Tempted to buy a Mantis Tiller

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Happymouse
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Tempted to buy a Mantis Tiller

Postby Happymouse » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:47 pm

Hi everyone.
I had a leaflet in the post today tempting me to buy a Mantis Tiller. Are they as good as they claim to be ? My only worry is would it chop up my garden worms ? I am very fond of garden worms so this would put me off buying one.
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nog
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Postby nog » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:57 pm

I got a great big 5hp Rotovator and to bring it up the allotment was like the preperation for DDay. Trailer on the car and all so I got a mantis...Its good but not as good as they say. If I was buying another one I would buy a honda. Its a bit too lightweight for me...
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Chantal
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Postby Chantal » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:15 pm

I've had a Mantis for 2 years and it's pretty good. Worms don't get chopped although they do get slung out sideways at pretty high speed sometimes. My only problem is getting stones stuck in the tines. You can remove the tines by pulling out a pin but it's bloody difficult to do without a hammer and a pair of pliers. You can't use it if the soil is too claggy but other than that it's great and does what it says. :) Overall I'm happy with mine.
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John
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Postby John » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:04 pm

Hello Happymouse
I have a Honda FG200 which is similar to the Mantis. Its a great machine and I wouldn't be without it. I got it rather than a Mantis because it has a 4-stroke engine (Mantis has a two-stroke) so there's no fuel mixing needed, no smelly exhaust, always starts first time, is smooth and quiet when running.

John

PS These machines are small tillers - they will prepare cultivated ground for sowing and planting. What they do, they do very well but remember that they are not rotovators.
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peter
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Postby peter » Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:43 am

My 80 year old allotment neighbour manages 10 rod, but I don't think he could do it without his Mantis, which he wheels the half mile or so from his house.
Personally I prefer Howard driven wheel rotovators, less strain on the old back and I drive it the fifty yards from my back gate!
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LakeView
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Mantis

Postby LakeView » Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:31 pm

I love my Mantis. I bought it in 1996 in America and shipped it over when I moved to the UK. It's still working great! I have all sorts of attachments that I have used at least once each (back in America; who needs a crevice cleaner in the UK?), and I threaten to put on the 'de-thatching' attachment to pull up the moss on my front and rear lawns (but that means hard work and to aerate, sand, and re-seed -- which is a lot of work (so I've put it off for 5 years!).

But my Mantis is used on the allotment every year at least twice to three times, and does an amazing job. I also use a friend's proper rotavator ('rototiller' in Yankee-speak) if I've let the weeds get too tall.

Here's a hint: always bring a pair of needle-nosed pliers and a long-handled screwdriver wherever you take the Mantis - you'll need them to clear the weeds/roots from the tines, and the pliers are needed to remove the pin to remove the tines.

Funny thing is -- my husband keeps thinking that something bent the tines! (They come that way) He's said that on numerous occasions (poor memory!).

I also find it amusing to see the difference in how the Mantis is marketed here in the UK compared to the US. Here women are shown in 'Smart Casual' looking dressed to impress (and ready to be seen shopping in the high street). In the US women are wearing practical but clean gardening clothes!

Buy a Mantis - you won't be disappointed!
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Peanut
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Rotovator review

Postby Peanut » Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:23 am

Hi,

I know it's a bit 'lite' but the GardenLife Magazine has a rotovator review this month, and rates the electric mantis for being v. lightweight, but I can't remember offhand what it says about the petrol version...

Just to redress the balance for mentioning another magazine, KG are running an advert for the Mantis tiller - is this a better price than buying through the shops? :idea:

http://www.kitchengarden.co.uk/adbounce.php?id=200
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Tiller
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Mantis

Postby Tiller » Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:31 pm

Personally I think they're not so good for tilling the soil, alright for tickling the suface up a bit but no guts for much else.
Always seem to be a lot of them for sale when they're still quite new, wonder why?
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Tigger
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Postby Tigger » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:16 pm

I've had a petrol Mantis for 3 years and it's used extensively. It's a wonderful piece of kit. I previously had a heavy Honda Rotovator which was very difficult to handle.

If you're going to combine the use of a Mantis with a regular dressing of compost and a deep bed approach (at least a no soil tread approach) - you won't go wrong.
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jim bob
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Postby jim bob » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:44 am

I have a husquvarna T50 4 stroke ,
it is great for turning in compost and you do not have to dig .

I often get my partner to help with weeding in the summer ,
She bought me a stihl hedge trimmer that has a tilling attenment for chritmas (Because she said she rather be shopping)
It great for weeding between rows ,and makes a
fine seed bed for planting .
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David Hathway
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Mantis

Postby David Hathway » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:05 pm

I bought my first Mantis Tiller about 7 years ago and found it very useful on my 1/3rd acre plot. However I did have problems with it cutting out and despite help from Mantis technical and continally replacing plugs, leads, carb filters and jets, could not solve the problem. Quite unlike my Mantis leaf Vac shredder which has provided me with outstanding service over the last 6 years ( I think it is now discontinued - pity). However about 2 years ago I replaced my petrol tiller with the electric model. Chalk and cheeese. A pleasure to handle although very slightly heavier. Much more robust and much more refined. Plenty of power with its 3 speed arrangement and so very much quieter. No cutting myself on rough metal edges on the petrol model. I have run it on 100 foot of cable without any noticeable loss of power.
The only reservation I have about perforemance is I recently had to prepare a plot of 25 x 25 metres to establish a lawn. The plot was full of Ivy and the roots continually clogged up the tines. Not the end of the world but it made a short job a long one.
Hope of use
David :)
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Allan
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Postby Allan » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:10 am

I have a Mantis sitting idle,with some etceteras, never could master the starting, anyone who knows how to manage it had better make me an offer. it certainly isn't wear and tear that's killed it. It's had a new fuel filter and several new plugs.
Allan
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John
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Postby John » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:15 pm

Hello again All
As I said in my previous posting, I would strongly recommend a 4-stroke engined version of these mini-tiller machines. They're quieter, less vibration, less oily exhaust smell, easy to start and no tiresome fuel mixing needed. You will need to do an oil change though every so often. My Honda FG200 (similar to the Mantis) is a great machine. Always fires up on the first pull and is very quiet, powerful and smooth running. I see a 4-stroke engine is available on the Mantis but at extra cost.

John
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jim bob
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Postby jim bob » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:24 pm

lets just say 4 stroke (GOOD) 2 stroke (BADDDDD)
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nog
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Postby nog » Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:29 pm

The Anti flash guard tends to clog on them and it when it does it will flood on starting. The Anti flash is the silver card/fibre cover over the exaust. It has little holes in it. Take it off clean it. pull out the choke gove the tit a few pumps and off you go.
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