mini tiller -what brand should I get????

frank-lotharMay 23, 2007

I need to buy a new mini tiller which will get a lot of use in heavy clay soil.Must be reliable.Thinking about a Husky or Patriot or something else that has a good warranty.Any suggestions?

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castoff(Z5 Ontario)

My choice would be the Mantis. A friend of mine loaned me his a couple of times now and I am totally impressed. This unit has chewed through roots and pulled up fairly large rocks that would have given my rear-tine Honda a workout. Mantis has a patent on their tine design plus a life-time guarantee. I will be ordering one shortly because now that I have used one, I don't know how I ever could do without having one at my beck and call.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 8:43PM
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I vote w/ Castoff. I got a Mantis in April for my birthday and I won't part w/ it. That's all I'll say,else i'll start sounding like a lawnboy enthusiast!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:48PM
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We have a Mantis and clay soil. Works great- last long time. The Echo is a sister to the Mantis if you have a dealer you like. (Mantis is Echo powered and the Echo has the Mantis box) Seems to me the handle bars are different and. . .

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:17PM
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I'm in the process of repairing a troybilt and borowwed my sisters mantis. Looked like a toy, but I was very impressed with performance. Need ear protection with the noisy 2 stroke though.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:25PM
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I have a Honda FG100 (about 8 years old) that I have been very pleased with. The model I have is the predecessor to the FG110 currently sold by Honda.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 1:33PM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

The Troy-bilt tiller/edger used to be the strongest mini tiller on the market, it had a 2HP Tecumseh engine double the power the 0.9 HP engine that is more suited for a weed wacker. But they discontinued it and the replacement is a "cultivator/edger" that has the same silly tiny 26cc 2 stroke like the competition.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 2:33PM
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For what it is worth, I believe that the power rating on the Honda GX31 that is on the FG100 was 1.5 hp. At any rate, the only times I have ever had the engine not pull through was when a rock or brick chunk becomes physically jammed between the tines and the transmission housing. There was enough power to generate clutch slippage. I have never had an instance where I felt the tiller was underpowered.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 8:09PM
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By the way, I looked at the Patriot tiller (I had not heard of them before, and it appears to me to be a clone of the Hoffco Lil'Hoe.) The original FG100 was also built by Hoffco. The tines, handles and transmission housing (as well as all of the attachments) look almost identical to the Hoffco varieties that were offered with the FG100.

The Husqvarna mini tiller also looks to me to be a clone of the Hoffco. Check the handles, deflector, etc. They look identical to the Patriot. It has the 2-cycle Tecumseh engine that used to be on the Troy-Built mini tiller mentioned above. I would choose the Honda mini 4-cycle personally.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 8:19PM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

Yes the old Honda (Hoffco) FG100 was 1.5 HP 31cc engine

The Troy-bilt tiller/edger I have uses a Tecumseh TC300 2-stroke, 2 HP, 49.2cc yes, it looks like the same engine is used in the Husqvarna CT20. In that case I would advise the Husqvarna for that engine. It has been a strong and mainenance free engine for me. The engine has very good torque I never been able to bog it down or stall it.

I have had mine 5 years now it starts right up and runs great, all I ever did was change a spark plug and clean the foam air filter element like it says in the book.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 10:17PM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

By the way the Honda replacement tiller, the FG110, now has a smaller 1.1 HP engine that is only 25 cc, so if that is the same Honda engine as in the Patriot, you are looking at an engine half as powerful as the Tecumseh engine in the Husqvarna.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 10:43PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

One of the Honda models had transmission problems if I remember correctly. I think it was the FG100 but it could be the FG110.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 11:23AM
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I have one of the Honda FG110 mini tillers talked about.
It starts very easy and is very quiet since it is the 4 cycle and not the noisy 2 cycle. No mixing the oil/gas. It is also very economic to run.
I was amazed after starting mine, warming the engine up (1st. time) then giving it a little throttle. Without the wheels on it I was able to give it just enough throttle to walk behind going across the grass to the area I was going to try it on. Worked perfect. Once to the area, (without the drag bar or wheels on) I gave it throttle and I was more impressed! It is so strong and so quiet. It dug down as deep as I wanted to go and turned the soil to a perfect planting texture. To move along forward all you have to do is slow the engine down just a little or rock the handlebars just a little. It will walk over big roots of trees with no problem. You can take off the outside tines and till a very small row of about 5" I believe which is great for weeding and making water ways for gardens.
There are 4 ways you can transport it. Carry it with the carring handle, put it in a wheel barrell, with a little throttle walk it on the tines or use the transport wheels.
The old 100 had gear problems from what I have read. The new FG110 has changed and incorperated a new worm gear for smooth, strong and reliable tilling.
I LOVE mine needless to say! I use it everyplace now.
Some people even pull theirs backwards. I have done that but cannot understand why others do. Maybe the soil they are working?
I don't know how any other tiller could be as quiet, strong and reliable as the Honda FG110.
I highly recommend it.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:46PM
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castoff(Z5 Ontario)

I have to wonder where the value is, in recommending a product that is apparently no longer available. If the Troy-Built unit you speak about is so awesome a tool, then one has to wonder why it doesn't show up on the Troy-Built website.

The only "mini-tiller" I can find is the TB144 4-stroke gas cultivator/edger with a 26 cc engine and they conveniently omit telling you the actual weight of that tool. wonderous as your five year old 49cc powerhouse might be, if it can't be bought today at a store or on-line, then how is anyone going to follow your recommendation?

And yes, the four-stroke Honda powered tillers are the quietest of the gas powered units but the newest Echo 2 strokes have cut their noise level dramatically. Not as quiet as the Hondas but not as pricey either.

After all, it's only a weeding and tilling device......not a lawn tractor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Troy

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 7:51AM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

What I recommended is for the OP to look into the Husqvarna CT20. In fact I already said as much already in this thread: "In that case I would advise the Husqvarna for that engine."

I think I was being more than clear enough about that.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 5:37PM
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Let me give my little ryobi some props here. I've had this little cultivator for 3 years now and its worked really good. I bought it a Home Depot for about 200, gas powered 2stroke model. After buying it, i read bad things online, especially about starting. I've never had issues with mine, it always starts easily and runs perfect. I plant a small garden, only about 20x30, but the soil isn't very good. There are quite a few rocks and some roots. This little ryobi handles it fine and is holding up well.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 10:54PM
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People that buy Ryobi are usually home owner that don't know how to maintain the engine. THey leave gas in for long time, and wrong ratio. Then the equipment die and they whine about it on the web!!!
I talked to someone that use Ryobi for commercial use and consistansly get 500 hours out of each one. Which is very good!!!
I personally like to have good stuff, I got a Mantis with Honda engine. The gear box went out in 8 months because they forgot to put grease in it!!!! They replaced a new one for me. The main thing is the attachments. I love the dethatcher tine on the Mantis.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:02AM
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I've used a Husqvarna CT20 mini tiller and a Stihl mini tiller, both worked well. The Stihl was a bit easier to control, it has small adjustable wheels mounted on it. The CT20 tended to bounce around if you didn't pay close attention.

BTW, my Husqvarna CT20 has died so if anyone has a CT20 they would be interested in selling for parts please let me know.


Jim M

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 12:31PM
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I need a mini-tiller and heard mantis was a good one. I just need to till small gardens but most of it is some degree of clay. Does anyone know where I can get a used gas powered 2 cycle mantis mini-tiller? Do they have refurbished models?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 1:57PM
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Do yourself a favour, buy a new one direct from Mantis. You have one year money back, no shipment guarantee. THey are very good in warrantee. I have direct experience with them. YOu don't get this service if you get it anywhere else.

If you insist on a used one, get on ebay. But by the time you bid and shipment, you are not going to be much ahead and you are taking a big chance. With direct from Mantis, you get true 2 years warrantee.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 3:18PM
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Remember too that the Echo is the same thing as the Mantis. The Mantis 2-cycle uses the same engine.I have the Echo and it works very well.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 3:27AM
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