Mantis Mini Tiller ?

My wife wants a Mantis mini tiller/cultivator for Christmas. Anyone have any comments, do they work as good as they show in their brochures and videos ? I can get one for $325 shipped to my door . Thanks, Raz
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I have an old Mantis I bought at a garage sale a couple years ago for $20 (leaky gas tank) and I enjoyed using it so much I bought the TroyBilt version at the end of the year (2004) from Lowes marked down from $200 to $100. The Mantis is 2 cycle (mix gas and oil) & the TroyBilt is 4 cycle (don't mix them) - otherwise they work the same. They work fine - took me a while to figure out they work better pulling them backward - I was used to my regular full sized tillers just working forward. The small ones are especially helpful in our eight 2' by 8' garden boxes and cultivating in close places.
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Make sure you get a model with the little wheels on it. It makes it so much easier starting. I work on one for a lady with no wheels and you have to hold it up in one hand and start it with the other. She is not strong enough to do that.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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My Dad bought one a couple of months ago and loves it. I got to operate it once, and they are quite easy to use, though I wouldn't recommend them (or any tools with motorized blades) for anyone who isn't up for some moderately demanding physical activity.
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The Troy Bilt is hard to beat. I've used both their mini cultivator and their Super Bronco rear-tine tiller. Both do a wonderful job, and are tough as nails, tossing rocks, etc. that appear in the path.
-Matt
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Raz, I have a Mantis 2-stroke gas tiller and love it. I even bought the edger attachment off ebay for around $45 delivered. I use the Mantis for the little jobs so I don't have get out my big 8 HP Craftsman.
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How many years have you had your Mantis ? Any problems , start easy ? Thanks, Raz

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Okay, I am going to brag a bit... I used my brother's Mantis tiller and I fell in love with it ... I have yet to see any other tiller of any size that will routinely dig up and spit out stones as big as my shoe. Only problem either he or I have had with it was a bad diaphram in the carburetor that the repairman said was from not running the tank dry before putting it away.
All hail the mantis

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Well, I granted my wife's Christmas wish, she wanted a Mantis for her present this year from me. She loves to work in the garden but hates weeding it. She is all excited but now she wishes she could go try it out tonight. I think I did ok on this present, unlike some new pots and pans :-) I guess we will see this spring if all the praise is true. Raz

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Raz, Just to let you know, and it is not a bad thing in the least, Mantis tillers use a variety of different "power paks" So far I have counted 3 different engine manufacturers. Just in case you decide do pull repairs on it after the warantee expires.

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