Are Mantis Tillers Any Good? (Your Questions Answered)

If you’re in the market for a new Mantis tiller, then this article will definitely help. We’ve done our research and taken an in-depth look at the heritage of the company and its products.

Mantis are a US company with 40 years’ experience making composters and tillers. Their products are assembled in Pennsylvania, where the company is based, from parts made in both the USA and overseas. Mantis tillers get 4.6 stars out of 5 from verified reviewers.

Let’s dive down into the Mantis brand in more detail, and outline their complete tiller product range – plus how to use and maintain them.

Are Mantis Tillers Any Good? (Your Questions Answered)

Are Mantis Tillers Made in The USA?

Mantis Tillers are assembled in Pennsylvania, from parts made in both the US and abroad. The Mantis Tiller first appeared in our yards about 40 years ago. Until then, tillers were large, heavy machines used in agriculture. This American company changed all that, by manufacturing a compact and lightweight tiller that was suitable for the domestic user.

Who Makes Mantis Tillers? (Can I Trust Them?)

Mantis is a Pensylvannian company, who specialize in tillers and composters. The firm has stuck to a simple range of products for 40 years, and is a real household name when it comes to gardening

You can trust their tillers as they “torture test” them. According to their website, Mantis test their tillers in a “specially designed chamber filled with a mixture of rocks, sand, topsoil and hardwood mulch. We run them hour after hour, day after day to assure they’ll stand up to the toughest digging and tilling conditions”. 

And the engines inside these super-tough machines? They’re made by a company goes by the name of Honda. You may have heard of them.

What Products Are in The Mantis Tillers Range?

Mantis makes a range of domestic tillers. The smallest is the Mantis 2-Cycle model, a tiller and cultivator that weighs only 20 pounds. Perfect for the smaller yard, it may look tiny but it can tackle tough soil like clay. If you flip its tines around, it can be used for super-speedy weeding. The gas-powered tiller can be folded for easy storage.

The next tiller up is the Mantis 2-Cycle Plus. This is also compact and robust, with the additional advantage of Mantis’ FastStart technology, which gets the job going with even less effort.

If you want a more powerful tiller, the 4-Cycle series has that superb Honda® 4-cycle engine. Choose between the compact nine inch model, or go large with the Extra Wide version, which is 16 inches. This is heavier at 34 pounds, but still folds neatly for storage.

Prefer battery power to gas? The Mantis 58V Cordless Tiller Cultivator gives you 30 minutes of tilling on a single charge. It’s quietly powerful, and so easy to manoeuvre. If you don’t mind working around a cord, the electric, plug-in version is a great value option, and has an efficient, two-speed motor.

What Size & Weight Are Mantis Tillers?

The smallest Mantis Tiller is the 2-Cycle series. These models are 9 inches wide, and weigh just 20 pounds. They are ideal for general domestic yard use; and although they’re small and lightweight, they’re still really tough on hard soil and clay.

There are two widths in the 4-Cycle series, the compact 9 inch and the extra-wide 16 inch. The 9 inch model is still heavier than the 2-Cycle, as it has that mighty Honda® engine. It weighs in at 24 pounds. However, the Extra Wide tiller is a much heavier 34 pounds, but you do get a much bigger working area for that additional 10 pounds.

The Mantis 58V Cordless Tiller Cultivator is 26 pounds (the battery adds weight). With a 12 inch width, it’s a bit bigger than most of the gas-powered models, too. The corded version is also 12 inches, and weighs a bit less at 24 pounds

Do Mantis Tillers Come With a Warranty?

Mantis tillers come with a warranty (have a look at the Returns & Warranty page on the Mantis website for more information). This is for one or two years, depending on the product

If the tiller comes with a Honda® engine, that has a separate warranty from Honda® themselves. 

What Do Real Reviewers Say About Mantis Tillers?

As an example, we took a look at the users’ reviews of a 4-Cycle gas-powered Mantis Tiller on Amazon. It scores 4.6 stars out of a possible five, with over 870 ratings given.

Customers like it because it does the job well. They want an effective domestic tiller, and this one does exactly what they need it to do. There are also a few mentions of how quiet it is, and users like the lightweight and compact design. Comments include “great little tiller” and “little power horse”.

Poorer reviews seem to have more to do with Matis’ customer service than the machines themselves, with customers reporting difficulty in getting broken parts replaced. 

Mantis tillers

How Much Do Mantis Tillers Cost?

We looked at the prices on mantis’ own website (there is an additional shipping and handling fee on top of these figures). The Mantis tiller starts at $129 for the electric corded model. If you want the cordless version, that costs an extra $100.

The entry-level gas-powered tiller is the 2-Cycle model. Mantis charge $299 for this, and it’s $349 if you want the extra starting power

The powerful gas-run 4-Cycle series, with its Honda engines, is naturally more expensive. It’s $399.95 for the standard 4-Cycle. If you have a larger yard and want the 16 inch wide model, that’ll cost you $599.95.

How Do I Use a Mantis Tiller?

Mantis Tillers are renowned for being straightforward to use. How you start it depends on which model you have, and we recommend the clear guides on the Mantis website.

Also, before you start, you’ll need to set the tines. Do you want to till or just carry out some light cultivation? By switching the tines around, you can choose which function you want to use.

For tilling, the points of the tine face forwards. For cultivating, they face backwards. This is because for tilling the points need to contact the ground first, and with cultivating, the flat edge needs to be the first edge to make contact.

Take a look at this quick film about tilling, using a gas-powered model. We’ve summarized the main parts for you. 

  1. Press down on the locking lever on the handle to release the tines. They won’t move until you do this.
  2. Put the tiller on the area you need to till or cultivate, engage the tines, then move the machine backwards. 
  3. Let it go forwards, then pull it back again. Repeat until you reach the required soil depth.

When you’ve finished, the lightweight tiller can be easily carried to your shed or garage using the carrying handle. Check the filter and give it a clean if necessary. If you’re not planning on using it for at least another month, safely empty its fuel into a secure container.

Are Mantis Tillers Easy To Maintain?

Mantis has a great section on their website about cleaning and maintenance, which includes timeframes (how often you need to carry out these tasks) and a series of short films

To prevent the tiller from feeling sluggish, clean the air filter regularly (even after each use) and check the exhaust before switching it on, every single time. As you can imagine, there are lots of tiller enthusiasts, who have uploaded plenty of Mantis maintenance videos onto YouTube. If you buy a Mantis, you’re certainly joining a community.

How Do I Store My Mantis Tiller?

Mantis Tillers need to be kept indoors to reduce the risk of rusting. Their handy fold-down handles help them tuck tidily into a storage space, and these compact machines won’t take up much room in your shed or garage. They have a kick stand so they can be stored standing upright

If you are storing a gas-powered Mantis tiller for longer than 30 days, you’ll need to drain out the fuel first. You’ll also need to empty its tank if you’re planning on transporting it in a vehicle. The good news is that these neat tillers fold down small enough to fit in your car trunk.

Before winterizing your tiller, empty the fuel, then give its tines a clean by wiping them down with something like WD-40. You can give it a good general spray of WD-40, which will help prevent it rusting over the winter.

Mantis also recommends coating the engine with oil by adding a teaspoon into the spark plug port then pulling the starter cord up to three times. Watch out for a bit of splashing here.

Summary: Where Can I Buy a Mantis Tiller?

Mantis Tillers are easy to get hold of. We’ve already mentioned Mantis’ own online store and Amazon, and there are other online retailers like Tillers Direct. You can also pick up a Mantis product at Lowe’s.