The Best Small Tillers

Written by jessica kolifrath
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The Best Small Tillers
Commercial tillers use blades, but smaller tillers use sharp tines. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Tillers are powerful devices that use strong motors and tines to turn over and loosen soil. Large, commercial tillers are used on farms and for extensive landscaping projects. Smaller tillers, often referred to as mini-tillers, are affordable and lightweight enough to be of use around a residential home. Homeowners who enjoy gardening or regularly landscaping their yards may find a quality mini-tiller is a good investment.

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Craftsman #29264 2-Cycle Mini Tiller

Front-mounted tines and a compact size make this small tiller a good choice for home use, says Bestcovery. Weighing under 13.6kg., it is easy to manoeuvre and features folding handles for easier storage. Mini-tillers often lack the engine powered needing to break up compacted or clay soils. The Craftsman #29264 model uses a 31cc engine to provide more power than most small gas tillers can offer. Gas tillers are more difficult to start than electric models, produce fumes and require regular engine maintenance. However, for difficult jobs the extra power of a gas motor is crucial for breaking up the soil.

Mantis Mini-Tiller

One of the most well known mini-tillers for backyard use is the Mantis Mini-Tiller, according to the Garden Roto Tillers website. Mantis tillers feature multiple speed settings that allow you to add power for ripping up weeds or crab grass and other landscaping tasks around your home. The Mantis Mini-Tiller features a gas engine that is not as powerful as some other small tillers available. Homeowners who only pull out their tiller once a year to turn over a garden bed may need more power, but those who are constantly working on new landscaping or gardening projects may prefer this model because of its extra features that make it more adaptable.

Honda Mini Tiller FG110

Honda products are known for their relatively quiet engines and power. The Honda FG110 Mini-Tiller has fast spinning tines and is not as loud as most other mini-tillers. The four-stroke engine speeds up the starting process and offers more power than a two-stroke engine, says Consumer Reports. Less air pollution and emissions are created by the engine in this model as well. Four different optional tines make this mini-tiller appropriate for cultivating as well as tilling soil. Its high price may discourage some homeowners who can't justify spending so much on one landscaping tool.

Mantis 120-Volt Electric Tiller

Electric tillers require no gas or complicated engine maintenance, but they do have a range limited by the extension cord keeping them powered. The Galt Home Buying Guides website says that electric tillers are often criticised for their lower digging power, but the Mantis 120-Volt Electric Tiller is considered one of the best. At top speed it can dig to about 10 inches in soft soil, but harder compacted soils may require the use of a gas-powered tiller. This small tiller provides more power than the Mantis Mini-Tiller but is not as versatile.

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