mini tillers

johnaw(z5 OHIO)June 10, 2007

I would like to buy a Mini Tiller and would like to know which one is the best built and does the best job?

I would be useing this fortilling between my row in the Vegable garden and many other areas.

Do they all come with edgers?

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I don't know how Mini you want to get with a tiller, but I have a little Mantis and it can till circles around some of the old monsters I used to use. Can carry it easily with one hand and it moves through the narrowest of rows in my veggie garden when I get lazy hoeing. My daughter takes it with her on landscape jobs, and it just sits up in a corner in one of the greenhouses, ready. This is its third year and I certainly have no complaints with it.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:16AM
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johnaw(z5 OHIO)

I would like to add one other Mini Tiller and would like some comments on it and that is the HONDA MINI TILLER, please gave me your Pro and Con's on this one.

I hear so much about the Mantis Tiller and how they operate and verything I hear is good, I have not heard anything bad about them. When I ask at the repair shop about who makes the BEST MINI TILLER they tell me Mantis and when I ask about the HONDA they also say a HONDA is hard to beat, so at that I would say Mantis is at the top and than HONDA must come in after that at the top some where.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 9:04AM
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maineman(z5a ME)


You might be interested in the presentation shown at this Mantis Test Results link.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Mind you don't grind your soil into flour.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 1:45AM
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That's an excellent point. It is a not-so-rare habit of people armed with tillers. You can ruin a good soil by over tilling.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 7:45AM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Hi all,

I couldn't agree more about not pulverizing the soil structure. That's why I use a Merry Tiller with a triple reduction transmission, a very high tine torque, and a very low tine speed.

My Merry Tiller's slow tine speed leaves the soil crumb structure intact, as well as most of the earthworms. Perhaps the few earthworms that do get cut in two regenerate to become two earthworms. Tillers that brag about high tine speeds make mincemeat out of earthworms, and are hard put to till very deep because of their speed.

And since the Merry Tiller's tines turn slowly, no dirt shield is needed and I have full vision of the tilling zone, which has its own advantages.

I linked to the Mantis site merely because it has some comparative information relative to small tillers. However, I don't think that the Red Ox tiller it mentions is even available any more. But apparently Mantis' serpentine tines are good at scratching into a hard surface. Fortunately my soil is nothing like particle board. But their test is interesting.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Honda mini tillers are JUNK!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 4:51PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)


My experience with mini-tillers (always Mantis, I think but cannot swear) is that they are extremely noisy, buck like a bronco and do not penetrate readily.

And after they do sink in the area worked each time is very small.

I don't like machines that run me.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 2:07PM
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I have used an Echo tiller that worked very well even on raised vegetable beds. I have also used a Honda. The advantage of the Honda that I used is that it runs on staight gas, no 2 cycle oil. Both the Echo and Honda worked really well.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:07PM
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mtny(SW MT zn 3)

I have had mantis,troy built and honda mini tillers...really did not like the mantis,it always reminded me of a blender, the troy built was ok for its time but hit a rock and the shaft would shear off in a second...that happened at least 3 times although they always gave me a new one...Honda by far the best I have used 4 cycle decent tines and surprizingly capable...I use it the most of any tool and it tills deeply...I was however surprized to see that the dirt shield on my newest one was now plastic...I hope it holds up

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 12:26PM
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