Mantis Tiller

I'm thinking of buying a Mantis Tiller to make gardening a little easier, has anyone got one of these? I would be very grateful for any comments good or bad, that you could pass on to me.
Thanks in anticipation.
Ruth
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On Thu, 5 Feb 2004 22:23:30 -0000, "ruth todd"

I'm considering a Mantis or Honda tiller too (both have Honda engines). There are two Mantis models, one 2-cycle (requires a fuel-oil mix), the other 4-cycle (separate oil). I suspect the 4-cycle is not as noisy, the 2-cycle fewer moving engine parts (maybe less repair). Any recommendations for online companies with discounted prices? I know the Mantis comes with a free border edger, but I'd rather have a discount. I've used my Weedeater string edger for border cuts for years and it works exceptionally well when the string is tilted in the vertical position while walking backward.
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I've had the same Mantis for twelve years, and it's still going fine. I had to replace the tines last year after five years of Arkansas rocks wore them to nubbins. There are many pluses for a Mantis including durability, portability (one hand carries it), handling ease, and ability to be used in small spaces. Two negatives include the fact that they get roots tangled in tines (remove tines for removal) and starting unless you know the formula. If you're still interested I'll tell you how to start one.
It's my favorite gardening tool.
John
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wrote:

John,
I'd be interested in knowing any tricks in starting your Mantis. Is yours a 2 or 4-cycle engine? The LIT-7222 is a 2-cycle and the LIT-7260 is a 4-cycle. I understand the tines are guaranteed for life. Did you get yours replaced free?
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> > I'd be interested in knowing any tricks in starting your Mantis. Is > yours a 2 or 4-cycle engine? The LIT-7222 is a 2-cycle and the > LIT-7260 is a 4-cycle. I understand the tines are guaranteed for > life. Did you get yours replaced free?
It has a 2-cyle engine, and my wife informed me that it was twenty years ago when she purchased it for me as a birthday present. Does that say anything about how long they last? :)
No, the tines were not replaced free. I was unaware of any such guarantee. Anyway I can't complain after a twenty year run.
Anyway, I did a lot of cursing while trying to start it for a number of years before a friend informed me to follow these steps:
1. Pull out the choke. 2. Push the primer bulb three times. 3. Leaving the switch on the "off" setting, pull the starter rope twice. 4. Push in the choke and turn on switch to the "on" position. 5. Ordinarily your Mantis will start on the first starter rope pull although there are times when it dies, especially after sitting for a long time. Dying after starting initially is a common happening in the spring after sitting all winter. 6. If it dies, repeat the steps. 7. My Mantis starts easily if the engine is warm.
I hope these tips help.
John
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wrote:

Something wrong here. Mine is about 10-12 years old and it doesn't have a primer bulb. I thought they added the primer bulb some time in the late 90s.

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wrote in message > John,

supposed to enhance starting ot these small engines. Doesn't help my Ryobi trimmer, but it has been helpful for the Shindaiwa trimmer that replaced it.
Fuel mixes are critical, also. And, if your engine has a stopcock in the fuel line, this must always be turned off during storage, or the fuel will siphon aalll the way thru the engine system, replacing the oil.
Also...tho I should not tell this story on myself....using outboard motor 2-cycle oil will foul land based 2-cycle engines. Yep, been there, undoing that.
Starter sprays....will shorten the life of the engine. But if it won't start, who cares?
Sea Foam....this is a new product to me, one that my father swears by. If it helps my recalcitrant Ryobi, the Tecumsah on the snowblower, and the LawnBoy mower to start, I will deem it a satisfactory product!
And this just about sums up my knowledge of small engines.
Linda H.
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On 8 Feb 2004 07:44:08 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net (Tallgrass) wrote:

Does anybody know a reason for this? I'd never heard that.

I guess that's why the guys in the metalworking group recommended WD-40 - it also is a lubricant. It's the lack of lubrication in other starter sprays that's reported to damage 2 cycle engines, but if you only use a little of it, I wonder how much it really affects the longevity of the engine.

I have some of that too although I don't know what's different (if anything) from the other gas preservatives.
RWL
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On Sun, 08 Feb 2004 21:51:38 -0500, RWL

Probably due to the residue after-burn. An ashless oil is typically recommended for 2-cycle engines. Follow the user's manual--always.

WD-40 is not a lubricant, but a WaterDisplacement poly-carbon mix. Changing an engine fuel may damage the engine by altering the temperature and/or proper lubrication.

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When I could get mine going I loved it. Problem was most of my garden was so compacted it was like concrete. So I would get worn out quickly, and couldn't start the machine myself. Also having to empty it out when you were done was a pain because I always thought I was going to be able to do more, and the next thing you know, months have passed. I am thinking of getting the electric one though. If I can start it I will use it!
He;en
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wrote:

Ah, the arcana I never mastered. If the mystery of starting had been revealed to me, I wouldn't have given it away after 3-4 frustrating seasons and many futile trips to lawnmower shops that *promised* satisfaction, but were oddly reluctant to be on call to start the critter when I was ready to work.
I agree entirely with John's assessment. I used mine for a community garden plot, and it was easy to transport in the back of my (compact) car and maneuver it. What is it -- 19lbs? Sturdy as the dickens. Never any time that it couldn't/wouldn't attack anything from hard clay to established sod. Yes, roots winding around were a problem, but not *too* fussy to clear the clog. I miss my Mantis. But not standing in a field on a 93F (plenty humid, too) afternoon pulling a starting cord and swearing for 20 minutes at a time.
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John--- I don't use mine more often due my inablility to start it easily. Have big project co9ming up, so anything you can tell me to help me to start it more easily wold be greatly appreciated. TIA
wrote:

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wrote:

I's had one for about as long as you. What's your secret to getting it started? I've found that if you take the needle valve screws out and squirt carb cleaner in the jet holes each spring, it makes it easier to start and runs better.
In a different group I follow, there was a long thread about ways to get small gas engines like weed whackers and chain saws to start. The two best sounding ones were to spray WD-40 in the carb, or to "spray" propane from an unlit torch in the carb to get it going.
RWL
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I rented a Mantis for 2 projects and then read about and bought a Honda. What a world of difference. It is easy to start, it is quieter, it doesn't jump out of the ground when it hits a rock, etc. I highly recommend the Honda over the Mantis.

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All Mantis tillers have Honda engines. What you probably noticed was the noise/power difference between a 2-cycle and 4-cycle engine?
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ruth todd wrote:

I have one. It's horrible. The engine is supposedly the same as an Echo trimmer or chain saw, but I have no problems with my Echo chain saws or trimmer. The Mantis has been almost impossible to start since about 2 years after I bought it. I had it in the shop a couple of years ago and they put on a new carburator, and that helped for a few months.
Buy a Honda, or some cheap Chinese knock-off tiller. Don't buy a Mantis unless you intend to sell it after at the end of the first season you use it -- before it quits working. You pay a premium for the Mantis, but it's a crappy machine.
BTW, the Mantis does a good job if you can get it started and keep it running, and if you have sandy soil. They don't work all that well in clay.
Best regards, Bob
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I've had one for four years, and I always forget to drain the fuel, yet it starts, every single year for me, following the procedure John (B&J) wrote about. I've found it very reliable and easy to use. I think you really have to do exactly what's recommended in the manual for it to run properly (not knocking anyone, everyone forgets from year to year).
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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I purchased a Honda Harmony FG100, 4 cycle. It started the very first pull, I have never seen a engine start so well.
Gary
New to the north country

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