Using a tiller when it would be better to use a cultivator, or vice versa, would be like using a power mixer to toss salad, or a fork to stir cake mix.
Instead, choose the right tool for the job, and you'll be much more efficient.
Garden tillers are the creators. They're strong machines designed for digging and mixing hard soil into a loose garden bed.
Garden tillers are widely available in two styles:
A third style, the mid-tine tiller, is available but less common among consumers.
The type of tiller you choose will depend on the kinds of projects you hope to accomplish with it.
Front tine tillers are ideal for many of that tasks that gardeners take on every year:
They're easier to maneuver than their rear-tine counterpart because their wheels are in the back, which makes turning and reversing your tiller far simpler.
Rear-tine tillers are excellent machines for the kind of work that needs to be done when starting a large new garden plot:
Rear-tine tillers tend to be large, which can make them more difficult to push and steer. However, a rear-tine tiller allows you to leverage the weight of the machine for more power.
Less powerful than garden tillers, cultivators aren't designed for breaking ground or loosening hard soil. Instead, they're ideal for the tasks that keep your garden healthy and thriving throughout the growing season:
Cultivators churn soil into a much finer mixture than tillers, making them great for putting final touches on your garden plot just before you sow your seeds.
Unlike garden tillers, which are available only with gas engines, cultivators come in gas-powered, corded electric, and cordless models. When people use the term "electric tiller," they're actually referring to an electric cultivator.