What is an Electric Tiller? (All You Need to Know)

What is an electric tiller? What are its major types? What are the gardening tasks you can perform using it and how to maintain its efficiency? Read to learn!

Looking for a quick and efficient tool that can till the compact soil of your small to the medium sized yard in a breeze, without breaking your back? If so, all you need is an electric tiller. What is an electric tiller? What are the major types of electric tillers? How to maintain its efficiency and what are the gardening chores you can do with this valuable gardening tool? Read the article further to know the answers to these questions!

What is an electric tiller?

What is an electric tiller?

Electric tillers are special tilling devices that are usually manufactured on a walk-behind layout. An array of rotating blades are mounted either over the front end or the rear end. When these blades rotate, they dig the soil up to 5-8 inches deep. Thus, if you want equipment for soil amendment, preparing garden beds, or reseeding your lawn, electric tillers will serve you the best.

Electric tillers are also known as garden cultivators and are smaller, lightweight, and easier to operate than their gas counterparts. However, they work almost similarly as the gas tillers do. The only difference is that they are powered by the main electric socket directly or by batteries.

These electric tillers come with variable and even adjustable tilling widths of 8-12 inches and can be used only to till an already-established yard. The main reason why I recommend it to be used in small or medium-sized areas is that you need to keep the electric cord plugged in the socket all the time (in corded tillers).

On using the extension cord, you can reach the far ends of your yard or the tricky corners like around trees or bushes, more easily but still, covering a large sized garden with such an electric tiller would be nearly impossible. Besides this, the tilling capacities of electric powered tillers are much lower than that of gas-powered garden tillers.

That’s the reason why electric tillers are not recommended to be used over virgin land. However, the number of smart features you’d find in this equipment is higher than gas tillers. For example, most electric tillers come with a push start button rather than a annoying pull cord system.

What is an electric tiller?

What are the major types of electric tiller?

Electric tillers are usually categorised into two types; corded tillers and cordless tillers.

Corded tillers

Corded tillers are the one that needs a continuous and direct electric supply to run. To make this type of electric tiller work, you need to plug the given cord into an electric socket. To reach the far ends, you may also need an extension cord. Just assemble the unit, plug it in the power outlet, and push the start button and you’ll be ready to break the ground.

However, as stated before, you can’t use electric tillers to break virgin or untouched land. The power range corded tillers offer is 20-40 volts. This tilling power is enough to perform some basic gardening chores including weeding, aerating, and mixing fertilisers and soil amendments. The only downside of corded tillers is their limited mobility.

The thing which I like the most about corded tillers is that they don’t come with any limitations regarding runtime and you can still cover as much area as your extension cord can reach. Also, the corded electric tillers are usually less costly than cordless ones so you won’t have to face a budget squeeze to get your hands on this valuable gardening tool.

Corded tillers

Cordless tillers

Cordless tillers work on batteries and don’t need to be plugged into the electric socket all the time. Just recharge the battery, throw it into the unit and get the tilling job done, without a break. Whether you want to till the soil of your lawn or want to cultivate the land around trees and shrubs, mobility is not the limitation you have to encounter while having cordless tillers.

If you asked me about the best cordless tillers then I would say the name of those having lithium-ion batteries. The reason is that these batteries are long-lasting and deliver consistent power throughout the runtime. Whether your battery is fully charged or near to finish, you won’t have to face any power fluctuations during the job.

Based on the size of the battery installed, the cordless tillers can work for straight 20-45 minutes. Although the power delivered by cordless tillers is not as impressive as that of corded tillers, they tackle the light-duty gardening chores excellently. Also, corded tillers are more portable and need low maintenance than corded ones.

You can remove the batteries and fold the entire unit to fit it in your small garage. Moreover, they work without emitting toxic fumes or generating ear-drums-bursting roars. The only downside of cordless electric tillers is their limited runtime but you can sort this issue out by keeping spare batteries.

Cordless tillers

What are the gardening chores you can do with electric tillers?

Best Electric Tiller in 2022 (For clay soil, Big & Small Garden) -

Based on the wattage motor or the power of battery installed in the unit, an electric tiller can tackle almost all kinds of basic gardening chores that a gas-powered tiller can do – except for tilling an untouched land. Some of those gardening tasks you can perform via these electric monsters are as follows

  • Prepare the lawn for reseeding by turning the grass blades over.
    Weeding by brushing out the tougher and fully established weed plants using the fast-rotating steel tines.
  • Tossing over the dead and low-in-nutrient soil and bringing the fresher and richer soil to the surface. Doing so not only makes it easier for plants to find essential nutrients on the surface but also improves drainage. By better drainage, water can seep to the deeper layer of the soil to keep the roots optimally hydrated
  • Mixing the fertilisers, manure, compost, plant feeds, and soil amending agents to the soil thoroughly so not even a single portion of your yard is left untouched.
  • Aerating the soil by breaking and crumpling the compressed soil patches so the air can pass through it thoroughly. Doing so will also make the soil softer which enables the plants’ roots to penetrate deeper.
  • Create newer vegetable and flower beds from scratch by tilling the unused corners of your garden. Doing so might take a little more effort but you’ll get the desirable results for sure.

How to maintain your electric tiller?

Unlike gas tillers, electric tillers are much easier to maintain and take care of. On following the given maintenance tips, it’s guaranteed that your electric tiller will serve you for decades, without lowering its efficiency!

How to maintain your electric tiller?
 Keep the blades sharp 

Remember that these are the blades over which the overall performance and efficiency of a tiller depends. Thus, if you want to extend the service life of your tiller, try to keep the blades as sharp as possible. To do so, clean the array of blades thoroughly so not even a single damaging particle-like straw or stone stays stuck inside.

 Inspect the underground  

It doesn’t matter how sturdy the blades are, if they collide with tougher substances, they could get damaged severely, maybe beyond repair. Thus, before starting tilling the yard, make sure there’s nothing metallic or tougher under the soil like pipelines, components of irrigation systems, or electric wires.

 Clean the blades regularly  

Besides stones and straws, you also have to remove the dirt and debris stuck around the tines. If you don’t do so, the wet soil might increase the risk of corrosion. To clean the blades, some people use wet wipes which could be highly dangerous. Don’t forget that you are using an electric tiller and bringing it near moisture may lead to life-ending accidents.

 Damp the soil before the operation  

As stated before, you need to bring all the tougher objects out of the reach of tilling blades, remember that these tougher objects not only include pipes or wires but also dirt blocks and compressed clumps. Before starting the job, damp the soil so tilling it would become effortless and won’t lower the blade’s efficiency.

 Don’t overwet the soil  

Damping the soil before starting the operation doesn’t mean you have to overwet the soil. If you till a slurry soil, the mud will get stuck into the blades and may also reach the unit’s internal electronic components. Not only this but once the mud dries, odds are the soil would get compact again.

In addition to these tiller maintenance tips, you also have to pay special attention to keeping yourself safe and completely protected. During tilling, dirt may be tossed around a lot so don’t forget to wear eye and face protection.

Also, if you are using a walk-behind electric tiller, your hands might get numb on pulling a piece of equipment that huge, for several hours continuously. Also, the vibrations emerging out of the tool may make it difficult for you to grip the tool firmly. To prevent it from happening, wear gloves.