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Comments regarding Mantis Tools

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30 positives
9 neutrals
18 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Positive plips
(3 reviews)
On Aug 8, 2019, plips Dumbarton, VA wrote:

Gosh. There are more neutral and negative ratings than positive. I have an operating Mantis Tiller, it was given to me in the early 90s, it was used and had been used hard from the mid-late 80s. And I donít mean once a year, but at least once a week in hard clay, mud, rocks, and the orneriest tree roots ever. It has dug many a hole and has been walked backwards who knows how many miles. I know because I saw it in use and knew the individual before me and I know how it was used with me. Thus it is probably 35 years old with 20-25 yrs of frequent use. The tines are the original onesócotter pins replaced umpteen times because I lose them. Folks who say they have issues with the tines breaking and bending - it seems almost impossible but I reckon they could be using thinner metal. And sharpening doesnít seem to be needed. It just seems indestructible. It has been in the shop twice - needed a new pull cord and something - kicked back, and the bad gas issue. It just never had a issue until ...the gas changed to the 10% ethanol. I believe there are 3 problems with these tillers and most is due to people. 1) folks donít pay attention on how to mix gas and oil for 2 cycle engines, nor do they pay attention to the manufacturers recommended ratio of 2 cycle oil mix to gas. They can range quite a bit- donít assume. (see website below) Mantis now has 4 cycle models so you donít have to make a mix. 2) The newer higher % ethanol gas has been the ruination of many a mechanical engine. Folks, you absolutely must keep fresh gas in your equipment and use stabilizer if it sits for more than 30 days. And for winter storage run it empty and store with completely fresh gas and or gas/oil mix or figure on doing a frequent tuneups and being eternally aggravated. 20+ yrs ago, the most you had to worry about with lawnmowers, tillers, chainsaws, tractors, etc, was the gas varnished up but most times you put fresh gas in, let it sit for little bit to dissolve the deposits and it fired up and if not, a tuneup would take care of it but usually wasnít an issue unless it sat for a couple of years in a hot shed and the gas evaporated into a gummy varnished mess. But todayís gas has such a high amount of ethanol that it turns bad fast. Ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water from the atmosphere. Water and ethanol are corrosive, which is bad news for older tanks, fuel lines, and carburetors. Ethanol can also do nasty things to rubber seals. To me, when ethanol gas goes really bad, it smells like a vase of old flowers where the greenery has rotted....phew! And according to several engine repair folks I know, they caution if you believe the stabilizers that proclaim to keep gas fresh for 18-24 months -they will get to make lots of money off of you or have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. The recommendation is to always use stabilizer and try to make sure the gas is completely changed out at least once a month - preferably every 2 weeks as they have seen gas go bad in a month depending on storage, and quality including the quality of the stabilizer. Make sure to always mix the stabilizer into an empty gas can at the right amount not into the fuel tank of your equipment. Then for your 2 cycle engine, use the amended fuel to mix up the 50:1 gas/oil mix or whatever ratio your manual calls for in a separate empty can appropriately labeled 2 cycle so you donít forget - it is easy to do so. If you are reading this, then you can contact the company or look up the manual to get the right amount. Donít use auto motor oil (too many additives), only use 2 cycle mix, donít guess when mixing, put the oil in first, then the gas and shake well at each use. Donít mix up more than you can use in 30 days w/o stabilizer, or 3 Months with stabilizer if you start with fresh gas and stabilizer. Here are other great tips and how much to use mix to gas depending on required ratio from Gold Eagle (2 cycle tips): [[email protected]]

Then there is one final issue with Mantis that has been around forever. You heard me say, my Mantis has never had an issue (until the gas changeover and I had to learn) but that isnít to say I can start it. I very seldom can start it - and had problems even when younger (me). However, neither my brother-in-law, nor the next door neighbor (both @ 6í) ever had an issue - pull the cord once or twice and away she went. Iím 4í11, the girl I got it from was taller probably 5í6+. Another friend who used it...also tall...no issue. It was just me. Sometimes, once it was started and running, I could restart it as long as it didnít sit for long but not always. We are convinced it is the angle I pull the rope. Now, my grandfather and great-uncle - both good height men who had started everything under the sun - had difficulty. But I noticed they had more issues with all mowers, etc. where in their 80s and before certainly didnít. I believe due to issues with shoulders and backs (as I also have) they also pulled the rope at a different angle. The difference was they could finally start itó I never could. I loved this tiller, still do but I have to have someone start it for me. Thus it now sits because I hate to ask someone to drive across town to do so.

I know folks with the electric and cordless versions and they arenít on the same level as the gas engine ones. It really depends on your soil. What I don't understand is why Mantis hasnít come out with an electric start for this tiller. It is crazy with the growing senior population and the less mechanically inclined younger generation to not have an electric start on the gas engine as other companies have done. They have come up with a 4 cycle- donít know anything about it though. But I think the genius behind this tiller is itís 2 cycle walk backwards platform. Donít ask me why tines going backwards makes sense- I donít know and I donít like this but it works and digs like a son of a gun, chopping through roots, rocks etc. Now that isnít to say, you wonít still spend a lot of time cutting it off, pulling the spark plug, and unwinding the roots from the shaft. It is easy to pull the cotter pin, remove the tine and just slide the tangled mess off but I keep losing the cotter pin. I was buying them 5 at a time. Finally painted them red nail polish to help find where I put them down - works for a while til it chips off. Also discovered 2 pairs of garden pants had pocket holes.

Anyway, these tillers use to be great, and I wouldnít understand why the new 2 cycle type ones wouldnít be the same today. Like I say I have heard the electric/battery arenít the same for tough situations and I donít know anything about the 4 cycle. Maybe they are having them made out of cheaper materials but honestly I couldnít see why - there isnít that much material in them. I wouldnít hesitate to buy a used one if it runs - donít ever believe the ďit just needs a tune upĒ. If that is the case have them get it tuned up, if it runs, pay for the tuneup and the purchase, probably needed it anyway. If it doesnít run or they refuse - there is your answer - look elsewhere. If super cheap like $25 or somewhere under $50 and you work on engines -you might take a chance. A tuneup use to be around $60 but everywhere is different.

The big point I want to make if you want to buy one - is find a local dealer and make sure you can start one (cold) unannounced. If you have trouble but can start your mower etc, try a couple of times to get the hang and if you still canít get start one then you have a decision. Do you have someone to start it for you, if so, buy it. If not, you may have to get the electric type but donít expect it to perform the same - in my opinion. Second, make sure you follow the manual to the letter on everything but especially on the proper mix/gas ratio. Use stabilizer in your gas prior to making up your mix. All your equipment will run better. And then always run the equipment pretty empty but donít leave it to sit empty for the winter or any extended period of time without stabilized fuel. For storage over the winter you will have best performance if you use fresh from the pump gas mixed with fresh 2 cycle engine oil mix and fresh bought stabilizer (it expires too) and fill the tank as full as you can so that oxygen canít get it and you wonít have condensation. Donít forget to start it back up to pull the fresh everything through the engine and run a couple minutes. In the spring, it should start right up. If not, pull some of the fuel out into an empty container, add fresh gas in the tank, slosh it around, let it sit for a couple of minutes and try again - should start fine. Note, anytime any gas engine will sit more than 3 months and certainly more than 6 months - it should be emptied out and have your shop blow everything out so there isnít a drop of fuel sitting in it.

I hope this will help some folks. And donít forget to check the link above from Gold Eagle. And buy a high quality stabilizer with a unexpired date. The longer the date is from purchase, the fresher it is. Keep in mind the expiration date is for unopened product maintained in cool, dry, dark location. Itís like ultra pasteurized milk with a long ďuse byĒ datesóonce opened all bets are off and you have 5-7 days +/- for best taste. Donít store stabilizer in your hot shed, I keep mine under the kitchen counter and buy the smallest bottles to mix with the smallest amount of gas I know I will use in 30 days or less. It might not be as convenient but neither is having to take equip to the shop or tear it down in your garage and it is certainly cheaper for prevention rather than repair.

Positive uhclem
(1 review)
On Mar 20, 2017, uhclem Lawrence, KS wrote:

We've been using our Mantis electric for well over the five-year warranty period. Every spring it kicks up the soil in our small raised vegetable garden, mixing it with peat moss and/or compost to a deep, fine tilth. We get quite bit of production from a small space this way.

The Mantis may not be so great for breaking new ground or heavy tasks or big areas, but for annual maintenance tilling of smaller areas it's great. Ditto the edging attachment Ė it handles our sidewalk and driveway like a champ.

Positive jenmeneke
(1 review)
On Jun 30, 2013, jenmeneke Watertown, MN wrote:

Just want to say the TwoManBand's explanation to clean the carb jets FINALLY SOLVED my problem. I was at my wits end. I'd rebuilt the carb, replaced the fuel filter, lines, primer bulb and starter switch. The machine continued to bog when I pressed the throttle. Using Twomanband's instructions, I removed the carb jets, cleaned them and replaced them. MAGIC! It works again. I can't thank you enough!

Positive PeerOne
(2 reviews)
On Jun 25, 2012, PeerOne Clinton, CT wrote:

I'd like to give Mantis a Super rating! Back in early 1986, I bought my father a mantis tiller for about $300. He had had a heart attack and couldn't use the old large tiller anymore-he was 74 yrs. at the time. Dad passed away in '96 and I inherited the tiller! About 11 years later, the Mantis also passed away. I called the company about purchacing another, but wondered if I could get one that was easier to start than the old one. I had trouble adjusting the choke and at age 58, my arm got tired from pulling the starter rope! The wonderful lady I spoke to told me I could get an electric one that was more powerful than the gas model! I could also send in the engine off the old one and I could save $75.00!! I don't think the price of the electric was much different from what I paid in '86!! So, I got out my husband's tool box and got busy and mailed the part and my check and am happily tilling away today. I kept the edger that came with the original and use that on the flower beds. The only thing I don't use is the "kick stand" that came with the new one. I never seem to put the thing down once I get started!!
I want to thank Mantis for such a great product. They really know how to run a wonderful company and are very friendly to their customers. If you want a powerful small tiller, don't think twice, buy a Mantis! You'll be happy you did.

Positive beaker99
(1 review)
On Feb 13, 2012, beaker99 Portville, NY wrote:

I had a problem after running my mantis for over an hour. When I shut it down, it would start and run no more then 10 seconds. Remembering this is a 2-cycle engine, the first place I looked was at the spark arrester screen located under the muffler. Sure enough, It was plugged solid. No light at all looking thru. I removed the screen and used a propane torch to burn must of the residue off, followed by a light wire brush cleaning. After I reassembled the screen and muffler, I started right up and worked well for the rest of the season. Any 2 cycle engine may have this problem Chainsaws are notorious for this, Often the screen is removed and not even replaced. It is a 'safety???' feature, and runs fine without it. Hope this hint helps somebody. Happy Gardening!!

Positive 2manband
(1 review)
On Feb 1, 2012, 2manband Camp Hill, PA wrote:

It seems that a lot of the problems people are having center around carb adjustments on the 2 stroke model. I've just finished some carb work to bring my used Mantis back to life and thought some of my experiences would be helpful to others.

The biggest cause of failure for small engines like this is fuel breakdown and clogging, and the most common place for this to occur is in the carb jets. I'm guessing that at least half of the problems reported here are entirely due to this phenomenon. Fortunately on the Mantis, this is a fairly simple maintenance item:

Find the carb jets, and remove the red and white limiter caps. Mine popped off with a little help from a flathead screwedriver. Under the limiter caps is the head of the jet, which will probably have a flathead screw head. On some of these Zama carbs, there is a knurled screw with no slot - these require a special tool which is available from a lot of places online.

No matter what tool is required, get the one that fits properly. Don't mess up the jets by using the wrong tool. Apply the tool to the jet, and run it all the way in, counting the rotations. Don't overtighten it, and when you determine the existing number of rotations, write them down. Then pull both the high and low jet all the way out. I'm not sure if they're different or not, but it would be best not to get them mixed up.

Now you have access to the jet hole. You're going to want to clean this - this is the source of the problem. I used some Carb and Choke cleaner (aerosol can with a straw) to dissolve the gunk and then blew them out with my own breath using a coffee stirrer. If you have an air compressor, that would probably be even better. You'll know you have them cleared if you squirt in another shot of carb cleaner and it dribbles through into air intake (behind the choke flap) If the air isn't enough to do the trick, you could try a thin wire. I'd start with a soft metal like copper, and only turn to steel if that didn't work. The carb body is aluminim (soft) and you don't want to scratch or nick the orifice with a hard (steel) wire. But if you need to do that as a last resort, it's still possible - just be careful.

With the holes cleared, reinstall the jets. Run them in all the way, and then back them out by the number of turns you counted before. If you don't remember, or if they were way off, start with both jets 1 and 1/2 full revolutions out - that should get you in the ballpark.

Since you've gone this far, you might as well replace the spark plug (check the gap first), air filter, etc.

Start the tiller - you may need a shot or 2 of starting fluid or carb cleaner at first if the fuel lines got air in them while you were working. If it will run a few seconds with starter fluid, it should suck the air through and start picking up fuel. You may have to do this several times depending on how much air was picked up.

You may have to start it with the throttle on, or some choke, or whatever, but once you get it running you can fine tune the jets.

Start with the high jet. Find a way to safely run the engine at high rpm's, and give it full throttle. Move the high jet in and out until the engine achieves max RPM's, which should also mean that it's running very smoothly and not missing.

With that done, return the engine to idle. A good idle is a combination of idle speed screw and low mix screw. Start with the idle speed, and let it out until the engine idles without turning the tine shaft. Or if it won't idle, increase the speed by running the screw in until it idles without dying.

Now check the throttle response - how well does the machine move off idle and accelerate. If it does well, you're done. If it hesitates, or bogs down, or stalls while you're doing this, adjust the low mix screw (probably by letting it out) until you get a good response. Letting the mix jet out usually increases the idle speed, so you may need to let the idle speed out some to compensate.

If the engine starts well and responds well but is smokey at idle, or fouls spark plugs quickly (black, tarry deposits on the plug), the low mix is probably too rich, and you'll want to run the low jet in a bit.

If the engine runs well but overheats or stops working after a while, the high mix is probably too lean (this will also cause tan or white fine-crystaline deposits on the plug) You can coorect this by letting the high jet out a bit.

When you're satisfied with the adjustments, pop the limiter caps back on the jet screws and you're good to go.

Understand that all of these adjustments affect the others somewhat, so make them one at a time so you'll know how to go back if something makes it run worse instead of better. Also, these adjustments are fairly sensitive. A quarter turn to half a turn usually does the trick.

You can avoid this exercise for the most part by using fresh gas and running the machine dry when you won't be using it for a while.

It sounds like a lot, but once you do it the fist time, it will become very easy. You'll also find that the majority of small 2 stroke engines work in much the same way, and are prone to exactly the same problems. You can use this procedure to tune many of them.

Happy Tuning, and happy Tilling!



Positive Alfaduetto
(1 review)
On Jun 10, 2010, Alfaduetto Greeneville, TN wrote:

Just repaired my neighbors Mantis tiller a 7222m, 2 cycle model. I think this is typical of most negative experiences I've read here. Fuel was left in during storage. as with any engine, gummed everything up. Cleaned the carb, changed the dissolved gummy fuel line filter and primer bulb, fired right up, idled, and revved as advertised. tilled my garden and it performed flawlessly. Finest garden tool I've ever seen.
Observation, when you store anything more than a month, ESPECIALLY 2 STOKES, drain the gas tank and run until the engine dies. Modern gas is worse than ever on lawn and garden equipment. Ethanol is a demon, it absorbs moisture making carbonic acid and eating everything aluminum and rubber. the gas part turns to varnish and plugs every little fuel metering orifice. Gasohol cannot be stored more than a month, never use old gas especially last years gas. Plastic gas cans and old antifreeze jugs are not gas resistant and add gummy nightmares to the mix as well. Metal cans for 2 stroke fuel will make your life so much easier. Be kind to your 2 stroke and it will be your friend. Bidding on an EBAY Mantis now, love the little diggers.

Positive bethcee
(1 review)
On May 28, 2009, bethcee Saint Paul, MN wrote:

I have an electric Mantis . I have used it for the last 6 years and I absolutely love it. It always starts, being electric. It tills well. It can take some abuse and continues to work It is the best tools purchase I have made (other than my high quality pruners)

Positive GolfnGardener
(2 reviews)
On Apr 1, 2009, GolfnGardener Telford, PA wrote:

This spring will start the 21st year that I've used my Mantis Tiller for garden prep and lawn care. I can't imagine a more useful tiller, and I really like the dethatcher attachment. I've lent my tiller to friends, convinced others to buy one, and I've done a fair amount of charity tilling for neighbors. The reactions are almost universal: first, folks can't believe that such a little tool can do so much; then, as soon as they see it perform, they can't believe how wrong they were. I really think that using the Mantis Tiller is more fun than work. It doesn't always start on the first or second pull; but, it always starts. And, it always performs!

Positive starkey
(1 review)
On Jun 19, 2008, starkey Woolwich, ME wrote:

I've owned a Mantis 2-cycle tiller since 1998. Since new, I've used Opti-2 synthetic oil with stabilizer in the fuel. Some years I've drained the tank; others I haven't. Regardless, it starts every year with about three pulls of the cord, whether the fuel's new or has been stored for eight or nine months. This year, the tiller started and idled as smoothly as ever, and I tilled the garden area with last fall's fuel. Two weeks later, I tried tilling a new area and the tiller stalled as soon as I tried to increase the fuel. Ten years' service with no maintenance is pretty good.

Now, I've readjusted the carburetor according to the instructions, changed the fuel & oil filters and cleaned the muffler screen. The same fuel runs great in the chainsaw, and the Mantis still starts and idles beautifully, so I don't believe it's the fuel, but I changed that for fresh anyway. Same thing: it won't take gas without gagging and stalling - acts like the fuel filter's clogged.

So, I bought a carburetor rebuild kit from the Mantis folks - they were helpful and the parts arrived UPS in the US in a timely manner. But, Mantis offers no instructions on rebuilding the carburetor, and I found this forum while searching for rebuild information online. I'm not a mechanical dunce, but I've never rebuilt a carburetor before, and I'd feel a lot more confident with some guidance. Does anyone know where to find an in-depth maintenance manual for this great little engine?

Overall, my experience with the Mantis is just wonderful. It replaced an 8-hp Troy-Bilt Horse that I used to beat myself half to death with every year, and the Mantis is a joy to use. I get far more work done with it with far less physical effort than I had to put in with the Troy - and with far less fuel. Troy's picture of "one-hand tilling" is something I never experienced. It actually threw me over the handlebars once. Give me a Mantis any day, even one that's misbehaving.

Positive JJCHawk
(4 reviews)
On May 5, 2008, JJCHawk Denver, CO wrote:

I bought the Mantis tiller last year and have used it a lot. I love the little thing and call it "Mighty Mouse". The only problem I have is starting it, because I just can't seem to get the pull action right. If I have my husband start it first and let it run a bit, it's pretty easy for the rest of the day. I am in training to get better at starting it!! It's a great little machine with the heart of a giant. I have to remind myself not to try to use it for really huge tilling jobs... for those I hire someone with an industrial size machine!

Positive HUBS
(1 review)
On Apr 7, 2008, HUBS Rives Junction, MI wrote:

I have run numerous 2 cycle engines for years from 3 cylinder 2 cycle SAABS, to Lawn Boy mowers chain saws and small trimmers and a Mantis tiller with a dethatcher.
Most of the people with hard starting problems don't say what kind of 2 cycle oil they are using or if their using the 50:1 mix ratio. This could be most of their problem. Some oils can do funny things to floats and passage ways in carbs when the gas evaporates out. Carbon based oils will leave waxes if allowed to stay in the carb with out gas. Even though Mantis says to drain the tank and push the bulb, I do not believe all the oil gets out and once the gas evaporates only the oil is left with it's waxes which harden up.
People that have trouble with spring starting may try Amsoil synthetic 2 cycle oil. Mantis says almost nothing about their oil as to whats in it or who actually makes it. Dealers have told me it's really Echo oil, it may be or not. In fact they don't even put the mix ratios on the little bottle. I don't believe it's a gas problem. I have an old 1978 mtd snowblower I leave gas in all year around and has never had a cleaner or even been apart. Always starts 2nd pull the next winter.
I haven't had any starting problems or running problems with my 2 cycle Mantis and just love the way it dethatches.


On April 8th, 2008, HUBS added the following:

Just an additional comment. Over the years I have left my gas and oil mixture in my tanks and engines and they have always started. I have not had one failure this way. On an old lawn mower I had with a Briggs engine I drained the gas one year and after winter it wouldn't start. The trouble was the valve stuck to the valve seat in the carb and couldn't move. After that I always left gas in the tank and carb and have not had any spring start up problems since.
Positive horseman_tanker
(2 reviews)
On Mar 24, 2008, horseman_tanker Hawthorne, NV wrote:

I bought a mantis two stroke tiller just a month ago. After I bought it I read all the feedback on this site and was kinda bummed out as there was alot of negative feedback. My own wife laughed at me when it got here. She said it looked puny and said I wasted my money. Well she was wrong, it was money well spent. My soil is a DG type soil that is a bear to dig in, compacts pretty hard. At first it took me awhile to figure how to dig with it as it bounced alot. Well you just gotta slow the speed down, it will even loosen and move hand sized rocks outta your way. I double dug my veggie beds with it. So if your thinking about this tiller my advice is get it, do the routine maintenance, use fresh gas, and take your time learning the best way to run it and smile all the way to harvest. Thanks for a great product you now have a loyal customer.

Positive hlgable
(1 review)
On Nov 18, 2007, hlgable Spartanburg, SC wrote:

A REAL GARDENING TIP:
If you want your tiller to start year after year (as well as other gas-powered lawn equipment, be sure to use a gas-preservative. I use it in all my equipment YEARLONG and everything starts, no matter how long it sits and even if the gas has evaporated from the tank.

Positive pfgrill
(2 reviews)
On Sep 14, 2007, pfgrill Banglamung,
Thailand wrote:

I just ordered parts for the Mantis tiller. I went to the Mantis UK website and the different models were listed. Picked my model and parts diagrams and parts checklist made ordering the parts easy. They were a pleasure to deal with.

Positive Joe_Mama
(1 review)
On Aug 29, 2006, Joe_Mama Clarendon Hills, IL wrote:

The Mantis tiller is a simple, durable mini-cultivator. There are many similar machines on the market; Mantis has an edge over some of them with various aspects of its design, but they're all generally the same. You couldn't ask for a simpler, easier-to-maintain machine. If you think you need a degree in mechanical engineering to perform routine maintenance on a simple, tiny, two-stroke engine, then you shouldn't own a tiller, or any gas-powered equipment, for that matter. If you can't follow simple pictorial instructions and bolt a handle on a piece of equipment without installing it upside-down, stay inside and watch golf on TV. I've run my Mantis for years, torn it down and rebuilt it, and continue to use it almost every weekend- all without the benefit of manuals, advice, or a mechanical engineering degree. I'd be embarassed to post some of the comments I've seen if I were so inept I couldn't repair or operate what amounts to perhaps the simplest gas-powered device on the market. Mantis makes a good product that requires nothing more than common sense and basic tools to maintain. As in most cases, the biggest flaws in the product are incompetent, inept users.

Positive jackerussel
(1 review)
On Jun 7, 2006, jackerussel Perry, OH wrote:

I have owned my Mantis Tiller for 9 years. I have worked this little machine to death. I use it to maintain a 60 x 40 garden & also use it to edge all of my planting beds, sidewalks, driveway & brick paver walkways. This tiller goes until I can't take anymore. If one does their own basic maintenance- such as spark plugs, grease, shot of carb cleaner now & again. It will run trouble free. With the type of carberator system that this tiller has, the oil & gas mix must be fresh & properly mixed. I use a 50-1 mix, keep the air filter clean & have no problems in starting or running, I find it very easy to adjust the carberator by turning the adjustment screws. I believe most of the problems that people have are fuel mixture related, as my Mantis never fails to answer the call.

Positive sparky10
(1 review)
On May 21, 2006, sparky10 Newport News, VA wrote:

Toughest little machine i have ever seen, I have dug trenches, holes, tilled a garden. Its always earger to go. If I thought they were going to stop making them i would rush out and get an extra/ Scotty

Positive AFC
(1 review)
On May 17, 2006, AFC North Yarmouth, ME wrote:

As a dealer of Mantis Tillers I would recommend that users of these little workhorses use only fresh gas that has not been out of the pump for more than a month or so.
The fuel formulations that we are forced to use in the northeast derive their octane from ethers that evaporate quickly. I have the best luck with storage if they are run out of fuel. Do not store the tillers with fuel in the tank. This will assure that the carburetor and fuel filter are not gummed up when you are ready to use the tiller next time

Positive thistlepunk
(3 reviews)
On May 4, 2006, thistlepunk East Lansing, MI wrote:

Little beauty is four years old and still works like a charm. Each winter I leave it in the icy garage, and each spring it starts right up using last year's gas. It has never been serviced, and does everything it was advertised to do. It grinds through the worst clay as easily as through the sandiest loam.

When I bought it, the rep was friendly and knowledgeable, and it arrived quickly. And the company has never bothered me unless I initiate contact first.

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.

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***

I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND MANTIS.LITTLE WONDER PRODUCTS!

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

Purchased my Mantis from an online ebay seller http://www.mownsnow.com . 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.

Positive TABLESAWTIM
(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.

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!


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