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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - SmallEngines.ca FAQ's
What is the difference between the front and rear tine tillers?
On front tine tillers the tines are located in front of the wheels and the engine is mounted directly above the tines on a front tine tiller. The tines rotate in a forward direction. Front tine style tillers allow for closer tilling around obstacles and in small spaces but may also require that the operator to do more work in controlling and directing the tiller. Front tine tillers generally cost less than a rear tine tiller of similar size and power.
A rear tine tiller has the tines located at the rear of the unit. The engine is located at the front of the unit, along with a counter weight to properly balance the tiller. The wheels on this type of unit are self propelled. This weight and powered drive allows for easier handling and guiding of the tiller. The tines on this type of unit can rotate in one of a few directions. They can rotate in a forward motion, what is called a counter rotating motion (wheels drive forward and tines rotate in reverse), or in what is called a dual-rotating motion (tines are able to rotate in both a forward and counter rotating motion according to the operators settings). The ability to counter rotate the tines allows for quicker and easier manipulation of the soil. As a result of additional features and abilities, a rear tine tiller will usually cost more than a front tine tiller of similar size and power.