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Sammy 02-19-2008 06:09 PM

Roto-tiller Opinions?
My wife keeps putting roto-tiller catalogs in front of the beer in the fridge.

I'm not psychic, but I think she wants one for her garden.

Dont really need a big tiller, just tilling last years gardens and maybe some sod in some new areas.

I would like something that is multi purpose for lawn edging etc. to get more use out of it.

She has been looking at the Mantis, Troy Built etc. Mantis looks like it runs about 350 bucks with a few freebies thrown in.

Does anyone have any opinions, suggestions, or usage on smaller brand roto-tillers like this?


Robert131 02-19-2008 08:32 PM

I bought a RedMax mini tiller for our golf course, and have had nothing but problems with it. At a previous course I had the Mantis, and that baby worked through hard clay soils like nobody's business. This was about 10 years ago, so unless they have gone cheap in their manufacturing, it should be a good product.

ponch37300 02-20-2008 10:12 AM

I have been doing alot of searching on tillers before i buy one this spring. I started tilling my yard last fall after regrading it and had alot of trouble working up the hard clay that had been drove over by a bobcat all day. I found out that there are forward rotating tines and counter rotating tines, counter is better for working up hard soil and new yards cause it won't jump forward like a front tine, it will dig in better. The forward tine is suppose to be better for gardens that have been worked up already. Just something to consider. As for me, i'm leaning towards a troy built counter rotating tine right now. There are alot of opinions out there if you do a google search.

perpetual98 02-20-2008 11:14 AM

You're obviously not drinking beer fast enough! She'll run out of catalogs eventually!

ponch37300 02-20-2008 11:47 AM

Funny! Start putting catologs of something you want on her bathroom shelfs.

Sammy 02-20-2008 06:24 PM

Robert, was the Mantis you used previously the mini-tiller twenty pounder?
It looks good but the light weight makes me wonder a little bit.

Thanks for everybodys replies!

I have placed the Victoria Secrets catalog in front of my wifes make up shelf..

I dont think the models come with what ya order though... But we'll see!

:thumbup: :eek:

Robert131 02-20-2008 07:34 PM

Yes, the Mantis mini tiller. $350 price sounds about right. Great for flowerbeds, and other small areas. When I used it, I did a border 3'x25' to a depth of 6", all in about 45 mins. Hard clay soil too, with rocks.

Sammy 02-23-2008 09:48 AM

Cool Thanks!

I may just go with that..

terri_and_jj 02-23-2008 08:00 PM

how often will you actually use it? might make more sense to just rent one a couple times a year from your local hardware store. No maintence & repair costs, no depreciation, no extra gas can with two-stroke oil, You could always get one of those Garden Weasels for $30 to use for light weeding and aeration in between full blown tilling sessions

Sammy 02-24-2008 08:18 AM

I have most definitely considered cost of purchase versus lease/rental.

And I agree its cheaper to rent one for the time its used.

But my Wife really wants one and if it makes her happy.....

Thats why I was looking at something that is multi-purpose... The mantis right now has a free edger attachment which could be a plus since we have driveways, sidewalks with islands, and pool patio area to edge. Doing those with a weed wacker is o.k. but the spring clean out is a bear.

LawnGuyLandSparky 02-24-2008 08:39 AM

Can your wife handle a full size tiller, the type that is often rented from a tool supply?

Get her a Mantis... better yet, call the number and wait for the deals on the used returned tillers. (Many people "try" for 90 days and then return.)

Sammy 02-24-2008 11:49 AM

Oh I am sure she could handle a full size tiller... Just dont really need one that big.. Gave away a full size one bout eight years ago to a freind.

When garden season comes she gets the deer in the headlights look when near the garden dept and tends to dig up the backyard like a gopher!

Thats a good idea on the returned units LGLS!

Wood Butcher 02-24-2008 02:04 PM

returns are great if you get a warranty, but mAny times these are sold cheap but as is. let's face it, if somebody went to the trouble to return it, it usually means one of two things: something was wrong with it, or they had no intention of keeping it in the first place, so didn't really care if the oil mix was correct, didn't take a lot of care when they packed it up to send back, didn't bother to make sure all the parts where returned, etc...

unless you are a decent small engine guy, my advice is to resist the temptation to buy customer returns on gas engine products. companies seldom service these when they are returned, and some don't even take the returns back directly, instead just have them shipped to liquidation brokers who buy them for a set price, regardless of condition. Customer returns are always a gamble

Sammy 02-24-2008 02:12 PM

Another good point WB!

Its for my Wifes B-day so the returned unit may look a little cheesy..

Not that I am cheap or anything...

My parakeets are going crazy right now... For some reason they keep saying cheep...

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