I used it on my first day on a 24 ft x 48 ft garden plot. The plot is completely new with grass just recently removed by a contractor. Without rain for 4-5 days approximately, the soil was hard. The tiller, after putting oil and gasoline, worked very well breaking up the soil both the entire length and then, width. With new ground, keep the wheels on the tiller and set the depth stick to where the machine is fairly level. This set-up will break-up the surface of hard soil. I used this set-up and it worked well in softening the soil surface. I operated the entire length, and then, the entire width. After turning the machine off and removing any rocks pulled up by the tiller (and there were two wheel barrows full), I removed the wheels and set the depth stick to where the tiller leaned forward. This set-up allowed for a deeper tilling. Then, same length and then, width travel were used. The tiller really softened up the soil this time. From experienced gardeners, I recommend the following technique handling a front tiller like the Craftsman 208cc. Relax the grip on the lever and handle bars. Allow the machine to operate without significant restraint. If you wish to keep the machine in a spot to work the soil well, simply apply slight pressure downward on the handle bars. This move will allow the machine to tilt up a bit on the depth stick in the rear while still allowing the tines to work on the soil. Then, when you are ready to move forward, simply let the weight of the machine allow you to raise the handle bars up. The tines will then dig into the dirt and move the machine forward. Continue to do this technique as necessary. If the soil is pretty well tilled and you wish to keep the tiller moving, just keep slight pressure on the handle bars and allow the machine to move forward. You will need to apply some downward pressure, either left or right, when turning the machine around. Otherwise, when going straight, the technique described works. I never tilled anything with a tiller until I used the Craftsman 208 cc. I did not get exhausted tilling this plot twice today (and once yesterday).
I bought this Tiller to rework my Garden Laws. Was initially impressed as it was a step up from the small Honda tiller I had previously borrow. However it the LH tine broke after around 25 hours tilling over 4 months. Another tine broke after about another hour use.
At this point I brought the tiller back into Sears where I had to pay $39 diagnostic fee even though it was under warranty and clearly a design flaw. I told them there appears to be a quality issue with the welds on the tine and to please replace them all.
Well I finally got the tiller back yesterday after over 3 weeks and they replaced only the two broken tines. I asked the manager if I was going to go though this ordeal again if another breaks and he said this is just the way it is.
So finally I was glad to get back into this and finish my tilling so I can resow my lawn. Well one hour in I have just had another tine break (This time on the right). There goes another 3 weeks without my tiller just when I need to get this finished.
So unimpressed with the quality and service from Sears and Craftsman. I had orgianlly picked this over competitors product because I was expecting better service from Sears. You live and learn.
Runs great right out of the box. Plenty of power for its purpose
Over the years I have purchased 4 of these rototillers from Sears and beat the **** out of them all. This new one is just as good and starts the easiest out of all four. I would however recommend taking off the belt and buying a spare from ******** or pay the mark up at Sears because they do wear out. Great product to buy at the end of the season (better price by $130-$160). Hope this helps.
Starts up easy, cuts up ground with easy, all around great tiller for the price.