Front Tine Tiller Buyer's Guide
How To Pick The Perfect Front-Tine Garden Tiller
Everyone wants a beautiful garden, but turning and churning the soil by hand each season is an exhausting job.
Instead of slaving away with a shovel, you can use a front tine tiller to complete the job in less time with less effort.
Front tine tillers are designed for breaking up light soils, weeding, and general garden maintenance. They have several features that make them ideal for use in small-to-medium-size gardens with soft soil conditions.
A tiller's tines are its most distinguishable feature.
One advantage of front tine tillers is their adjustable tine width. Most have three tine width settings, so you can till spaces of all sizes, from narrow gaps between plants to rows up to two feet wide.
Additionally, all front tine tillers have forward rotating tines, also called standard rotating tines, which rotate in the same direction as the wheels. Because they don't dig too deeply into the soil, standard rotating tines are great for aerating soils and pulling out shallow weeds.
The engines on front tine tillers are powerful enough to break unloosened, softer soils. With engine capacities between 165 and 205cc, front tine tillers are heavier but far more powerful than garden cultivators.
Front tine tillers use 4-cycle engines, so you don't have to worry about mixing gas and oil. The 4-cycle engines on front tine tillers are also quieter and more fuel-efficient than other tools' 2-cycle engines.
Since front tine tillers weigh between 100 and 130 pounds, you might not think of them as machines that are easy to maneuver.
However, front tine tillers are built with large wheels that help them push through the loose soils where they work best. Those large wheels also make them easy to push along sidewalks and driveways when you're heading to and from your garden plot.
Additionally, some front tine tillers feature folding handlebars that allow them to be stored in tighter spaces inside garages and sheds.
Although it's not a standard feature, some front-tine tillers include an adjustable drag bar. This runs behind the tiller and slows it down, which gives the tines more time to till the soil and turn it more thoroughly.
You can set the drag bar for the depth you need, depending on the job. With the drag bar in place, your front tine tiller can churn soil at a consistent depth.
Why Choose a Front Tine Tiller
Front tine tillers are more powerful than cultivators, but lighter than rear tine tillers. When it comes to aerating and weeding the loose, loamy soil where many plants thrive, a front tine tiller is the garden tool best suited to the job.
With a front tine tiller, you'll spend less time shoveling your soil and more time planting and harvesting your herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
In other words, front tine tillers can help you with the best part of gardening: enjoying the fruits of your labor.