Best Bed and Garden Tiller

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Phishook, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,143

    Any one know?
    I looked at a Mantis, $320.

    And thought about getting a Trimmer(Stihl) with a tiller atachment.

    Not sure what way to go.
  2. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    If you are needing something dinky for small areas, I have really done this stuff well with my Mantis. You can hold it like an eggbeater and work it up and down, back and forth to mix compost with topsoil, for instance. But for anything larger than say 10 x 10', a Mantis is a little small.

    Anything made by Stihl or Echo is probably going to be decent quality, but I would not expect to get longterm use out of any homeowner quality device sold by Lowe's Walmart etc.
  3. beaver

    beaver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    i think redmax has a five year commercial warranty on their mini tiller
  4. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    I've got a little 4cycle honda thats amazing. About $300 new.
  5. lahanko

    lahanko LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 173

    Just bought a STIHL YARD BOSS. Great tool.
    I also have an FS-85 edger attachment for sale, used once.
    Thought the edger was all I needed but it wasn't.
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    We use our Mantis in raised beds, bare spot repairs in lawns, small flower beds, leveling and filling in around foundations after spreading topsoil, etc...I love it, and it has been great for us. Whatever you decide, I would go with a dedicated unit instead of an add on accessory. It will last a lot longer if you plan on using it a lot.
  7. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,143

    I cautiously bought a small hand held push tiller for the 'wife'.

    I'll see how she likes it.:D $20.

    But I did pick up a nice $400 push mower!
  8. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    We have a Stihl MM55. Bought it last year and it has been flawless. Lots of power for such a small tiller. Great for annual and raised beds.
  9. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 304

    It really depends on your needs and uses for the tiller as to which would be better for you.

    The biggest difference in the mini tillers you are considering is the tine design. There are two kinds of tines in general use now.
    1. is the so called scratcher tine, which is found on the Mantis, Echo TC 210, and Stihl MM55 tiller. These tines are sort of a 10 point star shape with sharp pointed tips. They dig into the soil almost like a circular saw blade would do it. If you need to till in hard soils [clay] or packed soil [Spring tilling of year old bed] then this type of tine really saws its way down into the hardened ground much faster. These mini tillers are very light, and they don't have much weighted down pressure to shove the tines into the soil , so these pointed tines will rip in and not just bounce around on hard soil .

    2. The other type of tine is the "bolo" tine. Found on most trimmer/tiller attachments. This is the standard "L" shaped tine you see on most large tillers. This type of design has the advantage when it is used to cultivate weeds from a garden or flower bed. The reason it is better is the tines knife edges chop and dice up the weeds and their roots, putting them into very bad health. It also flips the soil and buries the weed pieces better. Think of this system as a power rotary garden hoe. Like a garden hoe, it is not very effective for deeper tilling , because there is almost no weight to the tiller head so it won't push the bolo tines down into hard soil. On hard packed clay, this type machine will just sort of bounce around, and will refuse to go deeply into the soil, but it is still a great cultivator.

    The other thing, besides cultivating weeds, that it is very good for , is turning over, and refreshing mulch. Since the bolo tines tend to flip over , and fluff up the garden soil so well, it will also do this to your old impacted mulch. It can almost make last years mulch , look like it is all fresh and very deep again.

    So it is not really a contest of which is the best machine [as you asked about] , it is really about what your intended uses for the machine are going to be.

    By the way, some of these tillers have both types of tine systems available as an option, and you may want to consider that when making your choice.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Hey, I've been looking at this unit. Can you please tell me how that edger attachment works on unit as compared to the stick edger? With the stickedger, you can push down to keep it in the ground, but I was thinking that having the leverage of the spread handles would be an advantage to. Does the edger happen to want to just ride out of the ground on a curb? I have the FS85 stickedger, and was thinking I could use the YardBoss unit with that, too, but I just don't know how well it would work.

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