A rotavator is the best way to work and turn the soil in your garden. Previously, you would find that they weren’t really used for personal use, but this has changed massively in recent years thanks to the number of reasonably priced petrol rotavators that have now been designed. So whether you have a vegetable patch, large open spaced garden or even just smaller bedding areas, there will be a petrol rotavator that is going to be suited to helping you get your soil ready!
A petrol rotavator or tiller is the perfect machine to help turn your soil rather than you having to do it all by hand. Petrol rotavators are going to offer more power allowing you to work more quickly, more effectively and with a wider range of features so that you can cultivate the ground correctly for whatever it is that you are wanting to plant.
We’ve compared the different petrol options, turning over rne features and looking for the best petrol rotavators so that you don’t have to! Here’s what we found…
In A Hurry?
If THAT time of year has arrived and your soil is ready for cultivating but you just can’t face doing it yourself then fear not! Here is all your need to know so you can get out there and purchase a petrol rotavator to do the job for you.
Best Pick Petrol Rotavator – BU-KO 52CC
- ✅ This Petrol Powered Tiller is a high quality powerful Machine Perfect for DIY or professional landscapers, this mini tiller / cultivator features 4 tines each with 4 teeth, and a high powered 3HP engine. The tines can reach 15cm into the soil, making this tool ideal for maintaining lawns, borders and vegetable plots.
- ✅【 Features 】Equipped with a 52cc petrol engine, a 1.2L tank capacity and a max speed of 9000rpm, with powerful blade x 4pcs to cultivate the soil. you can easily cut through some pretty tough soil with this lightweight petrol powered gardening tool.
- ✅【 Lightweight / Easy to carry and use 】Bike type of handle for easy operation, Durable clutch assembly & gear case, Qualified safety guard to protect operator, Lightweight with two sturdy wheels for easy mobility and maneuverability.
- ✅【 TECHNICAL DETAILS 】 Displacement: 52cc, Tilling Width: 28cm, Aerator Width: 29cm, Rotavator body height: 45cm, Diameter of rear wheels:18cm, Colour: Black & Orange, Starting System: Recoil, Height of handles from bottom of wheel: 98cm approx, Net Weight: 16.5kg without extra attachments.
- ✅【 1 Year Warranty 】Our products also comes with 12Months return to base UK warranty and have our own in house technicians on hand to resolve any technical queries or repairs that are required. All spare parts readily available.
If you are choosing a petrol rotavator then chances are you are looking for something with a little power so we will look at that first.
If you have a small to medium sized garden then you are going to want a petrol rotavator with between 2 and 4 horsepower. This equates to around 50-60cc so you don’t need a massive amount of power to get the job done. If you have a large garden or space then you are obviously going to need a little more power to get the job done. Make sure to also consider the type of soil that you have – if you are working with harder, more clay-like soil then you will need more power to be able to break this up!
Rotations Per Minute
The best way to get an idea of how efficient your petrol rotavator is going to be is to look at the rotations per minute. This is largely going to be impacted by the power that you get and is essentially the turns that can be made by the motor in a minute. There is a massive variation in the rpm that you are going to find. The rotations per minute can vary quite massively from as little as 200rpm all the way up to around 9000rpm. This doesn’t necessarily mean that faster is going to be better. Admittedly, this is going to allow you to get the job done quicker, but that isn’t always better, sometimes working with a slower rpm is better as this will allow you to work through the soil gradually without straining the engine. It is quite hard to say the maximum rpm that you are going to be able to get as there is such a range of rotavators to choose from working up to massive commercial models!
TOP TIP: Look out for models that come with variable speeds so that you can adjust the speed depending on the type of ground that you are working with and the depth that you are working at. Not only will this allow you a better finish but it will also allow you to protect the engine of the machine too!
One of the only downsides to choosing a petrol rotavator is that they are going to require a little more maintenance and time getting them ready to go than other rotavators too. Personally, we feel this extra time is well worth it for how easy they are going to make it actually completing the job but it is something that you need to consider.
Many petrol rotavators will use a two-stroke engine and you are going to have to mix the correct amount of oil and fuel for it to be able to work correctly. This is usually at a ratio of 40:1 so you will need to consider how you are going to measure and mix this before you add it to the tank. Your other option is going to be a 4-stroke engine, which is arguably going to be your better (although also slightly more expensive) option. A 4 stroke engine isn’t going to need you to mix oil with the fuel which obviously makes preparing your machine much easier! They also tend to be more fuel-efficient so are going to save you money in the long run too!
You also need to look at the size of the fuel tank as this will give you an idea of how long you are going to be able to work for before the tank needs refilling. Some tanks are around 2L in capacity whereas others only have a 1L capacity tank.
TOP TIP: Check how easy it is actually going to be to fill the fuel tank. We like models that have the fuel cap on the top and that is easy to unscrew so that you can do a quick and accurate fill up!
Rotavator Width and Depth
The rotavator width and depth is going to impact on the jobs that you are going to be able to complete and the plants that you are going to be working with. The wider the rotavator width, the bigger the area that you are going to be able to work with on one line up and down the garden. This is massively going to reduce the amount of time that it takes to get the job done – which is what everyone wants. The only slight issue is if you have smaller bedding areas and borders as the rotavator literally won’t fit in the space! If you know that this is your type of garden then look for narrower rotavator widths. We found that smaller models will have working widths of around 18-20cm, whereas larger working widths tended to be around 40-50cm.
The rotavator depth is important because this is the depth of soil that the blade is going to be able to turn. Certain plants are going to need deeper soil to be able to establish strong roots whereas others are going to be able to cope with less rotavated soil so won’t need the same depth. Depths of around 15cm are reasonable, but we really like models that come with adjustable rotavator depths so that you can get the depth just at the right level for what you need for your plants. Some of the greater working depths go all the way to around 30cm which is much better for if you are working on a vegetable patch, for example.
Best Budget Petrol Rotavator – eSkde Cordless Garden Cultivator
- Cordless Garden Tiller / Cultivator
- High power 18v Lithium Battery
- Adjustable Multi Position softgrip handle
- Sharp Multi Legged Blades
- Perfect for Vegetable Patches and Allotments
The Best Petrol Rotavators
Looking for a petrol rotavator that is going to turn your gardening upside down – in a good way – then here are some of the additional features to consider!
- Fuel mixing bottle – If you are worried about being able to mix your petrol and oil then look out for one of the best petrol rotavators that come with mixing bottles so that you can carefully mix the correct amounts without contaminating any of your containers and then pour it in carefully.
- Additional Safety Gear – Some of the best petrol rotavators also come with all the safety gear that you are going to need to stay protected when you are getting the job done. Some models won’t come with any added extras whereas others will come with everything including gloves, glasses and ear protection so this is well worth looking at as it will definitely save you money in the long run.
- Weight – It is definitely worth looking at the weight of your petrol rotavator as this is going to impact on how easy it is to get around the garden and to work with your rotavator. Some are going to be around 15kg whereas others are going to be up to around 25kgs so there is quite a difference.
- Wheels – You always need good quality wheels on your rotavator, especially if they are going to be working over harder ground where there are more divots and bumps in the road! For example, if you are using your petrol rotavator to help you complete a whole garden renovation then you need larger more grippy wheels that are going to be able to help you move around.
- Handle – Make sure to look at how comfortable the handle is going to be to work with. We like models that come with an additional grip such as rubber or foam grips as these will massively reduce fatigue and calluses when you are working.
- Adjustable handle – Whilst on the topic of handles, we would definitely recommend looking to see whether the handle is adjustable or not. This will allow you to get just the right height for your handle to avoid you having to bend over and strain your back when you are working. Not only that, but we like being able to put the handle right down to make it easier to store. Some even come with foldable handles which makes them much easier to store too!
- Low-Vibration – Vibrations can cause fatigue and strain to your hands and wrists if you are overexposed to a lot of vibration regularly. This is why we always look out for models that are designed to reduce vibrations.
- Noise – You tend to find that the lower vibrations will also lead to the actual machine being quieter too. Some can be quite loud and you will definitely need to wear ear protection so this is always something worth looking at!
- Controls – Look at the controls on the petrol rotavator and how easy it is going to be to work with. We like models that come with quick starts and easy shut off which makes them safer and more reliable to work with!
- Blades – Obviously, the blades are also going to be a really important feature. Look at the number of blades and also the number of tines that are on each blade, to give you an idea of how easily the blades are going to be able to turn through the soil.
Best of the Rest
- POWERFUL MINI TILLER FOR SMALL TO MEDIUM VEGETABLE GARDENS - perfect for flower beds and kitchen gardens, the tiller breaks up heavy soil and is small and manoeuvrable enough to pass between rows of plants to dig out weeds or prepare the soil for compost or seeding
- ROBUST 2-STROKE ENGINE AND REMOVABLE SHARP STEEL TINES - an impressive 43cc, low maintenance petrol engine and hardened metal tines plough through the soil with ease, and the outer rotors can be removed to reduce the tilling width
- EASY TO USE - simply wheel the tiller to the place you need to turn the soil, then lower the tilling head and the rotating wheels churn the tines through the soil
- FOLDS FOR STORAGE WITH WHEELS FOR EASY TRANSPORT - to save space in your shed, the handles fold down, while two wheels and a low weight of just 15kg means it's easy to move to your working area
- AUTHENTIC BRITISH BRAND SINCE 1938 – The Handy is known for well-engineered, robust and reliable products that get the job done and make gardening easy, with a helpful and knowledgeable aftercare team based in the UK
- Powerful 52cc petrol tiller is ideal for rotovating & cultivating vegetable patches and plant beds.
- Single cylinder air cooled engine with CDI ignition system & diaphragm carburetor for fuel delivery.
- Large 1200ml fuel tank allows you to use for long periods of time without the need to refuel.
- 35cm tilling width is ideal for creating the perfect soil for healthy plant areas, beds and borders.
- Compact, removable handle for easy transportation and storage, making it convenient for everyone.
- The garden rotavator is powered by a powerful 150cc hp, 4-Stroke Hyundai OHV petrol engine.
- Our garden cultivator is suitable for preparing seeding beds, and vegetable patches.
- Provides an impressive tilling width of 560mm and tilling depth of 260mm & has a net weight of 29.5kg.
- Self-propelled for easy maneuverability with a built in lifting transport wheel. This petrol tiller is designed with user on mind.
- 0.8-1.1L/h fuel consumption at full load.
Frequently Asked Questions
What warranty can you get with a petrol rotavator?
We wouldn’t recommend opting for any petrol rotavator that comes with less than a 12 month warranty as this is the bare minimum that you should be expecting from a decent quality tool. Ideally, we would recommend looking for even more of a warranty than just that – some come with 2 to 5 year warranties which are much more reliable! Just make sure to look at whether this warranty is for domestic or commercial use as obviously this will impact on the wear and tear that it will be able to take and still be covered under the warranty.
Is an electric rotavator or a petrol rotavator better?
There are pros and cons for both electric rotavators and petrol rotavators so it really comes down to what is the most important to you. Petrol rotavators are going to offer much more power and be able to work on larger jobs much more comfortably. You also don’t need to worry about recharging the battery and having to pause work as you can just refill the fuel tank. Electric models will be cheaper though – both in terms of the initial cost and the upkeep too! They also tend to be quieter. As a general rule, we would recommend petrol rotavators for any medium to large sized jobs, and electric models for anything much smaller.
What petrol does a rotavator use?
A petrol rotavator will use standard unleaded petrol. The only additional factor that you do need to consider is whether you purchase a 2-stroke engine or a 4-stroke engine as 2-stroke engines will require you to mix the fuel with oil, which isn’t necessary for the 4-stroke engines.