Troy-Bilt 3hp Tuffy Tiller

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C'mom you know you wanna, Jump on this--Great Re-write off entry

Jun 4, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Durable, dependable, lightweight, low maintenance, size and cost

Cons:Weight, size and no reverse. Jumps a bit in harder soil.

The Bottom Line: If your looking for a lightweight rear tine tiller, look no further this is one Tuffy that like the maker says is Troy Bilt to last!


The Troy Bilt 3HP Tuffy is one convenient tiller. Shortly after buying my house, almost two years ago now, I bought my tiller. How pleased I am with its performance. The Gardeners of Eden never had it as easy as this tiller makes mine. Lightweight this tiller is easy to maneuver between rows and makes short work of established beds.

With its Tecumseh engine mine starts on the first pull every time even after sitting over the winter. The pull cord unlike most operates smoothly and doesn’t give a bunch of backlash. With simple hardened cotter pins holding a drive pin on the wheels you can easily pull them out to “free wheel” the tiller to your garden then simply replace the pins and crank the engine. Pulling the engaging bar will activate this rear tine tiller’s blades and also engage the wheels into forward drive helping to pull the tines behind. And unlike many tillers the Tuffy has an enclosed drive gear rather than a chain driving the tines. This is a big plus as chains tend to get clogged with soil and wear much faster. The drive mechanism is enclosed in a lubricating oil that can be easily filled as well. This keeps the drive mechanisms free of clogging and prolongs the life of the tiller as well as eliminating the hazard of a snapping chain.

Cutting through my garden rows I simply lift at the end of my row making easy turns. The forward motion of the tires requiring a little maneuvering space but not requiring rugged handling and difficult positioning. The Blades or tiller tines slicing their way through the soil with each pass cultivating and mixing in all my garden’s goodies with consistent power from this very dependable little tiller is a snap.

The Tuffy is equipped with an adjustable depth guide that is simple as lift and pull and mine easily mixes my soil through the first 10-12 inches of soil. This helps make for rich loam soil which I can pack full of enriching compounds ranging from lime and fertilizer to compost and even mulch to help improve my soil drainage and to keep my water retention up. The tiller tines are rugged too, having hit a rock or two they have not chipped or bent and this season a quick run over the blades with a file easily put a nice little edge back on the blades after heavy first year use last year.

This is not a large tiller however, and tuff as it is it does have some fallbacks. This tiller whereas great for an established bed which can easily be managed with one hand will try to run away from you when trying to cut through heavy hard clay, sod or hitting a buried rock. You can feel the tiller jump as it is propelled by the turning blades instead of the drive wheels. This being the case I have found when establishing a new bed or garden location it is best to make sure the blades have a nice edge. This makes it even easier to cut through roots. In addition you will want to make increasingly deeper passes rather than trying to just dig down to your desired depth. And hang on firmly with two hands, that way when you hit that buried piece of treasure the tiller will pull a bit, but won’t get away from you because otherwise it will surely try to take off.

The other fallback to this tiller is that there is no reverse. This makes tight turns a bit tricky. And with no room to turn or in a tight area you don’t want to go hitting a concealed rock. A heavier tiller might just spin it out whereas the Tuffy will jump and with the top mounted carburetor you could like me end up having to have yours fixed. After spending the $56 dollars I dropped for the part I wished I had added the guard attachment when I purchased it but really looking back must admit I was just being lazy. Knowing the tiller needs room to turn and with as tight as the area was I should have shoveled the area along the fence tilled in all my amendments and then filled back to the fence. What can I say, it was my first season in my new house, I had a new toy that was making my yard look fantastic and being lazy I wanted it to do the digging.

My tiller has surly performed great these first two years. My plain old house now has fabulous flower beds and a garden just pumped full of organic matter making my vegetables ever so happy. The thick stems on my tomato plants as well as my plump carrots and other root crops are a sure testament to the benefits of healthy, well cultivated soil.

Perhaps like me you have things you are looking for in a tiller. Well here are the reasons you might want a Troy Bilt Tuffy.

Rear Tine (Blades) rather than front tine- No pushing the tines through the soil or off center weight.
Durable- Lifetime warrantee from the top name in tillers
Dependable- Starts on the first pull
Easy maintenance- Engine is easy to service and hardened blades don’t twist and bend.
Easy to fill- Top mounted gas tank takes standard unleaded fuel. No Mixing
Lightweight- Easy Maneuvering
Cost- Found mine on sale but always less expensive than the larger heavy models.
Here’s why you might not

Size- Small cutting about a 16” path
No reverse- Makes it a bit hard for tight turns
Weight- Tends to jump more than heavier tillers when hitting rocks, cutting sod or in hard heavy clay

All in all this is a great little tiller that is big enough for most homes but would be too small for a farm. Then again that’s what the tractor is for!

get a jump on this my original review
by bermudabum | Oct 11 '00

My first investment into my yard began with this purchase, It has paid for itself time and time again. My choosing of this product was based primarily on the purchase price as it was on sale and I am on a limited budget. I had been looking to invest into a tiller for the landscaping and gardening tasks that my new home presented.

The ease of use is slightly hindered by the ease of control as I do find that especially with Harder soil the tiller tends to jump and try to run off from you more so than a heavier tiller would. This "jumping" lead to having to track down and replace the carburetor at a cost of $56 after it jumped into the fence along my property. This quickly convinced me that the guard would have been a wise investment.

The tiller is very durable however and since replacing the carburetor
have had many, many more hours of unrelenting lawn sculpting. I find the tiller although a bit quick to go, just the right size and extremely reliable; a very good buy for the sticker price, but spend the little extra for the guard.

This Review has been rewritten as part of the great re-write, write off, It was my first review written for epinions and as hopefully you can see it has come a long way. Other members of the write off are as follows.

1truluv, adjensen, arada392, magenta321, bmcnichol, cartman_2k, ChrisJarmick, colldy, ed_grover, eplovejoy, fallyn96, jankp, jcvsmom, jo.com, joubert, korova, lynnzop, machkick, msmorvay, naphtalia, nfp, proeditor, quasar, saxguy, scmrak, sloucho, Social14, and tinasamuels.


Please be sure to check them out as well. You can find links to their re-written reviews at Eplovejoy's profile page.


Recommend this product? Yes

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