Preparing the soil of a garden is tedious, backbreaking work. With the help of a corded cultivator, you can reduce the time spent bending over to mix the soil, aerate it, remove weeds, and get the garden bed in ship for planting crops to a fraction of what you would regularly spend doing manual work. These devices are true time-savers that even home garden hobbyists can utilize to yield more vivacious vegetables.
In this article, we’re going do a quick comparison of between two highly rated cultivators – the Earthwise TC70001 and the Sun Joe TJ600E. Both of these are corded-electric tools that rely on an electrical to supply power. They’re both lightweight, easy to maneuver on soil, and work beautifully at prepping your garden bed prior to plopping in seeds. They’re not the most powerful cultivators available on the market. For that, you’d have to search for gas-powered cultivators designed for industrial-grade farming. Let’s see how these two entry-level, home-use garden tools fare.
The Earthwise comes with a 8.5-amp motor. It’s not even close to the most powerful corded-electric motors currently available, but it delivers proper speed and performance for simple home garden prepping tasks. The motor generates up to 320 RPM of the 4 steel tines for pulverizing stubborn dirt clumps and aerating the soil to let nutrients penetrate properly.
Sun Joe TJ600E
The Sun Joe features a 6.5-amp motor that delivers speeds of up to 340 RPM. It comes with a similar 4-tilling blade setup to properly do away with pesky clods of dirt and weeds while delivering enough air to the soil to support better plant growth.
Faster doesn’t always mean better, but in the case of corded cultivators, it does. The Sun Joe’s moderate 6.5-amp motor is more efficient at tilling than the Earthwise, but to be fair, any tine-rotation speed over 200 RPM is more than enough for basic home garden beds.
Width and Height Tilling Capacities
A wider tilling capacity means you can finish more rows in a shorter amount of time. Generally speaking, we prefer wide tilling performance over thinner ones just because we don’t want to spend too much time under the sun. The Earthwise has a tilling width of up to 11 inches and a tilling depth of up to 8 inches. The 8-inch depth gives you more than enough aerated soil for growing crops like beans and peas.
Sun Joe TJ600E
The Sun Joe has a tilling width of up to 14 inches and a tilling depth up to 7 inches deep. This extra-wide tilling capacity means you get more work done in the same amount of time as you would with a cultivator with a narrower width capacity.
The 3-inch disparity in tilling width isn’t exactly a deal breaker for the Earthwise, but if efficiency is a priority, then we suggest going with the Sun Joe. In addition, with a 7-inch depth capacity, you have more than enough soft, aerated soil for growing sensitive crops.
Like any garden tool, the ability to move the unit to and fro plays an important role in determining how effective the tool is. The Earthwise comes with two rear wheels that can flip up and down, turning the unit into a “wheel-less” device for reaching greater depths in soil. When it’s time to pack up and go, simply flip the wheels down and push the cultivator back into its storage space.
Sun Joe TJ600E
The Sun Joe is a wheel-less device so you have to carry it from place to place. The design doesn’t jeopardize its overall performance since the Sun Joe weighs in at only 10 pounds, fully assembled. In addition, the tines rotate in a forward motion, helping you push the unit along rows of your garden bed.
Some people prefer wheeled cultivators while others prefer wheel-less ones. With the Earthwise, you get the best of both worlds. Even with the wheels flipped down, you can till soil, albeit at a shallower depth. Flip the wheels up and you get maximum penetration into packed soil.
The handlebar setup isn’t just for show – it helps maneuver the unit along rows and into the soil, pull the unit up with it bucks (as all corded cultivators do when tackling rocks and other hard materials), and relieve a lot of the upper body muscles when tilling through tough soil. The Earthwise features a single handlebar – similar to many lawnmower designs – that offers comfort when working on all sorts of soil.
Sun Joe TJ600E
The Sun Joe has a two-handlebar design where each of your hands rest to maneuver the tool while breaking up clumps of packed soil. There are several customers who have complained that the dual-handle system is somewhat uncomfortable when navigating and especially when pulling the tool out of soil when it bucks.
We personally prefer the single handlebar setup that Earthwise implemented on their TC70001 model because it’s easy to grip, maneuver, and pull out when the tines clash against hard objects. However, it’s up to the user to decide which design is more comfortable to use.
Earthwise TC70001 vs Sun Joe TJ600E: Bottom Line
Between the two models, we personally feel that you can get much more out of the Earthwise TC70001. First of all, it’s an extremely comfortable tool to use when working on long garden beds. Wheeling the unit out from its storage space and onto soil through paved and grassy terrains is easy to do, and the height adjusting system with the flip-up wheels gives users a chance to try out both wheeled and wheel-less cultivators in a single tool.
This isn’t to say that the Sun Joe TJ600E is a bad tool, but when it comes to picking grinding along soil, there’s just a little bit too much physical effort involved, especially when digging the unit out from deep soil when jammed on a hard object. If we were to suggest a cultivator for you to use on your gardening tasks, we wholeheartedly recommend getting the Earthwise TC70001.