Buying a Lawn Mower

Manual reel lawn mower. (Courtesy: Jonas Gunnarsson at flickr.com)

Manual reel lawn mower.
(Courtesy: Jonas Gunnarsson at flickr.com)

So the new year has started and there is about two months to go before you start to consider cutting the lawn and preparing the yard and garden for the spring. If you are either considering the purchase of a new lawn mower or you are in the market to buy your first mower, then perhaps now is the time to start doing some research. You just can’t purchase the first lawn mower you see. There are a number of considerations as you survey the market.

So you just bought your dream home in the suburbs after living in an apartment for a few years. No doubt, it feels good to have that extra room and the kids now have their own bedrooms. You don’t have to put up with neighbors beyond the wall shouting at each other and smelling different foods cooking in different apartments as you walk down the hallway to your apartment.

There’s also one additional big change. You have a lawn that needs to be cared for.

The first priority may be to furnish the home, but sooner or later you’re going to have to buy a lawnmower.

Buying a lawnmower is not like buying a car. However, you may think so because both are moving vehicles. Actually, there are different things you need to consider when buying a lawnmower. For example, you need to consider the lawn.

Appraising the Lawn

There are a number of things you need to determine about your lawn before going out and buying a lawnmower. The things you need to consider are:

Corded electric lawn mower. (Courtesy: YellowbeardMac at flickr.com)

Corded electric lawn mower.
(Courtesy: YellowbeardMac at flickr.com)

· What is the size of your yard? The answer to this question will help you settle on the type of lawn mower you buy. It will help if you know how many acres you’re dealing with. To calculate acreage measure the length and width of the lawn and then figure out the number of square feet. One acre equals 43,560 square feet. Multiply the length times the width in feet and divide by 43,560 to determine how many acres you have. A yard that is considered to be small to medium in size is less than a half an acre. Lawns that are considered to be large are larger than half an acre.
· What is the topography of the land? Is it flat? Does it slope? If your yard features a slope, then a self-propelled mower might be what you need. The fact that it is self-propelled means it can help you climb that slope. Ride on lawn mowers could be dangerous on hills. If your lawn is flat, then walk behind or push lawn mowers could be ideal.
· What type of grass comprises the lawn? If the lawn is well maintained with very little or no weeds, then it is easier for a lawn mower to cut. However, if the lawn is overgrown with a number of weeds and brush, then you’re going to need a larger size mower.

Research the different kinds of lawn mowers

There are five different types of push lawn mowers:

· Manual Reel Mowers. A push lawn mower, the manual reel does not emit any pollution because it does not include a motor. It makes little if any noise, you don’t have to spend much time maintaining it, and it is a lot cheaper than a power mower. If you prefer this kind of mower, keep in mind that you are going to have to use a lot of your own muscle power. This is especially so if you need to cut the grass more than 1-inch. Moreover, you won’t be able to trim close to trees and other objects.
· Corded electric mowers. This type of lawn mower offers power and the source of that power doesn’t pollute. They are quick to start, easy to maintain, quieter and many models offer a bag and side-discharge. There will be an issue with the cord. You will be wrestling with it as you proceed with your task and you always have to be conscious not to run over and cut it. They are also as powerful as the current they are able to draw from your home and they don’t deal well with long grass. They also cut a narrower strip of grass than more high-powered models so it will take you more time to mow.

Electric battery lawn mower. (Courtesy: Gadgets Scout at flickr.com)

Electric battery lawn mower.
(Courtesy: Gadgets Scout at flickr.com)

· Electric battery mowers feature a battery enclosed in the housing so there is no need worrying about a cord or finding an outdoor power outlet to plug into. They start easily and are pollution free. However, they need to be recharged periodically and the recharging time could be as much as a full day. In addition, the battery is heavy, which adds weight to the mower and makes it a little more difficult to push.
· Gas-powered mowers. This type of mower is efficient, powerful, durable and dependable. Some come with electric starters instead of a rope-yanking starter system. However, they are noisy, so many experts advise that you wear ear protection when operating one. These mowers are powerful enough to cut long grass. They also come with side-discharge, bags, and the ability to mulch. Some also include a wash out port where you can screw in a hose to wash out the cutting chamber after mowing. Some also come with a blade break that allows you to empty the clipping bag and then resume mowing. Keep in mind that you will have to spend more time maintaining the mower, which includes sharpening the blade, changing oil, cleaning the filter and replacing spark plugs.
· Self-propelled gas mowers. These mowers need less muscle to operate. They use the power generated by the motor to pull them along and thus reduce the amount of work.

Experts suggest you use a manual reel mower for small, flat lawns; an electric push mower for small lawns with thicker grass; a gas-powered mower for a yard that is about a half acre; and a riding mower for lawns greater than half an acre.

Self-propelled gas lawn mower. (Courtesy: Bestcook Wareusa at flickr.com)

Self-propelled gas lawn mower.
(Courtesy: Bestcook Wareusa at flickr.com)

Buying the Lawn Mower

Do some research to find out the current cost of the type of lawn mower you want and then determine a budget. Use the research time to also check into the major manufacturers of lawn mowers so you have some idea of the brand you want.

You can purchase a lawn mower from a dealer, a department store, a garden store, or a home improvement store.

As you discuss lawn mowers with a salesman ask him about accessories that are available including bags, mulching attachments and such and ask about the warranty.

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About Robert Janis

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Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.

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