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Old 22-04-2003, 04:56 PM
Siouxzi
 
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Default I chose Mantis tiller--here's why

OK, thanks to everyone who responded to my query. I went to Clark's
(Raleigh, Atlantic and New Hope Church) where they had all three
models i was looking at. I got the 2-stroke Mantis tiller. In
gratitude for all the good advice, I thought I'd share what I learned.

The 2-stroke is the Mantis tiller that most folks are familiar with.
But I learned that now there is also a 4-stroke Mantis. It's hard to
find--even on Mantis' own web site?! , and is manufactured by someone
other than Mantis, but has a Mantis name.

Mantis tillers are available at Clark's, Ace Hardware, and a number of
other places around town--their web site will give you a list, or you
can order one for the same price, including shipping. (We could not
wait!)

The Honda FG100 is a popular mini, but it's got a 4-stroke engine.
Interestingly, the Mantis 4-stroke has a Honda engine too. The young
dude at Clark's was knowledgeable and didn't try to sell me the most
expensive one.
He said that the Honda and the Mantis 4-stroke were both a great
little machines also, but he laid out the pluses and minuses, and in
the end recommended the Mantis 2-stroke.

4-stroke Honda ($349) and Mantis
PRO: Separate tanks for gas and oil, so you don't have to remember to
mix them.
PRO: Less exhaust smoke
CON: That same feature causes the engine to cut out when you're
tilling on a hillside--I think he said that the oil doesn't flow
properly when the engine is tilted.
CON: On the Honda (not sure about the Mantis 4-stroke) there is a
"bolo"(?) style blade with only 4 tines that are crimped inward at the
tips--not sharp, and will bounce off hard clay and rocks.
CON: Costs $40 more, and you have to pay another $20-40 to get a
"cutting blade" which is more like the one that Mantis comes with.

2-stroke Mantis ($299 +$20 shipping, or $320 at stores):
PRO: Engine won't cut out on a hillside, because the gas and oil are
mixed.
PRO: Just as powerful as the 4-stroke.
PRO: Easiest to maneuver in our raised-bed, wood-enclosed gardens.
It's only 20 lbs so easy to pick up and carry.
PRO: The tines--they're plentiful and sharp and they cut into dirt
like crazy. Blades are guaranteed for life, that's cool!
PRO: The sharp cutting blade comes standard, and usually you can get
an edging attachment for free.

It's true that they will wrap up those tree roots. Stop often and
remove the blades to clean--they come off really easy when you remove
the pin.

Caution: Someone told me that he told his elderly Mom to give hers up
because she couldn't hold it steady enough and it bounced around.
Yeah--be careful! You have to hold it, because if your leg or foot got
nailed by those super-sharp points you'd have a serious injury. Wear
long pants and sturdy boots while using it.

I wouldn't even consider an electric one--what a hassle to move around
the cord, and heaven forbid you cut through it.

Hey, just found a Mantis dealer online that has it on sale for $289
including shipping and the border edger. What a deal!
http://www.kimcolawnandgarden.com/

Happy gardening,
Sue


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Old 22-04-2003, 11:08 PM
Anne Lurie
 
Posts: n/a
Default I chose Mantis tiller--here's why

Thanks, Sue, for a great review thoughtfully done!

BTW, I *totally* agree that it's important that the user be strong enough to
control the tiller when it bounces -- and it will! I feel like I'm
wielding a jackhammer sometimes, but there is a real feeling of machismo
when I can keep the tiller from getting away from me (okay, okay, so I'm a
56-year-old grandma -- what do I know about machismo).

Seriously, though, let's all be careful out there! Just because I can pick
up the tiller with one hand doesn't mean I should be less respectful of its
capabilities -- and those tines are rather sharp!

Anne Lurie
NE Raleigh


"Siouxzi" wrote in message
...
OK, thanks to everyone who responded to my query. I went to Clark's
(Raleigh, Atlantic and New Hope Church) where they had all three
models i was looking at. I got the 2-stroke Mantis tiller. In
gratitude for all the good advice, I thought I'd share what I learned.

The 2-stroke is the Mantis tiller that most folks are familiar with.
But I learned that now there is also a 4-stroke Mantis. It's hard to
find--even on Mantis' own web site?! , and is manufactured by someone
other than Mantis, but has a Mantis name.

Mantis tillers are available at Clark's, Ace Hardware, and a number of
other places around town--their web site will give you a list, or you
can order one for the same price, including shipping. (We could not
wait!)

The Honda FG100 is a popular mini, but it's got a 4-stroke engine.
Interestingly, the Mantis 4-stroke has a Honda engine too. The young
dude at Clark's was knowledgeable and didn't try to sell me the most
expensive one.
He said that the Honda and the Mantis 4-stroke were both a great
little machines also, but he laid out the pluses and minuses, and in
the end recommended the Mantis 2-stroke.

4-stroke Honda ($349) and Mantis
PRO: Separate tanks for gas and oil, so you don't have to remember to
mix them.
PRO: Less exhaust smoke
CON: That same feature causes the engine to cut out when you're
tilling on a hillside--I think he said that the oil doesn't flow
properly when the engine is tilted.
CON: On the Honda (not sure about the Mantis 4-stroke) there is a
"bolo"(?) style blade with only 4 tines that are crimped inward at the
tips--not sharp, and will bounce off hard clay and rocks.
CON: Costs $40 more, and you have to pay another $20-40 to get a
"cutting blade" which is more like the one that Mantis comes with.

2-stroke Mantis ($299 +$20 shipping, or $320 at stores):
PRO: Engine won't cut out on a hillside, because the gas and oil are
mixed.
PRO: Just as powerful as the 4-stroke.
PRO: Easiest to maneuver in our raised-bed, wood-enclosed gardens.
It's only 20 lbs so easy to pick up and carry.
PRO: The tines--they're plentiful and sharp and they cut into dirt
like crazy. Blades are guaranteed for life, that's cool!
PRO: The sharp cutting blade comes standard, and usually you can get
an edging attachment for free.

It's true that they will wrap up those tree roots. Stop often and
remove the blades to clean--they come off really easy when you remove
the pin.

Caution: Someone told me that he told his elderly Mom to give hers up
because she couldn't hold it steady enough and it bounced around.
Yeah--be careful! You have to hold it, because if your leg or foot got
nailed by those super-sharp points you'd have a serious injury. Wear
long pants and sturdy boots while using it.

I wouldn't even consider an electric one--what a hassle to move around
the cord, and heaven forbid you cut through it.

Hey, just found a Mantis dealer online that has it on sale for $289
including shipping and the border edger. What a deal!
http://www.kimcolawnandgarden.com/

Happy gardening,
Sue





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