In all but the smallest garden beds, you need a machine for creating new beds, weeding, and aerating soil. A power tiller does that job for you.
A power tiller is a set of blades – called tines – mounted within a wheeled housing. Modern corded electric tillers run on either a gasoline engine or an electric motor.
So, which is better gas or electric? People have been arguing about this question for as long as gas and electric rototillers have been around. We’re not going to spend too much time on it here.
Suffice it to say that if convenience, quiet operation, ease of use, and easy maintenance are important to you, go electric.
Choosing the Right Electric Power Tiller
Corded electric tillers are invaluable garden tools. After all, if you’re planting new seeds or laying new turf, it’s good practice to first till the soil.
There are many good corded electric tillers out there. Below are three of the highest-rated machines on the market. Choosing which is best for you means matching its capabilities to the work you’ll be tackling.
1. Sun Joe TJ604E 13.5-amp Electric Tiller
The Sun Joe TJ604E 13.5-amp Electric Tiller is the best-selling corded electric tiller on Amazon right now. From what we’ve seen of this machine, we say its sales ranking is well-deserved.
The TJ604E impressed me even as it came out of the box. Setting up this corded, compact rototiller is a simple matter of attaching a few knobs and bolts by hand. The entire process should take you no more than 10 minutes.
Once assembled, the tiller weighs about 27 pounds. This is about average for the garden-corded electric tillers in this lineup. The 13.5-amp motor and rear wheels allow you to operate it the way you would an electric lawnmower.
The Sun Joe TJ604E is excellent for cultivating new garden beds. It works soil a good 8 inches deep and 16 inches wide, the six tines working at 370 RPM. The 3-position height-adjustable rear wheels make it easy to maneuver wherever it’s needed.
There’s no such thing as a perfect product, though. Everything comes with some downsides. With the TJ604E, it’s about making a few passes over the same ground. This is despite this rototiller’s remarkable power.
If you’re cutting up a lawn to replace a garden, you’ll likely make two passes. You’ll need one pass to get through the grass. Mulching that grass into the soil might require two more.
If there are sizeable rocks in the soil, they will get caught between the blades and the deck. Since the tines are geared for torque, you won’t be able to spin them out by hand.
When this happens, you will either have to remove the blade with a ½ socket or a wrench. If you are feeling particularly savage, you can pound any rock out with a hammer.
But the TJ 604E more than makes up for any failings with its superb build quality. This compact machine requires little in the way of maintenance and is quite easy to store.
Cleaning it is a cinch, too, and its 13.5-amp motor is held reliable and sturdy despite many hours of use and abuse. The TJ604E comes with a nice two-year warranty, too.
So, how do we rate this product? We liked it because there isn’t much to like. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense corded electric tiller for a small-to-medium-sized yard, you’ll do well with a Sun Joe TJ604E.
2. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-inch Electric Tiller
It’s a testament to the quality of the company’s products that our runner-up is also from Sun Joe. In fact, in many ways, the Sun Joe TJ603E 16-inch Electric Tiller is just a slightly less powerful TJ604E.
The 603E is equipped with a 12-amp motor. The 604E is equipped with a 13.5-amp motor. While this isn’t a huge difference, there is some noticeable variation in performance. That is the 604E tears through soil faster than the 603E.
The 603E nevertheless has all the build excellence and quality of its more powerful sibling. This means that, compared to most other corded electric tillers on the market, this rototiller features terrific construction and design quality.
Like the TJ604E, it’s equipped with 6 steel tines that dig into the soil at different angles. The tines cover an area 16 inches wide and 8 inches deep.
The machine has two foldable steel handles and is compact enough that it’s easy to maneuver. Weighing in at around 27 pounds, it’s a bit heavy considering it isn’t as powerful as the TJ604E.
This means you’ll notice that the 603E requires a bit of guidance as you work on a new plot. The TJ604E leads you, digging into the soil as if its own volition.
Of course, the 603E also has all the drawbacks you expect of corded electric tillers, including the 604E. By that we mean you’ll have to be mindful of the cord at all times.
Yes, that cord might look like it’s three inches away, but it’s going to get sucked into the tines, anyway. Often, it’ll get wound around the axle, too!
Again, because it’s a corded electric tiller, it is restricted by a cable. This works against portability and limits you to a small area. But if you’ve got electrical outlets in close proximity, that shouldn’t be a problem.
All in all, we liked the Sun Joe TJ603E almost just as much as the slightly more powerful 604E. This product offers great value for your money and much in the way of construction and functionality.
3. Earthwise TC70025 7.5-Inch 2.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
The Earthwise TC70025 7.5-Inch 2.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is a great tool for gardening enthusiasts who want to maintain small to medium-sized gardens easily and efficiently. It has a powerful 2.5-Amp electric motor that provides excellent run time and service life.
This tiller is corded electric, which means that you don’t have to worry about fuel or battery power. You can plug it into an electrical outlet and start using it right away.
It is designed for small to medium-sized gardens, easily cultivating and tilling up to 7.5″ wide and 6″ deep. It is ideal for preparing garden beds or breaking up soil for planting. This tiller comes with a 4-tine cultivator that is perfect for loosening soil and removing weeds. It is also great for mixing compost and fertilizer into the soil.
The Earthwise TC70025 7.5-Inch 2.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator has a long handle that makes it easy to maneuver and control. It also has a comfortable grip that reduces fatigue during use. This is a great feature for users who have arthritis or other hand conditions.
Additionally, it is lightweight which makes it perfect for small gardens and tight spaces. Its compact size allows for easy storage as well.
Best of all, the cultivator also has a single lever switch for simple start-up and stop. It is easier to use than gas-powered cultivators that require a pull cord to start.
Undoubtedly, this cultivator is an excellent choice, with all of its features ideal for easy tilling and cultivating!
A Gardener’s Delight
That’s it. The rototillers above are the three best-selling corded electric tillers on the market right now. If you’ve ever spent back-aching hours preparing a new plot, you’ll appreciate the performance of any of these three.
Good electric tillers are powerful, quiet, simple, and trouble-free. Sure, they might have their limitations. But they are a gardener’s delight, given the tough, back-breaking work of turning earth with a shovel.