Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
A high-end power tiller, the Honda FRC800 is easy to use and control. It offers a range of features and plenty of power, making it a good choice for tilling over large areas.
This tiller weighs in at a hefty 265 pounds, so it requires considerable physical effort. However, the weight does provide the benefit of extra balance and stability, as well as a noticeable lack of bounce and vibration when tilling the heaviest soils, compacted areas, virgin ground and stony soil. The powerful cool-running 270 cc Honda OHV engine also helps to make up for the increased weight, providing plenty of power to propel the 12-inch tines at a maximum of 225 rotations per minute and the tiller without you having to wrestle the machine forward.
For increased comfort and control, the Honda FRC800 provides three forward speed choices. This allows you to find a speed that affords you optimum control and the most comfortable walking pace. The reverse gear has a tine-locking function, preventing the engine from driving the tines in reverse. While this is a useful safety feature, it does mean that you cannot till backward. To make a second pass over a row in instances where you need a finer till, you are forced to turn off the machine, wrestle it out of the bed and turn it before making another pass, or to slip it into reverse, walk backward up the row with the tiller, put it back into one of the forward gears, and then make your second pass. Whichever option you choose, it's time-consuming and cumbersome.
The tilling width is fixed at 20 inches. While this makes the gas tiller very useful when turning large areas, saving you considerable time, it does mean that you cannot use this model for tilling between rows during the growing season.
For added safety, the Honda FRC800 comes with a heavy-duty full rear shield, protecting you from the tines and from any soil or debris. It also has half-coverage side shields and a front bumper guard so you can till close to plants, fences and buildings.
For a large, heavy high-end power tiller, you'd expect plow-style handles for extra control. However, the Honda FRC800 uses a loop-style handle. On the plus side, the handle has four height adjustments, allowing you to find a comfortable position.
A veritable workhorse, the Honda FRC800 is well suited to use across large areas, delivering enough weight and power to break up any soil type. However, it does lack versatility and is somewhat heavy and hard to control.