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.
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.
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.
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?
> 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.
It is the priming of the engine with the starting switch OFF that is
supposed to enhance starting ot these small engines. Doesn't help my
Ryobi trimmer, but it has been helpful for the Shindaiwa trimmer that
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
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.
On 8 Feb 2004 07:44:08 -0800, email@example.com
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.
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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