Homedit is supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Best Small Garden Tiller for Your Modest Property Healthy Soil

Two gardening tool names that are often used interchangeably are tiller and cultivator, but they don’t actually mean the same thing. If you are looking for a small garden tiller, then you want a tool that can dig into the surface of the soil and turn hard soil into loose one.

small garden tiller

A garden cultivator, on the other hand, is typically used for stirring in fertilizer and compost, but also works for mixing up loose soil. Today, we’re going to explore the world of small garden tillers and see what there is to know before buying one and what are some of the best models on the market.

Top Picks

Best for Beginners: Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt 7.5-Inch Cordless Electric Tiller Cultivator

Easy to operate and with a lot of useful features even for those who have never used a tiller before, the Earthwise TC70020 is surely a reliable piece of equipment.

Best for Elders: KIMO 7.8-Inch Electric Tiller Cultivator

Because of its ergonomic design and lightweight construction, the KIMO small garden tiller is so easy to use, even 70-year-olds have praised it.

Best for Limited Mobility: Luckyermore Lightweight Electric Tiller

The Luckyermore electric tiller’s retractable pole and adjustable angle handle make this unit suitable for people that would normally have a hard time using a tiller for various reasons.

Budget Pick: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Tiller

If you’re comfortable with purchasing the battery and the charger separately, then this BLACK+DECKER tiller is a great purchase for those of you with a limited budget.

Sun Joe Tools

Best Plug-In Tiller: Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator

Suitable for flower beds and small gardens, the Aardvark tiller is one of the best corded models that money can buy.

Customer’s Choice: Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator

“Love it! This has a lot of power, but light and easy to handle by anyone. Easy to lift too.” (customer review)

Editor’s Choice: Sun Joe TJW24C 24-Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder/Cultivator

The TJW24C tiller by Sun Joe is a lightweight, easy to use tiller that doubles as a cultivator, and even triples as an efficient weed-remover.

Choosing a Garden Tiller

When you’ve decided that it’s time to invest in a garden tiller, there two categories of factors that you have to consider: the features that a tiller is equipped with and the additional factors that would make one type of tiller better than another:

  • The type of soil that you’re dealing with is one of the main things to keep in mind. Tillers with more power are recommended in areas with hard and rocky soil. If you’re looking to loosen up soil that’s soft, you can get by with a small garden tiller.
  • The size of the machine is another important buying consideration. You will have to measure the area that requires tilling and establish the size of the tiller needed from there. If you have a small yard, you can get by with a smaller tiller, while larger areas are better paired with heavy-duty and powerful tillers, like rear tine tillers.
  • The tines that are found on a tiller serve different kinds of purposes, so you should know about them as well. Bolo tines are better suited for areas where deep tilling is required. Slasher tines are better off when you have to chop off roots and plenty of weeds. Chisel tines are better for rocky soil.
  • The engine of the tiller is important and there are two types of engines to choose from: gas and electrical-powered. Gas tillers are a good choice for those of you that wish to avoid having a cord next to you the entire time, while electrical tillers ensure that you have a constant flow of power and never run out of fuel.
  • Tillers can have a variety of features and specifications that you need to pay attention to. A simple start option is best for those of you that want to save time and have the machine running in seconds. Always choose tillers that offer convenient access to the controls so that you won’t have to stop and fiddle with the settings the entire time. The control handle needs to be adjustable if you want to shift the position of the blades.

Types of Garden Tillers

Depending on how they are designed and how powerful they are, garden tillers are typically divided into three main categories:

Rear tine tillers are normally equipped with powerful engines and large tires and are typically used for making new planting areas where soil is difficult to break. They are particularly useful for large areas, as they normally have a tilling width that’s 16 inches, as opposed to other types of tillers with widths between 10 and 12 inches. The tires on rear tine tillers rotate in three ways: you have your forward-rotating tines (used to blend the soil by pushing forward), your dual-rotating tines (to switch between the two modes), and your counter-rotating tines (used for deeper digging into the soil).

Related: Ensure That Your Soil Is Perfect For Your Plants  – Use A Soil Test Kit

Front tine tillers work really well in areas where soil is light and loamy but are less efficient for breaking heavy clay soil. They are good for weed management and adding soil amendments too. You can typically adjust the width of the tines, which makes this particular type of tiller useful for small areas and for breaking wide strips of soil too.

Mid-tine tillers are the least popular category out of the three, but they do manage to combine some of the benefits from each of the other two types. They are decently powerful and have cultivating power that comes close to that of rear tine tillers, but with the lightweight and smaller construction of front tine tillers. As the name suggests, these units have tines located closed to the center of the frames, making you feel like the machine is more balanced and easier to control.

Best Small Garden Tillers

Earthwise TC70020 20-Volt 7.5-Inch Cordless Electric Tiller Cultivator

Sun Joe TJW24C 24 Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder Cultivator

The Earthwise TC70020 is a small garden tiller that comes with all the features needed to be considered a powerful unit. It is powered by a 20-volt lithium-ion battery that keeps cords out of your way, which is always a plus when you consider the fact that corded units require extra care. With this one, all you have to do is charge the battery and you’re ready to get on the field. With a full charge, you can get about 45 minutes of runtime.

This small garden tiller weighs 9 pounds, making it pretty easy to transport and maneuver. The bottom of the tiller includes 4 steel tines that have a cutting width of 7.5 inches and a cutting depth of 6 inches. It works with multiple garden sizes, flower beds, but also doubles as a weed control tool when needed.

Who Should Buy This?

If you want a cordless tiller that offers a decent amount of runtime at a good price with ease of maneuverability, then you have to give the Earthwise TC70020 a chance.


  • Lightweight construction.
  • Can be used to remove weeds.
  • Not restricted by cord.


  • Difficult for new planting areas.

KIMO 7.8-Inch Electric Tiller Cultivator

Sun Joe TJW24C 24 Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder Cultivator

The next product we have covered for you is a garden cultivator and tiller with quite a few aces up its sleeve. It is a cordless model that’s powered by a motor with 280 RPM and 24 angled tines made from quality steel that cultivate at 5 inches in depth and up to 7.8 inches in width. It comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts around 30 to 45 minutes on a full charge.

It is equipped with a telescopic shaft so that you can adjust the length of the handle to a position that makes it comfortable for you to use the tiller without putting too much strain on your back. The double switch provided added safety and avoids accidentally turning on the unit as you would have to press two buttons simultaneously to turn the machine on.

Who Should Buy This?

This garden cultivator and tiller is a good choice for gardeners that need to handle all sorts of yard work, and especially for those interested in portable units.


  • Adjustable shaft length.
  • Double switch safety.
  • Fast-charging battery.


  • Limited operation time.

Lightweight Electric Tiller

Sun Joe TJW24C 24 Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder Cultivator

Next up, we have yet another small garden tiller that’s perfect for people who have to work on smaller plots that aren’t covered in rocky soil. It is a battery-powered unit that runs for almost 60 minutes at 250 RPM, providing efficiency in spite of the limited runtime. With only 5.8 pounds in weight, this is one of the most portable units in its category, making transportation and maneuverability a breeze.

The shaft can be adjusted at different lengths that vary between 38 and 50 inches, so you can work at a comfortable posture without putting too much strain on your back. The fast-charge system ensures you that the battery is fully charged and ready to be used in about 1.3 hours. The handle features 180 degrees rotation for a comfortable operating angle.

Who Should Buy This?

If you have limited mobility and could make use of a small garden tiller that allows you to adjust the length of the shaft and the position of the handle, then this is a product worth checking out.


  • Adjustable handle position.
  • Adjustable shaft length.
  • Double switch for extra safety.
  • Fast battery charge.


  • Limited runtime before charging is required.


Sun Joe TJW24C 24 Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder Cultivator

Coming from a brand with quite a lot of experience in making reliable and high-quality tools, we present you a tiller that’s small, lightweight, portable, and easy to use. There are plenty of variations to choose from, including a kit that offers safety glasses, one with a good set of working gloves, and even a kit with a cultivator and a tiller.

This particular unit we’re looking at is an electric tiller that uses battery power to provide you with enough juice that steers clear of cords and the need for power outlets. It comes with counter oscillating tines that help get weeds out of the way. The tool is compatible with 20 V lithium-ion batteries (sold separately) that provide enough juice for about 325 square feet before charging is required.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for a quality affordable tiller, this model is worth checking out.


  • Works for weed removal.
  • Energy Star rated.
  • Lightweight construction.


  • Battery not included.

Sun Joe is a brand that falls under the umbrella of Snow Joe, one that makes summer gardening tools. Both of these two brands specialize in producing quality outdoor tools for gardening or landscaping. The company Snow Joe was founded back in 2004, when its first and only product released was the electric snow shovel. Today, their line of products has considerably expanded, offering everything from snow blowers to tillers.

The Sun Joe Garden Tiller

Sun Joe TJ599E Aardvark 2.5-Amp Electric Garden Cultivator

Sun Joe TJW24C 24 Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder Cultivator

The first Sun Joe suggestion we have reviewed for you today is a small garden tiller that doubles as a cultivator, being a great choice for people who have small gardens or flower beds they need to work on. This tool is equipped with a 2.5-Amp motor that can cultivate at 6.3 inches width and 6 inches in depth. It comes with a powerful set of steel tilling blades that are durable and reliable.

The shaft of this tiller is telescopic, so you won’t have to bend down too much to use, being a great choice for people with back problems or limited mobility. The handle has an ergonomic design, while the entire tiller weighs a little under 10 pounds.

Who Should Buy This?

The Aardvark tiller is the perfect purchase for homeowners that have to work on small gardens or flower beds, but also for those with limited mobility that could make good use of the telescopic shaft.


  • Reliable motor.
  • Ergonomic handle.
  • Adjustable shaft length.


  • Not suitable for hard soil.

Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inch 13.5 AMP Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator

Sun Joe TJW24C 24 Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder Cultivator

The TJ604E is an electric garden tiller and cultivator that’s a little more powerful than the model we’ve shown you before. It is powered by a 13.5-Amp motor that operates at 8 inches in depth and 16 inches in width. The motor powers 6 quality steel angled tines that aren’t just durable, but also quite performant.

Due to the fact that it’s powered by electricity, this small garden tiller barely needs any maintenance and will always start up with a single push of a button. There are no smoke emissions, no fumers, and no spark plugs to deal with. The handle of the tiller can be folded, making storage a whole lot easier.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re looking for a small garden tiller that barely requires any maintenance, the TJ604E is definitely an option worth considering.


  • Powerful motor.
  • Almost zero maintenance.
  • Foldable handle.


  • Requires some force for proper usage.

Sun Joe TJW24C 24-Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder/Cultivator

Sun Joe TJW24C 24 Volt Cordless Telescoping Power Weeder Cultivator

The last Sun Joe product we wanted to show you is the TJW24C, a tiller that also doubles as a cultivator and offers features that are quite impressive considering the relatively low cost of this tool. This is a battery-powered garden cultivator and tiller that uses a lithium-ion battery to operate about 60 minutes on a full charge.

It has one 6-inch blade that houses 10 small tines for decent cultivating and tilling properties. With only 4.5 pounds in weight, this is one of the lightest garden tillers around. Because it uses battery power, there are no pesky cords to get in the way, and you are not limited by the proximity to a power outlet.

Who Should Buy This?

The TJW24C is a small garden tiller that works for people who want more mobility and don’t want to trip over cords all the time.


  • Lightweight construction.
  • Cordless design.
  • Adjustable telescopic shaft.


  • 60 minutes of runtime before charge is required.


How can I till my garden without a tiller?

It is possible to till a garden without a tiller, but it’s a process that requires more effort and time on your behalf. The method is called double digging, and it implies working in rows to hand-till a field.

What is the difference between a tiller and a cultivator?

A tiller is a great garden tool and is normally used to break up hard soil and prepare it for planting, while a cultivator will mix the loose soil, usually after adding fertilizer/compost. Tillers are great for starting up new gardens, something that a cultivator isn’t powerful enough to do on its own.

Are electric garden tillers any good?

As opposed to gas-powered tillers, electric tillers are easier to use and have less emissions because they work with electricity and not gas. An electric tiller is generally more affordable than a gas model, but they are usually limited due to the fact that corded models require a power outlet to work and battery-powered units have limited runtime before a full charge is required.

Bottom Line

If you’re the least bit passionate about gardening, knowing how to invest in the proper tools is an essential part of making the best out of this hobby. Whether you’re doing it for a living or just for the fun of it, gardening can render amazing results, regardless of whether you’re planting peonies or potatoes. A garden tiller goes a long way in helping you set up the soil for planting, and we strongly believe that our guide will put you on the right path to choosing a tiller that’s suitable for you.