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Best Tiller For Hard Soil [2023 Top Picks]

Breaking the ground is the first step to cultivating your garden; creating a seedbed will follow suit. The first step might be a bit of a hassle unless you have a good tiller to till the ground. Many of us have used tillers that have performed below our expectations, not because they’re bad, but because we have hard soil.

We understand how daunting it’s to find the best tiller for hard soil. Hence, we decided to review some of the highly sought-after units that can double as a good tiller for your large garden.

Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller
1,933 Reviews
Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller

If you’re in a hurry, check out the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller – it’s the best tiller for hard soil. It’s one tiller that is always overlooked, probably because of its price. This Shiller Ground Tiller offers immense benefits to the user. It’s lightweight, easy to use, sports foldable handles, works with multiple attachments, and runs on gas.


Comparison Table: Best Tiller For Hard Soil

Best Tiller For Hard SoilSizeNo of TinesGas/Electric
1Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller 9 inch4Gas
2Sun Joe Electric Garden 16 inch6Electric
3Schiller 7920 Grounds Care Mantis Tiller9 inch4Gas
4Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller 16 inch6Electric
5Earthwise Electric Tiller16 inch6Electric
6Earthwise Cordless Tiller 11 inch 4Electric

Buying Guide – Choosing The Right Tiller

There are a handful of things to consider when you’re shopping for a tiller. We’ve outlined some of them below, and we hope you’ll find them helpful as you shop for the best tiller for your large garden.


The first thing we advise you to consider is the brand of the product. A reputable brand is a step in the right direction since they have a reputation to protect. Once you pick a trusted brand, you may likely enjoy the product for years with fewer issues. This doesn’t mean that branded tillers are always the best; there may be faulty branded units.

Read The Full Buying Guide

Size of the garden 

Having considered the brand of the product you have to buy, you need to consider your garden’s size. Your garden’s size is important here because it informs your decision on the type of tiller to buy. Buying a front-tined garden tiller for a large garden with hard soil may not be perfect. Front-tined tillers are designed for small gardens. With that said, you will use more energy when you try to use it in a large garden. 

Below is a list of garden sizes and the best garden tiller to buy for each. 

  • For gardens less than 1,500 sq. ft., buy a mini-tiller or a cultivator with front or middle tines
  • Gardens between 2,000 to 5,000 sq. ft. buy a mid-size tiller with a good engine power – preferably electric and front tined.  
  • For gardens larger than 5,000 sq. ft., buy a heavy-duty tiller with a powerful engine fitted with strong front tines.

Type of soil

The type of soil you have in your garden also matters as you might need to buy a tiller for clay soil instead of a general tiller that may not effectively break up the clay soil. It’s also pertinent to note that the soil type may/may shouldn’t be a major deciding factor. If you find a powerful tiller, the chances are that it can easily break up all soil types. But then, they’re pricier than their competitors. But if your garden has loamy soil, a small tiller can handle the job. They are designed for tilling established beds and pre-tilled soils. The last thing to consider in the soil is compactness and the roots buried within. Once you notice more roots than you can count, you have to plow before you till. 

Power Source: Electric or Gas tiller

A garden tiller is either powered by electricity or gas depending on the design and its use. Large garden tiller gas engines are of two types – two-cycle and four-cycle engines. Two-cycle engines work with a mix of gasoline and oil. However, this engine is always known to give problems. On the other hand, four-cycle engines make use of unleaded gas and require no mixture of oil. Electric garden tillers are also of two types – cordless and corded. The cordless have rechargeable batteries, while the corded must be plugged before use.

As with almost all electric outdoor power tools, battery runtime is a problem. And just so you know, an electric tiller may not be as powerful as gas-powered tillers. But they’re quiet and environmentally friendly. Choosing between an electric tiller and a gas tiller is a matter of your preference and personality. This is what I mean. Gas tillers require regular maintenance. If you won’t forget to carry out the regular maintenance, then go a gas tiller. Alternatively, if you think you might forget to drain the gas from your tiller during fall or forget to change oil, kindly buy an electric tiller since it requires less maintenance when compared with a gas tiller. 


When choosing a garden tiller to buy, you need to consider how much work you need it for. Having done that, you then need to consider the number of tines you need and its position. Every tiller comes with tines and wheels. In front-tined tillers, the tines are in front of the tiller with the wheels behind, directly opposite the tines. The downside with font-tined tillers is that they are for tilling small areas, and the wheels run over tilled grounds. 

In rear-tined tillers, the tines are positioned in front while the wheels are directly behind to prevent compacting the soil after tilling. Lastly, the middle-tined tillers have their tines positioned at the centre of the machine for forward and backward movements. 

Best Tiller For Hard Soil Reviewed

We’ve picked several tillers for you and they cut across different sizes and have different features. If you have clay soil in your garden, you should check out our recommended tiller for clay soil. And we included tillers that combine with attachments to make your work easier.

1. Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller

Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller
1,933 Reviews
Schiller Grounds Care Mantis Tiller

Features: 5-year warranty, lifetime tine guarantee, innovative design, 25cc 4-cycle engine, compact-sized with foldable handle, lightweight with up to 240 rpm tine speed, 2-year warranty, etc. 

This Schiller tiller is a compact-sized power-efficient tiller for large gardens. It comes with a 4-cycle 25cc Honda engine with 240 rpm tine speed. The engine sits atop the tines, while the controls are situated close to the handlebar. Considering its lightweight body, this tiller is easy to maneuver and control, especially when it comes in contact with tough soil.

Dimension-wise, this Schiller tiller has a width of 9-inch, making it one of the few tillers suitable for tilling in tight spaces. You’ll find the 10-inch tines effective in breaking up new ground. Additionally, you can turn the tines around and cultivate your garden at 2 to 3 inches deep, an added benefit for you at no extra cost. The handle features a kickstand for easy fueling and placement to increase the ease of use and handling.

Have we mentioned that this tiller sports a foldable handlebar? It also weighs roughly 24lbs, and though it’s not the lightest on the market, it gets the job done easily. Let’s not fail to mention that this tiller can hook up effortlessly with different Schiller attachments, including aerators, plows, an edger, and a dethatcher.

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2. Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller – Best Electric Garden Tiller

Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller
29,708 Reviews
Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller

Features: One-year warranty, 370 rpm electric motor, Collapsible handle, 13.5-Amp motor, 6-tine blades, 16-inch width, 8-inch depth, lightweight, 3-position wheel adjustment, etc.

The Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller is our budget pick for this review; a low price doesn’t mean low quality. It’s a 16-inch wide and 8-inch deep electric tiller powered by a 13.5-Amp motor. This tiller is designed with style and precision. It crushes and mixes the soil painlessly at 370 RPM and effectively improves the soil’s aeration and microbe activities.

These keeps your plants healthy all season and improves their yield. It comes with 6 steel angled front-tine blades for maximum performance and durability. These tines allow you till tough soils in your garden easily. The Sun Joe TJ604E is an electric tiller that starts with the push of a button, so you don’t have to worry about spark plugs and fumes. 

Another perk we love in this product is the foldable handle that makes for easy storage and transport to your garden. Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller also comes with a 3-position wheel adjustment for easy transport and usage. Concerning the tilling/cultivator width, this tiller has a 16-inch width and an 8-inch depth.

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3. Schiller 7920 Grounds Care Mantis Tiller – Best Small Garden Tiller

Schiller 7920 Grounds Care Mantis Tiller
483 Reviews
Schiller 7920 Grounds Care Mantis Tiller

Features: Lightweight, easy to assemble, comfortable grips, powerful motor, comes with two-year limited warranty, sports a carrying handle, has foldable handlebars for easy storage, etc.

This Schiller 7920 tiller is ultralight and easy to maneuver, thanks to a compact design in a lightweight body. In many places, this tiller is seen as a tiller for the ladies, given that its easy to use. The Schiller 7920 weighs only 20 pounds and is designed to till soils to greenhouse soil quality. It’s powered by a 2-cycle oil and gasoline engine with a cutting width of 9 inches and tilling depth of 10 inches.

This tiller is fitted with 4 metal durable rear-tines positioned directly over the engine for maximum tilling. It has an innovative design, and the build quality will make the tiller last you for years. The handle features ergonomic soft grips for this tiller’s smooth operation with the controls at your fingertips. The handles are foldable for easy storage and transportation to your garden. 

Regarding usage, it’s darn easy to use and assemble. The powerful motor easily breaks up the soil, even as Schiller offers a two-year warranty for this tiller.

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4. Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller – Best Corded Tiller

Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller
29,708 Reviews
Sun Joe TJ604E Electric Garden Tiller

Features: 13.5-Amp motor, 11-inch width, and 8-inch depth, 6 adjustable tines, adjustable rear wheels, easy to control, eco-friendly design, etc.

The Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller comes with a powerful 13.5-Amp electric motor, and it’s the ideal size for flower beds and large gardens. It has 6-inch adjustable alloy-steel tines with a width of 11 to 16 wide and tilling depth of 8 inches. The adjustable tilling width is perfect for any tilling task.

It’s not surprising to know that this tiller offers immense power to take on tough soils, and the long power cord ensures you don’t have to run out of energy while you’re working. It has an ergonomic soft grip for comfortable operation and a bail wire with start button for easy start and features a flip-down rear wheel for moving the tiller easily. 

The Scotts Outdoor Corded Tiller easily turns packed and hard soil. You can also use it to till the fresh ground and new ground in large gardens. With its tines, breaking tough soil and small roots will not be an issue in your large garden. 

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5. Earthwise Electric Tiller – Best Electric Tiller For Clay Soil

Features: Powerful 13.5-Amp engine, fast tine speed, adjustable tines, comfortable handle, corded electric tiller, 8-inch depth and 16-inch width, easy to use, etc.

This corded electric garden tiller is a versatile tiller for compositing, weeding, and cultivating your clay soil garden. It features a lightweight 13.5-Amp motor with a 360 rpm tine speed and is easy to operate. This tiller comes with 6 adjustable front metal tines with a cutting width of 11 to 16 inches and a tilling depth of 8 inches. 

Additionally, it features a 6-inch flip-down wheel for easy movement to your garden. The metal handle is wrapped with soft foam an ergonomic grip and comfortable handling. The Earthwise Electric Tiller is designed for accurate tilling, deep digs, and also prepares the soil for cultivation. 

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s corded, and there’s a cord retention hook that keeps the cord out of the way while you’re working. For a tiller that weighs roughly 35lbs, it’s not lightweight, especially when you compare it with the competition in the market.

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6. Earthwise TC70040 Cordless Tiller – Best Cordless Electric Tiller

Earthwise TC70040 Cordless Tiller
685 Reviews
Earthwise TC70040 Cordless Tiller

Features: 40-Volt lithium-ion battery with 45 minutes runtime, 4 steel tines, 11 inches wide and 8-inch deep cultivation, flip-down rear wheels, adjustable handlebars, etc.

Here’s the last tiller on our list. If you’re looking to break new grounds, you should consider it. This is the second Earthwise tiller we’re reviewing in this article, and their quality isn’t in question. The tiller draws power from a 40-volt battery and offers you an accurate cutting width of 11 inches and a tilling depth of 8 inches.

The Earthwise TC70040 Cordless Tiller comes with a four-steel tine that tills up the soil with ease and is ideal for tilling mid and large-sized gardens. It also comes with flip-down rear wheels for easy transport, in addition to a simple start button for one-touch ignition. The handle is fitted with soft ergonomic foam for comfortable handling. 

The tiller is lightweight and sports adjustable handles to suit any user’s height. Since it’s a cordless unit, you should have spare batteries, especially if you intend to work for longer periods. The battery has a maximum runtime of 45 minutes.

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Final Words

We tried to make this review as detailed as possible and believe you have all you need to make a good buy. Let’s recap what you need to consider when shopping for a good tiller for your garden. First, you need to go for a reliable brand of tiller while considering the size of your garden. Secondly, you need to choose between gas and electric garden tillers with the type of soil you have in mind. Lastly, you need to consider the number of tines you need in your garden tiller. 

Jessica Zander

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