What is an Electric Tiller?

Mary McMahon

An electric tiller is a garden tiller which runs on electricity, rather than requiring a gasoline or diesel engine for power. Such tillers are quieter to operate, in addition to being better for the environment because they do not produce emissions. Electric tillers are primarily used by home gardeners and some landscaping companies, with other styles of rotary tiller being utilized in commercial agriculture, where people need to be able to till large areas of ground very quickly.

An electric tiller is a quieter, less polluting option.
An electric tiller is a quieter, less polluting option.

Like other tillers, an electric tiller is designed to turn the soil with the use of blades attached to a bar which cut through the soil. People perform tilling to aerate the soil, which keeps the soil healthier and encourages plant growth. Regular tilling prevents compaction, in which soil becomes compacted tightly over time, making it difficult for plants to thrive. Tilling can also be used to turn up rocks, sticks, and other materials in the ground which could be bad for plants.

With an electric tiller, people plug the tiller into an electric source, turn it on, and push it through the area they wish to till. Some electric tillers are cordless, using batteries instead of a plug. A cordless electric tiller can be a good investment for someone with a big or serpentine garden in which managing extension cords could become difficult. Typically, electric tillers are lightweight enough to be handled by a single person.

The speed of the tiller can be changed with adjustable settings, and it is also sometimes possible to switch out the tines on the tiller, which can be done to replace worn blades or for special tilling tasks. Like other pieces of garden equipment, an electric tiller benefits from routine maintenance; the device should be wiped down after use and the tines should be oiled to prevent rust, and it is important to store the tiller in a cool, dry place so that it will be functional when it is needed again.

Some gardeners find themselves using a tiller enough for a tiller to be a sound purchase. For people who are reluctant to shell out for a brand new electric tiller, used tillers can often be found in gardening communities, with nursery staffers sometimes being a good source of information about used equipment for sale. In other cases, people may prefer to rent a tiller from a facility which rents out equipment for gardening. It may be cheaper to rent than to outlay cash for the purchase of a tiller, and when people rent, they don't need to be as worried about maintenance and storage is not their concern.

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