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The Best Rear Tine Tillers

If you’re going to buy a rear tine tiller, you mine as well buy the best one out there. Don’t make the mistake of buying an average tiller that is either ineffective or prone to breaking down. You will waste a lot more time and money by going that route.

Our top recommendation is…

Greenpinky’s top pick:
  • Very effective at tilling
  • Easy to operate
  • Excellent price
Check Amazon for Best Price

Finding a good rear tine tiller isn’t easy and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the Best Rear Tine Tillers that offer value for money.

It’s important to understand the reasoning behind choosing a specific tiller. Too many people are in search of the best tiller, but they don’t take into account their needs and budget. We’re here to help you make a smart decision for your specific requirements. We hope this article will help you find the rear tine tiller that you will be happy with. 

Here are the best rear tine tillers that we recommend

The Best Rear Tine Tillers

These are the best rear tine tillers on the market. All of them have great builds and are very effective and tilling soil. Please keep reading below to learn more about each one. 

best rear tine tillers

Comparing These Rear Tine Tillers

Rear tine tiller

Best Rear Tine Tillers

  • 208cc engine

  • 18” wide

  • 7 depth adustments

  • 6.5” working depth

  • Front counterweight

  • 13” self-sharpening tines

For a machine that can easily prep any type of soil, the Yardmax YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller is an excellent option. This rear tine tiller features both a forward and counter rotation. The forward rotation is perfect for cultivating, while the counter rotation cuts deep into the soil. The tines themselves are 13 inches long and sit on an 18-inch wide tiller. The tiller has seven adjustment settings, so gardeners can choose the perfect depth for each particular job, garden, or soil type. The tiller is designed to be simple to use and can even be operated with one hand. The tires feature a tread that offers the tiller more balance and traction and in turn gives gardeners more control. Finally, rear and side shields offer additional safety should the tiller encounter any debris.

  • 196cc engine

  • 4-Cycle engine

  • 16” wide

  • 10” tilling depth

The Earthquake Rear Tine Tiller is designed to be easy to use. The tiller features a compact structure, so it’s simple to store but also presents no challenge when maneuvering. Gardeners can steer this tiller through dirt, sod, or weeds using only one hand. In addition, people should never need to push the tiller while it is performing its tasks. A powerful Kohler engine and airless wheels, which power through tilled dirt, give the tiller balance and traction and allow it to move steadily forward. Gardeners will find that this tiller is excellent for turning over soil in established gardens but also works well for breaking new ground or pulling up weeds. The Earthquake tiller is also made to be extremely durable, with a bronze gear drive transmission and a cast iron body that will last for years to come.

  • 208cc engine

  • 17” wide

  • 6.5” working depth

  • Electric start

The Husqvarna TR317DE Rear Tine Tiller features a 17-inch wide tiller and seven depth settings, so it can till everything from new earth to soil that simply needs to be overturned. The tines can reach a depth of six and a half inches, so soil clods, hard earth, or weeds are no problem. The tines also rotate forward so gardeners can overturn only the top soil if necessary. This tiller also features tough, heavily treaded tires that grip the earth well in order to provide stability and control. Forward and reverse gears make it simple for gardeners to maneuver, even in tight spaces. In addition, this tiller features a simple electric start, unlike most tillers, so gardeners can start up the machine without hassle and get right to work.

  • 212cc engine

  • 19” wide

  • 8” tilling depth

  • Dual rotating tilling

Larger and more powerful than many other tillers, the Champion 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller is built to take on any task. The tiller is 19 inches wide and has a maximum depth of eight inches. This tiller is excellent at smaller garden tasks but can also take on more laborious tasks such as breaking new earth or getting rid of weeds. The Champion rear tine tiller features a forward and reverse function for easy maneuverability, and its powerful engine keeps it moving forward without a problem. In addition, the 13-inch tires provide stability and traction over any terrain. Finally, the tiller is made of cast iron with a gear-driven transmission, so the machine is durable and reliable.

  • 160cc engine

  • 16” wide

  • 6” tilling depth

The Troy-Bilt Pro-Line Powered Counter Rotating Rear Tine Tiller is designed to be safe and dependable. This tiller features 10-inch tines that can till to a depth of six inches. The tines are on a 16-inch wide tiller, so the machine is able to fit into compact space and also provides gardeners with easy maneuverability. A 160cc Honda engine powers the tiller and keeps it moving forward without problems. The Troy-Bilt tiller also features 13-inch tires with thick treads, which help to provide traction and balance. A 17-inch tine shield also provides maximum safety and ensures that the tines remain undamaged. Gardeners will be able to easily till any garden or create a new one without issue when using this rear tine tiller.

Best Rear Tine Tiller

What Makes Rear Tine Tillers So Important To Gardeners?​

Rear tine tillers are an essential tool to any gardener. When you are choosing tools to start your garden, it is one of the first purchases that you should make. The tillers come in a variety of sizes, price points, and features. In this article, we shall walk you through the various type of tillers currently available for purchase discuss the pros and cons of each design. We will help you see which tiller meets your specific needs.

Rear tine tillers are great for someone who wants a tiller that can dig deep and provide lots of power. It breaks up hard ground and tills it into soft soil that can easily be sowed. It allows you to have loose soil without hard, back-breaking labor. Rear tine tillers are considered the powerhouses within the tiller family. They are the tool of choice when working with soil that is particularly hard, rocky, or with high clay content.

Rear tine tillers are also bigger in size, which makes them easier to use when dealing with large plots of land. Their tines can also rotate in three different ways: Forward-rotating, counter-rotating, and dual-rotating. Forward-rotating tines can help push through your solid and lend it. Counter-rotating tines will dig and till deeper. Dual rotating tines essentially switch between the two aforementioned modes.

Typically Rear tine tillers have adjustable depths. They often have a max depth of about 6-8 inches. 6 inches is a bit shallow for mos grounds. You’ll usually want to till at least 8 inches. For very tough and heavy plots, such as un-tilled land, tilling to a depth of 10 inches is best. Make sure to look for a machine that can till to this depth if it is a feature you will need.

Rear tine tiller features

  • Larger and cover more land in one pass
  • Heavier than other tillers
  • More powerful
  • Dig deeper into the soil
  • Have both forward rotating and backward rotating settings
  • Have wheels that are driven by an engine, so they work best in straight lines

Other Tiller Types

Just so you know, the other tiller options include front tine tillers and mid-tine tillers. Front tine tillers are much more lightweight that rear tine tillers. They aren’t the best at breaking up heavy soil or rocky soil. They are excellent at breaking ground in light soils or adding soiling mixings. They can also be used to tear up weeds Because of their lighter weight and tiller that rotate forward, they are easier to maneuver than rear tine tillers. Mid-tine tillers are less frequently seen, but they combine the power of the rear tine tiller while being house in a smaller frame similar to front tine tillers. As the name suggests, the position of the tines are in the middle. Having the tines situated in the middle give thise tillers a good sense of balance

Additional Features

Tiller Power

Tillers are often advertised by their power in engine size rather than horsepower. If you’re tilling particularly hard or rocky soil, look for an engine 200cc or more. If you are tilling plots that will be regularly tilled, you can save money by looking for tillers with engine sizes that are 100cc or 180cc.

What is an OHV engine

OHV stands for overhead valve. OHV engines provide better fuel efficiency, lighter design, and less pollution. They save money on gas while reducing your carbon footprint. Because they are CARB compliant, it means you can buy the garden tiller in California.

2 cycle vs 4 cycle engine

Most rear tine tillers use 2-cycle engines. These engines have more power, but are noisier and have higher emissions.

A 4 cycle engine generates less noise and emission. Generally they also require less maintenance. The 4-cycle engine also does not need both oil and fuel, which is something 2-cyucle engines require.

Engine Start

Tiller engines are either manual recoil starts or electric starts.

Electric starts are obviously a lot more convenient. However, if this one feature causes a huge price differential, it may not be worth it. These days, manual recoil starts are much easier to use than the ones from years ago. Their clever design generally allows them to start with the first pull.

Tires

Rear tine tillers have heavy-duty tired with large treads so that they get better traction. The power that is transferred from the engine to the tires makes it easier to tackle tough jobs. This is particularly the case if you are serious about gardening.

With the power of the engine, you primarily need to guide the tiller. It will muscle through the soil.

Tilling Width

The wider the tiller, the fewer passes you will need to make. Turns tend to be the hardest parts of tilling and a wide tiller will minimize your turns.

However, also note that while wider tillers are great for bigger plots of land, bigger is not always better. Narrow width tillers may be the best choice for irregularly shaped gardens. The narrower width will allow you to get into smaller spaces.

Drag Bar

One feature you may want to consider is an adjustable drag bar. The purpose of the drag bar is to run behind the tiller so you can work at a consistent depth. It makes it so that your tiller is balanced and digging at the same depth.

Tank Size

Most rear tine tillers are gas-powered. You’ll want a tank storage of about 3-4 gallons so that you don’t need to refill too often. Tillers with smaller tanks tend to be cheaper, but remember you will need to stop to refill more often. This may be okay for small gardens, but for large gardens this be quite inconvenient

Counterweight

The best rear tine tillers have counterweights. These counterweights keep the tiller balanced. It also makes for a smoother time when you are you pushing it.

Weight of the Tiller Itself

Typically rear tine tillers weight about 150-200 pounds. That seems like a lot, but remember that having more weight can be beneficial. Just like the counterweight mentioned above, it helps the tiller jerk less. It also makes the tiller easier to maneuver in a straight line.

Lighter tillers are fine, but just be aware that they may not be easy to use for soil that is very heavy.

Rear Tine Tillers – Counter, Forward, or Dual Rear Tine Tillers

In the Youtube video below (not my video), it gives more information on the 3 different tine types that can be found in rear tine tillers.

Bottom Line

Don’t make the mistake of trying to buy a cheaper tiller as it will ultimately cause you to waste more time and money in the long run. While I reccommend buying Yardmax YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller, any of the above rear tine tillers are great. Use the above guides to make sure that the rear tine tiller that you buy best suits your needs.

About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years. Read More