One of the most useful machines for digging work in the garden or allotment is the rotavator. It can save many hours of back-breaking garden labour if the right machine is purchased. However, finding the right machine, particularly for beginners, can be difficult. Follow the steps below to ensure that the correct rotavator is bought for use in the garden or on an allotment.
Quality and Price
As with any product, there is a fine line between choosing quality over price, and vice versa. In an ideal world, all gardeners want the highest quality possible for the lowest price, but knowing what product that is exactly is the tricky part. When choosing between the two, the sensible gardener always goes for quality. Rotavators tend to be used quite heavily, so purchasing a cheaper machine may save money in the short term, but it may prove to be less reliable or not work as efficiently as a higher quality one, which can be frustrating for the owner. Rotavators get muddy, obviously, and cause stones in the soil to churn up, which can damage poor quality plastic. Rotavators are more likely to be in use when the weather is damp, as they are not usually suitable for very dry ground, so a high-quality one will last much longer than one of poor quality. However, a high quality rotavator may not cost much more than a cheap one. For example, if a poor quality one lasts for 5 years, and a high quality one costs about 10 per cent more, but lasts twice as long, then the most cost effective option is the latter.
What rotavator is best?
Anyone wishing to purchase a rotovator should first consider a few things things before making a decision, including the below. How often will it be used? Can the machine be shared to lower costs? Brand new or second hand? Brand name or own make? What horsepower is required? What type of soil will the machine work on? Can it be sold on once no longer needed? Before making any decision, look at where the machine is expected to work. How large the size of the plot will determine the power and size needed of the machine. For gardens that have particularly heavy soil, especially clay soils, a rotavator with a reverse gear will make maneuvering the machine much easier. Don’t necessarily think that newer rotavators will be better than older ones. Some experienced gardeners have machines that are 30 years old.
Buying a Second Hand Rotavator
There are both advantages and disadvantages to buying a rotavator second hand. Sufficient research and extra care must be taken before making a purchase to ensure that the machine has been properly stored, maintained, and transported. Otherwise a machine may be bought that either does not start, does not work properly, or may even be dangerous to use. Always ask the seller on eBay lots of questions, make sure the manual for the machine comes with the product, and ensure that it is read before use is attempted. If unsure at any stage of the buying process, consult with a professional.
Choosing the Right Size Rotavator
Buying the wrong size rotavator for the space in which it will be used can be a costly mistake. Many beginners to purchasing rotavators will end up with a machine that is either too big or too small for the plot. As a general rule of thumb, if the plot of land is medium sized, a small rotavator is the best size to purchase. For a large allotment or garden, a medium sized rotavator is ideal, particularly if there are large areas that will require annual tilling. The largest rotavators should only be bought by those that need to use it over several acres of land, or the very experienced or professional gardener. Lightweight rotavators (of about 20 pounds) are ideal for beginners, those with bad backs or those who just want an easy and light machine to use. Lighter machines are also better at tilling around shrubs and trees where the blades will not damage plant roots.
Choosing the Right Engine for a Rotavator
A good solid engine with about 3.5 BHP (break horsepower) and a small blade width size will be plenty for a gardener who wishes to dig a few beds. Obviously the larger the plot that requires tilling and the deeper the depth of the blades into the soil is required, the more horsepower is needed. For a larger job, it is recommended that a rotavator of engine size 4.5 BHP and a working width of 500mm be used. Reverse gear is also very handy on larger machines. Always try to purchase a rotavator with an engine that is suitable for the user. It is not recommended that a very powerful engine be purchased by an absolute beginner.
It goes without saying that when purchasing a rotavator, buying suitable safety equipment at the same time is a necessity. Rotavators are heavy, powerful, and with rotating blades that could catch and injure the unwary operator. Therefore, it is highly recommended that safety boots, ideally those with steel toe caps, be purchased. This is especially important when using a rotavator with blades that are rear-facing, as it can be easily to catch a foot on them. In addition to boots, ear and eye protection is also recommended. Rotavators are noisy machines and can also spray out material (such as dust or large stones) which could do the operator an injury without adequate eye protection. Ear defenders and goggles (which can be purchased together as part of the same kit), are most suitable to protect the user against this. Finally, sturdy safety gloves are also recommended, as these will offer a much firmer grip on the handles of the tool and some limited protection for the fingers when it is being operated. They are also very useful to have if working in chilly weather! As well as the safety protection that is necessary for use with a rotavator, some on the market can be used to perform other tasks in the garden with the purchase of additional attachments. By changing the attachments on the machine, it can be used as a multi-functional tool for other garden jobs. If this is something that may be of use, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions when deciding to make a purchase in order to see what potential attachments can be used with it. Even if additional attachments are not of interest at the point of purchase, it is always worth considering how much it would cost to obtain them, as they can add value to the machine and also be of use if the needs of the owner change in the future.
Where to find Affordable Rotavators on eBay
In order to find an affordable rotavator on eBay, first head to the homepage. From here, look at the links on the left hand side of the page, and select Home & Garden and then Home & Garden again from the drop down options. This will then load the Home & Garden page of eBay. From here, go to the links on the left hand side again, select Garden, and then Power Tools & Equipment from the drop down options. This will then load the Power Tools & Equipment listings. Rotavators/aerators is one of the options on the left hand side of the page. Alternatively, use the eBay search engine to find specific listings that are relevant to the machine that is desired.
Finding an affordable rotavator on eBay can be relatively simple, as long as sufficient research into the desired product is done. Always consider on what space of ground the rotavator will be used on, as this will greatly influence the right product. Where possible, always attempt to buy the highest quality machine possible, since doing so, even if it costs a little more to start with, will mean that the rotavator will last much longer than a machine of lesser quality and save money in the long run.