Mantis Compact ComposTumbler Compost Bin

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The Compact ComposTumbler was developed by Mantis in the 1990’s specifically for home composting by suburban gardeners and homeowners who garden on smaller properties.

The unique tumbler design has been meticulously proportioned to speed up the composting process to produce finished compost in as little as two weeks. The process allows you to gradually fill your Compact ComposTumbler with common organic kitchen throw-outs as well as garden waste. The speed at which these materials compost is dependent upon the carbon/nitrogen content of the materials, their size, the moisture of the materials, and how often you turn the drum.

The Mantis Compact CompostTumbler drum holds up to 335 litres of material and measures 109cm high x 107cm wide x 84m deep. The drum sits 30cm off of the ground and is made from rust-resistant, powder-coated galvannealed steel.

The dimensions of the Mantis ComposTumbler have been professionally and accurately calculated for maximum efficiency in building a heat core. As the drum of the ComposTumbler is turned, using the gear-driven handle on the frame, the materials inside the composter mix and the core is stable. Interior mxing fins ensure thorough mixing as you turn the drum, preventing material from sticking to the sides and producing faster decomposition.

The bin contents are fully enclosed to keep out rodents, pets and other wildlife so there are no more messy, unsightly piles and no odours wafting over to your neighbour.

Hint, you can collect any excess moisture that drains out of the unit and dilute it with 10 parts water to 1 part liquid and have a wonderful fertiliser for your plants-we like to call it compost tea!

NB: Minimal assembly required.


Make compost in three easy steps:

1. Collect organic waste

Simply collect a variety of organic waste materials from your property and garden. Put them in your ComposTumbler, close the door, and immediately give the tumbler five turns.

2. Tumble your compost

Give the tumbler five turns every day. No heavy lifting!

3. Finished compost in only a few weeks

Open the door and tumble out your finished compost

Composting tips:-

  • Be sure the mix of ingredients you put in your tumbler contains wastes high in nitrogen and carbon for a good balance.
  • Do not attempt to make compost using any products that have been treated with chemical fertilisers or pest control products.
  • If you have bulky items to compost, such as corn cobs, melon rinds, and shrub clippings, be sure to run them through a shredder or chop up the material into smaller pieces before putting them your tumbler. Larger items take longer to break down.

What can you compost?:

You can add almost any organic material to your compost, and in small quantities you’re unlikely to upset the balance of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’.  We give you a free guide to composting with your new Mantis ComposTumbler.

To see a full list of the many items that can be added to your compost, click here.  These are just a few of the things you can turn into quality fertiliser:

  • Fresh grass clippings
  • Shredded leaves
  • Kitchen trimmings and peels from vegetables and fruits
  • Sawdust
  • Garden throwouts such as dead flowers and plants
  • Weeds (Yes! The temperature inside the ComposTumbler gets hot enough to kill the weed seeds!)
  • Manure from horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs or sheep. (Do not attempt to compost any wastes from dogs or cats.)
  • Black-and-white sections of newspapers
  • Egg cartons
  • Rotted fruits and vegetables
  • Pine needles
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea leaves or tea bags


Healthier soil, better plants and contributing to a natural environment are all key benefits of Composting

  • Compost makes hard clay soil more airy so it drains better and provides a healthier base for roots of plants.
  • Your own home-made compost is completely safe and natural. It will not harm kids, pets, or the environment.
  • Compost builds humus in your soil and improves soil structure, texture, fertility, drainage, and aeration.
  • Compost is a mega-boost for plants. They grow bigger, produce bigger yields, and more beautiful flowers.
  • Compost makes your plants more resistant to disease.
  • Compost bulks-up thin, sandy soil, giving it more substance and texture to support hardy root growth.
  • Making compost is a great way to recycle. Instead of sending kitchen and garden wastes to the landfill, turning them into compost recycles them back into nature’s environment as a high-powered natural fertiliser.
  • Use compost to top-dress new and existing lawns for thicker, healthier grass. On a newly seeded lawn, spread a thin layer of compost as top dressing. For an existing lawn, aerate first then spread the compost.


Compost is that wonderful combination of microscopic mineral particles and decomposed organic material that makes your garden thrive. Composting is what gardeners do to control, or assist, the naturally occurring decaying of organic matter.

In the forest, leaves, plants, fruits and nuts, animal waste, and other organic matter decay over time to return to the soil. This process continuously replenishes the soil with the nutrients essential for plant growth. But natural or unassisted organic decomposition is usually relatively slow. Moisture content is inconsistent; the decaying plants, leaves, and animal waste may be relatively large; and the mix of materials in any given area can be somewhat unbalanced.

To make great compost in a relatively short time, you need a good combination of materials, adequate moisture, critical mass, and help from nature (microbes, worms, and other bugs). Turning your composting bin eliminates the problems associated with slow decomposition by:

  • Redistributing moisture throughout the mix, since the outside of the mixture dries out quickly, especially in the summer.
  • Redistributing the microbe population (and worms, if you have them) to fresh food supplies, where they will digest the organic materials and reproduce.
  • Helping to maintain a balance of green and brown materials (assuming you started with, and have maintained, a good mixture).
  • Breaking up clumps, so that smaller particles are available for the bugs and worms that turn raw organic matter into compost.

With the unique ComposTumbler design, it’s easy and pain-free to turn your compost.


Turning your composting bins every day is ideal, but not absolutely necessary. Composting should be fun, not work. If you miss a day or two, don’t give up. Just get back to turning the composting bins soon. With the right mix of composting materials, adequate moisture, and frequent mixing, you’ll soon have sweet-smelling, wonderfully nutritious, disease-fighting compost working in your garden!



You’ll make better and faster compost if you add small particulate matter to your composting bins. Shredded dry leaves are much better than whole leaves. Coffee grounds are great. Grass clippings should be mixed with leaves, if possible, to prevent clumping. Chop up any stalks from tomato plants or any whole fruits. The little microbes and worms prefer smaller particles, and turning a large batch of small particles is much easier.


Just like your garden soil, your composting mix needs the right amount of moisture for optimum performance. Not too wet; not too dry. If your mixture is very dry — consisting of a large amount of dry shredded leaves, for example — add a little water. Turn the composting bins to distribute the water throughout the mix, then turn the composting bins so that the ventilation/drainage vents are on the bottom. Excess moisture will leak out of the vents.

Be careful to avoid over-watering; a waterlogged mix will be harder to turn.


While Mantis composters are easy to turn, and will mix the ingredients quite well, it may be necessary to break up some stubborn clumps by hand. If you’ve added a lot of grass clippings, they may form clumps or mats. Simply reach inside the composter bin to break up and mix any clumps. Using only well-shredded or chopped-up materials should eliminate any need to break clumps by hand, but some gardeners actually like to get a close look at their composting activity.


Remember that whenever you add new material to one of your composting bins, you’re resetting the composting clock to ‘day 1’. If, however, you take several days or even a couple of weeks to fill the first composting bin, just be sure to give the composting bin a few turns every time you add fresh materials.


More Information
Brand Mantis
Colour Sage green
Drum Capacity 335 litres or 4 garden refuse bags
Drum Size H: 109cm/43" x W: 107cm/42" x D: 84cm/33"
Drum Height 30cm/12" off the ground
Frame Tubular steel with black powder-coated finish
Drainage Aerator/drainage unit on the bottom
Air Circulation Screened vents in the end caps
Turning Gear-driven handle
Finished Compost Time As little as 14 days (depending on ambient temperature and combination of materials being composted)
Warranty 2 years for domestic use
Promotional Image no_selection

Holds up to 335 litres of material

to make plenty of compost for medium size gardens.

Convenient, gear-driven, easy-to-spin handle

makes it easy to turn even a fully loaded drum.

Aeration/drainage units on the door

allow the proper air intake for oxygen-hungry bacteria and the release of excess moisture, without spilled compost.

Interior mixing fins

ensures thorough mixing as you turn the drum. Prevents material from sticking to the sides. Produces faster decomposition.

Sturdy, powder-coated galvannealed steel wall construction

is rust resistant, gives long-lasting use batch after batch.



For over 40 years and approaching two million units sold, the Mantis tiller is still assembled in the original factory by a longstanding and dedicated workforce. In spite of its many imitators and there are quite a few mini tillers offered by other manufacturers the Mantis tiller is still the best-selling tiller in the UK and the world.

Its the patented “serpentine” (curved) tines that still set the Mantis tiller apart from other tillers, giving it the ability to cut through sod, tough soil and even vegetation with ease. (Other small tillers use a scaled-down version of the “bolo” bent tines found on big, heavy tillers, a design that is significantly less effective on a lightweight machine.)

The Mantis tiller’s high-quality craftsmanship and powerful commercial-grade engine consistently get rave reviews. And gardeners are pleased with the handy way the Mantis Tiller tills garden plots and effortlessly weeds around trees and landscaping.

Like the proverbial Swiss Army knife, the mighty Mantis tiller can effectively perform a wide variety of tasks. The tiller tines can easily be removed and many optional attachments can be quickly installed. These optional attachments convert the Mantis Tiller into a border edger, furrower, plough, lawn aerator, lawn dethatcher or crevice cleaner. Thus, one Mantis Tiller and its attachments can do the work of eight different power tools.

Over the years, the Mantis tiller has received many impressive official awards, including the 2009 Grow Your Own magazine Award for the best small tiller.

Back in 1989, after the Mantis tiller had thoroughly conquered North America, the little tiller was test marketed in the UK. The UK company’s Managing Director at the time was spending some time with his friends in the USA, and saw his host using a small red machine to help with his gardening chores. He came back to the UK only to find he couldn’t buy the Mantis Tiller in the UK. Thus, he decided to import a few on his own to sell through his existing business. The result? UK gardeners embraced the little tiller in much the same way Americans had.

Happy tiller owners in every state in the USA, every province in Canada, throughout the UK and Europe and around the world in countries such as South Africa, Israel and China are using their Mantis Tillers to cultivate soil, weed gardens, dig furrows, aerate and dethatch lawns, edge borders, dig holes for planting trees and shrubs, and even trim hedges. All with a little red tiller that many people laughed at when it was first introduced. It’s safe to say that no one is laughing at the little tiller now.

Mantis - Expect Big Things

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Mantis Compact ComposTumbler Compost Bin
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