Tool Time: Quick Guide to Garden Tillers

See our favorite garden tillers and get advice on choosing your own.
Related To:
Husqvarna FT900

Husqvarna FT900

Husqvarna FT900: With a 26” tilling width and a 6 ½” working depth, the this 100 pound entry combines ease of use with the heft needed for a challenging medium-sized garden.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Husqvarna

Image courtesy of Husqvarna

Preparing a garden for planting can be a backbreaking process when armed with little more than shovels, hoes and rakes. The right garden tiller makes quick work of just about any size garden space, cultivating a compacted, rocky or heavily weeded plot to accept new crops without the hardship of hand turning the soil. A few factors come into play when selecting the right tiller for the job, including the size of your garden, soil type and how (and how often) it will be used. Here are a few good choices when selecting the right tiller to suit your gardening needs.

Mini Tillers (Cultivators)

Lightweight and inexpensive, mini tillers are a good choice for smaller plots or occasional use in maintaining established beds. Available in both gas-powered and electric models.

Our Choice:

Mantis Classic Electric Tiller ($299) Weighing in at just 21 pounds with an eco-friendly, 3-speed electric motor, this lightweight champ is a winning choice for managing smaller gardens or hassle-free weeding.

Front Tine Tillers

Similar to the mini tiller but heavier and with a lot more power, consider a front line tiller for larger gardens or for frequent use. More expensive and less convenient to store, but can tackle jobs the mini tiller just can’t handle.

Our Choice:

Husqvarna FT900 ($449.95) With a 26” tilling width and a 6 ½” working depth, this 100 pound entry combines ease of use with the heft needed for a challenging medium-sized garden.

Rear Tine Tillers

Able to break through the most compacted soil with ease, rear tine tillers are more expensive and can weigh hundreds of pounds, but with a wider tilling width, greater tilling depth and able to turn tough soil, these big boys get the job done. Great for large plots, but with a limited turning radius, they are best suited for very large gardens.

Our Choice:

Troy Bilt Horse Garden Tiller ($1,999.99) Sporting a cast-iron transmission and a tilling depth of 7”, this workhorse will break through the hardest ground with the ease of single-hand operation. A great choice for cultivating gardens up to 2500 sq. feet.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Garden Hose 101

Brush up on the basics of garden hoses—and discover how to choose the right hose for your yard and garden.

Garden Round-Up: Editors' Picks

Find out what new, clever, useful garden items HGTV editors are loving.

5 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Gardening Supplies

HGTV blogger Meagan Francis describes clever ways to get the most out of your gardening dollar.

Cleaning and Sharpening Tools

Regular care will help your garden tools last longer and perform better. Follow these steps to keep your tools in top condition all season long.

Protect and Store Garden Tools for Winter

A little maintenance at the end of the growing season can help tools last for years.

Learn How to Restore Garden Tool Handles

Give your garden tools a little TLC with simple steps to make them shine like new.

Fall Gardening Tools You Can't Live Without

With the right gear, you will totally rule fall.

Best Ways to Water

Fine-tune your watering skills by learning the best tools and tips to keep your garden hydrated.

10 Safety Tools Every DIYer Needs

Improve your workshop while exercising safe DIY during your next round of home improvement projects.

10 Surprising Garden Tools You Didn't Know You Needed

You've got gloves and a trowel. What else do you need? Gardening author Mark Highland shares his list of gotta-haves.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.