Rated 3.8 out of 5 by 75
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by ColoradoElkhunter Useful tiller - moderate cost
This tiller arrived ahead of the shipping schedule and was easy to assemble with simple hand tools and adding the motor oil provided. The single speed transmission and counter rotating tines made controlling the tiller almost effortless.
Hard soil took 2 passes to break through the crust but subsequent blending of amendments and moisture took no time at all.
I added rubber side skirts to enhance tilling and blending and a front skirt to keep dirt off the rear deck. Drive mode to transport mode is easy to accomplish by changing the drive pins on the wheels.
I also McGivered an auto-pilot to avoid continued holding of the forward control lever.
This tiller makes less noise than my mower due to the effective exhaust muffler. The controls are easy to reach and use and it started on first pull, first time. Half throttle provides enough power for most tilling operations.
I'm very happy with the quality and performance of this machine and would recommend it to anyone needing a compact yet powerful roto-tiller.
August 9, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by dcline Very Effective Tiller
I had a few areas of my hard rocky yard to till up, a 12x12' square for my wife's garden and a 5x50' hill where no grass or plants would grow. This tiller absolutely chewed up the clay and rocks to leave the dirt very fine and malleable, so it is definitely very effective.
The initial setup and startup was not at all difficult, but I quickly realized that moving the tiller around is very difficult, requiring the difficult task of removing pins from each wheel to allow them to spin freely on the axel and reinserting them into the axel outside the wheels.
There is a support bar with pin to lift the tines off the ground when not tilling, and to set the depth when tilling. I found the holes very hard to line up well enough for the pin to slide through, so this becomes quite a chore. The pin simply does not fit in some of the holes. And when the height is set, the base is small enough that it just sinks into the tilled ground, so it only serves as a visual depth guide that must be manually maintained.
The tiller works great going forward, but when reversing the guard gets caught in the loose soil and wedges against the tines, bending the guard and lifting the tines up out of the soil. I have only been able to back up about a foot before having to go forward. This 3 point maneuver is necessary, however, anytime you want to turn the tiller, as the drive wheels tend to grip and resist sharp turns.
I also discovered this season that starting after the tiller has been sitting for several months is not a very easy proposition. I have several other Powermate tools with different engines that started right up with no problem. However the tiller required about an hour of turning the choke on and off, letting it sit, and of course yanking the start cord a few hundred times. Once it finally started, it still runs great and started again hours and days later without issue.
I would say this is not a very good tiller for infrequent use or for tilling small areas. If you constantly till very large open areas without letting the tiller sit unused for several months during any season, this may be a perfect tiller for you. However any light or medium duty or seasonal use seems to be more trouble than it's worth.
May 4, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by jamest A Strong and Impressive Tiller
I found this to be a strong and impressive tiller.
Assembly: All that was required was to slide the two wheels on (be sure treads point forward), slip in the pins and add the top half of the handle bars with 4 handle knobs. They also provide motor oil to add because the engine is shipped dry.
Starting: Fill with fresh unleaded gas, at least 86 octane. Turn the red engine switch to on. Open the fuel valve.Move the choke leaver to the left for full choke. Move the throttle leaver to start and pull the rope (see photos). It has always started for me with no more than two pulls.
Operation: This unit has a forward lever and a reverse lever. I have been operating it at about 2/3 throttle and that has worked out fine for me. The reverse is a handy feature to have. At 190 lbs this is a large heavy tiller but it is so well balanced that I find it easy to operate. I have provided a short video of me tilling a deep first cut through our thick saint Augustine turf and sticky black gumbo soil. As you can see that is no problem at all for this tiller; even at only half throttle.
Summary: This tiller gets the job done. It has plenty of power. It is well designed and balanced. It is easy to start. If I keep stabilizer in the fuel and drain the gas or run it dry before storing in the off season I think this tiller will last me a long time. With a 2 year limited warranty I recommend this tiller for heavy duty tilling. I have provided photos and a demo video, I hope they help the decision maker.
May 30, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by HGTVFAN Very Powerful Gas RotoTiller
This Powermate 18 inch gas powered roto tiller is some powerful machine. It is built to chew through very tough terrain.
It was delivered by a very large truck. Took a couple of strong friends to get it off the truck and into the garage. I cut the carton off of the machine. There wasnt many things to do to get it assembled and ready. Pretty much the wheels, handle and gas and oil.
Starting it up for the first time took two pulls. Not bad. The hard part was getting it up over a curb to get to the dirt. Wish my strong friends were here for that.
There were two tasks at hand for this tiller. First, was preparing a previous garden for planting. I knew it would be easy because the soil was not too hard. It went through the approx 350 of garden with no problem. The second task, which I had been putting off, was an area where the grass will not grow and looks bad. The tiller earned its stripes with this one. Went right through. Pulled out some small to medium roots, small rocks, old mulch and a glove. I will now seek some guidance from my local HD to see what to put there.
All in all, this Powermate is a good value and will take care of just about any ground related issue.
May 26, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Roof Very Powerful Tiller!
When you first receive this, cut the sides of the box and fold down all 4 sides. This tiller weighs a couple hundred pounds, and you will not lift it out of the box. In fact, the instructions say to cut the sides of the box, but unfortunately the instructions are in the box.
This is my 3rd Powermate yard tool, and I have yet to be disappointed. I also have their edger and their cultivator.
This tiller came much more assembled than the instructions say. The clear instructions lead you step by step, and fortunately some of the steps are already done, so you need not do them. This is a HUGE plus, but Powermate needs to update their instructions to lessen any confusion. It comes with the oil, but you MUST fill the crankcase before starting. It does take the entire bottle of oil which was shipped with it.
This is a direct drive tiller, so there is NO neutral per say. The tiller does NOT roll when not started. Eliminating the typical gear box is how many yard equipment manufacturers are going, to give the option of owning powerful machines at a lesser price point. Just keep this is mind when choosing your equipment. To "roll" this equipment, there are quick disconnect pins on the rims, so the rims are not locked to the axle. Once rolled when not started, you must put the pins back into the rim/axle.
This machine started on the second pull, which was impressive. Some reviews say how hard equipment is to start after sitting for months. Do yourself a favor if any machine is going to sit for months on end. They are proper storing techniques for everything, and usually involves an additive to the fuel. I've yet to have a problem starting anything when properly stored.
What I feel would be an improvement on this machine is quick disconnect pins for adjusting the handles. As it is currently, it's 2 bolts with nuts. I found when tilling, I had to move the handles to another position since the tiller was lower. It's a little bit of a nuisance to unbolt and re-bolt for adjustment.
This machine does have reverse! A huge plus.
I attached some pictures of tilling HARD soil ii a 20' x25' area. I tilled it each way, and took about an hour total. Impressive to say the least.
This is a highly recommended product.
May 30, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by TopCat Backyard garden
Easy to push. digs deeply, no reverse this would be a great feature to add.
May 11, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by bernie so far so great
love the reverse funtion. makes for easier use. good power and tills great. easy starter
October 4, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by 4221kr very good purchase
the tiller is well made. starts easy and is easy to use.
August 23, 2016