Best Rototiller For Rocky Soil of 2020: Top 6 Picks

Last update: Jul 4, 2020

It’d be a big challenge if a new yard that you plan to aerate it for gardening is full of rocks, roots, and vegetation. They’re also the biggest enemies of rototillers because rocks and roots are prone to stick on the tool’s tines, causing damage to it.

That said, there are still dedicated rototiller designed for rocky soil with extra safety and durability.

If you want one, here are the best rototiller for rocky soil that we’ve compiled on the market.

Here are the best rototillers for rocky soil you can buy in 2020:

  • Powerful: Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator
  • Lightweight: Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
  • Best For Small-Sized Gardens: Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072
  • Best For Mid-Sized Gardens: Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70105S Tiller/Cultivator
  • 4-Cycle Engine: Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller
  • 2-Cycle Engine: Earthquake 31635 MC33
Best Rototiller For Rocky Soil: Top 6 Picks
Powerful
Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator
    Read Our Review
    Lightweight
    Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
      Read Our Review
      Best For Small-Sized Gardens
      Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072
        Read Our Review
        Best For Mid-Sized Gardens
        Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70105S Tiller/Cultivator
          Read Our Review
          4-Cycle Engine
          Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller
            Read Our Review
            2-Cycle Engine
            Earthquake 31635 MC33
              Read Our Review

              Electric Rototiller

              Powerful: Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

              Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator
              Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator
              9.4Outstanding
              Pros
              • Powerful and durable – a 12-amp motor & 6 steel angled tines
              • Easy to maneuver – 3-position wheel adjustment
              Cons
              • The cord is prone to get caught in the times

              We’d like to start this review with the Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator because of its incomparable performance.

              Designed with a 12-amp motor and 6 steel angled tines, it can cultivate very heavy clay soil up to the 8-inch depth and 16-inch width with no problems. It simply chucks the rocks out of the way as well as handles most kinds of roots phenomenally well.

              In comparison, it saves you hours of having to buck by hands around all over the big, stupid roots.

              The best thing is this machine gives you three-position wheel adjustment, making it easier to maneuver as needed. There also features a collapsible handle for simple storage when not in use.

              Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator Specifications

              Weight

              27.1 pounds

              Motor

              12-amp

              Tilling Width

              16 in.

              Digging Depth

              8 in.

              Highlight Features

              3-position wheel adjustment

              6 Steel angled tines

              12-amp motor

              Verdict

              The Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator is a powerful, heavy-duty machine that can till any small gardens with ease.

              Lightweight: Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator

              Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
              Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Lightweight and highly maneuverable – the weight of 20 pounds
              • Comfortable to use – soft ergonomic grip
              • Easy to install
              Cons
              • Short power cord
              • Unclear direction pictures

              The Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is a great purchase for people who don’t want to be committed to gas-fueled tillers that are very heavy.

              It weighs only 20 pounds and includes very few pieces to easily put together so even if you’re not mechanically inclined, you can install it like a pro. With light-duty work (with very few large, ridiculous rock or a bunch of tree roots), this is perfect.

              It grinds up wet dirt into fine particles, works on normal soil just fine, and handles excellently an area of 20’x50’.

              One big bonus for this model is the soft ergonomic grip for extra comfort while operating it.

              Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator Specifications

              Weight

              20 pounds

              Motor

              9. 0-Amp

              Tilling Width

              12"

              Digging Depth

              8"

              Highlight Features

              Soft ergonomic grip

              The weight of 20 pounds

              Verdict

              The Earthwise TC70090 9-Amp 12-Inch Corded Electric Tiller/Cultivator is our proud choice for household gardens or urban gardeners who don’t need much but a little machine to plow through the virgin ground.

              Best For Small-Sized Gardens: Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072

              Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072
              Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072
              8.8Great
              Pros
              • Ideal for small gardens – four 8-inch forward rotating tines & an 8-amp motor
              • Versatile, customizable, and reliable - adjustable tilling depth and width
              • Easy to store or transport – collapsible handle design
              Cons
              • Some instructions from the manual are wrong
              • The ring pins are lost quickly during the tilling process
              • It’s easy to run over the cord going back and forth on paths

              Built with an 8-amp motor and four 8” rotating tines, the Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072 is perfect for light soils and small garden areas.

              It gives you the best results when digging into the ground with no batteries needed, recoil cord management, or mixing gas requirements.

              Besides, with the adjustable tilling depth and width, it allows you to dig for the desired planting depth with fast, reliable performance.

              An extra bonus for the foldable handle for convenient storage and transport.

              Compared to the previous model 27012 which is hard to use and commonly kicks back at times, this version is hugely improved with lighter weight, more powerful motor, better back wheel positioning, and no more curved V bar. It’s also more stable during the operation.

              Very worth a try!

              Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072 Specifications

              Weight

              29.3 pounds

              Motor

              8 Amp

              Tilling Width

              8.25 inches to 10 inches

              Digging Depth

              up to 5 inches

              Highlight Features

              Foldable handle

              Adjustable tilling width of 8.25 inches to 10 inches

              8 inch forward rotating tines

              Verdict

              Specifically designed to work on light soils and small gardens, the Greenworks 10-Inch 8 Amp Corded Tiller 27072 comes with considerable improvements while the good price tag is unchanged.

              Best For Mid-Sized Gardens: Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70105S Tiller/Cultivator

              Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70105S Tiller/Cultivator
              Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70105S Tiller/Cultivator
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Ideal for mid-sized to large gardens – feature a 10.5-amp motor
              • Convenient and effortless to walk the tiller – flip-down rear wheels
              • Easy start with safety – bail wire and start button
              Cons
              • Not as powerful as a gas-powered tiller
              • Run a bit noisily

              With a powerful 10.5-amp motor, no strange when this rototiller can zip through a mid-sized to large garden like it is a pudding!

              It can dig 8 inches in-depth and up to 11-inch width.

              Since this model is electric, you don’t have any starting issues or have to mess with oil or gas. All you need to do is just to plug into a good quality extension cord and start tilling. Take note of the integrated start button and bail wire for an easy start.

              There are also two flip-down wheels so that you can easily walk the tiller. For souped-up convenience and comfort, Scotts has added a soft ergonomic grip into this model.

              Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70105S Tiller/Cultivator Specifications

              Weight

              25 pounds

              Motor

              10.5-Amp

              Tilling Width

              7"-11"

              Digging Depth

              8"

              Highlight Features

              Flip-down rear wheels

              Bail wire with start button

              Powerful 10. 5-Amp motor

              Verdict

              If you’re looking for something to alternate the gas-powered lawn equipment to work as a weed control tool in your mid-sized garden, this unit is the best bet.

              Gas Rototiller

              4-Cycle Engine: Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller

              Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller
              Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller
              9.4Outstanding
              Pros
              • Easy to control and use – finger-controlled throttle
              • Can dig down to 10 inches deep – a feature unique, curvy tines
              • Handy and convenient to refill fuel or store – a kickstand included & foldable construction
              Cons
              • Expensive
              • Not work on virgin grass-covered soil

              The Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller is an extremely powerful tiller for the compact package and the four-stroke engine. In detail, it is a Honda® 25cc engine - about 3/4 HP – that can work twice as fast as other counterparts.

              Known for the exceptional powerful operation and speed, it is also easy to start right on the first pull. If you have a problem with one arm, this is a great choice.

              Despite the small profile silhouette, it can cultivate down to 10 inches deep like a breeze as well as get into tight spaces where large-sized tiller hardly does. That’s a big thank you to its compact 9-inch width.

              The included kickstand is a big plus when you want to refill fuel or store it. Besides, for simpler storage, Schiller makes this product line foldable.

              Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller Specifications

              Weight

              24 pounds.

              Horsepower

              4 cycles

              Tilling Width

              9 inch

              Digging Depth

              10 inches

              Highlight Features

              Includes handy kickstand

              Unique, curvy tines

              Finger controlled throttle

              Verdict

              Out of many 4-cycle gas-powered rototillers out there, the Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 is extremely standout for its compact silhouette yet powerful performance, in addition to the ease of storage.

              2-Cycle Engine: Earthquake 31635 MC33

              Earthquake 31635 MC33
              Earthquake 31635 MC33
              8.6Great
              Pros
              • Comfort and less fatigue - rigid U-Turn handlebar design and handlebar grips
              • Great for aerating, mixing, and weeding the soil - the 33cc 2-Cycle engine
              • Great maneuverability and control – feature no wheels
              Cons
              • Not ideal for hard ground

              This final option is for people who are searching for the best gas-powered 2-cycle rototiller.

              Aside from the 33cc 2-Cycle engine that is powerful enough for aerating, mixing, and weeding most flower bed soils or gardens, it features a rigid U-Turn handlebar design and grips.

              These add-ons take a huge role in eliminating vibration and shock to give you the greatest sense of control with the least fatigue, especially for those who have weak hands.

              A notable thing is the removal of wheels, meaning that it allows you to make a clearer line of sight around and near plants. Besides, it’s much lighter than the wheeled units for superior maneuverability.

              If you are interested in the cultivating function, this is a decent selection.

              Earthquake 31635 MC33 Specifications

              Weight

              24 lbs.

              Horsepower

              33cc 2-Cycle

              Digging Depth

              at least 5”

              Highlight Features

              rigid U-Turn handlebar design

              Handlebar grips and handlebar tubes

              Verdict

              Our Best Buy Award of a 2-cycle gas-powered rototiller goes to the Earthquake 31635 MC33 that lets you cultivate with more maneuverability, control, and comfort.

              How To Choose The Best Rototillers For Rocky Soil?

              Engine

              • Start from the heart of rototillers – the engine.
              • The measuring unit of a rototiller’s engine is cubic centimeters or cc to determine the strength as well as how much power it generates.
              • As a basic rule of thumb, the more the cubic centimeters, the more powerful the engine as well as more RPM (revolutions per minute). As a result, it makes the soil more aerated and fluffier.
              • But take note that the more power the machine, the less it bogs down when tilting.

              Tines

              There are three types of tines:

              • Pick and chisel tines
              • Slasher tines
              • Bolo tines

              Obviously, each type has its own pros and cons to suit specific needs in tilting soil. To know which is the right for you, take a glance at this table:


              Pros

              Cons

              Best for

              Pick and chisel tines

              The most powerful

              Prone to get clogged with vegetation and roots

              Break up hard and rocky ground

              Slasher tines

              Prevent the tool from being clogged with roots

              A bit less powerful than the pic and chisel tines

              -cutting through thick roots

              -people who plan to tilt a new, overgrown yard for gardening

              Bolo tines

              Easy to use and control

              Affordable

              Only work on those areas with very few rocks and roots

              Deep tilting

              Fuel

              • The fuel used to power a rototiller has a significant impact on the work that you’ll do with the tool. At the current, the two common types of fuel to power rototillers are electric and gas.
              • Electric rototillers are considered to be eco-friendlier and safer to human’s health.
              • Besides, as not being attached with a fuel tank, it is very lightweight and compact to hence deliver decent maneuverability. In terms of power, they’re adequate to tilt over rocky soil but not as powerful as the gas tools.
              • And most of them require being corded for power, which commonly runs over or gets twisted.
              • A gas-powered rototiller doesn’t have that issue and it’s extremely powerful. However, it is heavier and bulkier, which is not good for arthritis or old people.
              • If you intend to choose a tool powered by this fuel type, consider about its smoke emission.

              Tine Rotation

              Tine rotation has a close connection to the rototiller’s digging depth level and power. There are three types of tine rotation:

              • Counter-rotating tines – ideal for hard soils or breaking up compact terrains, such as clay.
              • Forward rotating tines – or called standard rotating tines. It’s best for ground covered with leaves and a digging depth of under 5 inches
              • Dual rotating tines – the most versatile that can work as a counter rotating tines or a forward rotating tines depending on your setting. But it is, at the same time, the most expensive model.

              To choose the right tine rotation, it is important to consider the type of soil and depth that you’re going to dig the tool into.

              Which Brands Make The Best Rototillers For Rocky Soil?

              Greenworks

              • Greenworks rototillers get really high reviews from most customers with the strengths in best-in-class technology, design, and materials. Their tools are known to deliver the performance and power of comparable gas-powered designs with no mess or any problems.

              Schiller Grounds Care

              • In the list of the best rototiller nowadays, Schiller Grounds Care is definitely an indispensable name. The very first thing that people appreciate their products is strength. Not difficult to find hundreds of good reviews about their top-notch powerful performance. Also, their quality is appreciated as well.

              Earthquake

              • Another notable brand is Earthquake, who is currently a well-known designer, manufacturer, and marketer of earth tilling and drilling products for various purposes. What make their products outstanding are the high value, powerful performance, durability, and innovation.

              FAQs

              Can you use a rototiller in rocky soil?

              No, you can’t.

              One of the biggest reasons why you shouldn’t do that is risks of a stone being thrown out from the soil by the tool’s blades. Not to say it’s harder to control the tiller than normal.

              How do you hand up rocky soil?

              Create raised berms and beds to grow plaints in.

              Can you grow grass in rocky soil?

              Yes, you can.

              But take note to choose highly drought-tolerant grass because rocky soil dries out super-fast.

              How do you dig a hole in hard rocky soil?

              Follow this tutorial video:


              What can I do with a rocky yard?

              There are two common ways to do with a rocky yard:

              • Grow highly drought-tolerant plants or flowers on it
              • Create raised berms or beds for plants to grow in

              Conclusion

              Rototillers come in an avalanche of quality, designs, power, and function to value. We ensure you that our team testers went to great lengths to assess each option relatively across pre-determined metrics.

              In other words, we’ve done all the legwork that need an expert to help, your task now is finding the right one for your needs.

              That’s all for this article!

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