Prepping soil for a new garden is a tedious, backbreaking job that requires de-rooting the soil, tossing rocks, and aerating it to let oxygen flow freely. You need to give your future crops a comfortable home in the soil before transporting them from pots to the earth. With a handy tiller/cultivator, you can reduce the amount of work to a fraction of the time it’d take to do it by hand.
In today’s article, we’re going to compare four of Earthwise’s most popular tiller/cultivators – the TC70001, TC70016, TC70025, and TC70040. We’ve reviewed and compared the TC70001 and the TC70016 in another article. This time around, we want to see which of these four would be the best tiller/cultivator to own.
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Corded vs. Cordless
TC70001, TC70016, and TC70025
These three are corded-electric models that draw power from electrical outlets, so their movement is rather limited. That is unless you have a reliable, outdoor-safe extension cord which allows you to travel 100 feet away and beyond. Just make sure that you’re getting the right gauge cord based on how far you need to work. For a 50-, 100-, or 150-foot travel distance, you need to get a 14-, 16-, and 12-gauge extension cord respectively.
With the TC70040, you can forget about which type of gauge wire to get since this tool runs off of a 4.0-ah rechargeable battery. Going cordless means being able to travel anywhere around the planet without long power cords tying you down. Of course, you need to be aware of how long the battery will provide power for – this model can run for roughly 30 minutes before needing to recharge.
Conclusion: Deciding whether to get a corded or a cordless tiller/cultivator is a matter of personal preference. We can’t say for sure whether you would love using one over the other, so take some time to research whether working for uninterrupted amounts of time is better than maximum portability based on the position of your garden relative to your home.
Motor Power and Tines
The motor and number of tines determine how well the machine will aerate the soil and tear through clumped, compacted soil. The TC70001 comes with a powerful 8.5-amp motor and four steel tines. In our experience, this tool does well to de-root and aerate most types of compacted soil and even clay.
The TC70016 is the most powerful of the four Earthwise tiller/cultivators in this article. It comes with a beefy 13.5-amp motor and six adjustable tines (more on how adjustability matters later). After giving the TC70016 a few runs over all types of soil available to us, we found that there’s absolutely nothing that can stop it from aerating, de-rooting, and even de-rocking compacted soil.
This model is the lightest of the four. It features a moderate 3.5-amp motor and four steel tines. This tool is best suited for work on naturally airy and dusty soil. Even though it can work on compacted soil to a certain degree, it doesn’t fare well against clay, rocks, and hard roots.
The cordless TC70040 uses a 40V motor which is just slightly more powerful than the TC70025’s 2.5-amp motor. With this model, you get extreme portability but limited tilling and cultivator power which, in our opinion, suits the cordless name just fine. This tool is a direct contender to the TC70025 and not up to par with the others.
Conclusion: If you need to break up clumps of clay in your soil before planting a garden, then either the TC70001 or the TC70016 would be the best models to do it. If time spent under the hot sun is a factor, then the TC70016’s six-tine setup and 13.5-amp will do it quicker. As for airy soil with little to no rocks, clay, or roots, both the TC70025 and the TC70040 would work about equally well.
Tilling Width and Height
When planning out a new garden, you need to determine how wide of an area to allocate to the garden. Another thing to consider is what sort of plants you want to put in your garden since different crops require different planting depths to flourish. The TC70001 has a cultivating width of 11 inches and can dig up to 8 inches deep into the earth.
The six-tine design on the TC70016 can extend and retract between 11 and 16 inches. If your garden is going to measure several feet by several feet, then extend the tines to their maximum extent for quicker prep. The tines can reach up to 8 inches deep into the ground.
As the lightest model with the weakest motor, you shouldn’t expect the TC70025 to be able to cultivate as large of an area with each pass. However, if your future garden will take up only a limited amount of space in your yard, then this model would be a good fit small-scale tilling and cultivating. The TC70025 has a clearing width of 7-1/2 inches and can reach as deep as 6 inches.
Despite having a motor that’s barely more powerful than the TC70025, this tool has a wider clearing path of 11 inches and can dig as deep as 8 inches. Essentially, it works quicker at doing the same workload as the TC70025.
Conclusion: Of the four tools here, the TC70016 can clear the largest area of land more efficiently than the other three. As for their tilling depths, we found that you can simply push the TC70025 deeper into soil that’s already been aerated to reach depths of up to 8 inches or more. However, if you want to do it quicker, then one of the other three models are for you.
TC70001, TC70016, and TC70040
These three tools come with two rear tires which allow them to glide effortlessly across all sorts of terrains. When you’re done clearing an area for your garden, simply flip the rear wheels up and let the tines dig into the ground effortlessly.
The TC70025 is unique in the sense that it doesn’t come with rear tires. When clearing paths with this tool, it can be a bit of a challenge to maintain balance while pushing the tool forward. However, the no-tire setup makes digging into and lifting out of dirt easier due to it being lighter than the other three.
Conclusion: Being able to move the tool around easily is an important consideration especially when prepping large plots of land for a new garden. The TC70001, TC70016, and TC70040 with their two rear tires make traveling across all terrains easy to do. Digging into the dirt is also manageable since the tires can flip up and down.
When deciding on which tiller/cultivator to get, the most important considerations are how large a piece of land you need to prepare and how cluttered/clumped up the soil is. If there aren’t large roots and/or rocks that need to be pulled out of the earth, then either the corded TC70025 or the cordless TC70040 could be great options.
However, if you need something more heavy-duty for aerating compacted dirt, then choose the TC70001 or the TC70016. For the toughest dirt, and largest roots and the largest backyard gardens, the TC70016’s six adjustable tines of up to 16-inch clearing width would be your best bet of the four Earthwise tiller/cultivators here.