Front Tine Versus Rear Tine RotoTillers – An Engineer Explains Which RotoTiller is the Best and Why

If you're considering buying a roto-tenant, you probably already know that there are two basic types – the rear-tine tillers and the front-tine tillers. What's the difference and which rototiller is the best for you and your garden? An engineer reveals the facts every gardener should know. As the name implies, the front-tine tillers have…

If you're considering buying a roto-tenant, you probably already know that there are two basic types – the rear-tine tillers and the front-tine tillers.

What's the difference and which rototiller is the best for you and your garden?

An engineer reveals the facts every gardener should know.

As the name implies, the front-tine tillers have the tines in front of the wheels and under the engine. Likewise, the rear-tine tillers are located behind the wheels.

Basically the rear-tine tillers are best for large areas or for hard clay soils. Also, the rear-tine models do not work you as hard and do not beat you to death, but they are usually more expensive.

On the other hand, the front-tine models are great for small gardens and for soft soils. Of course, any garden can be made to have reasonably soft soil IF you work enough manure and other organic matter into the soil.

For years I've used both the small, front-tine mini cultivator types and the larger, heaver (and more powerful) front-tine roto tiller. Overall, I like the more powerful models. It allows me to work faster, work in harder soil. But let me warn you, the larger models will work you like a mule.

The rear-tine rototiller models do not work you nearly as much, but as I said, they are more expensive. I love to use the rear-tine roto-tillers, but I do not like the price tag.

My conclusion: To get the most bang for your buck, spend the extra money on getting more horsepower in a front-tine model rather than buying one of the rear-tine tillers –unless you are a petite woman or are working a small garden Egypt flowerbed.