Ask a Question forum: Mantis Tiller Review?

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Aug 13, 2013 4:55 AM CST

Does anyone on here have a Mantis tiller? I am thinking about buying one, but want to here about the reviews first. I have pretty decent soil, but am always looking for something to dig holes, rip up ground, etc. I see they have a new larger industrial one kinda pricey, but possibly might be worth it.

Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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Aug 13, 2013 5:20 AM CST
I have never tried the mantis tiller but I haven't really seen them around here; I haven't looked for them.

I have the small Troy-Bilt 4 cycle tiller (29cc maybe) and it does what I need it to. I did have a bigger one, Huskee 190cc but it took two people to pick it up and put in the beds. I tried the Troy-Bilt 2 cycle tiller but it quit working after 10 minutes and I took it back.
Name: Theresa Maris
Bowling Green,KY (Zone 6b)
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Aug 13, 2013 5:50 AM CST
I had a Mantis tiller and I was not impressed. If you have clay soil or hard soil it is just not powerful enough. It might be okay if you are just cultivating.
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
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Aug 13, 2013 7:37 AM CST
My area of GA has the same thick red clay I grew up with in central Ohio. My aunt in central Ohio has a Mantis, and based on her recommendation, I invested in one as well. It ROCKS for me.

I bought mine in spring 2009, and used it to dig holes to plant 20 trees in my yard. Ten of those trees were planted in one work-week, at the rate of 2/day, working before/after work and during my lunch hour. In the morning I would de-turf the spot I wanted to plant, and then go to town with the tiller. Within 15min I'd have a hole that was properly sized for my tree. Added soil amendments, till it together, and then start another hole.

I would typically dig 2 holes each morning, or one before work and one at lunch. After work, I'd plant the trees and water them in.

That same year, I used the mantis to till up a patch that was approx 45ft long by 15ft wide at one end, 8ft wide at the other. That was in June, and we were having 100 degree days, so I was out there in the mornings before work and not any other time, so that one took me longer.

That fall, my trusty mantis and I created an island in the center of my front yard. The island is approx 25ft by 15ft.

I always de-turf before using the mantis, because I have a combination of zoysia and bermuda grass, and it gets tangled around the tines too easily. I've also used it to till up raised beds, mix soil amendments together in beds, etc. NO complaints about it at all. It's relatively lightweight, easy to schlep around the yard, and has handled almost anything I've thrown at it. It DID have a problem with my red GA clay in mid-Aug of a dry summer when everything was baked to a crisp from the 90-100degree temps we'd had. But I'm rarely working on any kind of bed in Aug, so that's not a big deal for me. It was my first 2-cycle engine, and is easy to start. I had avoided things with pull-ropes because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to start them. My mantis cured me of that. Thumbs up

15 minutes with the tiller (not counting time spent de-turfing) gave me this hole for a new tree. The pot the tree came in is sitting in the hole.
Thumb of 2013-08-13/fiwit/c25cfe

A triangular section from the forsythia to the fence corner to the utility pole was tilled up with the Mantis in one June afternoon (NOT right after this rain).
Thumb of 2013-08-13/fiwit/7a002c

Haven't used it in the last couple years because I've not done any projects that needed it. But I went from skeptic to believer in just one week with it. Your mileage may vary, etc.
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Aug 13, 2013 7:44 AM CST
I inherited one last year when my father passes but I haven't tried it yet. Glad you like it Mary. That's encouraging.
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Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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Aug 13, 2013 12:22 PM CST
I bought one back in the 90s...loved it. My husband died in November and I sold it to his best's still going strong.
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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
Aug 15, 2013 5:20 PM CST
I was looking to get a tiller when I was finally able to have a garden 3 years ago. I looked at Mantis and a couple other ones. The Spousal Unit nixed them all because he said they looked cheap and not like it would stand up to any kind of work at all. He looked at the Stiel (sp???) ones and said anything else was junk compared to how that was built. He has had Stiel chainsaws for years and said they are the best, outlast anything else. I wanted the tiller for "me", but I have yet to use it. He gets it out and putzes through my garden stuff. I guess it satisfies his desire to play in the dirt, since we no longer plant any farm crops since we cash rent the cropland out. I am not going to complain, he can till all he wants. And he does. Green Grin!

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