Review: Craftsman Electric Mini-Cultivator

Since buying our home over 5 years ago, and slowly extending and improving our landscaping each year, the need for a power tiller has steadily grown.  Several times I have borrowed gas powered tillers from neighbors or rented them from my local hardware store, but we’ve always hoped to get one for ourselves.  That opportunity finally came, as we came across the Craftsman Electric Mini-Cultivator.

We live in central North Carolina, a region notorious for its clay soil.  Much of the work needed to prepare planting beds involves breaking down the clay and mixing in compost.  I was tentative about whether an electric powered tiller would yield the power necessary to tackle the highly compacted clay.  Quite to my satisfaction, the Mini-Cultivator had no problem digging in and breaking apart the clay.

The Mini-Cultivator comes fully assembled.  You only need to unfold and secure the handle.

There are several features I like.  First, the electric motor is remarkably quiet.

Second, the rear wheels make it easy to maneuver the tiller, and allow the unit to stand upright when not in use.  Many other cultivators of a similar size do not have rear wheels, or they are an optional accessory.  These wheels serve as both a depth gauge, but also are a leverage point to help guide the tines in to the soil being cultivated.

Third, compared to larger tillers which tend to have 4 spoke tines and therefore are very coarse in how they chop into the soil, this cultivator’s 8 spoke tines result in a very fine soil, perfect for planting.

In order to use the cultivator in narrow beds or even between existing plants, the two outside tines on the Mini-Cultivator can be removed.  Additionally, there is an optional Edger Accessory kit that will allow you to use the Mini-Cultivator as a lawn edger.

I am very satisfied with this tool.  It is lightweight yet capable, and I know we will use it in nearly every part of our yard and garden.  For under $200 (about $50 to $100 less than similar gas-powered models) the Craftsman Electric Mini-Cultivator would be a great tool for any homeowner who loves to garden.

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Derek Smith

Derek is the co-founder of HomeSpot HQ, and uses it to manage the seemingly never-ending list of projects and maintenance tasks around his suburban home.