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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller

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WSMM

05-31-2013 15:08:27
70.194.4.167



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I have an older front tine tiller, 1950s and a small Ryobi tiller that both died on me today! I'm looking to get a new tiller, but don't know if I should get a front or rear tine tiller. The soil in my garden was turned over last year and is real loose this year. Most of our soil is sandy, no clay. Some areas have some top soil s our property used to be part of a farm. What type of tiller would you suggest. Being retired I'm trying to watch my expenditures. I also know that last year and again this year until it died my front tine tiller gave me more of a workout than I like.
Thanks,
Bill

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Bret4207

06-04-2013 04:37:19
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
JR, I did that a couple times. Hurts. Now I take the Frazer out of gear! I think most rear tine tillers have a clutch or PTO lever to take the tines out of gear.



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JRSutton

06-04-2013 09:27:00
75.130.109.233



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to Bret4207, 06-04-2013 04:37:19  
Ouch

Of course, the other side of fearing getting my foot in there was the curiosity about what would happen if I did.

So THEN I fear that I'll someday foolishly give in to my curiosity.

It's like sticking your finger in a fan... how bad would it hurt...

Makes you want to just do it quickly, just a little bit...

And as they say - curiosity killed the cat.

But you've satisfied the curiosity for me: It hurts.

Now I have no desire to find out, so I'm a step ahead.

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JRSutton

06-03-2013 12:34:38
75.130.109.233



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I feel it's easier to "push" the rear tine tiller down a little deeper than "lift" a front tine tiller deeper - so I prefer them for that, but it's really kind of splitting hairs.

The one thing I don't like about the rear tines is I'm tall and I've got long legs - I always picture pulling that thing back away from a rock or something, and right over one of my feet. (I do stupid things like that, I've got a very short attention span)

not a major concern, but the thought makes me a little uncomfortable running the thing.

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Matt Tieken

06-03-2013 08:23:02
66.64.242.10



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I bought a White brand tiller at an auction and it had the tines that reversed as well as forward. It is great for busting through sod or cultivating.



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El Toro

06-03-2013 07:36:27
108.3.218.181



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  

Here's the tiller I don't know why the picture didn't post. Hal



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El Toro

06-03-2013 07:33:41
108.3.218.181



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I paid $100.00 for this Horse model Troy Bilt tiller. It needed new tines and seals under the tine holders. I sold the Tecumseh engine for $65.00 and I bought a 10hp B&S from Smallenginewarehouse. It has electric start. I've had about 30 of these tillers, all Horse models. Most needed work. A lot were left near the garden and wouldn't start. I always plow my garden since I have a cover crop planted. I planted barley on it last Fall. I plowed in early March and let it sit for about a month then I tilled it. I grew all my tomato and pepper plants. Garden is looking good bush beans are up
and I have 3 plantings of beans. Some of the tomato plants have blooms. I have heavy reinforcement wire cages for the tomatoes. I think the cages are close to 40 years old. Hal

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john *.?-!.* cub owner

06-02-2013 11:57:26
207.119.216.95



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I have used both front tine, a large rear tine, a small rear tine, etc. and what you want depends on your use. I have a small tractor with a plow and disk to break the ground, and my preference is a smaller 4 hp rear tine, rotation either forward or reverse, both will do a good job, plus one of the little 2cycles for getting closer to plants, the rear tines are a little difficult to maneuver close to a row. A large rear tine is an advantage for preparing ground, but as plants grow it takes a lot of room to be able to get it between rows.
This post was edited by john *.?-!.* cub owner at 11:57:45 06/02/13.

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Bret4207

06-02-2013 10:32:23
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
Wish I was closer, I'd take it off your hands!



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Tim in OR

06-01-2013 21:17:52
76.105.227.207



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
My grandfather had both. In the spring he would plow the garden with the neighbors 9n. he would follow with the front tine. then do the finish work and the weed work with the rear tine. He said the rear tine would follow the furrow and work you to death so that is why he followed the plow with the front tine tiller. I used the rear tine on the same ground after he was gone, and had no problems. The ground had been in garden for about 30 years so there wasn't much trash or rocks to contend with.
Tim in OR

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pete black

06-01-2013 17:16:51
166.147.123.30



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
ideally for me; one of each. rear tine for tilling and preparing the seed bed. front tine for cultivating. the shape of front tines are such that the curved portion will sweep under the weeds to remove them without damaging the plants. front tines are easier to till closer to the plants also and easier to turn around in tight confines.



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bill mart

06-01-2013 08:45:06
69.204.65.189



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
heres a link to the bcs tiller.I have heard good things about them. On my second troybilt horse since 1970.Would never use a front tine tiller again. Bill



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Mike (WA)

06-01-2013 11:24:13
174.31.219.145



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to bill mart, 06-01-2013 08:45:06  
I used a 30 year old Troy-bilt Horse (Kohler) until I inherited a BCS. The BCS is just a better machine- heavier, 3 speed gear transmission, lever to put PTO in or out of gear, clutch on the handlebar (like a motorcycle), forward/reverse control on handlebar also. The weight makes it more of a job to turn around at the row ends, but not too bad. I just do one pass on my garden, good to go- used to do at least 2, maybe 3, with the Troy. There are also attachments for the BCS- little bush-hog type mower, sicklebar mower, several others. But its pretty spendy, I understand.

I'm going to fix up the Troy and give it to my daughter.

I kind of compare the two like Oliver 550 vs. 8N Ford- the BCS is what a Troy wants to be when it grows up.

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55 50 Ron

06-01-2013 07:01:20
209.131.226.129



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I had a used rear tine Troy Bilt. Used it one year and sold it. The saying of "one handed operation" is funny to say the least. Try to turn one around. Without a differential, it will want to continue forward fighting you the whole way as you WORK to turn it.

The shape of the tines on a front tine tiller makes a big difference as to how much it will or will not "jump around" in hard tilling. I have a front tine Ariens 30 years old and it has curved tines and is fairly easy to handle compared to most other front tine brands. The tine curvature makes for a more gentle soil entry. By curvature, I mean they are "swept back" when you look at them from the side. Most other brands have tines that come straight out from the rotation axle.

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old

06-01-2013 08:00:51
209.86.226.27



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to 55 50 Ron, 06-01-2013 07:01:20  
I run my Troy built all the time one hand and some times no hands. Ya at the end of the row you have to pull hard but still far better then a front tine machine. Now if you want a real hard machine to run buy a Frazier those things where a monster I know I have one



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Bret4207

06-02-2013 05:39:25
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to old, 06-01-2013 08:00:51  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Never found anything easier to run than my Frazer. It's heavy enough to run one handed, or no handed in worked ground. Turning it isn't easy though. Best tiller I've ever used. Just wish parts weren't so dear and hard to come by.



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old

06-02-2013 09:19:35
209.86.226.59



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to Bret4207, 06-02-2013 05:39:25  
I have used this Frazer a couple time but found the troy built easier on the body over all. The Frazer is a bear to start and I also hate 2 cycle engines so that is another one of its problems



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ericlb

06-01-2013 05:58:59
12.189.32.36



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
i would imagine the tiller quality will closely parallel the garden tractor quality in other words watch out,or look at garage sales or flea markets for a older rear tine, you'll get much more for your money, i picked up a older rear tine troy built power horse, i understand thats the largest one they made, its probably from the 80's and i had to wait 4 months for a new carb for it, but it works good, even though its no counter rotating ,on the other hand if you have to spend money anyway whats wrong with the ones you have?

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wsmm

06-01-2013 06:16:12
70.194.3.109



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to ericlb, 06-01-2013 05:58:59  
One is an older Sears, circa 1960s. The clutch is bad and the engine replaced once already. Does not work good in the sandy soil, soil will drag engine down and kill it. The other is about a 10 year old Ryobi 2 cycle light weight. The tines have stopped rotating under any type of load with a whirring, grinding sound. I'm thinking repair cost on either woud well outway their usefullness in my sandy soil. Also as I'm close to 70 and with a torn rotator cuff and arthritis the front tines are beating me up.

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ericlb

06-01-2013 13:14:49
72.173.192.58



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to wsmm, 06-01-2013 06:16:12  
got a soft spot for those old sears tillers, my friend needed a tiller, and there was a old sears in his moms old barn, now this thing had not been fired up since the late 80's, nor was it prepared for storage, but rather just put in the barn after use, we cleaned the fuel tank, sprayed the carb with cleaner and added new gas, that old thing started up on the 2nd pull and ran just fine,in fact i saw him using it just last Wednesday, ill bet the new ones wont do that lol

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Bret4207

06-01-2013 04:39:59
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I can't think of anything good to say about a front tine tiller. I also can't think of much good to say about most tillers made in the last few years. My favorite tiller is a Frazer built in the late 40's/early 50's. THAT is a machine. 2nd choice in the tiller on the back of my Simplicity, but that's because I'm old and lazy!



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bill mart

06-01-2013 15:57:25
69.204.65.189



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to Bret4207, 06-01-2013 04:39:59  
clickable link to frazer tiller



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da.bees

06-01-2013 01:35:16
72.181.183.240



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I have owned both front & rear tine. I like my 5 hp counter rotating rear tine well enough that if it were stolen or the shed burned down on it,I would rather pay for another than taking a free front tine. I have used it in all kinds of soil with complete satisfaction.



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ShadetreeRet

05-31-2013 22:08:30
184.4.19.16



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
A front tine tiller will give you a workout! They dig well because the weight of the engine is over the tines, but if you have rocky soil in your garden the thing will stay airborne half the time.
With a rear tine tiller your joints take less of a beating, but you have to do your homework because there is so much difference in the quality of the machines.



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redtom

05-31-2013 20:21:11
71.90.155.125



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I have my dads old Ariens rear tine with a 7?hp Tecumseh. It is at least 20 yrs old. It does not have the counter rotating tines. He bought it for the "one handed set her and let her go" operation thinking my mom could run it. I must be doing something wrong! It is definitely not a one handed rig! And with the tines going the same way as your travel the slightest corn stump or hard spot that the tines hit sends your drive wheels skidding forward jerking you too!! If you happen to hit a rock the handles jump right up as the tines come up. It does ok after a fashion. I remember the old Troybilt TV commercials showing them tilling sod under... not with this rig, you're not.

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44 massey

05-31-2013 17:48:48
74.46.121.185



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I have both. Broke up my shoulder 2yrs ago in trk accident and had an old montgmery wards front tine, good tiller but with shoulder just couldnt run it anymore, got a new Troy built rear tine, works great and like the man says its almost runs by itself, you can walk along side it and dose a good job!! Yes rear tine is more expensive but worth the differ!!!



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TomgaI

05-31-2013 17:26:43
166.205.68.28



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I have a early 90's Troy bilt horse. 7 hp briggs engine. Spark plug has never been out and carb never cleaned. Will start on about 2 pulls. Works good but if you hang a rock it will take you for a ride. Beats a light weight front tine tiller. Old merry tillers or old snappers were easy to handle though and did good work.



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old

05-31-2013 17:09:35
209.86.226.56



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I have 2 front tine and one rear tine and the one that gets used the most is the good old as in 1972 Tory built Horse rear tine. You can start it up set it on its way and let it go on it own and it will till in an area that has been a garden over the years. Try that with a front tine and all it will do is walk away and do little or nothing. Oops forgot I had 2 of each but either way rear tine is the only way to go

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George Marsh

05-31-2013 16:48:04
50.104.198.127



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I have two rear tine tillers. One is conventional and the other is counter rotating. Like the counter rotating tiller, does a better job.



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Harvey 2

05-31-2013 16:35:48
74.133.163.5



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I use both the front and rear tine tiller.
The front tine tiller I bought new over forty years ago, its an Ariens, and still works good.
The rear tine is a Honda its old and does extra good work, One pull on the cord and it starts everytime.



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Dean

05-31-2013 16:34:40
152.216.3.5



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
I was unaware that front time tillers were still manufactured....

Dean



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notjustair

05-31-2013 16:06:33
174.230.129.160



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
But don't get a smaller "Bronco" size rear time. They are too small to be heavy enough to work. The slightest tough spot and the whole tiller wants to jump. I have both kinds and only get the Troybuilt Bronco out for reall light jobs. I use the old heavy MTD for spring tilling as it just does better. If it is big enough to need an 8 horse motor it will be heavy enough to do a good job.

Since Troybuilt went cheap I don't think there are any that are lots better than the others. As little as one gets used it will outlast you no matter what kind you get.

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IHRedRules

05-31-2013 15:32:16
50.33.168.118



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 Re: Front Tine Versus Rear Tine Tiller in reply to WSMM, 05-31-2013 15:08:27  
Get a rear tine tiller, you won't regret it. They're usually self propelled and they don't hop around on you. If your budget is tight, look for a good used one.



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