The Top 10 Best Rear Tine Tillers of 2015 & 2016

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Rear Tine Tillers: Questions & Answers

What’s the difference between a rear tine tiller and other tillers?

Rear tine tillers are different from the more standard front tine tillers, which are also just known as garden tillers. Front tine tillers have the blades in front of the machine and engine, while rear tine tillers have the blades at the back. The engine is in front of the blades, so the tines are pulled by the engine and are able to dig deeper.

When would I use a rear tine tiller?

Rear tine tillers are ideal for really compact, unbroken ground. If you are turning part of your lawn into a garden, you’ll want to use a rear tine tiller. These tillers are also very effective for big gardens. Rear tine tillers are often safer than front line tillers, because when they hit a rock, they lurch away from you instead of towards you. For a step-by-step guide about using a garden tiller look here.

What kind of engine is best?

When you’re looking at engines for rear tine tillers, you’ll notice that most of them are gas-powered. Electric engines just aren’t powerful enough, so they’re less common. Go for a reliable and durable gas engine, as those provide the power you need, some great brands include Briggs & Stratton and Honda.

How much power should it have?

A rear tine tiller’s power comes from its engine. Most engines are now measured by size as opposed to horsepower, so you’ll notice a number and then the letters “cc”, which stands for cubic centimeters. The larger that number before the “cc”, the more powerful the engine is. 200cc and above is necessary for a machine intended for medium-big gardens.

What’s the difference a between a 2-cycle and a 4-cycle engine?

One of the other features associated with engines is the number of cycles (also known as strokes) it has. 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines are most common. The difference between them is that 2-cycle engines are lighter, cheaper, and have a bigger power boost because they fire once every revolution as opposed to every few revolutions. However, 4-cycle engines last longer, are more efficient, and produce less pollution. If you are okay with spending a little more money upfront, 4-cycle engines are more reliable and will give your garden tiller a longer lifespan.

What’s the benefit of an OHV engine?

The last engine feature you might notice is that many rear tine tiller engines are OHV. This stands for “overhead valve.” OHV engines have many advantages over non-OHV engines, like better fuel efficiency, a lighter design, and less pollution. Many OHV engines are so efficient that they’re CARB-compliant, which means you can buy the garden tiller in California and save money on gas while reducing your carbon footprint.

What’s the width range on rear tine tillers?

When you’re using your rototiller tiller, the cutting deck’s width determines how wide of a path you can till with one pass. The average width on them is 16-18 inches, though some go as wide as 20 inches. This allows you to till a big yard with fewer passes so you save time. However, if you have narrow spots in your garden, a wide tiller won’t be able to fit, so a wide cutting deck isn’t always the most convenient choice.

How deep can they dig?

Most rear tine tillers have adjustable cutting depths, with a maximum depth of 6-8 inches. 6 inches is a bit shallow for most ground, especially if the soil is really compact. For very tough plots (like ground that’s never been broken), a machine with a 10-inch depth is a really good choice.

What kind of tines should my garden tiller have?

When you get a rear tine tiller, you should take note of the tines. There are four tine “styles” that each have their strengths and weaknesses. Standard-rotating tines (or forward-rotating tines) move in the same direction as the wheels. These tines are good for most gardening jobs with soft soil that doesn’t require a lot of depth. Counter-rotating tines turn in the opposite direction of wheels, which allows for very powerful digging that’s perfect for very compact soil. These are ideal for clay soils or soils with lots of rocks. Dual-rotating tines work both backward and forward, so you have a lot of versatility in both soft and hard soil. You can adjust the tines to go forward when the ground is easier to work with, and then counter-rotating if you discover rougher patches of ground. Dual-rotating tines are usually found on commercial tillers because you can work in any kind of soil condition. Vertical dual rotating tines are more unusual, and turn up and down instead of horizontally. These tines are quiet and smooth.

What is a rear tine tiller’s drag bar for?

The drag bar is built behind the tiller and is adjustable. The drag bar is meant to keep it digging at a consistent depth, so your plot is even. You can set the drag bar to the depth you want, and it will help keep the rototiller balanced and digging at the same depth.

How important is a counterweight?

The counterweight on a rear tine tiller is a safety feature that helps keep the tiller balanced. This is especially important if you’re working in rough terrain where the machine could easily jerk around. The counterweight keeps the tiller stabilized and puts more weight on the wheels so the tiller stays grounded.

What should I look for in a rototiller’s transmission?

A rear tine tiller’s transmission is what keeps the tiller maneuverable and moving smoothly. It’s very important that your transmission be durable, otherwise the tiller won’t work. Some features to look for include cast-iron transmissions with a bronze gear drive, or sealed chain gear transmissions. The ability to go both backwards and forwards is also convenient, so you can use the rototiller in both directions and speed up the chore.

What kind of tires should I look for?

Since these machines are frequently used in rougher terrain, having a good set of tires is very important. Good tires ensure the tiller stays stable and doesn’t get stuck if you’re working in moist dirt or even mud. For tire size, bigger is better. Bigger wheels (13-inches and up) ground the tiller and make it easier to move. Tires with agricultural tread are also something to look for, since that heavy-duty tread allows you to work in harsh conditions.

How much do rear tine tillers cost?

Rear tine tillers are intended for harder gardening jobs, so they are pretty big purchases. They start at about $500, though you can still get tillers with a lot of power at that price. Earthquake is an affordable brand that still packs a good punch. Generally, the bigger the machine and wider the cutting deck, the more money you’ll pay. Really big tillers with versatile tines (like dual-rotating tines) can cost as much as $1500 and above. If you are a professional landscaper or have a really big, tough yard, you would need a more expensive, heavy-duty professional tiller.

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