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Tilling the garden is a piece of cake with the right tillers for the job. But, before you can pick the right one, you need to know how to till a garden, and why it matters.
Do you have your garden in the same place every year? Or, maybe you’re starting your first garden in this particular location? It all makes a difference when it comes to tilling, and which tiller to use.
Read on and learn all about what tillers are, how and when to use them to till a garden, as well as our top picks for some great tillers incase you don’t already have one!

What is the Purpose of a Tiller?

The purpose of a tiller is to loosen and turn soil in the garden so that it may be used more successfully for planting and cultivating crops. Each year the ground freezes and hardens over winter time, so, in the spring, or summer, before you start planting a garden, the ground needs tilling first.

Types of Tillers

The most popular tillers for use at home in the garden are rear-tine and front-tine models. Let’s take a closer look at each one below and exactly how they work:

Rear-tine Tillers

A rear-tine tiller.

A rear-tine tiller.

Rear-tine tillers are powered by motors and driveshaftes connected to front wheels that help pull their tines through the dirt to break up the ground. For gardens with extra-hard compacted ground, rear-tine tillers are recommended because of the extra torgue and RPMs made available by the front-wheel design.

Front-tine Tillers

Sun Joe front-tine tiller.

Sun Joe front-tine tiller.

Front-tine tillers work the opposite way, with the momentum of the tiller pulling the machine forward as its tines chew through the dirt and the back wheels help balance the machine and guide it. For gardens that are well-tended and have soil that is only partially compacted, front-tine tillers are more than enough machine to get the job done.

What is the Difference Between a Tiller and Cultivator?

A large green cultivator being pulled by a big green tractor in the field.

A cultivator being pulled by a tractor in the field.

Generally speaking, tillers and cultivators do a very similar job of moving earth around in order for it to be cultivatable. Though technically, tillers break ground, whereas cultivators just tumble it around. That said, where they differ the most is in size. Cultivators are commercial sized machines, while tillers are designed for at home in the garden. 

Electric Tiller vs Gas Tiller: Which is Better?

There is no right or wrong answer to which is better between electric and gas tillers. The truth is that they both have their pros and cons. Gas tillers are louder, may smoke or put out fumes as they get older, and cost more for fuel, but they also have more power than many electric tillers.

However, it’s not always the biggest or loudest that’s the best. Electric tillers today have longer charges, more power motors, and a wide array or smarter functions than ever before. The bottom line is that only you can decide which is the better choice for you and your tilling needs in the garden.

What is the Best Time to Till the Garden?

The best time to till your garden each year is during the Spring while the soil is still dry from the winter but is starting to warm up for the year. Some gardeners till as early as Januaruy and February, though most wait until March or April. That said, in places where the weather stays colder for longer, tilling is best done in May or even June.

How to Use a Tiller in the Garden

Depending on which type of tiller you’re using, the controls vary slightly but the steps to tilling the garden are the same:

  1. Mark Your Garden Space
  2. Prepare the Tiller (with fuel/power and a prime if necessary)
  3. Start the Tiller
  4. Engage the Tines in the Soil
  5. Slowly Move Forward
  6. Till a Row and Repeat
  7. Repeat the Process Until Complete

How to Pick the Best Tiller for Your Garden

A gardener tilling a garden with a red tiller.

The first step in deciding which type of tiller you want for your garden is figuring out which one best suits to you and your needs. Do you have a large garden, or a small one? If it’s a big one, you may want to go with a gas tiller, or one of the high-end eletric ones. Most smaller gardens are easily tilled with electric tillers.

Another considertation to make is the cost of fuel. Gas tillers run on gasoline, and electric models run on electricity. Neither power source is free, but one obviously costs more than the other. However, the amount of time you spend using the tiller also plays into factor as it determines how much fuel is necessary.

There is also the sound and the smell of gas tillers to think about. Electric tillers vibrate less, they don’t smell like gas, and they are way quieter as well. On the flip side, they may well take longer to do the job than a good old fashioned gasoline powered tiller.

All things considered, the choice is yours. That said, we don’t prefer gas powered tools, and won’t be promoting them in this article!

Buying an Electric Tiller

If you’re thinking about investing in a new electric tiller for your garden, there has never been a better time than now.

Electric tillers today come with powerful motors, long lasting batteries, and quite frankly, the ability to out-perform their old-fashioned gasoline counterparts.

Read on below and discover which 4 electric tillers people think are the best on the current market (and how to pick out the best one for you and your gardening and tilling needs!).

Our pick for the best overall electric tiller is the Sun Joe TJ603E.

The Sun Joe TJ603E Electric Tiller and Cultivator is one of the best-selling electric tillers on the market. It’s lightweight, yet powerful, built with durable components that last for years, and out performs most comparable machines.

Tillers aren’t what they used to be. Each year, more and more electric machines come out that simply put older gas-powered units to shame.

But, don’t just take our word for it. Read on to find out more about the best electric tillers for your garden!

What to Look for in an Electric Tiller

Before moving on to our picks for the best electric tillers currently available, let’s have a look at the biggest factors you should consider before deciding which tiller is best for you:

Mobility and Ease of Use

The overall level of difficulty involved with operating a tiller is crucial. t isn’t easy to use, it isn’t worth it, period. Consider yourself, as well as the machine. For example, if you have a bad back, the right tiller for you should be lightweight.

Motor and Battery

The motor and the battery that comes with an eletric tiller is one of the most critical aspects to pay attention to. These two factors determine how much power the tiller has and for how long said power lasts. They also dictate which type of charger is needed.

Tines and RPMs

The tines are the blades that spin and tear through the earth, doing the actual tilling. The RPMs determine the speed and power the tines till the ground with. High-quality tines are essential for a good tiller.

Cost and Warranty

As with all purchases, the cost and the warranty are two very important considerations. The more a tiller costs, the better the quality of its components should be, as well as the warranty options. A tiller with no warranty is a great big red flag.

Our Top Picks for Best Electric Tillers

This video is shared from Brett’s Grasscapades YouTube channel. If you enjoyed it, give it a like or consider subbing!

The Sun Joe TJ603E Electric Tiller and Cultivator

A bright green and glossy black electric tiller with four black tines, a power cord, and dual handles with extra-large pistol grips.

The Sun Joe TJ603E is an electric tiller that can cultivate a wide area in a dirt-free way. Its powerful yet environment-friendly design allows you to dig any piece of land no matter how hard it is.

This Sun Joe tiller and cultivator is electrically operated, so there is no need to refill it with fuel every time. Talk about saving money!

Further, the tiller is simple to use and easy to store as well after doing all the work. Its lightweight and compact design allow it to easily fit on porches, decks, patios, and in garages and garden sheds.


  • Motor: 12amp 
  • Power Source: Corded-electric 
  • Form factor: Hand push 
  • Weight: 27 pounds  
  • Number of tines:
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Handles: Collapsible 
  • Wheels: Adjustable in 3 different positions 
  • Wheel placement: Rear 
  • Tines rotation: 240 revolutions per minute 
  • Maintenance: Very little 
  • Working surface: Soft, medium-hard, hard 
  • Weather-resistant: Yes 
  • Starter: Electirc


Powerful 12 Amp Motor 

One of the most useful aspects of the Sun Joe T603E Electric Tiller and Cultivator is its 12-amp electric motor. It is powerful enough to slice through even the hardest soils and pulverize them more efficiently.

With a speed of 340 revolutions per minute, the motor makes the tiller work faster than other cultivators. So, your seedbeds will be ready with sufficient aeration to maximize plant growth. 

Adjustable Wheels 

The rear wheels make the tiller move back and forth easily, and they can be adjusted in 3 positions. Plus, there is no need to carry it in your arms and take it to the garden as the wheels are at the back. So, it is easy to drive it to the target place with less effort.

Furthermore, you can roll it and store it after use because of its collapsible handles.

6 Durable Steel Angled Tines 

The reason why this tiller is the best fit for wide and hard landscapes is its multiple steel-angled tines. Since these are operated at high speed, they can cut weeds, slice tough soil, and aerate it effectively. Six durable tines add strength to its system and improve its digging and cultivating processes. 

Instant Start 

You can easily start the Sun Joe electrical tiller by simply pressing a button. So, you can set it up in a few easy steps without reading any guidebook or requiring a professional’s help. This triller does not require filling up oil or gasoline to start, making it even more valuable and cost-effective for the user. 

Lightweight Design 

The Sun Joe Triller is made so that even a man of average size and strength can use it without much effort. Despite the lightweight design, its power and effectiveness are the same as a high-end tiller. The handgrips provide an easy way to hold and operate the device with a firm grip. 


The Tiller is quick and easy to set up and use, even for a complete tilling newbie. You can pick it up effortlessly, without requiring anyone’s help. Its powerful electric motor is energy efficient and still digs through hard, compacted, and uneven lands with little effort.

The instant start feature makes you free from refilling the gas or oil every time before use. That makes it not only convenient but also an economic gardening tool for your home. Furthermore, it doesn’t need much maintenance (if any) in the long term. 


The tiller comes with an electric cord that can be annoying sometimes. You have to take care of it while using the device to tangle or trip over it. Otherwise, it can cause serious damage to you while using it. But this drawback can be fixed by using it carefully and cautiously.

How Does the Sun Joe Electric Tiller Compare To Other Tillers & Cultivators?

There are several reasons that make the Sun Joe Tiller one of the best choices in the market. Its six steel angled tines can cover a wide area of around 16-inches. Thus you can complete your task quickly and accurately. 

Another feature that makes this tiller stand out from its competitors is its foldable design. You can store it after use, and it won’t take up much space at all.

Thanks to its durable design, and innovative layout, it does not require repetitive maintenance and serves you for many years before needing replacing (as all things eventually do). 

Greenworks 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller

A green and black electric tiller with black metal tines, power cord, and a lightweight white handle system.

The Greenworks electric tiller provides you with the tools for quick and easy gardening service for your garden. The adjustable tilling can be used according to desired depth and space of the rows in your garden.

The smooth and noise-free operation is another striking feature of the Greenworks 8-Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller. Furthermore, there is no need to charge the batteries or change them. Just plug it in and you are good to go because it is a corded design. 

The Greenworks 8 Amp 10-Inch Corded Tiller is a great choice for those who want a quality tiller at an affordable price. We plan on buying another one as a spare!


  • It’s easy to use
  • Quick to start by just pressing the start button
  • Affordable price


●The ring pins may get lost during the tilling process

Earthwise TC70025 7.5-Inch 2.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller

A silver and neon green electric tiller with a small body, power cable, and black tines.

Another ideal fit for gardening is this electric tiller by Earthwise, the TC70025 Corded Electric Tiller. The lightweight and simple design is super easy to operate, even for a total beginner.

The TC70025 features a comfortable and easy-to-use curved handle that provides a good grip to the user. One of the best features is that the machine is electrically powered with no need for expensive fuel for its operation. It doesn’t require batteries or chargers either.

This electric tiller bears a retractable cord that is tangle-free when not in use. The Earthwise TC70025 Corded Electric Tiller has a 7.5-inch deck, a 6-inch tine depth, and four tines working on a 2.5 amp power. The machine operates at a high speed of 280 rpm. 


  • Lightweight design is easy to carry and use
  • Work well for small gardens
  • Time-saving operations


● The assembly is complicated and flimsy

LawnMaster TE1016M Corded Electric Tiller

A shiny orange electric tiller with black power cord, frame, and handle bars.

Lastly, but not least, the TE1016M Corded Electric Tiller from LawnMaster is a perfect choice for older people who love gardening, as well as those who are looking for an easy-to-maneuver tiller for the garden. The machine is a lightweight build that people of any age can operate without issue. Further, there is no need for oil and gas refilling as the tiller is electric-powered.

Moreover, the durable design of the LawnMaster TE1016M Corded Electric Tiller does not require regular maintenance either. Six steel blades and a powerful 6-amp motor make it dig with ease even through the toughest soil in just a few short moments.

The TE1016M also comes with an anti-block mechanical clutch that is present in the two-stage gearbox, keeping stones and compacted earth from stopping up your machine. 


  • Easy to carry due to its lightweight design
  • Quick and painless to assemble
  • Convenient to use


  • Does not work well on wet soil

Why We Think the Sun Joe TJ603E is the Best Electric Garden Tiller

Hopefully this article clears up any questions you had about how to till a garden with a tiller, and how to pick one if you don’t already own one.

That said, with so many options for electric tillers on the market, choosing the best one for you is a challenge. But, it doesn’t need to be.

The Sun Joe TJ603E is an obvious step above the rest. It’s powered by a 12 amp motor, has six heavy-duty tines, easy-grip handles, and low-to-no maintenance requirements, making it one of the very best.

However, if you’re looking for an electric tiller that’s even smaller, but still packs a wallop, we suggest the Greenworks tiller listed above.

Likewise, for those who need an extremely easy-to-use tiller, with barely any weight to it at all, the Earthwise tiller review above is our top recommendation.

Thanks for reading. Happy tilling!


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