When choosing a garden tiller, base your final decision on user preference and need. For small jobs, simple tillers are fine for the home gardener, while commercial users or those with larger lots or projects should choose heavy-duty machinery. Tillers range in size, weight, horsepower and options. Consider a few different factors when choosing the best tiller for your needs.
Compare based on size. Some manufacturers offer small hand-held tillers suitable for small tilling jobs and able to fit into tight areas. These models cannot till very deeply. There are also medium-sized tillers and larger commercial models.
Compare based on rear versus front tine. Tillers either have their tines located in front of the wheels or in back. Front tine models require more work from the user as they have less horsepower and must be pushed. Rear tine models have much more power and do most of the work by themselves with the operator only needing to grip the handlebar to guide it slightly.
Compare based on horsepower. Smaller front tine models with lower-horsepower engines work fine for tilling a small garden area. For larger jobs, such as projects of more than 300 square feet or for very rocky soil, use a larger, more powerful rear-tine tiller.
Compare based on a tiller's options and attachments. Some manufacturers build tillers so they can be fitted with attachments, such as de-thatching tines, rotary brushes or a snow blade, to complete tasks other than tilling. Many tillers come equipped with various speeds and settings, such as the cultivation setting, to assist operators with adjusting the machine to fit their needs.