So you want to till your land but you can't decide whether you should till with a tiller or a cultivator. When it comes to the cultivator versus tiller debate, which one is better for your needs? Before anything else, you need to know what those two things are. From there, you should also find out which of those two devices will serve as a perfect fit for your specific tilling needs in light of what they are and what they're capable of.
A garden tiller is what you use to break up compact or hard soil into broken up or loose dirt. Few to no plants can grow on compact soil, after all. Tillers are gas-powered machines with a bigger working width compared to a cultivator.
They're also more powerful than their cultivator counterparts. You can also use the machine for cutting down off-season plants, composting, soil preparation, and weeding. There are two types of tiller: Front tine tiller and rear tine tiller.
A cultivator is responsible for cultivating the soil of an existing planting area, as its name suggests. To be more specific, it tills soil that's already been tilled or loosened by a till for the sake of maintaining its looseness. To wit:
Both tillers and cultivators use blades for the sake of digging into the ground. In spite of the same raw power and usage, they differ substantially.
The size of the task and the amount of compact soil involved can help you make the decision between these 2 types. What's more, you'll also have to choose between a front-tine and rear-tine tiller (the latter is more powerful and can till a larger area of compact or untouched land).
The smaller and more maneuverable cultivator is mostly used for maintaining tilled land. Tillers can also be used for maintenance, especially front-tine tillers, but they have the extra capability of tilling new ground into loose soil that cultivators lack.
In order to properly compare the cultivator and tiller, you need to pay attention to the pros and cons of their respective specs in light of what you want to use them for.
A tiller is what you use to break new ground. A cultivator merely cultivates existing ground that's already broken or loosened.
Therefore, you should buy a tiller if you want to till small to large allotments with ground that hasn't been tilled already. Whereas, a cultivator maintains already tilled ground, as in the case of most front-line tillers save for the ability to loosen compact land.
With that said, even though tillers have better tilling capabilities than the limited cultivator, sometimes using a tiller is overkill for your garden when daily garden maintenance tasks only requires the cultivator's assistance.