Bought a Honda FG-110 "Mini Tiller"

Melensdad

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Last year I built a raised bed garden.

My big LandPride rear mount tractor tiller is wider than most of the beds in the garden.

So I figured I needed a new toy. Looked at the Mantis mini-tiller but its a mail order thing and I wanted to put my hands on it before buying. Found out that ECHO sells a 'clone' of the Mantis mini-tiller but that also seems to be a mail order item. The local ECHO shops and the Home Depot stores (they carry ECHO) list it as a non-stock item available for shipping.

The Honda FG-110 is slightly larger, slightly heavier, but its a HONDA and all the reviews I could find seemed to rate it att he top of the pile. Same model is sold by Home Depot and various Honda shops.

Almost embarassed by the tiny size of this tiller. It tills a 9" wide path :yum:

LINK TO HONDA's website for the "Mini Tiller" => http://powerequipment.honda.com/tillers/models/fg110

I've not tried it yet, but I set it up, filled it with oil, and may use it to weed the blueberry bed later today.
 

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bczoom

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I've had one of those for years but I think mine is a FG100. They're awesome.

Mine was turned way down from the factory. Crank up the RPM's!

I use it for raised beds, horseshoe pits and other small areas.

Starts first or 2nd pull every time over the past several years.
 

mla2ofus

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I've had the mantis for several yrs and it's been a good machine. I just don't care for their design on the tines because if the ground has lots of small roots, grass etc it fills up the tine teeth and you have to stop and clean them off. I've tried reversing them to the cultivate position but it doesn't seem to help. The Honda tines look like they shouldn't have that problem. The edger attachment however is the cat's meow.
Mike
 

Melensdad

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Well I just used it to clear out the mess of weeds that totally overwhelmed the blueberry bed. Took a bit of time, and the tall grass tended to get wrapped around the shaft ... but that didn't seem to slow it down any! The weeds that got in its way were shredded, the soil under it was pulverized into a nice fine powdery (soil is very dry) black goodness.

I'm impressed.

It was light enough to be very easy to handle.

It was controllable enough to get right up to blueberry bushes without damaging them.

I would have preferred an even lighter unit so that my wife would consider using it, but at roughly 26 pounds its plenty light enough to tote from bed to bed and its small enough to get in between plantings.

We have NOT yet planted our garden because of the "Hadrian's Wall" trip. So that is a mess too. I'm going to clear those beds out over the next couple of days . . . and my plan is to make sure that we get our plantings spaced apart enough that I can use this little Mini-Tiller to weed in between the tomatoes, peppers, etc etc etc.

Glad I purchased this.

It did an amazingly good job with only minimal effort.

I wish I would have taken BEFORE and AFTER photos . . . but the BEFORE photo would have been too embarassing to post :ermm:

But as someone with arthritic hands/wrists/arms/shoulders I will say that the vibrations and bouncing around did provide a bit of punishment. Someone not afflicted probably wouldn't even notice it. But I do!
 

JEV

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I just bought the echo TC210, and it's quite the little beast. I love the included kick stand!!! I have an Echo dealer nearby and he stocks them, so I was able to have him run it up and tweak it before taking it home. I also have an Echo string trimmer and the small backpack blower. All use the 40:1 fuel mix, so I only need one fuel container. Just an FY from my dealer, he stated that these small engines work best and start quickest when the fuel mix include gas that is AT LEAST 89 octane. 87 octane just doesn't cut it, because of EPA carburetor requirements. I use 89 octane and have had zero problems with starting or operating. I'm getting ready to refill my 1-gallon can, so I'm going to try the 93 octane with this next mix just to compare operating performance.

I think the Honda is 4 cycle, and my dealer wanted another $100 for the Honda. Couldn't see spending more, when both had the same warranty, and I was already happy withthe engines in my other machines. Got mine for $325 + tx
 

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Melensdad

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JEV, that ECHO is the one I really was looking for.

FWIW, I paid $349+tax for the Honda today.

And yes, the Honda is a 4 cycle.
 

bczoom

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Speaking of gas...
I've switched from 93 octane E10 to 89 octane E0 (pure) gas.

With the pure gas, my equipment runs significantly better with probably a 10-20% increase in performance.
 

Melensdad

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Brian I typically also run premium grade 93 octane gas in my small engines for the same reasons.
 

bczoom

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Bob - I was saying that pure 89 octane with no ethanol runs better than 93 with E10.
 

Doc

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If you don't have source for pure gas without ethanol, sta-bil makes a marine product which counteracts the ethanol. You just add a little every time you fill up. I bought some at Rural King but suspect all the auto parts stores carry it. Better than ruining small engines with ethanol.
 

bczoom

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If you don't have source for pure gas without ethanol, sta-bil makes a marine product which counteracts the ethanol.
I've used the Marine Sta-Bil with good results but have switched over to Sea Foam.
 

EastTexFrank

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I had the Mantis for years and years. I used it exclusively on the raised beds in what is laughingly called, "my wife's garden". It did a good job but when I had my back problems a few years ago, it was a bit of a handful. I really like the look of that Honda though.

I have a source for ethanol free gasoline and that is what I run in all my small engines. I switched from 93 octane E10 to the 87 octane E0 and can't really tell any difference in the performance of the equipment. I do doctor up the gas when I bring it home with Sta-bil and Seafoam. It keeps it usable for well over a year. Generally, every spring I pour all the remaining gas into the vehicles and restock. It makes it easier for me to keep track of.
 

Melensdad

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I had the Mantis for years and years. I used it exclusively on the raised beds in what is laughingly called, "my wife's garden". It did a good job but when I had my back problems a few years ago, it was a bit of a handful. I really like the look of that Honda though. . .
Ha, I like that theory about "my wife's garden" because I suspect, that like me, you did a good bit of the work in that thing.

Well as for this little Honda, the lovely Mrs_Bob and I spent the last couple hours planting some new blueberries, spreading ground cloth/weed barrier and mulch into the blueberry patch and this was the first time she saw the patch AFTER the little Honda did its work on the weed-bed that the blueberry patch had become. She was amazed it did such a good job. Even made the comment that it would make short work of the weeds in "her" raised garden beds :whistling:
 

mla2ofus

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JEV, the echo tines look very similar to the mantis tines. Do yours want to ball up roots and grass on the points?
Mike
 

Melensdad

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Well more tilling today.

One thing I do NOT like is that the tines tend to WRAP LONG WEEDS around the shaft and you have to take the tines off to clean it all out. Also dried plants that died last season don't necessary get tilled into the ground, some of those end up stuck around the shaft too.

OVERALL this is a great little tiller. Can't say if it is better/worse than the Mantis/Echo. But I can say I do like this Honda. It works best when most of the debris and weeds have been pulled/removed/raked away. Does a great job churning the soil. Will actually cut through sod.
 

bczoom

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Bob - for those long weeds that get wrapped around the shaft, just carry a utility knife with you. Run your knife at, and parallel with the shaft (between each pair of tines) and cut so there's a gap in their wrap around the shaft. They're then easy to pull out of the tiller. Option B is to run the weedeater over those tall weeds a week or 2 before you go in with the tiller.

Have you raised your WOT throttle?

The biggest difference I found compared to the Mantis a friend has is the noise. The Honda is much quieter.
 
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