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Old 31-03-2003, 06:44 PM
Mark
 
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Default First Time Post: Red Ox Tiller

I thought I'd share my experieces with this group on my recent quest
for a garden tiller. When I started looking for a tiller I had some
difficulty finding reviews on some of the tillers I was looking at. So
maybe this will help someone else.

I have a relatively small backyard garden, about 25x17 feet. I don't
do gardening as a to dye for hobby. I just like fresh veggys and
wanted a tiller to make it easier. I shyed away from the "mini"
tillers such as the mantis and small Honda thinking they were too
small. I thought I might want to relocate my plot to a new area in the
yard sometime later where the soil would be very hard. I had borrowed
a mini tiller from a neighbor once. Works good for weed removal but
doesn't really till very deep. So I wanted something that could break
new ground or just weed during the planting season. So I desired
something small but still big enough for virgin garden soil.

I first purchased the Troy-bilt "tuffy" model, which has a 4 hp B&S
engine and rear tines. It's their smallest full sized tiller. After
looking at the Sears models which were the right price, but appeared
poorly constructed and some of the very pricy Hondas I quickly found
there wasn't much out there in the small to mid-size range. After
assembling the Troybilt I got a flyer in the mail about a mid sized
tiller called Red Ox. Sold by a company in PA by mail. It sports a
Honda engine which I favor over the 30 year old design B&S. It was
smaller than the Troybilt and was a forward tine design. So I thought
it might be more maneuverable than the Troy. It weighed in at 50lbs.
so still fairly light. I was concerned it may be too small. But I
decided to try it and I ordered it.

Well I was delighted this weekend to try the Red Ox. The 2.5hp Honda
engine is so quiet. Much quieter than the Briggs on the Troy. The
machine is constructed in France, the body is plastic (yes I was
skeptical too), of the same thick material as some of the Honda
mowers. It has regular bolo tines (forged, heat treated) like the Troy
but unlike the mantis saw blade type tines. So when it hit the dirt it
comes up small and fluffy. Ready for planting. It easily tills to 12"
deep. And is very easy to handle in my small garden. Not as powerful
as the Troy so it may have a problem with Sod breakup. In fact I think
this small Troy would probably struggle with that too (bigger rental
tiller is in order). And a bit slower than the Troy. But the Ox is
half the size and weight so I'm much more likely to get it out mid
season and till the weeds. The Ox also adjusts in width of till for
narrow 8" clean up to 24" (I haven't tried it wider than 15"...the
wider tines are an option) I can carry the Ox from the garden shed to
the garden. So the Troy went back to the home center.

All in all it's worth a look for the small gardener. A good compromise
between the small "cultivators" and the rental tillers. I'm quite
happy.

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