For general maintenance across areas of any size, the Powermate PFTT140BE is a solid tiller, offering reliability and versatility. Maneuverable and easy to use, this low-end garden tiller offers a surprising number of features.
The Powermate PFTT140BE boasts an efficient cool-running OHV 139 cc four-stroke engine. The engine delivers enough power for general garden maintenance, including in tough conditions, although cutting new ground can be a challenge that requires more passes. The engine has a traditional pull-cord starting mechanism, offering optimal fuel efficiency, quiet operation and low emissions. It only has a fuel tank capacity of 0.265 gallons, but thanks to its fuel efficiency, this shouldn't cause much of an issue for small or medium growing areas.
The front-facing tines do not provide as much bite as rear-facing tines, but the forward rotation propels the machine forward comfortably and, in spite of their placement, the tines offer a pleasingly fine till. Easy to adjust, the tines till up to a generous depth of 8 inches, allowing you to improve the condition and structure of your soil. Even so, because of the position of the tines and the size of the engine, you'll get better results on virgin ground and heavily compacted soil by turning it over by hand to break it up slightly before tilling.
You can also adjust the tilling width, drastically increasing the versatility of the tiller. You can choose between 11, 16 or 21 inches, depending on the task you need to complete. The 11-inch option allows you to till comfortably between rows during the growing season, while the larger settings allow you to till whole swathes of soil reasonably quickly. The tines are also self-sharpening, reducing the need for maintenance and ensuring optimal performance with a continuously keen blade edge.
The 8-inch wheels provide a modicum of balance and stability, but the lack of agricultural tires and tread can cause slippage in unfavorable conditions and do not dampen bounce and vibration when tilling in heavy soil. The drag bar on the rear of the tiller improves stability and is attached to a swing tail to make the transition from till to transport mode fast and simple. The wide-loop handle, while not as useful as a plow-style handle, offers greater control than many narrow-loop handles, and it is foldable for easy storage and transport, although it is not height adjustable when in use.
This gas tiller is easy to use and, although it lacks some high-end features, it is a great lower-end tiller, offering ample power and versatility for general maintenance tasks.