Take a look at the Echo Cultivator. It is made by Mantis and has something called "i-start" which is supposed to make pulling the rope easy. If you need something smaller, there is a lightweight electric by Eurosystems.
I have a large troybuilt horse, and a mantis, and the troy built sits in the shead, gathering dust, while I do every thing with the mantis.The mantis starts easy, and does a much finer job on all gardening surfacies.The mantis will have a bed ready with less toil.Mike
*I am tempted to buy my step daughter one so she will quit borrowing mine.
I actually bought the Troy Bilt one not long after I posted this, the 4 cycle cultivator/edger, and I love it. I've been using it all summer and not had any problem at all getting it started, even with a pull rope. Other pull rope things we have require such a hard pull and such a long reach, I could never get them started. It does a great job of working the soil, even in my very rocky soil.
It's not heavy and is very easy to maneuver. It includes the rear wheels, which make it simple to roll around but I often just pick it up and carry it.
It would be nice if Troy Bilt offered the attachments that you can get for a Mantis, but I don't know whether I would use any of them anyway. I'm very pleased with this one.
Just throwing in my 2 cents -- I have a 4-stroke Honda (that I got reconditioned in a long, drawn-out stupidity battle with HD, where I will NEVER shop again) and it's great. I tilled up what's going to be the vegetable patch next spring, if all goes the way I plan it. It's loud (I suspect they all are) so you hear surf for about a half hour after you've tilled. Small price to pay, though!
I am wandering around DG tonight and just wanted to add my thoughts on the Mantis. I can't start anything that requries a gas motor with a pull start. I bought an electric Mantis for the same price as the gas unit and love it. It's light weight, easy to handle and carry around, and no pull-start! The blades come off with a simple removal of a cotter pin and they slide off the axle so that you can clear out any roots, then slide back on, and you pop the pin in place. Easy.
Love our troy bilts. We have 2 horses and they are so simple to work with. One of them is 25 years old and other than needing new tires this year and regularly changing the bolo tines, it's been problem free. We just bought a new horse several months ago, as we will probably give the older one to our oldest son, I evidently infected him with the gardening bug more than I realized. LOL