Cultivator vs. Tiller? Which is Right for your Gardening Purpose?

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Knowing the details of cultivators and tillers will give you an idea of which tool is suitable for your garden. Cultivator vs. Tiller will provide you with an idea of what your garden needs. 

The cultivator is a kind of gardening tool which is used for loosening soil in any existing area where you can carry out plantation. Weeding the planting area during the growing season is also very essential, and that is done by a cultivator. It is also used for mixing compost into the soil.

On the other hand garden, tillers are much stronger than cultivators. To loosen the compact and hard soil into the dirt, you will need a garden tiller in your garden.  This dirt is again used for planting. There are two kinds of tillers, one is the rear tine, and the other is the front tine.

What is cultivator?

There are various types of farm implements; cultivator is one of them used for secondary tillage. It is a garden tool framed with teeth, which are also called shanks that penetrate the soil as they are extended through it straight.  Cultivators blend and grind the soil either prior to planting or after the crop started growing.

Before planting, it is blend and ground to oxygenate the soil and make a loose, smooth seedbed. And after the crop is grown, it is done to kill weeds. Cultivators are designed very smartly to disturb the soil pattern but certainly not the crop plants but carefully derange the weeds.

Tooth typed cultivators are very much similar to chisel plows, but they don’t have the same goal. The teeth of the cultivator work very near to the surface to control the weed. On the other hand, if you use a small tooth cultivator, it will help you in case of small scale gardening.  


As you know, now that cultivators are designed to disturb the soil without worrying about the crop plant. Therefore, you must understand that there are many such features of a cultivator that help blend and mix the soil.

Cultivators have two-cycle engines. To properly operate a cultivator, all you need to have is the right oil or gasoline mixture. A cultivator is much smaller and energy-efficient. All you need is an existing piece of land that is being already tilled.

Cultivators and their electric starters: – cordless or corded electric cultivators can immediately start with a push of one button. This is much more hassling free.


  • As you know, a cultivator’s purpose is to turn the upper layer of the soil and mix it. It does so without disturbing the plants. While using cultivators, you may be assured that your plants will be safe from getting mixed up with the soil.
  • It is straightforward to operate a cultivator. Cultivators have two engines, and all you need is the right oil and gasoline mixture to manage it.
  • Cultivators are much smaller than tillers and very easy to handle.


  • Corded cultivators need an extension cord. Therefore it is difficult to use an extension cord while cultivating.
  • Cultivators are not that much power and can till land up to specific dept. These are specially designed for gardens. 

What is a tiller?

Tiller is a kind of machine which is used in agriculture for sowing, tillage, cultivation, and weeding. The process of weeding contains a set of blades scaled with wheeled housing and is powered by an electric motor or gasoline engine.

What do you mean by tiller? In simple words, the garden tiller is made to break up compact and hard soil into broken up and loose dirt, which is again essential for plantation. There are various kinds of tillers, depending upon your need.

You will easily find the tillers available in the market are front tine tillers, rear tine tillers, or mid tine tillers. You need to determine your need I. e types of landscaping, gardening, or flower raising before you purchase one. You can compare front tine and rear tine according to your gardening purpose.


Tillers consist of 4 cycle engines. You don’t need to mix oil and gas by going to these four-cycle engine tillers. A front tine tiller can do almost everything a cultivator can r even more.

Tillers can get deep, much more in-depth, and wider. Different tillers are classified considering their different tilling depths and width. Wheel driven tillers or rear-tine tillers with an opposite drive option can till the largest fields and the most challenging grounds and garden.

Tillers are much more effective if their tines can rotate in the exact opposite direction of the wheel. Tillers are mainly costly investments and are used seasonally.

Power Takeoff (PTO) is available on selected rear-tine tillers. It helps you to use a tiller engine to power optional ground-engaging attachments.


  • In today’s increasingly green world, tillers are recommended if that is what you need because there are fewer emissions from tillers.
  • Tillers are much easy to be used, and they have fewer maintenance problems and are long-lasting too.
  • Gasoline and oil are not required to be mixed with four-stroke engines.


  • Tillers are very expensive. The user needs to be sure of the uses of tillers, and if his or her requirement matches it functions, then only you must buy one.
  • Tillers have a high maintenance cost.

Difference between cultivator and tiller

Cultivators are not developed for breaking the ground or loosening the compact and hard soil. Instead, they are perfect for the work of keeping your garden thriving and healthy throughout the growing season. Tillers are used to break moderately hard ground and loosen the soil. They are perfect for digging small to medium gardens.

Cultivators mix and aerate the soil before planting. They also help in stirring in fertilizers and compost in the soil, and also weed control is done. Soil is churned in much excellent mixture with the help of cultivators than tillers. On the other hand, the soil is loosened up while using tillers.

The soil texture is substantial for imposing final touches in your garden before you start sowing seeds. And the texture of the soil can only be known when the soil mixes properly with compost and fertilizers. This can only be done with cultivators, while tillers will only help to break the hard components in the soil. 

Cultivators come in corded electric, cordless models and gas-powered, unlike garden tillers, which are only available with gas engines. Another important thing you must know that is electric tillers is electric cultivators. At the same time, tillers are available in front of tine and rear-tine and mi-tine tillers, which are less common among the consumers.

One more difference you must know is that cultivators have two-cycle engines while tillers have four-cycle engines. Tillers are eventually more expensive than cultivators and are long-lasting too.

It can be said that both are different from each other in every aspect. Work and features of a cultivator and tillers everything differs a lot, but you need to identify which one will be of your purpose.

The size of the land and the more challenging the soil is will determine the choice of the tool you use. The smaller and more flexible cultivator is used for maintaining tilted lands. While can also be used for maintenance, they have the extra potential to tilling new untouched ground into loose soil and dirt.

How to choose between cultivator and tiller?

You want to till your land, and still, you are in a confused state which one to use whether a cultivator or a tiller? When is the debate between cultivator vs. tiller still thinking which one is better for you? Well, for that, you need to know what these two things are and what are their uses?

After then, you need to focus on which tool will be helpful for your need and which one will serve your purpose based on their capability.

If your need is to break hard and compact ground, then a tiller is what you need. It will break them into the broken or loose dirt.  Tillers are much more potent than cultivators. Few or even no plants grow in compact soil. Therefore for such soil tiller is what you need the most. They are gas-powered machines.

On the other hand, if you want to till an existing soil that is already tilled by a tiller, all you need is a cultivator. As its name suggests, it will help you loosen up the soil to maintain an existing planting area that is already being tilled.

The rotating blades of the tillers help to break up the compact soil easily. For rocky soil tilling purpose, tiller is more effective tools.

Even if tillers have many better-tilling capabilities still, it becomes harmful for your garden’s soil when it is about daily maintenance. Tillers are not fit for that. This work is of a cultivator’s assistance.

You will need to use a cultivator more often than a tiller. This product comes handy and not so expensive. Therefore this is the perfect garden tool for you if you don’t have to break up the hard and compact soil.


The debate between cultivator vs. tiller will only make sense when you are well aware of the kind of tools they are and their usage. You need to determine what purpose you need the tool only; then, you can have decided which one to purchase.

Cultivator and tiller both of the gardening tools use metal blades tom dig into the ground. The size of the land you plan to till will help you choose between a cultivator and a tiller. Unless and until you are sure of your need, do not purchase the product because that will only make you waste your money. Loosening the job and tilling a piece of land is entirely different. Therefore determine the need first and decide which tool to purchase.

Best of luck and determine well before purchasing a tool for your garden.

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