5 best rear tillers: definitive reviews and buying tips

Best Rear Tiller

We, ourselves, can do only so much. Over the centuries, we consistently came up with new and exciting ideas, tools, and inventions to make our work easier, faster, precise, and more efficient. One of our earliest activities that tremendously helped us go from hunter-gatherers in tribes to civilization, and what we see today is agriculture.

Agriculture can be hard, time-consuming, and tedious. Still, our technological advancements provide better alternatives and more exceptional tools to help us work our soil and produce food for the masses. In this article, we take a look at our picks for the best rear tillers that help us optimize our agricultural activities, what performance they can deliver, and why do they deserve your money.

1. YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller


  • Powerful engine
  • Dual rotating, self-sharpening tiles
  • Shields on the rear and sides
  • Considerable maneuvering due to the 13-inch tires
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty


  • Might be slightly bulky

YARDMAX delivers once again a product that is sure to substantially ease your workload, and efficiently optimize your work routine, helping you more easily loosen your soil. This tiller comes with numerous benefits and attractive features like an 18-inch tilling width, as well as a 6.5-inch tilling depth, that provides a lot of space to operate, and seven different adjustable depth sets, to make sure that the soil is tilled at an optimal depth.

The 208cc Briggs and Stratton engine is specifically designed to produce excellent torque, up to 9.5-foot-pounds and 190 rpm, this powerful motor will get the job done quickly and effortlessly. It boasts a 13-inch counterweight in the front for balance and stability, as well as dual rotating 13-inch self-sharpening tiles that provide impressive versatility in the varieties of soils and terrains it can work on.

This tiller also includes side shields and a serrated rear shield that provides much-needed safety from the rotating tines while in operation. It also includes a one-handed operation that allows for more excellent and more comfortable handling from any rear angle, as well as an adjustable drag bar that provides for adequate balance in every type of soil. It even comes with a two-year warranty, but due to the robust and high-quality material construction, you might not need to use it.

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2. Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036


  • Powerful 208cc gas engine
  • Robustly built
  • Rear shield to protect against debris
  • Versatility in the variety of terrain it can dig
  • Excellent torque, with counter-rotating tines


  • Grip handle might get slippery

The Craftsman company delivers high-quality agricultural tools and machinery to more easily work your soil the way you want to, and they are located in Tupelo, MS. This tine tiller boasts a counter-rotating tines that provide excellent torque and produce deeper digging with ease and a powerful, 208cc gas engine that is recoil started, providing you with all the necessary power to dig your soil more effectively. It boasts 10-inch rear steel tines that are incredibly durable and are ideal for all manners of tilling like weeding, compost, or vegetation, as well as being suited for extensive plantings or cultivations.

This tiller is capable of tilling at a width of 14 inches in one go, reducing the time of tilling your entire soil, as well as making it more convenient. It is also capable of quickly digging at a depth of six inches, plowing right through tough or dry soil. It also features a rear tine shield for improved safety and convenience against flying soil or pieces of debris.

It measures at a convenient 48.1 x 22.8 x 25.8 inches and weighs 168 pounds, making it decently compact, as well as decently lightweight, so you can maneuver it without much effort and with less fatigue. This tile tiller can be an excellent addition to your agricultural tools, making your work more comfortable and more efficient.

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3. Champion 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller


  • Powerful 212cc engine
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Dual rotating tiles
  • Quickly digs through tough terrain
  • Self-propelled tires


  • Might be pricier compared to other models

Champion is another renowned company in the agricultural business, providing excellent quality products for their clients consistently, allowing them to significantly enhance and optimize their work. The rear tine tiller incorporates dual tilling rotation allowing you to move quickly from front to reverse for more versatility.

The tiller has a tilling width of 19 inches and a tilling depth of 8 inches. It also features a more powerful-than-average 212cc engine that provides the power you need to plow tough soil, as well as four sturdy 13.8-inch tiles that dig your soil effortlessly. The transmission is iron-casted, incorporated in a cast-iron case.

It also boasts 13-inch, self-propelled tires that allow you to easily maneuver this tool on any terrain, as well as massive treads providing excellent traction. This will enable you to just guide your tiller, and let it do the hard job for you.

This tiller produces superior power and makes the job of digging your soil much more comfortable and more efficient.  It also maximizes your wellbeing with self-propelled tires, great digging depth, heavy-duty construction, and a powerful engine, and on top of that, the Champion company offers a 2-year warranty and technical support for your tiller. If you want a powerful, useful, efficient, professional-grade tool to add to your collection, look no further!

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4. Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller


  • Superior tilling width and depth
  • Powerful 196cc OHV engine
  • Folding pistol grip handles
  • Self-propelled tires for all types of terrain
  • Features counter-rotating tines for easy digging


  • Quite difficult to control

Southland is another established company in this industry, and they produce excellent quality products. A good example is this rear tine tiller that boasts counter-rotating tines, and in combination with the forward momentum and the powerful 196cc 4 cycle OHV engine, it easily plows right through tough soil, as well as making it easy to maneuver, and it makes it effortless to dig clay soil, as well.

It features self-sharpening tiles that are 11 inches long, as well as providing a tremendous tilling width of 18-inches and a tilling depth of 10-inches, which includes a depth regulator lever that makes it convenient and easy to adjust the digging depth. It also features 13-inch pneumatic tires that provide superior versatility and maneuverability over any type of terrain. They also make it very convenient with a manual recoil start that doesn’t take much effort, as well as folding pistol grip handles that make it more comfortable and easy to deposit in your storage area. They also include a two-year limited warranty on this product, as well.

This black EPA-certified rear tine garden tiller has the perfect balance between power, versatility, and heavy-duty build, to make your agricultural endeavors more efficient, easy and convenient, while also coming at a reasonably affordable price.

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5. Poulan Pro PPCRT14


  • Features counter-rotating tines
  • Equipped with a liquid combustion engine
  • Excellent width and depth digging
  • Adjustable tilling depth
  • Robust build

Poulan makes gardening a piece of cake all around the world with their intuitive, easy to use, powerful, and convenient tools. The Poulan Pro PPCRT14 is a prime example, featuring a powerful liquid combustion OHV engine that boasts a 208cc cylinder displacement, and a robust chain drive transmission that provides all the power you need for your gardening. It has a reverse feature that offers versatility in different types of soil and terrains.

It also boasts counter-rotating tines, 13 inches long that provide a great 17-inch tilling width as well as a 6.5-inch tilling depth, allowing you to significantly decrease the time it takes to till a particular portion of your soil. It comes with seven depth adjustments that make it easy to customize and precisely set your depth while digging. They also feature tires that are 16 inches in diameter that are perfect for traversing and maneuvering on uneven terrain, as well as providing excellent traction.

The split loop can be conveniently adjusted for your specific preferences, as well as offering a single hand operation that will allow you to operate this tool from the left side, as well as the right side of this machinery.

This company also offers a 2-year warranty in case there’s something wrong with this product, but chances are slim. This is a professional grade rear tine tiller that will allow you to work your soil effortlessly, boasting many useful features and design choices that surely satisfy all your gardening needs.

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How to choose the best rear tine garden tiller?

On these rear tine tillers, the wheels are driven by the engine, meaning that the tines work separately from the wheels, providing the ability to dig soft soil.

When you are looking for a new rear tine tiller, there are a few criteria you should take into consideration, and below, we offer a few features, and we try to guide you to choose the best rear tine garden tiller for your particular needs.

Rotation Styles

The first one is rotation styles and how this affects your digging experience.

The counter-rotating tines are found on many gardening tillers, offering excellent efficiency while tilling because the tines rotate counter-clockwise, and the wheels propel the tiller, resulting in a much easier soil breaking. They are perfect for breaking up hard and clay soil, due to the independent movement of the blades compared to the movement of the wheels.

The dual rotating tines work similarly as the counter-rotating tines, but they differentiate by the ability to rotate the blades forward as well as in reverse. They are a heavy-duty machine, considered to be of a higher standard than the counter-rotating tines, and provide great versatility while tilling your gardens.

The last type is standard-rotating tines, also known as the forward rotating tine tillers, these tines rotate in the same direction that the wheels do. These are not designed to plow through tough soil and are more suited for shallow depth tilling and softer grounds. They are also usually cheaper than these other types.


When tilling hard soil, you have to make sure that your rear tine tiller is adequately equipped to do the job. When choosing a rear tine tiller for gardens with hard soil and uneven terrain, you need to make sure your transmission is capable of moving forward as well as in reverse, of allowing you to re-till areas safely and more efficiently.

When you choose a tiller that cannot go in reverse, and you encounter issues like getting blocked in an area, the ability to go in reverse will significantly ease the job of unsticking your machinery.

You can also find rear tine tillers that boast a multi-speed transmission system for forwarding motion, allowing you to adjust the speed with which your tiller is moving. This video examines the transmission and possible causes of having issues with your tiller tines.

Tilling Width and Depth

This is another essential aspect you should take into account when buying a new rear tine garden tiller. A lot of tillers boast this adjustable tilling depth capacity because this makes it optimal for many different tilling purposes and can adapt to a variety of planting needs.

If the area that requires tiling is relatively small, rear tine garden tillers with a standard rotation system may prove the most effective. More ample jobs that include hard and clay soils may require tillers with an adjustable depth capability to ensure your soil is appropriately loosened for planting or gardening.

Another aspect is the width of your rear tine tillers, as this can vary, and a wider tilling width may prove more challenging to control. You need to take your experience into consideration when choosing a tiller and opt for a more balanced option when it comes to operating it.

Counterweight Balancing

Many tillers feature counterweights over the tires to ensure that your tiller is properly balanced while stationary, and prevent tipping over, as well as adding more stability and balance while in use.

Tines and Safety

Rear tine garden tillers usually boast steel tines, and the diameter of those tines determines the digging depth. While you search for a garden tiller, you should take into consideration the safety of these tillers, as they should feature safety shields on both sides as well as the rear to minimize the risk of injury, as well as protecting you against flying debris and soil.

You may also find more information here on how and when to use a rear tiller.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a rear tine tiller?

This tool is ideal for breaking up the soil without the need for a shovel, using an engine located in the front of the machine, and tines angled towards the back, as well as self-propelling wheels that market is easy to redirect the machine forward and back.

Q. What does a rear tiller do?

Rear tillers are tools that help you loosen soil, and they have the tines behind the engine. They are perfect for large areas and hard projects, like hard or clay soil. There are front tine tillers that are ideal for smaller areas and looser soil. In contrast, rear tillers have more power, are heavier, can dig deeper, have self-propelled wheels independence to the tiles, and can cover large areas of land.

Q. Is electric start better than manual start?

There is the manual start option that requires you to pull on a cord to start the engine, and this can be tedious and often harder, so many people opt for an electric starting tiller. The downside to the electric start that requires only a push of a button is the significantly higher price.

Q. Is a rear tiller good for rough or soft soil?

The rear-tine tillers are designed explicitly to loonies up tough soil, because these feature a powerful engine behind the tiles, giving it the ability to pull the tines properly to work large and tough areas. And another feature is the heavy-duty wheels that are designed for rough and uneven terrain.

Wrap up

Our favorite for the best rear tine tiller is the Champion 19-inch dual rotating rear tine tiller due to the outstanding build quality, powerful motor, and of course, dual rotating tines. This is an excellent choice because it incorporates most of the attractive features a rear tine tiller should have. As the dual rotation tilling, it has a great width and depth capabilities, self-propelled and heavy-duty tires, a powerful 212cc engine, as well as side and rear shields for protection against debris. This is a perfect choice for any type of terrain and hard or clay soil, effortlessly tilling right through it.

The Champion may be a little pricey due to the numerous features and build quality, so a good alternative would be the Southland SRTT196E. It has boasting counter-rotating tines, which also work well for hard soil. This tiller has 18- inch width and 10-inch tilling depth, heavy-duty tires that can handle uneven terrain, folding pistol grip handle as well as a powerful engine. The self-propelled tires and a manual recoil start, substantially decreasing its price.