Finally bought a Mantis
After hearing about them for years and having used one a couple of times, finally bought one to replace a 2HP Sears "cultivator" that died after 10+ very reliable years.
The reason I'd not purchased one before was the fact that I don't like buying something, knowing I then have to buy additional parts from the dealer for big$$. Specifically, the kickstand. Should be included and not an expensive option. Noticed that Amazon.com had the two cycle with kickstand and edger for $329 and free shipping. The base unit was $299 so this was more in line with my thinking.
Snap to assemble, started right up, haven't used it yet as it's January here....:-) But so far am very pleased.
The tiller will be used for normal garden work, the edger seems an intriguing idea for edging the "inside" of the wife's many (!) flower beds which are built of 4 X 6 pressure treated lumber. Getting the grass which finds it's way underneath and sprouts against the wood is a pain. Hope it works.
I've read some of the reviews and things about this engine being difficult to start. I'll share my "secrets" on life with 2 cycle engines as I've got several here on the farm from various manufacturers. Don't use regular gas, go up one step in octane, makes a world of difference in starting. Don't use cheap oil, get a top notch oil, I like Stihl if the ratios match. Forget Stabil for winter storage, run them dry, pull the plug put a few drops of oil in and crank it a few times. While the plug is out throw it away and put in a new plug and you're ready to "rock and roll" come spring. I've done this for years and I use my 2 cycle stuff, not work on it....
Oh, one last word on "better" oil, most that I've seen have stabilizers included.
The DVD that came with the tiller was instructive but needs to be updated, It clearly stated to buy "proper octane leaded gas" .....:-)