I admit it: I’m a tool junky. I have sheds full of them to prove it. One of my favorite tools is the cordless cultivator. It takes care of those garden spaces that are too small for the tractor and too large for the use of the hand tiller.
The cordless cultivator is also an ideal tool for folks with mobility problems as it can be used in place of a spade or shovel to dig down and loosen the soil.
Tilling the soil prepares it for planting by loosening it. Cultivating also involves digging into the soil but it is less invasive and is better suited to removing weeds or aerating the soil.
While many tools can be used to accomplish either or both of these tasks, the tiller/cultivator is the most convenient that I’ve found.
If you have ever used an electric cultivator/tiller you have experienced that moment when you have reached the limit of the cord. Stretched as tight as it will go without coming out of the electrical outlet, your tilling job is finished. Then there is always the possibility of tripping over the cord or having it wrap around a favorite plant. Cordless tools do away with all of those problems and even, in the case of gasoline-powered cordless tillers, have more power than their electric cousins.
Disadvantages of Cordless Tillers
Battery-powered tillers aren’t as powerful as electric-powered models so they’re best suited for light tilling and weeding — leave the heavier jobs to the more powerful tools. Battery-powered cordless tiller/cultivators, aside from lacking the power of other types, require the purchase of a higher-end model with rechargeable batteries. The less expensive tools tend to have a short battery life and you’ll find yourself replacing batteries frequently.
If you have your heart set on this type of tool, check out the Earthwise 40 volt’s wide cutting width (and it comes with a battery and charger).
Choosing a Cordless Tiller/Cultivator
While the gasoline-powered models do have more power than either battery powered or electric tiller/cultivators, consider how comfortable you are with having an explosive substance stored in your garage or garden shed. Some models require that you mix oil into the gasoline before adding it to the tool.
If you are comfortable with a gasoline-powered cordless tool, take a tip from the experts at Consumer Reports and purchase one with a four-stroke engine and removable tines. I suggest you choose one with wheels – trust me, you won’t be sorry if you have to pay a bit more for it. The Mantis 7940, although pricey, is amazing.
If you aren’t sure that the cordless tiller/cultivator is something you’ll use, rent one first. Play with it for a weekend, in a variety of gardening circumstances. You won’t exactly throw your shovel away after the experience, but it may not get as much use as it did previously.
We receive small commissions from purchases made through links in this post. We have not, however, received any products for free — all of the products we refer you to are those that we purchase and use in our own gardens.
Photo Courtesy Black & Decker