When searching for the best tiller for breaking new ground, the manufacturer is not as important as the type of tool chosen.
- There are various reasons why you may want to break new ground, such as when making a raised flower garden.
- The range of tillers and cultivators available in the market are of two different types: front tine or rear tine.
Like most large purchases, choosing the best tiller should be based on reliability, features, and price.
Run-Down: 7 Best Tiller for Breaking New Ground 2023
1. Sun Joe TJ604E 16-Inches Electric Garden Cultivator/ Tiller
Sun Joe TJ604E produces a wide range of versatile rear-tine tillers in the current market. This specific gas-powered tiller has a tilling capability of 9” deep and 18” wide. Its four 13” dual-rotating tines allow the user to switch from forward to reverse with ease.
This rear tine tiller comes equipped with a 212cc engine, which is sufficient for heavy-duty activities. Also, it features cast iron parts and a whopping 2-year warranty. It is the perfect tool for tackling medium and large yards and gardens.
Sun Joe TJ604E dual rotating rear tine tiller is renowned for its 13.5-inch agricultural tires and their self-propelled function. These enable it to move and cross over rough terrains easily and quickly. Its 13.8-inch tines are comprised of hardened steel.
They also have a dual rotating function. If you are looking for a good tiller at hand, you might want to take this champion tiller into consideration.
- Dual rotating tine capability allows the user to switch between forward and reverse movements easily
- It has a powerful engine
- Highly maneuverable and easy to use
- It is relatively expensive to other tillers embodying the same features.
2. Earthwise TC70016 16-Inch Electric Tiller or Cultivator
This is the best electric tiller for breaking new ground. This tiller is 100% eco-friendly for breaking hard ground. Just because it is electric does not mean it is less effective. It comes equipped with an 8.5-amp motor.
Earthwise electric tiller requires 120 volts to operate which is enough to break through the new ground. Its high amp level powers the motor to break through rough ground such as heavy clay earth.
An easy-to-start single lever helps in beginning the tiller smoothly. A quality cast iron shield protects the user from flying debris. It has four steel tines, which are self-sharpening and capable of tilling depth of 8 inches and width of 8 inches.
The Earthwise TC70016 counter-rotating feature of this Earthwise model will enable you to handle varying cultivator tasks.
Since it is electric, this tiller does not release smog or harmful emissions into the atmosphere. This tiller remains an attractive choice for gardeners throughout the year.
- The tiller’s ergonomic handle grips help in protecting the user from blisters.
- It weighs just 25 pounds
- It features self-sharpening tines
- It is budget-friendly
- It can handle both light and heavy tasks
- Its blades don’t rotate counterclockwise
- Earthwise’s electric tiller’s cutting depth is non-adjustable
3. Southland SRTT196E 196cc OHV Engine 18 in. Rear Tine Rotary Tiller
This tiller is capable of tackling even the hardest terrain. Powered by a 196cc 9.6 foot-pounds OHV engine, this tool easily pulverizes the soil.
Its self-sharpening tines are 11 inches in length, offering an 18-inch tilling width capability and a tilling depth of 10 inches. A depth regulator lever also helps in adjusting the tilling depth.
The Southland SRTT196 can move in both forward and reverse directions allowing for maximum maneuverability in a wide range of conditions.
This gas-powered tool has a simple start-up mechanism facilitated by an easy recoil start. The counter-rotating feature of the Southland SRTT196E enables the equipment to break through the new ground with ease.
It features heavy-duty pneumatic tires that are capable of plowing through all forms of terrain. This brand is no doubt one of the best choices for gardeners seeking to buy a reliable tiller for breaking new ground.
- It is capable of breaking ground even in the most difficult terrain
- A manual recoil start system facilitates efficient fuel delivery
- It is powered by a 4-cycle 212cc OHV engine which generates enough power to break through the new ground with ease
- This model has self-sharpening tines which allow the user to till while maintaining blade edge at the same time
- It has counter-rotating tines
- Relatively expensive for first time buyers
4. Husqvarna CRT900L, 17” rear tine tiller – Editor’s New Ground Tiller
This is one of the most price-friendly and reliable tools for breaking new ground. Powered by a highly reliable Briggs & Stratton engine, it is definitely a good choice for tilling your garden.
It features a counterweight technology that allows the equipment to enhance its functionalities. With this functionality, you can improve the tool’s stability to enhance its performance during operation by increasing the weight of the wheels.
Husqvarna rear tine tiller has counter-rotating tines, which are ideal for preparing the soil for deep digging and cultivation. The highly maneuverable nature of this model offers excellent control, even for beginners. You can also make use of its forward and reverse features.
The CRT900L model has a 17” tilling width capability and can perform quicker than other standard tillers. It comes equipped with chevron tires, which provide excellent traction on different terrains. It is easy to drive, powerful, and very well-balanced.
It features seven-depth adjustments that facilitate incredible tilling versatility. Its 205cc engine provides the optimal capability for performing heavy-duty tasks. Thus, this model is considered a wise choice.
- It has a high-powered engine
- Features counter-rotating tines
- It comes equipped with excellent after-market tires
- Relatively expensive for hobbyist gardeners
5. Earthquake 20908 Badger Full-Size front tine tiller
This is the indisputable leader in high-performance front tine tilling on a budget. Its long wheel-to-tine base ensures that weight is distributed evenly for improved control when tilling in rows.
This front tine rototiller has a two-position, heavy-duty wheel assembly, and cast iron tail. With the wheels positioned at the front, its movement is an easy fete for the Earthquake 20908 Badger.
In an extended position, the tiller’s center of gravity is lowered to allow for incredible control and deep tilling performance in-row. It has a tilling depth of 11 inches and features an adjustable tilling width of 11, 16, and 22 inches.
The unit is highly durable and characterized by steel heavy-duty tines. It has a bronze gear transmission and also features heavy-duty steel tine construction. This is the model to go for if you are looking for rugged durability in a front tine tiller. This is a high-performance gardening tool powered by a Kohler 4 cycle XT675 series gas engine.
- One of the lightest front-tine tillers which facilitates ease of movement
- Rugged durability
- Powerful and high performance
- Highly stable
- Excellent deep tilling in-row performance
- It may not be powerful enough for dense hardpan soils
- Assembly instructions are hard to follow
6. Poulan Pro PPCRT17 Rear-Tine Tiller – 208 cc
This model is equipped with 13” tines with a counter-rotating feature, which makes it easier for you to use. Poulan Pro can be used for both small-scale and large-scale tilling tasks. It is powerful enough to break through the hard new ground.
This tool is both reliable and powerful and designed to make work seem light. It can tear through clay-like soil and uproot underground roots. An adjustable depth lever enables users to control the speed and to till the depth of the tines. It has a working width of 17 inches and a working depth of 6.5 inches.
Poulan Pro PPCRT17 is equipped with a powerful LCT valve engine that is designed to run efficiently in the long term. Its adjustable split loop handles facilitate user handling. The self-drive forward and reverse functionalities facilitate both the movement and maneuverability of the tiller.
Poulan’s powerful engine complements its solid frame construction which makes the model the perfect choice for different heavy-duty tasks. With a 17-inch width span, even the toughest new ground is reduced to fine soil.
- Highly flexible as it can be used in both light and large-scale tilling tasks
- It has excellent tilling capabilities
- Easy to maneuver and move about
- It comes equipped with a durable engine
- It is relatively expensive
- It has a limited 2-year warranty
7. Mantis 7920 2-cycle tiller cultivator
This is the lightest tiller available in the market weighing just 20 pounds. Yet, it is also a heavy-duty machine that features a 3-speed motor that generates 540W of power making it one of the most popular garden tillers.
It has a fast tine rotational speed (240 rpm) which can be conveniently adjusted through a throttle that is placed on the handlebar.
Moderate assemblage is needed for this unit. It features a tool-less air filter access and has a lifetime warranty on tines breaking. A five-year residential warranty and two years for commercial use attest to the durability of this tiller.
User feedback suggests that this tiller is not ideal for breaking new grounds, but it performs well in precision weeding, cultivating, and digging. A 2-cycle commercial engine is conveniently installed above the tines for maximum tilling and digging power. It is perfect for tilling small gardens and raised flower beds.
This model has a tilling width of 9 inches and can dig up to 10 inches deep. Its soft flared grips make it convenient to operate the tiller. A built-in carry mechanism facilitates convenient lifting. Folding handles facilitate the storage and movement of the tiller.
- It is equipped with a strong engine
- It is equipped with heavy-duty and durable tines
- It features a quality depth regulator
- Relatively expensive
- Some users complain that it is unsuitable for breaking new ground
Considerations for Best Tiller for Breaking New Ground
1. Front tine or rear tine
For large and open areas, you might want to go for rear tine counter-rotating tillers with a wide width. Rear tine tillers are preferred for breaking new ground by most users.
Their powered wheels and counter-rotating tines are effective in breaking up soil. If you are working on smaller landscaping projects, front-tine tiller cultivators are more ideal.
These tillers are driven by the tines, which have an adjustable width of 12-26 inches. You will find them more ideal for navigating through tight garden spaces. Check which is which – Front Tine vs. Rear Tine Tillers?
2. Forward rotating and counter-rotating tines
To ensure you achieve optimum versatility, go for a model equipped with both forward rotate (for cultivating), and counter-rotate (for tilling) features. The counter-rotate function breaks the ground for planting, whereas forward rotation reduces weeds and cracks the topsoil layer to improve aeration and penetration of water and nutrients.
3. Special add-ons and features
– Adjustable till depth
This is one of the most basic features that you should consider if you are looking to break new ground. Look for an adjustable lever at the rear of the tiller that controls the depth level of the tines.
– Adjustable tine width
When shopping for a tiller to break through the new ground, look out for models that allow you to bring the tines together or separate them farther apart when cultivating various widths in a row.
– Collapsible handle
This is a common feature in most front-tine tillers. This is an important feature if you are looking for gear in a tight space or the back of a car.
Look out for numerous gadgets that are available in the market for converting tillers into other gardening uses such as snow-blowers for yard maintenance during winter and edgers and dethatchers. High-end rear tine tillers feature a PTO shaft, which can power a wide range of tools.
When it comes to breaking up soil, a full-size rear tine is considered ideal for completing the job well.
- From the above list, I would choose Earthwise TC70001 11-Inch Electric Tiller/Cultivator because it is eco-friendly, it can easily break through the new ground, and it has many great reviews.