Mantis tiller, updated?

slowpoke_gardenerMay 11, 2011

I have been thinking about getting a mantis tiller. ( 2 cycle) I have heard of them for years, most people seem to like them.

I am getting to the age it seems harder to use my two rear tine tillers and I would like to ask a question or two.

First, is the mantis of today as good quality as the older ones?

Does the piston have 1 OR 2 rings on it?

Thanks for your input.


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Before the "hordes" of happy Mantis folks weigh in, I'll cast a negative vote. BTW, I do mean HORDES.

I've used tillers for over 40 years of varioius sizes, front tine, rear tine, etc. My little tiller, died and I had to replace it and giving in to all the advertising, etc. I ordered a Mantis from Amazon on Christmas Day and it was delivered the 28th. Good price, free shipping, two attachments, seemed like a deal.

Before you buy one, use one. If you're used to something that has wheels so you more or less guide them along the rows, the Mantis does't work that way. It kind of jumps forward and then you drag it back so it'll dig down. I'm used to it now, but still find it akward. Sure, you can reverse the tines one position for digging, and one for weeding, that just makes the jumping less intense.

Yes, starting (check the posts on here and other forums) can be frustrating, but if you follow the instructions exactly it'll go OK.

Yes, they have a 5 year warranty, but you have to return the entire unit to them and pay shipping both ways. Given the weight, that could make the warranty quite costly.

The one I have starts and runs, OK, and does what I suppose it is designed to do.

Make sure you get the kick stand or the "optional" set of wheels or you have to lay it down or prop it on the garden fence.

If you can try one before you buy, do so. If I had, I wouldn't have bought it. Would have bought something more or less expensive with wheels as I'm more used to that arrangement.

I'm going to go hide in the root cellar before the hordes find me.....:-)

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 7:02PM
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The mantis can't compare w/ a rear tine so don't even try to. Ours works great for small areas like flower beds. I have an 8 HP Horse tiller for veg garden use in the fall and spring. I use hill and ditch irrigation, so any weeding is done by hand unless we get lots of rain. Just remember you can't send a boy to do a man's job.
The edger attachment for the mantis works very well. As for the kickstand, I have it but seldom use it. IMO it's a waste of $70. My neighbor and I went in halves on the thatcher but neither of us has used it yet so can't comment on it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 8:19AM
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I have one here to repair. I got it started and running, but it kinda dug up the driveway a bit. The itty bitty throttle cable is broken, and the one i ordered last week hasn't come in yet. I call it the Jumping Jack. I don't know how good they are at breaking new ground. I don't raise my own food-they sell better stuff at the grocery store.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:58AM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

I have a Mantis tiller that I bought to replace an old Garden Way tiller.

The Mantis is different and you do have to till by pulling the machine back to you instead of the way others operate. It took a little getting used to but now, it is OK.

The dethatcher alone is worth the price. I have rented dethatchers an this is far superior in performance and weight.

The rented ones are very heavy and the Mantis is very light. The job done by each is much diffent with the Mantis being so far superior that I would buy another if this one fails. Rented machines will dethatch but it takes much longer with an inferior result.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 4:32PM
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