Engine

The size of the engine helps you determine how powerful the tiller will be. In general, gas-powered tillers produce unparalleled power, so this is what you have to look for if you’re planning to do heavy-duty garden work. But if you’re only planning on preparing the soil once in a while for your home, you’ll do well with an electric tiller.

FAQ About The Best Tillers for Breaking New Ground

Which is Better: Gas or Electric Tillers?

The answer to this question depends on how you want to use your tillers. Gas-powered ones are known for producing unparalleled power while also being portable. However, they can be quite noisy, while they tend to emit nasty fumes to the environment.

On the other hand, electric tillers are often corded, so you are limited as to the range you can till. But since they do not burn fuel, they do not emit any nasty fumes and also operate silently. Take these into consideration before buying.

What size of tiller should I get?

As to the size of your tiller, assess the size of your lawn first. Most medium-sized lawns will work best with tillers having tillers that have a cutting width of 12 to 16 inches. But, if your garden has a lot of obstructions, we advise getting smaller tillers that can comfortably squeeze between these obstructions.

Conclusion

From our list of the best tillers for breaking new ground, you could see that we need a machine that has a solid construction, sharp and durable tines, easy to use, and highly maneuverable. And all things considered, it’s easy to see why we think the Earthwise TC70016 Corded Electric Tiller is the best of them all.

We love how sharp and rugged the blades are on the Earthwise TC70016. This allows you to break new ground, especially if it has a clear trimmer line. With its adjustable cutting width, you can also make the necessary adjustments to how large or small you want your plot to be.

But if you’re not a fan of anything that runs on motors, then your best bet is the Yard Butler Twist Tiller. Even with its manual operation, this tiller works at par with most of the more modest models on this list – and that’s already quite impressive.

Thus, whether you prefer front or rear tine tillers, we’ve got you covered. If you know how to assess your needs, then we’re sure that you’ll find the best tiller for your garden in no time.

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