Breaking up new or compacted soil structures with a spade is physically demanding. The tough soil can be a nightmare to dig through and takes a long time.
Fortunately, you can easily cut through compact soil with the best rear tine tiller; you can turn the tougher ground into soft garden soil in a fraction of the time using the best tillers for the job.
The best tillers are perfect for working on hard and rocky soil areas because they’re the most powerful tillers available. Alternatively, heavy soil with a lot of clay is light work for the best rear tillers.
Rear tine tillers offer simple-to-operate machines that can quickly break up many soil types, and you can customize performance with normal and counter-rotating tines, as well as adjustable tilling depth.
However, choosing the right tiller can be a challenge. You can find the best rear tine rototiller for your garden needs in our rear tine tiller reviews. (Find the Best Professional Soil Test Kit)
Why You Need a Good Rear Tine Tiller?
If you often wonder whether a rear-tine tiller is a right tool for you, you can find out here; you may need one.
Compared to a hand tiller, a rear-tine tiller will save you a lot of time and effort. It will also enable you to break through dense mud and rocks without the use of hand equipment.
The counter-rotating tines of a rear-tine tiller will leverage the resistance of the forward spinning wheels to break through the new ground.
A rear-tine tiller may even enable you to vary the depth of your digging to improve its performance in various soil types.
When using a rear-tine tiller, you should have no issue negotiating rough patches because of the huge agricultural-grade wheels. Of course, if you have an extensive property, your best alternative could be a tractor. Here is a quick look at the machinery you can find for your yard as a comparison. (Learn About The Right Venus Fly Trap Soil)
Cultivators are front-tine tillers used in raised beds and small gardens. They have small rotating tines, which are great for breaking up loose soil.
Push-behind tillers are typically used in small to medium-sized yards and gardens. They comprise forward rotating tines on the front with the engine on the back.
Front-tine tillers are typically less expensive and easier to use than rear-tine counterparts, although they may not offer the same finish, such as tilling depth on the toughest ground.
A garden tiller that has tines on the back is known as rear-tine tiller. You’ll find these are the most powerful and capable of other tillers on the market.
They can cut through the toughest soil and offer the highest engine power for deep penetration. You often find them easier to handle as the engine acts as a front counterweight as the tines dig deeper. (Read Can You Reuse Potting Soil)
Top Rear Tine Tiller Reviews
1. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator
The Sun Joe TJ603E Tiller and Cultivator is one of the most popular high-quality tiller options you can find. Most Sun Joe tillers are created as a hybrid to give you the best of both worlds. It combines a tiller and cultivator with an electric motor for a fantastic result.
The motor, which runs at 12 amps, can slice through any soil after breaking through the resistant barrier. The tine is spun at 340 rpm by the motor, and the six tines are in the middle rather than the front or back.
The middle placement offers the best of both worlds, and the tines have a unique shape. The tines are slanted to provide better traction and optimal aeration, allowing you to prepare your seedbeds properly. (Find the Best Greenhouse Kit)
With the TJ603E, you can till up to 8 inches deep and 16 inches wide. You’ll also notice two rear wheels, which make maneuvering on hard soil a breeze.
For storage, the handle folds to make the tiller half its original size. Because it’s electric also includes an instant start feature, ensuring that the tiller will start no matter how cold it gets.
- No engine maintenance as the unit runs on an electric engine
- Powerful engine delivers 12 Amps to power the versatile tiller
- 3 position wheels make use, storage, and transportation easy
- Tills up to 8 inches in depth and 16 inches wide
- Tiller is a corded model, so extension cords needed for use
- Lightweight can prevent it from starting in hard, compact soil
With a guide price of just under $100, the Sun Joe tiller can be the best small rear tine tiller compared to other rear tine tillers on the market.
It performs admirably for the size, and being electric means there is hardly any maintenance. It has limited depth adjustments, yet it easily tops many rear tine tiller reviews for a good reason for small to medium-sized gardens.
2. EARTHQUAKE 31285 Pioneer Dual-Direction Rear-Tine Tiller Airless Wheels, Independent Grip Handles
The Earthquake 31285 Pioneer is one of the best rear-tine tillers in its price range. It may not be as powerful as some other models, yet it is more than capable and offers great usability features.
The core of this tiller is a 99c Viper fuel-efficient engine. It is light, quiet, and efficient compared to engines found on front-tine tillers. The forged-steel tines rotate at a maximum of 200 rotations per minute, allowing you to break hard, compact soil in your garden quickly.
The model has a dual rotation feature where the tines spin in the opposite direction to each other. Here you have a tilling width of 16 inches and a depth of 10 inches deep.
The reverse gears are handy to power the super-wide airless wheels for added mobility. Also, the dual-grip handlebars are easy to hold, and it’s a one-move operation for the “Instant-Reverse” feature.
- Can set counter-rotating tines for the toughest soils
- Lighter and quieter 99cc Viper engine
- One-handed operation
- Reverse gears for added maneuverability
- Not for extensive areas of land
With a guide price of a little over $2,400, it is a costlier option than many alternatives. However, you get a lot of machinery to deal with the toughest yards.
3. CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller with Self-Propelled Agricultural Tires
The 19-Inch Rear Tine Tiller from Champion handles tough ground with ease. The 212cc engine drives a gear-driven gearbox in a heavy-duty cast-iron case, and the counter-rotating tines and 13-inch self-propelled farming tires make breaking new ground as easy as weeding.
The Champion Power Equipment 100380 19-Inch Rear Tine Tiller is built to be your gardening workhorse. This machine will control the hardest gardens for years to come, thanks to its ideal balance of power and performance.
With easy-to-use handle controls and counter-rotation tilling, this machine is a must-have.
Tilling width of 19 inches and depth of up to 8 inches, the tilling width may be adjusted, making it easy to till tiny places or wide rows.
- Powerful engine & durable gear drive transmission
- Dual rotation tines with forwarding and reverse operation
- 13” agricultural-grade tires
- 2-year limited warranty
- Not the most fuel-efficient
- Small engine
With a guide price of below $600, you could find this the best rear tine tiller under $1000 driven by a gas engine. You get a good warranty, lots of features, and a durable tine shield for foot protection from the dual rotating tiller.
4. TAZZ 35351 Garden Cultivator, 33cc 2-Cycle Viper Engine, Gear Drive Transmission
The Tazz 3531 is a terrific little cultivator for aerating loose soil, weeding, and mixing mulch, and a 33c Viper engine powers it.
It’s primarily intended for use on pre-tilled soil. Although you can use it for compacted soils using the 6″-10″ Adjustable Tilling Width and maximum tilling depth of 8-inches.
It’s simple to travel through your garden in a straight line up and down rows thanks to the light design and overhand controls.
- Tiller blades are suitable for small garden jobs, aerating pre-tilled soil, and mixing mulch
- Light and easy to use
- It comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
- Onboard transport wheels and for setting tine depth
- Not suitable for clay soil
- Intended for small gardens
With a guide price of just under $240, the TAZZ is quite high on the gardening budget when the intention is to use it on pre-tilled soil. The best rear tine tillers are there to do all the work rather than add to work already done. It offers standard rotating tines and ease of use to be suitable for the smallest of areas.
5. YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller
The Yardmax YT4565 rear-tine tiller is among the best tillers on the market today. It’s a powerful machine with extensive ground coverage, deep soil penetration, and ease of use.
Like other rear-tine cultivators, this cultivator is powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine OHV Engine Electric start.
The unit’s dual-rotating tines are powered by a 208cc motor. With these, you have forward and reverse, which is ideal for regular cultivation and deeper tilling.
The YT4565’s Stratton engine produces 9.50 ft-lbs of gross torque, and the forward and reverse rotate at a maximum speed of 190 revolutions per minute.
You’ll cover a lot of ground fast and easily with this rear-tine cultivator. You can easily alter the tilling width up to 18 inches and the tilling depth up to 6 inches and can be adjusted up to seven different positions.
The tiller has self-sharpening tines, a serrated rear shield, and more. With folding pistol grip handles, you can easily carry out a one-handed operation.
- Powerful engine
- 13-inch dual counter-rotating tines
- 18-inch wide ground coverage
- Easy to operate
- Awkward engine oil filling
With a guide price of less than $800, you get a lot of machines for the money. The Yardmax complimented with the Briggs & Stratton engine, and while expensive, it isn’t the most expensive.
If you have a medium to a large garden, the two 13-inch pneumatic wheels, easy-to-adjust drag bar, front counterweight, and rear and side shields, along with the 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, make the Yardmax a joy to use.
Best Rear Tine Tiller Buying Guide
If you’re still unsure about which type of rear-tine tiller is best for you, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a checklist of things to consider while shopping for one of these handy gardening devices.
To cut through compacted soil, rear-tine cultivators require a lot of power. Such devices’ power output is typically expressed in cubic centimeters (cc) or horsepower (hp) unless they come with an electric motor as the power source.
If you need to cultivate hard-packed, clay-rich soil, use a model that offers more than 200cc.
Most of these machines have either a forward-rotation or a counter-rotation mechanism, or both.
Forward rotation is when garden tillers spin in the same direction as the unit’s tires, which is forward. For loosening the soil and breaking up weeds, this rotation direction is beneficial.
When the model’s tines spin backward, it’s called counter-rotation, and it’s the optimum mode of operation for fully mixing up virgin soil.For a variety of soils, look for a tiller with both forward and counter-rotating tines.
Working Width & Depth
The depth of your new tiller’s digging capacity, as well as the amount of ground it can cover in a single pass, are the next factors to consider.
Most rear-tine models work at 16” to 18” width, or models with a working width of less than 12” are ideal for compact gardens with narrow rows.
The standard tilling depth is around 6” to 8”, which is ideal for making beds suitable for smaller plants. If you have a larger garden, opt for a model that digs up to 11” instead.
In testing, there was plenty of diversity among the tillers on offer. Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator. It doesn’t offer as much as the biggest tillers on the test, yet it is more than suitable for small and medium-sized yards.
It cuts through hard soil with ease as the width and depth are optimized for the size of the motor. It may take a little longer, yet you can till almost as deep as the larger garden tillers cost ten or almost twenty times as much.
The Sun Joe is packed with features and will deliver the best results possible without denting your pocket. (Find the Best Greenhouse Kits)
With the ease of storage and the foldable handles, you’ll find the Sun Tiller a significant addition to your garden preparation during any time of the year.