Differences between a tiller and tiller? Which one to choose ?


The tiller and the tiller are two machines intended for working the soil, but they are often confused. The first is lighter and more manoeuvrable, but it is to be reserved for small and medium gardening jobs, on small surfaces and little depth. The more powerful tiller is more suitable for large jobs and works in depth thanks to its plow to aerate and turn the soil. Let’s discover together their characteristics and their differences to make the best choice.

What is a tiller?

The tiller is a machine intended for working the soil, but it only performs surface work, between 10 and 25 cm on average and 30 to 80 cm wide. Light (5 to 30 kg on average) and handy, it stirs and crumbles the earth over a maximum surface of 1000 m² for the most efficient models thanks to a set of rotary tillers. Its work on the surface allows aeration of the upper layers of a ground to allow the seedlings and irrigation water to penetrate there. It is a device which requires less maintenance than the tiller and which is easier to use by private individuals.

There are two categories of tillers:

  • The electric tiller : This model must be plugged into the mains to operate, like an electric mower, or work using a rechargeable battery. Low noise and easy to handle, the electric tiller is ideal for maintaining plots (vegetable garden, flower or grass beds, beds, etc.) of up to 200 m². Its cutters have a high speed of rotation to facilitate the work of the soil.
  • The thermal tiller : more autonomous since it works thanks to gasoline, it is also significantly more powerful than its electric cousin. Solid and resistant, it can allow the maintenance of surfaces up to 2000 m² for the most efficient. If it is noisier, it also has a longer lifespan and possible reverse gear, a very practical option.

What is a tiller?

The tiller is a machine intended for plowing work, that is to say it works more in depth, between 15 and 30 cm on average and 60 to 100 cm wide. It is particularly useful for preparing a vegetable garden or for making or remaking a lawn. More functional, but also significantly heavier (60 to 100 kg on average), it can work in damp soil with ease. It is a machine intended for the maintenance of surfaces greater than 1000 m² or for carrying out larger works.

Unlike the tiller which is equipped with tillers, the tiller has a plow which allows the soil to be turned in depth and not in a superficial manner.

What differences? Which gear to choose?

The choice between the two machines will have to be made according to your working surface and your needs.

The type of work to be done

The tiller is suitable for working the soil on a shallow depth and on a small surface. More manageable, it is reserved for small and medium-sized gardening jobs.

The tiller is preferred for the maintenance of large areas and for medium and large gardening work. More powerful, it turns the earth in depth and prepares the soil more.

The surface to be worked

Between 100 and 1000 m², prefer a tiller, except in the case of deep work and on difficult soil.

Beyond 1000 m², the tiller is more efficient.

Working width

The larger the working width, the more time you will save. On small areas, a narrow-width tiller is enough not to encumber you unnecessarily, but preferably opt for the device whose width corresponds to your needs, knowing that it can oscillate between 30 and 100 cm. The larger machines will save you a lot of back and forth.

The power

Adapt the engine power to your needs. For sites of less than 1000 m², a maximum of 4 HP is sufficient. Beyond that, aim for at least 5 CV. Likewise, if your soil is hard to work, you will burn yourself out less with a powerful engine.

The options

Some options are very useful to narrow down your choice. Reverse gear is in particular a valuable ally to make your work easier, like the offset handlebars. In addition, you can protect your nearby crops with the plant protection discs.