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Showing 1-10 of 42 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 61 reviews
on March 19, 2012
I needed to buy a tiller to prepare a large flower bed, which hadn't been maintained since the house was built 8 years ago. Initially I was going to buy an electric tiller for the convenience of not having to mess with gasoline and oil, but reconsidered to...
(1) have the flexibility to till further than an electric cord would reach,
(2) not need to worry about running over the cord,
(3) likely get greater power from gasoline-powered engine (based on personal experience with lawnmowers, string trimmers), and
(4) avoid problem with overheating that many of the reviews for electric trimmers describe.

Although the area I needed to prepare was essentially "new ground", I didn't want to pay for one of the larger $600+ tillers, which will be overkill in future years. And the cost of renting would be a good down-payment on this model.

I have a 2-cycle string trimmer and considered the 2-cycle Mantis tiller, but chose this model because there were a significant number of negative reviews for the 2-cycle model. Plus, Honda engines are amazing on lawn equipment.

I'm very happy with this tiller for many reasons...
(1) Straightforward Assembly (about 1.5 hours for me)
(2) Sturdy construction
(3) The Honda motor is easy to start, and runs quietly - much quieter than my 2-cycle string trimmer or my 4-cycle lawnmower. No need for hearing protection.
(4) The hand-throttle lets you operate the tiller at variable speeds, based on how far you pull the throttle. I ran it slow where there were lots of rocks, and fast in loose soil.
(5) When you release the throttle, the engine idles without engaging the blades. On my rocky soil, I would run the tiller for several seconds, let it idle while I pick up rocks, and run the tiller again.
(6) The fender does a great job deflecting soil/rocks. Although I wore eye protection, I never had any particles hit me at all.

The tiller had no problem with rocks up to 1-1.5 inches in size, but would stumble on larger rocks, which I wanted to remove from the bed. By loosening them, the tiller made the larger rocks easy to remove. I pulled numerous rocks that were fist-sized, a few were as big as a brick.

As far as accessories go, I bought the Mantis Tiller Kick Stand 4333-00-02,Mantis 1322-00-02 Tiller Tine Detangler, and Mantis 1722-00-02 Tiller Weed Reducers. I bought the kickstand to hold the tiller steady for adding gasoline, and for storage, but I found it essential because I frequently needed to stop the tiller to remove rocks. After a while I got tired of putting it up and taking it back down again, and just kept the kickstand down while tilling. The tine detangler is relatively expensive for a simple tool. It works, but something cheaper might do just as well. Because I didn't have any problems with weeds getting tied up in the tiller, the weed reducers also seemed to work. They're also relatively expensive for what they are, but saved some aggravation. One unconventional accessory that came in very handy was a claw-like pooper scooper (something like this Allen Spring Action Scooper). If you have a lot of rocks that you want to clear, I would definitely recommend that to avoid having to bend down to pick up every rock.
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on August 30, 2014
I bought this tiller last year and have put mine through its paces in the garden this year. Lets first say that if you are looking for a heavy duty tiller to break sod with you might be disappointed. This tiller is intended to be used in existing gardens or in ground that does not have heavy vegetation. Although it will handle some sod just don't expect to make a yard with tall grass into a large garden, this tiller was not designed for that.

The tiller works great for working up existing beds and gardens into a fine powder and it chews up any bit of garden waste and weeds in its way. I am very happy with the Honda 4 stroke which starts and run smooth and quiet. I did have one issue at first where the gas tank was not vented which caused vacuum lock in the fuel tank and it would not pull gas into the carb after tilling for a while. I ended up drilling a tiny hole in the gas cap to allow it to vent. I have had no more issues since I did this. I am not sure why this is not done at the factory.

I recommend getting the kick stand with this unit as it makes starting and parking the tiller much easier. Also it you are like me and don't run the tiller for extended periods of time be sure and pour any left over gas out of the tank and then run the engine and cab out of fuel. Leaving fuel in these little engines for even a month or two can cause serious problems. I ALWAYS drain the gas on powered equipment like this that I don't use often and I have never had to deal with gummed up carbs or stale gas.

I am very pleased with this unit.
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on June 4, 2015
I received the item yesterday and assembled it. I'm 64 yrs old and have assembled a million items over the years. I thought the instructions were among the poorer of many items I could compare this to. For example, toward the end, you need 2 types of bolts to fully assemble the handle. Their photo of parts on page 6 has a poor photo of parts. Some part numbers are highlighted in the photo with associated part numbers, while other parts are in the photo BUT without a part number graphic. There is a hand drawn graphic on page 19 that shows these bolts but there is no way you can tell from that drawing which of the two bolts is used mid way up the handle and which bolt is used for the cross brace near the top.

When I had to call the customer service department to request some additional part #41s (clips that hold on tines) because one of them simply fell off in the first hour of operation, I complained about the poor instructions. You know you're talking to a customer service liar when they tell you: "I've worked here 14 years and no one ever told us the assembly instructions were poor." She stood by her comment even when I mentioned reading a comment on Amazon that it took the reviewer "1.5 hours" to put the item together.

She told me she would only send out some more #41 clips (probably cost about 5 cents each) after I proved to her that I bought this on Amazon. When I told her that, based on a ridiculous demand like that, that I would use nails as clips to get through my immediate job, then send the whole machine back to Amazon (and then onto Mantis!), she didn't care one bit. I told her then that her attitude made me comfortable in requesting the return from Amazon. Normally, I am very fair and avoid returns, but for this, I'm glad to send back a $430 machine when the seller refuses to send 25 cents worth of clips when I saw no reason to provide proof of purchase. We weren't talking about the engine, just 25 cents worth of clips! I
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on June 25, 2013
It is great for small and medium jobs. Surprisingly effective at turning compacted soil. The 4-stroke is pretty powerful for the size and runs great. Like with all tillers, the tines will load up if you are tilling a grassy area. On a big tiller, this can be really annoying. On the Mantis, the tines come off very easily, so clearing the weeds only takes a minute or so. Surprisingly, I have not broken a pin despite running it through some pretty rocky stuff. It seems like that rather than absorbing the brunt of the impact at the tiller pin, some of the energy is dissipated when the whole machine bucks up into the air a little. It only weighs 20 something pounds, so it is very controllable. My 10yr old son was able to run it without a problem.
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VINE VOICEon June 2, 2012
The Mantis took a few minutes to assemble, as I had trouble accepting the fact that the plastic lifting handle goes on top of the handle bars allowing it to touch the engine. My thinking is that the heated engine would melt the handle. The engine is covered in some type of plastic to keep it cool and the melting never occurred. As for use, it started on the third crank after priming. It was quite light weight, yet tilled deep enough to plant a variety of plants and replace several areas of sod. In cutting through some vines, the tines dig get wrapped up with the material, but it took only a minute or two to untangle them. The effectiveness, the ease of use, and the lower noise level of the GAS engine was worth the extra price compared to the 2-cycle engine, plus you avoid having to mix the oil with the gas. The problem with that is that various 2 cycle engines require different proportions of oil and gas, so with three 2-cycle machines, you could ostensibly have three cans of oil/gas mix. I've used the machine on two occasions now and it worked as advertised on both occasions.
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on March 11, 2014
I got it today and there are a few things to consider. I have not started it up yet because the MANUAL CALLS FOR 89 OCTANE AND NOT regular 87. So, I will need to go get another gas can for it and will update how it runs etc. There were a few cons that earned it the 4 stars.

Pros: light weight, Honda engine, fairly decent materials and workmanship, went together easy, comes with engine oil.

Cons: The instruction book was not clear on which screws to use for handle bars but I figured it out by noticing the square holes on the bars and using the corresponding screws. This thing is kinda small (which I expected), but, It is like a weed eater with blades (literally).......because of this, I am finding the price ($429 for me) hard to swallow for what you get.

SO................................

I think the general quality is there, but not a heavy duty machine (more for a small home garden in the suburbs).

In my honest opinion, it is not bad but, I would expect it to cost around $200 by looking at it. However, that is not to say it wont last. For the price, I expected a heavy grade of materials and I feel it was average. However, I may just expect to much since I grew up when 400 bucks got you the top of line lol.
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on July 23, 2007
We are avid gardeners and creating beds the old-fashion way using a fork was back-breaking. This little tiller is the does the nice edging and the tilling!

In cold weather, the 4-cycle engine fires-up after a few pulls. When warm, a single pull is all that is required. It weighs about 20lbs and is easy to maneuver. The changing of times to the edger attachment takes less than a minute.

The tines are super strong! We have very rocky soil and to my surprise, the tines have lasted this long! Tilling has never been so easy. Mantis has created a product that almost every gardener can use. We are more than satisfied with it!
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on October 17, 2013
The Mantis was easy to assemble (two people make the job much easier) I followed the start-up directions and it started on the first pull. This machine is VERY quiet. It is powerful and does a quick job of tilling up the top 6 inches of soil. It works great but you have to get used to pulling it backwards. The tines will clog with debris often but it is not very difficult to pull the cotter pins, pull off a tine, clean it, and put it back on. I would recommend this to a friend.
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on May 21, 2012
I have only GOOD things to say about this Mantis. It shipped quickly and is well packed. It's easy to assemble (following the clear directions), gas up (no mixing oil and gas), and start. It's light enough for one person to easily lift and move to different locations. So far we've started a new garden in virgin, hard-packed soil, and the Mantis ate right through the soil like a champ; we've turned the soil and mixed in compost to our existing beds; and I've used it to cut through some weedy beds that had gotten out of hand. If the taller weeds get twisted around the tines, remove one pin, slide off the tines, and the weeds pull off in one clump. It's my new favorite gardening tool!
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on July 5, 2012
Solid construction, light weight, powerful. It tilled through tough weeds and down to a depth that made planting the tomatoes easy. I used it the first time to cultivate a total of 1000 sq. feet and was done in less than two hours. It handles stones with ease and just tosses them out to the sides without stopping the tines. Requires some upper body and grip strength to control while tilling but then so does using a shovel to accomplish the same task. One of the best purchases for gardening I have ever made.
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