Best Rototiller Reviews Consumer Reports: Buying Guide & Top Picks
Seeing a perfectly tilled garden gives a different kind of satisfaction. However, tilling a garden isn’t a cut out of a job because if you don’t know the right process, then you will end up ruining your garden. Moreover, it is important for you to get hold of the right kind of tiller, which could efficiently till your garden and make it eligible for planting.
With a large assortment of rototillers available on the market, you would surely get a hard time finding the perfect rototiller, but don’t you worry, as I have done all the hard work for you. Now, you just need to take a gander at the five best rototiller reviews consumer reports and pick the rototiller that you feel would suit the garden you want to cultivate.
Top Five Best Rototiller Reviews
1. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch Electric Tiller and Cultivator
Sun Joe Tiller and Cultivator is a solid machine that comes with a 12-amp motor to slice through the soil at 340 RPM. The tiller aerates the soil and prepares the seedbed for planting. With each pass, the tiller cultivates an area that is around 16 inches wide and 8 inches deep.
The tiller incorporates three rows of steel tines on each side, width, and height of which can be easily adjusted. A whole row of tines can be removed, thus making the tilling half of the total width. The rototiller is apt in tilling an area comprising of heavy sand mixtures, so you don’t have to worry about the tines of this tiller, as those will remain intact even after hitting large rocks.
The unit consists of rear wheels, which allows easy maneuver. Moreover, the wheels can be easily adjusted to three different positions for better flexibility. The collapsible handle of the unit makes it easier for you to store the unit. It’s a quality product, which comes with a 2-year warranty. There are two drawbacks of the tiller, i.e., invariable motor speed and lightweight of the unit that makes it hard to control.
2. Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
This tiller/cultivator is an easy-to-use machine, as it incorporates a start button along with a lever, so you just need to push the button and squeeze the lever to start tilling the ground. Let go of the lever to power off the tiller.
This is a highly durable machine, which gets the required power from 8.5 Amp electric engine made by American Lawn Mower Company. Being a lightweight unit, the tiller becomes a bit bouncy, especially when you work on hard-packed soil, so you will have to pull the unit towards you as you step backward.
To till the garden efficiently, the tiller comes with dual four-blade steel tines. With each pass, the tiller will cut an area that will be 11 inches wide and 8 inches deep, which makes it an ideal unit for smaller backyard gardens and flowerbeds. The slim design of the tiller along with the inclusion of flip-down wheels makes transportation very easy.
Talking about the drawbacks, then the turning off mechanism of this tiller could result in accidents, as you would have to release your grip from the lever, which may result in loss of control over the unit.
3. Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7940
Coming in 2-cycle as well as 4-cycle versions, this tiller operates on a gasoline-powered engine that is manufactured by Honda. Weighing just 20lbs, it is perhaps the lightest tiller/cultivator on my list. The 2-cycle version runs on the mixture of gasoline and oil whereas, for 4-cycle version, there is a separate tank for gasoline and oil.
4-cycle unit is more powerful, but the oil in it needs to be changed every 10 hours of use. You can use any model for intense gardening and landscaping tasks like plating a hole for a new tree, busting clay soil or tough sod and more. Both tillers can dig a cut that is 9 inches wide and 10 inches deep.
This is a versatile unit that can be used for digging fish ponds, utility ditches, leveling and terracing land, plowing contoured trails and building dikes to control soil erosion. You can flip the tines in order to speed-weed around established plants and seedlings. The company offers a lifetime guarantee on the tine against breakage that shows how confident the company is on the quality of its product.
As far as drawbacks of the unit are concerned, both 2 and 4 cycle versions bounce way too much on weeded hard packed soil. The 4-cylinder model doesn’t start instantly, as it needs to be warmed up first.
4. Greenworks 10-Inch Corded Tiller 27072
Despite being a tiller that operates on the electric engine, this unit offers a lot more than an average electric-engine operated tiller/cultivator. Comes with adjustable wheels, you can vary the tilling depth according to your cultivating needs.
Although the maximum depth of the tilled swath is around 5 inches, the ability to shorten the tilling width from 10 inches to 8.25 inches allows you to cultivate between plants more effectively. This is a self-propelled unit, which always runs forward; however, you can tilt the unit or pull it towards you in tough digging situations.
The unit expertise in fluffing up the top of the garden and controlling weeds, but when it comes to doing intense digging or slicing jobs, you will somewhat be disappointed. When applied heavy pressure, the tines could bend, so make sure not to push excessive pressure on the unit. The only drawback of the unit is the loosening of pins and washers after a certain period of time.
5. Earthquake 12802 MC440 Mini Cultivator
This is another lightweight tiller/cultivator, which weighs just 33 lbs and the majority of the weight is concentrated in the front part of the unit where the engine is installed. This is a Chinese product but is engineered in the US.
Ardisam Viper has designed the engine of this tiller, and it is a CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant engine, so it won’t emit any harmful gases into the atmosphere. The rear wheels of this tiller can be quickly adjusted, thus allowing you to till any surface. The wheels can be easily removed, so if you want to unwind any vines and weeds that wrap around the wheels, then those can be easily removed.
You will have to be attentive while running this machine, as the tines only turn when you apply the throttle. To increase the speed of the tiller, keep squeezing the throttle. A smart safety feature has also been included in the machine, i.e., release your control from the handlebars and the tines stop turning.
Handles are fixed at a height and you won’t be able to adjust them. The machine vibrates a lot while running, thus making it hard for people with short height to use the machine for longer periods. The drawbacks of this tiller include long time taken by the unit to begin working, as the engine needs to be warmed up. Secondly, when the tiller is used on rough surfaces, cotter pins and washers could fall off the machine.
How to Select The Right Rototiller
A rototiller is bought to perform one of the most important tasks in the house, i.e., to get a perfectly tilled garden, therefore, it is imperative to get your hands on the best tiller-cultivators, which perform the aforementioned task in the most efficient way. There are a few considerations for selecting the best tiller, which I’d be shedding light now.
Rototillers are available in gas as well as electric version, so now, you have to decide as to which version you are satisfied with. Gas tillers produce exhaust fumes and make a lot of noise whereas, an electric tiller has a limited range, plus you need to pay attention to the location of the cord.
If you opt for a gasoline version, then you need to select between the 2-cycle engine and 4-cycle engine, where the former one only requires a gasoline-oil mixture and the latter one has dedicated tanks for gasoline and oil.
You need to outline your requirements for width and depth of cut, as many tiller-cultivators come with fixed limits, while in some, the cut can be adjusted.
Check the accessories available with the product, whether those would do the required job or not. Make sure to look for items like furrow-forming plow blades and edge-trimmers.
What Makes A Quality Rototiller?
The role of a rototiller is to dig and mix hard soil into the garden bed and ensure conditioning of the soil through the entire growing season. The fact that makes rototillers the most preferred choice among users is the ability to be used by a single person.
The rototiller has tines in the front and wheels at the back, which makes it easier for a person to turn and reverse the unit. The forward rotating tines break up and weed/aerate softer soil, which is good for cultivation.
A quality rototiller will allow you to easily make adjustments in height and width. The adjustable tine widths allow tilling of narrow spaces whereas the adjustable tine height allows you to increase or decrease the depth of cut. You will find folding handlebars on a quality tiller along with folding wheels to be stored in confined spaces of the house.
A quality rototiller has a strong starter cord on the reliable gasoline engine, which easily handles multiple pulls over time without breaking. The quality of the engine is one of many ways to check the overall quality of the unit. Some of the top engine manufacturers for rototillers include Honda, Briggs & Stratton, Ardisam Viper, and American Lawn Mower Company.
Tips For Maintaining Your Rototiller
It doesn’t matter if your rototiller operates on electricity or gas because the main part is played by the engine, which spins the tines and turns the wheels, so you need to take care of the engine.
If your rototiller uses a gasoline engine, then make sure to use non-ethanol gas to prevent the engine from jamming. Use only fresh gas, as using an old gas would create problems in the carburetor. Moreover, you need to add gasoline stabilizer if you want to leave the gas inside the rototiller’s tank.
Even if you are adding a mix of gasoline and 2-cycle oil, you must add a fuel stabilizer to safeguard the tank against moisture. Check the label of the fuel stabilizer to know as to how much needs to be poured into the tank. You can also take out unused gasoline followed by cranking the engine in order to exhaust any gas that is left within the tank.
On the other hand, if your rototiller uses an electric engine, it doesn’t need any of those maintenance steps that I’ve discussed above. You just need to plug the unit into an 110v outlet. Along with that, make sure the wire doesn’t trip over the tilling blades or get stuck in them.
To extend the tilling range, you will have to get a three-wire grounded extension cord because a normal extension cord will not be able to withstand the heavy load of a rototiller.
The quest for the best rototiller could have been a lot harder for you, had you not stumbled upon this post. Fortunately, you have and I’ve not disappointed you, did I? I have presented five best rototillers in front of you with some working on the electric engine with others on the gasoline-powered engine.
It is up to you to decide as to which type of engine you want to have in your rototiller, as both have their own set of advantages and shortcomings. Just go through five best rototiller reviews consumer reports and make your pick.