Mantis Tiller/Cultivator

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  #1  
Old 07-06-06, 06:45 PM
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Mantis Tiller/Cultivator

Anyone familiar with the Mantis Tiller/Cultivator? or the Earthquake Mini Cultivator from HD?

My dad's looking to get one. He has clay soil if that matters. Any advice or information about any tiller would be great, ie: what to look for. I don't know where to start.

Also is there a difference from a tiller vs. a cultivator? If so what?

Thanks guys!
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 07-06-06 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Different question
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  #2  
Old 07-06-06, 07:14 PM
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I have the Mantis, it's a great tiller. Very lightweight and powerful. You can purchase attachments, I have added the aerator and dethatcher attachments to the standard rototiller blades that come standard. Mine is an older gas model, I don't about the newer models. Don't know about the other model you mentioned.

Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 07-06-06, 10:19 PM
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If he has clay soil I would get one that is powerful.A roto tiller works great for that they dig up the ground as you pull it backwards.Any brand would do they all work good.heres a link to a mantis tiller.it will tell you what you need to know.

http://www.asktooltalk.com/home/revi...tis-tiller.htm
 
  #4  
Old 07-07-06, 12:29 AM
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When I first saw the mantis mini tiller, I thought, "yeah right, like that's going to do anything!"...but it surprised me. It's a pretty strong little machine, and I like them. They are powered by echo engines, which is a plus.
 
  #5  
Old 07-07-06, 08:59 AM
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Thanks you guys. I've actually found reviews on the mantis mini tiller and only read the "cons" which were basically, it's noisy (who cares!+duh!), it's not good for heavy soil (which clay is included right?) and the oil/gas ratio is typically not the same as a gas mower-so more "work" since you can't just use what you use for your mower (no big deal right?).

Sounds like it's a good tiller. Must do more research! More concerned about the clay soil and how it would handle.

Thanks for the great link Lex...I'm gonna check that out.
 
  #6  
Old 07-07-06, 09:07 AM
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Sears has a mini tiller which you may want to add to the list. The wife bought one because she couldn't handle my full sized tiller. It actually works well for her flower gardens, and where we live, if it don't grow in clay, it don't grow.
 
  #7  
Old 07-07-06, 02:40 PM
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Mantis is the Caddy of the mini-tillers. As for the tiller/cultivator terminology...it's a name game. Different manufacturers call them different names. They're both one in the same.
 
  #8  
Old 07-07-06, 02:57 PM
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Aha! Thanks for that info Puey61. Here I was looking up what a "tiller" is and "cultivator" and just could not distinguish the 2!

Update:

I've done some more research and reviews (check out the Mantis, HD, Sears, etc) and apparently the lighter versions of these tillers...most people have had problems with them "bouncing" when used on harder soil so I looked at the more heavier duty ones like Troy Bilt but then some people say it goes crazy like a bull and they can't control them and some are wondering what the heck those people are talking about. I'm thinking it could be they are using it improperly. I don't want my dad breaking his back over this! Think I'm gonna have to ask my dad what it is EXACTLY he wants to accomplish with a tiller.

Thanks everyone.
 
  #9  
Old 07-07-06, 03:42 PM
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My Mantis bounces on hard soil, but as long as you continue to pull it towards you with even speed it goes through the soil ok. But you do need to be able to hold it firm (no offense to your Dad).
 
  #10  
Old 07-07-06, 03:55 PM
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LOL Thanks...no offense taken. At least it's confirmed it can "go through" hard soil.
 
  #11  
Old 07-08-06, 01:06 AM
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Personally, if I were looking to buy a mini-tiller and wanted one that would last me more than a few years, I would stick with the mantis name brand. There are cheaper ones, but "you get what you pay for" is a very true motto in this case.
 
  #12  
Old 07-08-06, 02:02 PM
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Thumbs up

I have a Mantis tiller and would recommend it to anyone.It's light and easy to use for us senior citizens. My neighbor has a full size tiller but comes over to borrow my Mantis. We have clay soil and it works fine in it. I bought it about 3 years ago and got a free edger with it for $300. ( never used the edger,but it was free).You do have to have a tight hold on it ,at first , in hard packed soil. Enjoy!!
 
  #13  
Old 07-10-06, 12:04 PM
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Any difference getting the gas vs. electric one? (Besides the convenience and safer of no cords). More power with gas?
 
  #14  
Old 07-10-06, 12:20 PM
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I've never used an electric tiller, but If it were my decision, I don't think I'd even consider one. Generally the electric equipment is pretty light duty, but maybe I'm wrong on this one?
 
  #15  
Old 07-10-06, 12:48 PM
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I agree with you. I found the electric one for $60 cheaper, that's all. I'm thinking my dad would prefer the gas too but $60 cheaper is still good to me too. The gas one weighs 20lbs and the electric one said 28.60 lbs-but that's the "shipping weight" so I don't know if that includes the box and whatever else they put in the box. The gas is from one site and the electric from another so I'm not sure what that means. The electric one is not offered (or I can't find it) where I can get the gas one from. Decisions...decisions..decisions...guess I'll leave that choice up to my dad. I just wanted to be prepared for an answer when he asks me.
 
  #16  
Old 07-10-06, 12:53 PM
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IMO just get gas they cost more but will last longer.I hate electric powered outdoor equpment They are weak lack power and you got to drage a 100 FT cord around and you still have to add another 100FT to get the job done.
 
  #17  
Old 07-10-06, 01:23 PM
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Thanks Lex, I agree though personally have not experienced anything gas powered. I'm chicken. I have an electric mower that does good enough for me. I think I'm going to blow myself up or the house. One day...I'll move on to gas powered things.
 
  #18  
Old 07-10-06, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DIYaddict
Thanks Lex, I agree though personally have not experienced anything gas powered. I'm chicken. I have an electric mower that does good enough for me. I think I'm going to blow myself up or the house. One day...I'll move on to gas powered things.
If you have a small yard electric is fine but if you got a average size yard or bigger than gas is the way to go.
 
  #19  
Old 07-10-06, 02:39 PM
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My yard is BIG...at least to me. I can only do the front or the back one at a time (in a day). My dad says God made men to do the yard. (Body wise) I agree...(with the "mowing" part) but it's me or my 11 yr. old son. I have him do it once in a while but I hate when he argues with me so sometimes I just don't ask and do it myself.

I just called my dad and went over the electric and gas thing and before I could finish he of course, did NOT want the electric regardless of the price.

Thanks guys.
 
  #20  
Old 07-10-06, 09:18 PM
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I agree, It's truely amazing what a humble tiller can do to the soil...! Lets get on with the discussion on mower engines! Shall We?

God Bless,
Dave237
 

Last edited by dave237; 07-10-06 at 10:04 PM.
  #21  
Old 07-10-06, 10:14 PM
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Well, tillers, even electric ones qualify as outdoor power equipment, which is what this forum is about.

Let us know what you and your dad decide!
 
  #22  
Old 07-10-06, 10:25 PM
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Cheese,

Agreed. I have a question. Which motor oil do you prefer in a 16hp opposed Twin Briggs Engine?

God Bless,
Dave237
 

Last edited by dave237; 07-10-06 at 10:46 PM.
  #23  
Old 07-10-06, 10:58 PM
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Straight 30wt. Unless it would be used in very cold weather (below freezing). Then, I'd go for 10w-30.
 
  #24  
Old 07-10-06, 11:06 PM
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Cheese,

Thanks for your advice. I'll take it to heart.

God Bless You,
Dave237
 
  #25  
Old 07-10-06, 11:10 PM
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Anytime!
 
  #26  
Old 07-10-06, 11:42 PM
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Thanks,

You're the man we're learning engines from. Keep up the good advice. We are all counting on you and looking forward to your advice.

God Bless You,
Dave237
 

Last edited by dave237; 07-11-06 at 12:52 AM.
  #27  
Old 07-11-06, 09:16 AM
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Welp, my dad decided on the gas for sure so I ordered it for him last night. Pretty cool b/c there was free shipping, free "kit" for something I didn't bother checking out and a free attachment. This'll be cool. My dad will probably let me use it my yard too.

Thanks everyone!
 
  #28  
Old 07-11-06, 09:11 PM
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"My dad will probably let me use it my yard too. "....Tell him he better, or you'll send it back (joking!).

I think he'll like it. Maybe you got the edger attatchment free, like jmykirk mentioned earlier in this thread. That's a nice thing to have if you have a paved driveway, sidewalk, or curb on the property.
 
  #29  
Old 07-12-06, 09:03 AM
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lol. Yeah...the edger (that's what it's called!) is the free attachment that's supposed to come with it.
 
  #30  
Old 07-18-06, 11:58 AM
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Update and need more info

Got the tiller last night. Looks really nice and sturdy. My dad waited for me to get home to help him "get it together".

Dumbest thing...it came put together but the handles were folded down. You cannot literally just bring them up. Instruction manual does not tell you how to bring it up (or we couldn't find it). So we ended up just taking apart the handle sections and put it the way it was supposed to be. Is that how it was supposed to be done?

Also...to store, you could either use the "kick stand" (or whatever it's called) or you could fold the handles back down. But by looking at the handles...it looks like you'd have to take it apart again and then put it back (more work than just "folding" it down). Is that how it's supposed to work?

Just curious b/c it doesn't make sense. Also had the video but my dad claims it doesn't show you this part.
 
  #31  
Old 07-18-06, 09:47 PM
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I don't recall folding handles on these. Maybe I've never noticed, or maybe it's something they're doing on newer ones? Sorry, not much help. I think I have one at the shop and I can take a look, but it's older. It might not have the folding handles.
 
  #32  
Old 07-19-06, 09:19 AM
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Thanks Chesse

I found out my dad didn't watch the whole video and it showed it at the end of the video, but yet it still didn't show "how to" fold it down. Hmmm...I don't know if it's called the "handles" but it's the long part on the sides (like arms) that go up to you. There is a knob in the middle of it (somewhat) that you turn loose so you can then, fold it down for storage but the way it was built just seems odd and weird. My dad says it's nothing like the way he can fold his lawn mower handles.

They have upgrades the Mantis with black handles and a kickstand but I'm not sure about the folding handles for storage thing. I tried looking that up but I can't find the info anymore.

BTW: My dad used the tiller yesterday and he loves it. So I guess he can handle it. My mom says it's sooooo much better than on hands and knees and gardening or "hand tilling".

Once again all you guys...thanks for helping me pick out a tiller and giving me all this info and confidence about it.
 
  #33  
Old 07-19-06, 08:54 PM
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I checked the one at the shop. The handles don't fold on this one. There should be a phone number on the information included with the tiller you could call. I'm sure someone there would be glad to explain it to you or your dad.

Glad he likes it! It's a neat little machine.
 
  #34  
Old 08-19-06, 02:17 AM
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I was about to post asking about the Mantis and figured let me check one more page and bingo. The exact questions I was going to ask.

Sears carries the Mantis and they show it (both gas & elec) as having fold down handles.

I was looking at it online and thought all the add-on attachments were pretty cool. A little plow, a trencher, etc. Has anyone used the trenching adapter for laying down pipe?

One part of my yard has high spots and low spots but in the wrong places. Some areas are hard/compacted and I need to put some long swales in for better drainage control. Am I asking too much by thinking I could till my way thru it all and regrade/level that part of the property with the Mantis?
 
  #35  
Old 08-19-06, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Cienega32

One part of my yard has high spots and low spots but in the wrong places. Some areas are hard/compacted and I need to put some long swales in for better drainage control. Am I asking too much by thinking I could till my way thru it all and regrade/level that part of the property with the Mantis?
That IMO, is asking too much of ANY tiller and especially a lil cultivator like the Mantis. I do not think even the big garden tillers are supposed to be breaking up SOD.
My take on the "cultivator" term is mainly for use in already tilled or broken ground such as the rows between crops in a garden, or a flower bed which has already been established. While these lil gadgets are capable of more, I'm not sure it wouldn't be less work to do the initial breaking ground with a shovel and hoe B)
 
  #36  
Old 08-19-06, 12:53 PM
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I don't need to worry about breaking up sod - no grass to be found on the main areas. I've been using one of those hand tillers (with he cast head - not the thin metal) from Home Depot and that thing is the best $30 I've ever spent. Three sharp tines and a sharp hoe type head. It just breaks my old back after a while of weeding and "trenching" but it does a great job.

We've had a ton of rain (and now weeds!) and the ground isn't really all that hard any more. The ones with the bent finger type of tines look like they would bounce off of anything other than "loose" garden dirt to me. This Mantis, with the serpentine points look like it could hold some promise for me.

It looks like something that I could use in the future for some future, real landscaping but for now my back hurts! ANd all those little toys that go with it are pretty cool.

What I really need is one of those little bobcats. I'm a 'little here - little there' type of yard guy so I can't see a rental right now.
 
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