Tiller Or Cultivator – Which Is The Best Option?

Gardeners often use the two words interchangeably, but they are different tools.

Tiller or Cultivator?

tiller or cultivator - which is best

Even though tillers are typically larger than cultivators, they each perform a different function in the garden and aren’t interchangeable. Rototillers, or tillers, are heavier and more powerful. When creating a brand-new garden bed or starting a new planting season, tillers are used to digging deeper and aggressively to break up the soil. Some models have rear tines, some have front tines, some have variable depth settings, some have forward, and counter-rotating tines and others have other features.

Garden Tillers

If you have more space to work or are tending to a larger plot, tillers are an excellent choice. Using a garden tiller is also ideal for installing a new garden because you’re likely to encounter hard ground and rocky soil. Tillers are perfect for this task.

What are the different types of tillers?

Generally, tillers are categorized as either front tine, rear tine, or mini-cultivators. The tines are the metal blades that dig. You can adjust the soil level by using depth stakes on both front and rear tine tillers.

Front Tine Tillers

Gardeners use front tine tillers for a variety of tasks every year, including:

  • Moderately hard ground can be broken
  • Loosening a solid soil
  • Digging small to medium-sized gardens

Rear Tine Tillers

When starting a large new garden plot, rear tine tillers are the best machines for the kind of work that needs to be done:

  • Making hard ground pliable
  • Softening hard, rocky soil
  • Gardening or farming large or small plots


Cultivators, on the other hand, are built for finesse. Fertilizer is incorporated into loose soil, crusted soil is broken up ahead of irrigation, or weeds are pulled up with assistance. With a smaller working area for better precision, they are compact and lightweight yet still powerful.

What does a cultivator do?

There is often a question about what a cultivator does. The primary purpose of a cultivator is to mix loose soil. It’s perfect for preparing small vegetable gardens or established gardens for the season. Cultivators can mix regular soil with potting soil; kill small grasses and weeds to prevent them from taking over your garden; or add light fertilizer, manure, or compost to soil mixtures.

Choosing the right tool

There is a difference between garden tillers and cultivators despite their similar appearance. You can choose the right piece of equipment for your garden by understanding the differences between a tiller and a cultivator. Belogarden.com reviews gardening tools such as the best tiller, rototiller, and mini cultivator.

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