No, the 4 cycle is better than the 2 unless you want a noisy smoke
After comparing the Mantis and the Honda, I chose the Honda 4 cycle
because it is quieter and I did not want to mix oil. I have not seen
the 4 cycle Mantis. It must be a secret or they are competing to see
who can make the worst web site.
Anyway, here's some OT feedback on my Honda:
1. It took 52 pulls to get it started the first time (I counted them).
The 2nd day I started it on 7. The 3rd day I started it on 1 so I
decided to keep it. All directions were followed - priming, choke,
fresh gas, etc.
Have you seen those Honda commercials where they start it on the 1st
pull? Just laugh when you see one of those next time.
2. It bounces around a lot on hard dirt. It bounced around so much
that it threw the drag bar off and I couldn't find the clevis pin so I
had to order another.
3. When it's not bouncing, it digs straight down and gets stuck.
4. It takes an hour to assemble.
5. Everything costs extra. I ordered the edger attachment and that
I think most of the above will apply to the Mantis because it's
basically the same. The secret is you need to wait until it rains
before using these little tillers. They just don't have enough weight
to cut through hard ground.
Even with all these problems, it's still a lot easier than digging by
hand - a lot easier.
I bought a 4-cycle Mantis this spring and like it a lot. The
Honda works flawlessly, almost always starting on the first pull. I
liked it so much that when my old '68 Lawnboy broke again I gave up on
it and went out and bought a Honda. It starts perfectly too.
Most of my use with the Mantis has been in beds that had been
dug a season before. It is sometimes tough going and will bounce where
the ground is hard packed or if it hits a root or big rock. It chopps
the soil much finer than a big tiller. It's great in a small area or
up next to plants you don't want to hurt. It will find all the rocks
in a garden and many times you have to stop it to get them out.
The factory does not sell the Honda model but if you do a web
search for Mantis you will find some.
Honda makes a couple of different family of engines, so just because
it says HONDA on it does not necessarily mean a long lasting product.
Their consumer engine is rated for 200 hours of average use.......IIRC
th GX series of motors are commercial or industrial engines, and the
GC are consumer engines, which are not in the same leage as a
commercial Honda. Still they are better than the average run of the
mill B & S motors commonly sold on a lot of equipment. Biggest
problem you will encounter with a Honda is using stale gas or allowing
the gas to form varnish. Hondas are very susceptible to stale gas, so
use a stabilizer when need be, and use fresh gas.
Visit my website:
Contents: foundry and general metal working and lots of related projects.
Roy aka Chipmaker // Foxeye
Opinions are strictly those of my wife....I have had no input whatsoever.
Remove capital A from chipmAkr for correct email address
I've had a Mantis 2 stroke for about 5 months now.
I've owned Sears, a Troy Built Horse, a Troy mini-tiller, and even a
huge big wheel cultivator.
The Troy Horse was great for the big garden, but even had its limits
on dry ground which is some of the complaints I've seen on the Mantis.
The mini tiller which was similar to the Honda was not used much
because rocks & roots tangled up in it a lot. Just got tired of
messing with it. After my back surgery in 91, I just gave it away
with the Horse when I sold it.
I did square foot gardening on a very small scale for a couple of
years and decided to get a Mantis after asking about it on this group.
I have arthritis in my lower spine and bone spurs in my neck and have
had no trouble operating it. Starts every time if I follow the
instructions properly. It does not lock up like the mini tiller I had.
Must be the design of the tines. It will get roots wrapped around from
time to time but it is a breeze to clear compared to regular tines.
Takes just a couple of minutes to switch the tines from "cultivate" to
I timed myself recently on a new bed, starting from sod.
Mowed and wet the area down in the morning. 4 X 24 foot. Tilled to
about 8 inches (fine seed bed texture) and had it planted in about 1
I now maintain 4 - 4 X 24 foot beds and 2 - 90 foot fence rows for
veggies and 3 new flower beds with no problem and am considering even
It is also much easier like some have said to walk backwards with it
and try not to till to China on the first path. Just like with my big
Horse, it is much easier to make several shallow passes until you get
to the depth that you want. Over the years as you get your soil in
shape it will dig deeper on the 1st pass every year. On my 2 existing
square foot beds it will go down about 10 inches on the 1st pass and
the soil will look like it was poured out of a bag, but it takes
several seasons to get the soil in that condition.
On Sun, 3 Aug 2003 19:14:37 -0700, "Ed G. Bowlin"
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