Rear Tine Tiller Buyer's Guide

Rear Tine Tiller Buyer's Guide

How To Pick The Perfect Rear-Tine Tiller

Dale, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert

Manually preparing a garden with a shovel or a spade is extremely strenuous work. When choosing tools to start your own garden, a rear tine tiller is the first investment you should make.

Troy-Bilt Rear Tine TillerRear tine tillers break up hard ground and till it into soft garden soil that can easily be cultivated and sowed. They allow you to loosen soil effortlessly without the exhausting labor.

As the powerhouses of the tiller family, rear tine tillers are the tool to choose when you're working with large plots of soil that's hard and rocky or heavy with high clay content. They offer plenty of options and features for serious gardeners and farmers, too.


Rotation Styles

Rear tine tillers are available with three different types of rotating tines:

  • Counter-rotating tines
  • Forward rotating tines
  • Dual rotating tines

The question is, which type is best for you?


Counter-Rotating Tines (CRT)

Counter-rotating tine tillers have tines that rotate counter-clockwise. The frontward pull of the wheels combined with the counter-rotation enables an individual to till compact soil very easily. Counter-rotating tine tillers are the best for loosening hard or clay soils. 


Forward Rotating Tines (FRT)

Forward rotating tine tillers, also called standard rotating tine tillers, have tines that rotate in the same direction as the wheels. A standard rotating tine tiller is ideal if you're tilling ground at a 5” depth or less.


Dual Rotating Tines (DRT)

Dual rotating tine tillers can perform as either a standard rotating tine tiller or a counter-rotating tine tiller, offering you the ultimate versatility and performance.

Additional Features

The tines aren't the only part of a tiller that can make your garden chores less of a burden!


Large Tires on Rear Tine TillerRear tine tillers have large, heavy-duty tires with large treads for better traction in muddy or cultivated soil.

Transferring power from the engine to the wheels enables rear tine tillers to tackle larger jobs in landscaping, serious gardening, and construction.

You only need to guide the tiller as it works, so rear tine tillers can muscle through large gardens, tough soil, and sod.



A nice feature found on rear tine tillers is a transmission with forward and reverse speeds. This allows you to safely back up to re-till areas.

Some rear tine tillers have multiple forward speeds so you can choose how quickly you'd like to go.


Drag Bar

Rear Tine Tiller Drag BarOne feature you may want to look for is an adjustable drag bar. This runs behind the tiller and allows you to work at a consistent depth.

You can set the drag bar for the depth you need, depending on the job.



Another safety feature to consider is a counterweight. This helps keep the machine balanced as you till.

A counterweight will also help prevent the heavy rear tine tiller from jerking during use.

NEXT: Top-Rated and Best-Selling Garden Tillers

Dale, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert
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