I hope you can agree with me when I say: 

  Anyone with any gardening experience at all knows that breaking ground for a new garden is the most grueling part of the process.   

If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden any bigger than a window box (and even if you aren’t), tilling soil can run you ragged, especially as you get older.

That said, a rear tine rototiller can make your life that much easier. You could never hope to bring the amount of power a tiller could to the job, and to be honest, you probably shouldn’t be trying, either. Tillers come in handy for all a manner of things that need to get done around your garden, from turning soil, to mixing in compost and fertilizer and loosening soil to help water reach the roots of your plants. They’re an invaluable tool for anyone that fancies themselves a green-thumb. 

Lucky for you, I’ve done all the research so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of some of the best rear tine tillers money can buy. I’ve also included some tips on how to prep soil before you till, and the Do’s and Don’ts of tilling!

Best Rear Tine Tillers 2021

Here is a compiled list of the top 8 rear tine tillers you can buy online:

Tomato PlantersRating
YARDMAX-YT4565 Dual Rotating Tiller
10/10 (Editor's Choice)
Earthquake Rear Tine 4-Cycle 196cc Tiller
Troy-Bilt 306cc 20-Inch Rear-Tine Tiller
Husqvarna TR317D, 208cc Rear-Tine Tiller
Craftsman CMXGVAM1144037 Gas-Powered Counter Rotating Tiller
Champion 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller
Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller with 196cc
EARTHQUAKE-31285 4-Cycle Viper Engine Rear Tiller

Preparing Your Garden With  A Rear Tine Tiller:

1. YARDMAX-YT4565 Dual Rotating Tiller

  • User friendly
  • Cost Effective
  • Portable

✅ Efficient❌Has been discontinued on many different retailers
✅ Ergonomic❌ Heavy

2. Earthquake Rear Tine 4-Cycle 196cc Tiller

  • Easy to store
  • Relatively cost effective
  • Powerful

✅ Compact❌ Cumbersome to operate
✅ Cost effective❌ Confusing assembly

3. Troy-Bilt 306cc 20-Inch Rear-Tine Tiller

  • Reputable Brand
  • Solid Warranty
  • Easy To Use

✅ User-friendly❌ Parts hard to find
✅ Rock solid warranty❌ Not as powerful

4. Husqvarna TR317D, 208cc Rear-Tine Tiller

  • Four Year Warranty
  • Dual Rotating
  • Cost Effective

✅ Cost-effective❌ Parts hard to find
✅ Counter rotating❌ Not user friendly

5. Craftsman CMXGVAM1144037 Gas-Powered Counter Rotating Tiller

  • Attractive design
  • Four Year Warranty
  • Counter Rotating

✅ Tough engine❌ Assembly requires more time and effort
✅ Sturdy built❌ Slightly more difficult to maneuver

6. Champion 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller 

  • Deft Transmission
  • Slick Appearance

✅ Strong engine❌ Guzzles fuel quite fast
✅ Counter rotating tines❌ Not cost effective

7. Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller with 196cc

  • Simple Assembly
  • Smooth Transmission

✅ Smooth transmission❌ Loud
✅ Simple assembly❌ Difficult to operate

8. EARTHQUAKE-31285 4-Cycle Viper Engine Rear Tiller

  • Energy Efficient
  • User Friendly
  • Powerful

✅ Powerful❌ Expensive
✅ User friendly❌ Difficult to find



Where can I find the best rear tine tillers for my garden, you might wonder? Here I’ve compiled a list of some of the best rear tine tillers on Amazon to aid you on your search!

How To Prep Soil Before You Till

Things To Note: 

  1. Putting in a call to your local utility company should be the first thing you do, so you can be sure you aren’t running the risk of destroying buried lines. 
  2. In your new garden, dig out all the sod so you don’t spread grass around your whole plot. 
  3. Clear the soil of large rocks and roots that can cause irreparable damage to your new, expensive rototiller. 
  4. Are there any remnants of vegetables, other roots or vines or black mulch in your new plot? Get rid of them, because they’ll get caught in the tines of your tiller and cause it to stall.
  5. Well watered soil will ensure any weed seeds on the surface of your soil germinate!
  6. Large perennial weeds have especially got to go. There’s nowhere their tenacious roots won’t go with the help your tiller. Some particularly persistent varieties can regenerate from cut roots as small as an inch.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Tilling

It’s easy to get intimidated; try not to worry too much, once you get the hang of tilling, it’ll become muscle memory.  And what about the age old question of front tine VS rear tine tillers? Front tine tillers let you till around obstacles and in small spaces. Their wheels are behind their tines, and the engine is mounted directly above!  Rear tine tillers are a good choice for larger, open garden areas and their tines are in the back, their engine in the front. Their tines are in the rear, the engine in front.

Tilling Don’ts

  • There’s no reason to start tilling right away. As we said earlier, call 811 to be connected to your states’ One Call Center, which can locate and mark utility lines before you dig. 
  • There shouldn’t be any debris in the garden. Rocks, sticks and other loose foreign items can pose a hazard to your tiller.

Tilling Do’s

  • Reading your owner’s manual isn’t optional, much as I’m sorry to say it. All models are more than a little different, so you’ll want to read the directions to ensure you don’t make an entirely avoidable mistake.
  • Till about 6-8 inches deep, unless your plants benefit from a specific depth. Consult your seed packets or local nursery for more information.
Best Time To Tine Soil

The best time to till soil is in the spring, when it’s gotten fairly dry and the weather is growing progressively warmer. It’s a matter of region and climate. Depending on where you are, you may be able to till as early as March, or end up having to wait until May or even early June.

Under no circumstances should you till wet soil, as you’ll end up causing compaction, which is what happens when the large air spaces or pores between particles of soil collapse which results in water being unable to penetrate effectively. Plus, soil that’s tilled whilst wet will dry in hard clods and only make it harder for you to get down and dirty. Even seasoned gardeners will agree that it’s easy to be intimidated by the huge variety of rear tine tillers on the market!

 So dig out your gardening gloves, and get that tiller going!  [simple-author-box]

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