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A close up of a handheld trimmer cutting grass

Gardens can provide you with fresh produce, beautiful flowers, and a sense of gratification. They can also cause exhaustion and muscle pain. But with the right equipment, gardens don’t have to be a pain in the back.

Tillers (also known as “rototillers”) and handheld trimmers can make gardening easier, letting you spend more time enjoying your garden than working in it.

Understanding Tillers: Types and Uses

Tillers are generally used to break hard ground and churn it into soft earth perfect for flower or vegetable beds. They can also be used for general maintenance such as edging or keeping weeds under control.

Tillers tend to run on either gas or electricity and may have up to three speeds. Some tillers can also reverse.

There are three types of tillers: front-tine, mid-tine, and rear-tine. (Tines are the blades that break the earth.) Some tillers are ideal for light use while others can handle tougher jobs.


Front tines, unsurprisingly, are in front of the tiller engine. They require a fair amount of upper-body strength to handle.

Front-tine tillers are for light use and while they can generally break new ground, they won’t work well with clay-filled or rocky soil.


Here, the tines are housed under the middle of the engine. These models use the weight of the machine to help drive the tines into the ground.

Since the tines bear some weight, these tillers are typically easier to operate than front-tine models.

Mid-tine tillers are ideal for use in home gardens and like their front-tine cousins, work best on ground that isn’t rock-hard.


These tend to be the biggest and strongest of the tillers – ideal for construction or other

commercial uses. They can be used to break up even clay-filled or rocky soils.

Honda’s 2023 Tillers

Honda doesn’t just make cars and ATVs, they also offer a line of tillers made with high-quality Honda engines.

Honda tillers run on plain gasoline without any added oil. The mid-tine or rear-tine designs make them easier to maneuver.

The Mini-Tiller 9″ is very light and comes with 4 attachments to assist with edging, digging, lawn dethatching, and aerating.

The Mid-Tine 21″ tiller is suited to bigger jobs at home or the cottage. Its adjustable handlebar has three heights and can fold, along with the front wheel, for easy storage.

Honda rototillers can also be used for serious ground breaking. The Rear-Tine 20″ ARS™ (Active Rotary System) has two sets of tines that counter-rotate, making them ideal for chewing up very hard soil.

The Rear-Tine 20” Pro has three forward speeds, as well as reverse. It also comes with an extra heavy-duty gear case and wraparound steel bumper guard for frequent, professional use.

The Role of Handheld Trimmers in Garden Care

Handheld trimmers are a great way to keep hedges neat, cut down tall weeds and grass, or edge a lawn.

Trimmers (or handhelds) can include string trimmers (popularized by the Weed Wacker brand) and brush cutters that use metal blades. Some handhelds provide both options.

They are also typically powered by either electricity or gas.

Honda’s 2023 Handheld Trimmers

Honda has a line of gas-powered trimmers that can be used for light maintenance or larger projects.

The Loop-Handle 25cc (HHT25SLTC) trimmer has loop handlebars that allow for quick-start garden maintenance. These handles make it easy to flip the trimmer for various uses like edging a lawn or cutting down weeds. Its light weight makes it easy to trim even higher hedges at an ideal angle. With a 25cc engine, this trimmer is still powerful
enough to tackle any home garden maintenance for small or medium properties.

If you have a larger property or use a trimmer for longer periods, the U-Handle 25cc is a better option. The included double-loop harness provides extra back support. The trimmer also comes with a four-tooth, brush-cutting blade that can handle heavier foliage.

The U-Handle 35cc is the best bet for pros. This 35.8cc engine has more power than any other Honda model. Paired with the 50-tooth sawblade, there isn’t much this handheld can’t tackle.

Safety Tips and Best Practices

Tillers and trimmers are machines and they can be dangerous. Make sure you follow a few key safety guidelines before you start them up.


Safety issues with tillers can include flying rocks or injuries from becoming exposed to the blades.

Before you till anything, make sure children and pets are well away from the area you’re working on.

It’s also best to operate a tiller with the right protective gear including:
∙Safety goggles
∙Ear defenders or earplugs
∙Work boots
∙Long pants and shirt sleeves

Handheld Trimmers

Handhelds are smaller than tillers, but there are still some important safety precautions.

Many trimmers, including the Honda models mentioned above, come with harnesses. Use them. They help support the trimmer’s weight, which may help prevent back injuries.

Also, ensure the area you intend to trim is free of children and pets. You should have 10 feet of clearance between you and others.

Safety gear while using trimmers includes:
∙Safety goggles
∙Work boots
∙Ear defenders

Tiller and Trimmer Maintenance

By keeping your tiller or trimmer well maintained, you can help extend your equipment’s longevity.

First, keep your machine clean. The working area of tillers and handhelds should be hosed down after each use. Make sure you turn the machine off completely and disconnect the spark plug before cleaning. Also, keep the water away from the gas tank. If you find long weeds or grass wrapped around the tiller tines, the trimmer string, or the blade, remove them carefully.

These machines also need regular oil changes. Filters for tillers also need to be changed. If you’re unsure how to do this, get in touch with a professional.

You should also check spark plugs periodically. A black spark plug is a sign it’s time for a new one.

At the end of the season, wipe down all of the equipment with a damp, soapy rag. Make sure to empty the gas tank, turn the power off, and disconnect the spark plug.

Choosing Muskoka Powersports for Your Garden Care Needs

Adding a power tiller or handheld trimmer to your arsenal can be a game changer for garden season at home or the cottage.

Give us a call today or stop by our Huntsville store to check out our inventory. We’re always happy to help!