Mantis tillers...Yes or No???

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Capt Zero

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Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« on: February 15, 2013, 13:14 »

We have a Merry tiller,  but it's a little heavy for the better half...Now we've been told to get a Mantis,  we've looked on the internet, and they look the bees knees.  What do you guys & gals think?? is it worth the outlay?

BJ 
"From mans sweat and Gods love, beer came into the world."
Saint Arnold of Metz, The patron Saint of Brewers

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3 allotments

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 14:16 »
BIG YES hi how yer doin get your self a mantis Ihad one 12 years ago loved it so got another one off ebay two years ago still going strong  i think they are one of the best things to have in the garden saves loads of back breaking work. great in the polytunnel  so light you can pick it up with your little finger dig through anything even the hardest of clays so fast .cheap to run there is a 4 stroke version out now when i first got mine they only had 2 stroke out .you should pick a decent one off ebay from say 80.00 - 150.00,sometimes with all the attatchments even a plough have a look, maybe get one i can assure you ,you wont look back ideal for the missus so light and easy to use and transport folding handles ,weight 11kgs. snap one up before gardening kicks off you'll find the price goes up  or brand new 394.00,hope you find one happy digging :D
diggity dig dig

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fred-quimby

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 15:22 »
Great, with provisors.

I have very clay ground and find it cloggs up all the time when even a little damp.  When it is dry the blades will not break through.  I have to dig first and then the blades will dig into the clods but I have to go over it many times to get a 'fine tilth'.

Does a good job once you have got through the initial stages but practically useless on new ground.
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Eblana

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 15:49 »
Yes Yes Yes.  Couldn't be without mine - which reminds me I must add getting petrol for it to my to do list for the plot.

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Gwiz

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 17:10 »
I don't think you'll hear too many negative reports on them. :)

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RichardA

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 17:40 »
loved my mantis tiller for several years when time was always a problem but neglected it and it developed piston problems -- I accept it was my fault. I love to dig even double dig given time but still bought another tiller as I knew I was likely to be less fit and hence more needing of the help - the new one is still in its box not assembled - I love it but as yet I have not needed it and I still love to do my own digging. With the season going late this year and already dug soil looking a bit flat I think I will soon be building it up and using it. I am also intent of using it  for lawn raking and lawn aeration as my lawns are quite big and very mossy and I don't fancy aerating with  a fork every few inches............
R

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GrowinGrowinGone

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 11:51 »
I have a 4 stroke myself.  I think it depends what ground you intend the Mantis to work.  When I first got my plot is was very heavy clay, and in the summer when it drys out and goes hard and compact, the Mantis cannot get into it, it just bounces on the top.  So for hard compact soil, the Mantis is a total waste of time.  If you are working some fairly soft soil that does not compact, it will work like a charm and make the soil nice and light and fluffy.  Also take into consideration how long it takes to do an area on hard ground, the Mantis are tiny and only work small areas.  If you was intending to work an area say 30x30 you will be there all day!  I do like my Mantis, but if I knew then, what I know now, I most likely would not have purchased it.
This is my Allotment, There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without my Allotment I am nothing, without me, my Allotment is nothing

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AndyRVTR

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 16:22 »
Totally agree with GGG....., IMO the Mantis is useless on anything other than already turned over ground. It does nothing on virgin ground as they are way too light to dig in, and like GGG said, when it comes to anything with lumps of clay, they simply cannot do what they were intended to do.
 

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Hobnails

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 17:04 »
Totally agree with GGG....., IMO the Mantis is useless on anything other than already turned over ground. It does nothing on virgin ground as they are way too light to dig in, and like GGG said, when it comes to anything with lumps of clay, they simply cannot do what they were intended to do.
 
Agree with the above. I find any stone of about pigeon egg size will choke the blades and bring it to a stop. I have stony ground and hard clay soil. If I knew what I know now I would have bought something more  robust. It's not good for turning in manure. I use mine to go over where i've hand dug already.
Little by little a bird makes its nest!

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GrowinGrowinGone

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 23:41 »
I forgot to mention stones getting stuck, glad hobnails remembered that point.  It can be a pain to get the stones out as well sometimes.  You have to get something in there to bash the stones out sometimes cos they get so wedged, which is not ideal.  About the only things the Mantis has going for it IMO, is you can get it to work small spaces,  and it's small light weight and easily portable.  In all honesty I would say for the price I paid in 2011 350 for a new one, it was not worth it.  If you can get a bigger machine, and transport is not an issue, go for that in my honest opinion. 

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jason g

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 19:01 »
GGG , i was thinking of either trading/or use as well as my honda f220 for one, would you say dont bother and stick with the one i have?

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GrowinGrowinGone

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 22:31 »
I have no idea about the Honda f220, engine size, or how good it is.  So I think it would be wrong for me to comment on it.  All I can say is regarding the Mantis, and I would say personally don't bother getting one if you intend to use it on hard ground, heavy clay, or soil that compacts a lot and drys out.  The Mantis just cannot get into hard, compact, dry heavy clay soil.  But if you was using it on raised beds for example that you have a lot of organic matter and compost in, it will work like a dream and give you nice light fluffy soil. 

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Sparkyrog

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 23:39 »
I have to disagree ! in 2011 when my soil was really dry and hard I was putting in rabbit protection ,the mantis was a godsend for doing the trench going down in a way I really didn't expect . All I needed to do was shovel the trench out and put the wire in .One of the best bits of kit you can get !
I cook therefore I grow

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Capt Zero

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 12:05 »

Thanks for all the input folks...we're lucky because the soil at the allotments is so light, it's like potting compost, so I don't see any problems there....there are no stones either. So this weekend I've put in an order for a 4 stroke one....fingers crossed it'll all work out fine.
I can see what a PIA it would be on hard, clay ground...and if you did have stones and then I would think better of it and stick with the Merry Tiller..

BJ

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Spana

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Re: Mantis tillers...Yes or No???
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 13:43 »
I had a new Mantis last spring. It had a very dangerous fault when it came but they replaced it quickly.
 I must say i love mine. I find it much more powerful than i thought it would be and it copes with my soil just fine, it doesn't like it too wet tho.
I can get it to dig pretty deep, things like a runner bean trench are easy peasy for the Mantis but hard for an old biddy like me :D

I also have a big husqvarna  but i have to wait for OH to use that, the mantis is light so i can get it from the workshop, start it up and use it myself, i like that :)



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