Finding the best electric rotavator, cultivator or tiller for your needs is not an easy task these days. While most of these machines look similar to each other, there are a lot of features that you need to pay attention to if you want to get value for your money. As an example, the number of blades and their rotational speed can vary widely from model to model. In order to make your life a bit easier, we've compiled a list of what we consider to be three of the best cultivators you can find on the market today.
VonHaus Electronic 1050W Rotavator
While this product may seem a bit on the small side at first glance, rest assured that its 1050W motor is more than capable of coping with any grass, weeds and clay it encounters. This machine is equipped with four durable blades that can turn over soil of up to 220 millimetres. Even the occasional rocks are not a problem, as the blade speed can go up to an impressive 380rpm.
Additionally, it’s fairly obvious that this electric tiller/cultivator has mostly been designed with mobility in mind. Due to its slight stature and a cutting width of 320 millimetres, even the greater surface areas won’t take too much time to cover. Another important thing to note here is that the machine’s power cord is exactly ten metres long; no longer will you have to pay attention about staying too close to the power source while you’re tilling your garden.
However, the best thing about this product is that it handles like a dream. While the safety start requires two hands – one to hold the lever and the other to push the button – the rest of the operation can be completed by using only a single hand, thanks to the tiller’s ergonomic handle. From our experience, the best way to use this machine is to start it up in an area that has already been tiled and then slowly dig your way to where you need to go.
When you add in the facts that the machine takes only a couple of minutes to assemble and that it has a built-in protection system that stops the motor before the pressure becomes too immense, you’ll probably arrive at the same conclusion as we did. If you need to go over a large area in a short time, the Vonhaus Electronic 1050W is an excellent choice.
Great Rotavator for Allotments
Powerplus 1200 Watt, 400mm Electric Garden Rotavator Tiller Cultivator
Finally, we have the Powerplus as a sort of middle-of-the-road option. With a moderately powerful 1200W motor and six knife tines, this compact cultivator can certainly hold its own – even in a market as saturated as this one. The machine can dig up to 200 millimetres and has a cutting width of 400 millimetres, which is well above average when it comes to cultivators of this size.
Design-wise, the Powerplus is a complete hit. With its innovative handlebar grip and a quirky-looking pigtail cable, this machine looks and feels sort of like a futuristic device. Its wheels are also very well positioned and help provide more control over the tines, which is a welcome addition. However, this superb design also sports a minor inconvenience; the power cable dangles dangerously close to the handlebars, so you have to be careful not to cut it up. It would have probably been a bit more noticeable if it were painted in a brighter colour.
The machine works best on dry and bare soil, but it deals just fine with the heavier types of soil as well. Much like the other cultivators of its size, it is not meant for cutting thick clumpy grass and other hard-to-remove debris; in other words, it’s not a do-it-all tool like some of the more powerful cultivators. Still, as long as you know what you’re looking for, the Powerplus can save you from many hours of arduous labouring.
This little guy is quite easy to put together, and it shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes to assemble it. It’s also far from a bother to manage, as it can run for a couple of hours without having to stop for some old-fashioned manual cleaning. Much like the other two products described above, this machine provides a lot of utility at a very affordable price. Absolutely recommended!
Powerplus 1200 Watt, 400mm Electric Garden Tiller Cultivator
Equipped with four tilling blades on each of its six steel tines, this Rotavator will make short work of any soil that ends up under it. When you combine those high-performance features with a powerful 1400W & 230v motor, it becomes obvious that this machine is made for heavy duty tasks. If you require a garden tiller with impressive digging capabilities, this model should be on top of your wishlist.
Of course, as expected from a tiller this robust, you can count on an impressive working width and depth. This particular model sports a max cutting width of 400 millimetres and a max tiling depth of 220 millimetres. Keep in mind, however, that it does not have different speed settings; the first time you turn it on, you might be surprised at how it seems to run away from you. As with most of the powerful tillers, it’s best to turn it backwards in order to have complete control over it.
If you want to keep your Rotavator in good shape, it is recommended to use it for thirty minutes at a time at most. This should be enough precaution to protect the machine’s motor and gearbox. Strangely enough, the power cable is only three metres long, which seems like a disadvantage that could have been easily avoided. Then again, this is not exactly a dealbreaker for most of us.
To sum up, this product does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. The blades’ superior speed might take some time to get used to, but it’s hard to find a better tool for digging up those stubborn mounds and weeds in your garden. Easy to maintain, lift and fold, this Rotavator should help you keep your garden healthy and flourishing.
In order to prepare the soil for successful planting, it needs to be broken up, churned and levelled in preparation for planting and a Rotavator or cultivator / garden tiller is used to perform this task. This preparation process aerates the soil enabling it to gain warmth faster so that the plants can grow. It also makes weeding easier, improves soil drainage and exposes insects to birds.
Related: how to aerate the lawn
Using a rotavator or garden tiller saves many hours of exhausting garden labour. However with so many different types in the market today, finding one that is right for you can be daunting and confusing. This article hopes to clear some of the confusion of choosing a tiller, cultivator or rotavator for your garden and help you get the right one for the intended job. Follow the steps outlined below to ensure that you get the right product for use in your allotment or garden.
Consider quality and price
Similar to any other product, there is a thin line between choosing the quality of a product over its price and vice versa. Gardeners certainly want to get the highest quality rotavator, tiller / cultivator for sale for a low price but knowing which product meets this specification is quite tricky.
When choosing which is best based on the price and quality, you should always pick the higher quality one. This is because they are heavily used, therefore, purchasing a cheap rotavator or tiller will save you money at the time but it may not work as efficiently as a high quality one leading to frustrating.
Rotavators, tillers and cultivators work in mud and they make stones to churn up which will damage a poor quality product while a high quality one will work efficiently even when used in damp weather.
A well built product of high quality will cost more but it will be worth it in the long run as it will last longer and operate more efficiently.
Size of the rotavator, tiller / cultivator
Most garderners often end up with a machine that is either too small or too big for the garden, buying the wrong size for the space it will be used in is such a costly mistake.
If your plot is medium sized, choose a small rotavator tiller/cultivator, for a large garden, a medium sized rotavator is ideal especially if there are large areas that will be tilled annually. You should only buy large rotavators or or cultivators if you have an extremely big piece of land, one that is over several acres or if you are a professional or experienced gardener.
Lightweight rotavators which weigh about 20 pounds are ideal for beginners. They are good at tilling around trees and shrubs whose roots cannot damage the blades.
Engine of the rotavator, tiller or cultivator
A solid engine with 3.5 break horsepower and a medium sized blade will be ideal if you wish to just dig a few beds. The larger the plot and the deeper the depth the blades are required to go into the soil, the more the break horsepower will be needed.
For a large plot, you should get a rotavator or tiller with a high engine break horse power of not less than 4.5 and blade width of at least 500mm. Reverse gear is also essential on large rotavators and cultivators.
Always choose a cultivator or rotavator with an engine that is suitable for your piece of land, if you are a novice in using the machinery, avoid purchasing one with a powerful engine.
Electric v Petrol Cultivators / Tillers, Rotavators
Electric rotavators are available in different sizes and they are a perfect alternative to petrol rotavators. They are lighter, quieter and cheaper to operate. However, the main drawback of electric rotavators is that they can only be used in an area with electric power supply.
Petrol rotavators on the other hand are more mobile, they can be used anywhere you want as long as you carry fuel to refill. The fuel cost makes them more costly to operate.
Choosing Additional Attachments
There are so many additional attachments which you can buy. They turn a simple garden rotavator or cultivator into an amazing machine that can be used to perform different operations. Before choosing a tiller check it is compatible with different additional attachments that you may need to use even if you do not need them immediately.
Some of the common attachments include a rotavator mower attachment, a snow blower attachment, a stone barrier, a power rake attachment among others. Ensure that the machine you choose is compatible with as many attachments that you may need to use in the future so that you do not have to purchase another more versatile machine in the future.
New or a second hand rotavator
Buying a second hand rotavator has both advantages and disadavantages. Before purchasing one, you should do a lot of research to ensure that the machine has been properly maintained and it is working just right.
Otherwise, you may buy one that fails to start or one that is dangerous to use. Ask the seller as many questions as possible about the machine and ensure you get guarantee on its quality. Get the manual for guidance on operation. Second hand rotavators are cheaper but you should be careful not to end up with a faulty one.
New rotavators on the other hand are a safe choice if bought from reputable manufactures but like all new items will be more costly.
In conclusion, rotavators, cultivators and tillers comes in different designs, sizes for different plot sizes and soil types. The hand held rotavators are electric and they are ideal for vegetable patches and flower beds. The medium sized come in both petrol and electric versions and they are perfect for larger plots. Large plots of land with heavy and compacted soil requires powerful and large rotavators.
With any rotavator, cultiavtor or tiller, you should look for special features that enhance operation and control such as engine guards, plant guards, easy access controls, fold down handlebars and deadman handlebars. Also, check compatibility with different attachments that enable other gardening tasks. Compare different machines before purchasing and read reviews to be sure that it the best for you.
Where possible, always buy the highest quality machine even though it costs more as it is likely more durable than one of lesser quality saving you money down the road.
Read our reviews of the best petrol rotavators here.
I am the editor of Lawn Mower Hut and produce most of the content on the site. I have over 25 years experience in the gardening industry and have worked in multiple roles throughout that time. My passions are gardening and golfing. If you have any questions please get in touch I will be happy to help.
Last update on 2022-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API