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Several new models add faster starts and more digging power, courtesy of a four-stroke engine like the kind on mowers. They also run cleaner, since four-stroke tillers produce fewer exhaust emissions than two-stroke models--a prime reason most two-stroke tillers are not certified for stricter California emissions standards. Yet at about $300, most of these cleaner machines cost only slightly more than two-stroke models.
You'll also find plug-in electric tillers, along with tiller attachments that replace the bottom half of the shaft on some string trimmers.
Half of all tillers are sold by Home Depot (Honda, Ryobi, Yard Machines), Lowe's (Troy-Bilt), and Sears (Craftsman). Other brands include Mantis and Yard-Man.
Gas mini-tillers. Gas models are best for planting shrubs, reseeding lawn patches, and …