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.
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
On Feb 10, 3:55 pm, White email@example.com (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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
madgardener gardening in zone 7b with shallots, garlic and onions up
in the five inches of snow in West Tennessee
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!
On Feb 10, 4:55 pm, White firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
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 :)
On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 08:44:44 -0500, White_Noise email@example.com (EVP MAN)
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.
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.
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
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:
The brush hog:
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