best small tiller

qumumJune 4, 2009

I am needing a small that I can start easily and handle easily. And I wonder what is the best one to get. Had one a few years ago and it never ran good nor tilled good and so I never really used it.


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Donna, yours is a sort of Chevrolet vs Ford questions - you'll probably get strong opinions in several directions.

I have a Honda FG100 (the newer models have a different number, 110, I think) that I'm happy with. Friend of mine has a Mantis that he's happy with. I think it's 6 of 1, half dozen of another. I prefer the 4-cycle engine; the Hondas are 4-cycle, the Mantis is available either way.

Both are light in weight, but they can get away from you - be prepared to do some wrestling with either one. Neither is really intended for breaking new ground, although you can do so if your ground isn't too hard.

I have a big TroyBilt Horse, which I use only twice a year; I use the Honda much more frequently, primarily for cultivating.

There are some small tillers that cost less than the Honda or Mantis, but I think the extra money (probably about $100 more) is well spent. Check Amazon dot com for best price, but I'd pay a little more to get one from a local dealer who'll be there to solve any problems that come up. Best luck.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 11:12PM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

Very happy with my Mantis.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Do a search on Mantis here, I wrote quite a bit on this and so are a lot of other people.

The most important thing in choosing is the available tines. Some cheap brands like Craftsman and Troy Bilt are not good because they don't have all the optional tines and the engines are cheap. Not worth saving $60.

I recommend buying Mantis direct from Mantis mainly because of the service from Mantis. They take good care of me. People have bad experience with Honda on warrantee issue so did I. Stihl might be a good one, I never have experience with the Stihl Yardboss. I would stay with these three.

Echo and Redmax are Mantis with different paint color!!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:22PM
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Cant complain about our Echo(Same as the Mantis just different color). Starts well and is easy to handle. Plus there are different things you can buy for it to make more use of it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 1:45AM
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I just remember about the tines. Honda comes with Bolo tines that can only do one job. Either is tilling or cultivating. Mantis tines can do both with the same tines. You put is the standard way to till. Switch the tines around to cultivate and it really works. I am sure this apply to Echo tiller also, not so sure on the Redmax.

For breaking new ground, none of the mini tillers work that well. So be aware of their strong points and limitations. I have a big front tine tiller, so I am happy camper!!!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:35AM
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pinkgardener(z5 PA)

Go with the Mantis. I've had mine for over 10 years. Just used it again last night to create a bed for planting liriope. Much better than using a shovel. I see they now offer a free aerator attachment. If you haven't made a decision yet, you might want to buy one now. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: mantis

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 8:10AM
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The problem with the mantis that I have is that you have to walk backwards with it and it is too small for some of the things I want to till. I would like a front tine tiller that is compact, perferrably a 4 cycle engine and you can actually walk foward. At one time I had a compact Wizard till that worked great. I wish I won't have scraped it now. :(

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 8:00AM
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