The 6 Best Rear Tine Tillers for Under $1000 in 2021

As a gardener, you’ll be looking for all the possible ways to make your gardening process easier, faster, and with the best possible outcome. 

It’s no lie that high-quality equipment, such as rear tine tillers, can be a bit pricey, but for a homeowner and amateur gardener they can be the difference between a successful garden and dead one.

If you are looking for a great deal on a tiller, or need to do garden work and are on a budget, here’s a list of the best tillers we’ve found that are under $1000 in price.

How to Choose a Rear Tine Tiller Under $1000: Buyer’s Guide

We all know you’re longing for that one machine that will save your time, do your digging, plow your soil, and conserve some energy, right? 

To help you with that, we’ll guide you on choosing a rear tine tiller for under $1000. We’ve considered different quality levels and price points to help you in this shopping process to find the right rear tine tiller for your lawn or garden. 

Your Garden or Lawn Size 

First, you need to consider the size of land you’ll be working on, and accordingly, you can choose the type of tiller, the model, and the capacity best suited for your work.

Let’s categorize the areas into small, medium, and large. A mini tiller will work just fine in a small garden, while a medium-spaced area will require a tiller with around 5 or 6 HP (HorsePower). As for a large terrain, 6 HP or more is recommended.      

Tilling Depth and Width

There are a lot of factors that are determined based on the size of the garden, including the tilling depth and width.

The width of a tiller is measured from one side of the tines to the other. Larger tilling widths allow you to cover more ground in less time as the number of runs you’ll have to make are fewer. The coverage of rear tine tillers is usually between 8 and 36 inches wide.

It’s not always the case, though, that a wide tiller is the best option. For instance, if you have an irregularly shaped lawn with a lot of curves and tight corners, having a smaller tiller is surely a better option.

The tilling depth indicates how deep the tines can dig. Rear tine tillers usually have tine lengths between 6 and 12 inches. An ideal tiller will have adjustable lengths that vary according to your needs, like whether you need to create new beds that require deep tilling or adjusting it to a “shallow setting” for surface use.   

The bigger your area, the more tilling depth and width you need, and the larger the machine should be.  

If you’re buying a rear tine tiller in the first place you’re most likely working on a large space, so you can invest in as much depth and width as you want, and it’ll all be in your favor. 

Rotating Tines 

The tines are the working hands of the tiller. They get the job done, literally, by digging up the soil.

In a rear tine tiller, the tines are located behind the engine. They’re made of hardened steel, with heat-treated blades.  

The rotating styles differ according to your needs. They could be counter-rotating, forward-rotating, or dual-rotating.

Counter-Rotating Tines

These rotate in the opposite direction of the wheels. They’re effective in hard clay soil or compressed soil. 

Forward-Rotating Tines

Also known as ‘standard-rotating tines’, these rotate in the same direction as the wheels and work best with loose soil or soil that has been broken before. 

Dual-Rotating Tines

These tines offer both types of rotations and maximum adaptability. They’re ideal in manure mixing and plowing thick soil. 

Engine Size

The engine is the heart of a tiller. Having a good one will ensure the best outcome and longevity of your machine.

Some well-known brands offer to be the suppliers of these engines, such as Honda or Briggs & Stratton.

Engines are generally found in two types: 2-cycle engines that are substantial and produce more energy, and 4-cycle engines, which run on less fuel, last longer, and are less noisy than the 2-cycles.

There are two options for how the engine is run: gas or electric. 

Gas Engines

Gas engines are advantageous because they have more power, allowing you to use them in rocky areas and rough terrains. Additionally, they’re heavier than electric tillers, giving them an advantage in deeper digging areas. However, this could also serve as a drawback because it makes the tiller more difficult to carry from one place to another.

Gas-powered engines also eliminate the hassle of cord extensions and recharging batteries.

Electric Engines

On the other side, electric engines provide an affordable, environment-friendly alternative due to the lack of oil/gas use. Their lightweight design also means they’re easier to control in general. Just make sure to plan beforehand for the cables and electric outlets in your garden.   

Weight

Since this is a portable machine, weight is an essential factor to consider. Because you’ll be the one doing the carrying, make sure to get something that you are capable of handling and transporting. 

Heavy tillers will easily dig deep into the ground, making them easier to use within thick soils and uneven grounds. They are, however, harder to maneuver and move around.

Keep in mind while picking your engine type that gas-powered engines are heavier than their alternative electric-powered ones.  

Handlebars

Tillers are usually present with two types of handlebars; adjustable or fixed. Clearly, an adjustable one would be more versatile as you can change it to accommodate the different heights and needs of different users of the machine.

Also, make sure your handlebars are covered with a non-slip coating material to avoid accidental loss of tiller control. It should be covered with textured rubber or foam materials.

Tires 

If you want to make your gardening life easier, make sure to pick the right tires for your rear tine tiller. Whether your soil is muddy or rough, you need to make sure you pick tires that give your machine optimum stability, durability, and maneuverability. 

You’ll need to consider the size, tread, and quality of your tires. Generally, the larger the size of your tires, the more stability you get. Also, the heavy or agricultural tread will offer you the versatility to work on various types of soil.

Power 

You want to get your work done with the least possible disturbance, right? Then you need to choose a powerful machine that can easily churn thick soil and tear through rocky grounds. 

Generally, power should be displayed as Horsepower, or HP, and a lot of tillers often display the horsepower of their machine. 8 HP is a relatively powerful rear tine tiller.

Yet, it is the engine size that’s usually displayed to facilitate things for the buyer.

In gas-powered motors, the ‘cc’ rating and the number of engine cycles determine the engine size of the tiller. Therefore, it is safe to say that any model with 180cc or higher will be able to provide you with high performance and work just fine in any type of soil.

With electric-powered motors, the power is measured in amps or watts.

Engine power also plays a role in determining the speed of the tine’s spinning cycle. This accordingly influences the time spent tilling your ground.

Therefore, investing in a powerful motor will not only save your energy but your time as well.

Ease of Use 

Ease of operability takes into account many of the previously mentioned factors; you want a powerful machine with good tires, adaptable depth and width, adjustable handles, and a reasonable weight.

In addition to that, you need your tiller to start in the first pull. Usually, one with a 2-cycle engine should start in the first pull, while 4-cycle engines sometimes hold back and require a few pulls before starting.

An electric starter saves you all this hassle and is a lot easier to operate than a pull-start engine.

Warranty 

Having a warranty saves you the worry of what you will do if something breaks, even if for a limited time. Something is better than nothing, right? 

Most tine tillers have a standard two-year warranty. Sometimes there’s a separate warranty for the engine from its manufacturer.  

Make sure to have a thorough check-up for your tiller before the end of the warranty period to make the best of your money’s worth under the warranty in case you found any parts that need repair or replacement.

The Top 6 Rear Tine Tillers for Under $1000 Reviewed 

#1. Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller

SOUTHLAND SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller with 196cc, 4 Cycle, 9.6 foot-pound, OHV Engine
82 Reviews
SOUTHLAND SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller with 196cc, 4 Cycle, 9.6 foot-pound, OHV Engine
  • 11-inch tine diameter / 10-inch tilling depth
  • Forward and reverse gear drive system
  • Self sharpening counter rotating tines eliminating the need to remove tines for sharpening

The Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller is our number 1 choice for the best tiller under $1000. As a rear tine tiller, this is a powerful machine that would work for any size yard, but particularly will allow you to till a larger lawn or garden with ease. The SRTT196E can grind up even the toughest clay soil due to its impressive 196cc 4-cycle, 9.6-foot-pound OHV engine, and it has 11-inch self-sharpening tines that can till a path up to 18 inches wide. The tilling depth is 10 inches deep, and can be easily monitored and adjusted with the depth regulator lever. 

The tines are self-sharpening and counter-rotating, which eliminates the need to remove them from the tiller and sharpen them, saving you both time and unnecessary wear and tear. Additionally, you can till both backward and forwards due to the adjustable gear drive system.

An easy manual recoil starter mechanism, folding pistol grip handles, as well as heavy-duty 13-inch pneumatic tires that allow you to traverse rocky and uneven terrain, are other additions that make this machine simple, easy, and comfortable to use. Packaged with a two-year limited warranty, this tiller may be a bargain to buy but it certainly won’t seem like it when you see the results in your garden.

#2. YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller

YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller, 208Cc, Briggs
197 Reviews
YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller, 208Cc, Briggs
  • Briggs & Stratton engine delivers 9.50 ft-lbs gross torque and 190 rpm rotational speed
  • 18" wide rear tine design with 7 depth adjustments and a 6.5" working depth to cover more ground quickly
  • Single hand operation allows user to stand and steer from either side of the tiller

The YARDMAX YT4565 Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller is another rear tine tiller that can till any size garden you can think of, without any change in its performance. With the YT4565, Yardmax guarantees you’ll be able to get your job done without paying too much for the tiller or expending too much energy. Even if you have a garden with clay or hard soil, the Briggs and Stratton engine provides 9.5 ft-lbs of gross torque as well as a tine rotation speed of 190 RPM, meaning it can grind through any soil with minimal resistance. Additionally, it boasts a durable transmission and self-propelled drive system with both forward and reverse gears. This way, you can rotate the tines in either direction, allowing you to adjust the tiller to fit any specific gardening need you might have. 

The 13-inch tines are self-sharpening and can till a path 18 inches wide. Additionally, this tiller has 7 unique depth adjustments and a 6.5-inch working depth, so you can just till your topsoil or churn up the deeper layers underneath. It is also easy and safe to operate – you only need one hand, which allows you to operate it while standing on either side, and the adjustable side shield and serrated rear shield both provide high levels of safety for yourself and others. Lastly, the 13-inch pneumatic wheels allow it to handle any terrain. 

#3. Poulan Pro PPCRT17 17-in. 208cc Counter Rotating Rear-Tine Tiller

Poulan Pro PPCRT17, 17 in. 208cc Counter Rotating Rear-Tine Tiller
2 Reviews
Poulan Pro PPCRT17, 17 in. 208cc Counter Rotating Rear-Tine Tiller
  • Featuring 13 in. counter-rotating tines making this tiller easy to operate for small or large jobs with the power to break up heavy, uncultivated soil quickly and easily
  • The heavy duty chain drive transmission with Power Reverse offers forward and reverse operation. The powerful, long lasting design drives tines in forward mode and makes transport effortless in...
  • This split loop adjustable handle can be raised or lowered to your needs and allows for one handed operation from either the left or right side of the tiller

Next on our list of the best rear tine tillers for under $1000 is the Poulan Pro PPCRT17 17-in. 208cc Counter Rotating Rear-Tine Tiller. This is another very powerful tiller, with the 208cc engine and the 13-inch counter rotating tines providing ample power to till through all kinds of soil, such as sod, uncultivated soil, compacted soil, and clay. Even root systems and weeds are no match. Additionally, the PPCRT17 boasts a heavy duty chain transmission, and the LCT Overhead Valve engine also keeps the motor running cooler and more efficiently, so you can get many years of use out of this tiller. 

With a combination of power forward and reverse operation and the counter-rotating tines, this tiller can do anything from top-level soil cultivation to deep soil tilling. When in reverse mode, you can also transport the tiller to and from your garden with minimal effort, as the large wheels can maneuver over any type of ground. In addition, it boasts adjustable split loop handles that can be raised or lowered to suit the user’s needs and can be operated with only one hand from either the right or left side of the tiller. Lastly, Poulan backs up their machine with a 2-year limited warranty. 

#4. Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036 208cc 14-Inch Gas Powered Rear Counter Rotating Tine Tiller

Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036 208cc 14-Inch Gas Powered Rear Counter Rotating Tine Tiller
8 Reviews
Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036 208cc 14-Inch Gas Powered Rear Counter Rotating Tine Tiller
  • 208cc gas engine: powerful gas engine is equipped with recoil start.
  • 10-INCH REAR STEEL TINES: Rear tines are perfect for large planting areas, cultivating, weeding, and working in compost or vegetation for the end of the season.
  • Counter-rotating tines: dig into new ground more easily and deeper soil with more torque output.

The Craftsman CMXGVAM1144036 208cc 14-Inch Gas Powered Rear Counter Rotating Tine Tiller is a great tiller for any of your garden or lawn work, including large planting areas, weeding, cultivating, composting, or deep soil tilling. This tiller has a high-performance 208cc gas engine equipped with a recoil start and chain drive. Additionally, it boasts 10-inch steel counter-rotating tines that help you to dig into new and compacted soil more easily, as well as deeper soil, due to its high torque output. 

The Craftsman can till a path that is 14 inches wide, as well as 7 inches deep, which allows you to work within both narrow gardens as well as wide-open yards. The 11” x 4” pneumatic tires provide a high level of maneuverability over both hard and uneven terrain, so you can safely operate the tiller while it’s on and easily transport it when it is turned off. Additionally, it has a Loop and Bail handle that provides comfortable handling and a rear tine shield to give you more protection and safety while in use. Craftsman also offers this tiller with a 2-year limited warranty to ensure the highest amount of satisfaction. 

#5. CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller

CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller with Self-Propelled Agricultural Tires
133 Reviews
CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller with Self-Propelled Agricultural Tires
  • Versatile - with a 19-inch tilling width and an 8-inch tilling depth, this Tiller features dual-rotation tilling, allowing a quick switch from forward to reverse for more flexibility in the garden
  • Powerful - the cast iron, gear-driven transmission is housed in a heavy-duty cast-iron case and powered by a 212cc engine
  • Efficient - 13-inch self-propelled agricultural tires power easily over uneven terrain, allowing you to accomplish more in less time

The Champion Power Equipment 19-Inch Dual Rotating Rear Tine Tiller offers the widest tilling path width of any tiller on this list. It can till up to 19 inches wide and 8 inches deep, so you can use it for any job you can think of, and it is particularly well suited for large commercial gardens or lawns. You can also adjust the tilling width to work in narrow sections, like alongside hedges or in between rows of plants.

This tiller houses a 212cc engine that powers a cast-iron, gear-driven transmission in a heavy-duty cast-iron case, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough power to pulverize even the most unforgiving soil. Additionally, it boasts four 13.8 inch hardened steel tines that can do both forward and counter-rotating, allowing you to quickly switch between forward and reverse. This Champion model also comes with 13-inch self-propelled tires that can tackle difficult terrain, as well as a 2-year limited warranty. 

#6. Troy-Bilt Bronco 208cc Powermore Counter Rotating Gas Powered Rear Tine Tiller

Troy-Bilt Bronco 208cc Powermore Counter Rotating Gas Powered Rear Tine Tiller
7 Reviews
Troy-Bilt Bronco 208cc Powermore Counter Rotating Gas Powered Rear Tine Tiller
  • Powered by a 208cc Troy-Bilt 4-Cycle Engine
  • Equipped with a cast-iron encased bronze gear drive transmission for top of the line durability
  • Offers up to a 14-inch tilling width

The Troy-Bilt Bronco 208cc Powermore Counter Rotating Gas Powered Rear Tine Tiller is a very robust and well-built tiller. It comes equipped with a 208cc, 4-cycle Troy-Bilt engine, as well as a bronze gear drive transmission encased in cast iron, which means it is very durable and will last for years of gardening and tilling work. The whole tiller is made from a high-quality carbon steel material for longevity and strength. 

It has both forward tine rotation and power reverse, to make backing out of tight spaces or turning away from edges much simpler. Additionally, it has 10 inch steel tines that produce a tilling path of up to 14 inches wide and 6 inches deep. For home gardens or smaller spaces, this is an optimal choice for a tiller. 

Conclusion: Which Rear Tine Tiller Under $1000 Should you Choose?

It’s time to throw away your spades and cultivators (alright, maybe not the cultivator), as a rear tine tiller is surely going to outperform both of these tools.

If you didn’t know, rear tine tillers are amongst the most powerful rotary tillers you can invest in. However, picking the ideal rear tine tiller is no easy task, especially when you have so many factors to consider and so many good options to pick from. 

Just decide on your needs and focus on them while looking at your machine’s features before buying, and you’ll surely end up with a great rear tine tiller.

Rear tine tillers are a large investment, and therefore it is best to take your time to do the proper research and compare all of the best models on the market today, which we have done in this post for you.

If you’re still wondering which rear tine tiller you should buy, we would again recommend the Southland SRTT196E Rear Tine Tiller, as it contains all of the features you could need in a tiller, comes at a reasonable price, and will help transform your garden into the envy of all who see it.

We wish you the best of luck in all of your future tilling endeavors!