Front Vs. Rear Tiller


Tillers break up the soil and mechanically destroy weeds, making the soil more suitable for growing gardens and crops. Gardeners pull some tillers on the back of a tractor, in the case of really large gardens. Other tillers are self-propelled by a small electric or gas-powered motor. When choosing a tiller, the gardener has to choose between front tine and rear tine tillers. The front tine tillers rest on the front of the machine, while the rear tine tillers are pulled on the back of the tiller.


Front tine tillers are less efficient than rear tine tillers and the owner usually has to make several passes over an area to fully cultivate the soil. Rear tine tillers can till greater areas with less work and are best for large areas. Since front tillers take so long, gardeners with large areas to cultivate should not use them.

Soil Composition

Rear tine tillers tend to have faster rotation, which works well with finer soils. Rear tine tillers generate more force, allowing the tiller to more easily break up clumpy soil. The power comes from the rear rotation, which requires less effort. Also, the rear tine tillers generally have powered wheels which makes them even easier to use. When gardeners try to cultivate hard soil with front tine tillers, the tiller can sometimes climb over the soil and not actually cultivate it.


Front tine tillers cost less than rear tine tillers, so gardeners with small areas to cultivate usually prefer them over the rear tine tillers. Also, rear tine tillers can be too large for regular gardens and the gardener might struggle to cultivate nooks and crannies with this large machine. The smaller front tine tillers can maneuver more easily, which helps the gardener weave around garden features. But heavier front tine tillers are less likely to climb over the hard soil.


Some of the front tine tillers are so small that they can be carried by the homeowner, which allows the homeowner to move the tiller wherever he wants it to go. Also, the front tine tiller takes up less space than the rear tine tillers. Some manufacturers have developed smaller rear tine tillers for small gardeners with hard soil to cultivate, but the smallest tillers are all front tine tillers.


Front tine tillers often come with extra features that allow the gardener to use the tiller for different tasks. For example, some front tine tillers come with features that automatically dig holes for the gardener.

Keywords: front tine, rear tine, gas-powered motors, hard soil

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.