Small Garden Tillers

Review to Help You Decide What Size Rototiller You Need

Small garden tiller cultivating soil.
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Which kind of rototiller is better, the large or the small garden tillers? It really depends on the size of the space you are tilling. For small spaces, it is important that you be able to turn your machine around easily. Small garden tillers (or "cultivators"), like the electric mini-rototillers, are ideal cultivators for such spaces. For larger spaces, you want maximum tilling depth and width, enabling you to get the job done faster.

In the latter case, the larger machines are better.

Large or Small: Which Is Better?

Let's begin to answer this question in greater detail by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of large versus small garden tillers, followed by a quick overview of features. Here are the pros:

  • Small garden tillers are light-weight, making them easy to handle.
  • Their adjustable tine width make these garden tillers easier to push around. This quality is highly desirable in small spaces.

But there is at least one con in having such a machine:

  • For bigger spaces, larger garden tillers can provide twice the tilling width (making the job go quicker) and greater depth (doing the job more completely).


  • Gas-powered mini-garden tillers have a 1-horsepower or 2-horsepower engine.
  • Many small garden tillers have an adjustable cultivator depth of up to 5 inches (if adjustability isn't important to you, some non-adjustable types dig even deeper).
  • Adjustable tine width (6-10 inches) on many of these machines allows you to fit into tight spots.
  • Folding handles for easy storage for most small garden tillers means they will not be in the way when not in use.
  • Electric garden tillers can weigh as little as 11 lbs.

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Small Garden Tillers: Review

While large rototillers have their place (for tilling large spaces), smaller units are ideal for small spaces.

The electric cultivators, for instance, are great for tight spots, where you do not want to have to worry about bumping into something every time you turn around. 

Adding to ease of use is their adjustable tilling width and depth. But that just begins to describe their convenience. These rototillers start up easy and are light-weight (electric models weigh as little as 11 pounds). 

Small garden tillers are fairly durable. Still, do not think you can carve a new planting bed out of untamed, native soil with electric models or any other of the small garden tillers on the market. Use them only for the task for which they are designed. They are designed to loosen ground that you have already dug into in the past. They are meant to further break down clumps of earth, so that you have a friable soil in which to grow your plants.

An example of a small rototiller is the Earthwise Cultivator available on Amazon. This electric unit has a tilling width of 11 inches, and it cultivates down 8 inches deep. It does have a cord, though, which can be a drawback. Not only are electrical cords a nuisance (they get in the way), they can even be a hazard (they may cause you to trip and fall). If you want to stay with electric but wish to go cordless, GreenWorks has a battery-powered rototiller.

The GreenWorks product has an adjustable tilling width of up to 10 inches, and a tilling depth of 5 inches.