Electric tillers, more properly referred to as electric cultivators, are designed to be used differently from tillers.
Unlike gas-powered tillers, which break into and churn hard soil into a workable garden bed, electric tillers are less powerful and feature smaller tines.
So why might you want to choose an electric tiller over a larger gas-powered tiller?
There are a number of reasons to use them, and knowing those reasons will help you to differentiate them from gas-powered models.
Purpose of Electric Tillers
Electric tillers are used for stirring in amendments and further churning already tilled soil to a softer, less dense consistency for better root development and easier planting.
They have smaller, tighter tines that break soil into smaller clumps so you can easily rake the soil around with your hands as you sow seeds or plant bulbs.
They feature enough speed to break through this already loosened soil, but they lack the torque and sheer power necessary to break into hard, compacted soil.
For that reason, electric tillers are not the ideal tool for establishing new gardens, but are effective for weeding, aerating, and stirring in compost or other amendments to maintain the soil's optimal condition for growing.