Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller Review

The Craftsman 208 cc is a powerful tiller that makes short work of the hardest ground.

Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller review
(Image: © Craftsman)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller is a strong and sturdy machine that can take on the most compacted dirt and churn it into loose soil ready for planting. The rear shield protects your feet while you work, and vibration is kept to a minimum in spite of its undoubted power.


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    Suitable for all types of soil

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    Feet and leg protections

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    Powerful and reliable


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    Can be tricky to maneuver

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The Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller stands out as the prime choice among the best tillers if you have a small or medium-sized garden. Its popularity endures because of the durability and reliability it affords, and its ability to cover all the basics really well. 

Functional and practical, this power tiller 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.

Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller Review: What you need to know

As a gas tiller, the Craftsman 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.

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.

Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller Review: Ease of use

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.

Craftsman 208 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller review

(Image credit: Craftsman)

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.

Should you choose the Craftsman 280 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller?

The Craftsman 280 cc Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller might not have any fancy extras, but it is the best at what it needs to do. A sturdy, reliable machine, offering ample protection, it makes short work of tilling garden beds, and cutting new beds, to a fine structure without uncomfortable bounce and vibration.

Tim Leonard

With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Tim has spent most of his career working for a financial data firm, where he was Online Editor of the consumer-facing Moneyfacts site, and regularly penned articles for the financial advice publication Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts. As a result, he has an excellent knowledge of almost areas of personal finance and, in particular, the retirement, investment, protection, mortgage and savings sectors.