Mantis Tiller Review: An Honest Assement From a Real Owner

Updated on December 14, 2016

Me and My Mantis!

I don't know if you are like me, but I remember seeing all the television and magazine ads that talked about this powerful little garden tiller they called the Mantis.

It was always pictured tearing into rough looking soil and turning it into nicely tilled earth ready for planting.

I was always a little skeptical. I also remembered going to the Mantis site and finding out that they wanted over $300.00 for this little tiller, and I thought "Not!" There is no way that this Mantis tiller could be worth the money.

Well...I finally got one about 3 years ago, and I must say my attitude has changed drastically. I wanted to take a few minutes and share why I love my Mantis tiller!

What's So Great About the Mantis Tiller Cultivator?

A lot Actually!

  • First of all, don't let its size fool you. It truly is very powerful. This great little tiller packs a wallop!
  • The Mantis' tines turn many times faster than a conventional large garden tiller, which is one of the reasons it is able to break up even the hardest ground.
  • I have used my fair share of large garden tillers that literally beat you to death while using them.
  • The Mantis is incredibly light weight, weighing on 20 lbs.
  • It is very powerful and will dig up to 10" deep.
  • It is very compact at only 9" wide and is very easy to start.
  • It is great for creating raised flower beds, garden plots, and you can even use it for digging holes or plowing furrows.
  • It rips through sod with ease and you can use your Mantis to turn and mix organic matter in your compost pile.
  • The handles also fold down for easy storage.

Before and After - Check Out the Power of the Mantis Tiller

Here are a couple of pictures showing an area that I tilled up in my back yard. In just a few short minutes, the Mantis Tiller completely broke up the hard ground leaving nice soft earth ready for planting.

One of the first things that I used my Mantis for was installing an irrigation system. I used the Mantis to prepare the trenches for the water lines. I simply tilled along where I intended my supply lines to go and shoveled out the dirt.

The Mantis broke up the earth to a depth of around 10-12 inches making it very easy to later dig out the trenches.

I have read in many of the reviews that I have seen that people complain about how the Mantis tines get clogged when tilling areas that have still have grass. The tines do get grass wrapped around them, but you will also have the same problem with large garden tillers.

The Mantis tines are made out of hardened steel and guaranteed to last many years. And the tines come off easily for quick cleaning. When the tines do get clogged with grass, it takes less than 5 minutes to clean both set of tines and get ready to go again!

Mantis Kick Stand and Edger Attachment

The Mantis Tiller I purchased came with a kick stand and edger attachment. The kick stand is very handy and keeps the Mantis standing upright when not in use.

The edger attachment works quite well. I have used it around my flower beds, and it does a nice job and leaves a clean manicured edge along the grass line.

The Mantis Tiller is the Best Tool a Gardener Can Have! - My Trusty Mantis Tiller!

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Bob 

        2 months ago

        3 years ago I bought the new & improved easy start. Has spent as much time in the repair shop as in my garden. Just refuses to start. I called them and I was told to buy this special mixture stuff at 20$ per gallon. I have an older model which sat all winter. I fueled it and 4 pulls later it started. Totally disappointed

      • profile image

        ima.mostly.sane 

        4 months ago

        I'm going to try one more time to start the son-of-a bitch one more time. I'm taking my 12 gauge with me. If it does not start, I'm going to shoot the no good son-of-a bitch. Thing is after a half hour of trying it started. I was half way through cultivating my garden and it got a rock jammed in the tines. I turned it off. Dislodged the rock and the mother fucker would not start again. Every season it's a source of aggravation to get it to start. It'll start, touch the throttle it dies after I let it idle 2 minutes. Then it's the same, jigger with the chock pull, pull, pull. Jigger with the choke; pull, pull, pull. What a piece of shit. I seldom swear, but this causes me to invent swear words. It ruins my excitement for spring gardening.

        Hell, I should have just stuck with a shovel. Do not buy one of these cursed things.

      • profile image

        Kim Buzzellli 

        5 months ago

        worst $300 Ive ever spent... the thing only ran maybe 3 times. was hard to use, Has absolutely no control....it just took off....then it wouldn't start ... last couple years I get it out to play with it to see if I can get it running and If Im able to get it to idle then it dies when I give it gas.... would love to sell it but I doubt anyone would want it .... this brand is a joke and a rip off....

      • profile image

        Ron 

        7 months ago

        I spent more time trying to start the Mantis thiller then actually using it the Mantis tiller is very hard to start they have a poor carburation system on that machine it wore me out trying to start it I can't even give it a one star

      • profile image

        Dickie 

        13 months ago

        I have a Mantis 2 cycle tiller. If you want a piece of equipment that takes more maintenance than actually operating, by all means buy a Mantis 2 cycle. This thing is difficult to start and certainly not worth buying. Thanks.

      • profile image

        Steve Daniels 

        15 months ago

        I had a similar issue with inadvertently hitting the on-off switch when the tiller bounced. I talked to the Mantis people and they said they had received similar feedback and were taking pains to improve upon it. I saw on newer Mantis model in a store the other day and the handles and grips were improved - a lot. Makes you feel good when a company listens to its customers.

      • profile image

        Allan 

        15 months ago

        The off and on switch on the right hand grip is placed so when the bounces in hard ground my hand hits the switch and turns the tiller off.I spend allot of the time restarting the tiller. I think the toggle switch is best. I have 2 Mantis tillers.

      • profile image

        Karin Forwood 

        17 months ago

        My husband is in the garage trying to repair our five-year old Husqvarna tiller. The transmission was the problem, a gear was worn and sticking when shifted. It's in 500 pieces at the moment.

        I was reading up on other tillers, and wondered about the mantis. Can it manage soil that is rocky? Troy built advertises testing on rocks. I'd appreciate any suggestions on what tiller performs best.

      • profile image

        joe 

        17 months ago

        I love my Mantis tiller, however I cannot start it without assistance since I had a knee replacement. It may be a long shot but I was hoping to find a used kickstand or a simple way/plan to make one.

        Thanks

      • JenniferSilv profile image

        JenniferSilv 

        17 months ago

        I'm with Mac ... was afraid I was overpaying but it turns out I love the thing ... and so does my dad, he keeps borrowing it! Favorite garden tool - seriously think everyone should have one, we'd have way more tomatoes, and there is no such thing as too many tomatoes! (Also from my dad :-)).

      • profile image

        Michael - an owner 

        2 years ago

        It is NOT a groundbreaker! Clean soil working only. Any weeds/roots and it clogs within 30 seconds; you are then rotating a huge clump of soil which takes 5 mins to clear out. Restart, and, thirty seconds later...

      • profile image

        jackson 

        3 years ago

        i will tell you i bought a 4 cycle mantis tiller from the factory 5 years ago i never had a problem with it at all 2015 i went out to weed my small garden it would start no problem ,went to the garden pulled the trigger ,just idled the cable rusted out , i got on the phone with Mantis ,talked to a lady , remember it was out of warranty,she talked with her mgr , 3 day s later guess what ups delivered the part @ they paid for the shipping very satisfied ,it is like a car you take care of it it takes care of you i would buy Mantis again , thank you one @ all @ mantis

      • profile image

        Gelato 

        3 years ago

        I bought a 4 cycle Tiller that would not work. It turns out they sold me one directly from Mantis without a drive shaft. I called and they were nice enough. I told them I had taken this week off to dig a garden and install some posts and fence. They said I would get it by Friday the 22nd of May. That left me the weekend and Memorial day to finish the job. Well it did not come. When I called Friday they said they sent through the MAIL. It would be here by Saturday. It was not. They are closed. I won't have another free Saturday for 2 weeks. They are incompetent at Mantis and liars as well.

      • profile image

        Bill 

        3 years ago

        Mantis, also sells a composter. They are called the Mantis compostumbler. Great for gardening.

      • profile image

        ron 

        3 years ago

        I had nothing but problems with this tiller. Hard starting and when i gave it gave it gas always conked out. 2 motors sent back to factory and dealers wouldn't fix under warranty cause i didn't buy it from them

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        5 years ago

        I too was skeptical

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        5 years ago

        I have now owned my Mantis named tiller for 3 years.

        I have this evaluation, coming from a farm in Wisconsin and having had a lot of tiller experience.

        For it's size it is a real workhorse. However.....it is a 2 cycle engine. If you are used to dealing with 4 cycle engines, you need an education. The maintenance is a lot higher. When it works it is great, when it does not - it is miserable. What I have learned ----- 1 - use non ethanol gas. This will require a bit of hunting, but if you do not you will pay dearly in time and money. 2-Do NOT let this machine sit for more than 3 months with gas in the carb. Get rid of ALL the gas from the carburetor. 3--be sure the air filter is clean. 4--develop a good relationship with technical as you will want to call these gals occasionally.

      • mackykyle lm profile imageAUTHOR

        mackykyle lm 

        5 years ago

        @anonymous: Hi Eric,

        I am sorry you had a bad experience with your Mantis! I have had my for around 5 years and have not had any problems with the gear box. I wonder if they have changed how they manufacture it? There are some other options out there--I hope you find one that works.

        Good Luck,

        Macky

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        5 years ago

        These tillers are junk! Gear box strips out because the gear is made out of brass instead of steel? Contacted customer service and they wouldn't do anything about it? New one was $180. After an hour new box stripped out too? This was previous tilled soil too so it wasn't hard at all.

      • mackykyle lm profile imageAUTHOR

        mackykyle lm 

        7 years ago

        @ligunka: Thanks so much for your feedback!

      • profile image

        ligunka 

        7 years ago

        I liked goodcompost.com it sounds funny though I understand it all

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