Anyone here own a Mantis cultivator?

We have a dedicated garden, about 25' x 40'. The soil has been worked every year for about 8 years.
So I'm not looking for something that needs to break sod or heavy clay.
We can't afford a more heavy-duty tiller this year, and I'd like to have something of my own so I can stop borrowing tillers.
The Mantis seems decent for the price. I see that Troy-Bilt makes a similar cultivator in the same price range.
The Mantis comes with a free edger, and they have a plow/furrower attachment for $50.
They also have a 1-year, no-hassle return policy.
Can anyone comment on these cultivators from personal experience?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mitch@this_is_not_a_real_address.com wrote:

Folks either love 'em or hate 'em. I've had mine for about 6 years and haven't seen anything that it won't handle yet. Don't know if I'd wanna do a 25x40 with it though. Even though it would do it, it would take quite a few passes back and forth.
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the quick reply.
My father-in-law has a huge tiller on his tractor. He does the initial tilling for us every Spring. So I need something to go between rows, or to use in the flower beds, etc.
Does the Troy-Bilt seem about the same as the Mantis? The Troy-Bilt is here: http://tinyurl.com/77chl
It's a 4-stroke, which means no gas-oil mixing. I have a $100 gift certificate for Amazon.com, and they sell the Troy-Bilt (not the Mantis), and free shipping.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mitch@this_is_not_a_real_address.com wrote:

I don't know anything about the TB. 4 cycle typically is smoother but a 2 cycle usually has more torque/power per cc of displacement.
The mantis is an "animal". I dug up a very large rocky area last year to put in a 20' round patio and 3 sidewalks. It handled it with no problem.
You don't walk behind it though, you pull it backwards.
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, I went ahead and ordered the Mantis. They had a glitch with their ebsite. They list the Mantis at $299, but if you do a Froogle search, there's a link that puts it at $269. It added to my cart just fine at that price.
Looking forward to it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 19 Apr 2005 13:23:13 GMT, "Mitch@this_is_not_a_real_address.com" <> wrote:

I have the "easy start" version...wouldn't sell it for three times the price I paid.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
By the way, in my research I came across some web forums where a few people said that if you don't drain the fuel completely after every use, it will gum up!
What do you guys say to these claims?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mitch@this_is_not_a_real_address.com wrote:

I have a Mantis tiller with a bad carburator. perhaps I should say "had" a Mantis -- I put it in the shop last year and the guy never called me when it was ready. I stopped by the shop several times over the next 2 months and it was always closed during posted hours. I didn't persue it because I hated the Mantis anyway. I bought a little Honda tiller and it works much better than the Mantis ever did.
Anyway, my Mantis was easy to start the first year, but the second year it was very hard to start even though I did keep fresh gas in it and drained it before storing it. I have lots of 2-cycle equipment, and the Mantis is the only one I ever had trouble with. Maybe I just got a lemon. It's been in the shop lots of times, and a couple of years ago they said the bottom plate on the carburator (the hard plastic piece) was warped. They replaced it with one salvaged from another dead Mantis and it ran OK for a few months until the priming bulb split. I replaced that, and it wouldn't start again.
Also, the Mantis in general is *too* light. It bounces around and is hard to control. The Honda tiller that looks just like it weighs about 2 or 3 pounds more (because of the bigger 4-cycle engine) and that added weight makes it much more controllable.
I bought my Mantis tiller about 10 or 12 years ago. I doubt that they still use the same carburator. But if you look at the base of the carb and it's made out of plastic NO NOT buy the thing under any circumstances because when the manifold gets hot during heavy use, the plastic will warp or crack. If the carburator is all aluminum, it might be OK but I still recommend the Honda.
Best regards, Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
zxcvbob wrote:

I haven't had that problem (yet, <knocking on wood>) I did have to have the carb. rebuilt last year after using it for the five previous years and digging up a very large area of the yard last year for our patio and walkways. Whihc digging it up the dirt was very dry and dust was flying everywhere so the re-build didn't surprise me. I agree that it does then to bounce so ya have to keep ahold of it when you're using it.
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mitch@this_is_not_a_real_address.com wrote:

What do I say? Bunk! I've had mine for about 6 years and have never emptied it yet. Mix the gas and oii with gas stabilizer, keep the tank full when in storage and I haven't had a problem.
Starting is pretty easy as long as you follow the "normal" 2-cycle method. Push the primer 3 times or so, put the choke on full and pull it until it sputters once, turn the choke off and pull again and it should be running.
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yup.
My mantis is starting it's third (or is it fourth?) season. It had not been run since last october. Fuel tank was about 1/2 full when I pulled it out the week before Easter. It started promptly as described above.
Always use fuel stabilizer, and when cold starting, use the "normal" 2-stroke starting method and you'll be fine.
My little poulan weedeater works the exact same way.
sdb
--
Wanted: Omnibook 800 & accessories, cheap, working or not
sdbuse1 on mailhost bigfoot.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just got a Crafstman Cultivator/Edger with a 4 cycle engine (no mixing of gas and oil). It also has Incredi-Pull for easier stating. I've used it for an hour so far and like it a lot. It's smooth running and doesn't bounce around. I chose it because of it's small size, the oil mixing issue, and also because it was the heaviest engine. I believe the extra weight helps it dig in better. I had tried a rentedmantis a year ago to dig up a strawberry patch but I foubd it hard to work with and fairly bouncy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Be sure to follow the directions and work backwards especially when breaking new ground, and don't try to go down 6" on the first pass (juist like any tiller).
I've had mine for two years. Gave up my Troy Horse after my back surgery ub 1991 and went to sqaure foor gardening with a Mantis. I still have two more ruptured disks and am able to use my Mantis just fine for putting in new beds and moving beds to different locations on my 1/2 acre lot.
I owned a Garden Way cultivator I bought from Troy years ago when I had the Horse and it was real bad about getting hung up with rocks, weeds, etc. The Mantis will to but not nearly as bad.
I've never drained the tank (live in East Texas) and it takes about six pushed ogf the primer and three pulls with the choke on full to start and then the choke goes off immediately. Every engine has its own little trick. My Dixon rider does not start at all doing what they said to do, but it starts every time.
Bruce
On Tue, 19 Apr 2005 20:31:38 GMT, "FDR"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.