The power hoe and the tiller are two machines intended for tillage, but they are often confused. The first is lighter and more manageable, but it is reserved for small and medium gardening work, on small surfaces and shallow. The power cultivator, more powerful, is more suitable for large works 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 motor hoe?
The power hoe is a machine intended to work the soil, but it only performs surface work, between 10 and 25 cm on average and about 30 to 80 cm wide. Light (5 to 30 kg on average) and handy, it stirs up and crumbles the soil on a maximum surface of 1,000 m² for the most efficient models thanks to a set of rotary hoes. Its work on the surface makes it possible to aerate the upper layers of the ground to allow seedlings and irrigation water to penetrate there. It is a device that requires less maintenance than the tiller and is easier to use by 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 works using a rechargeable battery. Quiet and easy to handle, the electric tiller is ideal for maintaining plots (vegetable garden, flower or grass beds, flowerbeds, etc.) that can measure up to 200 m². Its strawberries have a high speed of rotation to facilitate the work of the ground.
- The thermal tiller : more autonomous since it runs on gasoline, it is also much more powerful than its electric cousin. Solid and resistant, it can allow the maintenance of surfaces of up to 2,000 m² for the most efficient. If it is noisier, it also has a longer lifespan and a possible reverse gear, a very practical option.
What is a tiller?
The tiller is a machine intended for plowing work, that is to say that it works deeper, 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 redoing a lawn. More functional, but also significantly heavier (60 to 100 kg on average), it can work wet soil with ease. It is a machine intended for the maintenance of surfaces greater than 1,000 m² or for carrying out larger works.
Unlike the motor hoe which is equipped with strawberries, the tiller is equipped with a plow which makes it possible to turn the soil in depth and not in a superficial way.
What differences? Which gear to choose?
The choice between the two machines must be made according to your surface to be worked and your needs.
The type of work to be done
The motor hoe is suitable for working the soil to a shallow depth and on a small surface. More manageable, it is to be reserved for small and medium gardening work.
The tiller is preferred for the maintenance of large areas and for medium and large gardening work. More powerful, it turns the soil in depth and further prepares the soil.
The surface to be worked
Between 100 and 1,000 m², prefer a motor hoe, except in the case of deep work and on difficult ground.
Above 1,000 m², the tiller is more efficient.
The larger the working width, the more time you will save. On small surfaces, a narrow-width tiller is enough to avoid unnecessary clutter, but preferably opt for the device whose width corresponds to your needs, knowing that it can vary between 30 and 100 cm. The widest machines will save you many round trips.
Adapt the motor power to your needs. For plots of less than 1,000 m², a maximum of 4 HP is sufficient. Beyond that, aim for at least 5 HP. Likewise, if your soil is hard to work, you will exhaust yourself less with a powerful engine.
Some options are very useful to narrow down your choice. The reverse gear is in particular a precious ally to make your work easier, like the offset handlebar. In addition, you can protect your nearby plants with the plant protection discs.