Gardening is delightful. You grow beautiful flowers and plant food that gives you a sense of fulfillment. However, the process of planting, preparing, and catering for a garden is tedious.
So, it would be best if you had gardening tools to streamline the process. One of these tools is a tiller.
A tiller is a machine with tines that helps break up soil and prepare planting beds. They are available as a front-tine tiller or rear-tine tiller. Additionally, some tillers convert to a cultivator by making changes to the tines.
The search for a quality tiller can be overwhelming, especially now where there are tons of them in the market. Not to worry, this buying guide of the best tillers for roots is all you need.
Earthquake 20015 Versa Front Tine Tiller
Gas Powered Tiller
Mantis 7940 Cultivator/Tiller
Gas Powered Tiller
Greenworks Pro Tiller
Earthwise TC70001 Electric Tiller/Cultivator
Our 10 Best Tiller for Roots Picks:
Here are the best tillers for hard soil and roots-
1. Earthquake 20015 Versa Front Tine Tiller
The Earthquake® brand is a top-class manufacturer of professional earth tilling and drilling outdoor power equipment for household farm and small commercial uses.
One of their cutting edge products is the VERSA™ front tine tiller. This VERSA™ tiller machine is a 2-in-1 garden tool. It converts from a tiller to a narrow row cultivator with a tool-less replacement of the outer tines.
When it’s in tiller form, the high-performance 99cc Viper® 4-cycle engine produces adequate power to break up soils of different textures up to 11”.
The engine is quiet and has a smooth pull recoil for an effortless start. As a cultivator, it weeds, mulch, and introduces air into the soil with minimal effort from you.
The VERSA™ front tine tiller has a weight of 75lb and a compact design. Its ergonomic handles and large wheels make it very easy to use and maneuver on your farm.
In the spring season, you can create open spaces on your farmland with it. And you can use it to maintain rows in the summer. It uses 87+ octane unleaded gasoline and has a fuel capacity of 0.53 gallons.
Assembling is a no-brainer with the well-written user manual that comes along with it. Earthquake® has a five-year limited warranty on it.
- Easy to use and operate
- 5-year limited warranty
- Powerful engine
- The user manual is good
2. Champion Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller
Tackle tough ground easily with the Champion dual rotating rear tine tiller. This high-functional machine uses a 212cc engine that supplies power to a gear-driven transmission protected in a heavy-duty cast-iron casing.
Power then transfers to the four 13.8” hardened steel tines for breaking up tough soils like a breeze. It has a 19” tilling width and an 8” tilling depth capacity, making it a perfect tiller for large scale landscaping and gardening jobs.
Handling this tool on any rough and narrow surface is easy. Its ergonomic handle controls it from forward tilling to reverse tilling, offering a flexible and versatile tilling process. The right handle controls the tines forward, while the left controls them backward.
It has 13” self-propelled agricultural tires with large tread for ultimate traction on any terrain. Since the tires propel themselves, all you need to do is guide it in your desired direction. You can also adjust the tilling width to till narrow spaces or wide rows.
The Champion dual rotating rear tine tiller holds up to 0.8 gallons of gasoline and can contain 0.5-quart oil. It has a low oil sensor that shut-off the engine when oil gets low.
Also, it is EPA certified and CARB compliant. When you buy this tiller, Champion backs it with a two-year limited warranty and a lifetime of free technical support. It comes with a manual for straightforward assembling.
- Powerful engine with adjustable tilling width
- Excellent rear tines
- Forward and reverse tilling
- Big self-propelled wheels for easy movement on the farm
- EPA certified and CARB compliant
- Good for large gardens
- 2-year limited warranty
- It may not last more than a year
3. Mantis 7940 Cultivator/Tiller
The Mantis 7940 cultivator/tiller operates on a powerful recoil-starting 25cc Honda® 4-cycle engine that runs quiet, starts easily, and requires no fuel mix. By turning the special tines around, it changes from a tiller to a cultivator.
It is a workhorse for tilling through sod & compacted soil and digging planting holes. The curved patented serpentine tines move at a speed of 240rpm and can make up to 10” tilling depth and reverse to cultivate shallow 2″ to 3″ depth.
This tiller accurately removes weeds close to delicate plants and seedlings. Its weight (24lb) coupled with an integrated carry handle makes it very easy to carry within your farmland.
The over-molded grip handles are ergonomically flared to provide comfort all day long, reducing user fatigue. The handles are foldable for easy storage. Plus, its compact size fits into space of any size.
The Mantis 7940 cultivator/tiller has a flush-mounted throttle, palm-controlled on/off switch, and infinite speed features that allow you to customize the operating speed to suit your tilling requirement.
There are Mantis attachments that connect to this tool for versatile use. Some of these attachments include a lawn aerator, lawn dethatcher, border edger, etc.
However, you would have to buy them separately. Be informed that this tool comes with a kickstand, a user manual, and a 2-year limited warranty.
- Powerful Honda engine
- 2-in-1 tiller and cultivator
- Lightweight yet good for heavy duty tasks
- Foldable ergonomic handles
- Can attach to different Mantis accessories for versatile use
4. Greenworks Pro Tiller Review
If you don’t want to go through the hassle and difficulties that come with a gas-powered tiller, you need a battery-powered tiller. The Greenworks pro tiller is the first battery-powered tiller on this list.
It uses a motor with more torque and quiet operation. This motor is powered by an 80V 2Ah battery to deliver similar power to a gas tiller. It has a roughly 35 mins run-time on a full charge.
With the push of a start button, it becomes ready to break up soils. However, it has only one speed setting. This tiller features four forward rotating, detachable, and adjustable steel tines that effectively tackle weeds and aerate soils.
It makes up to 5” tilling depth and between 8.25” to 10” tilling width. Note that it isn’t ideal for areas with hard soil and thick grass or weeds.
The Greenworks pro tiller comes with a battery, a 30 mins rapid charger, and a user manual. Its ergonomic handles and oversized rear tires make maneuvering this tool on your farmland an easy task.
It is compact and weighs 44lb, which is relatively lightweight for movement around the farm. There are no attachments for versatile use. Greenworks backs this tiller with a 4-year warranty on tool and 2-year battery warranty to boost buyers’ confidence.
- The motor produces more torque
- Quiet operation with removable tines
- Includes battery and charger
- Works well with adjustable tilling width
- Decent battery life
- 4-year tool and 2-year battery warranty
- It doesn’t work well for areas with hard soil and thick grass or weeds
5. Mantis 7920 2-Cycle Tiller/Cultivator
Making another appearance on our list is the Mantis brand with their 7920 Mantis tiller/cultivator. The Mantis model 7920 is an alternative to the model 7940.
It is a mini tiller that functions with a recoil-starting 21.2cc 2-cycle gas-powered engine to turn hardened sod and clay faster and easier than using a shovel. The engine runs on an oil and gas 50:1 mixture.
Featuring curved patented serpentine tines that move at a speed of 240rpm, this tiller can make up to 10” tilling depth and reverse to cultivate shallow 2″ to 3″. It has a convenient on/off button and an Infinite speed throttle that gives you control over its speed and power.
The flared grip ergonomic handles provide a comfortable grip and won’t cause fatigue when used for a prolonged time. The handles are foldable to reduce storage space, allowing the tool to fit into the back of your truck.
Like the model 7940, turning the tines around would convert it from a tiller to a cultivator for digging perfect planting holes in any kind of soil. However, it’s a mini machine, so there are limitations to what it can do.
Nonetheless, it is compact and more lighter (20lb) for convenient movement on the farmland. Plus, the carry handle provides stress-free transportation.
Mantis has accessories that connect to this tool for versatile use. Some of these accessories are lawn aerator, lawn dethatcher, border edger, etc. They are sold separately. When you buy this tiller, it comes with a user manual and a 2-year limited warranty.
- Sturdy engine
- Foldable ergonomic handles
- Can attach to different Mantis accessories for versatile use
6. Earthwise TC70001 Electric Tiller/Cultivator
The Earthwise TC70001 tiller/cultivator is the first electrical-powered tiller on our list. Meaning it doesn’t require any oil/gas and won’t give out any fumes.
With its powerful 8.5 AMP electric motor that supplies power equal to a gas motor, this machine helps you cultivate your garden and easily get rid of weeds. It works with four tines that can develop and till 8” deep and 11” wide. Sadly, it has no depth control.
Starting the motor is as simple as ABC. All you have to do is plug it properly into an electric outlet and turn the single-lever switch that starts the motor. It will start at all times, giving you no stress at all.
You can use this tiller for soil preservation, grooming a new garden, restoring your old garden, and prepping your soil in different seasons.
Ergonomics is top-notch in this tiller/cultivator, thanks to the soft handgrip that provides a comfortable tilling experience. The grip features a cord retention hook for constant tilling power.
Furthermore, the handles coupled with the large rear wheels and its lightweight (11lb) make it easy to maneuverable in your garden. Whether you have a small scale farm or a medium scale farm, it will serve you well. But if you own a big farm, this isn’t the right tiller for you.
The Earthwise TC70001 tiller/cultivator doesn’t come assembled, but assembling is very easy. Ensure you use a 14 gauge cord for 100ft so as not to reduce the amperage supplied to the motor, which may damage it.
However, a downside to this tiller is that the extension cord keeps getting in the tines way often. So, you have to hold the cord often; otherwise, it will end up in the way of the machine, which may spoil it.
- Strong electrical motor
- Heavy-duty, can be used for breaking new ground
- Easy to use
- Simple to start
- Ergonomic handle
- The extension cord is a hassle with this tiller
- Not ideal for big farms
7. Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller + Cultivator
Another powerful electric tiller and cultivator worthy of recognition is this Sun Joe TJ604E electric garden tiller and cultivator. It works with a 13.5-amp motor that produces 370 RPM to crush soils of different textures.
This machine has six durable angled tines for high performance and endurance. It helps you to easily cultivate an area of 16” wide and 8” deep in a matter of minutes. The best way to use it is by pulling it backward. Also, in the wet season, it clogs easily.
Starting this tiller is a breeze. Once connected to a power outlet, just engage the “instant start” button located on the handle, and it’s ready to work. It has a cord lock to ensure the cord stays connected for continuous tilling.
The maximum length of extension cord you can use on this tool is 100ft. Its handles are ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable grip all day long. Also, they fold for easy transportation and storage.
Big, sturdy wheels ensure it offers the best maneuverability on any terrain. The wheels have a three-position manual height adjustment for versatile and user-customized use.
The Sun Joe TJ604E electric garden tiller is ETL approved and requires no maintenance whatsoever. It has rust-resistant that makes it last longer. It also comes with a full two-year warranty.
- It crushes compact soil of different hardness
- Powerful motor
- Easy start
- ETL approved
- Height adjusts in three-positions
- Two-year full warranty
- It clogs easily
8. YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller
The YARDMAX YT4565 tiller is powered by a 208cc Briggs & Stratton engine that produces 9.50 ft-lbs gross torque and a speed of 190 RPM to easily break up any soil type and do a garden prep.
Transmission of power is with its self-propelled drive system that has forward and reverse gear for excellent control. A problem with the engine is that it doesn’t idle nor stay running for long.
That said, it features dual-rotating 13” self-sharpening rear tines that rotate forward for cultivation and backward for deep soil tilling. They make holes of 18” wide and 6.5” deep.
You can make seven different depth adjustments to the tines to suit your tilling needs. This tiller has a single-hand operation design that enables you to stand and direct the tiller from both sides.
Handling is top-notch thanks to the ergonomic handle with soft grips for comfortable and convenient tilling operation. The oversized front 13” pneumatic wheels with AG tread for improved traction and handling makes it very easy to maneuver on any terrain.
The YARDMAX YT4565 tiller works well only in the dry season. Any moisture in the soil will result in clogging. Users’ safety is a priority to YARDMAX, so they included a flexible and good quality tine shield on the side and a notched rear shield for protection.
Also, they have a two-year residential warranty and a 90-day commercial warranty. It is easy to assemble and comes with a user manual for guidance.
- Easy to assemble
- Two-year residential warranty and a 90-day commercial warranty
- Self-sharpening tines
- 208cc Briggs & Stratton engine
- Front 13” pneumatic wheels
- Easy to use
- Flexible side shield and a notched rear shield for safety
- The engine doesn’t stay running and clogs in the wet season
- Not heavy-duty
9. BLACK+DECKER Tiller (LGC120AM)
The BLACK+DECKER tiller (LGC120AM) is powered with a 20V MAX* lithium battery. So it won’t release carbon fumes in your farmland, and you won’t go through the stress that comes with corded tillers.
The battery lasts about an hour and can cultivate approximately 350 sq. feet of planting beds in one charge. We recommend getting an extra battery if you buy this tiller.
Also, if you have a large farm, this may not be a good option because it doesn’t have enough power.
Its counter oscillating tines provides a cultivating capacity of 7” wide and 4” deep. Because they are counter oscillating tines, they break up plump cod of dirt and weed don’t get tangled up in them.
Comfort is provided with the flexible handle and telescoping tube that adjust to your preferred height. Plus, it has a roundabout soft-grip handle for improved handling and balancing.
This tiller very simplistic upright design makes it easy and straightforward to use for cultivating flowerbeds, landscape beds, and weeding on a small-scale farm. It is lightweight, weighing 8.1lb, with a battery installed.
BLACK+DECKER has a two-year warranty on it and include an LBXR20 20V MAX* Lithium-ion battery and an LCS120 smart charger.
- Lightweight yet powerful machine
- Its counter oscillating tines prevents weed from tangling
- Works well on small existing gardens
- 2-year warranty
- Comes with battery and charger
- Ergonomic handles
- Average power. not good for large garden
10. Earthwise TC70016 Electric Tiller/Cultivator
To round up this list is another electrical-powered tiller/cultivator from the Earthwise company, model TC70016. It works with a sturdy 13.5 amp motor, powered electrically without needing oil/gas to operate.
The motor starts easily with a single-lever switch as long as it is connected to a power outlet. To ensure a continuous tilling process, a cord retention feature keeps the cord locked in to not disconnect in the middle of a job.
This rototiller features six heavy-duty adjustable tines that break up and cultivates soils effortlessly. It makes vegetable and flower beds of 16” width and 8” depth, perfect for medium and small gardens. The soft ergonomic grip provides excellent handling and comfort all day.
Plus, it is lightweight (11.6lb). Assembling is a straightforward task, thanks to the user manual. Oversized rear tires allow effortless movement around the farm.
Like the other Earthwise model TC70001, the extension cord can be difficult to avoid running over when tilling. So you have to be careful so as not to damage the extension cord.
Also, use a 14 gauge cord for 100ft to supply adequate amperage to the motor. Anything short may damage it.
- Easy to use
- Ergonomic handle
- Powerful motor, good for mid to small garden
- Easy to assemble
- Works well on rocky soil
- Avoiding damaging the extension cord is stressful
How to Choose the Best Tiller for Roots
Before buying a tiller for roots, you should consider the following factors.
Check on The Kind of Tiller You'll Need and its Size
There are several types of tiller specifically made for different types of jobs.
If you don't want to interfere with the roots of your plants, go for a cultivator. It's small and narrow but good for cultivating or weeding after planting. Cultivator will help you remove roots of weeds in the garden but won't damage your plants. You can also use it while preparing land before planting, though not fit for land that you haven't ploughed.
You can use a cultivator in a garden that's no bigger than 500 square feet. Its tilling depth ranges between 3 and 6 inches, while the width is 6 to 16 inches. Making it not unsuitable for weeding roots that are wider and deeply rooted.
The front-tine tillers
It's lighter and suitable for not demanding jobs. Its blades are at the front and are stronger than that of a cultivator. The front tine tiller is cheaper, multi-purpose, and best for a medium-sized garden.
It's the wheels that help move it to the front, although the upper part plays a major role in moving it. The disadvantage of using it is that it's tiring if you use it longer or in a garden that's rocky, hard, or full of hard roots. If you plan to work on a bigger garden with more roots, this is not the ideal tiller to go for.
You can use it in a garden of size between 500 and 5000 square feet. Its tilling depth ranges from 6 to 8 inches while the width range is around 12 to 24 inches, depending on the product you choose. So, this type is good for average-sized roots.
You can also go for a rear-tine tiller, which is best for demanding jobs like removing plant roots. It has blades with wheels at the rear. The wheels are run by the engine, making it work longer than the front-tine tillers.
However, it's heavier and bigger, requiring you to use much strength while working. It's also suitable for digging heavy clay soil that you've not ploughed over time. So, if you are looking for the best tiller for clay soil, you should consider a rear-tine tiller.
If you've got a smaller garden between 5000 and 10000 square feet size that requires a heavy-duty machine, go for this one. Its tilling width can be 16 to 36 inches, while the depth goes around 8 to 10 inches.
This will give you a uniform leveled garden even after planting, which is good for root development. You should consider this type of tiller when planning to remove bigger roots in your garden. This is because it can dig deeper into the soil, removing the roots. It's also stable, allowing you to control the tines and dig out the roots to the preferred depth.
Another type you can consider is the mid-tine tiller which is a modification of the front tine tillers. Its tines are below the engine. Because of its engine weight, you can easily dig through the earth and remove the roots in your garden.
The big space between the wheels makes it more stable, giving you an easy time while maneuvering in the garden. Even though it works just like the front-tine, you'll not need much strength while using it.
It's suitable for a garden between 500 and 5000 square feet. The tilling width is 12 to 24 inches, while the depth is 6 to 8 inches, allowing you to work faster.
The Type of Engine in the Tiller
Apart from the tiller type, you also need to look at the engine that'll help you remove or prepare the roots. A good engine will make your tiller work without challenges. You can go for either a gas-powered or electric engine.
To prepare the soil for the roots or weeding the garden where electricity is not present in close vicinity, then a gas powered machine is savior. Remember gas-powered engine will require you to do regular maintenance, which can be tiring while working.
However, electric engine tillers are better since they're lighter and can remove the roots in your garden within no time. They're also easy to use and flexible since they can work both as a tiller and cultivator. An electric engine also works with no noise providing a good work environment. With an electric engine, you'll need no maintenance, making you work faster and with fewer challenges. So, gas or electric tiller, what do you want? Ask yourself!
You should also consider the location of the engine. To remove the roots with ease, an engine on top of the wheels will help dig it out.
Check on The Tines
You also need to consider the type of tine that will best remove the roots. Remember there are three types of tines you can opt for. The bolo works well in gardens with fewer roots, vegetation, and rocks.
Making it unsuitable for a garden with many roots. But it's best for tilling, where you'll plant plants with roots that go deep into the soil.
Another type is the slasher which will help you cut roots and get the desired results on heavy vegetation. Its blades are in such a way that things can't stick on them as you work.
The pick and chisel tine are the best for hard rocky gardens that require tough blades. It'll help you pave the way for the roots of your vegetation in a rocky garden.
The Kind of Soil You are Dealing with
You also need to know the type of soil you'll be tilling or removing the roots from before settling for the best tiller. If the roots are on harder ground, you'll need a bigger and heavier tiller that can penetrate with ease.
However, soft soil will not demand much since any tiller can go through it. But in this case, go for a durable tiller that has the right blade size and tines for your plants to get a good level ground.
A Tiller is a must-have tool for every gardener or homeowner with a garden. They do a much better job than shovels in preparing planting beds and getting rid of weeds.
Also, they are very time-efficient and easy to operate. In today’s market, there are different power-style which are gas-powered, electric-powered, and battery-powered. Our list comprises tillers with various power-styles for you to choose from.
In conclusion, each tiller that made it to our list has been carefully reviewed with features, specs, and capacity. We hope you find the best one for your garden and project.