How Good Are Electric Tillers: A Powerful Alternative to Gas

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

how good are electric tillers

So you have a garden and want to get the top soil turned over to make planting that much easier and more successful.  You have heard of electric tillers, but have you wondered how good are electric tillers?  Can they compete with their gas powered cousins, well absolutely they can.  There are some things you need to consider before you venture out and purchase an electric tiller.

Electric tillers….any good?

You should use an electric or battery powered tiller or similar device to prepare your garden beds before planting. Rototilling loosens the topsoil allowing you to plant deeper than if you had tilled by hand. In addition, adding compost to the soil prior to planting helps improve germination rates.

Electric tillers aren’t always the most efficient choice. You should consider how much you use your tiller.

If you only use your tiller a few times a year and the areas you are tilling are near your home, then a corded electric tiller might fit the bill.

If your garden is a good distance away from your home, then you might want to consider a cordless model. Just make sure you get some extra batteries to keep you going for extend amounts of time.

However, if you do need to operate it often,  and have a large area to till,you may want to opt for something more powerful such as a gas powered model.

Electric tillers can do the same job as equivalent powered gas models, and they are great for smaller areas where larger machines can’t access.  They have plenty of power to turn hard dirt, and if  you opt for a plugin model you will get an almost unlimited runtime.

Size and power of corded electric garden tillers

These tillers are much more efficient than gasoline powered ones because they do not need fuel to work properly. However, you should be aware that they are generally less powerful. To get the maximum performance out of them, you must select a motor that matches your needs.

Corded models have a nearly unlimited runtime, so while they might need an extra pass to get the dirt as you would like it you can run it as long as you like.

Most modern corded electric tillers have 12 Amp – 14 Amp motors which are plenty powerful enough to bust up hard dirt and clay.

Electric tiller sizes vary greatly, but most are smaller than gas units and thus easier to maneuver. Most also fold up into a more compact package when not being used.

Corded garden tillers compare to cordless electric and gas-powered tillers?

Corded electric tillers are powered by electricity. While cordless versions work without being connected to any power supply they are ran by lithum-ion batteries. Gas-powered tillers are fueled by gas.

Corded electric tillers are easier to use because you won’t have to worry about running out of battery life while working around your garden.

You may want to consider gas powered tillers if you’re looking for extra power or need to run your tiller for a long time in a remote location.

Tiller manufacturers make many different types of tillers, including mini tillers, front, mid, and rear tine tillers.  Most electric models are mini or front tine tillers.

Uses for corded electric tillers

Garden tillers are designed to be used by individuals or families to prepare small gardens. They are generally lightweight and easy to use.

Cordless electric garden tillers are quite popular because you can run without gas but can also be more mobile than a corded trimmer.

Here are just few of the different uses for corded and cordless electric tillers

  • preparing a garden
  • prepping lawn for replanting
  • incorporating composite into soil
  • weeding
  • preparing landscape beds

What to Consider When Choosing an Electric Tiller

Electric tillers come in different sizes, shapes, and speeds. Some models work better than others depending on soil types and terrain. Consider your needs before making a purchase.

Corded vs. Cordless

Corded tillers have limited range because they need a power source. . To make them easier to handle, some manufacturers have designed cordless tillers with rechargeable batteries.

Corded tillers have been around around for a long time. However, cordless tillers have come a long way since then, offering more features than ever before. With longer runtime, better performance and lower prices, cordless tillers are here to stay.


Tilling involves turning the ground over by using a blade or set of tines. Most tillers have four tines, but some have two or even six.

The number of tines on a tiller determines how wide a path the tiller can till. The more tines, the greater the amount you can till.

For example, a model with four tines has twice as much power as one with two tines.

However, if you’re planning on planting seeds or working around plants, then a smaller tiller might work better. Electric tillers are still easy to operate. Their reduced weight and size allows them to be moved easier and more precisely around existing plantings

While some are designed to be wide enough to cut across most garden beds, others are narrower and better suited to working in raised beds or between rows.

Electric tillers’ maximum working depths often fall between 6 and 8 inches. Greater depths are needed for deeper soil conditions. Shallow depths help with seasonal soil management and gardening in previously tilled grounds.


Electric tillers require extra care because of their exposed spinning blades.

Some safety precautions that your tiller should include, are using a push button starter, and a debri guard behind the tines

Keeping debris like rocks and sticks out of the path of the rotating blade, is important so the nothing is kicked up and hits you or some bystander near by.

Always wear safety goggles while working on your tiller.  You should also wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

Also, make sure you know how to turn the motor off if there is any kind of problem or accident occurs.

Before you begin working your land, make sure there aren’t any obstacles or hazards in your way. Remove any stones, sticks, or other debris from the tilling path.

Also, be careful to not run into gas, electrical, or water lines. You should always call before you dig.


Electric tillers come in different sizes and speeds. To measure their power, manufacturers use watts, amps, and volts. Most modern corded electric tiller are between 12 – 14 Amps, and battery powered tillers range from 20V – 60 volts.

In general, bigger machines consume more electricity than smaller ones. Tillers also operate at different speeds, depending upon the number of rotations per minute (RPM’s) .

Usually, faster tillers work better because of how much soil they move.  Electric tillers that move in the 180RPM range tend to be the sweet spot for turning soil well.  Tillers turn over much more soil at higher RPM’s.

Easy to Use

Gardeners should consider purchasing a tiller with adjustable tinesif they want a tool that performs well while being easy to handle.   Electric tillers are generally eaise to handle due to weight reductions from a gas tiller.  Tilling is hard work, and the right equipment makes the job easier.

Electric tillers often come equipped with sturdy wheels that enable them to roll easily across hard surfaces. Ergonomic handles provide comfort while extending the reach of the user. Adjustable handles allow taller individuals to adjust the handle position to suit their needs. Tillers that collapse into smaller packages make storage easier.

Tiller Pros and Cons

Electric tillers are fast at tilling soild. These machines take minutes to finish a job compared to hours for other manual methods.

Electric tillers use electricity instead of gasoline, and generally much less heavy than gas powered models Gas-powered tillers take up space and emit greenhouse gases.

Electric tilling can be far superior to gas tilling. Electric tillers are light and compact and can be easily stored.

The biggest con of owning an electric tiller is the power supply.  If you use a plug in model you are limited to how far away from your power outlet.  If you use battery power you gain mobility but your runtime is going to shorter, unless  you have plenty of batteries on hand.

Summing it Up

An electric tiller is good at tilling ground and can handle similar tasks to gas tillers without the extra weight and maintenance issues of a gas tiller.  Electric tillers are quick and easy to use. You should consider buying one if you need to till any soil around your home or landscape.

Electric Tiller Manufactures: