Sears rototillers : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Looks like Sears is having a sale come up soon (May 1st), at least here in North Florida, and they've got their 5.5 hp Briggs and Stratton engined garden rototiller on sale @$300.00. It's a front tined tiller.

Anyone want to express an opinion?

There are heavier duty rototillers but they have a heavier price tag to match which would put them out of our price range for another year, probably two. I will have to break sod in some areas but it's thin and not heavily rooted so mostly it'll be used in areas that have already been broken.

Back in the late seventies my parents had a Sears 5.5 hp Briggs front tine tiller that I did yeoman's duty with so it looks like this one would do the job as well presuming the quality of the machine isn't too awful bad.


-- Alan (, April 25, 2002


Late seventies, eh? I don't know about you but I sure don't have the strength I had that long ago. Why don't you rent a front tine first to see if it is still comfortable to use. I would stongly reccomend a rear tine as it does most of the work and leaves your muscles intact afterwards. I had a rear tine reverse till Sears years ago and loved it. Then I married a guy with a Troy built and had to endure 16 years of begging him to till my garden as I couldn't operate the Troy. Finally hubby couldn't hardly start the darn thing and we traded in for a new Honda rear tine with electric start as my shoulder was wrecked by now. I LOVE that new machine and hubby can p--- off now while I till the garden. You'd be surprised what good second hand machines are out there. Good luck!

-- Kathy (, April 25, 2002.

I don't know what size of garden you will be putting out, but would it be possible to spade the garden by hand for a year or two until you can afford what you would really like to have? Maybe rent for just a year or two.

A roto-tiller does indeed do a tremedous amount of work for a few cents worth of gasoline. I sure wouldn't work that cheaply anyway.

I love my BCS tractor and rear tined roto-tiller attachment, also my Ford 1720 and 68 inch roto-tiller. Still, I used to have a front tine tiller that I nearly wore out. Also a Cub Cadet with tiller that I bought used. Also used to have a spade that was well used. lol.

Buy what you can afford, but also get the best you can afford. Quality always pays off.

-- Notforprint (, April 25, 2002.


Compare Sears with others locally available. Sears charges a lot for its name and quite often the same machine under its manufacturer's brand is available at discount stores. Once you've compared, go for it.

The front tined tiller will serve you well until you can put together the cash for a bigger, better machine--then sell the little front- tined jobby and get the good one. I used an old Gilson for years until I found a Troy-bilt Horse with a nice Kohler engine on it, and believe it or not the vegetables grew just as well in the garden with the Gilson.

-- Jimmy S (, April 25, 2002.

As most people ask, How big of a garden? Front tines tend to walk around a bit. 5+hp is a nice size engine and the price is right if its the correct size.

Have you looked at just paying someone to till for you? Around my area you can get someone to till a good size garden for $25-50. Save up, or better yet wait till fall when closeout sales happen and get the big tiller. Note bigger is not better, Like to have a small (mantis) size tiller for de-weeding and use the big one for soil prep.

I personally prefer rear tine tillers or even better yet, I have a 4ft tiller that fits the 3pt on my tractor. Its however big and only used for early soil prep work. Most of the time I use it to stir the compost pile. Regular tillers work well for that also.

-- Gary (, April 25, 2002.

Dunno about the front tine, but I bought a rear tine 5.5 from them 2 weeks ago and absoulutly love it!!

I checked prices at Wal-mart, Lowes, Sutherlands, and some of the small engine shops and Sears won. It was on sale for $529.

I am happy! :)

-- Lynette (, April 25, 2002.

Alan, I used a machine just as you are looking at for many years and it did a wonderful job, just required a bit more muscle. You are a young man and I am sure it will work just fine for you. I broke sod on almost 2 acres of heavy quackgrass sod with my old Sears-front tine. I must admit, I really love our newer big old Troy, but I am a bit older now. Look at the warranty........should tell you a little of how they will stand behind their product. It used to be a good one.

-- diane (, April 25, 2002.

I have a Sears rear tine and it is almost useless. It has counter-rotating tines so once you losen the soil up the tires ae running in the lose soil so you have to push to keep it going. My next one will be a Honda.

-- Mel Kelly (, April 25, 2002.

Have you ever used a front tine tiller? I bought a used Ariens for about $75. I was happy when I bought it. The next time I was happy was when I sold it.

-- Emil in TN (, April 25, 2002.


Re the Arriens: You are supposed to use the drag stake! Mac

-- Jimmy S (, April 25, 2002.

Alan, I have the tiller of which you speak, and it does a fine job. Like the others have said, a front tine will take your arms off if it's tough or rocky soil, but for first time cutting I like a front tine...rear tines tend to ingest stones and it can tear them up, and that ain't cheap. I've had mine for three years and it runs great, starts every time, and except for sounding like it's got the hiccups sometimes when I'm working uphill, it should definitely do the job.

-- gilly (, April 27, 2002.

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