Garden & Lawn

Best Mini Tillers and Cultivators For Small Gardens and Allotments

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In the past, I have reviewed larger cultivators and even back in horticultural college (many moons ago) when I first used rotavators, they were the larger models designed for turning over large areas of soil and often cost just as much as they weigh, and let me tell you, they are heavy! Although the price has come down in recent years, something that has become popular is the mini cultivators and tillers. They are often powered by electricity, with there being both corded and cordless models, plus they are more affordable than ever.

Best of all, these small mini tillers are easy to manoeuvre around, they get the job done and they are perfect for even the smallest borders or allotment plots. If you are looking for the best mini cultivator, (also known as tillers) this review is just for you!

Tiller allotment with mini electric tiller

After hours of research, I have shortlisted five mini tillers that I find worthwhile in terms of price and performance. For example, you cannot go wrong with the Greenworks G40TL Cordless tiller, (our best pick), because it offers a decent running time, features foldable handles and it is generally comfortable to use. The Greenworks G40TL Tiller is not the only great model available, read on to uncover more about our Runner-up model as well as the rest. We have also included one petrol model that has got an amazing amount of power.

BEST PICK

Greenworks G40TL Cordless Mini Tiller
The Greenworks G40TL Cordless Tiller is My Best Pick. Its overall performance is good but also being cordless, it is not restricted by a cord or as heavy as a petrol alternative but being 40v, it still has plenty of power. This cordless mini tiller works on different soils fairly well and will produce nice fine soil. For very hard soil, you may need to just break it up a little first with a fork to give it something to dig into to get going. If you are a fan of Greenworks tools, this model will save you some money due to its interchangeable 40v battery system so you can buy just the bare tool. If you don't have any other GreenWorks tools, you will need to order the battery and charger at the same time. The only downside to this is the cost but to be free from cords, I think it is worth it. I might as well tell you now, you really need the 40v 4Ah battery to get a decent 30 minutes running time from it. Cordless garden tools have come a long way and this is a great example of one such tool.

RUNNER UP

Honda FG205 18 inch 4-Stroke Petrol Mini Tiller
The Honda FG205 18 inch 4-Stroke Petrol Mini Tiller is a very impressive machine and it has been designed with small gardens and allotments in mind. It features an adjustable width making it perfect for both narrow and wider beds. It is powered by Honda's reliable 4-stroke engine and the build quality ensures that it's designed to last. It's expensive but I feel it's worth the cost for those looking for a top-quality tiller and will cultivate any soil you ask it to. It's even backed by a 5-year warranty. You really can't beat the quality and performance of Honda Cultivators.

Mini Cultivator Reviews

1. Greenworks G40TL Cordless Mini tiller 

BEST PICK

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Greenworks battery-powered tiller G40TL (Li-Ion 40 V battery-powered tiller with specially hardened 4 blades working depth 20 cm working width 26 cm without battery and charger)

The Greenworks G40TL Cordless Tiller is easy to start and navigates small spaces well due to its compact size but what I really like is that it’s a cordless tiller. Even more importantly, it is powered by a 40v battery so has more than enough power for most garden soils, including clay. The only downside is, being battery powered it does have limited running time. With this in mind, I highly recommend going with the 4Ah capacity battery as this will give you around 30 minutes of running time between each charge.

It is also important to realise that the batteries (together with the charger) are sold separately so assuming you don’t already have GreenWorks tools, it is a fairly expensive setup. However, if you plan on buying more Greenworks cordless tools, you will make the extra costs back by not having to buy batteries for every tool.

This lithium-powered cordless model features four laser-cut hardened steel star blades designed to upturn the soil effortlessly without digging too deep at 20cm. What it actually leaves a nice fine tilled soil which is much easier to work with.

The tiller’s working width is around 26cm but this can also be adjusted to 21cm wide if necessary. This means you can cover adequate ground to get work done in a considerable time but reduce the working width for tight areas too.

Other features include a rubberised anti-vibration gripping handle for comfort while working for long periods.  It also has a set of durable wheels to make moving it from your shed or garage easier. 

In terms of how easy it is to store, this tiller has a foldable handle to make it even more compact. Finally, this model comes with a 3-year warranty guaranteeing the reliability of the product, but it is worth noting that any batteries you buy only come with a 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • Ideal for tilling small gardens and allotments.
  • Being cordless you are free from cords and it is much quieter than a petrol alternative.
  • Comes with laser-cut hardened steel blades to penetrate different soils easily.
  • Offers an adjustable tilling depth from 21-26cm (8-10”).
  • Features durable 15cm diameter wheels for easy transporting.
  • Provides a safety switch-on lock.
  • Handles fold down for storage.
  • Compatible with the One Battery for All system.
  • Features a rubberized anti-vibration handle.
  • Offers good value for money.
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty for full peace of mind (batteries comes with 2 years).

Cons

  • Handle is not adjustable.
  • Limited run time of 30 minutes with 4Ah battery.

Our recommendation

The Greenworks G40TL Cordless tiller is an excellent choice if you already have other Greenworks tools as you will likely already have the batteries need to get this tool going. When people ask, I always recommend people switch to cordless models as they offer so much freedom and you save money long term not having to buy batteries. Don’t forget, if you don’t have other tools, you will need to buy the 40v battery (ideally 4Ah, I wouldn’t go smaller, it’s not worth it) and the charger separately. This will save you money in the future if you slowly invest in other Greenworks cordless garden tools and they do some other good cordless tools too, including their cordless mowers.

Overall, this is a good choice and just as good as any other electric corded model but you don’t have the hassle of the cord being in the way. The downside of course is limited running time and cost but I think it’s well worth investing in.


2. Honda FG205 18″ 4-Stroke Petrol Mini Tiller

RUNNER UP

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Honda FG205 18' Working Width 1.9hp Petrol 4-Stroke Petrol Mini Tiller

If you want something of professional quality and power, then you can’t beat going for a petrol rotavator, and those manufactured by Honda are some of the best in the world. Now, this model is not actually Honda’s smallest model, but the FG205 is still a mini tiller and I think the one worth investing in.

The 49cc Honda FG205 18″ Petrol Mini Tiller is powered by a 1.9Hp 4-stroke engine with a 0.35L capacity to ensure a good running time between refuelling. At 21kg it’s fairly heavy compared to any cordless electric or corded electric model but you can’t beat the roaring power of a petrol engine, and Honda does make the best petrol engines. Being heavy also means that it also performs better on compact soils too in comparison to other models in this review.

Something else I like about this model is that it features an adjustable working width of 25 to 45cm tilling width, this is adequate to cover small to larger-sized gardens and makes it more versatile too.

The tiller features side discs to protect the tilling tines from damage and it’s easy to use thanks to its ergonomic Y-handles. The handles can be folded for storage and there is an additional carry handle to permit easy transportation. It also comes with transport wheels too which help. One last thing, this model also comes with a 5-year warranty.

Pros

  • Ideal for someone looking for a reliable premium model.
  • Features a powerful Honda 1.9Hp 4-stroke engine that produces a better tiller finish thanks to the slower and more controlled 135 RPM.
  • Features an adjustable working width of 25 to 45cm.
  • Offers four steel durable tines protected by side discs.
  • Features foldable handles for storage.
  • Possesses a carry handle for transportation.
  • Low vibration model with a 5-year warranty for full peace of mind.

Cons

  • A little loud but this is to be expected, it is petrol after all.
  • Expensive but well worth the extra cost.

Our recommendation

The Honda FG205 18″ Petrol Mini Tiller is suitable if you are dealing with heavy soil thanks to its reliable engine and durable tines. It is also ideal for those who only buy the very best garden tools and this model certainly qualifies for this. No mini tiller can even come close in terms of performance, however, not everybody wants the hassle of dealing with petrol engines or wishes to budget as much for this kind of machine.

While this model is expensive, it will provide years of good service whether in the garden or at the allotment.  If you are looking for a premium-priced and powerful mini tiller that could also fit in the professional field, this model is well worth considering.

I have also reviewed some of the more affordable petrol rotavators in this review if you need more choice


3. VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller

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VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller – Garden Soil Cultivator/Rotavator - 32cm Cutting Width

The VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller was designed with mobility and efficiency at the forefront as it features a lightweight body and a powerful motor at 1050w. This is one of the most powerful motors for a tiller of its size.

This 1050W electric tiller from VonHaus (who are known for their affordable but quality garden tools) is equipped with four strong steel tines with an average working width of 32cm and can penetrate the ground up to 22cm. This is slightly wider and deeper than any other model in this review.

In terms of comfort, this electric tiller comes with an ergonomic handle it’s fairly lightweight too at only 9kg and it has a good tiller speed of 380 RPM to give a nice finish even in some harder soils.

This model also has a long 10-meter cable which offers enough to reach for you to navigate around most smaller gardens without the need for extension cables.

Pros

  • Simple to use corded tiller for small to medium-sized gardens
  • Features a powerful 1050W motor that powers the blades at 380 RPM.
  • Comes with durable steel blades that give a good tilled soil.
  • Offers a cultivating width of 32cm and a cultivating depth of 22cm.
  • Lightweight at only 9kg and easy to move around.
  • Features an ergonomic handle for comfort.
  • Comes with an overload protection system and an electric brake for safety.
  • Provides a long 10m cable for long reach.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • A very affordable mini tiller.

Cons

  • Handle is not adjustable.

Our recommendation

For those seeking a mini electric corded model and these are without doubt the most affordable, the VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller will not disappoint. The powerful motor together with the strong blades penetrates soil quickly and leave a fine tilth in well-cultivated soils.

I think this is a great model for small to medium-sized areas due to its broad cutting width and overall power. The good news is that it has enough force thanks to the 1050w motor to penetrate different soil with grass/weeds thus, saving you time.


4. DDLL Cordless Garden Tiller Rotavator

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DDLL Cordless Rotavator, Garden Tiller Rotavators with 4000mAh Rechargeable Battery and Charger, Electric Hand Tiller Hoe Soil Miller Tools Portable Cultivator for the Garden, Vegetable Plots

Smaller than our best pick is the DDLL Cordless Garden Tiller Rotavator, which offers a working width of only 10.5cm. Now you don’t get much smaller than that, however, most people will find this a good little machine to have if used in the right situation.

And, by in the right situation, I mean tilling light soil (not clay), that is regularly tilled. This will help you keep on top of it rather than being a tiller you use once a year to try and turn over some hard compact ground, it simply won’t do this and that’s not what it’s designed for. This is for little and often but it should still give a nicely tilled soil.

At only 2.7kg, it’s light and powered by a 20V 4Ah battery which should give around half an hour or running time depending on how hard it is working. Its two 15cm blades can cultivate up to 25cm deep too which isn’t bad for such a smaller tiller.

Another feature I do like is that it does not matter how tall you are because this tiller has a telescopic handle that makes it more comfortable to use. The handle is adjustable from 97cm all the way to 127cm, which gives the user plenty of room to find a comfortable position. Additionally, with the two handles installed, it will be easy to balance the weight of the tiller and move it around.

It also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, the only downside is that it only includes a 60-day warranty with isn’t anywhere near as long as I think it should be, 1 year would be a reasonable warranty think.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.
  • Offers a decent running time of 30-40 minutes.
  • Comes with a telescopic handle.
  • Features sharp blades to penetrate arable land.
  • Provides a working depth of 25cm and a working width of 10.5cm.
  • Offers two handles for comfort and balance.

Cons

  • Only comes with 60-day warranty.
  • Not suitable for heavy soil.

Our recommendation

The DDLL Cordless Garden Tiller Rotavator is amongst the smallest models currently available when it comes to mini tillers. It’s a shame the warranty is only 60 days as this really does let it down and although it’s cordless, it’s not cheap either.

The design is great, it’s compact, cordless, decent running time. Just remember it’s not a powerful tiller as such, more for lightly tilling the land that is already soft.


5. Einhell GC-RT 7530 750 W Electric Tiller

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Einhell GC-RT 7530 750 W 20 x 30 cm Electric Tiller

Another product that gives good value for money is the Einhell GC-RT 7530 750 W Electric Mini Tiller.

This model is powered by a 750W motor which powers the four blades to till the soil. With a working width of 30cm, it has a slightly wider cultivating width than most other models in this review. I think it’s perfect for small to medium-sized gardens. Additionally, it has a standard working depth of 20cm.

On top of offering optimal performance, having consistent power from being corded which is positive when comparing it to cordless models that need charging after half an hour, this electric tiller is safe and comfortable to use for hours on end if need be.

It has a twin-handle safety switch that prevents children from activating the tiller by mistake.

In terms of weight, at 7.4kg it’s not too heavy either and the handles can also be folded for storage; hence, it is convenient for those with little space to spare. Finally, this tiller also comes with a 2-year warranty for full peace of mind.

Pros

  • Ideal for small and medium-sized gardens.
  • Features a 750W motor and four durable chopping blades.
  • Comes with a foldable handle for easier storage when not in use.
  • Offers a 30cm working width and a 20cm cutting depth.
  • Features a twin-handle safety switch.
  • Sold at an affordable price.
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty for full peace of mind.

Cons

  • Not suitable for very heavy soil.
  • There are two versions which comes with different leads, one which has a female plug socket hanging down (avoid this), the other has a full length lead with a UK plug on the end (purchase this). You may need to double check before buying.

Our recommendation

Those looking for an affordable model that is powerful will like the Einhell GC-RT 7530 750w Electric Tiller. It has a fairly powerful little motor for its size that does well with light soils without any turf and its small size makes it easy to handle.

This model is more suitable for small-medium gardens but just check which lead it comes with if you buy one, ideally you want it to have a normal UK plug but some don’t always have one that is compatible with our sockets. Other than this, it should be a great little mini tiller to use around the garden.


Buying Guide

Instead of spending hours cultivating your borders and vegetable patches with a regular hoe and garden fork, cultivators do a good job of simplifying the process because they have a motor. Cultivators have various features and before selecting the best mini cultivator, here are a few considerations that are worth considering:

Should you go for petrol, cordless or corded mini tiller?

Mini cultivators can be cordless, corded, or petrol-based. Battery-operated models are lighter than the petrol and even some corded models; however, they are generally not as powerful and if they are, they’re expensive.

Petrol models are a bit more expensive, but they provide enough power for the most demanding clay soils that both electric and cordless can sometimes struggle with. You can’t beat the power of petrol cultivators.

Mantis 7265 4-Stroke Deluxe Petrol Tiller - Our top pick rotavator

Corded mini cultivators are efficient, but the length of the power cable limits their reach. Depending on your budget and overall preference, you can select any of the power options above.

Overall I think cordless models are now a great option as they have the freedom of petrol but and the low maintenance of electric models.

What type of soil will you be cultivating?

What type of soil are you working on? Is it loose light soil or is it clay? The mini cultivator you select should possess adequate power to penetrate different soils easily.

Types of soil that can be cultivated

Models intended for working on heavy soils are slightly heavier and larger than those designed to move light soils. If you have clay soil you are best using a petrol cultivator but some corded electric and even cordless models will handle clay as well. Just make sure you don’t get an underpowered 20v cordless one.

Working width

Depending on the size of the area you are working on, the working width can be a friend or a foe. If you are working on a large area, a mini cultivator with a broad working width will cover more ground; thus completing the work faster. Using a model with a small width is suitable when the piece of land is small and needs a light mini cultivator to manoeuvre.

Tiller soil with mini petrol cultivator

Some models now have adjustable working, where one set of blades can be removed just leaving one on the machine. This can give you the best of both worlds.

How compact are they for easy storage?

Mini cultivators are designed to be smaller than the traditional models and because of this; you will find many models with foldable handles. These foldable handles create a more compact size, which takes up less space in storage. The handles also make it easier to transport the machines in the boot of a car straightforward. Most mini tillers are compact due to their small size and narrow working widths.

How comfortable are they to use?

Ergonomic handles are essential for overall comfort while working with mini cultivators. Good handles provide good grip, and in most cases, are padded for comfort. Some models do not have texturized handles, but they have small tubular handles that are easy to manage.

Furthermore, height-adjustable handles are convenient as they allow people of different heights to be comfortable while working, your back will thank you for this, especially taller people. If you are tall, a model with a telescopic handle will ensure you don’t bend too low to cause back problems.

Safety

A child’s curiosity can lead to accidents and that is why most models come with a safety switch. The safety switch design will differ from one model to the next; however, what matters is that it is effective. This safety switch is not only for children, but adults too because you don’t want to start the motor accidentally and harm yourself. 


FAQs

Are mini cultivators worth the trouble?

Yes, they are, they’re the sort of thing you wish you had invested in earlier. Regular cultivators are large and heavy not to mention expensive, which makes them unsuitable for domestic use. Mini cultivators are perfect because they are lightweight and designed to manoeuvre in small spaces. They are also cheaper and less noisy.

What is the recommended way to use a mini cultivator?

Mini cultivators are not as powerful as the larger version, which makes them prone to some issues. To help ease the process while using the mini cultivators, here are a few things to do:

  • Break the ground to make it easier for the machine to penetrate the soil deeper.
  • Remove any turf to prevent the plant material from obstructing the blades.
  • If you use the mini cultivator to remove weeds, make sure the blades sink deep enough to remove the roots. Otherwise, the weeds will be back in a short period.
  • Replace damaged/ blunt blades to maintain the efficiency of the machine.

Final Conclusion

There is no point in dragging a heavy machine when you can use the best mini cultivators like the Greenworks G40TL Battery-powered Tiller. This model, which happens to be my best pick, has enough power to work on small residential gardens without being too noisy while it has the freedom of no cords. It has a good powerful motor and decent running time if you use a 4Ah battery.

In summary, think of the garden’s size, how much you are willing to spend, the features you need and then select the mini cultivator that fits the criteria. It is that simple.


Last update on 2021-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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