Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Surferbum21, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Surferbum21

    Surferbum21 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW OKC
    Posts: 392

    Anyone got some useful information or advice? I am wanting to buy a cultivator as I'm doing more and more flowerbeds, sod jobs, etc. so I want to stop renting. The place I buy my equipment has an attachment cultivator for my stihl mm50 for $150. The also have the walk behind for $350. Is it worth the extra money? Also, are the troy-bilt cultivators crap that Lowe's sells? Rear or front tine better?
  2. yungman

    yungman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Calif.
    Posts: 1,274

    I just bought a Mantis cultivator with Honda engine, love it. I bought the dethatcher tine also and dethatch my lawn already. Works good.

    I don't think I would go with Troy Bilt cultivator. I am not sure you can get the dethatcher tine. Stihl Yard Boss can have the brush and sweeper that can be very useful. Down side is Stihl use a Home Scaper engine instead of the commercial Echo Vortex or Honda engine used in Mantis. I do hear good things about the engine though. I don't think for small cultivator, you have front or rear tine, you get tines!!!!! I would get the real cultivator rather than attachment onto the multi purpose unit. Main reason you might pay less for the cultivator alone, but if you want to get other attachment that need gear reduction, each attachment have to have their own reduction gear and cost more, they add up really fast. Also, only Echo have dethatcher attachment, nobody else has it. It can be very useful.

    I choose Mantis over Honda FG110 mainly because of the gear ratio. Mantis is 42:1 vs Honda 35:1. Mantis should have more torque for dethatching which I can say it does need all the power from the engine. FG110 have the same engine as mine and I think it is going to be harder on the engine than Mantis which is already pushing it already. I choose Honda engine because I like Honda 4 cycle engine and it is quiet......real quiet.

    I would get the top brand, not Troy Bilt. Not that big a difference in price. I bought direct from Mantis which have free kick stand and edger and 1 year return. Customer service is good. The first one they shipped, the engine casting have funny crack like look, I call them, they just exchange to another one free and they arrange the pickup.

    Alamia is cheaper but don't know the service.
  3. CletusT

    CletusT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    I've been using an attachment cultivator on my trimmer head for a couple of years now to till up a 15x25 garden plot. I just purchased a Stihl Yard Boss to do the same thing.

    Honestly, both work about the same with the exception that the Yard boss has more power than my homeowner trimmer head. If you are trying to break up ground.. neither really has the weight needed to do it quickly. They will both "do it" eventualy... but you have to work at it. In looking at the Mantis I think you will find the same with it.

    The HUGE difference between the Trimmer Cultivator and the Yard Boss is the ergonomics. Before, I could do a couple of passes and then would have to rest because all the stress is on one arm and off to the side of your body. With the Yard Boss I did the whole garden without stopping, refilled, and then did it again crosswise. The quality of work between the two isn't too much different, but the Yard Boss was worth every penny as far as being easier on the body. I looked at both the mantis and the yard boss... I can't tell you which is better... but I'm definitely happy so far with the yard boss.

    I bought it 2 weeks ago and so far have tilled the garden, repaired a 10x10 section of grass, and am working on repairing a 25x30 section of grass now. I live in the upstate of SC.. so I have rock hard clay. I'm basically having to make one pass pulling the cultivator backwards to bite in until I cover the area. Then I run the irrigation system for a bit to soften it, mix in some topsoil and peat, and then make another pass crossways of the previous direction to mix it all up good.

    For a commercial operator I might go with the mantis just for the commercial quality engine but I can definitely say its worth the money over an attachment for a trimmer head. From my reasearch though... the Yard Boss or the Mantis are the way to go when looking at the smaller style cultivators.
  4. yungman

    yungman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Calif.
    Posts: 1,274

    I am glad to hear your comparison between the Yard Boss and the cultivator attachment. That is my suspicion that you have to push harder down with the attachment and on on side because of the weight distribution and the length. I don't want to say because it is only my guess. I heard good things about the Yard Boss engine even though it is a HomeScaper. They have the brush and sweep that Mantis don't have. I just went with the Mantis Honda because it is quieter and 1 year return policy. Yard Boss suppose to be strong and cheaper than Mantis with Honda.:waving:
  5. Stihlcutter

    Stihlcutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I have an old massive 1985 troy bilt Horse Rear tine. 8hp kohler and full engine roll cage. Fire engine red.
  6. milkie62

    milkie62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 833

    Make your new large beds with a rear engine tiller.For small beds and maintenance the Mantis is the only way to go.Easy to use and do a great job especially cultivating.Best $300 I spent. And i grew up on the farm.

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