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What kind of lawn mower to buy?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Lucas J, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Lucas J

    Lucas J

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    I have to buy my first lawn mower and I know absolutely nothing about them. I don’t need a riding mower because my lot isn’t big enough (under an acre) but it is sloped and the less I spend the more I have for an AR project.

    If I were to spend no more than $500 (less would be better but without sacrificing quality) what should I buy?
     
  2. PaulD

    PaulD

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    How much under an acre? My lot is 1 acre and not all of it is lawn. With a regular single bladed walk behind mower, it'd probably take me 3 or 4 hours to mow my lawn. So, I bought a double-bladed walk behind.

    It'd suck to save money and then have no time on the weekends to go shooting.
     
  3. Eddie

    Eddie

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    A decent walk behind, with power assist and bagger, can be had for half that. Picked up one last year at sears with a B&S engine for around 225 on sale. I use that one for the front, got the Husqy lawn tractor for the back and sides. :)
     
  4. Lucas J

    Lucas J

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    the lot is an acre, I would say the lawn it self is a 1/2 acre.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris NES Member

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    How badly sloped? In other words, can you push the mower up or would you prefer powered wheels as well as blade?

    Growing up, I used a very simple Lawn Boy push style (engine just spun the blade) and it did the job for almost 20 years. All my dad and then I ever did to it was change the oil and clean the spark plug. Over the years we'd replace the grass catcher bag as it got really ratty, but you don't NEED that.

    Can't see why a 20" push can't be had for somewhere in the $250 range and do you just fine. If the slope is more than you want to push, add another $100 for the self propelled. More $$ will buy you a larger deck and larger collection systems which will speed up your work.
     
  6. PatMcD

    PatMcD NES Member

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    Honda, Toro, Snapper, Craftsman
     
  7. Eddie

    Eddie

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  8. Turbocharged

    Turbocharged

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    I suggest a JD. I've got one from the 80's that my grandfather bought, and it still runs great.
     
  9. Lucas J

    Lucas J

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    Sloped enough that I need/want a self propelled

    any particular model?
     
  10. Cuda444

    Cuda444 NES Member

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    The Toro 20332 is probably your best bang for your buck:

    ~$350
    22" deck,
    Self-propelled
    Built to last

    http://toro.com/home/mowers/recycler/20332.html

    The only thing I've seen that's better is some of the Honda's... but expect to pay double for those... and there really isn't THAT much difference.

    That said, Husqvarna makes a close second:
    7021R

    http://www.husqvarna.com/us/homeowner/products/lawn-mowers/7021r/

    Motor is Honda made, if that matters to you, vs the Briggs & Stratton on the Toro.


    I still prefer the Toro, but I'm biased [wink] Besides, it looks cooler than the Husqvarna [laugh]
    And, for what it's worth, I've been in the lawn maintenance/landscaping field for 14 years or so, with the family business extending back much longer. That said, we use Toro's commercial mowers exclusively - They're fantastic. Just my $.02
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  11. PatMcD

    PatMcD NES Member

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    Those brands are quality and don't make junk. Pick any model in those brands and you will do fine. I would just shop locally and see which self-propelled mower feels best to you (controls, speeds, guarantees, etc.).
     
  12. JimB

    JimB

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    i'd recommend the Honda with infinite variable speed, there's no belts or pulleys, its hydraulic. its a 2 blade
    system that really mulches, it comes with a bag, but you won't need it. the deck is some sort of special
    plastic and its harder than metal. it also has a blade brake, you can stop the blade and the motor
    will stay running. the warranty is something like 4 years.... they cost in the $700+ range.
    I bought one last year and i ain't looking back,,,,, you can get the next one down but i did not
    like it.
     
  13. rep308

    rep308 NES Member

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    Honda!

    Honda has a safety system that when you take your hands off the handle the engine stays on but the blade stops spinning. Most mowers shut the engine off when you take your hands off the handle and you over riding the safety.
     
  14. edin508

    edin508

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    Stray away from the Craftsman, when I repaired these things years ago they were always really hard to get parts for.
    The Toro and Snapper lawnmowers are where it's it. If you are concerned with picking up leaves and pine needles then the snapper mower is where it's at. My little rear bagger snapper mower will pick up anything including cig. butts on the lawn near the street and it's a 20 y/o mower. Another thing is to buy it from a local shop instead of the depot or Lowes if that is possible.
     
  15. Palladin

    Palladin NES Member

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    I'm going to be in the minority here...I have an acre lot, 40% of it is lawn. I bought an $800 18hp Sears riding mower.
    I've beaten the shit out out of this thing for 9 yrs...I plow with it in the winter, on my second battery (kids turned key on) it runs like a top, you can buy parts on line for cheap.

    Best $800 ever spent.....buy at Sears Rockingham, no tax. First Sunday of the month, Friends & Family..the close at 5, reopen at 6pm for another 10% off.
     
  16. BossHarley

    BossHarley

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    I second the opinion for an inexpensive rider. I have a sloped lot - total 1 acre, but probably only half grass. I had to mow with my 'edging' self propelled walk behind Honda (great job great mower), but it took me nearly 2 h. On the rider I am done in 20-30 minutes. The rider saves 6-8 h each month, and a lot of wear and tear on my back - that is quite a lot of leisure time - so i am happy with it. (the fuel line on the rider started to 'dry rot' so had the shop pick it up and replace... still waiting for it to be returned damn them - I will have to mow again soon....)
     
  17. Fixxah

    Fixxah NES Member

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    PM if you want to buy a 6.5hp craftsman that is self propelled and has bagger and mulch plate. Well, maybe a mulch plate.
     
  18. yanici

    yanici NES Member

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    I bought a top of the line TORO walk behind with Honda engine last year for over 700 clams. Got an oil leak first season of use. Brought it to dealer last November for repair. Honda fixed the leak...they thought...but it still leaked. Dealer picked it up and wants to fix it themselves because they don't trust Honda to fix it properly. Right now I have no mower and the dealer and Honda are fighting over jurisdiction. Honda won't ship repair parts to my dealer.

    Crazy!! I called TORO and they told me that for the first two years the engine is warranteed through honda and for the next 3 years TORO would fix it. So, TORO wants nothing to do with getting their TORO mower repaired. It's between me, the dealer and Honda. I asked if they could pressure Honda and was flatlt refused.
     
  19. Coyote33

    Coyote33

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    If you want quality, don't go to Home Depot or Lowe's.

    If you want inexpensive, just get a 21" with high wheels. Avoid the bagger, and just mow it every couple days instead. This will last a long long time.
     
  20. yanici

    yanici NES Member

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    My previously owned lawn mower was a Lawnboy, made by TORO, which I bought at a HD. Was still running great after 15 years when I gave it away. Paid 5 bills for it back then.
     
  21. PaulD

    PaulD

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    Every couple of days? You have time for that?
     
  22. JoeT

    JoeT

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    I'm going to go against your wishes and make a suggestion.

    Spend a little more and get a used commercial machine off craigslist. I bought a Bunton 48" walk behind with a sulky about 10 years ago. My lawn is just under an acre and I can cut my entire lawn in under 20 minutes. The mower runs less all season than it would if it was still used commercially for a week.

    My lawn looks great, and the 2.5-3 hours a week I save NOT cutting the lawn I can spend doing things that I actually enjoy. Those 60 hours a season (600 hours over the last 10 years) are worth the extra couple hundred dollars up front
     
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  23. Palladin

    Palladin NES Member

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    That's a good point. Guy next door just grabbed one last year, a ride on zero turn commercial. Paid $500
     
  24. matt

    matt

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    Unless you have storage space for it and a yard configured so that you can get to all the spots with a rider, IMO skip it and go with a walk behind as you were thinking. If you do think about a rider, make sure you can mow that slope with it safely. The manuals will tell you nothing over 15deg slope. I do one much steeper (closer to 45deg), but it's a bit dicey to be honest....

    I've had good luck with Craftsman. It's really the engine you need to consider and b&S or Kohler are both good. Lots of parts.

    The comment on Honda regarding the blade interlock is right on. What a PITA those interlock handles are. I tie wrapped mine down and defeated the interlock.

    Get yourself a good line trimmer too for the edging.
     
  25. roux

    roux

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    Something I actually know a lot about, I probrably mow more in sq ft in a week than most will mow in a full season. I have had them all and as far as push mowers go dont even bother with a home depot or lowes etc... spend the extra money and buy one from a reputable dealer. I would buy a commercial grade honda or toro it will be the last one you ever buy. After many years I have had the best luck with the honda. I have owned plenty of hondas and have rarely been dissapointed. Anything less than 600 bucks is disposable. For about 1100 bucks you can buy a commercial honda with a hydro transmission and a steel deck. You will definately make up the difference in money if you needed to resell it for any reason. OR if you want to spend more time shooting buy a used 36" commercial grade walk behind, most landscapers have gone the rider route so there are some out there cheap. Good luck
     
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  26. jmhorrible

    jmhorrible

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    anyone have tips for evaluating some of those used commercial walk behinds on craigslist? I've seen a few scags and exmarks that look interesting. I've got a pretty steep hill in the back and I'm wary of a ride on
     
  27. Lucas J

    Lucas J

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    Good question, although I like the idea, I know nothing about these things and would be afraid of getting ripped off.

    Aside form the Lowes and HD of the world what are some good dealers in the Boston area?
     
  28. roux

    roux

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    most landscapers are brutaly tough on their equip, so you have to be careful of what you are actually buying. If you have a hill you definately want a hydro. Some of the older walkbehinds used belts to drive the wheels, they are not very consistent on hills. It can be done but a hydro mower tracks straight and wont take off on you going down a hill. The motor needs to be in good running cond, no cracks on the frame or deck, no play in the blade spindles under the deck, belts, electric blade clutches can get expensive, most used mowers will need bushings on the front casters. It really all depends on the level of mower, the amount of money you want to spend and mostly if the owner took care of it and did proper pm.
     
  29. Tooth

    Tooth NES Member

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    Got a new scag 48" a couple years ago w/ velky. The time you save with an overkill machine is well worth it.
     
  30. paracarry

    paracarry NES Member

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    A few years back bought a Craftsmen self propelled rear bagger with Honda motor for under $400 I know i have had it for at least 6 years, i have a half acre lot (flat) takes about an hour to mow.
     

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