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Old 04-29-2007, 11:48 PM   #1
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Any tips/opinions on lawnmowers? Updated with pictures!

We have to buy a lawnmower for our new house! We did not have to cut our own grass in the condo - that's what part of the maintenance fee covered. At our new house, the grass and yard will be our responsibility (yay!) but we don't really know the first thing about lawnmowers.

We want a push, not riding, mower. I want my husband to consider an electric one but I don't think he will. What are some features we should look for? Does anyone have an opinion on the mulching mowers? Do they do a good job or do the mulched pieces just leave the yard a mess?
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:56 PM   #2
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stay away from electric mowers...doh!
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:05 AM   #3
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Electric mowers are fine for small yards with no hills. I would recommend a self propelled mower of a good brand name and warranty, you will have the same mower for years to come. I have a Toro self propelled mower, it has 3 speeds.
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:17 AM   #4
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I would not go with an electric. Way too expensive to get a satisfactory mower that is out preformed by some of the lesser gas powered mowers. From a lot of research and talking with several lawn services last year this is what I learned. Ditch the self propelled, unless you have physical limitations. You pay 100 dollars plus more dollars for a feature that often breaks and then adds extra weight to your push mower. Many mowers are built to be essentially thrown away avoid these (100 dollar mowers). mainly because they sport undersized engines that strugle to cut a healthy lawn. Don't get caught up in names (many mowers use similar engine manufactures) after that not much difference in quality in the decks. Larger wheels in the rear are nice. Mulching is a must feature and if you want to bag a rear bag is the way to go, side bags are just a pain because they limit you to larger spaces and in some instances limit the yard you can mow. Basically go with the most horsepower you can get on a push mower. If the yard isn't too large skip the largest cutting area and drop down to the next cut with the same hp engine. Some say the less mass increased blade speed and allows the grass to be chopped in finer pieces. Bottom line higher HP engines do a better job mulching usually. Aim 6 minimum and try to get 7.

Many studies have shown that several self propelled models actually take more effort to push (underpowered). HP generally needs to be upped to compensate for the extra weight and drain due to the "self propelled" feature.
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:30 AM   #5
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http://www.snapperinc.com/residential/p216012.html

That is the push mower we have. Self Propelled is nice especially if you have steep hills and a lot to cut. Pushing a, almost 100lb, mower up a steep hill numerous times is hard work! The self propulsion is a nice feature, but like mentioned, it costs extra that isn't entirely needed if you can physically push the mower up those hills yourself.

Rear bagging is the best thing invented for push mowers. The snapper is a breeze to empty and has a nice large bag too.

Don't skimp and get the $89 walmart pushmowers because it will probably not even last you the summer. Get a good quality (John Deere, Snapper, etc.) and you'll be happy! We've had the same Snapper mower for almost 6 years now and only thing that's had to be replaced on it is the blade.

Happy grass cutting.
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:01 AM   #6
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My self propelled mower is great! I have a lot of hills and a large back yard. On the third speed I have to run after it, it's actually too powerful on the third level. I agree with the rear bagger esp if you have a lot of trees, side baggers get caught and make turns difficult with landscaping. My mower is 12 years old, the secret to making them last is maintenance, just like a car. They require checking the oil and proper winter storage. And even occasionally an oil change and a new spark plug. You can sharpen most blades with a dremel tool and get much longer life out of them. It all depends on how you take care of it. I still recommend getting a good brand as it will outlast and outperform many walmart type brands.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:16 AM   #7
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I got a craftsman 5.5HP mower from an estate auction before we purchased our house 6 years ago. The mower is still going strong. I only spent $100 on it at the time and I doubt I have put $20 into it since then to keep it running.

Mine has large back wheels and I think that does wonders for ease of pushing. Mine is not selfpropelled. I dont know how well I would like one that is and I dont think its a big benifit for me. My yard is hilly but if the self propelled would help going up hills but woudlnt it make me go faster than I might want to going down the hills? I dont know.

Mine is a mulcher with a bag on the back if I want to use it. I dont use the bagger as I would have to empty it like every 10 minutes and it would easly doublt the time it took to mow the yard as a result. If you dont let the grass get super high between mowings the mulching does not dirty up the yard.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:23 AM   #8
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Lawnboy makes exelent psuh mowers IMO.
But if you want a cheap good mower Wal-Mart has one for $99 that I bought 8yrs ago and havent had any problems with just changed oil and spark plug.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:06 AM   #9
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I just bought a riding Cub Cadet. It is very nice. Figuring on a riding vs. push will depend on how big your yard is and the slope. If you are willing to push a mower uphill then go with a push one. I have a half acher of land and got tired of doing the push thing. As for mulchers, you can simply buy a mulching blade.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:10 PM   #10
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Can't go wrong with a mower that has a Honda or Briggs & Straton engine. Not sure which brands feature these but they are good quality.
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