What Is a Hand Tiller?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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A hand tiller is a device used in gardening or landscaping to turn the soil. This process of turning the soil helps remove weeds and rocks, and helps add oxygen to the soil for plants to take advantage of after planting. The hand tiller is commonly used for smaller gardening projects, though in the past, it was used extensively in all sizes of projects, since power tools had not been developed yet. Most larger projects in modern times take advantage of power tillers that can turn the soil much more quickly and easily.

Early on in the planting season, the soil in a garden or yard can become hard from months of exposure to snow, ice, and rain. Gardeners need to turn the soil to soften and oxygenate it, and remove debris such as weeds, roots, and rocks so the soil will be prime for planting. A hand tiller can be used to accomplish this. A few different types of hand tiller models exist: the smallest tiller features a small handle that is attached to a series of metal tines. The user will thrust the tool toward the ground so the tines sink into the soil, and then move the tines through the soil.


A larger hand tiller allows the user to stand up to operate the tool. This handle is much longer and is similar to the handle of a shovel. The tines will still work in much the same way as the smaller hand tiller device, though the user is likely to have much more leverage when working with the longer handle. He or she will also be able to avoid having to kneel down to operate the tool. These tools may also feature a T-shaped handle so the user can gain more leverage when turning the soil. The tines on the end of the tool may be bent so they can be forced into the soil more easily.

Another design features rotating wheels with tines around the perimeter of each wheel. The wheels will be mounted to an axle or series of axles, which will in turn be mounted to a long handle. The user will push or pull the tool along the soil, and the tines on the wheels will push into the dirt to turn it. This tool works in much the same way as motorized tillers, though the wheels will move at a much slower rate of speed than the wheels on a motorized version.



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