Mantis Tiller ?

Does anyone own a Mantis tiller and if so, how do you like it? I'm looking to buy a small tiller for my 250 sq. ft. garden. They seem a bit expensive at just over $300 but it seems most all the small tillers are in about the same price range.
Rich
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EVP MAN wrote:

Everything their advertisements say about the Mantis is true, and it's even better than they claim, much better. I've owned a Mantis for five years, there's nothing not to like about it. The only thing a Mantis doesn't do well is to bust up virgin sod. Had I known about the Mantis I never would have bought my 7 HP Simplicity tiller... could have rented one to bust up the sod to make my vegetable garden with a $50 rental... now I have the never used again $700 Simplicity taking up space in my shed to remind me how stupid I was to buy it... It's nearly impossible to sell a used tiller for anywhere near the selling price... so far I've gotten one offer of $75. The only good thing about those big HP tillers is that you'll never need to buy a gym membership... don't you believe those depictions of some little old lady operating it one handed, the incedible hulk would have trouble... I weigh 200 pounds and that 7 HP machine drags ME around... it's incredibly dangerous. A ten year old can easily/safely handle the Mantis.
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On Wed, 10 Feb 2010 16:55:59 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Check out the little Honda tiller, you may like it more.
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On Feb 10, 3:55 pm, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Hello, Madgardener (Maddie) here, I got my Mantis tiller back in 1993. I loved it immensely. About five years ago, I inherited a much older Mantis from a dear friend. I had given my first Mantis to the mechanic at the local Co-op for getting my older Mantis a seasonal preparation. I did this because I lacked the funds to pay him. He was shocked that I gave him mine, but I'd been negligent in the care of mine. I had not stored it completely out of the humidity, and hadn't had much opportunity while living up in the old Faerie Holler, to using it as much as I would have liked. For conditioning the older one for me, I vowed to do better by it. My English husband first used my Mantis at the rental house when we tilled up an area for the pole beans and tomato's. Yes, I have a huge selection of good, solid, heavy duty well made hand tools, and nothing is better than good old back breaking digging. But I can now say that James loves my Mantis as I do. When we moved to our new home last summer, he cranked it up more than once. He turned the ground here to a workable depth of over a foot in preparation for his cypress trees. I then cranked it up to till the raised bed here at the house for my perennials going to the workable depth of over two foot. After that, I used it to till up the long raised bed that I planted all my sedums and sun loving perennials, and while it was still running that day, James tilled up the area that we're going to have our vegetable garden. This is no small plot. It's only now about 25 foot by 30 foot long. He's only tilled one strip so far for the shallots, garlic and onions. But in a couple weeks, he'll turn over the rest of the patch for the whole garden with it. It's never let us down, and the life time guarantee on tines that never break is well worth it. One warning, though. Whereas Mantis does guaranted their tines for not ever breaking, they don't consider wearing down to nubs as a valid reason. You have to replace those at your own cost. My first one's tines were literally worn down by all the rocks in the soil in Eastern Tennessee. I had no idea. But that little tiller spit out hundreds of rocks like watermelon seeds when my former husband was first using the tiller when it came in the mail and tilled up 14 beds! I called them for replacement handles because mine became pitted early into having it, and they did so courteously and quickly. I never had to replace the handles ever again. I suspect it was just a fluke chrome flaw. I still have this older tiller, and it works like a charm. The weight of it is easy on your body, your back, and doesn't beat you up. I am a little woman, middle aged and now a bit out of shape, but it doesn't pound you to death when it's running. Easy to use, easy to crank and get started, and the fuel mix is simple too. If this one ever wears out, I'd replace it with another one sure thing as replacement parts would be the same price if I bought a new one. No, I don't work for Mantis, but I know what I like that works. madgardener gardening in zone 7b with shallots, garlic and onions up in the five inches of snow in West Tennessee
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Thanks to all for the great information on the Mantis tiller. I ordered the 2 cycle gas tiller last night from Amazon. Got it with the kick stand and also the bushings to help with weed tangles on the tine shaft. Sounds like it should do a pretty decent job for a home vegetable gardener like myself :) It's also great to find a product that's still made right here in the good old USA and not from China!
Again, thanks so much for your input!
Rich
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On Feb 10, 4:55 pm, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

On occasion in the past I would borrow my folks Mantis to clean up the smaller flowerbeds around the house. It was great in the tight places around the plants or bushes that I did not want to disturb. If they did not have one I would probably would have gone out to get one for myself. I have a large tiller which I still like when cleaning up the big garden at the first of the year or turning over the mulch at the end of the season. It is always nice to have the right tool for the right job. That is if you have room in the garage for it.
Duane
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Amazon has a 450 watt electric Mantis said to be quite. There are over 20 reviews here.
<(Amazon.com product link shortened) keywords=mantis+electric+tiller&sprefix=mantis>
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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I thought about the electric tiller but I didn't like the thought of having the extension cord in your way all the time. Just seems like it might be kind of unhandy because you might be dragging the cord over top of your plants all the time. I settled for the 2-cycle that comes with kick stand and edger. Think it has (81) reviews on Amazon :)
Rich
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On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 08:44:44 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Besides having to concern oneself with avoiding tilling/cutting the electric cord (guaranteed to occur) the electric unit pretty much negates portability... myself I'd need to buy a generator or many hundreds of feet of extension cord. An electric tiller is about the dumbest idea... unless one wants to use their Mantis to make whipped cream by the wheelbarrowful for nude girl wrestling.
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I have a electric 18 chain saw (Pollan) and a Toro power shovel power curve snow shovel. I ran some power back to my garden an never use more than 50 cord. Very limiting but I don't till with the pony anymore and have the drive plowed ( only 3 times in 35 years all this year which cost $150). I do have a 16 inch gas chain saw but in the last 10 years Karl and his men do the tree work.
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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Forgot the Black & Decker lawn mower and the B&D battery trimmer ( no Cord!) . Still be aware my scale is dealing with under 2 acres. More like 1/5 acre that I manipulate.
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 14:12:05 -0500, Bill who putters

Electric chian saws can be handy for cutting fire wood logs to length near or inside ones abode... the last owner here heated with a wood stove in the basement, he used an electric chain saw in the basement, they're relatively quiet and produce no fumes... but electric chain saws are pretty useless in the woods.
If you have a small property an electric snow thrower is a good idea too... most folk's walkways, decks, patios, and driveways are close to their house so there'd be power nearby.... but I have two driveways, the one to my house is 300' and the one to my barn is 800', plus a 200' side trip for my rental house driveway... so I have a 7' plow on my tractor.
For my vegetable garden I'd need a good 250' of extension cord to use an electric tiller.. and I'd not want to have to constantly be aware of that cord.... where I lived previously my yard was only a 1/4 acre, there I used an electric hedge cutter and even tried an electric lawn mower... I can't remember how many times I cut the cord on that mower. The real beauty of the Mantis is that it's portable, it weighs only 20 pounds, I love that portability, I don't want a leash on it, an electric tiller is really a dumb idea... I honestly see no advantage, only disadvantage. I don't even mind mixing the fuel. it's the same mix for my chain saw, my leaf blower, and my string trimmer. The Mantis is very stingy with fuel, I can till my entire 50' X 50' vegetable garden on like one little tankful, maybe a 1/4 tank more. My big Jonsered chainsaw is the real fuel hog. Ever since I bought the Mantis I've not used my 7 HP Simplicity tiller even once, in fact it sits in my garden shed and hasn't been started up in over 6 years... I'll try to remember this spring just to move the oil about. The big Simplicity is a great tiller for chopping up virgin sod, anyone near the Catskills who's interested it's for sale, I'll give you a great deal but I'll toss it into the pond before I'll give it away. I think it sells new for near a grand now, I paid over $700 + tax. I'll sell it for anything close to half my cost.
Hey, I almost forgot, I have a 5' wide tiller too that attaches to a 3 point hitch, a top of the line Italian made tiller that I bought new but never used... been in my barn some 7 years, each year sprayed with a good coat of WD 40. I thought I'd plant a pear orchard but realized I was too old to care for it.. so that's for sale too. and I also have a practically new 7' heavy duty brush hog that I used two seasons but decided my big finishing mower does the job, that implement is for sale too. I'm not greedy but I'm no fool.
This is the tiller: http://www.delmorino.it/show/item/41/universal_fixed_rotary_tiller.html
The brush hog: http://befco.com/products/tornado/rhd.html
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