One of the things I had to consider when choosing a tiller was whether I needed a front or rear-tine. I was a bit surprised because I used to think they were similar to one another. They have major differences which affect the way you till and do other gardening tasks!

Many have mentioned how advantageous the best rear tine tiller is, which is why I decided to do my research on it. So read on as I show you my top choices on the best rear tine tiller!

1. Husqvarna TR317C Rear Tine Tiller

I highly appreciate the Husqvarna rear tine tiller because of its combination of all necessary features. It offers counter-rotating rear tines, which are great for different types of gardening work. I don’t only use it for tilling, but sometimes when weeding out as well, which is just as efficient.

Besides that, it also has a pretty big tilling depth of up to 6.5 inches, working on tough and hard soil without issues. There’s also a pretty wide 17-inch tilling width, most suitable for larger areas and fields.

It matches with its stronger wheels, which have tire treads for extra traction and grip. This allows me to work on different surfaces and various conditions, whether wet or muddy. I had no issues with sliding or the tiller slipping, it gave me more control of the equipment compared to others.

However, you have to watch out as you may need to adjust and repair a few things when it arrives. You might have to air out the tires a bit more and tighten or realign its belt before using it.

Because of its big tilling depth and width, as well as its excellent maneuvering, you won’t have much trouble in tilling compared to using other methods. I find it worth the investment, and you’ll be surprised that it doesn’t come at such a high price!

Pros:

  • Has excellent tilling depth or with for larger areas
  • Powerful motor enough for heavy-duty work
  • Strong tire treads that grip well and with good traction

Cons:

  • The handle might be a bit loose
  • Wheels may need airing out or require realignment

OUR RATING

5/5

2. Einhell GC-MT 3036 Tiller

Another excellent rear tine tiller goes out to the Einhell GC-MT 3036 Tiller, which I recommend for its compactness. It’s lighter and more compact compared to most rear tine tillers available. This makes it a bit easier to maneuver while also making it easier to store when not in use. You can even fold it for storage, saving up on space!

It only weighs 32.4 kilograms and I have no issues in moving it around. Besides that, it uses an a powerful 4-cylinder stroke engine. A bit of a hassle in maintenance, but just a bit of more work only. I have no issues in keeping the tiller clean and working well, especially since the engine puts up to speeds of 3,600 revolutions a minute.

I also like the fact that it comes with height-adjustable handles, which lessens the hassle and comfort as you operate it. People of all heights can use it easily, since it also has the tiltable guidance wheel to provide better control.

So if you don’t require heavy-duty work and have a smaller area to garden, then I highly recommend this. It’s made best for those on a budget and small gardeners who don’t require the extremely strong equipment.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble and only takes less than an hour
  • Has height-adjustable handles and tiltable wheel
  • Powerful engine that produces 3 kilowatts of power
  • It's compact and lightweight for a tiller, easy to maneuver

Cons:

  • A bit more difficult to maintain
  • No other attachments included with the package

OUR RATING

4.5/5

3. vidaXL Garden Powerful Petrol Gasoline Soil Cultivator Tiller

If you’re on a tight budget but still need a quality rear tine tiller, then you’ll appreciate the vidaXL. Honestly, it’s considered as a cultivator more so than a rear tine tiller. However, it does a pretty amazing job in tilling for its price range and compact size.

I appreciate that this tiller (or cultivator) comes with heavy-duty tines. It has four heat-treated steel tines that have eight blades each. All of its blades are sharp enough for most soil and surfaces. While it isn’t exactly the most durable or strongest during hard soil conditions, it’s enough to withstand the typical garden bed.

But what I love most about it is its engine, which can produce 2.8 kilowatts of power and 5 horsepower with a speed of up to 2,800 RPM. That’s pretty strong engine that works on hard land, considering its price! However, it only has a tank capacity of 0.8L, which might not give enough power for some at longer periods.

With all this said, I would recommend it more for gardeners who work in smaller areas. If you need something more cost-effective and with the ability to work on other gardening duties, you’ll want to consider this. While it isn’t the most powerful and requires more force to till, it’s adequate and a better option compared to manual work.

Pros:

  • Comes at an affordable price with good performance and engine
  • Tines are compatible with other tiller units
  • Strong enough blades for most soils and compact for storage

Cons:

  • It's not the best for larger areas
  • Takes more time and effort to finish jobs compared to other rear tine tillers

OUR RATING

4.3/5

4. SwitZer Heavy Duty Tiller

The SwitZer Heavy Duty is moderately-priced and has a good tilling depth made for any soil condition. I also appreciate its tilling width of up to 16 inches, good enough for medium-sized fields. It also has a tilling depth of up to 14 inches, adjustable according to your neds.

Besides that, I feel the powerful motor compensates any minor issues it may hold. It’s a 6.5 HP motor which always starts. It utilizes petrol to power up, adding more to its strength for tougher conditions AND gives you more area to run on compared to corded cultivators.

Also, it has other extra features which make controlling even easier. It utilizes a copper gear drive transmission for smoother maneuvering, as well as a fingertip throttle control, and forward-rotating tines. Put all these combined and it works extremely well in ANY soil condition, really!

Yes, it’s pricier than other tillers, though definitely worth it for bigger fields and tougher soil conditions. If you focus more on harder soils and easier maneuvering, it’s better to spend a bit more on tillers like SwitZer!

SwitZer Heavy Duty Tiller (Via Amazon.com)

Pros:

  • Uses petrol for better power and performance
  • Good tilling width and depth for most sizable fields
  • Very easy to maneuver with transmission and ergonomic handles

Cons:

  • More expensive than other tillers
  • Doesn’t have three gears as advertised

OUR RATING

4/5

5. P1PE 4 Stroke 139cc Electric Start Garden Petrol Tiller/ Cultivator /Rotovator /RotoTiller P140TE

Another affordable choices goes out to the P1PE P140TE. I was actually quite surprised that with a tiller that comes with a LOT of features, it comes at such an affordable price. However, it does have its drawbacks, such as a slightly shorter tilling depth of up to 5 inches, and a tilling width of 15 inches. This is adequate on medium-sized gardens, at most.

I really like that it has a powerful engine, using a 4-stroke Hyundai that uses petrol. I also had no issues operating it at all, because it had a pretty strong (yet small) wheel with a grippable handle. It’s even equipped with an electric start so you can always power it up without fail.

It’s just as heavy as most standard tillers, though not too much that you have to tire yourself pushing or pulling it around. For its excellent gearbox down to the supportive wheel that can hold its weight, I highly recommend this for medium-intensity work around your field or garden. You’ll love how easy it is to start and move around, as well as to store since its wheel is foldable and can be stored without taking up too much space.

Pros:

  • Compact and easy to store or bring around the fields
  • Very powerful petrol engine that always starts
  • Affordable price with good tilling width

Cons:

  • Not the best tilling depth
  • The front wheel is very small

OUR RATING

4/5

6. Earthquake Victory CRT Rear Tine Tiller

Last but not least, I recommend the Earthquake Victory Rear Tine Tiller. YES, it comes at a very expensive price but if you’re looking for an extremely heavy-duty tiller with all the necessary features (and a bit more), you’ll be able to take advantage of all its uses for efficient gardening and tilling.

The one thing I commend the most is its strong engine, using a 4-cycle Kohler. I was amazed by its power, being one of the strongest I’ve maneuvered. I also had no hassle with moving it around during operation, because it had good wheels with a grippable handle.

While it’s heavier compared to other tillers given its power and tilling width, I can’t complain. It has a wide tilling width and depth, both adjustable according to what you needed for any garden.

Another interesting feature is its wheels, which doesn’t use any air. It features airless wheels with the good treads, which is known for better traction and flotation. I noticed that it DID have better grip compared to using the typical wheels, and I didn’t have to worry about checking its air.

Pros:

  • Compact and easy to store or bring around the fields
  • Great design and extremely powerful motor
  • Easy to use and no issues with maneuvering

Cons:

  • Comes at a very expensive price for some
  • Made best for larger areas, not small flower beds

OUR RATING

4/5

Benefits of a Rear Tine Tiller

You’re probably wondering: What makes the rear tine tiller so beneficial compared to other types of similar gardening equipment? I decided to invest in the rear tine tiller and its shown a lot of benefits, such as:

Extra Strength and Power

Rear tine tillers run on engine power, which makes it even more powerful compared to front tine tillers. This adds to the tilling efficiency, saving you a TON of effort and time finishing up a big land. It also allows you to control the depth and width you’d like to till, making it easier for you to till different types of areas.

You can choose between different gears and direction, as well as power and pressure.

Better Tires For Stability

Compared to different tiller types and gardening equipment, a rear tine tiller is usually equipped with strong tires. These tires don’t only offer traction and grip, but easier maneuvering and smoother operation.

This allows you to till regardless of your soil condition and the weather, keeping your tiller stable as you move it around. Also, you won’t have to worry about pushing or pulling it too hard, exerting a lot of energy as you move it.

Extra Safety From Shields

A lot of people tend to worry about how rear tine tillers can throw any rocks or debris YOUR way.

Fortunately, these tillers come with different safety features to prevent it from injuring you in any way. From stability counterweights down to shields, you won’t have to worry about anything flying towards your face. However, it’s still best to remove any big debris or rocks from your land before tilling.  

Versatile For Other Gardening Work

Higher-end tiller models come with adjustable depth regulators and a more versatile transmission. This allows you to work on various gardening job efficiently and without any hassle of changing your accessories and attachments.

With the proper rotating tines, it can work on compost soil and do weeding, removing dead or old plants, or even deal with cultivated soil! While these tillers are more expensive, they give out more functions compared to other gardening equipment.

The Efficient Benefits of Tilling Soil

Of course, a rear tine tiller tills your soil well, which gives you more benefits for your fields than you’d think. Through proper tiling, you can reap the following benefits:

  • Break up hard soil
  • Eliminate and reduce weeds from sprouting
  • Help distribute more necessary nutrients into the soil deeply

All this will ensure even healthier and better soil for planting successfully. It fixes your garden bed better and prepares it for all your crops for the next season.

How to Choose the Best Rear Tine Tiller

Now you’re familiar with why rear tine tillers are important, how can you choose the right one for the garden? It isn’t just about investing in the most expensive or popular one. You have to consider specific factors according to your needs!

Here are helpful factors to consider when getting a rear tine tiller:

Rotation Styles

A rear tine tiller actually has different rotation styles:

  • Standard Rotating Tines have tines which rotate in the similar direction as its wheels. It's best for tilling ground that has a depth of fewer than five inches.
  • Counter-Rotating Tines have tines which rotate counter-clockwise. Because the wheels push forward while the tines counter-rotate, it's easier to till your compact soil. It's best for those who need to loosen up hard and/or clay soil.
  • Dual Rotating Tines work as both the SRT and CRT, making it more versatile and the best of the bunch!

Tire Strength

I like rear tine tillers because of their typical tire quality, but that doesn’t mean all have similarly strong tires. I highly recommend that you also focus on the quality, which should have excellent grip and traction.

It should be heavy-duty and have large treads to work in muddy and/or already cultivated soil. That way, you have a tiller you can use in most surface conditions and easily maneuver it despite the surface type. Plus, it all ensure that your tires last longer, lessening the cost and hassle of replacing and repairing it.

Transmission Type

Most rear tine tillers have a transmission with both forward and reverse speeds, which I appreciate. It allows you to back up and re-till different areas without the difficulty of pushing and maneuvering it.

While you don’t need to have different speeds, I recommend you do, so you can operate how fast or slow you want to go. With various forwarding speed, it helps in making the tilling process quicker, and/or to ensure your safety while using the tiller.

The Drag Bar

Another useful feature to watch out for is the drag bar, which is usually adjustable. It would run behind the tiller, having you work at a more consistent depth. This has you adjust your tiller to what depth it needs to till from, usually ranging from two to over six inches!

I recommend that you get a drag bar that can adjust to the typical depth you need. It should also be easier for you to control.

Counter-Weight and Stability

This is a safety feature that all gardeners need because your tiller should stay stable during use. It should have the counterweight from behind. While this makes the entire rear tine tiller a bit heavier than it should be, it helps keep things balanced.

With a proper counterweight, it prevents your tiller from jerking while you use it. It also prevents it from falling when it’s stable.  That way, you stay safe and have an easier time controlling it without exerting too much pressure and effort to keep it in one position.

Engine and Power

Of course, you should have an adequate engine, which allows you to have enough power when you till. Some engines usually run on gas or oil, while others use electricity from battery or outlets (corded).

Four-cycle engines are great, running on pure gas and with extra power for efficient tilling. However, take note that the bigger the engine, the more expensive it gets in its initial cost and maintenance. It’s worth it considering the efficient power we need, though!

How to Use a Rear Tine Tiller

When to Use a Tiller

I highly recommend that you till your garden during the springtime, usually from March to early June. This is when the soil’s dry and when temperature ranges between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do NOT till wet soil, which dries it out excessively. You can check soil’s moisture levels yourself by squeezing a handful of soil into a ball. If it falls apart, then it’s ready to till.

Rear Tine Tilling Technique

When you begin using your rear tine tiller, acquaint yourself with its individual controls and read the user manual.

Afterward, make sure that you grip both handles well as you drive the tiller. Lift the rear part of your tiller and raise its handles upward. Control the tiller to the first area you’ll till and switch it on.

Till your soil in long and straight lines which run parallel to the area’s longest width. As you continue tilling, watch out for debris and rocks which can stop the tines or even hit you from the blade operation. For safety and damage prevention, remove the large objects before you till.

Maintaining Your Tiller

To ensure that your tiller can perform well and last for a long time, follow these quick maintenance tips:

  • Make sure that you clean or replace the tiller's air filter, cleaning it every 25 hours you use the engine. You can also clean it once every mowing season using hot water and a bit of detergent. If you're dealing with pleats and paper air filters, replace it every use.
  • For those who have oil stains on their tiller or its components, clean it with a degreaser, then rinse and dry.
  • During the off-season, store your tiller in a room at air temperature. Also, drain the fuel or use a fuel stabilizer, preventing any clogs.
  • Clean and lubricate your tines regularly to prevent rusting and getting blunted tines.
  • Regularly check its tires for any tear or damage, monitoring its air pressure and airing it out as needed. If worn out, repair or replace them.

For more details on using a tiller, check out this full tutorial video on how to operate a tiller properly:

Wrapping It Up

For those with big gardens out there, you can get a lot more work done with a rear tine tiller. This handy gardening equipment is known to not only till your soil but to cultivate and enhance its quality for better planting. It’s made for both light and heavy-duty work for all fields and garden beds!

Of all the different rear tine tillers I’ve tested out, I see that the Husqvarna R317C shows the most promise. I do love the other rear tine tillers, but I appreciate the Husqvarna for its excellent power and mobility. It has the wide tilling width, controllable gears, as well as counter-rotating tines for easier tilling.

While it does require some setting up according to your specific needs, this is only a minor issue you can easily get through. Overall, I believe that it’s worth the long-term investment!

Hopefully, my reviews on the best rear tine tiller helped you find the right one for your garden! So don’t wait any longer and invest in the best for your tilling needs now.

If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences in rear tine tillers, then comment below. All your thoughts are much appreciated!