A good little tiller

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by albionjessica, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

    Oct 24, 2005
    Ok, so we just heard back from our agent and our first offer was flat out refused. We really want this house because it has a very sunny yard that would be perfect for getting my thumb a few shades greener. So we made another offer today, and hopefully the seller finds this one more suitable. If we're accepted, we could be moving in next month... yay!

    But now for my big question. We have been looking into tillers, and have found a huge selection. We don't need anything really big, but even the smallest one we could find (new Ryobi) was going for $199. There are two used tillers for sale in our local classifieds:

    Craftsman 5 hp, rear tine, 17" for $150, excellent condition
    MTD 5 hp, 21", forward and reverse $125, like new

    Either one of them sound like a good deal? I'd hate to buy something new if I can find a perfectly good used one.

    Thanks all!
  2. slowsuki1

    slowsuki1 Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    i can't coment on eather of those tillers but make shure you get rear tine the price seems good.

  3. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    the problem with rear tine tilers is;
    they are hell to break new ground with unless the soil is soft and moist. once the ground is tilled they are great for retilling and ammending the dirt. I had a troy built horse [old model] and it nearly ripped my arms off breaking new dirt. my old front time tiller with a drag bar did the work in no time.

    I have since got a shaft driven tiller for my old bolens tractor, it will till 12" deep with no effort. but I still want a small front tine tiller, they are easier to use in general.

    if they run good and are not worn out, 150 for either is a good deal.

    as for brands keep in mind MTD is the same as troy built [newer ones] yard man, bolens, and a lot of others because its all the same company, owned by electrolux. [yes vacuum cleaners]

    look for the engine, most all are briggs, or techumseh engines. in that respect, they are all alike.
    look at how well its made, the housing the driveline ect ect. which is really the only difference.
    craftsman is also no longer "a unique brand" its a copy, generally anymore they should call it "crapsman".

    I would take the MTD just because the parts are easy to find, any repair shop can get MTD parts.

    if you have birgin ground you might want to find someone with a LARGE tiller on a 3 pt hitch tractor to do the first deep tilling to "create" the garden and get the subsoil deeply broken up.
  4. zealot

    zealot Soli Deo Gloria

    Feb 6, 2006
    SW Missouri
    Or you could use a Kentucky high wheeler.
  5. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 10, 2005
    NW Georgia
    All the little tillers I've wrestled with, either front or rear tine, were not that good at breaking new ground. If you have a friend/neighbor with a big tractor that could turn the soil first, that would help the little tiller do a much better job for you. Good luck with both your home and tiller purchases.
  6. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

    Apr 16, 2003
    Southern Maryland
    We have a husqvarna rear tined tiller with counter rotating tines - it breaks new ground with ease, but bogs down in previously cultivated beds.
  7. neolady

    neolady Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2005
    That is one MEAN tiller - got myself one of those for my 1225!!! While the Roper tiller for my Sears tractor is really very good, strong, reliable and I have used it for 16 years without a single complaint, it can't touch the 37 year old Bolens product.

    I have a small hand tiller given to me by someone who couldn't start it and replaced it with a small Honda tiller. The one comment I would have to make is BUY THE HONDA! You can start them!!!
  8. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 12, 2005
    East central WI
    <<Or you could use a Kentucky high wheeler.>>

    I just got mine in the mail today!! Can't wait for weeds!
  9. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    We have had a Mantis for 4 years and I use the devil out of it. We have large gardens, used it to create a rose garden, break ground on patio; this is one of the wisest choices in products we've made.
  10. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Central Arkansas
    Hey I just posted about my new tiller in an other forum. But I love My new Sthil yard machine. It is called MM55. I have bought ROBI stuf and in my humble opinon that brand has a lot to be desired. I bought my tiller new for $285. Check it out on the Sthil web site. I bouught The BK MM and it comes with the BF MM . I did nine small gardens from scratch from 9AM-11AM. They mesured six by fifty feet. Hey not only does the machine till the soil I live on a very rocky ridge. It bounced over the rock,pull out some and when the stones did get stuck I knocked them out with a hammer. The last seven years I have rented full size tillers and thought about Mantis. I own other Stihl Produts and have had tremendous amount of good fortune with these products. Like I said check it out on the web. These machines are new this year and are not with the other tillers. God Bless You on your quest.
  11. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

    Mar 16, 2003
    I've had front and rear tine....The rear tine is better for conventional gardening in larger plots(in my opinion). I'm a female and I'm reasonably strong,but not muscle clad by any means. I do wrestle with the rear tine when it comes to making turns,but for the most part,it's easy to use.

    Oh and ditto on using a tractor to break up new ground. But anyways,me personally,I would check out the Craftsman tiller.

    Good luck :)