I would stay away from composters made of metal and from Mantis®. My E-mail to Mantis customer service went unanswered, and a call lead to only futile apologies. My ask to Mantis was for a discount on the pertinent replacement panels or a new composter. Mantis' response was an apologetic "no". One would think Mantis' customer service would be commensurate with the $600 cost of their ComposT-Twin, but unfortunately it is not. Based on my experience, I strongly advise you consider other composters and manufacturers.
kmdubow Kennett Square, United States (2 reviews) January 16, 2018
After purchasing my third composter (two were gifts) I figured I better review the product. I've had my composter for 7 years (received it as a wedding present) and have used it faithfully, each season, with no issues.
I love the ease of tumbling, the ability to fit a shovel in the opening, that it is raised off the ground so I dont have to bend over and how quickly I can make compost!
Our family creates enough compost during the year to fill my spring garden beds and grow healthy, organic veggies all summer!
maineherbs Corinth, ME (2 reviews) February 16, 2011
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS PRODUCT! I purchased the compost twin for a special birthday present for an avid, professional, gardener. It was put together following poor directions. Finally after many hours of labor and following directions we could not put the composter together because they sent the wrong rods. We called and were given a very hard time about trying to get the right rods. We told them they could have the machine back and they decided they would finally send the right parts. It was more than two more weeks before they sent the right parts. So again we spent hours and hours putting the compost twin together. Finally the machine was in place. Hooray we thought, an easy way to make our compost. NOT!!!!!!! We followed directions for adding green materials, the activator we bought from them that they recomended, etc. We turned the "mess", etc., and followed directions to a "T". All we got was a dripping, horrid smelling mess. When we added new greens and activator the STENCH was horrific. No compost, just a nasty mix of rotting vegetation, etc. We tried the second barrel and the same thing happened. The only thing we cultivated with our mess - you could never call it compost, was a family of skunks!! The twin composter constantly leaked and attracted vermin. We did not dare open our door at night because we placed the twin composter right outside one of our greenhouses, that happened to be near our residence. If the twin composter worked as advertised this would never have been a problem. BUT---No matter what we did, spraying down, adding fresh green materials from the gardens, adding the activator, etc., nothing worked. We have never been able to make anything close to what is advertised - compost my foot. Or maybe I should say my skunks feet. My neighbor watched as a family of five skunks crossed the street to get to our twin composter. They loved the horrid smelly liquid that constantly leaked from it. We are sending it back, and to top off the insult of having to deal with all this mess and expense, they are requiring us to find a return method and to pay for it. The composter and the company both need improvement. I am going back to the old fashioned, inexpensive, compost maker. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY ON THIS JUNK.
I like the fact that the Mantis ComposT-Twin has two separate chambers for composting. When starting a new batch in an empty chamber, one or two shovels full of good soil or finished compost seems to provide all of the microbes necessary to get the compost cooking fast. I also like the convenience of being able to empty the contents direclty into my laodumper cart without having to use a shovel or fork. And, since the ComposT-Twin is totally enclosed, I can easily control the moisture content.
Campfiredan Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) (8 reviews) January 4, 2009
I had the older big single bin tumbler back in the 80s and it worked great. But the two bin drum, though the concept sounds good, doesn't do the job quite as well. The bins are a bit too small to heat up right most of the time. And, when one is full and getting a bit moist and you are filling the other it gets hard to turn the drums as the combined weight is pretty hefty. If I were to do it over again, and I thought I needed two bins, I buy two separate big drum bins instead.
On the other hand the big diameter bin drum, if I recall, had less clearance between the ground and the drum bottom. But even with more clearance on this smaller diameter one my large wheel barrel and garden cart don't fit under the cross bar. I had to add 4 pieces of galvanized conduit between the top assembly and bottom assembly to raise the whole thing about 6 inches. That works quite well for me but for a shorter person having the drum six inches higher would make the loading door too high. So the tumbler appears to be designed well to fit as many body heights as possible. But be sure your wheel barrel fits under it or get a smaller garden wagon to unload.
Anyhow, even though I'm not supremely pleased with its composting ability and I had to alter the height I make VERY good use of it as a potting soil mixer so I claim to be a happy camper and give it a positive review.
I bought my Mantis ComposT Twin about 8 years ago. It was easy to put together, the Mantis Company personnel were friendly and helpful.
We've been successfully composting for 8 years and it's great. No pitchfork required, No backaches afterward. You can order replacement screens and replacement plastic vents (especially if the squirrels like what's cookin' inside and decide they want to peep inside.) In 8 years, we've only had to order one replacement vent due to squirrels. After awhile, the squirrels leave it alone.
You open the bottom of the composter with a wheel barrel underneath of it, and you're good to go. It's great that one side can be cooking, and you can add new scraps to the other side.
A must have for the serious recycler. Between paper/cardboard recycling, glass & cans recycling, plastic recycling,and now with the Mantis ComposT Twin with kitchen and yard recycling....we only have to put regular trash out once a month....
I've had my Compostwin for a year now, and I'm very pleased. Compost does not completely digest in a few weeks for me, but if I was in the garden every day, turning it, had the perfect combination of bacteria and materials, and didn't keep adding materials, that might be another story. My only beef with a composter of this type, is no wonderful wormies can get in and work their magic. I love worms in the soil....
DO NOT BUY ComposTwin FROM AMAZON.COM!! For some reason they cannot process the fact that the item ships in THREE cases. I am rating the company Neutral because the issue was with Amazon and NOT MANTIS. In fact after 3 attempts (I still only have 2 boxes) and 4 months I am just cancelling my order with Amazon getting a refund and ordering directly from Mantis. Yes, I now have to pay shipping. It is worth the money just to not deal with Amazon and e-mailing back and forth with their customer service!
I purchased a mantis twin composter 5 years ago. The assembly instructions are good, and it was not difficult to put together with two people.
After three years of use a plastic turning cog failed and we ordered new ones. They came, but were not identical to the original and the stand had to be again disassembled and redone a second time, but was workable after a friend helped modify the space needed for the part.
The hinges on the doors are the weakest part (a tab that goes in a slot on the drum) and the hinges broke off after a few years use. Rather than pay for new doors, the same friend put a different type of hinge on. Otherwise the system has held up and it is out in the weather (some severe extremes) year round.
I have never gotten compost in a few weeks, but if you have back problems, or physical limitations and are determined to compost, in several months time the compost twin will give you compost with less physical effort than other systems.
Got the Compost-Twin. Fast service. Well packaged. Solid, strong parts. Actually fun to put together. Very detailed assembly instructions. Nice looking finished product.
Now I'm ready to enrich my garden with black gold! Hope it works.
Karen Thomasville, PA (Zone 6b) (6 reviews) May 28, 2002
We called ahead to tell them we'd be traveling 125 miles to purchase two of their composters and asked how we could reserve them. They assured us there were plenty in stock and there was no need to reserve them. I called two days before making the trip to make sure there was no problem and got the same response. They weren't even willing to take a deposit for them.
We made the trip only to have a young girl at the desk inform us that she hoped we didn't want to take one of those home with us because they just sold the last one. Things went downhill from there. She insisted we'd have to pay the high costs of shipping and her product knowledge was pathetic. We asked to speak with a manager. She went into the back office and came out to tell us that the manager said he'd pick up the shipping, but that he was not available. We never received as much as an I'm sorry for the inconvenience. There's much more, but I don't wish to bore you more than I am.
We were going on to a 4 hour meeting for my husband and my plan was to get the tape and book that comes with the composters out of the box during his meeting so that watch the tape in our van and read the book. I asked her if I could get a tape from her. Of course, she told us that we'd have to pay for it, which we thought was a bit much since they'd screwed up so badly, but we did. She assured us that it would have all of the information I was wanting to learn about how to compost and that the book wouldn't give me a whole lot more. We got to the van and thought maybe we should check out the tape. It was nothing more than a 3 minute sales tape and no composting information at all!!!
We returned the tape and asked for the book instead. She insisted that we'd picked up the wrong tape, when in fact she had looked at it before send us out the door with it. Well the book cost another $5.00. We left there thinking maybe we should get our money back and pretend we'd never heard of this company.
When our units arrived the box was open and there was a part missing. We got a very nice service technician on the phone after being on hold for 10 minutes. He quickly sent us the part. While on the phone with him, we told him of our experience. He insisted that we leave a message on the managers voice mail and that he knew the manager would call us back under the circumstances. We did not get a call. About ten days passed and we started receiving copies of their sales tapes (the same one they charged us for) and so we called to ask them to lose our names and while on the phone my husband asked to speak with the general manager. Of course, he was not available. My husband said on his voice message, "I don't know if it is your way of doing business not to return calls, but you did not return mine." About 15 minutes later, we got a call. It was fairly courteous, but we feel it was also unproductive.
We have the two units and are using them, but it's too early to know if they work as described. We can tell you that it says in the literature that you will have great useable mulch in two weeks and the book they sale says if anyone tells you that, they are not telling you the truth. Need I say more.On August 20th, 2007, Karen added the following:
I should have followed up a long time ago on this. We returned the unites because they did not do what it was promised they would.