As a solid midrange gas tiller for a small or medium garden, the Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller is a good option. While it doesn't offer any real standout features, it covers all the basics and is popular because of its durability and reliability.
Functional and practical, this power tiller from Craftsman features dual rotating rear tines, giving you a fine till with minimal passes along the row. It boasts a 208 cc OHV engine, so it provides plenty of power for the 13-inch steel tines. Offering dual tine rotation, this Craftsman garden tiller breaks up dense and compacted soil with ease and is suitable for cutting virgin ground as well as general bed maintenance.
The tiller has a pull-cord start mechanism, which can make starting up more of a challenge than it is with electric starts. The OHV engine runs cool, allowing you to run the machine for longer without risk of overheating. Unfortunately, with its limited 0.58-gallon fuel tank, if you're using the rotovator for long periods, you'll have to stop and refuel regularly.
Weighing 262 pounds, this tiller is not easy for everyone to maneuver. In spite of the weight of the machine, it lacks plow-style handles, instead having an adjustable, foam-padded loop handle. Because of the added weight, when tilling heavy, stony or compacted soil, you don't get much bounce or vibration. The tilling width is fixed at 18 inches, so this model won't allow you to till between narrow rows without harming the plants on either side. It does come with an adjustable depth stick, allowing you to till to a generous depth of up to 7.5 inches, improving drainage and soil structure.
This Craftsman gas tiller has a complete rear shield, protecting your feet and legs from the tines and from flying soil and debris. It also has half-coverage, adjustable side shields, protecting plants from flying debris. The 16-inch pneumatic agricultural tires provide excellent traction, even in wet, muddy conditions. The size and weight of the tires also further reduce bounce and vibration and help to improve maneuverability. For enhanced balance and stability, the machine features a front counterweight.
While the Craftsman 280 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller doesn't have any fancy extras, it is a sturdy, reliable machine that allows you to till garden beds, as well as cut new beds, to a fine structure without uncomfortable bounce and vibration.