5 Best Tillers For Hard Soil in 2023

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Loosening your garden soil is the first step towards cultivation.

Whether you want to plant beautiful flowers or vegetables, you have to start with loosening your soil. 

Some people have complained about buying tillers that are unable to loosen their tough garden soil.

Most of them tend to get bad easily not because they are low quality but because they are not designed for tilling hard soils.

In this article, we will discuss the best 5 tillers for hard soil to work with your small and large gardens.

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Best Tillers For Hard Soil

Our top picks for the best tillers for hard soil are:

  • Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator
  • Earthwise Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
  • Schiller Grounds Care 7920 Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator
  • Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller 
  • Mantis 3550 Electric Tiller/Cultivator

1. Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator

Our top pick for this review is the Sun Joe TJ604E Electric tiller.

This tiller is a 13.5-Amp electric tiller and has a tilling width 16 inches wide and 8 inches deep.

It is easy to assemble and has been designed with style and precision in mind. At 370 RPM, it crushes and mixes the soil effortlessly.

This helps to keep your plants healthy throughout the season and also improve their overall yield. 

The Sun Joe TJ604E Electric tiller comes with 6 steel angled front-tine blades.

These make it very easy for tilling of tough soils in your garden. It also starts easily with the press of a button. 

It comes with a foldable handle which allows for easy storage and transportation within your garden.

This tiller also has a 3-position wheel adjustment for ease of transport and use. 

The Sun Joe TJ604E is pocket friendly and has a high level of quality and strong tilling power.

It is very much suited to those with small gardens and shallow beds. 


  • Easy storage
  • Quick to assemble
  • Low cost and high quality


  • Corded
  • Not very powerful

2. Earthwise 13.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator

The Earthwise Corded Electric Tiller is a corded electric garden tiller and it is ideal for weeding, fertilizing, and cultivating your garden.

It is a personal favorite for me and I will show you why. 

It possesses a lightweight 13.5-Amp motor with a 360-rpm tine speed and is simple to use.

This tiller has 6 adjustable front metal tines and a tilling depth of 8 inches.

It also has a 6-inch flip-down wheel for easy movement around your garden. The metal handle is wrapped in soft foam for a comfortable grip and handling. 

The Earthwise Electric Tiller is designed for precise tilling, deep digs, and soil preparation.

It’s corded, as previously stated, and there’s a cord retention hook to keep the cord out of the way while you’re working. 

It’s not light for a tiller that weighs about 35 pounds, especially when compared to the competition on the market.


  • Can till hard soil better than other available products 
  • It has a cord retention hook which reduces the cord nuisance
  • Comfortable grip


  • Jumps around on hard ground

3. Schiller Grounds Care 7920 Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator

Because of its compact design and lightweight body, the Schiller 7920 tiller is ultralight and easy to maneuver.

The Schiller 7920 is designed to till soils to greenhouse soil quality and weighs only 20 pounds.

It has a 2-cycle oil and gasoline engine, a 9-inch cutting width, and a 10-inch tilling depth.

This tiller has four metal durable rear tines that are positioned directly over the engine for maximum tilling.

It has an innovative design, and the build quality ensures that the tiller will last for many years.

The ergonomic soft grips on the handle allow for the smooth operation of this tiller with the controls at your fingertips. 

The handles fold flat for easy storage and transport to your garden. It’s extremely simple to use and assemble. 

There are a lot of amazing and honest reviews about this product which you can read before buying.

A lot of customers have testified to its durability and ease of use. There is no argument that the Schiller 7920 is one of the best tillers out there.


  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Durable
  • Adjustable speed
  • Extensive warranty 


  • Gas and oil with regular maintenance is required
  • Manual ignition with recoil pull starter

4. Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller 

The Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller has a strong 13.5-Amp electric motor and is ideal for flower beds as well as large gardens.

It has 6-inch alloy-steel tines that adjust from 11 to 16 inches wide and a tilling depth of 8 inches.

The adjustable tilling width is ideal for all types of tilling tasks.

It has an ergonomic soft grip for comfortable operation, a bail wire with a start button for easy starting, and a flip-down rear wheel for easy movement of the tiller.

The Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller easily turns compacted and difficult soil.

It can also be used to till the fresh and new ground in large gardens.

Breaking tough soil and small roots will be no problem with its tines in your large garden.

The Scotts brand is known for great products and they did not disappoint with this. If you are looking for a tiller that can work on tough large plots then this is your go to tiller.


  • Can tiller larger plots
  • A light tiller
  • Can deal with rocky soil and small roots due to 13.5 amp motor


  • Release handle can be awkward to use
  • Can jump around on hard soil due to lightweight
  • Corded, this can sometimes be a nuisance.

5. Mantis 3550 Electric Tiller/Cultivator

The Mantis 9 amp tiller cultivator allows you to choose between two speeds via fingertip controls. A faster-tilling speed and a slower cultivating speed. 

This is not often found with other electric tillers. It is also good for speedy revitalization of existing flower and vegetable beds.

It easily transforms clumpy soil to planting-ready soil. It also incorporates compost fast and wipes out weeds.

The Mantis Electric Tiller is small and lightweight, weighing only 24 pounds.

This makes it ideal for use in small spaces and raised beds. With foldable handles and comfort grips, it’s easy to store and transport.

The tines are adaptable but also rigid which reduces the possibility of breakage when they come into contact with large rocks or solid objects.

The retractable wheels can be set at three different heights to control the depth of your tilling. ff

The Mantis 3550 is one solid product I will recommend for users.


  • Adjustable speed
  • Can till hard and rocky patches
  • Durable


  • Short one year warranty

Buyers’ Guide

Before deciding on a tiller to buy, there are a few things you should put into consideration. I’ll outline some of them below and I hope you find them helpful.

Power Source

A tiller can either be powered by electric or gas power sources. Electric garden tillers can either be cordless or corded.

The corded engines work with power supply and have to be plugged in before use. On the other hand, the cordless tillers are powered by batteries. 

The gas tillers come in 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines.

The 2-cycle engines work with gasoline and oil. For the 4-cycle engine, it makes use of unleaded gas and does not require oil.

Each type of power source has its advantages and disadvantages and you can choose a power source based on your preference.

Here is an article I wrote on the best tiller with electric start

Design of the Tiller

The positioning of the tines of a tiller are very much elemental to how much work you need to do.

Tines can be in the front, middle or rear. Front-tine tillers are best suited for tiling small areas.

Middle-tine tillers are great for forward and backward movement while rear-tine tillers have their wheels directly behind. 

This helps to prevent the soil from compacting after the compacting process. 

Garden size

The size of your garden, whether large or small, directly influences the type of tiller you’ll buy.

A front-tine tiller is suited to small gardens and it will require much more effort if you purchase that for a large garden.

The following is a list of garden sizes, as well as the best garden tiller to buy for each:

  • 1,500 square feet (or smaller sized) gardens – mini tillers or cultivators with front/middle-tines. 
  • 2,000 to 5,000 square feet gardens – mid-size tillers with strong engines and preferably electric and front tined.
  • 5,000 square feet gardens – heavy-duty tillers with a powerful engine and strong front tines.


There are a lot of brands producing tillers out there. It is best to go with a reputable and trusted brand where you can get value for your money. 

This is always good as a reputable brand usually has a reputation to protect and you can get good units from them. 


We hope our pick of best tillers for hard soil will be useful to you when you are buying tillers for your garden.

Our top pick is the Sun Joe TJ604E which is durable, has a high quality level, is easy to assemble and very lightweight.

Also, take note of the factors in our buying guide before buying a tiller.

Your garden size, design of the tiller, power source and the brand of the tiller are very features you should look into.

With this, you can go ahead to get the best tiller for your hard soil and enjoy your choice.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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