The Black & Decker Garden Cultivator takes the back breaking labor of weeding and routine garden maintenance to its inevitable cordless conclusion in this useful tool for light soil tilling and weeding.
Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 22/25
I remember those Garden Weasel commercials with the guy lamenting the benefits of a hand tiller that gets between the plants and chews up the weeds while aerating the soil. Forward a few years and I was the one sitting in my mom’s back yard with a hand rake or just yanking those weeds out by hand, this is where I get my aversion to the labor intensive gardening.
Forward even more to my own home, my own garden, planted by my wife and myself with me so handily close at hand home all day long due to my home office. So it often falls to me to run outside in the fresh morning air to hit those pesky weeds and get them separated from the wanted plants like tomatoes and carrots.
Cultivating or tilling the soil during the growing season means treating the soil to some air while getting rid of those weeds and using a cordless tool makes sense. Round carrots, purple potatoes and chocolate peppers are just some of the odd garden varieties that get the same treatment as those more familiar corn, tomatoes and radishes in my garden.
The Black & Decker Garden Cultivator is a hand tiller with two sets of blades pointed straight down that rotate in a circle about three inches in diameter. The two sets of blades are about an inch apart with three downward facing blades kind of like a cup with cuts out of the sides to make blades.
The Garden Cultivator from Black & Decker comes in two version, one with the battery and charger and one without for those that already have the same 18 volt battery system. The tool itself is easy to use the first time, the set comes as an easy to assemble tool with the handle, a guard and blades not attached.
All you need to do to get into the garden is attach the blades using the cotter pins, attach the handle and front guard then plug in the charged battery. The battery is a common Black & Decker 18 volt from their cordless tools and I have a few other batteries so I did have a bit of an advantage over those weeds.
Using the tool is much like using a rake or that older Garden Weasel, simply turn it on using the safety switch and trigger then push and pull the blades into the soil and weeds. You can work the tool back and forth as well as side to side in and around those plants you want to keep to get rid of those weeds.
I found it was easy enough to avoid the plants I wanted and keep the blades far enough away to not require much if any weeding by hand. The blades are not sharp so they will not cut and mangle weeds, mostly they just pull the weeds as well as turn the soil to get a nice aeration and tilling those weeds into the dirt.
The Garden Cultivator will not work on very dry soil or very wet soil as the blades are not sharp and will clog with very damp or wet dirt. You have to judge when it is time to use the Garden Cultivator as it does require a looser soil to work and does not work down much further than two or three inches into soil.
The tool is more for weeding and getting in and around those plants in your garden for tilling the soil lightly and not for heavy tilling before planting. This is that easy in between weeding and tilling to turn the soil a bit for that light gardening and is not going to do all the work for you.
I found a few negative comments on the internet and I think most are from the fact that this is not a tough tool that can be used on large gardens. It is not for deep tilling before planting or at the end of the year to cut up weeds and get the soil ready for planting or winter.
This is the light tool for pulling up weeds and getting a little mix to your soil while doing the season long maintenance on your home garden. It is very much like that Garden Weasel only with a convenient cordless tool design to make the job a little easier on the gardener.
I found most of the negative comments appeared to me to be people who want a little too much from a hundred dollar tool, almost like they did not think gardening was going to be at least some work. The Garden Cultivator does take out some of that bending down and kneeling in the soil to pull those weeds but like any tool it does have its limits.
One of those is the battery life, I found I could get about half of my garden done when doing the whole thing, it is about sixty feet by twelve feet with lots of plants. Having a spare battery is probably going to be a necessity if you have more than a small plot to weed and you want to do it at one time.
I found this made a nice convenient way to weed and keep the area between plants aerated and even looking good so your garden grows well and looks nice. The Black & Decker Garden Cultivator makes a great weed and soil tiller for those times when plants are plentiful in your garden and you need a little extra work in between them.