Best Rear Tine Tiller Reviews of 2018 - Buyer's Guide


Rear Tine Tiller is the garden tool for tilling a large area with rough, compact ground. It differs slightly in design from the more common garden tiller (or front tiller). A front tiller has blades in front of the engine and machine driving it. A rear tine tiller, on the other hand, has the blade at the back of the machine and engine.

Since the engine pulls the tines, rear tine tillers can dig much more in-depth. Serious gardeners now choose to prepare their large, compact gardens with rear tine tillers. I assume you are here because you are looking for the best rear tine tiller for your gardening needs. Today, the many brands are producing various quality tillers. It makes increasingly challenging to arrive at the right choice.

This review aims at providing you with helpful information to get a tine tiller to meet your needs. We took into consideration a number of parameters to arrive at our best pick. You will learn of those parameters later on. For now, please check out our top 5 best tine tiller reviews.

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Product Name

Our Rating

Price

Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller

Earthquake 24598 Victory Compact Rear Tine Tiller 

Husqvarna CRT900L 960930026 17-Inch Rear Tine Tiller 

BCS Tiller Rear Tine Tiller GX340

Troy-Bilt Pony ES 250cc   Rear Tine Tiller

Top 5 Rear Tine Tiller Reviews

 1. Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller

The SRTT196 Rear Tine tiller from Southland is one of the best in the market. The tiller equipped with a powerful gas-powered engine. It is a 196cc 4-cycle, 9.6 foot-pound OHV engine that pulverizes any soil type it contacts. The engine pulls 11-inch tines capable of providing 18-inch tilling width and 10-inch depth. However, a depth regulator allows you to adjust for your desired depth.

The tines counter rotate to break ground faster. Even more interesting is the fact that the tines designed to self-sharpen. You will not need to dismount the tines to sharpen them as is common with other brands. The engine has manual recoil start located in a readily accessible part of the machine. Such starter is convenient as it allows you to start the machine right away.

The SRTT196 Rear tine tiller features an advanced and convenient gearing system. The system consists of a forward gear lever and a reverse lever. It allows for forward and reverses tilling. The benefits of this gear system are far-reaching. Unlike models with single direction gear lever, you will not have to stop the machine to change direction.

The tiller equipped with two large, garden type tires measuring 13-inches. The tires are pneumatic and are very versatile. They can handle any terrain, soil type, and any soil condition. The high-quality tires are great maneuverability.

Pros

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    Armed with powerful 4-cycle gas-powered engine
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    High quality, self-sharpening tines provide wide and deep tills
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    Depth regulator allows for depth change
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    Convenient forward and reverse gear lever
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    Great maneuverability provided with large 13-inch pneumatic tires

Cons

  • Manual recoil start is affordable but hectic
  • It would be great if the manufacturer variable speed feature

2. Earthquake 24598 Victory Compact Rear Tine Tiller 

Earthquake 24590 Victory Compact is a high-quality rear tine tiller to invest. It boasts of several great features that give it an edge over its competitors. Earthquake equipped this tine tiller to deliver an ultimate mix of power and size. It is because the machine offers full-size ability in a compact and sturdy frame. The compact size allows the tiller to fit into tight spaces between plant rows.

A powerful 212cc Viper 4-Cycle Engine fuels the Victory Compact for efficient tilling. Coupled with a reverse gear, the engine tills large tracks fast and efficiently. The machine delivers 8.85 feet-pound torque. Although powerful, you will find this machine very easy and simple to operate. The responsible features include single-handed control via a sod and balanced design.

The tiller is an excellent performer. It fitted with the largest-in-class pneumatic tires. The tires provide excellent traction and flotation on tilled soil. It improves maneuverability and results in a smoothly tilled ground. The balanced design also contributes to maneuverability and ease of operation. It is especially helpful when you are tilling between rows.

The Victory features strong and durable construction with cast-iron, bronze gear transmission. Added to Earthquake brand’s 5-year limited warranty, It's an excellent front tine tiller will serve you for a long time. The machine has fixed tilling depth of 10 inches and width of 16 inches.

Pros

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    Powerful, high-torque Viper 4-cycle engine 
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    Sturdy transmission that will endure wear and tear
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    Largest-in-class 13-inch wheel for greater traction and flotation
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    Hassle-free single-handed control via a sod
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    Compact design with the same power of larger counterparts
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    Solid 5-year limited warranty on purchase
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    Moves back and forth for expedited tilling

Cons

  • Single operation is great but the handle should have been adjustable
  • It would be great if the tilling depth was adjustable

3. Husqvarna CRT900L 960930026 17-Inch Rear Tine Tiller 

Husqvarna is a common household name. It is because many people associate the brand with high-quality products. One such product is the Husqvarna CRT900L 17-Inch Rear Tine Tiller. This machine provides you a wide range of features at the mid-range price. Such features make this rear tine tiller one of the best in the market.

A reliable 205cc Briggs & Stratton engine offers the machine the power for most tasks. This engine offers a tine rotation at a speed of 210 revolutions per minute. Such speeds guarantee fast tackling of virgin ground or even clay soil. With a 3-quart gas tank, you will not have to stop to refuel the machine. The result is quick and convenient tilling.

The Husqvarna rototiller provides only reverse and forward gear option. It means you cannot adjust the tiller for power or speed. But the reverse gear offers easier tilling since you just walk back when you reach the end of the garden. It will eliminate the need to lift the machine up and turn it the opposite direction. The tines counter-rotate for more efficient tilling.

Pros

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    Impressive balance and stability offer safety and ease of use
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    Agricultural tires for maximum traction of all soil types
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    Vertically adjustable handlebar for comfort and convenience
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    Powerful engine with high torque for all terrains
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    Reverse gear eases and expedites tilling
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    Counterweights provides superior control

Cons

  • 6-inch tilling depth is rather on the lower side
  • Manual start but electric start would be better

4. BCS Tiller Rear Tine Tiller

The BCS Tiller Rear Tine Tiller comes as a surprise inclusion in our top 5 rear tine tillers for good reasons. Made by the giant manufacturer Honda, this tiller is a real workhorse. It fitted with sturdy tines that rotate at 20 rotations for each wheel revolution. A high-quality Honda motor delivers the power needed to pull the rear tines.

Unlike most other rear tine tillers, the BCS GX340 has a feature that allows you to put the tines in a neutral position. This feature guarantees easy transportation of the machine. The same feature also allows you to set the tiller in a reverse mode. You do not have to lift the BCS tiller at the margin of the garden to till in the opposite direction.

The manufacturer inserted a break-up device. This feature ensures the machine does not leave a strip of untilled soil. You can also use the same functionality to adjust the depth of tillage. While the BCS Tiller tines GX340 does not self-sharpen, replacement tines are available.

The tiller weighs 275 pounds which is quite heavy. The machine has its safety witch and clutch located on the left side. It creates a need to have large, strong left hand to operate them appropriately. The machine seems not to corner well.

Pros

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    Incredible engine power for efficient tilling
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    Included break-up device optimizes tilling
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    Rear placement of tines easier forward propulsion
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    Variable tillage depth is versatile

Cons

  • A heavy tilling machine
  • Safety switch and clutch location needs strong left-hand  

5. Troy-Bilt Pony ES 250cc Rear Tine Tiller

The Pony ES from Troy-Bilt is a great tine tiller you can use on your virgin garden. It delivers extreme power provided by1150 Series Briggs & Stratton 250cc Engine. This reliable engine operates a patented bronze gear transmission. The high-quality engine and the transmission guarantee you years of reliable performance.

With its forward rotating tines, the machine will shred even the most compacted soil fast. The tiller has a generous tilling width of 16 inches, and 12 inches is the tilling diameter. The uniquely designed tines are right in slicing, chopping and turning the soil. The result finely milled garden soil. Some seeds thrive in deeper soil while others prefer shallower soils. A good tine tiller should thus feature an adjustable tilling depth. The Pony ES does not disappoint in this regard.

To ease your work and improve maneuverability, the tiller comes with 13-inch tires. The tires are pneumatic and well-trodden to enhance traction and flotation. Another feature of convenience is the electric start. It means you just dial a button and the work begins. Pony ES has factory-installed front bumpers to offer steady and smooth operation.

Pros

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    Powerful and reliable Briggs & Stratton 1150 series engine
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    Forward rotating tines deliver unique performance
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    Electric start is easy to use and convenient
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    Front bumpers offer steady and smooth operation
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    Durable 13-inch AG wheels improve maneuverability and control

Cons

  • Limited versatility due to lack of adjustable tilling width
  • It is quite costly compared to others in its class

Things to Consider Before Buying a Rear Tine Tiller

Have you found what you were looking? It is our humble belief that you can agree with our top 5 best tine tillers. We understand the variations in preferences amongst the general population. For that reason, we have included this useful buying guide to help you in decision making. Here are the factors that should influence your decision:

Engine 

We can consider the engine of a machine its heart. Can anyone have a healthy and productive life with a faulty heart? I guess you will answer in the negative. When looking for an ideal rear tine tiller to bring home, consider its engine. You can choose between 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines. The 2-stroke or 2-cycle engines are louder and powerful. They tend to less efficient fuel efficient and less reliable.

The 4-stroke engines operate quietly, more fuel efficient and very reliable. Such engines require you to mix oil with fuel. This preserves engine life and boosts its fuel consumption. Most high-quality rear tine tiller engines have 4-stroke engines. Despite their inefficiency, 2-cycle engines can be very powerful.

Tilling Width and Depth 

Tilling depth is the primary determinant of how fast you will complete your job. Rear tine tillers with the most significant tilling width work more quickly. It is because they will shred the most ground with each pass. However, tillers with very wide tilling width may be difficult to control. It would be wise to go for a balance between with and your ability to control the machine. I would recommend a tilling width of between 17 inches and 18 inches.

Many modern rear tine tiller models will feature adjustable tilling depth. But, some models will dig deeper than others. The major determinant of tilling depth is the growth characteristic of each seed. Certain seeds may need very deep soil to grow well. It is, therefore, safe to buy a rear tine tiller with good depth. I would recommend 10 inches tilling depth.

The Manner of Tine Rotation 

The manner in which tines rotate has a bearing on soil aeration. It is common knowledge that counter-rotating tines are the most efficient. They stabilize the machine and allows for better control. Standard (forward) rotating tines may also shred rough compacted soil with ease. The other type is dual rotating which feature both forward and counter-rotating mechanisms. Choose a counter-rotating tine model if the type of soil in your garden is predominantly clay.

Electric versus Manual Start 

Manual start involves pulling a cord to start the engine. Most traditional rear tine tiller models feature manual start. However, the modern models equipped with electric starters. The latter types allow you to start the engine with a simple push of a button. Compare two tine tillers of the same quality and capabilities. The one with electric starter will be hundreds of dollars more than the manually started one. The difference is the ease and convenience the electric starting model brings. Would you sacrifice hundreds of dollars for this simple feature?

Tires Quality and Size

The tires of any tine tiller are the significant determinants of its control. They also determine the maneuverability of the machine. Good tires make the machine easy to control and maneuver. They should have excellent flotation and traction in all types of soil and terrains. Tires with good treads will grip clay soil well. Good quality tine tillers have pneumatic tires of 13-inches in the least.

Handlebars 

Tine tillers can have handlebars that are either fixed or adjustable. Adjustable handlebars are great. They also give users the flexibility to adjust the handle to their height. It improves maneuverability and comfort-ability during extended use. Models with fixed handlebars are not as flexible, but they have other features of comfort.

Transmission 

Try the best you can to buy a rear tine tiller with at least two speeds. One speed for forwarding movement and the other for reverse movement. Those models lacking reverse gear may get into trouble should the machine get stuck. You will have a tough time getting it unstuck. High quality and often high price tag models feature variable speed. I would not advocate for those models. The must-have feature an ideal rototiller is neutral gear. This feature makes the machine easy to transport.

The Best Rear Tine Tiller: The Editor’s Choice 

The best rear rototiller in our case is the Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller with 196cc. This machine has all it takes to get the work done. Although affordable, the tiller has features and specifications only comparable to those of high-end models. Its powerful and efficient 4-stroke OHV engine can take on any terrain and soil type.


The tiller provides a whopping 10-inch tilling depth and 18-inch tilling width. These measurements are ideal for both small and medium size gardens. Besides, it features depth regulator which adds to its versatility. This rototiller has durable 11-inch counter-rotating tines that self-sharpen. Both features are for long-term optimal performance.


Another great feature is the reverse gear. Thus you will not have to stop the machine and lift it to continue tilling from the end of your garden. It's large 13-inch pneumatic tires guarantees superior maneuverability. The SRTT196E is genuinely the best tine tiller for the money. You better check it out.

Conclusion 

It is my conviction that this in-depth review of to 5 best tine tillers has proved helpful to you. Only a high-quality rototiller can handle all manner of terrain. It will not spare even rough, compact virgin ground. These five are genuinely the market's best. They may have overlapping features but each is unique. All have powerful and efficient engines, excellent transmission and ideal tilling measurements. The review aimed to provide you with a starting point. If you do not like our picks simply use our buyer's guide to help you make an informed choice. Nonetheless, I guarantee you will love our choices.

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