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Stihl cultivator

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by LarryF, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    I had posted this question in a different forum but since there wasn't much response I thought I'd try here as well. I was interested in a Mantis tiller but saw the Stihl MM55 Yard Boss cultivator next to the Mantis in a local store. The Stihl is only about $30 more but it looks like it's a lot more rugged as well as better designed and manufactured. It's also a 27cc rather than a 22cc engine, and Stihl's excellent reputation seems like a strong plus as well. Anyone have any experience with both? I'd appreciate any comments you could provide.
  2. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    Looks like I'm not going to get a response to the above question. So I did some more browsing regarding Stihl versus Mantis tillers and found some opinions in a different (not LS) forum. Looks like they are pretty evenly divided, but one criticism of the Stihl MM55 is that the engine on that particular item is only a "Homescaper" whereas the Mantis engine is supposedly professional quality. First time I ever read an insinuation that any Stihl engine was inferior quality. Can anyone shed some light on this?
  3. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Im looking at these mini tillers too. I think the mantis has the honda 4 stroke engine. I actually like the honda branded one (FG110) better than the mantis.

    I haven't seen the Stihl, so cant comment there.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    I wish someone knowledgeable about mini tillers would join in with an opinion. After some web searching, I found some write-ups about the Mantis and most said it was ok, but this person had a terrible experience with it.


    I didn't find anything about the Stihl MM55 on that epinions.com site
  5. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Yeah, that was an 02 review. I read somewhere that Mantis has changed 2 cycle engines a few times due to problems. I'm not positive but I think since 03 they have been using Echo 2 cycle engines. The 4 cycle is the Honda.

    I don't get the Mantis 4 cycle version being $449, when Honda sells theirs for $349 at Home Depot. They both use the same 25cc engine.

    I'm also interested in this one:
    but it's probably way too big for my small garden application.
  6. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    That Husky does look nice, but it's more than I'm looking for. I was hoping that whatever I get can be stored by hanging it on my garage wall, because I'm out of garage-floor space.

    Thanks for pointing out that it was a 2002 review. I didn't notice that, but now knowing it explains one question I had. The person who wrote the negative Mantis review indicated that the company would not honor his warranty after 2 years, but the current ads indicate its warranty is for 5 years. If Mantis saw that it was necessary to change the engine, it seems to me they must have recognized that something was amiss and should have stood behind its product. But since it didn't, I'm not very impressed with that company's integrity.

    There were 120 reviews in that Epinions.com site, and although most were positive, more than 35 were negative. In my book, that's an awful lot of dissatisfied customers. Some were very negative, so I'm still sitting on the fence. Maybe I'll take a look at the HD Honda you mentioned. It's about the same price as the Stihl MM55. I realize you favor a 4-cycle, but I don't really have strong feelings about 2-cycle versus 4-cycle.
  7. Stattick

    Stattick LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I purchased the MM55 Stihl about a week ago. I did a lot of research regarding which one to buy as well.

    I found one really good thread on a forum that I didn't bookmark. It went back and forth between quite a few commercial guys, some that were using the Mantis and some were using the Stihl.

    Of course both had there preferences and were argueing which one was best. One common thing I did see was that the Mantis tended to have carb problems. Some of the guys had to change the carbs.

    Anyway. I took a dive and decided I wanted the Stihl. I used it to dethatch my lawn, but I haven't used it to do any tilling yet. Seems like a nice machine to me so far.
  8. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    Thanks Stattick! I appreciate the post. I also looked at the Honda 4-cycle mini tiller too but wasn't very favorably impressed. Some who wrote a critique on it indicated that the Honda gearbox failed and resulted in expensive repair. I have found only one negative report on the Stihl MM55 and that was from one the guy picked it up used, so he had no idea what kind of treatment the machine had received in its early life.

    It doesn't look like there is any flexibility on the Stihl price here in NJ. It's $359.95 plus $24.99 for the wheel kit, which I would probably want.
  9. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 40,221

    All I will say is this.

    I have used both. A Stihl MM55 and 2 cycle Mantis tillers. I HATE the MM55 and I loved the Mantis. The MM55 I used just didn't dig as deep as the Mantis. I will say I have not used a 4 cycle Mantis, but the 2 cycles are great. Great power, great throttle response, and great tilling ability. In answer to the carb problems, just add fuel stabilizer if you're not going to use the machine for a while and there shouldn't be any problems. Hope this helped.

    That is all.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I have a customer that had the Honda. he asked me if I could have a look at it because something wasn't working right. I took it apart and found that the worm gear assembly went bad and was slipping. I searched on line for parts and a new assembly. It would have cost nearly as much to fix as a new unit. My neighbor asked me to look at HIS tiller (actually, his girlfriends). It was making a funny noise and slipping...Guess what it was...
    I CAN tell you that the Stihl is built well, and made to take the rigors of heavy use. The Stihl also has a set of extra weights to assist in ground penetration.

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