Well, first to say about the Einhell Tiller is that it is easily the heaviest item to arrive at the studio yet, weighing in at 34kg. However, bearing in mind what is expected of it, this is probably just as well.
Out of the box there is some reasonably straightforward assembly necessary, but don't expect to do this in a matter of minutes, you should leave time to do this properly and make sure the substantial handles, depth stop and transport wheel are fastened securely and safely; also remember to give it some oil which is obviously not supplied with it, just as the standard unleaded 4-star petrol isn't. This is a solidly manufactured machine, with a working width of 360mm, built for heavy use and everything about it has the stamp of meaning business from the second you have it assembled and ready to go.
Now, this is called a tiller but could easily be called a cultivator; there does not seem to be any difference other than the fact that the correct word for digging and preparing ground for sowing crops is tilling. The idea is that it saves you time and backbreaking work digging your vegetable plot, garden or allotment, although to begin with we were a little daunted by the size and weight of the Einhell Tiller, particularly when considering it was to be thrust forwards with such a heavy-duty petrol engine - would we cope or would it be too much for us?
At the studio we have a large kitchen garden and the truth is it has never been completely dug over simply because of its size. So the Einhell Tiller was wheeled out onto this spartan land on a bright but cold autumn day to put it through its paces: Oil in, petrol in, depth stop set, transport wheel moved to the working position, choke on and pull the starter cable - amazement! It started on first pull. And this is something we have found on every subsequent occasion; a really good and well-tuned engine that starts really easily.
In a little trepidation we set the starter lever to drive the machine at half speed and pulled the clutch lever to engage the drive. Wow, the tiller took off and the turning blades immediately started tilling the soil, even given that it was actually quite matted with grass roots. You have to hold on tight and use serious strength to hold it back if necessary, and a little to keep it on a straight path, but it's not at all intolerable and actually quite easy to control once you are used to it. The 163cc power of the engine is solid and dependable and the heavy weight of the machine helps to hold it down and keep the depth of tilling even. The engine is actually quite quiet for a petrol driven machine and when you let go of the clutch handle it immediately disengages the drive and stops the tiller blades.
Our tangled ground was soon looking truly dug over with this Einhell Tiller, cutting to a good maximum depth of 230mm and cultivating the soil in readiness for the spring crop planting ahead. And the time and energy used was nothing to that of digging with a spade! The tiller coped perfectly and, to be honest, it was a doddle for it. This is not a lightweight machine that struggles in its task, it is a machine made to do the job and to last year in year out. We intend to work the tiller over the ground once or twice more before the end of winter and plant up our vegetables in the early spring.
Our verdict is that the Einhell Tiller is a solid and dependable piece of garden equipment that is powerful, well-made and well worth its price at £243.00. (Our hope is to have some good home grown vegetables next year.)