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Garden tillers are effective helpers when it comes to loosening the soil. By digging up the layers of soil and aerating the soil, more nutrients come to the surface and make your garden more arable. But every floor is different. Therefore, choosing the right model is important for the desired effect. In this guide, you will find out everything you need to know about choosing the right product, care and helpful recommendations for accessories.

There is a large selection of garden tillers

Table of Contents

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  1. product types
  2. Other purchase criteria
  3. Brands/ where to buy
  4. care instructions
  5. equipment
  6. product types

    Tillers make small slits in the soil, allowing more oxygen and precipitation to reach the grass roots. With regular use, your lawn will look noticeably better maintained. In addition, the growth of the stalks accelerates because more nutrients are available to them. Such a device also proves to be a silver bullet when growing fruit and vegetables. By loosening the soil beforehand, you will find it easier to incorporate seeds. With useful accessories, which we will present to you in more detail below, you can even make furrows in the beds.

    Of course, you could also do the same work with a spade. But you certainly know about the effort that you have to put up with this device. In addition, working with the spade requires constant bending and standing up. Not only old people later suffer from back pain due to unhealthy posture. A garden tiller (€162.69), on the other hand, is pushed over the ground like a lawnmower. Your upper body stays upright the whole time. The ergonomic posture is only one advantage of the garden tiller. The time saving is also worth mentioning. Even large plots of land can be ventilated in no time at all.

    Best of all, you can tailor your tiller to your exact needs thanks to the different types of products. In our test, we compared the different models with each other and present the respective ones below. and disadvantages.

    hand tillers

    our recommendation
    WOLF-Garten multi-star garden tiller DA-S; 1616000
    46.09 EUR To the product

    The hand garden tiller comes without a drive and is moved forward solely by your power. Basically, you use this model like a lawn mower. But even without an electric drive, it is possible to hoe, plow or dig up the ground with one hand garden tiller. The manual garden tiller is primarily suitable for processing beds. But it is also used on lawns. The manually operated model is suitable for small plots and for people who want to save money. Since there is no electrical assistance, this product is light but does not perform as well as the types of products presented below.

    tips

    In the trade, the garden tiller is also often referred to as a motor hoe.

    benefits
    • Low own weight
    • Cheap
    • Flexible
    • Many possible uses
    • Always operational
    disadvantage
    • effort
    • No electrical support
    • time consuming
    • Can only be used on soft soils

    Powered tillers

    our recommendation
    IKRA 70300910 electric tiller cultivator FEM1500, flexible working width 17-45cm, working depth up to 23cm, 1500 W, 230 V, red/white/grey/black
    159.15 EUR To the product

    Thanks to innovative technology, you no longer have to rely on your physical strength when gardening. Thanks to an electric drive, garden tillers make work easier for everyone. But even with this type of product you have to make compromises. You have the choice between

    • an electric tiller
    • or a petrol garden tiller

    Electric tillers

    our recommendation
    IKRA 70300420 electric tiller cultivator IEM 800S, working width 30 cm, working depth 20 cm, 800 W, 230 V, grey/red/black
    100.00 EUR To the product

    The electric garden tiller is operated with electricity from the socket. It is only possible to maintain the power supply with a cable. This can be quite annoying at times. Under no circumstances should the cable get under the milling machine. Otherwise you will not only damage your device, there is also a risk of a dangerous short circuit. A well insulated cable is definitely important. In addition, you are always tied to a socket, i.e. limited in your range of motion. If you have a large property, we recommend purchasing an additional extension cable. Or you can opt for the petrol garden tiller described below, which is even more powerful with your engine.
    Of course, you should not ignore the advantages of an electric tiller when making your decision. In contrast to petrol garden tillers, these models are much lighter. This makes them ideal for older people. On top of that, they are low-maintenance and very handy.

    Buying guide electric tiller

    benefits
    • Hardly any effort
    • Quietly
    • Handy
    disadvantage
    • cable
    • Limited range of motion
    • Can only be used on soft soils
    • electricity costs

    Gasoline Tillers

    our recommendation
    BRAST petrol tiller 4.4kW (6HP) with 2 working widths 36cm & 60cm tiller garden tiller tiller cultivator
    349.95 EUR To the product

    Gasoline tillers are considered the most powerful models. They are therefore a good choice for older people, as the drive of the built-in 4-stroke engine almost completely replaces the use of their own strength. However, it also has a very high dead weight. Although you don't particularly notice this disadvantage when walking across the floor, the weight makes it difficult to transport. If your lawn area is divided into two sections by a path or a terrace, you have to balance the device over the obstacle with a lot of effort. The support, which is actually commendable, also has a negative effect on the costs. On the one hand, such an effective model is of course generally more expensive than the hand tiller. On the other hand, there are also constant costs for the petrol supply. Not to forget the maintenance work that is necessary in the event of a defect. Other disadvantages are noise pollution and exhaust emissions. With a petrol garden tiller, you can therefore only work on weekdays.

    benefits
    • Very good performance
    • suitable for all floors
    • Penetrates deeper into the earth due to its high weight
    • time saving
    disadvantage
    • Expensive
    • High own weight
    • fuel costs
    • exhaust emissions
    • According to

    Multifunctional tillers

    The models presented above are perfectly adequate for regularly loosening up the lawn and stimulating lawn growth. However, if you grow a lot of vegetables in your garden, we recommend a Komi device. This type of product combines several functions in one machine. It is not only easier for you to plant seeds in the soil, extras such as edge cutters or joint cleaners also ensure a neater appearance of your lawn. Just as effective and time-saving is the use of a scarifier, which also enriches your lawn with nutrients.

    tips

    Instead of spending a lot of money on a combination device, you can also buy the accessories separately. Below we present the various extras in more detail.

    benefits
    • Many functions in one device
    • time saving
    disadvantage
    • Expensive

    Other purchase criteria

    Have you decided on one of the above models? However, the purchase decision is far from settled with this. While the different product types are used to find a model that meets your needs, the purchase criteria listed here are important for the quality of your garden tiller. Regardless of the type of product, you should pay attention to the following aspects when buying:

    flexibility

    our recommendation
    Einhell cordless tiller GE-CR 30 Li - Solo Power X-Change (Li-Ion, 36 V, 30 cm working width, 20 cm working depth, robust chopping blades, 2-point safety switch, without battery and charger)
    131.99 EUR To the product

    Using a garden tiller is actually quite simple. You push the model in front of you like a lawnmower. But not every garden allows for a straight path. Angles and beds require you to turn every now and then or even reverse gear. High-quality products can travel both forward and backward without stalling. With a simple setting you determine the desired direction of travel.

    Further settings should be available for the working width or depth. With the working width you determine how much area you work widthwise. Normally, a wide setting proves to be time-saving. But here, too, crooked garden corners and narrow sections of the lawn play a role. You should set a smaller working width so that your garden tiller does not roll over stones in small sections.
    The working depth, on the other hand, determines how deep the tines penetrate the soil. As mentioned above, the heavier your tiller, the greater the working depth. However, a high working depth is not always an advantage. Some microorganisms from the deeper layers of the earth are not able to survive on the earth's surface. If you dig up the soil, these organisms get into an environment that is not species-appropriate. Your lawn loses important nutrients and loses its growth. A high working depth is therefore primarily suitable for working beds before you sow crops.
    With the low setting, on the other hand, you remove weeds and moss from the beds or from the lawn. Since these unwanted plants don't take deep roots, a low setting is sufficient.

    ergonomics

    our recommendation
    Einhell electric tiller GC-RT 1440 M (1400 W, 40 cm working width, 200 mm working depth, series motor, overload clutch, foldable handle)
    119.05 EUR To the product

    Likewise, we have already mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of a tiller compared to a spade. First and foremost, the garden tiller scores with its ergonomics. But the application is not always easy on the back. A model that is too small will still require you to work in a stooped position. Of course, tillers don't come in different sizes like clothes. Nevertheless, manufacturers equip their devices with an extendable handle. This means that other users can also adjust the height individually to their height.
    It is important that the handle engages well and does not sag again when pushing the garden tiller. Test your product for this property before you buy it.

    Weight

    The weight of the garden tiller also contributes to pleasant working comfort. Make the purchase decision dependent on your garden design. Do you often have to lift the tiller due to many obstacles or can you easily push it over the entire lawn area. The former case requires a lightweight product. However, you then have to do without a powerful petrol engine. If you want to buy a really high-quality model, you have to reckon with a weight of at least 10 kg, but your garden tiller should not weigh much more.

    tips

    Plastic is one of the lightest materials out there. Nevertheless, we advise against this choice in our test. The reason for this is on the one hand the environmentally harmful property and on the other hand the short lifespan of plastic. Aluminum models are significantly better.

    price

    our recommendation
    Grizzly Tools electric garden hoe EGT 1036, 36 cm working width, 18 cm depth, 1000 W
    To the product

    But the spade has one advantage compared to the garden tiller: it is particularly inexpensive. If you want to benefit from the benefits of a tiller, you have to be prepared to invest a little more money. The purchase price varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and of course depends primarily on the functionality, as the following table illustrates:

    • Cost of a hand garden tiller: around 20 to 25 euros
    • Costs for an electric tiller: around 70 to 350 euros
    • Cost of a petrol garden tiller: around 200 to 700 euros
    • Costs for a combination device: around 1,000 euros

    tips

    In addition to the initial cost, you must add the cost of long-term use of the tiller. Consider the power consumption of an electric tiller and the petrol costs for a motor-driven model. All products will incur maintenance costs after a long period of time.

    On a small plot of land you should therefore carefully consider whether the good old spade will do the trick. If necessary, you can also borrow a garden tiller from a neighbor or hardware store. If you absolutely want to own your own garden tiller, a cheap model is usually sufficient.
    On large plots, however, we definitely recommend an expensive model from a brand manufacturer. These testify to good workmanship and high durability. After all, a tiller should be a one-time purchase and not have to be replaced after just one season. Save on the first purchase, be sure to pay twice as much the second time. That's why it's better to go straight for the high-quality, expensive model.

    manufacturer service

    You can also save unnecessary costs if you pay attention to a manufacturer's guarantee when buying. This not only gives you the certainty of getting your money back or the device replaced in the event of damage. A guarantee always says something about the quality of the product. A manufacturer would hardly give a guarantee if he wasn't sure of the longevity. As a rule, this promise lasts two years. An address or telephone number should be included on the packaging for the purpose of complaint. However, keep in mind that a guarantee only comes into effect in the event of technical or manufacturer-related damage. In the event of careless care or misuse, the producer is not obliged to pay for the defect.

    In this case, spare parts come in handy. For these to be compatible, you should get them from the same brand. Since breakdowns can always happen (weekends included), we also advise storing the most important equipment in the shed. This is especially true for a fuel supply in the case of a petrol tiller.

    Brands/ where to buy

    When it comes to buying a garden tiller, you have two options:

    • The hardware store
    • the Internet

    Purchase at hardware store

    In the hardware store, the customer can get advice and see different models live

    You can check your garden tiller to the core at the hardware store. This is particularly important for good ergonomics. In addition, experienced specialists are at your side with competent advice. But what use is assistance in making a purchase decision if the desired product is not in the range? Hardware stores usually only have a limited selection on offer. So don't be picky about the design. The main thing is that the functionality meets your requirements.

    benefits
    • Competent advice from the staff
    • Ergonomics of the devices can be checked before purchase
    disadvantage
    • Little choice
    • access route
    • Bound to opening hours
    • Lots of customers

    You will still find the best-known brand manufacturers in almost every hardware store. In our test, we found a significant range in the following stores:

    • toom
    • Hornbach
    • Hagebau market
    • obi
    • globe
    • Gardena
    • bauhaus

    purchase on the internet

    our recommendation
    ATIKA BH 800 N motor hoe tiller garden hoe tiller tiller | 230V | 800W
    EUR 86.90 To the product

    You can find a lot more selection on the internet. On the one hand, you have the option of visiting the online shop of your favorite hardware store. Nowadays, almost every point of sale also has a website. Although you cannot ask the staff directly questions here, the various categories are usually adorned with helpful explanations of the function and application of the products presented.
    Buying on platforms like eBay or Amazon is even better. Here you will find helpful customer reviews that provide insights into the suitability and longevity of the products. But be wary of glossed over reviews. Hymns of praise that appear at the very beginning of recessions are not always true. Take the time to study the opinions carefully. You always have this, because the Internet is always available. You also don't have to worry that another customer will snatch the product of your choice from under your nose, as can happen in a hardware store. You can't always trust the pictures either.
    A big disadvantage is of course that you sometimes buy a pig in a poke. Despite precise descriptions, the dimensions may differ from reality.How stable the model is processed and whether it is suitable for your body size can only be said after receipt of the goods.
    In return, you benefit from convenient home delivery when you buy online.

    tips

    On eBay you will find used models that are still perfectly usable. Due to their age, however, they are offered at reduced prices.

    benefits
    • Many options
    • price comparisons
    • No time pressure
    • Delivery to your home
    • opinions of other customers
    • Bargain possible
    disadvantage
    • Product cannot be checked
    • Sometimes incorrect information
    • Internet required

    care instructions

    At this point, we provide important tips for caring for your garden tiller and also explain when it is best to use the device.

    maintenance

    When using a tiller, debris from grass and soil is left on the tines. Remove them thoroughly after each use - preferably with a brush. Otherwise, the deposits will cause rust over time. For the same reason, avoid storing the tiller in a damp place. A dry shed or basement is recommended for storage. Gasoline tillers should be serviced regularly for safety reasons.

    application

    The garden tiller is mainly used in spring

    A tiller is most commonly used in the spring when the lawn begins to grow again after the rest period. At this point in time, it needs a particularly large amount of oxygen, light and nutrients. The planting season for useful and ornamental plants also begins. To make sowing or planting easier, we recommend loosening the soil with a tiller beforehand. This works best after a downpour, when the soil has softened.
    In winter, however, you should not reach for the garden tiller. Although the tines are very strong, they cannot penetrate the frozen ground. You should also never push the device over stone surfaces.

    equipment

    Finally, we would like to introduce you to useful accessories. You don't necessarily have to get this from the same brand of your garden tiller. Many manufacturers produce compatible products that you can attach to any device. The prerequisite is, of course, that your garden tiller is designed for the accessories. When it comes to hand tillers, the choice is rather limited in this regard. Most accessories can be found for electric routers. Combination devices usually already have several functions. Here, the different supplements can also be replaced by other tools.

    grout cleaner

    A grout cleaner is a wheel with steel brushes attached. As the name suggests, you can use this accessory to clean the joints at the edge of the lawn or in the bed. The loosening of the soil often whirls up dirt and leaves unsightly piles on the edge of the work surface. Moss also grows in stone joints and can be easily removed with a joint cleaner.
    Such a tool is normally used on sidewalks and paving stones. However, since you are not allowed to push the garden tiller over hard ground, you have to use the grout cleaner separately here.

    piler

    our recommendation
    BRAST plow hilling plow suitable for petrol tiller garden tiller AF 6500 4.8kw (6.5PS) accessories
    EUR 49.95 To the product

    The ridger is a hoe element that draws furrows in the earth. Since the construction is very robust, it can also be used on hard floors. Hillers are particularly popular in the vegetable garden. They make it easier to grow potatoes, asparagus, corn or beans. Such a utensil can also be useful when laying irrigation systems.

    edge cutter

    The edge cutter is used in the narrow areas between beds and the lawn. It is a wheel equipped with serrated knives. It allows the lawn to be worked even in inaccessible places, so that it gets more light and oxygen.

    moss remover

    We also recommend the moss remover (€15.29), a construction that resembles a steel spring. Here, too, the name already suggests the intended use. Moss and weeds can be removed from your lawn with a moss remover. The device is either connected to the garden tiller or pushed individually over the lawn like a lawnmower.
    The regular removal of moss from the lawn is not only for visual reasons. A moss-covered lawn offers numerous insects, including many pests, an optimal habitat. A moss remover combats annoying garden dwellers at the same time.

    lawn aerator

    The lawn aerator (€152.63) cuts slots in the lawn similar to the garden tiller. It thus promotes the development of helpful microorganisms. In addition, your lawn roots deeper through the application and is therefore more robust against longer periods of drought.

    tips

    The same care measures apply to all the accessories presented here as to a garden tiller.

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