Outdoor power tools have increasingly become more accessible over the past several years, allowing more people to have freedom and control in landscaping and caring for their lawns, yards, and gardens. They are no longer limited to hiring the services of lawn care professionals who, more often than not, charge exorbitant fees for their services.

Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7940

Mantis 7940

The influx of user-friendly and handy lawn and soil care tools and implements in the market has certainly changed the game, and this is apparent in the rise in demand for gas tillers/cultivators.

Are Tillers and Cultivators the Same?

Strictly speaking, a tiller is different from a cultivator. On the surface, it may appear that they are doing the same thing, which explains why these two power tools are often confused, and you find many people using the terms interchangeably.

The main difference is in their purpose: a tiller is designed to break up solid or packed soil, while a cultivator is designed to mix loose soil or dirt and adding in fertilizer or compost.

Earthquake 20015 Versa Front Tine Tiller Cultivator

Earthquake 20015

Usually, if you want to loosen hard soil by digging into it, you’d look for a tiller rather than a cultivator. If your objective is to mix and blend soil just before planting anything on it, or if you just want to control the growth of weeds using a handy machine, the cultivator is a more logical choice.

Good news, though: you can actually get both in one unit, meaning you can now find tillers that can also function as cultivators.


Why Choose Gas-Powered Tillers/Cultivators?

Compared to their electric counterparts, tillers and cultivators powered by gasoline, or a mix of oil and gasoline depending on the cycle in the engine, are proven to be more powerful. They are generally more heavy-duty, can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time, and basically just outperform electric tillers and cultivators.

Electric tillers and cultivators need to be plugged in the whole time they are being used. This will prove to be a problem if you have a wide area to work on and the length of the cord is limited. It is also inconvenient to be wielding a tiller or cultivator while making sure the cords do not get all tangled up or you don’t accidentally step on it or, worse, trip on it.

Then there are the battery-powered tillers and cultivators. They are still not as powerful as the gas-powered ones, though, and you will still have to charge the battery from time to time.

Troy-Bilt TB146 EC 29cc 4-Cycle Cultivator

Troy-Bilt TB146

The Top 5 Gas Tiller/Cultivators of 2018

As far as outdoor garden equipment is concerned, gas tillers or cultivators belong to the top of the must-have tools or implements. As far as gas tillers or cultivators are concerned, these five are the best among the rest.

5 Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7920

If you are aiming to cultivate the soil in your garden to greenhouse quality, this 2-stroke cycle tiller cultivator from Mantis is just what you need. It is compact and ultra-lightweight at only 20 lbs, which makes it perfect for use around the home, but one look at it and you can tell its quality is commercial-level.

Powered by a mixture of gasoline and oil, this tool has a tilling width of 9 inches and a digging depth of 10 inches. When it is not in use, it can be easily stored, thanks to an easy folding mechanism. That’s not all. This Mantis tiller cultivator is also very versatile because you can turn it into a multi-purpose machine. With its optional attachments, you can turn it into a lawn aerator, a lawn dethatcher, a border edger, or a plow.

Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7920

Mantis 7920

Check how much you can save, buying the Mantis 7920 on Amazon >>>

4 Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator Tiller

This mini cultivator and tiller from Earthquake is far from “mini” when it comes to power. In fact, it boasts the largest and most powerful engine in its class. Aside from tilling and cultivating the soil, it can be used in various applications, particularly aerating, weeding, and mixing.

Its overhand controls are easy to manipulate, so you won’t have to worry that the weeding process will also damage other plants nearby. Despite the large engine, transport is made easy, thanks to its onboard wheels. These wheels also provide stability to the machine and lend depth control for more effective tilling. This rugged, tough, and durable unit comes with a 5-year warranty.

Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator Tiller

Earthquake MC43

Check how much you can save, buying the Earthquake MC43 on Amazon >>>

3 Troy-Bilt TB146 EC 29cc 4-Cycle Cultivator

If you can’t be bothered with mixing gas and oil to power your cultivator, this Troy-Bilt model may be the ideal unit for you. It boasts a powerful and reliable 29 cc 4-stroke cycle engine enhanced with JumpStart technology so you don’t have to pull any cord to start it.

All six 8-inch tines are made from premium steel, with 8 blades that can dig 5 inches deep into the soil. The tilling width is adjustable, anywhere between 6 and 12 inches, so you won’t have trouble working in wide or narrow areas. It is designed with a folding handle for easier and more space-efficient storage.

Troy-Bilt TB146 EC 29cc 4-Cycle Cultivator

Troy-Bilt TB146

Check how much you can save, buying the Troy-Bilt TB146 on Amazon >>>

2 Earthquake 20015 Versa Front Tine Tiller Cultivator

If you can’t make up your mind whether to buy a tiller or a cultivator, why not get bothWith this unit from Earthquake, you can get both tools with their respective functionalities in one package. With the tines on, it is your conventional tiller. Once you remove the tines and the shields, it becomes a cultivator.

Engine power is rarely an issue when it comes to Earthquake tillers and cultivators, so you can focus on its other features, such as how easy it is to maneuver because it is lightweight. Compared to other front tine tillers in its class, this model has the lowest center of gravity, making it superior in terms of ground stability.

Earthquake 20015 Versa Front Tine Tiller Cultivator

Earthquake 20015

Check how much you can save, buying the Earthquake 20015 on Amazon >>>

1 Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7940

The 4-stroke cycle 25cc engine of this Mantis tiller cultivator may use only gas and not oil, but it is still more powerful than other tillers. At 240 rpm, the tines actually spin twice as fast as other tillers in its class.

Its tines are curved strategically to a tilling depth of 10 inches. Meanwhile, the tilling width of 9 inches means it can get into narrow and tight spaces. Weighing only 24 pounds, it is very easy to fold for storage and transport.

Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7940

Mantis 7940

Check how much you can save, buying the Mantis 7940 on Amazon >>>

A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing Gas Tillers/Cultivators

Not to be nitpicky, but there are certain things that you have to be particular about when choosing a gas tiller/cultivator. That way, you are assured that you did not just waste money on a tool that you can’t fully utilize. Here are the details to look out for:

Earthquake MC43 Mini Cultivator Tiller

Earthquake MC43

Engine Cycle

You may have noticed how, in the top 5 gas tiller/cultivator list, there are mentions as to whether the engines are the 2-stroke or 4-stroke cycle. A 2-stroke cycle engine is one that runs on a mixture of gas and oil in the fuel tank. 4-stroke cycle engines, on the other hand, have a fuel tank and a crankcase. Instead of mixing gas and oil, the gas is placed in the fuel tank, while the oil is put into the crankcase.

If you prefer a lightweight and compact-sized tiller/cultivator, the 2-stroke cycle model is a more logical choice. If you are more concerned with power rather than a compact size, the 4-stroke cycle model is a better choice. 4-cycle engines are also chosen by users who place a high premium on fuel efficiency.

Quality of Tines

Tines made from premium quality steel are preferred since they are inarguably more durable and heavy-duty. They should be able to effectively dig into the soil and till it without getting easily chipped or crooked at the slightest impact against a hard surface.

Since we are talking about multi-purpose machines, if you want a tiller that can also become a cultivator, look for a unit with reversible tines. If the tines are in the standard position, they are in cultivator mode; once the tines are reversed, they are in tiller mode.

Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator 7920

Mantis 7920


You will find that some gas tillers/cultivators have mechanisms that allow optional attachments, easily turning them into other equally useful garden or outdoor power tools. For example, in the Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller Cultivator, optional attachments can turn it into a lawnmower, dethatcher, plow, and edger.

Weight and Clearing Width/Depth Ratio

The obvious choice between a light and heavy gas tiller/cultivator is the former since you want one that is easy to handle and tote around your garden with you. However, a low weight is not all there is to it, because you have to consider the clearing width and depth of the machine in relation to its weight. You might end up with an ultra-light model that has a narrow clearing width and shallow depth, then you’d still be getting the short end of the stick.

In the same way, if you are willing to tolerate some weight and choose a bigger, therefore heavier, unit, then you should see to it that it has a good balance, so it can do the job well despite the added weight. Wheels should also be present to make manipulation easier.

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