If you’re in the market for a petrol tiller, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that a perfect model is hard to find. In addition to having to choose between a huge number of available machines – it’s a growing industry – you also have to keep track of many important features. You certainly don’t want to buy a model, bring it home and set it up, only to discover its tines spin at a speed that you find uncomfortable. Well, that’s why we’re here! We’ve tested a bunch of different petrol tillers and discovered three models that are simply head and shoulders above competition. Without further ado, here’s our list:
The first thing most people notice about the Mantis is how small it seems for a petrol tiller. However, despite its compact design, this machine can boast with a lot of horsepower under the bonnet, both figuratively and literally. It’s powered by a 4-cycle Honda engine, and its serpentine tines can deal with most kinds of soil, tilling down up to ten inches. The tines are also reversible, which opens up the possibility of shallow cultivation of up to three inches of depth; if you’re just starting out, this might not mean much to you, but any experienced gardener will be grateful for the option.
The nine inch wide design means that this tiller can fit in just about anywhere. If you’ve had some bad experiences with larger tillers that were unable to get in narrow rows and similar hard-to-reach places, the Mantis has got you covered. Plus, its lightweight design and folding handlebars make this tiller easily portable and able to fit into any tool shed. If there’s one fault with it, it’s that it can seem a bit bouncy when you turn it on for the first time and it might take you a couple of tries to really learn to operate it. Still, it’s nothing a little practice won’t solve.
The list of good features does not end there, either. The Mantis requires almost no maintenance to be in tip-top shape; other than an occasional oil check – which is kind of hard to avoid with petrol tillers – all you have to do is to brush it off a bit after every use. Its fuel consumption is also fairly low when compared to most other petrol fillers. And if you’re interested in some additional garden work beyond digging over your allotment, this product also has many useful optional attachments that are sold separately.
As the name says, this tiller is very handy when it comes to tilling over the more bothersome types of soil. Sporting a sturdy 4-stroke Briggs & Stratton engine, this machine sends a clear message to anyone who’s interested – this is heavy duty equipment. The machine’s maximum working width is 380 millimetres, while its maximum working depth is 250 millimetres, which is more than enough for the vast majority of home gardens. The only real problem with it is that it only has a single forward gear and no reverse gear, which is below the expected standard these days.
While the product takes the better part of an hour to assemble, the process itself is fairly simple and straightforward. The manual provided with the box is very detailed, so putting the thing together shouldn’t be a problem. Once you fill it with oil and start working on your garden, you’ll notice that the machine is wonderfully quiet and easy to control. Some tillers take some time to get used to, but this one works just fine out of the box. It’s important to note that you should change the oil after the first few hours of work; from then on, you’ll probably only have to fill it up once a year.
This tiller has a folding handle that makes it a bit easier to store. However, the machine’s impressive weight (29 kilogrammes) means that lifting it from the ground is usually a job for two people. It does also have a rear wheel that makes it easy to move about the garden, but the weight is still a bit of a bother. Still, it’s fair to say that an engine this powerful demands certain sacrifices. Whether you’re a novice or an expert in gardening, this product should leave you satisfied.
And then we have something like this. With a 1-cylinder 4-stroke engine and 163 cc of power, this is undoubtedly a machine for the most demanding allotment work. One look at this product confirms that theory; with a lot of iron and steel present in its design, the Einhell looks and feels like a powerful weapon. Even the heaviest and most compacted types of soil in your garden will not stand a chance against this petrol tiller.
Of course, all that power and solid construction comes with a price. Once you assemble it and fill it up with petrol and oil, you will probably be surprised at how it seems to run away from you a bit. It might also take you a while to figure out how to keep oil in the oil filler cap, as it spills out if you tilt the machine on the wrong side. Make no mistake, however; many of the bigger petrol tillers on the market have the exact same problems as described here, but no real power to make up for it. If your allotment has been neglected for a long time, this tiller is still your best choice in this category.
At a hefty 34 kilogrammes, it’s even heavier than the previous tiller we’ve described. There’s also no easy way to grip it and load it into a car, although the machine’s dimensions are small enough that this shouldn’t trouble you all that much. To make up for it, the Einhell requires almost no maintenance at all; the only thing you really have to pay attention to is add the correct type of oil. Much like the other products from this company, it’s built to last for many years. Considering its build quality, you’re bound to get good mileage out of it.