When it comes to garden equipment, a tiller is the one piece that saves your back from digging-induced ache. Use your rototiller to cultivate the ground when preparing flower beds and the vegetable garden. As you shop for brand-name tillers, consider the size of your garden space and how often the ground needs cultivation in a year.
Taking its name from the town of Troy, New York, where the company first manufactured rotary tillers, Troy-Bilt makes 12 tiller models. All are rear-tine tillers, meaning that the rotating blades are set behind the wheels and engine mount. Smaller models fit between garden rows while the larger models are for heavier chores such as groundbreaking. Depending on the model, the tiller is powered by Briggs & Stratton, Honda or Troy-Bilt's own proprietary engine. The controls on several models allow single-hand operation; some models have electric starters.
Known for its lightweight tillers and extensive television advertising campaigns, Mantis specializes in small-size cultivators and tillers. Weighing in at 20 lbs., the original two-cycle machine is notable for its maneuverability in small garden plots. The slightly larger four-cycle tiller weighs 24 lbs. Both are gas fueled. An electric-powered model operates with a 540-watt motor. Additional attachments such as a planter/furrower, lawn aerator and border edger are available for all Mantis tillers.
The Craftsman line of tillers ranges from mini-cultivators to heavy-duty tillers with dual-rotating tines and large wheels for navigating wide swaths of ground. The signature line of a major U.S. department-store chain, the tillers are backed by a limited two-year warranty. Smaller models have fold-down handles for easy storage. Rear-tine models are designed for breaking new ground and the front-tine models are suited for working ground that has previously been cultivated. Craftsman tillers are gas fueled.
Husqvarna, a supplier of professional landscape and construction equipment, produces a line of tillers for landowners and homeowners. Powered by Briggs & Stratton motors and mobilized by agricultural-grade tires, the tillers are primarily designed for use on larger properties. All models have forward and reverse gears that allow for efficient maneuverability, plus ergonomic handlebars that adjust vertically for operator comfort. The larger models are counterweighted for stability and have the gears mounted on the handlebars for easy access.