Tiller opinions sought

nittany(Z6-New Jersey)October 12, 2003

It's time for me to replace my old rear-tined tiller. I'm looking for a fairly heavy-duty one, probably around 7-8 horsepower. I was wondering if the good folks here would care to weigh in with opinions and experiences on different makes and models. The Honda 8hp (Frc800) looks nice, but it sure is expensive. I suppose you get what you pay for, but sometimes you pay for something you don't get -- if you know what I mean. Thanks.

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Alpha_123(zone 8 - Texas)

I bought and threw away two front tine 5 H.P.Tillers because they were too light and jarred me too much to operate. I purchased a 1998 Troy-Bilt 8H.P rear-tine electic start Horse model Roto-Tiller and it is a dream. I have a 2500 foot garden and I can till the soil completely in the whole area in 30 minutes. I just walk beside the tiller and it does a complete wonderful job. I set the tines 3 inches deep and then set them one notch deeper each time I have completley tilled the area. It will break raw grassy ground the first pass. I just love this tiller and I will soon be 81 years of age. A good used Troy-Bilt Tiller made before they sold the Company a few years ago are the best ones and will last years and years. Hope this helps you .

    Bookmark   October 26, 2003 at 8:25PM
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marieb(z3 North Dakota)

I have a heavy duty, industrial Sears Craftsman rear-tined, walk behind tiller. At first I thought it was very awkward to operate. I'm not a very big person, but eventually got the hang of it and now really like it a lot. It turns sod or hard soil into nice loose, powdery dirt. Does shift hard and wanders if you are on a slope. When we purchased it about 4 years ago, the cost was around $ 600.00.

Marie B

    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 12:51PM
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I agree, the older Troy-Bilts are good tillers. I paid more for a BCS and am well pleased.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2003 at 12:06AM
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sunny43(Z 6 Pa.)

I love my Troy-Bilt tiller. It does such a great job and not hard to use.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2003 at 11:31PM
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dan_denise(z5b,6a MO)

Go to the TOOLS forum and ask same question, then duck! These guys (& gals) live to talk tillers!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 1:31PM
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Our TroyBilt is 10 years old. we did have to replace the motor a couple of years ago after hubby ran over something he sholdn't have!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2003 at 2:53AM
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huffy1(z6A MO)

I've owned a Troy-built Pro horse for around 15 years and haven't regreted it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2003 at 5:18PM
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go buy a BCS tiller. I own a 850 model that has alot of attachment to it. I use to own a troy-built horse and i broke two gears out of it. the bcs 850 has diff. lock on it to help make weeding a snap. it also make really nice beds for seed. it does not jump like some of the others do when you hit rocks of roots. it doesn't have belts to contend with. it uses a clutch to disengage the engine. If you what more info goto www.bcs-america.com or email me at carpenter_matt@hotmail.com.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2004 at 2:34PM
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Would anyone know where we could get parts for an MTD front tiner tiller we don't know what size belt etc. or does anyone know where to locate at manual with the part numbers?

Thanks for any assistance.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2004 at 4:05PM
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rsbast(z6/mo. bolivar)

i bought a used troy-built PONY roto-tiller. it has a 5hp briggs and stratton engine, electric start. please help me locate the numbers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 12:47PM
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well_rooted(5, BC Canada)

Have you considered not buying a tiller? We have a 30 yr old Troy-Bilt, but since I realized that tilling just brings weed seeds to the surface, where they will germinate, I stopped tilling. I had always mulched but there were still lots of weeds. Now there are virtually none.

If you do a search on the entire site for "no till gardening" you will be able to read about lots of people's experiences.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 8:06PM
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Tyrell(Zone 9, CA)

I really shouldn't be posting on this at all, since I am completely opposed to tilling. I've gardened for 34 years without disturbing the soil.
How? By keeping it covered 365 days a year (366 in Leap Years!) with grass clippings.

Just some of the things the clippings do:

1. Keep the sun from baking a rock-hard, impervious layer onto the soil. This is especially a risk with clay soils.
When you prevent this, you don't need to till, or "break up clods."

2. Keeps the soil much cooler and moister, by preventing both the sun and wind from dyring and heating it. A mulched soil will be moister and week after you water it than an exposed soil will be a day afterward.

3. The clippings provide an ideal environment as well as unlmited food for soil microorganisms and earthworms. The populations of both will skyrocket!

4.The clippings will provide all the nutrients your plants need. I haven't spent one cent on fertilizer in 34 years now. And I consistenly get over 500 full-size tomatoes per bush (except this Very unusual weather year) and last year got 90 peppers from each of my bell pepper plants.

5. The clippings will completley transform any soil, whether it's sand or clay to start with, into the best soil in the world. My soil hardly looks like it comes from the same planet as what I started out with. And I haven't spent one penny for soil conditioners or soil tests, either.

6. The clippings also eliminate weeds- permanently. Since one of the main reasons for "tilling" is always to eliminate weeds, this alone makes it unnecessary.

If anyone doubts any of the above, and I know it "sounds too good to be true," you can simply try it on a small portion of your garden, or even a single plant. Don't till the soil, just water it well and cover with at least 3 inches of grass clippings. Don't let the clippings actually touch the stems of your plants. They could rot them. I promise you will be amazed at the results.

I keep issuing a challenge for someoone, anyone to tell me of a cheaper, easier way to garden that gets as spectacular results. So far, no takers.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 11:01AM
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I am like a lot of folks out here. Ihave been stung more than once on the latest tool. Hoowever in 1973 I bought a 6 hp TroyBilt tiller. Today it is the shop for the first real repairs it has had. I have gone tru three engins, and 4sets of tines.I went by today and it is supossed to be ready this week end. Cost about 300 bucks for the repairs and I can truthfull say it is the best investment I have ever made. It has paid for its self many years ago . I find it a pleasure to use. I am 76 years old and look forward to another thirty years of gardening. If I dont make it at least the kids will have something to fight over when I am gone. Ha.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 8:55PM
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taxonomist(7b VA)

Like many of the respondants, I'll vouch for the OLD Troy-Bilt tillers. The products produced today under the TROY-Bilt name are simply not up to snuff. The Honda is very expensive, but it's very useable and tough.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 7:43PM
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I got the smallest tiller Troy Bilt made under the name of the Tuffy. It is forward rotating tines. It was unusable, hopping about and running away, until I used an 8 inch section of pre-perforated angle iron to bolt a 2"x8"x2 foot long board to the bottom (ground level) of the depth adjuster arm. I lower the tines all the way, press down one foot on the board, and let the tiller dig in. It is easy to control and does a great job. Once new ground is broken up I can till without putting my foot on the board.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:27AM
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