6 Best Rear Tine Tillers – Ground-Breaking Machines

As you climb up the gardening ladder, you will soon find that you’ll need more and more equipment to support your growing hobby. While some of the tools available to you might be more of a preference, there are some that are absolute necessities. For instance, the humble tiller becomes an inevitable need especially as you learn how to grow flower beds, herb gardens, and produce.

The best rear tine tiller can get your garden ready for sowing minus the exhausting work. By breaking up the ground into loose garden soil, a rear tine tiller can get your lot ready for sowing in record time – minus all the huffing and puffing.

Our Top 6 Best Rear Tine Tillers

As the rear tine tiller becomes more and more popular, countless gardening equipment brands have come out with their own version of the machine. And because the sheer number of options might complicate the selection process, we took the time to browse the market in search of the top-performing rear tine tillers.

We looked into features including power, coverage, efficiency, handling, versatility, maneuverability, ease of use, maintenance, safety, and overall value to find the best of the best. And here are the ground-breaking machines that came out on top:

 

Editor choice 1 YARDMAX YT4565
9.9
YARDMAX YT4565
(Best Rear Tine Tiller Under $1000)

Built for ground-breaking performance, the YARDMAX YT4565 is a hardworking machine that strives to adapt to your ever-changing gardening needs.

9.9
2 Husqvarna CRT900
9.7
Husqvarna CRT900
(Best Rear Tine Tiller for Rocky Soil)

Built to tread tough, uneven, rocky terrain, the Husqvarna CRT900 is a rear tine tiller that can slice through challenging landscapes like a hot knife through butter.

9.7
Best value 3 Champion 100380
9.6
Champion 100380
(Best Rear Tine Tiller for the Money)

The Champion 100380 is built with premium cast-iron and a powerful 212cc motor that come together to get your tiller working like a champ.

9.6
4 EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory
9.3
EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory
(Best Rear Tine Tiller for Manoeuvrability)

Developed to make it easier for farmers of all shapes and sizes to tackle big jobs, the EARTHQUAKE 33790 Victory is among the most seamlessly maneuverable picks on our list.

9.3
Best price 5 Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036
9.1
Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036
(Best Rear Tine Tiller for Home Gardening)

Specifically built for home gardeners, the Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036 is a rear tine tiller that brings you all the basics in a North American-made machine.

9.1
6 Troy-Bilt Bronco
8.9
Troy-Bilt Bronco
(Best Rear Tine Tiller for Lots with Obstacles)

No more huffing and puffing as you maneuver obstacles on your lot – the Troy-Bilt Bronco can make it easy to move into tight spaces so you can maximize your land.

8.9
1 Editor choice

YARDMAX YT4565 – Best Rear Tine Tiller Under $1000

Features

  • Engine displacement: 208cc
  • Tilling width: 18 inches
  • Working depth: 6.5 inches
  • Rotation direction: Dual/forward and counter
  • Weight: 238 pounds
  • Warranty: 2-year residential, 90-day commercial

Hauling a 208cc Briggs and Stratton engine, the YARDMAX YT4565 is a workhorse that offers reliable, powerful performance on all sorts of terrain. The rugged machine uses 13-inch pneumatic tires that cling aggressively to demanding landscapes to give you solid confidence and stability. Fitted with a counterweight, the machine also guarantees well-grounded performance that won’t tip or teeter across uneven ground.

The brawny engine delivers 9-1/2 pounds of gross torque, which is the measure of the force of the tines against the ground. With burly force, the YARDMAX can plow through the toughest terrain to break-up packed earth matter with either forward or reverse rotation.

With an 18-inch tilling width, the YT4565 also makes it possible to work on more ground in a single go, cutting down the time you spend at work. And of course, to make sure you don’t have to think too much about maintenance, the YARDMAX tiller comes with self-sharpening tines that are honed to perfection with each use.

After all of our research, the YARDMAX YT4565 comes out with a performance that’s hardest to beat, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The biggest kink we found is its oil dipstick.

Because the Briggs and Stratton engine is designed to shut down automatically when it detects low oil, working on terrain that tilts your machine to the left can cause the oil to flow to one side thus taking the dipstick out of immersion. This may cause the engine to shut off even if you have enough oil in the machine. A second issue is a plastic throttle lever assembly which can take away from the overall build quality.

Positives
  • Powerful Briggs and Stratton 208cc engine was built to tackle demanding terrain with little effort
  • Seven different levels of depth adjustment to target new plots and existing garden beds
  • Allows both forward and reverse tine rotation to extend versatility and functionality
  • Self-sharpening tines require minimal maintenance and manual honing
  • Single-handed operation allows excellent maneuverability even on treacherous landscapes
Negatives
  • Low oil shutoff may be inadvertently triggered when the machine tilts to the left
  • Plastic throttle lever assembly feels cheap and dampens build quality
2

Husqvarna CRT900 – Best Rear Tine Tiller for Rocky Soil

Features

  • Engine displacement: 208cc
  • Tilling width: 14 inches
  • Working depth: 6 inches
  • Rotation direction: Counter
  • Weight: 190 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

The Husqvarna CRT900 is an enormous machine, packing a 208cc Briggs & Stratton engine. This monster of a motor delivers 9 pounds of torque and at speeds of 210 rotations per minute.

Its tines – which rotate opposite the direction of the wheels – are made from the highest quality anti-rust steel, bundled with a lifetime warranty from the Husqvarna brand. These powerful tines are what give the machine the necessary force to plow through tough, rocky soil without a hitch.

The machine’s 14-inch tilling width works on substantial strips of land in one go. In terms of depth, the machine operates at 7 different levels. This lets you tackle landscapes with varying needs – from hardened, virgin soil, to plots of land that have been previously used for other farming and gardening purposes.

And of course, to help you navigate all of that muddy terrain without losing your stability, the machine incorporates two 16-inch pneumatic wheels. Installed just over the wheels, a counterweight sits next to the engine to make sure the machine doesn’t topple over.

What we did find to be deserving of improvement is the machine’s handle design. With its metal handles welded to a single shaft that’s held in place by two bolts, it may be possible to break the little piece that holds the piece to the body especially if you’re working over difficult terrain. One other thing is that the receptacle for engine oil can be tough to reach, causing some spillage with every change.

Positives
  • Beefy engine delivers a significant force that churns through packed, rocky soil
  • Seven different depth adjustment levels target brand new land and existing plots
  • Large 16-inch wheels with off-road treads are designed to glide securely across the perilous ground
  • Perfectly balanced counterweight guarantees stable performance without risk of tipping over
  • High-grade tines are made from corrosion-resistant material and come with a lifetime warranty
Negatives
  • Welding that holds the handles in place might not be the most reliable
  • Engine oil receptacle placement is difficult to reach
3 Best value

Champion 100380 – Best Rear Tine Tiller for the Money

Features

  • Engine displacement: 212cc
  • Tilling width: 19 inches
  • Working depth: 8 inches
  • Rotation direction: Counter
  • Weight: 160.9 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years

You really can’t power through a list of tiller machinery without mentioning the Champion brand. Known for their burly equipment, Champion emerges from the market as among the dependable manufacturers.

Their 100380 rear tine tiller remains proof of this, using a 212cc engine that rallies through densely packed soil like nobody’s business. Its heavy-duty reinforced tines are made from premium hardened steel and rotate either forwards or backwards to match your job’s requirements.

A single pass with the 100380 addresses 19 inches of land at a time, letting you work on close to 2 feet strips in one go. Needless to say, this wide tilling coverage minimizes the work so you can get the job done faster and with less effort. But what’s really worth mentioning is the machine’s heavy-duty cast iron build that can work through tough conditions without showing signs of wear and tear.

Rugged and well-built, the Champion 100380 does have a few kinks worth knowing. The first is that it might not be the easiest to maneuver, requiring some effort, especially during sharp turns.

We also noticed that the tire assembly isn’t exactly hitch-free, with the stems causing the most trouble in common cases. Nonetheless, there’s nothing that a call to the Champion customer service hotline can’t fix.

Positives
  • Packs a buff 212cc engine that delivers supreme power through the most caked, dense earth
  • Built with heavy-duty cast iron material that promises long-wearing performance
  • Vast 19-inch tilling depth tackles close to 2-feet strips of land in one go
  • Premium hardened steel tines chop through untouched soil with efficiency and speed
  • Deep tilling adjustment can reach up to 8 inches into the ground
Negatives
  • Doesn’t maneuver too well during sharp turns
  • Tire stems may blow off in some instances
4

EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory – Best Rear Tine Tiller for Manoeuvrability

Features

  • Engine displacement: 212cc
  • Tilling width: 16 inches
  • Working depth: 10 inches
  • Rotation direction: Counter
  • Weight: 163 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

Let’s face it – size matters, and for smaller gardeners and farmers, that proves to be one of the biggest challenges of tending to a large plot of land. While most tillers are designed with a powerful performance in mind, many of these designs can be tough to move around especially if you’re a little smaller or weaker than a strapping, young male farmer. So for those in search of a machine that doesn’t call for excessive force or strength, there’s the EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory.

Designed for maneuverability, the 33970 Victory incorporates a bunch of features that make moving around far less taxing. The first is its effortless reverse that requires nothing more than the pull of a lever to let you walk the machine back.

Another feature is its looped handle that can adjust to three different height settings for perfect ergonomic performance. And then there’s its compact frame and carefully balanced weight that makes tight turns on uneven landscapes far less difficult.

With a working depth of 10 inches, the 33970 Victory’s 212cc motor charges through packed soil with loads of power. On the downside, the thing does get pretty noisy especially when compared to the others on our list. It also takes a few recoils to get the engine to roar to life, which definitely isn’t a deal-breaker, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

Positives
  • Excellent tilling depth can reach up to 10 inches deep, ideal for untouched plots
  • Strong 212cc engine delivers reliable, sustained power for tilling jobs of all sizes
  • Instant reverse lets you move effortlessly through your land without having to shift gears or manage sharp turns
  • Looped handles can be set to three different heights for maximum ease of use
  • Compact frame permits ergonomic use and easier steering
Negatives
  • Pushes the envelope in terms of noise
  • Doesn’t always start on the first or second pull
5 Best price

Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036 – Best Rear Tine Tiller for Home Gardening

Features

  • Engine displacement: 208cc
  • Tilling width: 14 inches
  • Working depth: 6 inches
  • Rotation direction: Counter
  • Weight: 168 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years

The simplified Craftsman CMXGVAM 1144036 is a stable, stripped-down tiller that’s intended for humble home gardeners with a penchant for farming. The modest machine uses a 208cc engine and comes equipped with 10-inch tines that span a width of just 14 inches. These hardened steel tines are counter-rotating, digging into the soil up to 6 inches deep, ideal for cultivating medium-sized home gardens.

Relatively lightweight at just 168 pounds, the Craftsman tiller is smaller compared to others on our list. For this reason, the machine can perfectly satisfy the needs of residential gardening and farming enthusiasts, offering just enough power for its reasonable size.

Its 11-inch pneumatic tires are also sufficient for trudging over the common residential lot, providing enough traction and efficiency over both untouched and previously tilled plots of land.

Yes, home gardeners can find sound, satisfying performance in the Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036 rear tine tiller, but it isn’t without a few design hiccups. The most significant is its counterbalance which sits slightly too forward, requiring that you pull down on the handles to prevent it from teetering to the front especially on sloping landscapes.

It’s also not built to cultivate exceedingly demanding terrain, like plots of land that’s riddled with rocks and stones.

Positives
  • Simplified operation allows seamless, effortless use even for inexperienced home gardeners
  • Smaller, lightweight build maneuvers easily on smaller plots of land, and fits in limited storage space
  • 208cc engine delivers enough power to work through packed soil and untouched garden plots
  • Comfort handles incorporate a soft padding material to make the job easier on the hands
  • Reliable North-American engineering promises long-wearing performance and excellent durability
Negatives
  • Counterweight sits too far on the snout, so it may be necessary to pull down on the handles as you work your way down slopes
  • Was not built to work on demanding landscapes with lots of stones, rocks, and solid matter
6

Troy-Bilt Bronco – Best Rear Tine Tiller for Lots with Obstacles

Features

  • Engine displacement: 208cc
  • Tilling width: 14 inches
  • Working depth: 6 inches
  • Rotation direction: Counter
  • Weight: 164 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years

Ever tried moving a tiller through a landscape with lots of trees and other sorts of obstacles? It really isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are machines like the Troy-Bilt Bronco.

Compact, relatively lightweight, and equipped with both forward and reverse, the little tiller can easily move between tight areas so you can maximize your space. The 14-inch tilling width squeezes into most cramped spaces, and the reverse feature means there’s no need to make tight turns when there’s not enough room to do so.

But despite its compact design, the Troy-Bilt tiller is big on power. Hauling a 208cc engine, the machine’s counter-rotating tines charge through hard-packed soil, breaking up the material and sweeping them off to the side to produce a conducive foundation for all sorts of vegetation and produce.

Able to poke through your land as deep as 6 inches, the Bronco can tackle just the right depth for breaking up new soil or for mixing soil amendments into your land.

Needless to say, the Troy-Bilt Bronco isn’t the same powerful machine as the others we’ve listed. So it might not offer unrelenting traction on hilly landscapes and sloping wet terrain. And if you’re working on decades-old soil that’s never been touched, expect the engine to roar and sputter as it bares all its power to get the tough job done.

Positives
  • Forward and reverse functions let you move in and out of tight spaces without worrying about logistics
  • Compact design fits seamlessly into cramped areas between obstacles
  • Bolo tines are designed with ingenious curves that slice through the earth and sweep them over to create a fine, loose soil with minimal clumps
  • 14-inch tilling width is the perfect measure for tight garden rows in small lot spaces
  • Lightweight build is easy to push and maneuver over most types of terrain
Negatives
  • May not deliver stable traction on hilly and sloping landscapes especially when the ground is wet
  • Engine may be overworked when tackling severely packed soil

Buyer’s Guide

The burly brother of the front tine tiller, the rear tine tiller is a workhorse that delivers more power, larger coverage, and more versatile performance. But don’t think that any rear tine tiller will give you that satisfying gardening experience you’re looking for. Highly varied designs mean that each option will deliver a different level of performance.

Now depending on what you need and prefer, not all of these machines will match your standards. The question – what makes a good rear tine tiller and how do you know what you need? Find out here.

Best Rear Tine Tillers-1

Rotation Direction

Rear tine tillers can till your soil in three different directions, including:

  • Forward rotation – The tines on a forward rotating rear tine tiller move in the same direction as the wheels. These work best for soil that isn’t necessarily packed, and for jobs that don’t require too much depth.
  • Counter rotation – With tines that rotate the opposite direction as the wheels, a counter-rotating rear tine tiller will work more easily on densely packed soil, or on the ground that needs significant depth.
  • Dual rotation – These tillers give you the option to set the tines to rotate forward or backward, adapting the machine to the kind of work you have at hand. A perfect example would be the YARDMAX YT4565 that permits both forward and counter tine rotation.

Engine Power

The motor’s job is twofold – the first is to propel the wheels and the second is to put the tines into motion. Unlike a front tine tiller where the tines themselves are responsible for moving the machine forward, the rear tine tiller’s wheels are completely in charge of propulsion which is why some models can have tines that move in the opposite direction.

Most rear tine tillers operate within the 205cc to 212cc range. Machines with higher engine displacement ratings are ideal for larger areas where consistent power is required. Those with slightly lower ratings can be suitable for smaller spaces where digging deep isn’t necessary, or where the ground isn’t too densely packed.

On our list, the Champion and the EARTHQUAKE brands come out with the highest engine displacement ratings at 212cc.

Best Rear Tine Tillers

Tilling Width or Ground Coverage

The wider a machine’s coverage, the less you’ll have to go back and forth to till every inch of your lot. The YARDMAX YT4565 comes with an 18-inch width, which means every strip of land you pass and till will measure 18 inches across. Other models like the Champion 100380 come with a slightly wider tilling width at 19 inches.

Bear in mind that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. While it might reduce the number of times you’ll have to go across your plot, a rear tine tiller that’s wider might not fit into tight spaces. For areas where you might have trees or other obstructions, a narrower tilling width can help you reach parts of your lot that restrict entry to larger machines. Machines like the Troy-Bilt Bronco are specifically designed for gardens and lots with tight, hard-to-reach areas that might be flanked by obstructions.

Tilling Depth

Different needs will require that you till your soil at varying depths. For soil that hasn’t been used for planting in the past, it may be necessary to till as far down as 10 inches, which is the maximum depth for the EARTHQUAKE 33790 Victory. On the other hand, a plot of land that has been used previously can be tilled at a shallower depth, around 4 to 8 inches. The same measure applies for instances when you might need to mix in soil amendments with your earth.

Some machines offer variable tilling depths to meet your unique needs and purposes. Depth levels are typically preset, so all you have to do is choose the appropriate level for your ground before you start the process. Both the YARDMAX and the Husqvarna offer 7 different depth levels to match the job at hand.

Best Rear Tine Tillers-2

Maneuverability

A machine that’s hard to move around will find its rightful place collecting dust and growing rust in your shed. That said, maneuverability makes up a large chunk of whether or not you’ll use your tiller in the first place. Our pick for the best tine tiller for maneuverability is none other than the EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory, but the Troy-Bilt Bronco comes in a close second.

Large pneumatic wheels that can glide over difficult terrain can make it easier to operate your brand new machine.

Comfort handles and single-hand operation like that found on the YARDMAX YT4565 are also worthy features that make the use of a tiller far less taxing on farmers and gardeners of all heights and sizes.

Maintenance

Just like any other machine, a rear tine tiller will need routine maintenance to operate without a hitch. Here are some maintenance considerations worth keeping in mind:

  • Air filter – This piece prevents dirt, dust, and debris from entering the carburetor. Make sure to replace the filter after 25 hours of use.
  • Fuel filter – Keeps particles from entering the fuel tank. Routine replacement is necessary after 2 to 3 months of use.
  • Degrease – Any areas where oil may have leaked and caused stains should be routinely addressed with a degreaser.
  • Fuel stabilizer – If you’re storing your tiller for the winter and there’s still fuel in the tank, adding a fuel stabilizer should prevent coagulation and damage to the carburetor.
  • Tines – The tines should be kept in optimal condition to maintain efficiency during the tilling process. Remove any earth that may have caked on and protect the material with anti-rust treatment before storage.

At the start of each new gardening season, tines may also need routine sharpening. Some models incorporate self-sharpening tines that can reduce your maintenance effort.

  • Tires – Working on rugged terrain can cause wear and tear on your tires. Check the ideal pressure as indicated in the machine’s manual and inflate the tires when necessary. Overly worn tires that are cracked and damaged may need total replacement.

6 Best Rear Tine Tillers-3

FAQs

That depends on the manufacturer. But as a loose guide, you should consider changing the oil every spring. For a more accurate measure, oil replacement should be done after every 50 hours of use. Nonetheless, make sure you read through the user manual to find out the specific guidelines for an oil change as advised by the manufacturer.

There are lots of reasons why a tiller might not perform an adequate job. Some of the most common include worn tines, a faulty transmission, an overused belt, clutch cable issues, or even very poor soil conditions. For all the problems concerning the machine itself, it may be necessary to call up your manufacturer for a sound solution. If the soil is the problem, try waiting for the ground to dry up a little more before attempting to till again.

Worn tiller tines will not properly till your soil, and you might end up aerating instead of tilling. Check your tines regularly – if they’re pointed, then it may be necessary to replace them. There’s no designated time frame for tine replacement, so it really depends on how often you use them and the present state of your tines.

What’s the Best Rear Tine Tiller?

We’ve all got our own preferences and standards, but based on our research, it’s hard to go wrong with the YARDMAX YT4565. Combining all of the essential features of a rear tine tiller, and tossing in a few extras like dual rotating tines and one-handed operation, it’s hard to imagine anyone not feeling satisfied with this intuitive machine’s performance.

But then again, you might have something else in mind. If you feel that the YT4565 from YARDMAX just doesn’t suit your taste, we’ve got 5 other vetted choices to help you find the best rear tine tiller to manage your land and maximize the returns of Mother Nature.

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