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Comments regarding Mantis Tools

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30 positives
9 neutrals
18 negatives


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Positive Eric_OH
(55 reviews)
On Nov 23, 2005, Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

My experience with the Mantis tiller has been very good.

I've done extensive sod-busting and created several large gardens under less than ideal conditions, and the tiller is a workhorse that has never needed repairs in eight years. It is easy to use, though it does take a firm guiding hand in heavy clay soil (and if used for long periods to break sod, you might vibrate for a couple hours afterward ;).Excellent machine.

I ordered directly from the company and had a good experience.

(2 reviews)
On Nov 22, 2005, DOUGHEAD Carlsbad, NM wrote:

Bought my Mantis, but didn't use it for 3 years (unfortunatly)...When I did, it was one BIG disappointment...I use it because I have to...haven't had the starting problems as much as some, although does seem to be getting harder to start...the Throttle is a MENACE...when you hit a hard spot or something hard, the unit starts to bounce, thus you tighten your grip and the throttle speeds up, making it MORE dangerous...maybe it's all me, but can't control the speed, when tilling, using the back & forth motion, still piles EVERYTHING up behind it, instead of digging it into the ground...I have planter boxes, so when I get to the end, it leaves a big hole...tines aren't suppose to break but have broken one or two...
The Edger isn't even a your money...the crevice piece is non-efficient...does a somewhat job, only...
It was one of the BIGGEST WASTES OF MONEY I have ever done....learned the hard way....I will NOT ever recommend them to anyone...
the unit is NOT EASY for a "senior" to use....I have a large tiller that is just as easy to man-handle as the Mantis...for the price, buy a large tiller.....not that much difference...
The Mantis tiller is, OVER RATED, OVER PRICED & LOUSY....

On Nov 22, 2005, Mantis Tools responded with:


On Nov 23, 2005 4:29 PM, Mantis Tools added:

Dear Doughead:

The Mantis Tiller comes with a one year from date of purchase money-back guarantee when purchased directly from our factory. We'll even send UPS to your door to pick it up, as long as you box it up.

In addition, our tilling/cultivating tines come with a lifetime guarantee against breakage. Should a tine break, all you need to do is ship the broken one back and we will replace it at no charge.

The Mantis tiller is designed to be used in a simple backĖand-forth motion, however if the tiller is kept in the same spot, with the throttle pressed, the tiller will absolutely dig a hole and if the loose dirt is removed, a deeper hole can be dug.

As with any new piece of equipment, it takes a few practice sessions to get the full benefit from it. Using a lighter touch on the throttle, and taking smaller ďbitesĒ will lessen the bouncing.

The Border Edger attachment, a free premium with a factory-direct order, is designed to make a more defined edge between any pieces of landscaping. The edger becomes more defined and neater with frequent and continued use of the attachment. The Border Edger attachment is not designed to cut overhanging landscaping or trim back overgrowth.

Any of our Customer Service Representatives would be happy to discuss the tiller operation with you; however, we have no information on how to get in touch with you. Please call us at 800-366-6268 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., eastern time.

We would like the opportunity to help you.

Mantis Customer Service


Positive notmartha
(15 reviews)
On Sep 29, 2005, notmartha Bay City, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have owned a mantis 2stroke and 4stroke tiller and both have been great machines-I have put them to the test working 8hr days with only a few breaks ;) Very easy to start and use. Light weight and easy to operate. Great machines-i prefer the 4stroke myself.
I also own a little wonder lawn vac its a great machine. Powerful turns the yard leaves and branches to mulch or compost material-easy.
Had no trouble with a mountain dew can or plastic butter dish!
***keep toes and fingers away from suction area***


Positive akonkle
(3 reviews)
On May 27, 2005, akonkle wrote:

Purchased my Mantis from an online ebay seller . 279.00 including shipping. Thus far I have turned over a 20X20 garden area, several smaller flower beds and a 30x5 bed for landscaping.

It even cut through my clayey sod.

Hopefully it continues to perform year after year. I would recommend it to anyone who has has a smaller garden. The edger attachment is great for cleaning up sidewalk edges.

Positive Joan
(32 reviews)
On Mar 28, 2005, Joan Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have had my mantis tiller for 3 years. I bought it from a local dealer, and it was used for 1 year as a demo prior to my buying it.

I love that little tiller! I will never be without one again. It's so light and versatile that I can use it in small places to dig a hole, weed, or spread a pile of compost out. We have a tiller that goes behind our garden tractor, and that's great for the first working of the veggie garden in the spring, but not good for anything else and cumbersome to put on and take off. I love my mantis because I can quickly grab it and take care of a project.

(1 review)
On Feb 28, 2005, TABLESAWTIM Bakersfield, CA wrote:

In the distant past I used a five horse tiller. It was too heavy to maneuver and rough on the arms and body in general. It also compacts the soil excessively!

We live on five Acers in a flood plain, and the soil is large sand, stones, and boulders (most stones are the size of medium sized balling balls and smaller) with a thin layer of topsoil place there by the contractor.

The Mantis Tiller will pull those medium sized stones out with ease. Now I know that this is very hard on the Mantis, but Iím NOT going to dig these things out with a shovel! Iíve got better things to do than take several weeks to dig and search the earth for stones.

When I encounter a boulder, I simply -Mantis- around the circumference, removing soil, until I can get enough exposure for a backhoe to remove it without doing a great deal of damage to the surrounding shrubs, flowers, and trees.

Well, I bought the Mantis in ď97Ē and needed to change the fuel tank twice because I left the Mantis out in the sun for two years, and broke one myself. I also had to buy two sets of tiller tines because I chew them down to nubs, but it takes years to accomplish the ware-down. Incredible!

Iíve also never changed the transmission grease.

This is the best tool for ground gardening.

The company is great to work with, and guides you to parts/repair companies that they've had good reviews for. Iíve used two different companies that theyíve suggested in the past, for parts. Iíve worked with several of the employees at the small company, ďMantisĒ, and all of them arenít highly knowledgeable. Thatís why they are employees. They do try though. Iíve been extremely satisfied with there service.

I was looking at these posts an hour ago, and I was excited to here that they have an electric unit, that I did a web search for the electric model and just bought two a few minutes ago and a new gas powered. I also purchased several attachments to aid in the ease of use of my little buddies.

The reason I got another gas unit is not because itís not treating me right anymore, but because Iím going to retire the old motor for a remote control hovercraft. This motor is going to go on for ever!

Positive violabird
(8 reviews)
On Feb 21, 2005, violabird Barnesville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I am so surprized to hear the negative comments! I've had 3 Mantis tillers in the last 15 years or so. My first one lasted 10 years, I still have my 2nd and bought the electric last year. I absolutely love the electric, less noise, no smell and I love the 3 speeds too. I thought the cord would be a pain, but it's well worth it (and convinced me to get an electric weedwacker.) I thought of selling my other one, but will keep it for the more inaccessible spots.

I have some hard red clay with shale and rocks mixed in, other than a mattock, my tiller is the only way to get into it. I never use a shovel to dig holes anymore, my Mantis does it all and mixes in the ammendments so easy.

I've had to call the company twice in all this time, and feel I was treated very well. (BTW, they sell a kit to make the gas tillers start easier now). I've also found a few dealers in my area that can work on them if needed. I'd recommend the company for their tillers (and I do) to all my friends.

Positive MichaelGorski
(8 reviews)
On Sep 5, 2004, MichaelGorski Indianola,
United States wrote:

I have owned my Mantis tiller for about 4 years now. I have never had a problem starting it, nor have I had any problems mechanically. It has tilled a 36' X 16' garden twice a year, each year. In addition, I have used it on numerous smaller areas around my house that probably needed a bigger tiller. Perhaps there was a bad "batch" of tillers, but my experience has been nothing but positive.

Neutral Sequee
(3 reviews)
On Sep 5, 2004, Sequee Carmel, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I like the little guy. Works well, though it isn't very easy to start. And watch out for the assembly instructions. They clearly state how to assemble it - with the handle on backwards! Great if you want to till backwards! I was warned by a friend that her husband (who owns a landscaping business) had a problem with assembly, so I had the Maintenance Director where I work assemble it for me. Yup - backwards. I called Mantis to let them know there was a problem with their written instructions, but they said, "No, the instructions are fine. You made a mistake." Whatever...

Negative grhalejr
(2 reviews)
On Sep 5, 2004, grhalejr Grand Prairie, TX wrote:

I have owned two Manis tillers. I am happy with the work they do, and I didn't have any trouble with them starting as others seem to have had.

I bought my first Mantis tiller about ten or twelve years ago. It ran fine and did the work I expected of it for about five or six years. One day while tilling, the tines just stopped turning. It was apparent that the problem was in the transmission (broken cog, etc.) I took it to over ten shops in my area (there were no approved shops at that time). None of them could make repairs, even the shop where I purchased it. I bought another Mantis tiller (same model) from the same supplier. It worked well until this year.

About two months past the tines of this tiller stopped turning. Obivious the same problem as with the first tiller. Again I tried to get it repaired locally. No luck. Called Mantis. Lady who advised she was CEO of the repair section advised me to send it to them and she would give me "consideration", and assigned a "service number" for me to refer to. I sent it to them. About $17.00 shipping cost.

Got a call in about three weeks. Man said the tiller needed a new transmission ($135.00, if I am not mistaken) plus an overhaul of the engine ($95.00, if I am not mistaken). I asked him about what the woman had told me. He had no answer. I told him I would not spend that much on the tiller or even wanted it back. I purchased a similar tiller (which seems to do a better job for me than the Mantis did, even though it is a little heavier) at Sears for $189.00, less than the repair would have cost.

I received the tiller back yesterday (in the same package I shipped it in). My label was still on one side of the box (Xed out) while their shipping label had been placed on the opposite side of the box. Upon examing the box it was evident that they had not EVEN opened my box. The tape I had used to close and secure the box was still in place and had not been cut. The parts of tiller in the box were EXACTLY as I have packed them.

They are liars. I don't mind so much being ripped off by repair personal, but I don't like being lied to. There was no way they could have determined what was needed to be done without at least LOOKING at the tiller by opening the box.

Oh, yes, the CEO of repair advised me of a local shop which she said was the authorized repair shop. This shop has been closed over two years.

It really looks like no one in the Mantis operation knows anything about anything except sales. This situation can ruin what could be a great machine.

Gordon R. Hale
Grand Prairie, Texas

Negative suzi53
(1 review)
On Sep 4, 2004, suzi53 Eugene, OR wrote:

I agree with GGP, Merdith22, Weedkicker and mantis tiller also was ok (a little hard to start) the first year seemed to work good. I didn't need it the 2nd year but tried and couldn't get it started the 3rd year..tried all things recommended..finally gave up and used my shovel. This year I was determined to use it I NEEDED IT for a tough unturned area........well after numerous attempts of trying to get it keep it running, we took it to a shop and they finally got it was not easy for them either...they mentioned could have been bad or old gas..NOT TRUE...we checked all that ( in fact it was winterized) they really didn't know why it wouldn't start or why it was so hard. My husband was able to turn an area for me...a few weeks later I was gonna use won't start...I called Mantis and they gave me all these trouble shooters to check......Ok tried that, I'm frustrated after all that and a trip to the shop. I just want a machine that will work. I'm not a senior yet but the ad sshows it is great for senior citizens that is a lie..its hard to hold to get it started (my experience the 1st year). My machine is a piece of and Mantis won't replace it even with a used one..they said for $95 I could ship it to them and they'd look at it. I have no good words about the tiller, the company or its customer service..except they are polite to decline any requests. They are trained well. I'll never buy or recommend their products!!!!!! Unsatisfied consumer here.

Neutral GGP
(1 review)
On Mar 26, 2004, GGP wrote:

I purchased a MANTIS tiller about 3 years ago and I also have experienced hard starting and poor performance (bogging).

Being an electro-mechanical engineer, I made some quick checks and found the spark was barely sufficient but figured it was just a cheap mag-coil in a $400 tiller and it did run so I let it go at that.

After about 6 hours run time (2hr per year on my small garden) the spark faded-out and the engine went dead-- permanently.

I have registered my complaint with Mantis and sent the coil back to them for inspection with a note expecting them to replace this defective coil.

Others who have experienced poor engine performance should check for weak spark. This tiller is very easy to work on and owners should try to fix any problems themselves; I talked to two dealers here in San Diego and neither had a clue and one actually tried to sell me another brand of tiller !!

I will post another note here when Mantis resolves this situation.

Negative Meredith22
(6 reviews)
On Mar 6, 2004, Meredith22 Port Saint Lucie, FL wrote:

Have had my (gas powered) Mantis tiller for nearly 5 years. The first spring it worked great, no problems. The second spring, after storing properly over the winter and maintaining well, I began having problems with it starting and keeping running. Every year since then has been more and more difficult to the point where now, five years and very little use later, I'm ready to scrap the darn thing! Contrary to what their customer service told me, replacement parts and professional diagnosis/repairs are not available locally. (Do it yourself repairs for even simple parts are not easy.) Mantis needs to keep their authorized parts and repair centers updated. Even when I told Mantis the local dealers hadn't carried Mantis parts for years, they refused to make a note of this in their records.

I have made note of another reviewer's decision to purchase an electric Mantis tiller to replace the gas powered model he'd had similar problems to mine with. But I do not want to give this company another dime and thus will go elsewhere to find a suitable replacement.

Positive weedkicker
(12 reviews)
On Jan 23, 2004, weedkicker wrote:

I gardened with the Mantis tiller (gas powered) for about 5 years. While it is a neat little tiller I had a lot of problems keeping it running after the first year. Had to tune it constantly. After the second year the spring return mechanism for the pull starter broke and had to be replaced. (Don't try that at home!)
I really liked the tiller, but got very tired of trying to keep it running, so last year I purchased the electric powered Mantis, and so far I absolutely love it! Sure, it's a pain to drag a cord around, but the thing starts first time, every time, and when it comes time to store it for the winter I don't have to "prep" anything. Just hang it up and walk away.
The electric version also has one terrific feature that the gas powered version doesn't have, and that is a speed selector. The ability to control the speed is REALLY, REALLY useful when using the tiller to dig weeds around live plants, or to till next to borders. I didn't dare do either with the gas powered version.
So far I am very pleased with the electric Mantis. It seems every bit as powerful (if not more so) than the gas powered version, and to my mind a whole lot more convenient. Guess time will tell how long the motor lasts.

Positive hopflower
(27 reviews)
On Jul 26, 2003, hopflower Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This year in early Spring, I invested in a Mantis Tiller...the 20 lb. wonder that is so often advertised, and it is indeed a little worker. The whole package arrived in a compact box; I could not believe how they got everything inside, but it was all there and more: the complete manual, an order packet for more parts (both replacement and extra) and assembly instructions were all tucked into the box around the tiller. I had already received a free tape from the company by filling out one of those cards that Mantis puts in garden catalogues. It was a sales promotion tape that describes how the tiller works and what it can do in the garden backed with testimonials by satisfied customers. I had my doubts: our soil is full of crabgrass and other weeds and tends to be somewhat clay, as is the rest of the county's. That afternoon, I went down and got the correct oil and gas mixture for the motor, planning to get started in the garden with it that weekend.

I could not believe the miracles that little tiller worked in my hard-packed garden! It does all that it says easily, it just took a little getting used to for me to handle a tiller...about 15 minutes and I was going like a real farmer! I dug up weeds (I had to stop literally about every 5 minutes though, or the crabgrass would get wound around the tines; best to pull it out to avoid stress on the tiller's engine)and added compost and well-rotted manure to my soil. It was fun to use and worked very well to get my garden area ready for the summer.

My Mantis tiller is well worth the investment. I even did a friend's garden, who exclaimed she had not seen her garden's soil like that in years! I am glad I bought it and would recommend it to everyone and anyone wanting a light, comfortable and hard working tiller for a small to medium garden.

If only it had the power to change the weather!

Positive kik_it2
(3 reviews)
On Jul 25, 2003, kik_it2 wrote:

I bought the 20 lb. tiller and I love it!!! I have a hard time with controlling big tillers, and this one is perfect for me. It is great between the rows too. Digs fast and easy. I couldn't ask for anything better!

Neutral LindaShopher
(2 reviews)
On Feb 1, 2001, LindaShopher wrote:

My husband gave me a Mantis tiller for my birthday about four years ago. We ordered via the mail system. It worked great the first year. I was absolutely thrilled that I could start it so easily and transport it so effortlessly. The next season is another story. In the middle of using it one day, it went dead. I had plenty of fuel in it. Yes, it was the correctly mixed fuel. My husband has operated chain saws for years, so that was no problem. I re-started it. In went dead again. After many exhaustive tries, I gave up. We have taken it to the local small engine repairman in our town, plus I drove fifty miles to an authorized dealer to have it repaired. It's the same story. Get it out of the shop, it starts fine. Start to till with it, it goes dead and then is impossible to start or keep running. We paid over four hundred dollars for it, plus all therepair bills which by the way have amounted to almost another two hundred dollars. I have called the 1-800 number to speak to their representative who advised me to take it to the authorized dealer/repairman. I hate that Ihave spent that much money and have not gotten any satisfaction from this product. My husband told me today he was going to buy another one for me, not a Mantis. We will shop around and do some comparison. I guess we should have done that before buying the Mantis.

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