Best Garden Tiller for Breaking New Ground in 2020

girl rototilling new ground

You need a tiller, but not just any tiller. You want one that’s durable, affordable, and that can get the job done, every single time. And let me guess, you’ve got some soil that maybe hasn’t been tilled or cultivated in a while, or if ever… am I right? 

It sounds to me like you’re wanting the best tiller for breaking new ground, which is exactly what I am going to share with you, right now.

Keep reading to find exactly what you’re looking for:

If you landed on this page, then you already know that having a good rototiller in your arsenal of lawn and garden tools is a necessity. From planting for a garden, to turning up dirt before leveling and installing sod, nobody wants to do it the slow and tedious way. 

But listen, I know you might be short on time and you may want me to just get down to the gist of it – what’s the best of the best when it comes to rototillers that can help you break new ground?

If you’re in a hurry and short on time, then below I have done a quick overview of my absolute 3 favorite tillers:

Best Tiller for Breaking New Ground

schiller grounds mantis 7940 tilling soil

+ Tills through anything!
+ Many tiller attachments
 Sometimes hard to start
Plastic throttle trigger

sun joe t604e rototiller standing in the dirt

+ Powerful electric motor
+ 16″ wide working area
+ Solid customer guarantee
 Jumps during use
Cord can get in the way

greenworks 40v cordless rototiller in hard soil

+ Adjustable tines (8-10in)
+ Simple, quiet operation
+ Extended battery life
 Hard to remove battery
Roots easily get tangled

Why did I select these?

The Schiller Grounds Mantis 7940, Sun Joe’s TJ604E, and Greenworks 40V Cordless tiller are all top of the line products in their own ways. These are brands who are rooted in the lawn and garden industry and aren’t going anywhere, which is an important point I consider when buying any new rototiller.

Now that you’ve had a quick overview, you can scroll down or swipe up and continue to read my in-depth review on each of these three best tillers…

Schiller Grounds Mantis 7940 - Best Tiller for Hard, Clay & Rocky Soil

schiller grounds mantis 7940 tilling soil

There’s a reason the Mantis 7940 takes the cake as being the best tiller for garden work (both large and small). Whether you have rocky or clay soil, or you’re prepping for sod, the Mantis will continue to show you it can handle any job you throw at it, which is why I believe it’s the best rototiller for the money, right now. 

It sports a super powerful, Honda 4-cycle engine, the ability to add multiple tiller attachments, and a rock solid 5-year consumer warranty and lifetime tine guarantee

It’s easy to see why people give this tiller so many amazing Amazon reviews!

Powerful, Yet Compact

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of powerful tillers out on the market. Where the Schiller Grounds Mantis 7940 shines is not only it’s power, but lightweight and compact design, as well. 

Why does this matter? Well, for starters, it’s going to be easier to get into tight spaces which are hard to reach. We’ve all had those garden beds that aren’t the biggest, and with other rototillers, it can make successfully tilling them almost impossible. 

Having a lightweight, compact tiller is also going to mean it’s more versatile in who’s actually going to be able to use it. Whether you’re the man of the house wanting to get a big job done, or a woman looking to till a new garden bed, at only 24 lbs, it’s going to be easy for both men and women to use and maneuver. 

Being powerful, yet compact is one of the main features that I absolutely love about this tiller. 

Tiller Attachments At Your Fingertips

Choose from 4 different tiller attachments and turn the Mantis 7940 into a lawn and garden dominating machine. 

(See the attachments on Amazon below)

  • Use the lawn aerator attachment to give your lawn the needed boost it’s looking for.
  • Get the lawn dethatcher and organically mulch your lawn.
  • Try the border edger attachment for that finished look around your garden bed.
  • See the plow attachment and how effortlessly it makes rows for vegetable gardening. 

Having attachments at your fingertips isn’t only a nice to have, but it can be an absolute game changer when it comes to a tiller that can literally do it all!

A Guarantee That's Best In Business

We all want products that can do the job and do it well, but the next best thing is that we want the company to stand behind their products if things go wrong. 

You can rest easy knowing that Schiller Grounds has been in the business since 1938 and aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. 

They offer an iron-clad 5-year consumer warranty, as well as a lifetime guarantee on the front tine.

So go ahead, put it through its paces and know that you’re covered by the best in the business. 

Final Thoughts: Pros & Cons

+ The 4-cycle engine makes it very powerful and able to till through anything thrown at it.
+ Tons of attachments make it versatile and able to perform almost any job.

– Sometimes, the Mantis can be difficult to start after repeated use.
– Comes with a plastic throttle trigger which can be broken after heavy use. Easy to replace, though.

Hands down, the Mantis 7940 would be my go-to tiller for any job, big or small. I’ve used it on dozens and dozens of jobs over the years, and it’s still running strong. 

This rototiller is one of the best selling tillers on Amazon, and it’s easy to see why!

sun joe t604e rototiller standing in the dirt

If you’re looking for ease of use and something that can start up every single time with an easy push of a button, then the Sun Joe T604E Electric tiller & cultivator will be your new best friend. Finally, an easy way to rip through dirt and turn new ground, all with the power of a 13.5amp electric battery!

With 6, rock solid (no pun intended) steel tines, a 16″ wide and 8″ deep tilling area for maximum working speed, and super easy storage, the Sun Joe T604E is up there with the best when you’re looking for a new, electric rototiller.

See why people on Amazon say this is the best electric tiller on the market today!

6 Steel Tines That Really Shine

I always like to say: if there’s one thing you need with a good rototiller, it’s good, heavy-duty tines! Nobody wants to go into a project and have the most important part of their machine fail on them! 

Ya’ see, many cheap tillers and cultivators skimp on the build quality of their tiller tines, which leaves you with a bent hunk of junk the first time you run into some lean, mean, and hard soil. 

You won’t have to worry about any of this with the T604E Electric tiller since the tines are made out of a durable, solid steel that can get your job done, and done really well!

Not only that, but you’re always backed by Sun Joe’s 2 year, no questions asked, customer guarantee!

Maximum Working Capacity

If you’ve ever worked with a small tiller, then you know it’s a real pain in the butt when you have a big job to do. Pass after pass, you feel like you’re barely making any progress.

One hour turns into two or three and before you know it, the day is gone. Wouldn’t you like to get the job done not only on time, but earlier than expected? 

Lucky for you, Sun Joe’s T604E has a massive working area of 16″ wide and 8″ deep, so you know you’re working hard and smart with the right tool.

Combine it’s working area with the ability to rototill at 370RPM, and you’ll be slicing through the dirt like a knife through butter.

Do yourself a favor and get that job done faster than expected, will ya? 🙂

Super Simple Storage

Storing Sun Joe’s electric tiller & cultivator is about as easy as it gets… literally! 

Having such a heavy duty tiller be able have its’ handles collapse and fold for easy storage is an often overlooked feature! 

If you’re shed or garage is as packed as mine is with tools and gadgets, then having equipment that can be compact is an absolute requirement and this rototiller doesn’t disappoint! 

Final Thoughts: Pros & Cons

+ 16″ wide working area for getting the project done fast!
+ Powerful, 13.5AMP battery
+ Ability to adjust wheels easily

– Likes to jump during heavy use — needs to be weighted down
– It’s a corded tiller, so the cord can get in the way if you don’t pay attention

For a corded, electric tiller – I like it! It’s powerful, can be easily stored and feels like a solid rototiller that can last you a long time. If you don’t want to go the gas route and rather have a tiller / cultivator that starts with the push of a button, then this is the one for you. 

But don’t take my word for it, check out 642+ Amazon reviews, some saying this tiller is an amazing value for the money!

Greenworks 10" 40V - Best Rated Cordless Tiller

greenworks 40v cordless rototiller in hard soil

Maybe a gas rototiller is out of the question, and you don’t necessarily want a tiller that is attached to extension cords… so what do you do? You should check out the Greenworks 10″ 40V Cordless Tiller! 

With a nifty, adjustable tilling width of 8 to 10 inches, smooth operation and less noise than a conventional tiller, and the perfect amount of battery life for reasonably sized jobs, you’d be hard pressed to find another cordless rototiller that can compete.

Versatile Tilling

If you’re looking to rototill small flower beds and gardens, then you’re in for a treat. The 10″ Greenworks Cordless tiller has adjustable tines that can go from 8″ to 10″ wide which makes it perfect for getting into tight places like between small flowers or vegetables in your garden.

Keep in mind that this is a cordless, electric tiller, so you won’t be able to tackle any major jobs with rocks, roots and debris littered around. But, this tiller will be able to handle any of your small jobs like a champ with its adjustable tilling width (mentioned above) and the ability to till up to 5 inches in depth. 

What does all this mean?

Easy, fast and efficient tilling for breaking new ground around your beds and gardens!

Powerful, Smooth & Quiet

Some of the benefits of using a battery powered rototiller are that you’re still going to get a decent amount of power out of the machine, the operation is going to be smoother, and the sound is going to be a lot quieter than that of a gas powered alternative.

Let’s be honest – you may not need an ultra powerful tiller that can cut through anything you put in front of it. Sometimes, all you need is a tool to get your job finished quick and easy, without all the hassles of gas and cords in your way, am I right?

Great Battery Life

Surprisingly, the battery life on the Greenworks 40V Cordless Rototiller is quite good: 

While it won’t let you conquer a huge job on one charge, you’ll easily be able to cultivate a few flower beds or gardens with battery to spare. I always recommend buying a spare battery that way you can have an extra one charged. 

Greenworks also made this rototiller / cultivator compatible with their G-MAX 40V battery models, which can be used on any of the Greenworks line of electric products. 

You can read the many Amazon reviews talking about the battery and battery life here. 

Final Thoughts: Pros & Cons

+ Adjustable tines from 8″ to 10″ – great for a variety of smaller jobs
+ Simple, quiet operation
+ Extended Battery Life

– The battery can be hard to remove
– Roots get easily tangled in the tines and need to be cleared

Listen, if you’re out there and you know you don’t need a rototiller for any big tasks, then the Greenworks 40V Cordless Cultivator is your best bet. While it’s not the most powerful, it has a lot of pros if you’re looking 

Cultivator or Tiller - What's The Difference?

You’ve probably seen me using the terms cultivator and tiller almost interchangeably. So then, cultivator vs tilleris there really a difference?

While the line between the two can be blurred at times, traditionally the differences are: 

  • A tiller is used for heavier jobs to help break up new ground and hard, compacted soil. 
  • A cultivator is smaller, less powerful, electric (or battery powered) and typically clears weeds and helps to mix up the dirt in an already established garden or planter bed. 
With that said, as technology advances and the lines between the two become more blurred, many brands are making tiller & cultivator capabilities, all in one.

Front Tine vs Rear Tine Tiller

In this guide, we’ve covered a variety of front tine tillers, but there is also another type of rototiller… the rear tine tiller

Let’s go over the differences between the two:

What is a front tine tiller?

Just like the name says, a front tine tiller has it’s tines in the front of the machine. They pull the rototiller forward, breaking apart the soil below.  

Front tine tillers are usually easy to maneuver and can get into small, tight spaces. Some will even come equipped with folding handle bars for easier storage.

These rototillers are great for almost any job or project around the home’s lawn & garden. Heck, we even use them weekly on customer jobs and they never break a sweat!

What is a rear tine tiller?

A rear tine tiller has the tines equipped in the back of the machine. They also have rugged tires that help push the rototiller forward through the biggest of commercial and residential landscaping jobs. 

For the average homeowner, a rear tine rototiller is probably overkill, unless they are trying to tackle a very large area or have exceptionally difficult soil they are working in. 

Tips On Buying A Rototiller

When you’re looking around for the perfect rototiller, there’s always a couple of key criteria you should look for before purchasing:

  1. Stick to well-known brands who have been in gardening  industry a long time. (Mantis, Greenworks, SunJoe, Honda, Husqvarna, etc.)

  2. Make sure you carefully read about the manufacturer warranty and what they cover.

  3. Know your job and the type of tiller or cultivator you’re going to need.

  4. Read reviews! Amazon has a ton of reviews on every tiller listed in this guide, so make sure you read the reviews and choose what fits you best!

How To Use A Rototiller

Maybe you’re out there and you are not quite sure how to use a rototiller. In the video below, you’ll see just how easy it is to get up and running.


I’d love to hear from you in the comments below:

Did you decide on a battery or gas powered tiller?  What brand did you decide to go with? Do you have any tips or tricks you used when buying your tiller? 

Check this out: Having an arsenal of high quality garden equipment really makes a difference, so be sure to take a look at my guide on the best 4 stroke weed eaters I recommend.

Also, I’ve seen a lot of questions about mowers with brushless motors, so I broke down what is a brushless lawn mower, and why you might want one!

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