Are you looking for the best tiller for breaking new ground? If it is so, this review and guide will do more than help. I’m sure you want a powerful rototiller for hard soil and walk behind it like a boss. Electrical to gas engine lawnmower for rocky soil.
If you’re into gardening, I bet you love this hobby. This is a workout, meditation, and a hobby at the same time.
And while people love gardening, it is always a very difficult, laborious, and time-taking thing to break new ground in order to prepare it for new plants. This is where rototiller comes into play.
Tillers are hand-held “mini-tractors” that plow the field just like a tractor, rejuvenate the soil and make it soft before you can plant the seeds.
However, the real problem is not buying a rototiller – you know you need one if you take gardening seriously, the real problem is to pick from so many good quality cultivators. This is why out of so many high-quality tillers, I picked only the 5 best tillers for breaking new ground.
And I wrote down an exhaustive FAQs section and a buyer’s guide to help people find the best tiller for garden or farm.
Best Tiller for Breaking New Ground 2021
In this section, you will get to read a detailed review of each of the top 5 rototillers for breaking new ground.
So, without further ado, here’s a review.
- Engine power: 190 rpm
- Tilling depth & Width: 18" to 6.5"
- Power source: Gas-powered
- Tine position: Rear
- Warranty: 2-Year
- Engine power: 12 amp
- Tilling depth & Width: 8 in to 16 in
- Power source: Corded Electric
- Tine position: Curvy
- Warranty: 90 day
- Engine power: 212cc
- Tilling depth & Width: 8″ to 19"
- Power source: Gas-powered
- Tine position: N/A
- Warranty: 2-yea
- Engine power: 99cc
- Tilling depth & Width: 16″ to 21"
- Power source: Gas-powered
- Tine position: Front
- Warranty: 5 Year
- Engine power: 8.5-Am
- Tilling depth & Width: 11" wide and 8" deep
- Power source: Corded Electric
- Tine position: Rear
- Warranty: Not under warranty
YARDMAX YT4565 Rear Tine Tiller – Best Rototiller for Hard Soil
This one is not your ordinary tiller – it is a dual-action cultivator with a strong machine. It is not one of those underpowered tillers that will give up if the ground is hard.
190 rpm rotational speed shows its promise. It has a Briggs and Stratton engine that provides 9.50 ft-lbs torque that is great for the purpose of maneuverability.
- Briggs & Stratton 208cc Engine – So, this machine comes with a powerful 208cc Briggs & Stratton engine. The maximum speed that this engine can put out is 190 RPM. This is within the ballpark for standard RPM that you will get with a good rototiller. It has great torque when compared to a few other models: 9.50 ft-lbs.
- 18” Wide Dual Rotating Rear Tine – The best thing about this tiller is that has a dual-rotating tine. Forward rotation of that will help with cultivation, while counter-rotation is good for deep soil tilling. The rear-tine has 7 depth adjustments so the user may adjust it as per the toughness of ground and other factors.
- Single Hand Operation – Unlike many other cultivators (and a few on the list), this one is a single-hand operation tiller. You can control it and use it with one hand. This allows you to do the tilling in an effortless way. You can hold the tiller from any side and steer it easily.
- 13” Self-sharpening Tines – The tines that come with this tiller are 13” big and they’re self-sharpening tines. When you use a cultivator to soften a piece of land for quite some time, with the passage of time and constant use, the tines get blunt, but not in case of this one. These are self-sharpening ones so supposedly, they would not give as much hard time as simple tines give.
- 13” Pneumatic Tires – Another good feature is that this rototiller comes with big pneumatic tires that look just like a tractor’s tires – only very small in size. However, considering that most of the tillers come with around 10” tires on average, these tires are actually bigger than average tiller’s tires. These are filled with air-pressure so expect them to absorb the unevenness of the terrain and make it easy for you to manoeuvre the cultivator.
- Safety Shields – On both sides of the tines, there are safety shields. A serrated rear shield is also there to protect you from sharp and solid objects thrown from the tines.
Sun Joe TJ603E – Best Electric Tiller for breaking hard ground
Sun Joe’s tiller TJ603E is one of the bestselling tillers on Amazon with 4.6/5-star rating so far and an Amazon’s Choice tag.
It comes with a powerful motor and a dual functionality that allows it to till the land as well as cultivate it.
The tines are highly-durable and strong to face all types of terrains. And it is very easy to handle tiller.
- Powerful 12-amp Motor – This lawnmower/tiller’s battery power just hits the sweet spot. Every good tiller/cultivator that you know of, has the battery power within the same range. It is because of this powerful motor that you do not have a problem starting this thing.
- 6 Steel Angled Tines – The tines on this thing are angled for a wider, stronger and deeper trilling. The angle of the tines allows them to move back and forth in a lateral movement and thus cut a wider path. These are 6 tines in number – which is good because the bigger number adds to the power.
- Easy Storage – You can fold the handles of the tiller and conveniently store it in a small space such as a car’s trunk. Apart from being foldable, this powerful rototiller is a lightweight one too. This makes it even more portable and movable.
- 3-position Wheel Adjustment – Just like the case of the previously reviewed tiller, this one also gives you the freedom to adjust the positioning of the wheel to choose from shallow to deep tilling.
- Instant Start – In terms of a quick start, this rototiller has an advantage over the above-reviewed one. That one starts in a traditional manner; you have to pull the string two to three times to start it. Same is not the case with this one; you only press the instant start button built into the handle. Just push it and start the motor.
Champion 19” Tiller – Top Rated Cultivator for Rocky Soil
The champion tilling machine is made for those who want something above and beyond ordinary tiller for their garden or farm.
This machine covers a bigger area while tilling and goes deeper than an average rototiller. It has a powerful engine with a gear-driven transmission.
Its tires deliver better results when compared to many average tillers.
- 19” Wide and 8” Deep Tilling – This is a big tiller with big tilling capacity. The rear tines can provide constant and consistent tilling that will be 19” in width and 8” in depth. This is the maximum that you can achieve with this oil Engin rototiller. This makes it good for all types of terrain – including soft soil as well as hard terrain.
- Dual Rotation Tilling – Just like another top of the liner tillers on this list, this one also provides dual rotation tilling. What is dual rotation tilling? It means that whenever needed you can go from forward to reverse tilling in a jiffy. This type of rotational tilling is useful for cultivation and better tilling. Easy handle controls make it easier for you to switch between both.
- Cast-Iron Gear-Driven Transmission – Cast-iron gear-drive transmission makes it super easy and stable for the user to shift from one to another speed setting. Cast-iron transmission is considered superior because of its durability and superior performance.
- 13” Self-Propelled Tires – Just like in the case of YARDMAX’s tiller, this one has also got big 13” tires. These are self-propelled agricultural tires that move easily on all types of terrain and support the entire system. With their capacity to easily manoeuvre on all sorts of terrains, you do more tilling in less time.
- 8” Steel Tines – The tines on this thing are 13.8” in size. These are hardened steel tines that deliver better when compared to simple tines. As we know, hardened steel is high carbon steel that goes through heat treatment which gives it its improved mechanical properties such as increased hardness and strength. This simply means that these tines would be able to till even the toughest surface.
- 212cc Engine – This tiller’s engine is a big 212cc engine -when you compare it with YARDMAX’s 208cc engine, you should know that you’re dealing with something more powerful than an above-average tiller’s engine. It definitely takes a pull for you to start it, but it starts easily.
- Safety Cover – Just like all high-quality tillers made keeping user’s safety in mind, this one also has a safety cover to protect your body and especially your legs and feet.
- Depth Adjust Gauge – It has a depth gauge – an easy-adjust gauge that allow you to till with a consistent depth.
Earthquake 31043 – Powerful Heavy Duty Lawnmower/Tiller
This might be a funny name for a tiller, but when you will go down to the details and specs of this tiller, you’d agree that this powerful cultivator can be called ‘Earthquake’.
It has got a powerful Kohler engine, cast iron transmission and strong front tines that can easily till the toughest of surfaces.
- Kohler Engine – So, this tiller comes with a highly powerful Kohler engine. In case you’re into gardening, farming and definitely – tilling, you must have heard some praise of these engines. Kohler engines are known for closed-loop EFI technology, better fuel efficiency, easier starting and reliability.
- Front Tine Tilling – Unlike most of the models on this list, this one is a front tine tilling unit. The tines are in the front – instead of its rear. Although it is hard to decide which type is better, front tines let you tackle obstacles in a much better way and they cost less than rear tines.
- Smart Weight Distribution – This tiller’s cast-iron tail flips out and on top of this, it has a long wheel-to-tine base. Both of these amount to the better weight distribution that you enjoy while using this tiller. This means better control – in-row as well as end-row.
- Heavy-Duty Forged Tines – The tines that come with this tiller are heavy-duty forged tines that can go deeper in tough soil without losing their shape and sharpness. Forging – whether it is cold forging or warm forging, improves the strength and durability of steel.
- Bronze Gear Drive Transmission – This tiller has a bronze gear drive transmission. We already know that gear drive transmission is better because it makes it easy and swift to transmit motion from one to another mode. Bronze gear drive is even better because unlike steel gear drive, it reduces wear and tears on worms. It simply means cost efficiency and low maintenance.
- 11 ¼” Wheels – Where this cultivator lacks when compared to a few best tillers on this list is in terms of type and size of wheels. First of all, these aren’t pneumatic wheels and secondly, when compared with YARDMAX’s 13” wheels, these wheels are 11 ¼” in size. However, their two-position tail system makes it super easy to manoeuvre the thing.
- Removable Tines with 11”, 16” and 21” Tilling Widths – The best thing – the biggest benefit of this tiller is that it does not bound you to do tilling within a pre-defined length. You can remove the tines and use wider tines to increase your tilling range. You can go from 11” to 16” to 21” wide tines.
- Very Comfortable – This tiller is a very comfortable cultivator due to certain features. We’ve already talked about how its wheels flip in and out for a comfortable manoeuvre. The length between tines and drag stake also make it comfortable to move.
Earthwise TC7000 Tiller – Top Electrical Tiller/Cultivator
Last, but not the least, Earthwise TC7000 tiller is one of the few tillers on Amazon with a 4.6/5-star rating and over 3,000 positive reviews so far.
This is sleek and smart tiller for those who have a small garden to till and who prefer mobility over tilling width.
- Powerful 8.5amp Motor – This tiller comes with an adequately powerful 8.5amp motor. This motor might seem underpowered when compared with other cultivators on this list, but considering its job and the purpose of the tiller, it is perfectly capable of tilling any surface.
- Ideal for Small to Mid-size Gardens – The reason why this tiller is a small-size one and why it comes with an 8.5amp motor is because it is made for a small or medium-sized garden or flower beds. It is packed and loaded with enough power and strength to till a small-medium size garden.
- 4 Durable Steel Tines – This tiller has 4 durable front tines. The tines are made of industrial-grade steel – coated for protection from moisture and rust. As we have discovered already, front tines are considered ideal because they offer better obstacle management and they cost less than rear ones.
- 11” Wide and 8” Deep Tilling – Apart from its small width and sleek design, this tiller does its job just as perfectly as any good tiller will do. It provides tilling at a width of 11”. It is definitely the starting point for most of the other cultivators, but in terms of depth, it is just as good as it gets.
- Single Lever Quick Start Switch – Right next to the grip is the single level switch. It is a quick start switch and every time a single attempt is enough to start the tiller. This is something that makes it better than big tillers that take more than one pull.
- Lightweight – This tiller weighs only at 2.2lbs. Compare with 238lbs weight of YARDMAX tiller and you should be able to foresee the amount of comfort and ease it would bring to your life.
- Soft Ergonomic Grip – Speaking of ease and comfort, one cannot ignore the soft and ergonomically designed grip of this cultivator. It helps with the comfortable operation of the tiller and it makes easy to control this thing with one hand.
Buying Guide for Gardeners
In case you want to buy a tiller, but you want to know what to look for when buying tillers for breaking new ground, this buyer’s guide will help a lot.
Just make a checklist out of the points mentioned in this guide and buy a tiller that checks most, if not all of the boxes.
Front or Rear Tines
You must have noticed that all these tillers have either rear tines or front tines. I have already explained why front tines are better, but let me do this here again.
The front tines are good because they cost less than the rear tines and because they provide better handling of obstructions.
But this does not mean that rear tines are good for nothing.
With direct gravitational push that they receive from your arms, they provide better tilling when compared with front tines. Also, if you need a tiller for a big size garden, a tiller with rear tines is more suitable than one with front tines.
There are two points of concern when it comes to the engine or the motor of a tiller. These provide power to the tiller and it is important whether the engine or the motor is a highly powerful one or just adequately powerful as we noticed in case of Earthwise’s tiller.
The other point is how to start them and how many attempts do they take. You would see many good-quality tillers getting bad reviews only because it takes two or three pulls of the string to start the thing.
A powerful engine with one push/pull start switch is definitely a better choice.
Size & Quality of Tines
This is the last big ‘must look for’, and it covers many points.
What is the size of the tines?
What is the depth of tilling they provide?
What is the width of tilling?
What are the tines made of?
For example, if you have a tough surface to till, you would not care much if your tiller covers 26” in one go, unless it provides deep tilling and the tines are strong enough to sustain rocks and all types of obstacles.
8” depth is minimum that you should look for and anything less than 11” width is good for flower beds and small gardens only.
Likewise, you should prefer a tiller with tines made of hardened steel or forged steel. These types of tines are made of withstanding the toughest/new grounds and rocks etc.
Consider this a bonus point …
There are mainly two types of tires that you see with tillers.
Pneumatic tires and solid rubber tires.
Both of them have their own pros and cons.
Pneumatic or air-pressure tires are good for all types of terrains because air pressure adjusts itself as per the terrain and thus handling such a tiller is easy.
The solid rubber tires might not give you that ‘easy and comfortable feeling, but they are more durable and cannot get punctured.
Here are some FAQs that people always ask about tillers … I hope they will help you.
- My tiller’s wheels are not moving – what to do?
You have to check a few things and make sure that there isn’t any problem with any of them. Check the drive belt; it shouldn’t be damaged or broken. Check if there is the much-needed tension – check via examining engagement cable. Check the roll-pin in the wheel and also check if idler arm and pully are functional.
- My engine will not run at full throttle – what to do?
This seems to be an issue with electronics. Check the spark plug and fuel, then check the throttle cable and if it is properly connected with the engine.
- My tiller’s tines get stuck – what to do?
If tines get struck while tilling it maybe because of a hard surface. If you’re sure that soil is fine, check the drive belt for tension, check the clutch cable to see if an adjustment is fine and make sure that idler pulley and arm are in functional condition.
- What is the difference between tiller and cultivator?
A tiller is used to break hard soil of new ground or to soften up the soil of a ground that you’ve been plowing before. The cultivator is only used to mix soft soil.
- Are tillers good for weed?
There are tillers that made especially for weed. Even if you get your hands on a common tiller, it will be more effective against weeds than hand tools.
- When should I till my garden?
It is not easy to tell when it the best time to till a garden. However, most of the experts agree that spring is the best season to till the garden. Specifically, you should till your garden when soil is dry and warm.
So, which one of these top tillers for breaking new ground is the best for you?
As per my understanding, Sun Joe’s TJ603E is the best tiller for breaking new ground and hard surfaces.
It hits the sweet spot between heavy and extra-wide tilling tillers and light-weight, but small-width tillers.
It has angled tines, it lets you customize the depth of tilling and it starts at the first attempt.