NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Mantis Tiller  (Read 5195 times)

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Mantis Tiller
« on: February 28, 2012, 06:40:01 pm »
A quick search through the archives showed little, but all positive feedback on above machine. We are thinking about getting one - we are on HEAVY clay, with a good measure of stones thrown in too, raised beds (all 3m x 1m) - anyone got any alternative machines that do the same job?

One of my problems is that I cannot use the standard rotovator, as too heavy and handle bars too big for me to control the throttle... so is the Mantis more usable for smaller hands?
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robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 07:05:49 pm »
£330  for a new one  just google the name   it is a pity you want a tiddler i have an iseki simmilar to the howard gem rotovator and it is diesel as well :farmer:

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 07:08:50 pm »
OH got one last year as a present from her dad and loves it.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 09:19:25 pm »
I have a Mantis, as well as a normal sized rotavator.  I can no longer use the larger one and will shortly be seeing if I can still manage the Mantis.  The Mantis is in fact more thorough in its tilling than a larger machine.  I use mine mainly to chop up rotted manure into the soil before planting, after my OH has gone over the ground with the larger machine, and for weeding between rows.
I do find stones a problem as they get caught between the blades and can be difficult to get out (the answer is just to take the tines off and the stone will drop out).  It is recomended to use the Mantis by pulling it backwards, but I prefer to use it forwards like a normal rotavator - backwards it is more prone to pick up stones.  Our first was a 2 stroke - big mistake and they no longer make them.  With the 2 stroke, if you ran out of fuel the engine seized - no lubricant as of course with 2 strokes the oil is in the fuel but ours seized in a second flat.  It was replaced be Mantis with a 4 stroke which has been great.
With the larger rotavator we had to rig up a string to keep the throttle open while working (very bad H&S  :o), as both of us soon found our hands had pneumatic drill operators' white fingers.  The Mantis is much gentler on the hands but does still vibrate a lot.  It is very easy to lift and carry around, or it will run around under its own power.
The Mantis is far more useful than you would expect for such a small machine.
Here endeth the advert  :D :D
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 10:08:48 pm »
I have a Mantis, as well as a normal sized rotavator.  I can no longer use the larger one and will shortly be seeing if I can still manage the Mantis.  The Mantis is in fact more thorough in its tilling than a larger machine.  I use mine mainly to chop up rotted manure into the soil before planting, after my OH has gone over the ground with the larger machine, and for weeding between rows.
I do find stones a problem as they get caught between the blades and can be difficult to get out (the answer is just to take the tines off and the stone will drop out).  It is recomended to use the Mantis by pulling it backwards, but I prefer to use it forwards like a normal rotavator - backwards it is more prone to pick up stones.  Our first was a 2 stroke - big mistake and they no longer make them.  With the 2 stroke, if you ran out of fuel the engine seized - no lubricant as of course with 2 strokes the oil is in the fuel but ours seized in a second flat.  It was replaced be Mantis with a 4 stroke which has been great.
With the larger rotavator we had to rig up a string to keep the throttle open while working (very bad H&S  :o), as both of us soon found our hands had pneumatic drill operators' white fingers.  The Mantis is much gentler on the hands but does still vibrate a lot.  It is very easy to lift and carry around, or it will run around under its own power.
The Mantis is far more useful than you would expect for such a small machine.
Here endeth the advert  :D :D

Many thanks, Juliet.  ;D

I cannot work a normal rotovator (and we have one to go behind the tractor anyway for the pig pens), but need something to do the final prep before planting in p/tunnel and the veg garden. With raised beds all round a small cultivator is the only option.. and OH has just said...  Lets spend some money then...

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 09:42:18 pm »
We've got a Mantis. The 4 stroke Honda engined version. Absolutely great little machine really good for preparing ground for planting, weeding between rows etc. If you hold it in one spot it'll dig itself in about a foot deep ideal for planting larger plants. Easy to start, cheap to run and totally reliable.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2012, 04:28:46 pm »
It has been ordered!

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 10:03:49 pm »
Be interested to know how you get on with it. I have often wondered how tone would cope with our very stoney soil. Are the blades under any sort of guarantee - they would have to be pretty good not to get damaged on all our stones.
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Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 01:38:30 pm »
Will do. Our soil is quite stony, but I have been taking out stones every year when digging, so we are getting better (raised beds). However every spring these seem to be some new ones, not sure where they come from....

They say that the blades are guaranteed for life, whatever that means...

Jimbofish67

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Brynamman South Wales
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 01:05:06 pm »
my father treated himself to a mantis many years ago, it was the early 2 stoke version , it's still going strong now, never had a problem with seizure as mentioned in the earlier post but can understand this could be an issue.
It been handed down to me now and it tackles most situations without hassle, it will be coming to Wales with us this summer and will have to really earn it keep on our new patch, but I have no doubts it will.

Jim.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Mantis Tiller
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 01:52:44 pm »
Be interested to know how you get on with it. I have often wondered how tone would cope with our very stoney soil. Are the blades under any sort of guarantee - they would have to be pretty good not to get damaged on all our stones.

Two things happen in stony ground.  Smallish stones get trapped between the two blades on each side, which causes the engine to stall, and the tines can bend.  Getting them out, especially flat-sided ones, can be a bit of annoyance, but as I said before you can just take the whole thing off, shake out the stone then put it back together again.  That's fine for the first couple of times but it would be tedious in very stony ground.
The second thing is that the whole machine bounces up uncontrollably if it hits a big stone, unlike a heavier machine which just shudders.  I don't use mine close to the polytunnel plastic for that reason, but we don't have too many stones except just after the winter when the frost has heaved a new set to the surface.  So I wouldn't recommend it for ground which is nothing but stones.  Elsewhere when it bounces you soon get used to letting the drive lever go quickly before the thing chops up all your favourite plants, and to seeing big stones ahead and moving them before you get there.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 01:55:17 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

 

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