Any problems with Mantis Tillers? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I need a small rototiller and was considering a Mantis. Has anyone used them in hard, clay soil? I was just looking for some feedback before investing in one. Thanks!

-- Jan (, April 05, 2002


only thing those are good for , is a loose rich soil, not worth the money

-- Stan (, April 05, 2002.

don't know about the tillers but I start lots of fires in the woodstove with the sales pitches they send. and send. and send.

-- B. Lackie - Zone3 (, April 05, 2002.

I love my Mantis tiller. It is about 6 years old now and I have serviced it once ( new spark plug, air filter). It is light weight and easy to handle. It cranks very easily. It cut through my clay soil and under trees right through the roots. It even picks up the grass roots in the tines. Of course, they then need cleaning -- it's only drawback. My husband and I both are sort of crippled up and can't handle a larger tiller. It does go through clay and roots like a hot knife through fresh churned butter. I think that was the best money I ever spent ( except my first divorce)LOL.

-- Robin Downing (, April 05, 2002.

I love this little tiller. I can go out and crank it up without any problem and it cuts right through my hard red clay.

-- Stacia in OK (, April 05, 2002.

We got a Mantis last year & we have clay in our soil. Works very well, although just like when we've used other tillers, we often turn our soil (just once) with a spade beforehand.

-- heather (, April 05, 2002.

We have found our Mantis tiller to be a great investment. We were counseled several years ago not to buy a small tiller; that it would be too light-duty and wouldn't do a good enough job, but after using a friend's Mantis, decided we were impressed. NEVER have been sorry that we bought it. Have used it in several kinds of ground and in large area, with satisfaction in all, including ground that was pretty awful. Easy to handle, easy to clean. Mantis still beats the other manufacturers for warranty, the last we knew (and haven't had to take them up on it). Design of this tiller keeps your feet out of the already-tilled soil. We are very happy with ours, which we have been using 4 years now.

-- teddy in NE (, April 05, 2002.

The elderly gentleman I bought my Ozark retreat for used his to plant 115 hazelnut saplings in rocky soil. Worked great. Lifetime replacement on tines. I have inhereted it, and I like it.

-- Rose (, April 05, 2002.

My Mantis works pretty well and does a good job of cultivating, but one thing that bothers me about those whirling tines is that they devastate the worm population in a garden. I've cut back to just using it as a shallow cultivator so I spare most of my worms.

-- bruce (, April 05, 2002.

We like ours for weeding only. I have had carb problems for several years. I have to carry a screwdriver and adjust it every ten minutes. If I hit a 4" rock the thing jumps up 3 feet in the air. Kinda like a wrestling match in this Virginia rock and clay. I still love it !

-- Joel Rosen (, April 06, 2002.

It does what it says! Light weight and very powerful! I got one last June and couldn't be happier! A good sound investment! Eileen

-- Eileen M. Schoen (, April 06, 2002.

We love our Mantis! It does do just what they say it will. Have had ours about 4 years, with ALOT of use and we are very pleased. Like someone else stated, the only drawback is the grass in the tines need to be removed sometimes.

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (, April 06, 2002.

If your going to garden a huge plot I might recommend against the Mantis but for raised beds or a small garden they can't be beat in my opinion. We've had ours for years and just love it. They are made by Echo I believe.

-- jz (, April 06, 2002.

Glad to see someone asked this question. Sounds like the Mantis is exactly what a small woman needs! Next question is, how much do they cost...the ads never say....and I have never sent the card in for more info in fear of just getting more and more junk mail.

-- Barbie from N. Idaho (, April 06, 2002.

Hi, I got my mantis last year,I wanted to put it to the test.We had to dig a trench for a drain pipe last summer when it was so dry well I got out the Mantis and went to work 15 minutes I had a 26 foot dirt I couldnt break with shovel.Dug a 70 foot one the next day.I wouldnt be with out it.I also bought it on Ebay for $80.less than new one.It was scratch&dent other wise new.Pam

-- Pam (, April 07, 2002.

We have a 6 HP Troy Built for the big garden, use the Mantis for the raised beds and close in weeding because its easy to control. Had it 5 years and shes going to get her first tune up next week. We love it. (I love it more because its so light my wife can do her own tilling!)

-- Rickstir (, April 07, 2002.

I just purchased a mantis tiller this year. I have used it a couple of times. So far it works geat. I really didn't know what to think when it arrived. It was soooo small. With the warranty they offer I figured I didn't have anything to lose. It really digs up the soil. So far I am very happy with it.

-- Scott (, April 08, 2002.

I got one a coupla years ago. Really like it! They are ~$200. HOWEVER, it's worth it if you want to make small beds and such. Good Luck!

-- Gailann Schrader (, April 08, 2002.

Everyone else's clay must be different from mine in MS. I used it once for about fifteen minutes and spent another hour trying to unbind the clay and weeds from the tines. On those days when our clay is more like concrete it wouldn't penetrate enough for my liking. I sent it back and got a good wheelbarrow.

-- Louisa (, April 08, 2002.

Have had our mantis for five years, love it, but would not recommend it for digging long rows or large unbroken clay ground (it takes too much time). We use it for cultivating, raised beds, small beds, and general weeding between rows. Last year we decided to expand our garden and it took so long to break up the new ground that we decided to get a bigger rear tine tiller for those areas and keep the mantis for small or already tilled earth. Never has been out for repair, and other than maintenance, has never needed work.


-- Cindy (, April 08, 2002.

This year is the 9th for mine and never a problem yet. True, it is not something to use for breaking up clay sod quickly but works great on existing gardens. In hard soils, it does need a good set of shoulders to hold it back. With standard tillers, most have a set depth and that is as deep as they will go. But you can virtually bury a Mantis to get the soil ready for deep roots crops. With a large tiller, you would normally till the entire garden and then walk on the tilled ground to lay out your rows. I just finished one large potato patch. 3 passes with the Mantis to do enough for the first row. That row planted will standing on solid un-tilled soil. Then 2 passes to prepare the soil for the second row and so on. Today was carrot planting. Mantis created silky soil at least 10 inches deep and I was again kneeling on solid ground while planting each row. That is an advantage that the big tillers don't have. And the 20 pound weight is apparently perfect for little tiller. We tried adding just a single brick for added weight and it wanted to go straight to China! And as for one person who didn't like using a tiller because of the damage to the earthworms, my gardens are filled with nightcrawlers and when they feel the vibrations of the Mantis, they go deep into their holes and I seldom see one while tilling but they are always up the next night looking for something to convert to instant fertilizer.

Happy Gardening

-- Martin Longseth (, April 11, 2002.

Love mine. Three years old. Starts on the first pull(with the switch on!) Just did a new bed a friends house. Think I made another sale! Worked well in turning what used to be lawn in to a garden bed. My total price, three years ago was 350$ US. I bought the "spare parts" kit. Haven't used anything but the oil.

-- MTSandy (, May 06, 2002.

I love mine. It is great. Easy to handle. Does a big job for such a small tool.

-- Cindy (, May 07, 2002.

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