Digging soil is one of the toughest gardening tasks there is. It takes a lot of time and physical exertion to dig and turnover soil, often leaving you feeling tired and achy when you are done. Below we have reviewed 6 of the best rotavators that you can use in your garden or allotment.
VonHaus Electric 1050W Tiller
- 1050W Electric Motor
- 320mm Cutting Width
- 220mm Tilling Depth
- 4 Steel Blades
- Weighs 9kg
This electric tiller from VonHaus is the perfect entry-level product, being affordable, lightweight, and easy to operate. As it’s one of the lightest models on the market, this is a fine choice for anyone that is unsure if they have the strength or endurance to push around the tiller for prolonged periods.
Powered by a robust 1050W motor, the tiller comes with four durable steel blades that provide a cutting width of 320mm. The blades turn soil up to 220mm deep, while you can go back over tilled areas to get an even finer consistency, although it chops up most soil types with ease so you may not to use it more than once.
For instance, the four steel blades efficiency digs and turn clay soil, which is often the toughest to budget, which is great considering such a low price point for this product. Smaller tillers often struggle with this but there are no issues with this one from VonHaus.
Don’t worry about fatigue either as it’s one of the most lightweight models available, weighing just 9kg. This is lighter than most lawnmowers for comparison, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to operate.
It isn’t a cordless design though so be mindful of the cable when operating, although it’s ten metres long so there should be plenty of reach for most outdoor tasks, except for those larger gardens and allotments.
- Designed with efficiency and mobility in mind, get your soil ready for gardening...
- Made from durable plastic with a metal frame and distinctive black and orange...
- With a cutting width of 320mm, maximum tilling depth of 220mm and 4 durable...
Garden Gear Electric Garden Tiller, Adjustable Cultivator & Rotavator
- 1050W Electric Motor
- 320mm Cutting Width
- 220mm Tilling Depth
- 4 steel blades
- Weighs 7.5kg
Another great electric tiller for smaller gardens and allotments, it’s equipped with a solid motor, multiple cutting blades, and a user-friendly design that makes it a great choice for first-time users.
This model also features a 1050W motor and has a 10m power cable, so it shouldn’t be hard to manoeuvre around the garden or allotment, although extra-large areas may require an extension cable.
The blades are made from a hardened steel and there are four in total, with each one featuring four teeth. These make short work of tough and loose soil alike, cultivating and tilling everything in a single pass, making it perfect for planting and sowing.
A 320mm cutting width is ideal for smaller spaces, giving plenty of accuracy as you move along the ground. The maximum depth of the blade is 220mm, while you can pass back over previously ploughed areas to make the dirt even finer.
Two large handles offer a comfortable grip when pushing and pulling, reducing the effort needed to move the tiller around the ground. You can also adjust the position of the handles to suit your height and get the best position to push and pull.
That said, it weighs only 7.5kg, which is very lightweight so you probably won’t struggle to move it, making it good choice for older people that want something less strenuous.
There are few welcome safety features too, including a two-point safety switch to prevent accidentally turning it on and a cable tidy to avoid running over it as you till.
- Powerful; 1050W electric rotavator cultivator and tiller
- Great features; Maximum working width of 32 centimetres and depth of 22...
- Long power cord; 10-metre power cord giving you extra freedom, comes complete...
BMC Electric Garden Tiller Cultivator Rotavator
- 1400W Electric Motor
- 140mm to 400mm Cutting Width
- 220mm Tilling Depth
- 6 Steel Blades
- Foldable Design
Perfect for gardening aficionados that need a robust cultivator, this model from BMC is one of the most powerful electric rotavator currently available.
Paired with a whopping 1400W electric motor, it’s got ample digging power, easily digging, cultivating, and tilling any type of soil. For example, it provides around 24 cuts per blade revolution, meaning it will make short work of even the toughest soils.
There are six blades in total, with four teeth on each blade, resulting in a very efficient performance that breaks soil down into the finest consistency. You may not even need to make a second pass when using this powerful machine.
The blades produce a cutting width of 400mm, which is wider than most others and can be reduced to as little as 160mm, while it cuts down up to 220mm into the ground. This makes it ideal for all kinds of gardening tasks, whether digging a hole for a sapling or prepping the soil for your flower beds.
A dual handle design helps improve usability, providing a firm grip when moving the tiller and preventing fatigue from setting in. The angle of the handles can be adjusted too, letting you get the right position for your height.
Despite being a stronger electric model, it’s available for a very reasonable price, so it is a great investment for most.
- This high powered, high performance tiller makes light work of keeping on top of...
- Power through soil with the 6 steel tines each with 4 soil tilling blades
- Fitted with a heavy duty 1400w 230v motor, this tiller takes away the 'back...
Garden Gear Petrol Rotavator
- 7cc Petrol Engine
- 2L Fuel Tank
- 300mm Cutting Width
- 200mm Tilling Depth
- 6 Steel Blades
- Weighs 15kg
Sometimes you need a bit more power for digging in the garden, in which case this powerful petrol-powered cultivator is more than up to the task. Also, as it uses petrol for fuel it doesn’t have any cord to worry about, allowing for easy cordless operation in larger areas.
Fitted with a powerful 42.7cc air cooled, 2-stroke petrol engine, this cultivator has more digging power than most, making it a great choice for large-scale projects or people dealing with especially troublesome soil.
Having all this power makes it a highly versatile machine that is suitable for digging holes, levelling ground, prepping soil furrows to sow seeds, and even chopping up tough weeds. Hands-on gardeners will love how much they can do with it.
Being petrol powered does mean fuel is limited to the tank capacity. The tank holds 1.2L of fuel which offers about 1 hour of operation, so this should be more than enough for most projects. If it does run out it only needs a basic mixture of unleaded petrol and engine oil at a 25:1 ratio.
There are six rotating blades fixed to the front bar, offering a total cutting width of 300mm and turning soil up to 200mm. Given the power, you probably won’t need to make more than one pass, although doing so will make the soil even finer.
Two large handles offer good grip and easier operation. Not everyone will feel it’s too heavy to operate, as it weighs 15kg which is around the size of a larger lawn mower, which is very impressive considering that petrol powered cultivators are often much heavier than electric models.
- Powerful; 42.7cc engine able to deal with all the garden soil you need to move
- Cordless; No dangerous cords to avoid, nothing holding you back
- Air cooled cultivator ; Work for longer with the air-cooled engine that won't...
T-Mech 52cc Petrol Powered Soil Cultivator Rotavator
- 52cc Petrol Engine
- 2L Fuel Tank
- 200mm Cutting Width
- 150mm Tilling Depth
- 4 steel blades
This is another very powerful petrol-powered cultivator, so anyone that has a lot of digging and soil prep will want to check this model out. Granted, the power can be overkill for smaller areas, although it makes such short work of digging and turning soil that it’s great for any garden or allotment.
The 52cc 2-stroke engine provides some serious power, with a 1.2L fuel tank offering about one hour of constant use. This should be enough time to plough in small and medium gardens, while you can refuel using a mixture of petrol and engine oil at a 40:1 ratio.
There are four blades (each one has four teeth) fitted to the front of the cultivator that cuts 200mm wide and 150mm deep. It’s not as large as some of the petrol-powered options but still great for most requirements around the garden, especially on harder material like clay soil.
You get a lot of safety equipment included with the rotavator too, including leg guards, gloves, safety glass, and ear protectors. It also comes with a free tool kit, mixing bottle, and funnel, so you have everything you need to safely operate the tiller and keep it well maintained.
It features a two-handled design for easier operation and avoiding any fatigue, with each handle having a thick rubber grip for added stability and to reduce the vibrations felt when using the machine.
- 52cc petrol powered mini tiller ideal for rotavating / cultivating small to...
- 3HP engine with max speed of 9000RPM and a tank capacity of 1.2 litres
- Using 2 Stroke Oil Mix - 40/1 - this will extend the life of the engine
SwitZer Heavy Duty 6.5 HP Portable Petrol Garden Cultivator Rotovator Tiller
- 196cc 4-Stroke Petrol Engine
- 400mm Cutting Width
- 175mm-350mm Tilling Depth
- 2 Blades
- Weighs 76kg
If you require a rotavator with incredible power then this is the product you’ve been looking for. Equipped with a monstrous petrol engine, this is as strong as it gets, with the cultivator capable of cutting through large areas of soil in no time.
Powered by a whopping 6.5hp, 199cc, 4-stroke OHV engine, there isn’t any task too tough for this machine. In fact, the engine is so robust that it operates on two gears and comes with throttle control, allowing for precise control for every type of task.
The gear control is fitted to the right handle, with an upper gear pressed for forward motion and the lower gear held down for reverse motion. You can also adjust the positioning of the handlebar to get the right setting for your size, which is important because this quite heavy at 76kg.
Two heavy duty rubber wheels are fitted to the base of the machine though, which helps to offset a lot of the weight and make it easier to push and pull, although the engine itself does most of this for you so it’s surprisingly easy to operate once you get a feel for the throttle and different gears.
Another amazing feature is the two adjustable blades. Most can only adjust the width of the cultivator but this mode lets you adjust the cutting depth from 175mm to 350mm and a cutting width up to 400mm.
- 6.5hp, 196cc, Air Cooling 4-Stroke industrial OHV engine;Fingertip throtle...
- Backward and Forward 2 gear modes;Heavy duty and Easy to use
- Adjustable depth regulator allows shallow and deep tilling, Cultivating depth...
What is a Rotavator?
A rotavator, also known as a cultivator and tiller, is a type of gardening hardware used to dig, turn, and aerate soil. While designs vary, most use a series of rotating blades or tines to dig into the earth, which rotates as the device is being pushed or pulled along the ground, ripping up the soil as it moves.
A cultivator can be manual, petrol, or electric powered, and some models come with a set of wheels to help manoeuvre the machine as it ploughs into the earth.
Rotavators for Gardens
Whether preparing vegetable boxes in the garden or digging up and old lawn for reseeding, anyone that needing to dig up soil in the garden will have a hard job on their hands when doing it manually with a shovel or spade.
However, digging soil is important as ensures there is enough air and drainage in the soil, otherwise it may lack enough nutrients for growing. Many people avoid digging their soil each year and find it becomes much harder and compact, making it even harder to dig and maintain.
A good cultivator makes digging so much easier. The blades cut deep into the earth and start to move and churn compact soil into a lose and fine consistency. This improves aeration and drainage, while making it much easier to plant seeds.
Rotavators for Allotments
Allotment owners benefit greatly from a good cultivator, as they usually have much more digging to prepare their plots for the upcoming season. The bigger the allotment the more digging is required, which is where a cultivator can be a huge asset, although its certainly a useful tool for any size of allotment.
A heavier duty model may be necessary for large allotments, with petrol powered machines usually being the better choice as they aren’t restricted by a power cable.
How to Choose the Right Rotavator
Don’t make the mistake of buying the biggest, most powerful machine you can afford. Sometimes a smaller piece of equipment is perfect for your gardening habits, so it helps to think about a few things so that you can choose the right product for your needs.
Electric or Petrol Powered?
These are the two main power sources and each one has its benefits.
Electric models are generally best suited for domestic use around the garden and smaller allotments, offering plenty of digging power while being affordable. They are also much lighter to operate and make digging and aerating soil so much easier, so it’s a great all rounder that you can’t go wrong with.
Bear in mind that electric models are usually corded, so you may be limited in range if the power cord is too short. An extension cable can help with this, although you need to be extra careful not to snag anything in the cutting blades.
Petrol powered models are much larger, heavier machines. They can weigh double the weight of an electric model, although they are also significantly more powerful, making them a great option for people with large gardens or allotments that require lots of digging.
Because it uses a petrol engine, there is more maintenance and you will need to mix fuel and add it to the engine, much like with a petrol lawn mower. This does offer a distinct advantage – it’s entirely cordless so can be used throughout the garden or allotment.
Anyone that is a serious gardener or has a large allotment should consider a petrol-powered product. If you plan on occasionally using it in the garden then an electric powered machine should be fine.
The type of soil you are digging will influence what type of rotavator or tiller is best for the task. Sandy and well aerated soil won’t need any special type of product, while thick and compact soil like clay may need a specialist machine capable of digging this tougher material.
Petrol powered machines are often better suited for clay soil as they have more power, while electric models are usually fine for loamy or sandy soils.
Size and Weight
As mentioned, this is a heavy piece of gardening equipment so you need to ensure whatever you choose isn’t too large or heavy to operate. You do need to push or pull the machine, so expect to exert some energy as you work, which is why its important to choose a rotavator that isn’t difficult to operate.
Garden size will reflect what size of machine you need. It’s pretty straight-forward – the bigger the garden or allotment the larger the cultivator should be.
Also, be mindful of your own endurance. Pushing heavy equipment around for a sustained period is no easy feat, so always make sure that the weight is something you can comfortably handle. If you don’t do much exercise or gardening, always choose a lightweight product.
Given the effort it takes to operate the machine, it’s always recommended that you choose a model with a good handle design. For example, a dual handle design is great because it allows for more comfortable and natural grip as you till, so it can be a huge difference maker in terms of usability.
Similarly, look out for padded handles with lots of cushioning. A cultivator is a robust piece of kit, especially when petrol powered, meaning a lot of vibrations as you work.
Vibrations on the handles cause your hands to quickly tire and even feel sore after digging for too long, so with padded handles you avoid this problem and use the machine for longer.
Always look for a product that has several cutting blades and that each blades have around 4-5 teeth. For example, electric models often have two blades, with each blade having 4 teeth for digging into the ground, which should be fine for lighter duty tilling and ploughing in the garden.
Petrol models often feature more blades, usually around four, with these blades having around 4-6 teeth each. There are more blades because these are often used for heavy duty work, so more strength and cutting power is needed.
Also, the blades influence how wide and deep the machine cuts. Some are attached to an adjustable bar, meaning you can dig to various depths and widths depending on your needs.
Last update on 2021-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API