What Is an Electric Garden Tiller?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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An electric garden tiller is a device used to prepare soil for planting in gardens, on lawns, or in other landscaping areas. This type of tiller will run off electricity, meaning the unit will either feature a cord that can be plugged into an outlet, or a battery that attaches to the electric garden tiller for greater versatility and longer range. The tiller will feature blades or tines that will dig into the soil and turn it, thereby aerating it and helping to remove roots, rocks, and other debris.

The design of the electric garden tiller can vary by model, but most feature rotating wheels with sharp teeth or tines on them. These tines will cut into the soil and essentially churn it, allowing oxygen to flow into the soil. The sharp teeth can also cut through roots from weeds, and they may turn up rocks and debris that would otherwise prevent plants from thriving in the soil. This process is usually done before any seeding or planting is done, though some electric garden tiller models are small enough that they can fit in between garden rows or other tight spaces.


Manual tillers are the most traditional models, with no motors at all. The tines may be fixed to a post and dragged behind a tractor or pulled by hand. Gas-powered tillers are perhaps the most common of all tiller models, and they are usually the most powerful as well. They can be quite loud, however, and they will create exhaust that can be environmentally unfriendly. An electric garden tiller is likely to be less powerful than a gas-powered unit, and it may be smaller, which means it will till less ground at once, but it will also be much quieter than a gas-powered unit and it will produce little or no exhaust. This is preferable for small or medium gardens, especially in residential areas where noise pollution may be frowned upon.

The size of the electric garden tiller can vary significantly; larger models tend to require a power outlet to which the power cord can be plugged. This ensures a constant power source for the machine, whereas batteries will drain and weaken over time. Battery-powered units tend to be smaller, but they also tend to be lightweight and versatile; a gardener will be able to use the unit even where no other power supplies are available.



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