- Best lawn mower buying guide 2018
- Lawn mower types
- How does it work?
- Eco-Friendly Reel Lawnmowers: The Green Benefits of the Push Lawnmower
- Best reel push lawn mowers
- 2. Electric lawn mowers
- How to choose an electric lawn mower
- Corded versus Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers: How to Choose the Best From Neuton, Black & Decker, Toro, Worx etc
- Corded Electric Lawn Mowers
- Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers
- Lawn Mower Safety
- Additional electric Lawn Mower Features
- Corded versus Cordless electric Lawn Mowers
- Lawn mower power – why is it so important?
- Best electric lawn mowers
- Increase the Life of Your Lawn Mower
- Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Lawn Mower Jack
- Top Rated Lawn Mowers reviews: Lawn Care – Best Self Propelled, Electric, & Zero Turn Mowers
- Best Toro Lawn Mowers
- Best Honda Lawn Mowers
- Best Black & Decker Electric Lawn Mowers
- From Classic Cars to Historic Lawnmowers: Restoring the 1964 Brott-20 Ride-On Lawnmower
- The 1964 Brott-20 Ride-On Lawnmower
- Father’s Day Gift Idea: ZTR Mower: Unique Gift for Dad, a Zero Turn Radius Mower
- Save Money with Spring Lawnmower Maintenance
Best lawn mower buying guide 2018
I will try to educate you about lawn mowers and tell everything you should know before buying it, how to use it and what to do after buying. And how to choose the best lawn mower, that’s not that easy. There are a lot of things you should know before the purchase of a lawn mower and how to use it. Also, for a longer lifespan, you should know how to maintenance it. All information is here, so let’s begin.
The first and the biggest advantage of a lawn mower – beautiful lawn. Today lawn mowers have become a part of every house and not only for the house owners in the country side but also for city people. Fresh, green grass is always pleasing for our eyes, and it raises the beauty of the yard.
Who would know that clean and a well-maintained lawn is not good only for decoration, but also it’s good for your health. Yes, health – the smell of freshly cut grass has beneficial effects on physical health, and the green color is great for the psycho-emotional state of a person. That’s the reason why people, who live in the city are more stressed and more negative compared to people who live in the countryside. Bright colors for brighter life 🙂 And green color relaxes your nerves and is good for the heart also. So mowing and maintaining your grass is not good only for your eyes, but for a lot of things.
The quick basics of a lawn mower
Lawn mower Housing
A central element of the lawn mower. Mostly it’s made of plastic, steel, and aluminum. Housing material is one of the things that affects the price of the product. That’s why cheapest lawn mowers have a plastic housing. They are not bad, not at all because:
- They weight almost nothing.
- is resistant to corrosion (which is unavoidable because of chemical activity of the grass).
- Perfect for electric lawn mowers because they don’t conduct electricity if water get’s on it and there is a short circuit.
Steel housings are very durable and good for rough mowing but they are heavy, and corrosion loves steel housing. The typical lifetime of steel housings are for 4-5 seasons but depends on how you treat it. If you clean it after every mowing and repaint it time by time, then lifetime depends on the engine. Remember – wash your lawn mower after mowing!
Aluminum housing is the best, but they are expensive. Mostly aluminum housing manufacturer gives a 10-year guarantee. Aluminum housings are durable, resistant to corrosion and they weigh less than steel housings. But yes, they are expensive.
Lawn mower Engines
There are two types of engines – gas (petrol) and electric. Manual lawn mowers don’t have engines at all, so we will talk about them later.
They are environment-friendly, but cable length limits your mowing area. There are some lawn mowers with a battery inside, but they are few and expensive. But if you decide to buy an electric lawn mower, then you should pay attention to the following factors:
- You can only work in dry weather and dry grass
- It’s recommended to wear rubber boots or shoes.
- Remember that if you want to increase wire length, it will also increase the loss of resistance of the cable. As a result, the output electric power may be insufficient for the engine. And in the case of that, you can damage the engine and warranty will not cover that. So, before extending the cable, check the maximum length of it.
The best thing about electric engines is that you can work with them in any angle. It means that you can even mow vertically.
They are mobile but require protecting equipment because they are powerful and you don’t want to get hit by a flying stone. Also, they are harmful to the environment. And pay attention to the following fact: the angle limit for regular mowing must not exceed 30 degrees otherwise you will damage your engine.
Lawn mower Blades
One of the most important details. Cheap lawn mowers sometimes don’t have well-balanced blades which lead to engine damage and more noise. Also, if you hit a blade on a stone or somewhere else and see a blunt then visit a service and fix it, it’s better to pay extra bucks for blade fixing than later changing the engine. Some people are trying to sharpen knives in a garage, but I suggest you bring it to good service because after sharpening it needs to be balanced. And if it’s not balanced there will be an extra vibration of the motor shaft and can lead to shaft damage, and repairing or replacing it is very expensive.
Grass collector is a special container, mounted on the back or the side of the lawn mower. Mostly they are made of synthetic fabric, and they are foldable or plastic, non-foldable. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. In the plastic grass collector, grass is compacted more densely, and it’s easier to clean, but they are heavy, and you need to check time by time if it’s full or not. Some collectors have a “window” where you can see if it’s full or not.
Fabric collector is very light, but grass is not pressed there, so you will need to clean it more times than plastic container. There are also fabric collector with a plastic top and can be up to 90 liters. It means that you can mow grass for a longer time without cleaning.
Lawn mower Wheels
Cheaper mowers have plastic wheels which are bad and not flimsy. They can break very easily and the bearings are dead almost after 2 seasons. I suggest you choose rubber wheels and the bigger radius of the wheels, the better.
Lawn mower or a trimmer – which is better for mowing a lawn?
This question has asked many people. I have a place for a house, and it’s located in a countryside. It means, a lot of trees, uneven areas, a pile of sand there, a stack of bricks there, stones in one corner, wood in another. These are the reason why I have difficulties with a lawn mower. So for me the best, case are trimmer. It’s also much cheaper than a lawn mower, but the problem of it is that it’s impossible to cut grass even. But as I said above I have this countryside place, and the trimmer is perfect for that because you can get into any place, uneven areas are not a problem, and I can even cut small bushes with it. Of course, it takes more time to cut grass with it, but going around the piles, stones and woods are much better than with a lawn mower. Also, if you have a small yard with many smaller gardens and lawn mover are too big for walkways, then consider buying a trimmer.
Lawn mower types
1. Reel push lawn mower
Consider an Eco-Friendly Reel Mower: Take a New Look at an Old Way of Mowing Your Lawn
Aging baby boomers have fond memories of our fathers mowing the yard pushing a reel mower. The reel mowers of yesteryear were heavy and hard to manage, hung up a lot, and were always needing sharpening. At the first opportunity, they were replaced with a power mower, leaving the old reel mowers to rust in the garage or garden shed.
The Advantages of a Reel Mower
Today’s reel mowers are not the old clunkers of our father’s day. Reel mowers today are light, quiet, and eco-friendly. They don’t rip and tear your grass like rotary mowers. Reel mowers cut like scissors, which makes for healthier grass, and maintenance on a reel mower is negligible. Since today’s models are far better designed than earlier models, they can be as easy to push as a power rotary mower.
The Workings of a Reel Mower
The “reel” in the name refers to blades attached to a revolving cylinder. When the mower is pushed forward or pulled backward, the reel comes into contact with the bed knife, a stationary bar that is parallel to the ground. The bed knife keeps the grass upright, which enables the reel to shear it off. Adjusting the height is accomplished by raising or lowering the reel.
Reel mowers can cut grass shorter than rotary mowers, and the shearing action makes a cleaner cut and leaves finer clippings.
To get a proper cut, it is crucial to adjust the blade properly. If the blade knife is too close to the blades, it will cause the reel to hang up. If it is too far away from the blade, it will make a ragged cut. Adjustments are made by turning the adjustment bolt or screw, and they are fairly easy to keep adjusted properly.
Getting a Good Cut with a Reel Mower
With a reel mower, the blade turns as fast as you walk. Walking at a comfortable, quick pace will prevent binding, so that you can get the results you want. By overlapping your rows slightly so that you’re cutting less grass, the mower is easier to push. This also help you catch any missed spots on the last row.
Different grasses grow differently, so you should experiment to find the best mowing direction and cutting height for your yard. Mowing your grass as early as possible will give you a better cut, and since the mowers are so quiet, you won’t disturb the neighbors.
The Downside to Reel Mowers
If your lawn has grass or weeds over 6 inches tall, the mower will not cut them, but will roll over them. For weedy or taller lawns, it’s best to use a rotary mower, then finish up with the reel mower for a cleaner cut. Since they don’t mow tall grass well, you should mow at least once a week.
Mowing with a reel mower takes you longer than a rotary mower. If you have a normal city lot, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have a lawn over a half acre, a rotary mower would be better for you. Cordless electric reel lawn mowers are available, but can be expensive to buy and maintain.
So for a normal sized lawn, a reel mower is a good investment in the health of your lawn and the environment. Check out reel mowers today, and reduce your carbon footprint.
The perfect option for small budget and/or small areas – mechanical reel push lawn mower. They are simple, silent, good for environment and weight more or less 17lbs (8kg). It’s not equipped with a grass collector, and it’s not good for long grass.
How does it work?
You choose an even area with grass (how obvious) and push it. When you are pushing, the wheels are rotating, and wheel movement is transmitted to the shaft and a horizontal blade which is mounted in front of that. It means – when the wheels are moving, the blade also moves. When the blade moves, it’s cutting the grass. These lawn mowers are cutting excellent and even grass and lawn looks beautiful after mowing!
Using a Reel Lawnmower
Using a reel mower is easy. Without a motor to turn on or fuel to re-load, it is as simple as pushing the machine over the lawn. It does require energy to push, but not much more than a regular gas mower. Push models are about one-quarter to one-third the weight of gas lawnmowers. Although much lighter, they require more physical effort, especially at the beginning. Push reel lawnmowers are ideal for small lawns. Do not try to mow over wet grass, and do not let the grass grow too high, or mowing will be extremely difficult.
How is the yard affected by the use of an eco-friendly mower? With scissor-like blades, push mowers are gentle on the blades, creating clean cuts. As they do not harm a lawn in any way, grass becomes a rich texture, and healthy green color. Also, clippings are recycled back into the lawn, providing valuable nutrients, such as nitrogen.
Although a push lawnmower will require more physical work, the environmental and health benefits are well worth the labor. Cutting grass becomes a form of exercise; strengthen muscles, burn calories, and enjoy the clean, fresh air.
Reel push lawn mower parts:
Housing – made of plastic or metal
Wheels are installed on a sliding sleeve
Cutting blades are under the body
Reel push lawn mowers are divided into two big groups
1. For small lawns – average blade width 13.3inch (34cm). They are perfect for grass, not longer than 1.7inch (4.5cm)
2. Professional – for larger areas. Average blade width – 15inch (40cm). Perfect for grass not longer than 1.9inch (5 cm).
Pros and cons of reel push lawn mowers
- The quality of mowing depends on user – the experienced gardener can mow lawn very smoothly, leaving a beautiful looking grass but if you are a beginner, you will need to train.
- They don’t need fuel or electricity, so they are cheap
- Environmentally friendly – because they don’t need fuel.
- Mowing with reel lawn mower is good for grass – it grows thicker.
- Mulching – cut sprouts remains on the ground and works as a fertilizer
- They are quiet!
- They are good for your health – you will need to move a lot.
- No oil burnt
- No smoke
- No need for a power cord
- No carbon monoxide
- No shredded wood/plastic/metal
- Stop & it stops
- Light to carry
- Easy to push and maneuver
- Cheap ones are under $80
- You need to cut grass more often because reel lawn mowers can’t cut long grass
- You need to get used to it – because if you go too slowly, it will not cut right and if you go too fast, it will also cut bad.
- Not suitable for old, overgrown grass and grass full with weeds.
Eco-Friendly Reel Lawnmowers: The Green Benefits of the Push Lawnmower
Imagine having freshly cut grass, and clean air. Gas mowers have a huge impact on the environment, polluting the air and the earth. According to EPA statistics, they are responsible for as much as five percent of air pollution in the United States. Switching to a push lawnmower, also known as a reel mower, can not only reduce the negative environmental impact, but eliminate it. Try using a hand push mower for an eco-friendly lawn.
Air Pollution from Gas Mower Emissions
Traditional, gas-powered mowers are powerful, effective machines. Their use however, is more detrimental to the environment than new cars. Industry researchers have found that an average horsepower mower pollutes the air as much as driving a car for one hundred miles. Mower emissions include carbon monoxide, which poisons the bloodstream and aggravates heart problems, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), which affect respiratory health, and nitrogen oxides, which make breathing difficult and contribute to lung problems.
Before 1995, lawnmower emissions were not regulated. As a result, manufacturers designed mowers based on ease of use and durability, with no concern for the environment. Those strong engines were wasting a significant portion of fuel to the air, contributing to smog. From twenty-five to thirty percent of gasoline put into a gas mower finds its way into the air. Also, the EPA estimates that seventeen million gallons of gasoline are spilled every year during lawn equipment fueling. This fuel pollutes the earth, groundwater, and the air, through evaporation.
An Eco-Friendly Lawn with Push Lawnmowers
A push lawnmower has absolutely no negative environmental impact. It is not fueled by gasoline, or even run by electricity. A push reel mower is powered by the human body. With initial force and the momentum of walking, the lawnmower blades cut grass with precision. There is no concern over gasoline or oil leaking into the ground or entering the air.
Because of the environmental benefits of switching to push lawnmowers, or even electric models, some states have offered tax benefits for trade-ins of gas mowers. The Sacramento Air Quality Management District has estimated a reduction of 132.9 tons of mower emissions since the inception of their trade-in program in 1997. In Portland, Oregon, 481 mowers were turned in in 1997; with carbon monoxide reductions of 31.3 tons.
How to choose a reel push lawn mower
For a proper mowing you will need to know these parameters:
- The width and height of mowing. The wider the blade, the more grass you can cut. If you are lawn lover and you can mow often, then you don’t need to choose the height of mowing very high. Some people, who love reel lawn mowers but they are not able to mow too often they have two of them – one for longer grass and second for shorter grass.
- Choose the right mower for your grass- there are different blades for different roughness.
- Check the wheel – higher wheels are suitable for a difficult lawn with bumps and rough places. Also, check how they are made, preferably choose wheels with bearings, they will be more expensive, but more durable. If you choose wheels with bearings, remember to lubricate them time by time. Otherwise, they will jam.
- Attachments (can live without them) – for example – is it possible to install grass collector.
Best reel push lawn mowers
Even they are very cheap, there is some competition, and some of them are better than others.
2. Electric lawn mowers
When the need to replace an old mower becomes unavoidable, there are many options to consider. There are new gas models, of course. Even old-style manual push mowers are purchased and used my some, especially those with smaller yards.
Electric lawn mowers, however, have become an increasingly popular alternative for people concerned about the environment. With zero emissions and no need to make a trip to the local service station for a gallon of gas on a Saturday morning, these machines also offer convenience and more power than they have in the past.
Electric lawn mowers come in different shapes and sizes. Another thing to consider when looking at these is the issue of power cords. Some electric lawnmowers require them, while others use batteries.
Those who may be considering a new lawnmower because of problems with their old one, there are several things to consider that could save them hundreds of dollars. Simple maintenance and repair in the form of oil changes, new spark plugs and air filters may be all that is required to keep an old lawnmower running another year.
The electric lawn mower is powered by electricity, as the title says. Electric lawn mowers are perfect for flat and clean areas and no more than 10 acres.
There are few types of electric lawn mowers
- Engine power from 300 to 600w and engine is located at the bottom
- Engine power from 400 to 1500 watts – and the engine is located at the top.
- Self-Propelled Electric lawn mower
- Rotary – powerful 4wheel mower. These kind of mowers are massive, sometimes even up to 40KG. Rotary lawn mowers mostly are equipped with and additional options – mulching, trimmer and so on. They have large engines, more than 1600w. It means it will use more electricity, but it can do so much, that it’s worth it.
- Cylinder – Unlike a rotary, this does not use spinning propeller blade. Cylinder lawn mower uses blades, as same as a manual lawn mower, but electricity powers it. Properly maintained and properly sharpened blades plus cylinder lawn mower and the key to a perfect lawn. Even more perfect than mowing with a gas lawn mower.
- Self-Propelled Electric lawn mower
This mowers, as the title says, is moving without pushing it. They are very easy to control, but mostly they are heavy. Great for larger lawns.
- Not self-propelled
This mower you will need to push. They weigh less than self-propelled. You will need an even lawn, if it’s uneven, mower wheels will get stuck in bumps, so you will need to work hard with it. Otherwise, they are easy to carry, store and maintain.
What I like the most about electric mowers is that they are silent (not as quiet as push lawn mowers), and they don’t produce co2, so it means that they are nature-friendly. Also they are lightweight, so you don’t get tired too soon. Most of the times they are very compact, so they are easy to store and transport. The only drawback of electricity is that you need a power cord. It means that it limits your mowing area. You need all the time to be careful about the cable, so you don’t roll over it. But if your garden is 65 and smaller, then it’s perfect for you! Remember – as I said at the beginning – don’t try to make cable longer, because you can kill the engine!
Some lawn mowers work on battery, but they can run only 30-40 minutes. So it’s almost impossible to mow all your lawn at one time
There are two cutting blade types
Rotary – powerful 4wheel mower. These kind of mowers are massive, sometimes even up to 40KG. Rotary lawn mowers mostly are equipped with and additional options – mulching, trimmer and so on. They have large engines, more than 1600w. It means it will use more electricity, but it can do so much, that it’s worth it.
Cylinder – Unlike a rotary, this does not use spinning propeller blade. Cylinder lawn mower uses blades, as same as a manual lawn mower, but electricity powers it. Properly maintained and properly sharpened blades plus cylinder lawn mower and the key to a perfect lawn. Even more perfect than mowing with a gas lawn mower.
Pros of electric lawn mower
- Environment friendly
- Low noise
- Easy to use and maintain
- Ability to get perfectly flat lawn
- Easy to store and transport
- Can work in all levels and angles
Cons of Electric lawn mower
- Mowing area depends on electricity cable and access.
- Overheating engines (need more breaks)
- Not recommended to work in high humidity
- Can’t mow wet grass
- Cheaper mowers have very low-quality blades
- Lawn needs to be clean to prevent blade deforming
- You need to watch cable all the time
How to choose an electric lawn mower
Electric lawn mowers are quite complicated, but in my opinion, they are better for the average user than gas lawn mowers. So if you want to buy a good lawn mower, you will need to know these things.
To make this process much easier for you, I have prepared this article, and right now I will talk about electric lawnmowers – how to choose, which are the best and on what you should pay attention before buying.
These kind of lawn mowers are popular because of low maintenance and low-cost power supply. Gas lawn mowers need regular maintenance, and you need to have a fuel all the time, but for electric mowers it easy – if there is an electricity, then it works. But in another hand mowing with an electric lawn mower is more unsafe. As you all know – electricity is not a joke and using electric mower wrong can lead to injuries or even death.
In the market you can find all kinds of electric lawn mowers, there are even with a battery. And even more, there are some models with a battery who can mow area for 1 hour! I think that’s awesome. And no need to worry about the wires, because you don’t need them. Of course, they are perfect only for areas below 20 acres.
The major benefits of using a mower with a battery are that they do not make noise, so mowing with it is very comfortable for you, for your neighbors and animals.
Things you need to know before choosing electric lawn mover
- The ability to adjust the height of the blades – this feature allows you to control the height of the grass, which is perfect in areas of various relief – this function will make your lawn look better.
- The built quality and material and the quality of blades. Blade definitely should be of high-quality metal and meant to cut a wide variety of plants.
- Is service for this brand available – can the services in your area sharpen your mower blades or fix other problems? This is very important because you don’t want to spend money and time to send mower to a different country or the other side of the state. Time is money, and long grass is ugly.
- Cutting width – I prefer medium size ~14inch because too big is bad for small places and too small width will take more time to mow. If you have small walking tracks or other small places, then buy small width mower, but if you have big, clean lawn, then the bigger, the better.
- Grass collector – plastic one is good for faster cleaning and mowing, but if you want more capacity, then reconsider fabric grass collector. But remember, sometimes you will need to clean it with a vacuum cleaner.
- Wheels – choosing the wheels are the same as I mentioned above – the wider and bigger – the easier to mow. And don’t go for plastic ones. They will break fast.
- Also, check the presence and type of wheel bearings – don’t even think about buying a lawn mower which has wheels without bearings. 3 months and they will break.
Corded versus Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers: How to Choose the Best From Neuton, Black & Decker, Toro, Worx etc
Electric lawn mowers are:
- Environmentally friendly.
- Easy to start, stop and restart.
- Easy to maintain and store.
However electric mowers are limited to small gardens, about a quarter acre.
- Corded mowers because of the cord.
- Cordless mowers because of the limited battery capacity (more batteries means more weight). They can usually run 30 to 60 minutes on one charge.
Electric mowers also have limited power and size, 18 or 19 inch cutting decks compared to 22 inches for gas mowers. Thick weeds and overgrown grass will require slow, careful mowing.
- Corded mowers are designed to work with the limited current capacity of household power supplies and power cords. They typically draw 6 to 12 amps at 120 volts.
- Cordless mowers are limited by their batteries. A more powerful motor means a shorter run time.
Homeowners who can work within these limitations will be rewarded with an easy to use machine and a pleasant mowing experience.
Corded Electric Lawn Mowers
Corded mowers should use standard electric cords that plug into the mower. This allows easy replacement if the cord is accidentally cut by mowing over the cord.
Some mowers come without a power cord. The owner needs to supply his own. The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed when choosing a cord. Thick 12 or 14 gauge cords, with a maximum length of 100 feet, is usually specified.
Using a cord that is too thin or too long
- Is dangerous, possibly causing the cord to overheat.
- Could reduce the life of the motor.
Advantages of corded mowers
- Unlimited run time.
- Electric cord can get in the way, possibly getting run over and cut by the mower.
Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers
The batteries are the main issue with cordless mowers.
Batteries that can be easily swapped by the owner are convenient.
- This allows easy replacement of faulty batteries.
- More than one battery can be kept charged, allowing a larger area to be mowed.
- Batteries that can be charged separately from the mower allow the mower to be kept in an unelectrified shed, with the batteries charged in the house.
If not easily swapped by the user, the batteries should at least be replaceable at a service center. Mowers that do not have replaceable batteries, that need to be junked when the batteries go bad, should be avoided.
Advantages of cordless mowers
- No electric cord to worry about.
- Large lawns can be mowed, if done over a few days, on more than one battery charge.
- Heavy, not suitable for steep slopes and soft ground.
- Batteries need to be replaced every few years.
- Long recharge time, 10 to 20 hours is common.
Lawn Mower Safety
Electric mowers are quiet and may therefore seem safer than gas mowers but they are still power tools with fast-spinning blades. Pulling the mower backwards could result in the mower running over the operator’s foot.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a web page on lawn mower safety.
The mower should have a removable start key, just like an automobile. Keeping the key in a safe place prevents children, and thieves, from using the mower.
Additional electric Lawn Mower Features
While not strictly necessary, these additional features can be useful
- Trimmer/edger attachment.
- Battery charge indicator (for cordless mowers).
- Adjustable handle height, especially useful for tall people.
Corded versus Cordless electric Lawn Mowers
For those willing to put up with the inconvenience of trailing a power cord, the light and low-maintenance corded electric lawn mowers are a good choice.
Gardens with obstacles that entangle cords, or that are far from electrical power points, are more suited to cordless mowers.
Lawn mower power – why is it so important?
I know that in the shop, these 50$ lawn mowers do not look that bad, but the first thing you need to check is what’s inside of lawn mower, not outside. The power of lawn mower should be chosen based on the mowing area, grass type, and terrain. And remember – it’s better to buy one, but higher quality and more expensive, that buy twice and cheap one. The lawn mower power is the key to better lawn, easier mowing, less money for maintenance, more years of working, less stress for you. It’s the same as for cars – 4 liter petrol engine will work much longer and better than 1.4 liter. Also remember to check the electricity in your plug, because if the cable is too thin, it will start to heat up.
Best electric lawn mowers
Increase the Life of Your Lawn Mower
Lawn mowers are getting cheaper and cheaper by the year. Quality and lifespan have declined in step with the price. Even with moderate use a basic ride-on or low-end push mower will rarely operate for more than five years before you will be forced to consign it to the recycler. They are simply not made to last. Remember the previous generation of lawn mowers when the machine lasted years or decades before giving up the ghost – sometimes long after its owner’s soul had ascended to gardeners’ heaven. The cheaper modern lawn mowers are not really meant to be repaired when they fail. This has made the repairman almost an endangered species and made his services more expensive.
Oil – the Elixir of Lawn Mower Life
If it bothers you to be continually buying a new mower and contributing to the mounds of waste at your disposal depot there are several steps you can take that will add years of service to your machine.
First, always use fuel that meets the specifications of the manufacturer. If you have a two-cycle (two-stroke) engine when you mix the gas and oil according to the recommended recipe add a couple of extra dollops (a couple of tablespoons) of oil per gallon of gas. This works like vitamins do for for the human engine – it increases life span.
Never start a lawn mower without first checking the oil level. Treat this step as you would stretching before undertaking serious exercise like mowing your lawn. If the motor is not properly lubricated it has to work harder and may even seize up. It doesn’t take long for the oil check stage to become a habit. Oil expands as the engine runs so when it’s cold the level should read just below full.
A little lubrication goes a long way. Be sure that the external moving parts on your mower are easy to manipulate. Anything that is stiff that shouldn’t be needs to be oiled or it will soon break. Modern lawn mowers have many plastic parts. These parts are more fragile than metal ones. And as the plastic ages it becomes more and more brittle.
Clean the Deck
The deck of a lawn mower – the cover on top of the blades – is made from steel that rusts. You can’t see the rust because it’s forming on the underside of the deck. The top is always nicely painted. The cheapest mowers have decks made from thinner steel than the more expensive ones so they can be eaten up by rust faster. The underside of mower decks has a particularly rough life. Stones and sticks kicked up by the blades knick the surface and wet grass that stubbornly sticks to the deck provides a perfect environment for rust. When you have finished mowing and shut off the engine it’s a good idea to clean the underside of the deck. A quick scraping with a screw driver pr putty knife will increase the life of the deck.
Finally it is worth the effort to ensure that your mower is stowed in a dry place and out of the sun between uses. Sun weakens plastic parts and rain just encourages rust.
These small, quick and simple steps will add years to your lawn mower’s life and will go a long way to swell your pride in your lawn maintenance.
Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Lawn Mower Jack
When you make the decision to buy a lawn mower jack, there are a few mistakes to avoid. The first is choosing based solely on price.
- A low price on a jack doesn’t mean it’s the best value.
Value is a balance between the price you pay and the product you get for that price. If you pay a low price for something that doesn’t suit your needs, you are paying too much for nothing. If you pay too high a price for something with too many bells and whistles, you are paying too much for something you will not use to its best extent.
Another common mistake you need to watch out for is selecting a lawn mower jack without the features you need.
You need to know what you need before you go shopping. How many sorts of mowers do you work on? If there are several models, you will need a jack that can handle many sizes and weights of mowers. Do you work daily or only on occasion? If you work daily, you will need a jack that is rugged and able to withstand constant use. These are just a few things to consider before purchasing the wrong jack. Get what you need when you go to make such a major purchase.
Don’t make the mistake of buying a lawn mower jack from the wrong supplier.
Many want to use a local supplier for their equipment. That is a noble thought. But, you may end up paying a very large price for the privilege. Retailers have to add in their overhead to the price. You can often find the same piece of equipment online at a significantly lower price. This helps you get the equipment you want at a price you want to pay. That is how you get a true bargain in the process.
A final mistake to avoid is buying a lawn mower jack that is not safe.
Many mechanics use ramps, blocks, or car jacks to lift mowers off the floor. But, these are usually unsafe for the size and shape of a typical mower. You need a mower jack designed for the weight and shape of a typical mower that you are using. It should also offer safety measures like wheel locking and height security. This will ensure your jack does the job without compromising your safety in the process. Avoid these mistakes when getting your new lawn mower lift.
Top Rated Lawn Mowers reviews: Lawn Care – Best Self Propelled, Electric, & Zero Turn Mowers
The “Best” gas push mower is the Craftsman 38905 according to a ConsumerSearch (CS) website (author unknown) article titled, “Lawn Mowers: Reviews.” The article, states that this model “is a good blend of performance and value.”
The Craftsman 38905 mower has mulch, side discharge or bag (included) capabilities. Owners state that the mower’s recoil start usually requires only one pull. The model has a 190cc Briggs & Stratton engine “more powerful than cheaper Craftsman models.” The estimated price is $225. The only drawback mentioned is when adjusting the cutting height all four wheels must be adjusted.
Consumer Search claims to be the U.K. equivalent of Consumer Reports. The organization investigates a variety of popular products. The company provides on-line product ratings and reviews, from owners and experts, such as “Best” TVs, “Best” mattresses, and “Best” running shoes. CS is a service of About dot com, a division of The New York Times Company.
Best Toro Lawn Mowers
The “Best” self propelled Toro gas lawn mower for the price (estimated $400) is the Toro Recycler 20333, according to CS. The model features are mulching, bagging, side-discharging, or combination of features by flipping a switch. The self propelled “Personal Pace” drive system adjusts the back wheels to any walking pace. The 20333 has a “blade brake” feature which allows brief pausing while the engine is still running. The 190cc engine is the same engine as in the Craftsman 38905 model.
Best Honda Lawn Mowers
The “Best” self propelled electric start gas mower for mulching and bagging is the Honda HRX217K2HMA. Bagging and mulching can be combined by setting the mower to “bag a certain percentage of clippings.” The mower meets strict California emission standards, and has a rustproof deck. The model has a 3 year warranty (estimated price $900). The Honda HRX2172HXA is the same model without the electric start feature (estimated price $800).
Best Black & Decker Electric Lawn Mowers
Two Black & Decker electric lawn mowers are recommended by CS. The Black & Decker MM875 has a power cord, and the mower is recommended for small, flat lawns. Reviews give the rotary blades high marks. The model comes with a lever height adjustment. The length of the cord is 100 feet. Some owners report “durability issues.” The MM875 can mulch, side discharge, or bag. The estimated price is $250.
The Black & Decker CMM1200 “does a better job than most corded electric mowers…” states CS. The model is cordless and can cover a quarter acre area per battery charge. The model has a lever height adjustment, and comes with a bag. The reported downside is owners will “need to buy a new battery in a couple of years.” The estimated price is $400.
The Scotts Green Classic 2000-20 is a human power push mower (manual reel mower). The CS recommended mower is for small, flat, and weedless lawns. The model has five blades and a 20 inch cutting width. Experts warn, for cutting “Bermuda, zoysia or St. Augustine grass,” a seven blade reel mower is best.
From Classic Cars to Historic Lawnmowers: Restoring the 1964 Brott-20 Ride-On Lawnmower
Ivor Davies, from Wem in Shropshire, spent a year restoring the 1964 Brott 20 ride-on lawnmower, which he found in less than immaculate condition, to its former glory.
Mr Davies said: “It was one I found a few miles down the road from where I live in Wem. I used it for a while just to mow my lawn and then took a look at the identification plate on it and saw it was made in Oswestry, which is only a few miles away, and started to take more of an interest in it then.
“I’ve seen a few like it at shows but nobody’s restored one that I’ve seen. Everything was there apart from finding the same colour of paint to finish it. I had all the labels and lettering made up for it and the rest it was all there.
“I did it in my spare time and it took me about 12 months. I did enjoy it but when you strip it all down there’s a lot of parts and it was a big job. I think my wife Linda thinks I spend far too much time in the garage – I think she thinks I’m a bit obsessed with the mower!”
Mr Davies is now hoping that he will be able to find someone who can help him to find the ‘Tommy Truck’ trailer which he is still missing.
“I’m looking for the trailer that it used to tow behind. I believe the farmers used to use it quite a lot as well because you could use it to tow behind the mower or you could use it as a wheelbarrow,” he said.
The 1964 Brott-20 Ride-On Lawnmower
The mower was built by Edward Thomas of Whittington Road, Oswestry, who also built sheep feeding equipment and other agricultural equipment. It used flails as cutting blades and it blew the cut grass out of the chute like a mini sylager
According to the original 1964 advert for the mower, it could “cut long or short grass, wet or dry. Designed exclusively for larger lawns, sports grounds, parks, estates, etc.”
When new, the Brott-20 would have sold for £260 0s 0d with four collecting bags, or a model with an electric starter fitted would be £310 0s 0d. The trailer which Mr Davies is now looking for would have cost £29 0s 0d if bought new from Edward Thomas & Co in 1964.
Father’s Day Gift Idea: ZTR Mower: Unique Gift for Dad, a Zero Turn Radius Mower
Looking for a unique and memorable gift for dad for Father’s Day? Consider the newest residential lawn care product, a Zero Turn Radius Mower (ZTR) for dad. The pros have been using ZTR’s for years; now dad can, too.
A Unique Father’s Day Gift
If your father has a half acre or more and has to navigate his current lawn tractor around trees, flower beds, plants, and lawn ornaments, a ZTR will save him precious time and give his lawn a professional, manicured look. Best of all, Zero Turn Radius mowers are fun to drive.
The pros use ZTR’s because they’re fast, powerful, and give lawns a uniform, manicured appearance. Typically, ZTR mower blades are revolving at 19,000 rpm or higher, well above the speed of lawn tractor blades. At these high blade speeds, the mower cuts effectively and uniformly, whether the grass is tall, wet, or tough.
Zero Turn Radius Mowers
Until recently, ZTR’s were designed, built, and priced for lawn care professionals. With large mowing decks and prices in the seven to ten thousand dollar range, ZTR”s weren’t practical for most residential uses. That has changed. Though still priced somewhat higher than lawn tractors, ZTR’s are well within the range of the homeowner.
If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift that will be a dramatic statement of love for dad and all he’s done and given to you, a ZTR is a gift that he’ll talk about for years. Every time he zips around the yard in far less time than he used to spend, having far more fun, while exerting far less energy, dad will appreciate your gift.
ZTR’s and Lawn Tractors
If dad’s lawn size justifies a ZTR, he probably has a lawn tractor now. There are significant differences between ZTR’s and lawn tractors. Dad will love the maneuverability of a Zero Turn. With its two independent drive wheels, it will literally turn on a dime. Though that eases maneuvering around obstacles, it will take some time for dad to learn to turn abruptly without digging up turf.
A stationary wheel pivoting without forward or rearward motion will likely dig out sod, but dad will learn to provide slight forward or rearward movement on the pivoting wheel, losing just a bit of maneuverability but not losing precious turf.
Dad won’t work as hard on his ZTR as he did on his tractor. The effort required in a one-eighty turn is a fraction of that required on a tractor. Most ZTR’s use two independent levers for steering, one in each hand, but at least one manufacturer offers a joystick, one hand control that requires very little physical effort.
Consider Including Service
On the negative side, the ZTR mower deck is not designed for easy removal for cleaning and blade sharpening. Some models offer a wash-out port that connects a garden hose for under-deck cleaning. At least one model, offered by Country Clipper, has a patented mower deck system that pivots out and up into a vertical position for easy cleaning and blade sharpening.
Of course, if your gift includes annual maintenance from the dealer, cleaning and blade service are part of the pick up and delivery service.
Dad will love this very special and unique Father’s Day gift.
Save Money with Spring Lawnmower Maintenance
Each year, many people throw their money away on new lawnmowers because their old ones needed a little maintenance. Sometimes, the solution can be as simple as getting a new spark plug or air filter. Another, often-neglected, aspect of lawnmower ownership is oil changes. Simple maintenance can save time, money, and ensure an old lawnmower will get the job done. In fact, most of the things that can be done for a mower can be achieved at the same time each year as part of an annual “tune-up.”
Replace Air Filters for Better Performance
One simple way to make sure a lawnmower is working as efficiently as it should is to replace its air filter. Dirty filters can cause mowers to gasp for air, which is necessary for gas engines to operate properly.
Compared to the cost of a new mower, this can be one of the cheapest ways to make sure a lawnmower does what it was designed to do. Even if a filter cannot be immediately replaced, some can still be cleaned with a brush or compressed air to the point that it will let the mower continue on for time-being.
Replace Spark Plugs to Ensure Maximum Efficiency
Spark plugs can get damaged or fouled by many different factors. Old, worn-out or dirty spark plugs can rob a mower of its power or cause it to quit working altogether. Experts suggest that it’s a good idea to replace the plugs in mowers at least once a year.
Stabilize the Mower’s Fuel Supply
Gas can go bad over time. Gasoline that is stored in a lawnmower’s tank for months can degrade to the point where it is unusable. By using fresh gas or adding fuel stabilizer to the tank before a long storage period, this problem can be avoided. typically, a couple ounces is sufficient to treat the gallon or so of gas in the average walk-behind lawnmower.
Change the Oil Each Year in a Lawnmower
Some people will keep the same oil in their lawnmowers for years without ever changing it. But just like the oil in a car, the oil in a lawnmower should be changed due to viscosity breakdown and the buildup of contaminants. When changing the oil in a lawnmower, proper disposal is also an important consideration.
Inspect the Cutting Blade for Sharpness, Cracks and Nicks
Very important: For your safety, disconnect the spark plug before ever turning over a mower or getting near the cutting blade. If this is not done, a blade that is rotated by hand could cause the mower to fire up on its own and injure the person inspecting it. For those who are not willing or able to do this, a small engine repair shop or other lawnmower repair shop is still a better, cheaper option than running out to buy a new mower.
One of the most important things to consider when tuning up or otherwise inspecting an old mower is the condition of the blade. Dull, worn-out or damaged blades won’t cut as well as a new or well-maintained one. Does the blade have many nicks or cracks? Is it rusted? Is it sharp?
I hope I covered all things you want/need to know. The choice for best lawn mower should be easier now for you. If you have money, go for cordless lawn mowers, if you are on a budget, buy a manual lawn mower, but if your lawn is uneven and hilly, choose gas lawn mower. Otherwise, check for some discounts and go for it 🙂