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4 Best Rear Tine Tillers 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

person using EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory Rear Tine Tiller

There are quite a few varieties of rear tine tillers on the market. On the one hand, this means you’ll likely be able to find the perfect machine for your situation and needs.

On the other hand, this means there are quite a few options you’ll need to sort through before you can find the best option for you.

Don’t fret, though. We’re here to help you with our in-depth reviews of some of the most popular rear tine tillers on the market.

We’ll also discuss how to choose the best model for you in our buyer’s guide, which you’ll also find below.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Sunnyside 65732A Multi-Strip Paint & Varnish Remover Sunnyside 65732A Multi-Strip Paint & Varnish Remover
  • Safe
  • Removes up to 15 layers of paint or varnish
  • Easy to use
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Sunnyside 63432 Varnish Remover Gel Sunnyside 63432 Varnish Remover Gel
  • Safe formula
  • Strips multiple layers at once
  • Works on vertical surfaces
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel Citristrip QCSG801 Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
  • No harsh fumes
  • Safe
  • Stays active for 24 hours
  • Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Mediums Varnish Remover Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Mediums Varnish Remover
  • Works well
  • Great for artists
  • Easy to apply
  • Dumond Chemicals 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover Dumond Chemicals 3332 Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safe
  • The 4 Best Rear Tine Tillers – Reviews 2020

    1. Champion Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller – Best Overall

    Champion 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller

    The Champion Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller is a versatile machine. It has a 19-inch tilling width and an 8-inch tilling depth. This is more than enough for your average homeowner and even some professionals. It features a dual-rotation tilling, allowing you to switch quickly from forward to reverse as necessary. Because this allows you more flexibility in the garden, you’ll be able to get your tasks done fast.

    The transmission is cast iron and gear-driven, making it more durable than other options. The cast-iron case is sure to hold up to a lot of wear-and-tear. We imagine this machine will run for years without a problem. The self-propelled tires allow it to quickly scale most terrain, even if it is a bit uneven. It has little problem with rocks and things as well, thanks to the 13-inch tires. The tines themselves are heavy-duty hardened steel, which is one of the most durable materials used in rear tine tillers.

    This tiller also comes with a 2-year limited warranty and free lifetime technical support. The customer service is quite good, so you should have no problems.

    Pros
    • Dual-rotation tilling
    • Durable and powerful transmission
    • 13-inch tires
    • 2-year limited warranty
    • Low price
    Cons
    • Tends to guzzle gas

    2. Yard Machines 208cc Rear Tine Tiller – Best Value

    Yard Machines 208cc Rear Tine Tiller

    If you need a very inexpensive rear tine tiller, you should consider purchasing the Yard Machines 208cc Rear Tine Tiller, we think it’s one of the best rear tine tillers for the money on the market today. It is a reliable option for small and medium gardens, though it is not necessarily built to handle large jobs. It has an 18-inch tilling width with a 6-inch adjustable tilling depth. This is a bit smaller than some other options. However, for smaller gardens, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, you really can’t beat the price.

    The handle height is very adjustable to ensure that the machine is comfortable for you to use. The handle is quite comfortable as well, so you shouldn’t experience much fatigue while using this machine. The tines are made of steel, as they should be, which ensures that they are plenty strong enough to last for many years to come. A 2-year warranty backs the whole thing. We also loved how easily it tore through the dirt, including hard clay.

    The main problem is that you have to unset the wheels to move it around without turning it on. This is a small inconvenience, but it was enough to keep it out of first place.

    Pros
    • Adjustable handle
    • 18-inch tilling width
    • Comfortable handles
    • 2-year warranty
    Cons
    • Must remove wheels off assisted axle for transport

    3. EARTHQUAKE Victory Rear Tine Tiller – Premium Choice

    EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory Rear Tine Tiller

    For larger jobs, you might need something a bit more substantial. In these cases, the EARTHQUAKE 33970 Victory Rear Tine Tiller may be the best option for you. It is mighty and can cut through practically any type of soil without a problem. It can attack even previously untilled ground with confidence. The tines spin in the opposite direction of the self-propelled wheels to ensure the maximum force is delivered into the ground.

    We loved that this tiller had an instant reverse. This means you can pull the reverse lever and move the tiller backward to change directions – much more accessible than most of the competition. Despite its powerful engine, it is effortless to move around. It has a compact frame, and the weight is evenly distributed for easy transportation. It can be easily maneuvered in tight growing spaces and along the end of garden rows.

    It even comes with a 5-year warranty with US-based service and support. The tines can be adjusted, allowing you to achieve the perfect depth for your garden. The handlebars are adjustable as well, ensuring you can comfortably use this machine for an extended period.

    Pros
    • Powerful
    • Instant reverse
    • Compact frame
    • Maneuverable
    Cons
    • Expensive

    We reviewed the top electric tillers – Click here to read!


    4. Southland SRTT212 Rear Tine Rotary Tiller

    Southland SRTT212 Rear Tine Rotary Tiller

    The Southland SRTT212 Rear Tine Rotary Tiller is decent, but it isn’t our favorite by any stretch. It is a workhorse and can till a lot of ground quickly. For those who want to get their work done in a hurry, this can be a significant upside. It seems to be somewhat durable as well. Many users reported that it worked for years. Parts are also decently cheap. Because it is a straight shaft system, you can easily replace parts that break.

    However, there are many defects reported as well. It really seems to be a matter of chance whether or not you get a working machine. We are unsure how good the customer service is, but there is no warranty on this machine. That is a big red flag you should consider carefully.

    Pros
    • Replaceable parts available
    • Very powerful
    Cons
    • Defects are common
    • No substantial warranty

    Buyer’s Guide

    Choosing a rear tine tiller is essential to getting your garden ready quickly. Whether you’re a beginner with a few rows or a homesteader with an acre to till, selecting the correct tiller could be the difference between an easy start to the season and a major headache.

    To help you choose the best tiller for your garden, we wrote this complete buyer’s guide. It will review everything you need to know about these handy machines and help you select the best model for your needs. It isn’t always a matter of just choosing the top-rated model. Rear tine tillers come with many different features and functions. Which ones you need will depend on what you’re trying to do.

    Type of Tine

    There are a few different types of tines that each tiller can be equipped with. Each has its purpose and is best in certain situations. Choosing one that matches your situation is vital.

    • Standard Rotating Tines: These are the basic tines that most low- and mid-range models come with. They go in the same direction as the wheels and are also called “forward rotating tines” for this reason. They do not cut very deeply – usually, about 5  inches is all they can do with ease. They do work very well for leaf coverage, however.
    • Counter-Rotating Tines: As the name suggests, these rotate in the opposite direction as the wheels. This counter-rotation creates a lot more power, which is perfect for breaking up tough ground that has never been tilled before. If your yard is full of hard soil, like clay, this is the type of tines you probably need.
    • Dual-Rotating Tines: These tines are the premium option. They allow you to choose which way you want them to rotate, which makes them suitable for practically every situation. They are the best of both worlds and are becoming more and more common.

    Transmission

    The transmission of a rear tine tiller is going to control how versatile it is. Some models can only go in one direction. If you need to re-till a section of ground for whatever reason, you’ll have to perform some fancy maneuvers to get the machine back in the correct position.

    However, some machines allow you to reverse. Therefore, it would just take a few seconds to re-align the machine and re-till ground. It also makes it easier to turn the machine, especially in tight places. Otherwise, you might get a bit stuck in tight quarters. Different speeds are sometimes available as well, which makes the machine even more versatile.

    In the end, this is an easy feature to overlook. However, a sound transmission can make tilling your garden much more comfortable.

    Tires

    Size

    Every tiller relies on its tires, so they must be high-quality. Larger tires will make it easier for the machine to move along uneven or rocky surfaces. Of course, not everyone’s lands are uneven or hilly. Therefore, you may not need to worry much about this feature. However, for most people, this is going to be an essential feature to consider in your hunt for the perfect tiller.

    Durability

    The durability of the tires is also important. While you can replace the tires on most tillers, this is probably the last thing you want to do in the middle of tilling your garden. Most tillers use air-filled tires that will need to be refilled regularly. They’re a lot like tractor tires. However, others use solid, plastic tires. These don’t need to be refilled and won’t puncture for this reason.

    Counter-Rotating

    The tires on counter-rotating tines are even more critical. Because the tines are pulling the machine backward, the tires have to be strong enough to get the machine moving in the right direction. They need to be able to get traction on the ground that can often be uneven and rocky.

    person using Southland SRTT212 Rear Tine Rotary Tiller

    Tilling Depth and Width

    All tillers will have their tilling depth and width listed on their machine (or, at least, they should). Both of these metrics are important, though these features perhaps aren’t as essential as the others we’ve discussed thus far.

    Depth

    Firstly, the tilling depth is how deep the tiller can reach. A tiller with a 6-inch tilling depth can only reach 6      inches into the soil. How deep you need a tiller to go depends on what your planting and your location. Most small-time gardeners don’t need a tiller that can reach that deep into the ground. Usually, for tillers that can reach very deep, the depth is adjustable.

    Width

    Secondly, the tilling width is how wide of an area the tiller can till at a time. (Try saying that three times fast!     ) Generally, larger is going to be better. However, a larger width also means a more massive machine. This feature can cause the price to go up and make the machine harder to store. Consider how much room you have in your garage as well as much ground you need to till when considering this feature.

    The Engine

    As you can probably guess, the engine is an essential feature of any machine. However, it probably isn’t as important as you think. Your machine needs to produce enough power to avoid getting bogged down. Besides that, though, the exact specs of the engine aren’t particularly important.

    Most machines have an engine that fits with their tilling depth since you need more power to turn up more dirt. Those with more tilling depth are going to be substantially more robust.

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    Conclusion

    Rear tine tillers are a vital part of any gardening operation. However, choosing one for your particular garden can be challenging. There are many options available on the market that are suitable for different situations. We hope our reviews, combined with our buyer’s guide, gave you a good view of which model you need.

    For most people, we recommend the Champion 19-inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller. It has dual-rotating tilling, a powerful motor, and larger wheels. It is going to be suitable for most situations and gardens. Plus, it isn’t expensive either. Out of all those we reviewed, it is easily the best.

    For those who need a cheaper option, we recommend the Yard Machines 208cc Rear Tine Tiller. It is less expensive than other options, while still being suitable for small and medium gardens. It isn’t going to blow your mind, but it will get the job done.

    Featured Image Credit: Amazon

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