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Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: MacGurl
Date: May 19, 2010 01:05PM
Our old Sears lawn mower is on it's last legs. I've had it since about 1998, and at one point the right front wheel had broke/rusted loose of the deck. My Brother was able to drill some new holes and cobble it back together for me, getting a few more years use from it, but now it's barely hanging on by a steel "thread" - tipped severely to the right (very hard to use that way), and ready to break free the next time it takes a whack.
Stupidly, I just invested $90 in the dumb thing a few weeks ago, getting it running again, after finding it dead dead dead after the winter. I should have just bit the bullet and gotten a new one back then. Mowing is a weekly affair here, and if I pay the ex-neighbor boys to do it it's $25 a pop, so that's ok in a pinch, but not long term.
As much as I'd love a top of the line self-propelled mower, financially, I don't have a lot to invest. I am leery of the super cheap mowers, in the $150 range. I suppose what I would be in the market for is a 21"/22" deck, high wheeled, mulching, push mower. The yard here is too large, with fairly thick grass, for an electric.
Looking at Sears web site I'm seeing some in the $200 - $240 range that look that they might be what I'm looking for. Any thoughts for me?







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2010 01:17PM by MacGurl.
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Re: Whee to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: timg
Date: May 19, 2010 01:11PM


You KNOW Greg wants it!
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Re: Whee to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 19, 2010 01:14PM
I just bought a basic mower from HomeDepot 8 years ago, (made in Canada, eh) still running strong.

Its all about the motor -- make sure its got the power.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Whee to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 19, 2010 01:31PM
If you have no intention of bagging , go with the (less costly) model that doesn't have the option.
No sense parts lying around never getting used.


The other option is to find the retired guy in town that fixes old mowers and has hundreds of repaired ones in his garage (sometimes across the yard) He might have a deck for your motor or trade ya plus some cash.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 19, 2010 01:35PM
Lowes. [www.lowes.com]|0&pl=1&currentURL=/pl_Push%2BMowers_4294857303_4294937087_?newSearch=true$ddkey=http:CategoryDisplay$Ns=p_product_quantity_sold|0

$179.00 Picked this one up about a year ago. Gardener was retiring and the new guy didnt really do a good job of cutting the front lawn.(Dogs in back) I still had to do the back yard. Decent little cutter with a bag.
EDIT: What BillB said. If you rake up your clipping, get a bagless model.

My only suggestion would be to get a mower with a bag. Easier on you, little to no raking. I had an electric, but it started acting up, so I bit the bullet and got a gas model. Lower end push models usually have the same model motor in them. Same company that is... I had a self propelled model at my old house, I loved it, but ended up giving it to my sister when I moved. The model above is the same minus the self propelled parts.

Joe



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2010 01:42PM by Carm.
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Re: Whee to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 19, 2010 02:07PM
its best to leave clippings on the lawn unless they're so thick that they blanket it.



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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: May 19, 2010 02:13PM
I have a Sears riding mower, a self-propelled mower and a push mower. My favorite: the push mower. It is like walking. Last winter I left it outside with no cover. Started with one pull. I was ready to at least squirt some ether in it.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: May 19, 2010 02:13PM
Look for a used one at either a mower repair shop or on Craigslist.

No reason to pay full retail for one.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: May 19, 2010 02:17PM
A lot depends on what size lawn you mow and how you do it. If you are on an incline or have a large lawn you probably want a mower with a drive. Otherwise for small lawns you could get the old traditional push type.

You might want a mulcher if you don't bag and mow regularly. I have owned Sears mowers for about 20 yrs and they have been fine. Toros are usually rated best but are costly.

Just checked consumer reports for you. In your price range, they recommend:

Push mowers:
Lawn-Boy 10640 $240. Electric - battery powered 50 minutes
Cub Cadet 11A-18MC $240 **Best Buy
Black & Decker MM875 $240

Self Propelled:
Toro Recycler 20330 $300
Craftsman 37435 $300
Yard Man 12A-18M7 4280
Lawn-Boy 10641 $270



JoeM
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: TLB
Date: May 19, 2010 02:18PM
I've gotten some great deals on yard and garden equipment on craigslist. If you spent $90 on the engine you may be able to get a Craftsman with a dead engine and good deck and swap the motor for cheap and hold off on the new mover for another year or two.
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Re: Whee to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 19, 2010 02:32PM
Quote
timg


You KNOW Greg wants it!

Our's is close:





Grateful11
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: rz
Date: May 19, 2010 02:54PM
Agree with mattkime, get a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn. I live in Florida, where in the summertime, grass can grow 8" in a week. I used to have a bagger - never again. When we moved to our current house, our agent bought me a new mulching mower as a housewarming gift. I can mow twice as much lawn in less time than at the old house with the bagging mower.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: John B.
Date: May 19, 2010 03:21PM
If you know enough about mowers to be confident at looking at used ones, Craigslist is a decent way to go. I had a plastic-decked Honda (that I bought used 5 years ago) that finally had enough stress cracks in the deck that it was on its last legs. I liked the Honda engines, just not the plastic deck so much, and there are plenty of stories of their engines lasting virtually forever. So I found a used Honda with an aluminum deck, shaft drive (instead of belt on my previous mower) and blade brake clutch (instead of kill switch) for $200 locally on Craigslist. Then I turned around and sold the still-functional engine off my old Honda mower for $50 plus shipping on Craigslist. Still need to sell the catcher and mulch plug from the old mower...they don't fit the "new" one, which came with its own bag.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: LyleH
Date: May 19, 2010 03:33PM
I have a Toro self-propelled similar to the 20330, and I highly recommend Toro. You said your yard is large, so going for the self-propelled seems like a smart thing to do. Mine starts on the first pull even after 3 years of service, and even after not using it for a month or more. And the mechanism for propelling the mower is variable speed - basically you simply push on the handle to go forward. Push harder and you go faster. Most natural control I've ever used.

Also, the May Consumer Report recommends it, and has the 20330 rated the highest for a $300 machine. All rated above that are (much) more expensive. It is also rated as Excellent for mulching, so you can use it that way, too.

Toro, Husqvarna and Craftsman self-propelled units are tied for the least repairs needed.

LyleH



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2010 03:35PM by LyleH.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: May 19, 2010 03:54PM
Agree with Toro. My self-propelled is 16 years old, been through three blades (pine cones and small sticks galore here). I use it about 2 hours per week from May through October, then it sits in the garage for 6 months. Three weeks ago I got it out and dusted it off, checked the oil level (it was fine from an oil change last summer) and it fired up on the second pull as usual. My previous Toro lasted 20 years until the wheel drive mechanism (sealed gearbox) broke. My "new" one has a direct belt drive. The belt's been stretching a bit every year, probably time to replace it. I bought mine at an Ace Hardware, not sure the 2 "big box" home improvement chains carry Toro.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 19, 2010 04:01PM
Quote
Ombligo
Look for a used one at either a mower repair shop or on Craigslist.

No reason to pay full retail for one.

agree smiley

I actually got my (self-propelled) push mower at Sears--but it was a good deal because it was USED.



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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: iaJim
Date: May 19, 2010 05:07PM
I'm with TLB! You've spent money on the motor, and I'll bet on big garbage day you can find a mower sitting along the curb that could make a deck/motor swap for your current motor. People throw these things away because they won't start, and typically, that's a $30 fix. I have a very old Snapper with its second engine. It's not a new Snapper branded engine, but Snapper doesn't make them anyway. These things are remarkably interchangeable. Don't spend money on a new mower. Fix/swap out parts of this mower or buy a used one that runs. Money ahead quickly!
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 19, 2010 05:12PM
The thing is none of the ol' great mowers, Snapper, Toro, Lawn Boy, etc. are made like they
used to be. The drive systems are different, the decks aren't made like they used to be. Don't
except to get a Snapper like you used to could. You can get the old Disc-Drive Snapper, that
were hard to beat, but you'll pay $700-$1000 for one.

[www.snapper.com]



Grateful11
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Re: Whee to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: MacGurl
Date: May 19, 2010 05:12PM
I probably don't trust myself to do a good assessment of a used mower via Craigslist and the like, though I might not worry about one through Sears, if they had such a thing at our local store.


I am indeed a mulcher though. I don't figure we need all of those bags of lawn clippings added to the landfill.

Thank you all for your thoughts so far. As much as I'd love a self-propelled, those really seem out of my budget. It's probably healthier for me to do all of the hard work anyhow.



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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: kap
Date: May 19, 2010 06:44PM
Saw on the news on Channel 5 KTLA this morning about 'green' lawn mower:
[www.neutonpower.com]
Supposedly there is some type of special discounts.



SoCal for now.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2010 06:45PM by kap.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 19, 2010 07:53PM
I'd look for a model with a quality brand name engine. If the engine is quality, the rest of the mower is probably quality as well.

Honda builds great small engines. They have overhead valves - not L-heads.

[www.honda-engines.com]
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 20, 2010 12:39AM
Quote
freeradical
I'd look for a model with a quality brand name engine. If the engine is quality, the rest of the mower is probably quality as well.

Honda builds great small engines. They have overhead valves - not L-heads.

[www.honda-engines.com]

Honda lawn mowers are usually expensive because they make quality motors. My BIL spent over $500 on one, his lawn is smaller than mine. He knows lawn mowers and wanted to buy the best.
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Re: Where to buy a new lawn mower?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 20, 2010 09:12AM
I have a Honda self-propelled . The transmission went under warrantee and again out of warrantee. The carb just won't stay adjusted and has been replaced .
Harmony with a plastic deck. I liked it and still haven't thrown it out, but got tired of throwing money at it.

I was willed a Honda rider H2013. Nice mower. Most mowers if you hit something you break a 10 centone dollar shear pin . This one bent a $185.00 drive shaft. It has sat for two years and the carb has gotten gummed up. I will have it running like a charm in two weeks or so because my sister needs a rider. (nephew cuts her lawn).
Shame that all the Honda dealers around here have disappeared and Honda couldn't compete with rider prices at the Big Box stores.

I have a cheapie Toro. Old as the hills. It vibrates. Doesn't cut all that great. Side discharge. It starts. It runs without any tinkering.

I have a Snapper self-propelled. Sometimes it starts, sometimes it doesn't. Hot or cold.
Whoever designed the air filter setup should have thier engineering license revoked.
You need to clean the filter often because this thing SUCKS like a vacuum cleaner. Great for picking up pine needles. Lifts every blade of grass and presents it to the blade for a wonderful cut.
Just don't cut the grass if it hasn't rained for three days. You'll have to take a shower to remove the layer of dirt from your body and clothing that goes through the bag cloth.
It would be nice if the bag was bigger, although the mower never gets heavy with a small bag. You just have to stop and empty it more often. Did I mention it starts sometimes and sometimes it doesn't ? :-)
Our Snapper dealer claims to have dropped Snapper because their mower decks got chintzy.
They all have IMo.

MTD has bought up so many name brands now you really have to keep up with what's being made where in what assembly line that used to be owned by a name brand.


I have a 3 or 4 year old Husqvarna rider with a Kawasaki motor. (19 horse?)
So far so good.
Cub Cadets and Deere's look nicer, though.
Although some of the BIg Box store Deere models look a bit chintzy, too.
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