Best Front Tine Tillers of 2019 – Top Picks Reviewed

Front tine tillers are some of the best gardening tools you can ever invest in if you are looking for an effective way to keep your home plot aerated without needing to spend hours turning over your soil by hand with a shovel. Read on to learn a bit more about these fantastic tools and how they can elevate your gardening experience.

Comparison of the Best Front Tine Tillers

Product

Rating

Price

Honda FG110 9" 25cc​

Honda FG110 9' 25 cc 4-Cycle Middle Tine Forward-Rotating Gas Mini Tiller-Cultivator

Best Overall

Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch​

Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

Runner-up

Earthwise TC70125 16-Inch​

Earthwise TC70125 12.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Tiller/Cultivator, Green

Best for the Money

Schiller Grounds Care Mantis​

Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator Powered by Honda – Lightweight, Powerful and Compact - No Fuel Mix, Sure-Grip Handles – Built to Be Durable and Dependable

Earthquake Versa​

Earthquake 20015 Versa FTT

What’s The Difference Between a Front Tine and Rear Tine Tiller?

Rear tine tillers are significantly larger and heavier than front tine models. They do have tines which operate independently from the wheels, and their heftier size also typically lends them more power. But all is not necessarily rosy. They are not great for smaller areas because of their size and bulk, and they tend to be significantly more expensive than front tine tillers. If you want an effective model for a smaller space or garden, front tine is the way to go.

How We Chose These Top Picks

There are a lot of options out there on the market today, so here is what we looked out for in order to narrow our selection down a bit:

Durability

As with all types of tillers, these are not tools that you are just going to use one time and then call it quits forever. The thing with gardening is that you have to engage in tilling every year, and sometimes more often. Find yourself a model that can go the distance and last you a long time.

Handle Ergonomics

When operating a front tine tiller, you are likely going to have to maneuver it around a fairly small space. That can become a complicated proposition if you're using it for a while, and is something that could definitely be helped by an ergonomic handle that will not cause cramping.  

Power

As mentioned above, these types do not have as much power as some of their competitors. For what you use a front tine tiller for, this is likely not as important, but you do still want a tiller powerful enough to get the job done.

Quick Take | Best Front Tine Tillers

Before you move to the our full review of the best front tine tillers, here is a quick take of the top 3 models:

  1. Honda FG110 9" 25 cc
  2. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch
  3. Earthwise TC70125 16-Inch

Review of the Best Front Tine Tillers

Now that you are more familiar with the concept of front tine tillers, let’s look at some actual products!

Best Overall:
 Honda FG110 9” 25 cc

Honda FG110 9' 25 cc 4-Cycle Middle Tine Forward-Rotating Gas Mini Tiller-Cultivator

PROS

  • Easy to operate
  • Easy to start up
  • Has a lot of power
  • Tines are extremely durable

The Honda FG110 9” 25 cc is far and above our best overall option. There are a number of features with this that you simply will not be able to find on any of its competitors, including the hybrid design on the sturdy metal tines, which ensure that they maximize their tilling ability! It also has a front engine guard, for additional safety and protection purposes – always important when operating any sort of power tool.

The size makes it exceptionally easy to store, although it can still pack quite a punch! There really is not much for you to dislike about the Honda FG110 9” 25 cc.

Bottom Line

The Honda FG110 is a great littlemodel that was so impressive, there was really no other option for our best overall choice. With its hybrid tines and convenient size, it really hits the ball home. Just know that if you have a larger tilling job, this may not be the most effective in that specific circumstance.

Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

PROS

  • Very powerful
  • Lightweight, easy to transport
  • Simple and straightforward to use
  • Feels quite sturdy despite its lightness
  • Has three separate pieces that are a snap to put together

CONS

  • Has a tendency to bounce a bit when it hits rocks

The Sun Joe TJ630E is comes in a close second place finish behind our choice for best overall. But do not think there is anything unimpressive about the Sun Joe! This model, while also still on the smaller side, can work through rocks and tough soil with ease. It can also stand up to a lot of use and abuse – it would be difficult to find a tiller more durable than this little guy.

It is straightforward and easy to use: if you want it to till deeper, just move it along more slowly, while if you just want to turn over the topsoil, push it through more quickly. Plus, this is great at fitting into tight angles and weird spots.

Bottom Line

The Sun Joe TJ630E is a phenomenal unit that is easy to operate and tough enough to work through anything you may throw at it. Just be prepared: while it can definitely work through rocky soil, it can sometimes bounce when it hits a rock.

Best For The Money: 
Earthwise TC70125 16 Inch

Earthwise TC70125 12.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Tiller/Cultivator, Green

PROS

  • Easy to set up
  • Great build quality
  • On the lighter side
  • Has a lot of power
  • Simple to control and to steer
  • Our choice of best for the money

CONS

  • Can buck pretty easily
  • Included instructions can be a bit confusing

Let’s say you are looking for a model that will be able to handle even the toughest soil, but will not be exceptionally tough when it comes to your wallet and your budget. You will find the front tine tiller of your dreams in the Earthwise TC70125! Users report that this is super tough, tough enough to last for an extremely long time. It has a quick tine speed, which efficiently breaks through even the driest, hardest soil.

Plus, this is quite easy to operate: when you are digging at a deeper depth, the wheels will flip out of the way, while they will remain in place at shallower depths. It has ergonomically designed handles that allow for gripping from multiple angles, so you can tackle whatever you may need.

Bottom Line

The Earthwise TC70125 16 Inch Tiller is our top choice that will not break your bank. Just know that you may need to figure out this on your own, since its instructions are not very helpful.

Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 7940 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator Powered by Honda – Lightweight, Powerful and Compact - No Fuel Mix, Sure-Grip Handles – Built to Be Durable and Dependable

PROS

  • Comes with engine oil included
  • Handles have an ergonomic design
  • ·Lightweight (only twenty four pounds!) and easy to transport
  • Can till through all different kinds of dirt, included compacted dirt

CONS

  • Not the best at handling tree roots

The Schiller Grounds Care Mantis is a top notch option with a number of awesome convenience features. This includes ease of operation, with it always starting up on the second or third engine pull. It also runs very quietly, so you will not have to worry about your work disturbing your neighbors, or waking up your kid from their nap. It is simple and straightforward to remove plant matter and rocks from the tines if they become jammed.

And, it is incredibly easy to put together – users report the entire assembly process should not take any more than twenty minutes, tops! You will not be disappointed with the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis.

Bottom Line

The Schiller Grounds Care Mantis is a phenomenal model that you will enjoy operating thanks to its amazing ease of use. The only thing to consider is that it is not the greatest at working with tree roots, so keep in mind that if you are anticipating encountering a lot of tree roots, this may not be your best choice.

Earthquake 20015 Versa FTT

PROS

  • Quiet to operate
  • Ignition has smooth pull recoil
  • Versatile, could tackle anything and everything
  • Handle bars can be adjusted to different heights for different users

CONS

  • Taller users may feel as though the handles are a bit short

The Earthquake Versa is an amazing tiller that will blow you away with its many impressive qualities. First and foremost, this is one of the most easily maneuvered units you will be able to find on the market today. If you have a smaller garden with some funky angles and weird, tight spaces, this is the one for you.

It is also phenomenal at tilling many different kinds of soil, so it is extremely versatile. And, it has a lower center of gravity than many of its competitor brands, so it feels much more stable and is safer to operate. What is not to like about increased safety?

Bottom Line

The Earthquake Versa is an awesome little model that is especially great at getting into the tight angles and weird spots that may stump some of its competitor brands. Plus, it has increased safety capability thanks to its lower center of gravity. But, if you are on the taller side, anticipate the handles feeling short for you, though.

Best Uses for a Front Tine Tiller

Because these are smaller, they are best used for very specific situations. Here are the top three uses for a front tine tiller:

With Smaller Gardens

Clearly, a smaller tiller for a smaller garden makes sense. But there is more than meets the eye here: front tine tillers are also more easy to maneuver than other kinds, so if your small garden has sharp angles or an irregular shape, a front tine option is the choice for you.

With Lighter Soils

Because these typically have lower levels of power than other kinds, they are best used with lighter soils. It is not that they will not be able to handle heftier soils, it is that they may not last as long if they are consistently used roughly.

For Removing Weeds

One of the most effective tasks you can accomplish is getting rid of all of those annoying weeds in your garden! Forget pulling weeds by hand – just unleash the beast and call it a day.

Conclusion

Front tine tillers are a great option for homeowners with smaller garden spaces, who are looking for a tool that will effectively turn over and/or aerate their soil, without needing to wrestle with a larger, clunkier (and ultimately more expensive) type. Keep in mind what your specific gardening needs are, and then find the best model on our list to meet those needs – we guarantee you will not be disappointed! 

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