BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Tiller Cultivator Review


BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller is a cordless cultivator that is ideal for cultivating garden beds, landscape beds, and weeding. It is also useful for aerating soil, prepping dry and dead areas of your lawn before seeding and planting.


  • Battery voltage: 20V MAX (18V nominal)
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion
  • Tilling width: 6.5 inches
  • Tilling depth: 5 inches
  • Weight: 10.6 pounds

Unboxing the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller What’s in the Box?

The moment you unveil the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller, it’s clear you’re not just opening a mere box but unlocking a new echelon of gardening efficiency. Greeted by the tiller’s sleek and sturdy frame, it’s evident that this tool is crafted to meet the demands of your garden with unparalleled precision and power. Within this box of horticultural wonder, the main attraction is the tiller unit itself, the epicenter of your gardening transformation. Its robust tines and user-friendly design promise a seamless integration into your gardening routine, aiming to revolutionize the way you interact with your outdoor space.

Disassembled orange and black leaf blower with accessories and manual on a wooden floor

Beyond the tiller, the box houses a suite of essential components designed to enhance your gardening experience. The 20V MAX* Lithium-Ion Battery stands out as the tiller’s lifeline, offering the enduring power necessary to tackle your tasks without frequent recharges. Accompanied by an efficient charger, this duo ensures your tiller is always ready for action, minimizing downtime and boosting your garden’s productivity. The package is rounded off with a comprehensive user manual, brimming with assembly instructions, maintenance tips, and more, alongside a warranty card that secures your investment, allowing you to cultivate your garden with peace of mind and confidence.

Key Features and Specifications

Power and Performance

An orange and black trimmer edging grass against a brick wall

The BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller’s capability is its robust motor, paired seamlessly with the 20V MAX* lithium-ion battery. This dynamic duo is engineered to deliver substantial power, making it possible to break through even the most stubborn soil with ease. Unlike traditional tillers, this model liberates you from the constraints of cords, allowing for unrestricted movement around your garden. Moreover, it sidesteps the drawbacks associated with gas-powered tillers, such as the annoying noise and harmful emissions, offering a more pleasant and eco-friendly gardening experience.

Design and Ergonomics

Person using an orange trimmer on weeds near a brick wall

The tiller is thoughtfully designed with user comfort in mind, featuring a lightweight construction that makes it easy to maneuver around your garden beds. The handle is adjustable, ensuring it can be tailored to fit your height and reach, thereby optimizing your posture while you work. This ergonomic attention to detail significantly reduces the strain typically experienced in the arms and back during tilling tasks. As a result, you’re able to extend your tilling sessions, enhancing productivity without the accompanying fatigue that often comes with less thoughtfully designed tools.

Battery Life and Efficiency

Person in gloves holding a BLACK+DECKER battery pack with charge level indicator lights, with a glimpse of an orange tool in the background

One of the standout features of the 20V MAX* battery system is its impressive longevity and rapid recharge capability. This advanced battery technology ensures that your tiller is always ready when you are, significantly reducing downtime due to charging. The efficiency of this system means you can accomplish more in your garden in less time, with fewer interruptions. This feature is particularly beneficial for extensive gardening projects or for those who prefer to complete their gardening chores in one go, without the need to pause and wait for equipment to recharge.

Setting Up for Your First Use

Embarking on your first venture with the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller marks the beginning of a thrilling journey towards a verdant garden. The initial setup is a breeze, aimed at getting you up and running without delay. Start by unpacking the tiller and its components, assembling them as guided by the user manual. The assembly process is straightforward, typically involving attaching the handle and tines. It’s crucial to ensure that every part is securely fastened for optimal functionality. Following assembly, insert the charged 20V MAX* lithium-ion battery until it clicks into place, indicating readiness.

Close-up of a person in gloves using a red and black caulking gun on a wooden surface

Before diving into tilling, adjust the handle to fit your comfort level, a step that significantly enhances the tiller’s ergonomics and your overall gardening experience. Clear the intended tilling area of any large obstacles that could hinder the tiller’s path. With the tiller set up and the area prepped, you’re ready to start tilling with just the press of a button. This initial tilling session is more than just soil preparation; it’s about laying the foundation for a flourishing garden, ensuring your tiller is primed to help your garden thrive right from the start.

Operational Tips and Techniques

Preparing Your Garden

Person using a red and black Black+Decker tiller in a garden with fruit-bearing plants

Embarking on the tilling process requires some groundwork to safeguard both your garden’s integrity and the tiller’s functionality. Begin by meticulously inspecting the designated tilling area, removing any large rocks, branches, or other significant debris. These obstacles can impede the tilling process, potentially damaging the tiller’s blades and hindering its ability to uniformly cultivate the soil. Furthermore, clearing the area minimizes the risk of creating hard clumps that can resist seed penetration and root growth. For an even more thorough preparation, consider marking out the areas you plan to till. This not only helps in maintaining a focused approach but also in preserving the untouched parts of your garden from accidental disturbance.

The Right Technique for Tilling

Black+Decker garden tool on grass near a tree base with an orange fruit to the left.

Tilling is not just about turning over soil; it’s an art that, when done correctly, can significantly enhance the health and productivity of your garden. When you start tilling with your BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller, adopt a slow and steady movement pattern. Rushing through the process can lead to uneven soil texture and missed spots, which are detrimental to plant growth. By moving at a deliberate pace, you allow the tiller’s blades to thoroughly penetrate and aerate the soil, breaking up compacted layers and facilitating better water and nutrient absorption. Additionally, this methodical approach helps in the even distribution of organic matter, such as compost or manure, if mixed into the top layers of the soil. The goal is to create a homogenous, fertile bed that provides the ideal conditions for seeds to germinate and roots to spread. Remember to overlap your tilling paths slightly on each pass to ensure no section of your garden is left untilled, achieving a comprehensive and productive soil turnover.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Disassembled parts of a Black & Decker power tool on a wooden surface.

The troubleshooting section in the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller’s user manual is your go-to for quickly resolving common issues. It guides you through solutions for problems like the tiller not starting or stopping unexpectedly. Key areas include ensuring the battery is correctly charged and installed, maintaining clean battery contacts, and checking for any damage. For operational issues, such as ineffective tilling or tine rotation problems, the manual suggests checking for obstructions and adjusting the tiller’s settings for optimal performance. This handy guide helps you fix issues swiftly, avoiding the need for professional repairs and making your gardening experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Table Comparison

FeatureBLACK+DECKER 20V MAX TillerCRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Garden Tiller
Power Source20V MAX* Lithium-Ion BatteryV20 Lithium-Ion Battery
Battery Voltage20V20V
Tilling WidthVaries (typically 7-9 inches)Similar range (7-9 inches)
Tilling DepthVaries (typically 4-5 inches)Similar range (4-5 inches)
WeightLightweight (exact weight varies)Comparable, slightly heavier
DesignErgonomic design, adjustable handleErgonomic, but may have fixed handle
Included AccessoriesBattery, Charger, User ManualBattery, Charger, Possibly Additional Tools
Warranty2-Year Limited WarrantyVaries, often 3-Year Limited Warranty


  • Battery voltage: 20V
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion
  • Tilling width: 8 inches
  • Tilling depth: 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years

Both the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller and the CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Garden Tiller are powered by 20V lithium-ion batteries, offering a cordless experience with enough power for typical garden tilling tasks. They both have comparable tilling widths and depths, suitable for small to medium-sized gardens.

The BLACK+DECKER model is highlighted by its lightweight design and ergonomic features, including an adjustable handle, making it easier to maneuver and less fatiguing to use over longer periods. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty, ensuring durability and reliability.

The CRAFTSMAN V20, while similar in many respects, might be slightly heavier and could have a fixed handle, which might affect maneuverability and comfort for some users. However, it often comes with a longer warranty period, which could be a significant advantage for those concerned about long-term use and durability.

Choosing between these two models will depend on your specific needs, such as the importance of weight, handle design, and warranty length. Both tillers offer a robust set of features for efficient garden tilling, making either a solid choice for gardening enthusiasts. ​

Pros and Cons of BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller


  • Cordless Convenience: The 20V MAX* Lithium-Ion battery eliminates the need for cords or the hassle of gas, offering freedom of movement around the garden.
  • Lightweight and Ergonomic: Designed for ease of use, its lightweight nature and ergonomic handle reduce user fatigue, allowing for longer tilling sessions.
  • User-Friendly Assembly: Comes with easy-to-follow instructions for quick setup, ensuring you can start tilling without extensive preparation.
  • Adjustable Features: The handle can be adjusted for height and grip, providing a comfortable tilling experience tailored to the user’s preference.
  • Eco-Friendly: Electric power means no emissions, making it an environmentally friendly choice compared to gas-powered tillers.
  • Versatile for Garden Tasks: Efficient for preparing garden beds, weeding, and more, making it a versatile tool in garden maintenance.
  • Compact for Storage: Its design allows for easy storage in sheds or garages, taking up minimal space.


  • Limited Battery Life: While convenient, the battery life may limit prolonged use, requiring pauses for recharging during larger projects.
  • Less Power than Gas Models: Although sufficient for small to medium gardens, it might lack the power of gas tillers for breaking through very hard or clay-heavy soils.
  • Tilling Depth and Width: The tilling depth and width might be less than some larger, more powerful tillers, potentially requiring more passes to cover the same area.
  • Durability Concerns: While it offers a 2-year limited warranty, the long-term durability might not match that of more robust, professional-grade tillers.
  • Battery and Charger Compatibility: Users need to ensure they have compatible BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* batteries and chargers, which could be an additional expense.

Maintenance and Care

Routine Checks and Cleaning

  • After Each Use: Clean any soil and debris from the tines and the body of the tiller to prevent buildup. A stiff brush can be effective for removing dried soil.
  • Tine Inspection: Regularly inspect the tines for wear or damage. If the tines are significantly worn or damaged, they should be replaced to maintain the tiller’s efficiency.
  • Screws and Fittings: Check all screws, bolts, and fittings to ensure they are tight and secure. Vibrations during use can loosen these over time, which may lead to parts becoming dislodged or the tiller operating inefficiently.

Battery Care

  • Charging: Always use the manufacturer-provided charger and follow the charging instructions carefully to maintain battery health.
  • Storage: If not using the tiller for an extended period, remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. It’s best to store the battery partially charged and recharge it every few months to keep it in optimal condition.
  • Temperature Sensitivity: Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Avoid storing the battery in very hot or cold environments to prevent damage.


In summary, the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Tiller is a standout choice for home gardening, blending efficiency with user-friendliness. Its cordless, battery-powered design ensures ease of use and environmental friendliness, while its lightweight and ergonomic build promotes comfort. Despite some limitations in power and battery life, its advantages in convenience and ease of storage make it an excellent option for small to medium-sized gardens. This tiller exemplifies BLACK+DECKER’s dedication to innovative, practical gardening tools, helping enthusiasts achieve their gardening objectives effortlessly.


1. How long does the battery last on a single charge?
The battery life can vary based on the soil condition and the intensity of use, but typically it lasts long enough to cover small to medium garden tasks on a single charge.
2. Can the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Tiller be used on all types of soil?
While it’s designed for versatility, it performs best on looser, well-tilled soils. Hard, compact, or clay-heavy soils might present more of a challenge.
3. Is the tiller heavy?
No, one of its advantages is its lightweight design, making it easy to maneuver and use without causing significant fatigue.
4. How do I clean the tiller after use?
Remove any soil and debris from the tines and body with a brush or cloth. Avoid using water directly on the motor or battery compartment.
5. Are the batteries interchangeable with other BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX tools?
Yes, the 20V MAX* Lithium-Ion batteries are designed to be interchangeable across a wide range of BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* tools, enhancing convenience and flexibility.

Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham
Forestry Author

I'm Joel Cunningham, an expert in pruning and weed management with over a decade of experience. My skills are rooted in formal training and extensive practice, focusing on advanced pruning techniques and efficient weed control. I'm known for my quality work, precision, and deep understanding of plant health and soil dynamics. My contributions extend to educational initiatives where I share sustainable practices and advice, establishing myself as a reliable and authoritative figure in the gardening community.


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