Rotovator Buying Guide

Rotovators are garden tools used for mixing the soil to make it easier to plant in and to disturb weeds. Various types of rotovator exist, from large industrial rotovators used on rms to much smaller gardening rotovators. They are also known as aerators or cultivators. Rotovators developed out of the need for more efficient methods of churning the soil in preparation for planting and seeding. Traditionally, hoes and mattocks were used for the same purpose, and the first rotovators were pulled either by people or animals.

The size of rotovator required will depend upon the size of land to be worked. Rotovators come in various sizes which are suitable for anything from small flower beds to large fields. The two basic types are electric and petrol.

Electric rotovators come in various sizes and offer a handy alternative to petrol rotovators. There is no messing about with fuel and they are often quieter and lighter to handle as well as cheaper to run, but the disadvantage is that they cannot be used in areas without access to an electric power supply. Petrol rotovators are mobile and can be used away from the home, for example, in allotments, but they require fuel which should be ctored into the cost and convenience.

The smallest rotovators available are electric models. These are intended for everyday use in normal sized gardens, for mixing the soil in flower beds and other small areas. They are hand held machines with blades at the base and are also known as mini cultivators. They can mix the earth to around 20 cm depth and 15 cm width and are ideal for tasks such as weeding, soil aeration, and mixing in fertiliser or compost. More intense churning of the soil for preparation of larger vegetable beds will require a larger and more powerful rotovator. However, the lightness and ease of use that small electric rotovators offers is attractive. They generally weigh around 5 kg and have engines of about 250W.

Larger medium duty rotovators are pushed machines with the blades in front of the wheels and the engine on top of the wheels and blades. They are also known as front tine cultivators due to the tines, or blades, being positioned in front of the wheels. These are suitable for small vegetable patches and larger flower beds. Small rotovators are designed to be easy to handle and manoeuvre. They are lightweight and designed to be streamlined and ergonomic, with various features to make transportation and operation as as possible. They can often be transported easily in a car boot, so are ideal for those with allotments away from the home. Look out for features such as carry handles and handlebars that fold down and retractable cables. Also look out for quiet running models and those with features such as rear wheels that can help manoeuvrability and stability. These rotovators often come with a range of accessories that can be used for other gardening tasks. Working depths and depths are both around 20 cm to 30 cm. While wider widths mean they can mix more soil at once, those with narrower widths may be more suitable for tight spaces. Electric rotovators of this type have engines around 800W to 1400W, with the more powerful motors able to handle compacted soil. Check the length of the cable if this may be an issue most cables are about 10 m long. Electric rotovators of this size weigh about 8 kg to 16 kg. Medium duty petrol or diesel rotovators have similar design, weight and features. They come in 2 stroke and 4 stroke models with engine. It is worth noting that the weight given is generally the dry weight, so take into account the weight of fuel.

A popular type of medium duty rotovator is the mantis tiller. This is a specific design with wheels and tines positioned side by side, it a mid tine rotovator. It is available in both petrol and electric models. It is available with several accessories such as a scarifier, edger and aerator, it a superb multi-task gardening tool. The rotovatorworking depth is to about 25 cm and it has a large working width to about 40 cm, it an excellent choice for working wide, open plots of land.

Mid tine rotovators have the tines positioned between or slightly behind the wheels. Generally available in petrol versions only, they are larger than front tine cultivators with a more robust and sturdy design and are more powerful, with the capability to work in compacted soil and difficult conditions. They usually have Y-shaped loop handlebars for comfortable operation, which are often adjustable to suit the users height. Look out for reverse gears and handlebar mounted controls for safe and efficient operation. Easy access controls can help reduce vibration and tigue. Also look out for features such as plant or crop guards to protect nearby plants, transport wheels for easy transportation and engine guards. A larger number of tines may make the rotovator more efficient. The working depth is about 60 cm to 100 cm and depth to about 30 cm. Adjustable depth bars are useful. Some model specifications include noise levels which are worth looking at. Mid tine rotovators of this type weigh about 30 kg to 55 kg.

Rear tine rotovators are the most powerful type of rotovator and are usually only necessary for professional gardeners and contractors. Rear tine rotovators can handle very heavy and compacted soil and challenging conditions. They often have counter rotating tines which rotate in the opposite direction to the wheels. Counter rotating tines aid stability and prevent the machine running forwards when working in compacted soil. Grooved chevron tyres give excellent grip and rear tine rotovators should have a reverse gear. Also look out for adjustable handlebars and counterweights to aid balance and control, as well as deadman handlebars for safety. The working depth on rear tine rotovators is about 15 cm to 30 cm and working width about 40 cm to 100 cm. The working width may be adjustable with extensions. Various attachments are available. Rear tine rotovators of this type can weigh up to about 100 kg and cost significantly more.

Various accessories are available with rotovators to turn them into multi-task machines. Accessories include aerators, edgers, digging tines, dethatchers, crevice cleaners, ploughs, and wheel kits.

Aerators cut tiny grooves in the soil to aerate it. Aeration is beneficial for soil microorganisms and vital for oxygen and nutrient transport within the soil. It aids nutrient uptake by grass lawns and other plants, keeping them healthy and attractive.

Dethatchers are a type of rake that effectively remove dead grass, leaves and other debris from the lawn. This aids lawn growth and keeps it healthy.

Crevice cleaners have steel brushes that remove debris, grass, and weeds from cracks and crevices such as between paving slabs.

Wheel kits attach to the rotovator to aid transportation as well as adding stability when attachments such as edgers are used.

Rotovators can be found on eBay in the Power Tools & Equipment category. To navigate to this category using the left hand side tabs, follow the links for Home & Garden and then Power Tools & Equipment via the Garden tab. Click on Rotovators/Aerators. There are options to select petrol and corded electric rotovators. There are also options to narrow listings by brand, price, engine size and power. Rotovators can also be searched for directly using the search field. Type in rotovator, petrol rotovator or similar terms.

Rotovators come in different sizes and designs for various sizes of plot and types of soil condition. The smallest hand held models come in electric versions and are suitable for small flower beds and vegetable patches. Medium duty front tine and mid tine models come in both electric and petrol versions and are suitable for larger plots of land. Larger plots of land and heavier, compacted soils will require larger and more powerful petrol rotovators. These have the tines positioned behind the wheels and are known as rear tine rotovators. With all rotovators, look out for special features that aid operation and control, such as fold down handlebars, easy access controls, plant guards, engine guards, adjustable depth bars, working width extensions and deadman handlebars. A number of attachments are available to enable other gardening tasks. Shop around to find the best-quality rotovators and read reviews and product descriptions to be sure the model is suitable.

Best rated

Best when creating a list of 5-10 items (ex: The top 10 mattresses for people with back problems)

Lawn Mower

XT1 Enduro SeriesStrong, comfortable and versatile lawn tractors ideal for maintaining medium-sized yards season after season.

XT2 Enduro SeriesThe same strength, durability and comfort of XT1 with select premium features that deliver even higher levels of performance, power and convenience.

XT3 Enduro SeriesLegendary, ultra-tough garden tractors ideal for maintaining larger yards, hauling heavier loads and using ground-engaging attachments.

S SeriesResidential zero-turn riding lawn mowers equipped with steering wheel control and four-wheel steering, ideal for mowing medium-sized yards with flat to hilly terrain.

RZT™ S Zero ElectricWorlds only fully electric residential zero-turn ideal for mowing small yards with flat to hilly terrain on a single charge.

SZ SeriesResidential zero-turn riding lawn mowers equipped with steering wheel control and four-wheel steering, ideal for mowing larger yards with flat to hilly terrain

LZ Commercial SeriesCommercial zero-turn ideal for mowing larger properties with mostly flat terrain.

SZ Commercial SeriesCommercial zero-turn riding lawn mowers equipped with steering wheel control and 4-wheel steering, ideal for mowing medium-sized property with flat to hilly terrain.

TANK L/LZ SeriesCommercial zero-turn designed to mow larger properties with mostly flat terrain.

TANK S/SZ SeriesCommercial zero-turn riding lawn mowers equipped with steering wheel control and four-wheel steering, designed to mow large or multiple properties with flat to hilly terrain.

Signature Cut™ Series Self-Propelled Lawn MowersEnjoy nearly effortless mowing for medium-sized yards.

Wide-Area Walk-Behind MowersObtain professional-grade results with wide-area lawn mowers for larger properties.

Garden TillersCultivate a new love for the land with Cub Cadet tillers designed to handle even the toughest soil.

Cordless Electric HandheldsMake the smart choice with handheld landscaping equipment driven by an environmentally friendly power source.

Log Splitters & ChainsawsMake quick work of logs and branches with Cub Cadet chainsaws and log splitters.

String TrimmersUse string trimmers and hedge trimmers from Cub Cadet for the perfect finishing touch.

Edgers and TrenchersFind the value of versatility in precision for a manicured lawn and the power to dig deep in varied terrain.

Wheeled String TrimmersDesigned for quickly and easily cutting tall weeds and grasses in open fields and around fence lines

ChallengerOffers the versatility to take on a wide range of tasks and off-road trails with the durability to get more done season after season.

Engine Disclaimer: The engine horsepower information is provided by the engine manucturer to be used for comparison purposes only. See your local Cub Cadet Independent Dealer for warranty details.

Pricing Disclaimer: Posted price is manucturers suggested sale price. Models and pricing may vary by location. Taxes and delivery not included. Use of low rate promotional financing may affect your purchase price.

Image Disclaimer: Image may not reflect dealer inventory or unit specifications.

Specifications Disclaimer: Specifications subject to change without notice. Images may not reflect retailer inventory and/or unit specifications.

Operators Manual Disclaimer: The operators manual posted is for general information and use. To ensure the download of the operators manual specific to your unit, we require a model and serial number.

Has anyone built a minature manure spreader?


I have two horses and keep 2-4 cows thru the summer and need a small spreader that can be placed inside the barn without taking up to much room. Has anyone built a small spreader or have a suggestion on buying one a a reasonable price?


I picked up a used millcreek 25 spreader from this site for a good price its the older style. There is also a speader on the market web page but some of the guys here on the site steered me away from it.

I looked for 2 years for one I could afford and was close enuff to home that shipping wouldnt kill me.

if you have any questions about the one I bought just ask and Ill try and answer them or take pics if you need.


I looked at this spreader on the internet but was concerned about hay causing the wheels to slide. Do you have any problems on wet ground? Does the spreader clog easily?


You are talkin about the millcreek right, I have yet to pull it on wet ground but with the lugged tires I dont think it would be a problem.

One word of caution…..during my shopping I discovered that some throwers are made for sawdust spreading and some are made for straw spreading. I found this out by accident when I called HK or HS spreaders (I dont recall the name offhand) but they told me there spreader dosnt work well with sawdust shavings and that is what I use in the barn.

Try this site web page I never did get a closer look other than there web page but they look nice.

Anywho, if you want pics to see if you can build one just ask…..with a little thought Im thinking you could convert a little trailer with sides on it.


Hummmmthat didnt work to well…..

try this…. is there small spreader



Nope I sure dont, the guys here on the site kind of talked me out of it being it was so small (if you look on page 12 of the attachments section under my name you will see the thread, I dont have a clue on how to hook it here) I did call them, being there made just up the road from me here in Florida and the gal who answered the phone is the wife of the fellow that makes them very nice and easy to speek with. I tried to talk he into me a bigger one.

Deponding on how your collect you manure it could work for you….I stock pile it in 10×10 bins and compost it before spreading and with it being small it would take forever to spread out a 10×10 bin 5 to 6 deep. If you go straight from the stall to the field you maybe ok with something that small and if I remember right you can get that spreader with bar tires as an option. She also told me it will work with either sawdust or straw bedding


Glenn, check out this one at Tractor Supply Company (TSC) and see if it would do for you. Enter your zip code on the page to see pricing for your area. In my area its 1375.00. John

I did a search and found a few

clicking the button below, you agree to the TractorByNet1

s Tractors


Discussion Forums

Project Journals

Tractor Town

Your Stories

Show & Pull Guide

Events Calendar

Hauling Schedule

Tractor Photos

Implement Photos

Vintage Photos

Help Identify

Parts & Pieces

Stuck & Troubled

Vintage Ads

Community Album

Photo Ad Archives


Tractor Registry

Tip of the Day

Safety Cartoons

Tractor Values

Serial Numbers

Tune-Up Guide

Paint Codes

List Prices

Production Nbrs

Tune-Up Specs

Torque Values

3-Point Specs


Tractor Shed



ATV Harrows

ATV Manure Spreaders

Barn-Grooming Equipment

Calf Hutches

Calf Pens

Cow Mats & Mattresses

Feed Carts

Feed-Handling Systems

Foot Baths

Gutter Grates

Hay Bale-Elevator Systems

Poly Liner

Silo Accessories

Ventilation Equipment

Vinyl-Strip Doors