header-versa-tiller-cultivator-product-review Reviews

Earthquake® Versa Tiller Cultivator: Product Review


GPR RECOMMENDATION

Ease of Use:
Quality:
Performance:
Final Thoughts

A powerful tiller cultivator that comes in a small, easy-to-handle package.

Overall Score 5

Available on Amazon

Buy It

Gas-powered tillers have been around for years, but many, especially those with rear tines, can be bulky and heavy for the average home gardener or micro farmer. Enter the Earthquake® VersaTM Tiller Cultivator from Ardisam company – it’s far from bulky and has front tines that let you rototill or cultivate the soil.

versa tiller cultivator after assembly

Our brand new VersaTM Tiller Cultivator after assembly. It’s lightweight and has a low profile.

Despite its petite size, power is not an issue with the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator. The machine has a Viper® 99cc four-cycle (no oil + gas mixture) engine that runs on 87+ octane unleaded ethanol-free gasoline (or an ethanol blend if an ethanol fuel stabilizer is added) and 10W30 engine oil (included) The gas tank holds a little more than a half gallon of fuel.

versa tiller cultivator engine

The VersaTM Tiller Cultivator is powered by a Viper® engine

Some Assembly Required

The VersaTM Tiller Cultivator engine is preassembled, but the entire unit comes packaged in a box for owner assembly of the handlebars, tines, drag stake assembly and side shields.

It took us a little more than two hours to assemble the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator.

In some ways, the assembly was easy. We had a few problems mostly because we didn’t read through the manual first, but just jumped in. For example, the manual included instructions for two different models, and I would recommend marking the pages for your model (we reviewed model 20015). The other problem was the hardware, which has letter labels in the instructions but not on the pieces or parts bag. However, the manual includes a diagram of the parts to help distinguish among them.

Assembly will be easier for people with experience putting together mowers or other equipment, but it might take some time for the rest of us who lack the same skills or knowledge of terminology.

versa tiller cultivator hardware

I recommend sorting the hardware and comparing it to the manual before starting assembly

The assembly requires some of your own tools: two 13-mm; one 10-mm; and one 8-mm wrench. Adjustable wrenches can also be used. I highly recommend watching the company’s YouTube video how-to on assembly.

Overall, the assembly was not too bad, and everything works as it should!

versa tiller cultivator tines

Here are all four tines assembled before adding the side guards.

Features

The VersaTM Tiller Cultivator features four front tines made of forged steel that can be used to switch from wider, four-tine tilling to narrow, two-tine cultivating. The tines are easy to remove by pulling the included lock pins.

To get into small spaces, you will have to pivot the handlebar out of the way to remove the side shields. These shields slide on easily, however, and you need no tools to remove or replace the tines and side shields.

Tilling width: 11-inch, 16-inch, or 21-inch
Tilling depth: Down to 11 inches deep. You can easily adjust the drag, or depth of tilling, with a lock pin.
Handle: 2 height settings.
Weight: 75 pounds.
versa tiller cultivator side shields

Two tines for narrower cultivating and the side shields, which slide on and off. The green handle in back is the adjustable drag stake.

Performance

We tested the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator in several soil conditions. Our first use was in dry, partly compacted soil with too many weeds. We tilled the soil to see how the VersaTM looked and felt while prepping the area for solarization to kill weeds. I found the tiller easy to handle and turn. It moves forward with little effort once you engage the drive lever. The engine is no louder than most gas-powered lawn mowers.

versa tiller cultivator in action

Drought is in full force, and the ground is hard and rocky. The VersaTM Tiller Cultivator made an easy job of working this soil

A second test was to prep an area of our vegetable garden that was compacted from foot traffic and a large stock tank that used to sit in the spot so we could put in a new raised bed. The VersaTM Tiller Cultivator made a quick and easy job of breaking some really hard ground. After a few minutes, the soil was loose and workable.

versa tiller cultivator patch of soil

This four-by-four patch of soil went from rock hard to soft and loose in minutes.

Finally, we used the VersaTM Tiller Cultivate on a garden bed that is about 34 inches wide. By removing the outer tines, we were able to make two quick passes and loosen the soil for composting and growing cool-season crops.

Although the handle can be adjusted to two heights, it might be a little short for people six feet tall or more. However, having the handle a little shorter also gives the user leverage. Tillers work better when you push down on the handlebars to allow the drag stake to penetrate the ground.

Reliability

The VersaTM Tiller Cultivator started the first time we used it on only the second pull. Throughout all of our tests, it has consistently started on the first pull, even when cold. If you’ve never used a power tool with a choke, you just have to follow and remember three simple steps for a cold start described in the operating instructions. I was really impressed when the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator started the first time without any trouble.

Be sure to follow maintenance instructions, including brushing off excess debris around the muffler and air filter areas and regularly checking nuts and bolts to make sure they are tight.

versa tiller cultivator handlebars

The handlebars are the right width and the drive lever is easy to hold down or let up when you want to stop at the end of a row.

Safety First

Be sure to read safety warnings and icons. I would recommend wearing hearing protection if you plan on using the unit for extended periods of time. And as with all power tools we recommend wearing safety glasses. A good pair of closed toed shoes, preferably boots, are a necessity.

The muffler gets intensely hot quickly and stays hot for several minutes after use. It’s located right next to the gas cap, and looks innocent, but the company warns not to touch it or several other areas. They also suggest caution when close to the tines.

versa tiller cultivator warnings

Trust these warnings on the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator; the muffler box heats up quickly, but this small engine makes it a powerful, time-saving tool.

Warranty

The Earthquake® VersaTM Tiller Cultivator and Viper® engine come with a 5-year limited lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship. This is one of the best warranties in the industry.

Recommendation

This is the perfect combination of power and a small package. At its weight and width, the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator can be operated safely and easily by most gardeners. I felt perfectly comfortable using the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator as it’s intended – you don’t need super strength or experience tilling.

Anyone who has a new yard or a garden with soil that needs to be broken up can save hours of otherwise back-breaking work with the VersaTM Tiller Cultivator. Its small profile and adjustable features make it a flexible and powerful addition to your garden or small farm equipment. We plan to use it each fall and spring for loosening garden soil and adding compost. And we likely will use the shallower cultivator depth and small width to loosen around some bedding plants.

Where to Buy

You can find the Earthquake® VersaTM Tiller Cultivator at many hardware or farm supply stores. It sells at Tractor Supply Co. for $254.99, it’s also available at the Home Depot for $290.99, and available from Amazon Prime for $299.99. The company sells the model I tested for $349.99 + tax + shipping.

Earthquake Versa Tiller Cultivator
A powerful tiller cultivator for your garden

* Prices are current as of the publication date of this review but may change over time.

Last update on 2018-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Enjoyed This Review?

If you liked this review, please sign up for our email updates with reviews, how-to articles and gardening videos!

Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Earthquake for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

Please note that the Amazon links (and only the Amazon links) above are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase products through these links, GPReview will make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps to support this website and our gardening product reviews. Thank you!

Share Your Thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.