Everyone wants a beautiful garden, but turning and churning the soil by hand each season with a shovel is an exhausting job.
Instead, you can use a front-tine tiller to complete the job in less time with much less effort. This will leave you with plenty of energy to finish your gardening.
Front-tine tillers are ideal for those with small-to-medium-size gardens and soft soil conditions.
Front-tine tillers are designed for weeding and general garden maintenance, and are not suitable for tilling hard, tough soil.
Engines on front-tine tillers are powerful enough to break unloosened, softer soils. For the most dependable performance, look for a front-tine tiller powered by a reliable Briggs & Stratton or Honda engine.
All front-tine tillers now use 4-cycle engines so you don't have to worry about mixing gas and oil. 4-cycle engines are also more efficient than 2-cycle engines. These are much more powerful than cultivators, with engines between 160 - 205cc.
One feature you may want to look for, is an adjustable drag bar. This runs behind the tiller and allows you work at a consistent depth.
You can set the drag bar for the depth you need, depending on the job.
A nice feature on front-tine tillers is the adjustable tine width. Most have three settings so you can till narrow spaces or rows up to two-feet wide.
All front-tine tillers have forward rotating (standard rotating) tines, which can not only break up softer soils so you can plant your vegetables or flowers, but can also be helpful when it comes to weeding or aerating.
Larger wheels on a front-tine tiller will make it easier to maneuver in loose soil. Wheels also make the tiller easier to transport across driveways and sidewalks.
These machines are bigger and heavier than cultivators so if garage or shed space is a concern, select a model that has folding handle bars.
Front-tine tillers weigh between 100-130 pounds so they require some muscle to use safely. They are also propelled by their tines, which can make them more difficult to handle than a cultivator or rear-tine tiller.