Between the big, ride-on garden tractor and the handheld gardening tiller is a variety of power-gardening implements. The cordless cultivator and tiller is ideal for gardeners who have neither the mobility to use a shovel or spade, nor the strength to use a manual cultivator. Any gardener who has a small to medium space that requires tilling and cultivating and doesn’t want to expend the physical effort of using hand tools appreciates the ease of use of a cordless power tiller/cultivator. These tools do have advantages over corded models, as well as disadvantages.
The all-in-one cordless cultivator and tiller both tills and cultivates the soil. Tilling is the process the gardener employs to ready the soil for planting. Digging into the soil, turning and crushing it provides plants and seedlings the ideal environment in which to spread their roots. Cultivating is less intensive than tilling and is typically used to remove weeds. An added benefit of cultivating soil is that the process of cutting into the soil aerates it and makes it easier for moisture and fertilizer to get to the plants’ roots.
The most-obvious advantage of a cordless cultivator/tiller is contained in its name: no cords to trip over, to get shredded by the tool’s tines or to ruin small or delicate plants by being dragged over them. Cordless tools -- because they aren’t plugged into an electrical outlet -- give the gardener more power choices as well. While battery-powered cultivator/tillers are less powerful than electric types, the gasoline-powered varieties have far more power.
Some gasoline-powered cordless cultivator/tillers require a mixture of gasoline and oil. Many people don’t like working with gasoline, so this might be a disadvantage. Storing the gasoline might also be a safety hazard. The battery-powered cultivator/tiller presents its own set of problems. Although some manufacturers supply rechargeable batteries, battery life might be short, so the tool can die in the middle of a job.
Gardeners have many choices when shopping for a cordless cultivator and tiller. If you’ve decided on one powered by gasoline, "Consumer Reports" suggests a four-stroke engine. It also recommends that you look for a tool with removable tines for easy cleaning, that is lightweight and that has wheels for easier maneuverability. The environmentally-conscious gardener might want to consider the toxic fumes emitted by gasoline-powered tools.
Tilling the soil with a powerful piece of equipment might throw up rocks and other debris, so keep children and pets out of the area while working. Wear safety equipment, such as eye protection and boots, when using the cordless cultivator and tiller. Gasoline-powered tools are noisier than their electric counterparts, so wear ear protection while using this tool.