3 Best Rear Tine Tillers: Mighty Powerful and Reliable
Preparing a new land with bare hands can feel like one mammoth of a task. Fortunately, you don’t have to stress over that as there are top-notch tine tillers available nowadays. However, when there are so many options, it can be pretty nerve-wracking. This is where I come in with my expert opinion where I’ll find you the best rear tine tiller suitable to your needs. Whether you want to go all out on performance or you need an affordable choice, I’ve got your back. As a bonus, I’ll show you what you need to look out for when buying a rear tine tiller. So, without any further delay, let’s get to plowing-
Review of the 3 Best Rear Tine Tillers 2022
Before I jump into the details, here’s the quick answer in case you don’t want to wait- Best Overall: Earthquake 31285 Pioneer Dual-direction Rear Tiller Budget Pick: Yardmax Yt4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller Close Runner-up: Earthquake 33970 Victory Rear Tine Tiller
#1. Earthquake 31285 Pioneer Dual-direction Rear Tiller
At a Glance
- Engine: 4-Cycle Viper Engine 99cc
- Tire Size: Airless tires
- Tilling Depth: 10”
- Tilling Width: 16”
- Driving Directions: Dual-direction
- Weight: 160 pounds
There’s no denying that rear tine tillers are a complete blessing when it comes to breaking up new soil. But controlling tillers can be frustrating due to heavyweight and poor maneuverability. After all, you need to protect your beautiful rows and fences. Lucky for you, the Earthquake 31285 shines at maneuverability. The perfectly balanced tiller with its patented transmission system will let you move it in any direction you want. To put a cherry on top, there’s an instant reverse function. Suppose you want to go backward, simply pull the handle in that direction and that’ll get it going right away. You feel the importance of quick navigation especially when you’re in tight or narrow spaces. As this rear tine tiller is far away from being top-heavy, moving it is like a walk in the park. On top of that, you get dual grip handles that let you move the tiller even with one hand. This is a handier option when you really want to avoid footprints on newly plowed seedbeds. And of course, I can’t forget about the shift positioning system. Thanks to this, you don’t have to do any guesswork when selecting the gears. In the power department, the 99cc 4-Cycle Viper Engine is capable of digging up 10-inch deep soil. The large treads on the airless wheel support you without any flats regardless of the condition of the soil. The Earthquake 31285 Pioneer Dual-direction Rear Tiller is not an affordable choice. But this machine was built to last years so you can rest assured that your investment will be worth it. Pros
- Easy maneuverability with instant reverse function
- Offers effortless tilling regardless of the soil condition
- Airless large treaded tires won’t go flat
- The one-handed operation helps in avoiding footprints
- A dual rotation transmission system
- The tires could’ve used more treads
#2. Yardmax Yt4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller
At a Glance
- Engine: 79.77cc Yardmax engine, 180 RPM
- Tire: 13″ x 5″ small-sized tires
- Tilling Depth: 7″ – 11″
- Tilling Width: 11″ – 21″
- Driving Directions: Forward Rotation
- Weight: 103.6 pounds
The Yardmax Yt4565 was built to tame the outdoors. The powerful Briggs & Stratton engine along with the robust YARD MAX transmission system makes it a versatile option for both homeowners and professionals. The 79cc Yardmaxengine offers 180 RPMs with over 9.50 ft-lbs gross torque. Add the transmission system to it and it’ll be capable of breaking through any kind of soil without much effort. Apart from the impressive power system, you get properly treaded 13” pneumatic tires that make the steering feel like a breeze. Moreover, the front counterweight adds to the stability and overall balance while steering the tiller. Whenever you need to go backward, you can’t just change the gear to move it back. So, that’s a bummer. But did I mention this top-graded tiller has a one-handed operation? Along with that, it’s outfitted with two shields to increase safety while operating, a serrated rear shield and an adjustable one. With a width of 18” and depth of 6.5”(7 different settings available), covering large areas won’t break your sweat. Overall, the Yardmax Yt4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller with its 13” self-sharpening tines makes it the best affordable tine tiller. When you’re a little short on budget, there’s no better alternative to this versatile tine tiller. Pros
- 13’’ self-sharpening plows through any type of soil while reducing maintenance
- Adjustable drag bar provides overall balance
- Dual-direction transmission system
- Easy to maneuver
- The tilling area is fully adjustable
- There’s no reverse gear
#3. Earthquake 33970 Victory Rear Tine Tiller
At a Glance
- Engine: 212CC Viper Engine
- Tire: Pneumatic wheels
- Tilling Depth: 10”
- Tilling Width: 16”
- Driving Directions: Dual-direction
- Weight: 164 pounds
A lot of people start with affordable and lightweight models to gain some experience. After a while, they feel the need to switch to a more powerful model but they don’t want to go overboard with the power and size. For those people, I present to you Earthquake 33970. Equipped with a powerful 212cc Viper engine, it can plow through any type of soil, no matter how aggressive it is. As a matter of fact, the counter-rotating tines bring out the best tilling capabilities of this robust machine. If the soil is hard, it’ll be plowed in no time. And if it’s already tilled, you’ll mix up with soil with fresh air. Similar to the Earthquake 31285, it’s packed with the instant reverse. Despite the heavy-weight and high power, moving backward is a piece of cake as there’s no gear shifting. And thanks to the compact and well-balanced frame, you’ll get fluid navigation even in tight growing spaces. Moreover, it solved the issue I had with the Earthquake 31285’s tires not having enough treads. Pros
- 16” wide and 10” deep tines let you cultivate with fewer passes
- Well-balanced weight distribution helps with maneuverability
- Heavy-duty build quality with steel for enhanced longevity
- Instant reverse functions require no gear shifting
- Looped handlebars come with 3 height adjustments
- Might not be ideal for an out of shape person
How to Choose the Best Rear Tine Tiller?
The minute you realize that your rear tine tiller is an investment, the better it is for you. When you’re making an investment of this size, it’s better to crosscheck a few criteria-
Rear tine tillers come with 3 different tine rotations. Each of them has its own advantages. So, you need to have a basic idea about all of them to figure out the right one for you-
Counter-Rotating Tines (CRT)
As the name suggests, counter-rotating tines move counter-clockwise. When the front moving wheels combine with counter-rotating tines, it allows you to till compact soil with minimal effort. That’s why counter-rotating tines are ideal for loosening tough soil.
Forward Rotating Tines (FRT)
Forward rotating tines also known as standard rotating tines turn in the same order as the tires. These are great when you have to till ground that has a depth of 5-inch or less.
Dual-Rotating Tines (DRT)
The most versatile option is a dual rotating tine. Depending on your need, you can set it to move clockwise or counterclockwise.
Without heavy-duty tires, tillers won’t have enough traction in cultivated or muddy terrain. As the engine transfers power to the large tread tires, it pushes through all kinds of terrain. If it’s a matter of plowing over rocky or uneven ground, make sure the tires are at least 12-inches. The bigger they are, the better traction and momentum they’ll have. As a matter of fact, bigger size and versatile all-terrain treads are even more important for counter-rotating tines. Although you could very well get the job done with smaller 8-inch tires if the soil is already cultivated or smooth.
The math here is simple. The more power your tiller has, the easier it’ll be to use it. But just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean you have to buy the most powerful one out there. With a 200cc engine, you could break hardened soil without much hassle. Although you’d have to pay a hefty sum of money. For most people, anything from 100 to 180cc engines is more than enough. These options will be affordable and they’re packed with sufficient power to get the job done.
The deeper the tines can reach, the easier it’ll be to cultivate the soil. When you’re cultivating or tiling on new land, go for 10-inch tines. Even though they’ll cost you a bit of extra money, at the end of the day, you’ll realize its worth. On the other hand, recently cultivated or soft soil will be just fine with 5 or 6-inch tines.
On average, rear tine tiller width ranges from 10 to 20-inches. While it’s true that wider tines will get the job a lot faster and you’d have to make fewer passes. But they’re not the right choice if you happen to have a narrow or small space. You’ll realize that making turns requires a lot more effort. But there’s no denying wide tillers are a blessing when you need to plow a large uniformed area.
When you’re maneuvering a heavy-duty machine like a rear tine tiller, having the transmission system can prove to be a blessing. How?
Suppose, you’re loosening hard soil and the tiller somehow gets stuck. Now, if your tiller has a reverse function, you could get out of there with little to no effort. And it comes in handy when you need to re-plow a land.
Be that as it may, the forward gear is what you’ll be using most of the time. As it does the lion’s share of the job, manufacturers have thought of making it better with variable speeds. Despite the higher additional cost, variable speeds increase efficiency to the max.
Finally, there’s the neutral gear which helps in transporting the machine. Although you could use it for tilling as well.
The average weight rear tine tiller will weigh around 120-200 pounds. It might seem excessive to some people but there are reasons behind it- First of all, heavier tine tillers don’t bounce as much as the lighter ones. If you plowed rocky terrains, you know bouncy the experience can get. And second, they’re easy to control in wider areas. Nonetheless, there’s always the option to buy lighter tillers. Although it’s better to note that lightweight tillers(around or less than 100 pounds) don’t offer heavy-duty strength.
When Should I Use a Rear Tine Tiller?
Rear tine tillers are best for large areas where you need to break in or loosen new soil. When you’ve started working on large gardens or small to medium-sized farm plots, a rear tine tiller can get your job done with minimal effort.
How Often Should I Till My Soil?
You shouldn’t till your garden more than once per year. When it’s time to plant seeds, tilling can deliver good after-results. Instead of tilling up plowed soil, you could cover it with mulch as that works much better.
Can I Till Too Often?
Tilling is done to blend in organic matter, remove weed or loosen crusted soil. But when it’s done excessively, it tears down the natural soil structure, making it vulnerable to compaction.
How Should I Till My Garden?
Start by marking the area you’ll be tilling. Begin at one point and finish tiling that row and re-till the area if needed. Once you’re done with one row, move to another.
Finding the best from a sea of products might seem impossible at times. As there are different customer segments, the very definition of best is different to various people. That said, the Earthquake 31285 is the overall best rear tine tiller. The robust tiller with flawless build quality makes it perfect for all kinds of people. But as I’ve said just now, there are other criteria. So, if you don’t want to bleed your wallet dry, the Yardmax Yt4565 will be a fine choice. And finally, Earthquake 33970 is the ideal choice if you’re willing to increase your budget a little bit.