Despite a late snowfall last week, spring is FINALLY here in Texas and people are making plans for their vegetable and herb gardens. While researching tillers for a friend, I found that Mantis reviews online far exceed those of other manufacturers when it comes to quality, durability, and warranty. The Mantis tiller/cultivator, shown above, weighs only 24 lbs. It’s powered by a 4-cycle Honda 25cc engine that’s both quieter and more powerful than the 2-cycle tillers.
The Mantis 4-cycle is gas-powered and requires no fuel mixing, as some tillers do. It includes a variable throttle and a shut-off switch to avoid “run-away” machinery, and digs as deep as 10″. The gear box is aluminum cast in a single piece for extreme durability.
Mantis guarantees their reversible serpentine tines against breakage for life, and they offer a risk-free trial — if you buy directly from Mantis, you can return the tiller up to a year later for a “complete, no-hassle” refund. Additionally, all components of any of their tillers are warrantied for 5 years against defects in workmanship and materials. Everything purchased from Mantis qualifies for free shipping.
The cons of the Mantis? Many reviewers complain it’s not the best at dealing with very hard or rocky soil. And the 9″ tilling width means a loooong time tilling if you’re planting a really big garden. But the warranties and refund guarantee, the Consumer Digest seal of approval, and the wide availability of parts and accessories seem to make this one a good call.
The Mantis 4-cycle runs $449 direct from Mantis, and the 2-cycle is $349. Other options include their 16″ XP tiller for $599 and the 9″ wide electric (plug-in) tiller, also for $349.
If you’ve had experience with Mantis tillers or others, let us know in comments what you think are the best choices for home gardeners.