How to choose garden cultivator

Choosing garden cultivator – it is not that hard as you think!

In 2016 there are only a few gardeners who are using shovel to cultivate the soil. Electric and gas-powered cultivators are so easy to buy, and you can find them in almost every home and garden shop. Of course, if your garden is very small (like very small), you don’t need a cultivator, but only a shovel. Read this garden cultivator buying guide!

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Garden cultivator for Your Garden

• Garden/ patio size: The larger your garden, the bigger cultivator you will need and the harder soil, the heavier cultivator you will need.

• Price/budget: If you don’t have money, don’t buy cheap cultivators. They will last very short term, and there will be no point of it. You will struggle more that cultivating with a shovel. If all you can buy is a mini-cultivator, maybe ask your friends if they have cultivator and spend that money somewhere else.

• Brand: Well-known brands are best as in every category. More important is the brand of engine – Briggs & Stratton makes one of the best engines in the world.

• Guarantee: Always check if a cultivator have a warranty, and, if yes, what is included in the warranty.

husqvarna cultivator
husqvarna cultivator

How to choose a cultivator for the garden?

Cultivators are equipped with a long handle, the operator can not be bent during work (though there are short). They are used when you want the beds to weed the ground, so as not to break the flowers, as even light cultivators can not always gently loosen the territory of such tender plants.

The best thing about cultivators is that you can work with it and keep your back straight. So gardeners with back pain, buy a cultivator and say bye to back pain when cultivating. Mostly cultivators are equipped with a long handle. Cultivators are good for cultivating soil near flowers and not breaking them and their roots. Hand cultivators models are divided into cultivators and rotary cultivators.

Row crop cultivators are good because they are very powerful. There is no soil which this kind of cultivators can’t handle. Star cultivators are not that popular because the ground needs to be loose when using it.

In this day, most popular are mechanical cultivators. They can be divided into three types.

Small (lightweight) , medium (more heavier) and big ones (really heavy and big).

Light cultivators:

Lightweight cultivators are mainly used by those who need to cultivate the soil in greenhouses or flower beds. Soil needs to be light. If your main reason you bought it to make a new garden in before not used ground, you will be disappointed. The good thing about this type of cultivators is that they are very lightweight. You can carry it whenever you want, and it’s easy to maneuver with it. And as we know that most gardeners are a woman’s, weight are a very important thing. Mostly they are able to cultivate the soil in a depth of 25 cm (10 inches) and a width of 35cm (13,7 inches).

So, if you want to cultivate existing garden, choose lightweight cultivators. And if you are a woman and don’t want to carry around heavy cultivator, choose this. They weight only 7-14 kg (15-30lb) .

They are very simple and does not have many functions, but they are perfect for small jobs. There are two types – electric and petrol powered lightweight cultivators. They have low-power two-stroke engine at most of the times. I prefer petrol because I hate wires.

husqvarna cultivator
husqvarna cultivator

Medium cultivators.

Medium weight cultivators are better for harder soil and for places where there is no garden, and you want to make it there. Although they are a lot heavier than lightweight cultivators. Like half as heavy as them. Most of them have 4- stroke engine which is more powerful and will last few years longer than 2 – stroke. Medium cultivators can cultivate soil up to 65 cm wide and 22-28cm deep. There are no electricity powered medium cultivators and all of them are using gasoline.

Heavy cultivators

Mostly heavy cultivators are used to cultivate the unused soil. You can use them in winter too, to clean snow.

They are capturing are 1m wide and at least 35 deep. They all have 4-stroke engines, and there are no electric cultivators. By the way – 4 strokes are more fuel efficient than 2-strokes. With this cultivator, you can’t cultivate small areas, but for large and especially for new areas heavy cultivators works the best. Sad thing – they weight from 40 to 65kg. Fuel capacity is 7 liters and with that, you can cultivate from 35 to 65 hectares.

If you have a greenhouse or small garden, which periodically needs treatment, you will most likely need to have compact and lightweight cultivator who works best with a light soil and a small area without damaging the flowers, etc.. If you have a large garden or don’t have a garden yet, it is better to choose medium or heavy cultivator.

Gas powered cultivators
Gas powered cultivators

Electric garden cultivators

Above we talked about petrol powered cultivators, but now let’s talk about electric cultivators.

If you have a small garden, and it’s time to get it ready or you just want to refresh the soil, you don’t need a big, bulky and heavy gas-powered cultivator, it’s a time when electric cultivators are joining the game. The good thing about electric cultivators are that they are easy to use, they don’t cost much, and they are easy to maintain. Often they are quiet, light-weight, and they have enough power to do all small jobs.

If you have at least 30m (100 feet) long power cord, then you will not have any problems with this cultivator.

Electric garden cultivators
Electric garden cultivators

Size of electric garden cultivators

Electric cultivators are small and light compared to gas-powered models. They do not have even half of the power that gas-powered model have. This is the reason why people use the only in small areas or in areas with light soil.

Power of electric garden cultivators

Electric Cultivator motor power is measured in amps (amperes). Smaller cultivators are using engines from 5 to 6 amperes. Larger ones up to 10 amps. I think that these numbers seem to be low, but cultivators with 6 amp engine can easily do all kind of jobs that they are recommended to do.

! Remember, the less weight, the easier will be to maneuver with a cultivator. That is the biggest plus about electric cultivators, they are lightweight and easy to carry even for a woman. Many models can be folded and will take very less space.

Features to look out for in corded electric tillers

Almost all electric cultivators have similar designs. Best suited job for them is small tasks like preparing garden plots. I do not recommend to use them to make hard unbroken ground, and they are not suitable for plowing and heavy ground turning.

But don’t be afraid, they are perfect for small garden owners! They are also great for flower beds and greenhouses. Also, they don’t require big maintenance.


Many gardeners will do great with electric cultivators because they are ideal for preparing the light soil and other small areas. They are economical, easy to use, easy to maintain and cheap!

While gas-powered models can be better for some gardeners, electric cultivators are great for gardeners with small gardens and who want quiet, reliable cultivating power with a little price tag.

Electric garden cultivators
Electric garden cultivators

Gas-powered cultivators

If electric cultivators are too small and not powerful enough for your needs, then you need to check gas-powered cultivators.  Remember, the more powerful cultivator, the more jobs can be done with it. Also if your garden is far from electricity or your garden is too big for that, electricity-powered cultivators can be replaced with gas-powered.

2-cycle cultivators

2 cycle cultivators are using a mixture of gas and oil as power. They are easy to maintain and much simpler than 4-cycle cultivator and if something broke, you will be able to replace a broken part with your own hands because of its simplicity. 2-cycle motors can be more powerful than 4-cycle and twice as lighter.

4-cycle cultivators

4-cycle motors are almost as same as your car’s engine. Not exactly the same, but the idea is the same. Compared to 2-cycle engine, with 4-cycle you can do more jobs because it’s using less fuel. 4-cycle engine have more overall power, but it’s reflected in the size and weight. This can be great cause when choosing 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines.


That’s all I know about cultivators. If you still don’t know how to choose – gas-powered for big and new gardens and gardens far from electricity and electric cultivators for smaller jobs and simple cultivating.

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