merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?

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mushroom

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hi folks,

I'm looking to buy a rotovator or two. I know the mantis is good for narrower beds, and that the merry tiller is a good general purpose machine that is no longer made, that is useful on the larger allotment.

What I'd like to know is, what are the relative merits/demerits of either? The merry tiller seems to have a huge following, but does enthusiasm for the machine have basis in fact? Why would it be better than a more recent machine of similar spec?

Would a mantis tiller be overwhelmed on a small but difficult to work plot?
Has anyone here broken one of these? If so, how did you break it? Was it able to cope with stones, glass, plastic?

thanks in advance for your opinions!

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Alfie

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merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2007, 12:24 »
I've just got a Mantis & used it on my new root infested patch, by roots, I mean tree roots ! The Mantis coped ok, but I think its 'horses for courses'. The Mantis is very light, which suits me, diggs like mad, but it will only go down to about 10" & has a habit of bouncing when it hits lage roots. I've got forearms like Popeye now. I really hammered it on Saturday & it didn't phase it at all. so on the whole, I am quite chuffed with it.
Graham

Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law

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Gwiz

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merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 12:45 »
hi, mushroom.
the merry tiller is about the most well know of the smaller type of rotovator. it was made for many, many years , and went though quite a few cosmetic changes durring its production run. they are without any doubt at all a very fine piece of equipment, and very robust. the mantis is another great little machine, but not up to the type of hard work that you could do with the m/tiller. having said that, it depends on the type of work you are doing. if you've got raised beds, then lugging the m/tiller up on to them could be a right bore.
i have both a merry tiller and a machine about the same as the mantis ( i work in the trade so im lucky in that i can source a good second hand one every now and again) but one thing that you need to consider when about to part with a lot of money is thyat the m/tiller is getting quite old now, and many of its parts are no longer made, where-as the mantis is still a current machine. i've kept a close eye on ebay, and many of the merry's are selling for just a little less than say a new alko rotovator, which, after all, is a new machine with a warranty.
if it where me, and i was going to buy again, i would invest in new machines, every time.
have a look also at the new small hondas, and the small ryobi rotovators. both are fantastic value for money, well thats my opinion anyway. :wink:

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shaun

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merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2007, 20:59 »
i echo what graham says they both have there uses.the merry tiller is a hard machine to master and going between rows is very hard as they tend to go there own way mostly towards your crops.I have a howard that is wheel driven and the digging tines follow behind so going between crops is a real doddle,also for mixing in manure/compost they come into there own.the big downside is transporting the thing from A to B,this is where the mantis types are a real bonus they are so light you can fasten it to your cross bar on yer bike  :wink:,and like alfie says they are realy powerfull for there size and do a brilliant job at prepairing a seed bed ,the only downside i can say about a mantis is the tines get clogged up with weeds/debris very quickly but thats no big deal.
feed the soil not the plants
organicish
you learn gardening by making mistakes

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noshed

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merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2007, 22:00 »
I find a mattock very good. Satisfyingly violent and uses no oil or petrol.
Self-sufficient in rasberries and bindweed. Slug pellets can be handy.

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shaun

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merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2007, 22:19 »
Quote from: "noshed"
I find a mattock very good. Satisfyingly violent and uses no oil or petrol.


 :roll:  :roll:

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mushroom

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merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 22:52 »
hi, thanks to all who replied for their input. Certainly given something for me to think about.

I do think it's more sensible to go for a more recent machine, but if a merry tiller popped up locally below 100 quid, I'd jump at the opportunity, because though it's not been made for years, there's a lot of them about, and, seemingly, loads of spare bits.

I think what will happen is I'll go for the mantis (it also has a load of attachments, plus a 1-year no-quibble guarantee, if it's unsuitable), and hire a mechanical digger for the stupidly overgrown stuff.

Surprised that nobody has reported breaking a mantis :!:

Funnily enough, I was looking at mattocks earlier today. What does the panel think would be a reasonable price to pay for one?

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Gwiz

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merry tiller and mantis tiller - compare/contrast?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2007, 05:17 »
ah yes! i forgot.
we did break a mantis a few years ago.
one of my workmates ran over one in his transit van.
it did not survive. van was allright tho' :lol:



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