How To Buy Lawn Mowers

 

Are you looking for a new lawn mower but wonder which one to buy? We give help on How To Buy Lawn Mowers Of Any Type. Find our best lawn mower recommendations.

Nicely mowed lawns don’t just happen. They take effort. How the lawn is mowed and the type of lawn mower used make a big difference.

Before getting into the details about how to buy a lawn mower, let’s take a quick peek at some nicely mowed lawns. Wish they were yours right?


Nicely mowed front ward to be proud of. The lawn looks so luscious

Nicely Mowed Back Yard

Add Flowers Mow Less

Here are the topics we address to help you know How To Buy Lawn Mowers.

How To Assess Your Lawn

The following questions will help you to assess your lawn. Your answers will help you to buy the lawn mower that best suits your lawn conditions.

✓ What size is it?
✓ Does it have a lot of trees and flower beds to maneuver around?
✓ Is there a large area of straight mowing?
✓ Is the area grass only or does is it rough with stones and such things?
✓ Are there any hills or inclines? What is the degree of the slope?

How Lawn Mowers Work

Learning how lawn mowers work will help you to make a better lawn mower purchasing decision. They differ in how they cut the grass and how they are powered. Let’s look at each of these topics.

How Is Grass Cut

Reel mowers cut the grass keeping it healthier because the grass is clipped like the action of a scissors. Rotary mowers tear the grass by using rotating blades causing the potential for disease. Rotary mowers have the most models available which include push, self-propelled and riding.

How Are Lawn Mowers Powered

Gas powered require separate gasoline and oil tanks to operate for two-stage models. Single-stage models have the gas and oil mixed. Electric mowers totally rely on electricity fed through a cord. Cordless mowers are battery powered. Gas powered mowers have the most models available on the market today. Reel mowers rely on humans pushing power.

Lawn Mower Type Basics

✓ Front wheel drive is best suited for flat lawns.
✓ All wheel drive self-propelled is best for slopes. Rear wheel drive is second best.
✓ Zero turn mowers maneuver easiest for an abundance of turning.
✓ Gas self-propelled mowers are best for larger yards.
✓ Tractor driven mowers are best for very large areas.
✓ Electric or gas push mowers are best for small yards.
✓ Electric mowers are quieter than gas mowers.

How To Of Lawn Mower Types

Many lawn mower types exist. Their differences are most notable when it comes to operator positioning when using them, how they are powered and how they are maneuvered. The following will explain what each of differences means.

How To Of Operator Positioning

Two operator positions exist: The walk behind and the riding. Let’s discuss the different positions for each type.

✓ Walk Behind
The Push and Walk Behind mowers require the operator to stay behind the mower when cutting the grass. The amount of energy required to move the mower forward depends upon how the mower is powered. The push reel mowers require the most effort and the self-propelled require the least effort.
✓ Riding
Riding and Tractor mowers require the operator to sit on the mower seat when cutting the grass. The engine power moves the mower. The greatest amount of physical energy is expended when maneuvering the mower

How To Of Power

There are four types of power for lawn mower types: Battery, Electric, Gas and Human. Let’s look at the role of power in the lawn mower types.

✓ Battery Powered or Cordless
Cordless mowers depend upon batteries to operate. Lithium ion batteries are used most frequently because they have a longer run time due to their higher voltage which ranges from 40 to 80 volts. The average run time is around 45 to 60 minutes. Battery recharging time varies by battery and charger, some take 30 minutes whereas other take 2 or 3 hours. Starting is as simple as pressing the start button.
✓ Electric or Corded
Corded mowers require electrical current to operate; therefore, they do not require recharging. They can run as often and as long as there is electricity. The biggest challenge is finding enough outside outlets close enough to the grass to be cut. Extension cords can be used; however they must be classified for outdoor use and heavy duty voltage plus they should not exceed a maximum of 230 feet. The power of an electric mower is measured in amps. Starting is easy. Simply flick a switch or turn a key,
✓ Gas Powered
Gas powered mowers require gasoline to operate. The four-stroke (four cylinder) engine require fresh unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. Gas with ethanol can be used if the percent of ethanol is 10 percent or less. The two-stroke (two cylinder) engine requires the same type of gas, but with the addition of a high-quality two-cycle engine oil. The proportion of gas to oil varies by brand. A fuel stabilizer added to a full tank of gas that is not used for more than 30 days prevents the gas from breaking down and damaging the engine and carburetor. Gas provides more power than electricity or a battery. Electric start gas mowers start with the turn of a key or push of a button. Others rely on the pull of the recoil starter handle and the spark created by the spark plug to ignite the fuel and air mixture delivered to the combustion chamber. The combustion of the fuel injected into the combustion chamber and ignited by a spark plug forces the engine piston, which is connected to the crankshaft, down. The cyclical movement of the crankshaft spins the blade.
✓ Push Reel
Push Reel mowers require human power only. The push reel of today is not like the old clunky push reels of the past. Many of the newer models have front guiding wheels for easier pushing. The adjustable height handle also decreases the amount of human effort required. The gears make the blades turn.

How To Of Maneuvering

Each type of lawn mower maneuvers differently. Let’s look at how each type handles straight line mowing and maneuvering around things

✓ Mowing In A Straight Line
Mowing straight ahead is affected by mower weight and wheel power location. Walk behind mowers require the operator to walk behind and guide them. Walk behind models are also known as push mowers which can be further classified as Push or Self-propelled. Push mowers rely on operator strength to move them. Self-propelled move on their own power but, require the operator to guide them. Riding mowers are built to move on their own as the operator guides them while seated.
An All-wheel mower has equal balance and power in all four wheels which makes straight line mowing easy and fast. A Front wheel mower has its balance and power found in the front wheels. It requires more effort to move it forward and stay in straight lines. A Rear wheel mower has its weight and power in the rear wheels which makes pushing easier and straight line mowing easier.
✓ Mowing Around Things
Maneuvering to mow around things can be challenging with some mower types. The Zero-Turn mower is the easiest to maneuver. Its weight is in the rear wheels and it is built to turn so no grass is missed at the turn. An All-wheel mower is more difficult to control when maneuvering because power is found in all four wheels. Rear wheel driven mowers are easy to maneuver because the weight is in the back therefore it is a matter of tipping the mower up and turning on the back wheels. The Front wheel drive mower is the most difficult to maneuver. In fact if there is a lot of maneuvering required this is not a recommended lawn mower.

How To Of Lawn Mower Maintenance

Each type of lawn mower maneuvers differently. Let’s look at how each type handles straight line mowing and maneuvering around things

✓ Lawn mower maintenance varies greatly by mower type. Let’s see what maintenance is required by type of lawn mower.
✓ A reel mower only requires cleaning the blades, removing excess grass clippings and keeping the mover protected from the elements so it does not rust. The blades can be sharpened by using a grinding stone and grinding paste.
✓ Electric mower maintenance is simple. Make sure the cord is in good working condition with no bent plug from stretching on the cord. Clean the undercarriage, vents and blade after every mowing. Keep the blade sharp Replace the battery when needed. Refrain from mowing when it is raining and store the mower from the elements when not in use.
✓ Cordless battery powered mower maintenance is the same as the electric powered mower except that a charged battery is required for each mowing. A well charged battery can give up to 45 minutes of mowing time. Lithium-ion batteries used can be recharged in as little as 30 minutes.
✓ Gas powered mowers required the most maintenance. Like the other types of lawn mowers the deck and blades after each mowing; however the gas powered mowers have additional maintenance requirements. After every 50 hours of moving, the engine oil and filter should be replaced and for sure at the end of each mowing season. During the mowing season, the engine oil level should be checked. At the end of each mowing season the gas should be completely used up or removed. Every new mowing season requires new spark plugs because it is the spark plug that ignites the fuel in the engine to keep it running smoothly.

What Is The Best Type Of Lawn Mower

To understand the best type of lawn mowers we will present a list of the many types of lawn mowers and then provide the pros and cons of each type.

The Lawn Mower Types

Here are the lawn mower types to be discussed.

To see a specific mower type immediately click on that type; otherwise scroll down the page to see them all.

The Lawn Mower Type Pros Cons

Each of the above mower types will be explained including their Pros Cons and
what the best conditions are for using that type of mower.

Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A ZERO TURN MOWER?
Zero turn mowers are rear wheel driven. They have two handles (lever). Pushing the levers forward causes the mover to go forward. Pulling the levers back causes the mower to reverse. The name of the maneuvering comes from the fact that the mower needs zero radius to turn.

how to mow with a zero turn mower

PROS
✓ Trimming and turning around things is easy.
✓ Blades move at a high speed and cut the grass very well.
✓ No grass is missed at the turn.

 

CONS
✓ It takes time to get used to the two levers.
✓ They are harder to control on slopes.
✓ Possibility of tipping is high on slopes greater than 10 to 15 degrees.
✓ The cost is higher.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Flat terrain
✓ Area more than 1/2 acre.

 

All Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS AN ALL WHEEL DRIVE MOWER?
An all-wheel drive mower distributes an equal amount of power to all four wheel.

 

PROS

mowing the lawn with an all wheel moser

✓ The mower is more balanced and stable.
✓ It easily handles hills, thick grass, and tough terrain and allows maximum control and maneuverability
✓ It moves fast.

 

CONS
✓ Maneuvering this type of mower is more difficult because the speed must be lowered or the drive disengaged.
✓ It is more expensive.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Good on hills, uneven terrain, thick grass and even wet grass
✓ Area more than 1/2 acre.

 

Front Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A FRONT WHEEL DRIVE MOWER?
A front wheel driven mower has its weight and power in the front wheels. Maneuvering is done by pivoting the mower on its rear wheels.

 

PROS
✓ Mows well on flat surfaces.
✓ Changing directions is easy because there are no levers to use or speeds to change.
✓ Maneuvering is done by pivoting the mower on its rear wheels.
✓ It is most affordable.

 

CONS
✓ When the front wheels are not firmly on the ground, the mower does not move well.
✓ It does not push as easily as a rear wheel or four wheel drive.

✓ Maneuvering a lot often wears the rear wheel bearings prematurely.

✓ It has no stability on hills or rough terrains.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Flat terrains
✓ Small yards less than 1/2 acre,

 

Rear Wheel Drive Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A REAR WHEEL DRIVE MOWER?
A rear wheel drive mower has its weight and power in the rear wheels thus giving the mower good traction.

 

PROS
✓ Since its traction is so good, it gives the best looking manicured lawn.
✓ Pushing a rear wheeler is much easier than a front wheel drive.
✓ This is the best wheel drive for irregular terrains with bumps and unevenness.
✓ More affordable than the zero turn or all-wheel drive.

 

CONS
✓ Maneuvering is more complex. It is necessary to change the speed and disengage the drive.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Good for flat, hills, slopes and uneven terrain.
✓ Yard of any size.

 

Self Propelled Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A SELF PROPELLED LAWN MOWER?
A self-propelled lawn mower moves forward on its own. It does not require pushing.

 

PROS

mowing the lawn with a self propelled gas powered mower

✓ They save time and energy because little effort is required and they are speedy.
✓ Works good on lawns over 1/2 acre.
✓ Handles hill terrain.
✓ It makes challenging areas easy because it mechanically moves forward.

 

CONS
✓ The operator must squeeze a bar (called a “bail”) on the handle which engages the mower
✓ They are pricey.
✓ They have more things that break quicker such as the belt that connects the self-propelled transmission to the engine; the transmission wears faster; the wheels on the propelling axle tend to wear down faster.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ When the desire is to expel less energy.
✓ Wanting an easy to start with automatic choke recovery system that allow you to start the engine cold.
✓ When the operator desires a broad range of ground speeds to accommodate a specific walking pace or various other cutting conditions, variable speeds are available.
✓ They are available in front, rear and all wheel drive.

 

Reel Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A REEL LAWN MOWER?
A reel lawn mower has no engine. It has blades operated by gears when it is pushed.

 

PROS
✓ Cuts more finely and precisely thus giving the appearance of a beautifully manicured lawn. It does not chew the grass.
✓ More blade height settings are available.

 

CONS
✓ Easy for the reel and bed knife to get out of alignment. Hitting even small rocks will do it.
✓ Need to pick up twigs and small rocks to preserve the alignment.
✓ Regular blade sharpening is required.
✓ They are hard to find.
✓ Because of scarcity they are more expensive than rotary mowers.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Doing a small yard is easiest.
✓ Yards with no sticks or rocks. If they exist they must be removed before moving.
✓ Flat not bumpy yard.
✓ Grass is cut frequently so it does not get too high.
✓ Beset used on an already well-manicured lawn.
✓ One consumer mentioned he sets the reel mower to its lowest height and scalps his lawn every summer to promote soil and root aeration and thicker growth.

 

Battery Powered Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A BATTERY POWERED LAWN MOWER?
A battery powered mower relies on a lithium-ion battery pack as its source of power to run the engine.

 

PROS

Mowing With A Battery Powered Mower

✓ The operating cost is less.
✓ Maintenance required is less than gas powered mowers. There is no engine oil, spark plug or filter to change.
✓ They are quieter during operation which offers a safety bonus.
✓ Their weight is less.

 

CONS
✓ A charged battery lasts only around 45 minutes which places a limitation on amount of lawn that can be mowed at one time unless multi batteries are owned.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Thinner grassed, flat terrain, easy to mow lawns.
✓ Locations where cutting down on emissions is very important.
✓ Where noise levels must be kept low.

 

Electric Powered Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS AN ELECTRIC POWERED LAWN MOWER?
An electric powered mower operates on electricity therefore it must be plugged into an electrical outlet to work.

 

PROS

Mowing with an electric mower

✓ Maintenance is low. There is no fuel filter to clean, no spark plugs and oil to change. There is no need to store gasoline.
✓ Their weight is less.

 

CONS
✓ Long cords are needed.
✓ Limited to usage for smaller lawns.
✓ Does not mow thick heavy grass well.
✓ May need to re plug several times to mow.
✓ They weigh less and are therefore not good for uneven or hilly terrains.
✓ Mowing wet grass or going through water is a no-no.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Thinner grassed, flat terrain, easy to mow lawns.
✓ Smaller lawns where multiple outside outlets exist.
✓ Locations where noise and emissions is an issue.

 

Gas Powered Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A GAS POWERED LAWN MOWER?
A gas powered mower uses gas to operate the engine.

 

PROS
✓ They offer more versatility for the type of grass they cut. They are good for thick, tough, tall grass as well as shorter easier to cut grass.
✓ They have no mobility limitations.
✓ They are more durable than electric mowers.
✓ One tank of gas goes a long way. Mowing a large area is easy because the gas tank just needs to be filled. There is no battery to wait for while it recharges.
✓ Their life span is longest.
✓ Their initial cost is less.
✓ They are heavier and better on uneven, hilly terrains.

 

CONS
✓ They require a lot of year end and opening season maintenance.
✓ Gas must be moisture free or a gas additive must be added.
✓ Different models required different oil types.
✓ The gas used emits carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
✓ There is a need to remember to get gas or store gas so the mowing can be completed without interruption.
✓ The cost of gas is greater than electrical or battery costs.
✓ They can be hard to start if they have a pull cord.
✓ They are heavier if pushing weight is an issue.
✓ They are the noisiest type of mower.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Large areas.
✓ Grass that is thick, heavy and hard to mow.
✓ Uneven and hilly terrain.
✓ Wet and even rainy conditions.
✓ Open spaces where noise and pollution are not an issue.

 

Riding Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A RIDING LAWN MOWER?
A rider mower is a mower that has a built in seat so its operator can sit on it while mowing.

 

PROS

Mowing with a riding mower

✓ They speed up mowing time for large areas.
✓ Operation requires minimal effort.
✓ They offer more attachment options.
✓ Rear engine riding mowers decrease the exposure to gas fumes, are easier to store, steer easier and offer greater stability.

 

CONS
✓ Getting off the mower quickly in dangerous situations is difficult. So the rider must always be very alert.
✓ If the rear riding mower engine catches fire the operator is in great danger because the firs is in the rear and out of viewing range.
✓ Protective eye wear and heavy socks and shoes should be worn for safety reasons.
✓ Their loud sound can be hard on the ears.
✓ They are expensive.
✓ Because of their size they can be hard to turn unless they are a zero-turn riding mower.
✓ They require more storage space and are more difficult to transport.
✓ They can tip easily.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ Riding mowers are best for those who have very large mowing areas that are not hilly and do not have a lot of turns required.
✓ They are also best for those who have a storage place and a means of transporting them if they need repair.

 

Tractor Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A TRACTOR LAWN MOWER?
A riding lawn tractor is a large riding mower that usually has a detachable mower deck allowing for other accessories to be added such as a snow thrower.

 

PROS
✓ They have more power than a riding mower.
✓ Their cutting width is wider. Many are up to 48 Inch swaths.
✓ Most models can tow a cart of vacuum attachment which increases their usability.
✓ They are multi-purpose tractors when their mowing deck is detachable.
✓ Their speed is higher and they go faster.
✓ They can handle difficult grass cutting situations.
✓ Their traction is better than a riding mower.
✓ Slope mowing is safer with a lawn tractor.

 

CONS
✓ They are expensive. They cost more than a riding mower. However a detachable mower deck means they can be used for slow plowing as well. A lawn tractor certainly can plow deeper snow than a stand behind snow blower.
✓ They are large and require a lot of storage space.
✓ They require additional strength to make turns.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ A very large mowing area.
✓ Availability to a sizable storage shed.
✓ The operator has sufficient strength to operate it.
✓ The usage is for both mowing and snow plowing.

 

ROBOTIC Lawn Mowers

WHAT IS A ROBOTIC LAWN MOWER?
A robotic lawn mower is a robot that mows the lawn for you. Once you set up the parameters it will mow without any external influence or help.

Mowing the lawn with a robotic mower is fun

PROS
✓ Does the walking for you; withstands the heat and doesn’t become parched.
✓ It is completely autonomous once set up. It will come on based on times scheduled by you, cut your grass and return to its dock to charge its battery for the next mow.
✓ They have sensors so they will stop when they encounter an obstacle and go in another direction. They can mow around trees and shrubs.
✓ They are multi-purpose tractors when their mowing deck is detachable.
✓ All grass and leaves are cut finely and left as mulch on the grass.
✓ Multiple specifications are available to meet unusual situations encountered during mowing.

 

CONS
✓ Their mowing pattern is random so no stripping appears when it is done.
✓ Initial set up requires a wire with anchor pegs to be laid around the perimeter of the area to be mowed so the robot knows its boundaries.
✓ Initial set up takes time. A cutting schedule by date and time must be set up.
✓ Reading the product specifications is a must to end up with the best model for your situation.
✓ There is a maximum sized lawn the robot can cut. The manufacturer lets you know.
✓ There is a maximum incline angle or hill the robot can climb as well. Manufacturers include this in their product description.
✓ Not all robots can cut grass in the rain. They are smart enough to know when rain is falling and return to the dock; however if your lawn gets frequent rain it is best to buy one that can mow in the rain.
✓ Manual zone mowing requires human intervention by manually carrying the robot to a new zone or section.
✓ Robots with fixed blades generally get stuck on solid things and require human intervention.
✓ Full charge is required for action. Some robots charge within 45 minutes; others require 16 hours.
✓ They are very expensive.

 

BEST FOR WHAT CONDITIONS
✓ You are willing to carefully read the specifications to know which model is best for your lawn mowing conditions.
✓ You can afford it..

Summary
The above information is presented to help you begin decide what kind of a mower is best for you and your mowing conditions. The following questions will help you to further solidify which is the best lawn mower for your specific needs.

How Do Lawn Mower Types Compare?

 

See how the many lawn mower types operate.

What Is The Best Lawn Mower For You?

The following questions will help you find the best mower for your needs.
How much grass do you have to cut? Push mowers are best on one half acre or less. Riding mowers are good for a yard that is over one half acre.

How much time and exercise do you wish to devout to lawn cutting? If you are looking for a way to get exercise, buying a push mower will help accomplish that; however walking takes more time than riding. Even the mower deck width makes a difference in grass mowing time. A four inch difference can save up to ten percent in time. An eight inch difference can bring up to seventeen percent time savings. So, deciding on the width of the deck is important. The rule of thumb is the larger the deck size the costlier the mower will be.

Is your lawn free of twigs and other debris? If there are no twigs or debris and you have a fairly even terrain, a push reel mower will work very well. Reel mowers cut the grass clean; however they require arm strength. Return to How to Buy Lawn Mower top of page.

Do you have several outside outlets around your yard? If there are few outlets, using an electric powered mower will be difficult. In addition when using an electric powered mower one must be careful not to cut the cord. The biggest factor with using an electric mower is will it reach the farthest point from the electrical source. Also, another factor is the extension cord as it cannot exceed 100 feet. You lose power when going beyond this limit, thus defeating the purchase of using an electric mower.

Are you concerned about the environment and lawn mower maintenance? The reel mower is most eco-friendly and requires no maintenance except for sharpening the blades. Battery and electric powered models are also eco-friendly. Determine which is best for you if concerned about the environment.

Is your lawn comprised of uneven terrain? Inclines require more power and traction. Self-propelled mowers maneuver best since they are powered to move on their own. The All-wheel-drive (AWD) and Rear-wheel-drive are better built for hilly terrains. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) provides more traction at the center of the mower. Gas powered self-propelled mowers have more power than electric.

✓ Electric mowers work well on flat terrains with a yard sizes up to one-third acre.
✓ Gas powered mowers work well on flat or uneven terrains with a yard sized under one-half acre.
✓ Push reel mowers work best on flat terrains with yards less than one-fourth acre.
✓ Riding gas-powered mowers are used on yards greater than 1/2 acre.

Would pulling a cord be difficult for you when starting a mower? Some mowers are very difficult to start. Most gas powered mowers crank with a pull start. Some have electric starts which eliminates the need to pull the cord.

What should horse power of a mower be? Small yards mowed often enough so grass clippings are not left behind could use one half horsepower or 6.5 amperage. Riding mowers have much higher horsepower. If your mowing area is one half to one acre, you will want a riding mower with at least 14 horsepower. If you one to two acres, a fourteen to sixteen horsepower motor is necessary. For three acres or more, an eighteen to twenty-four horsepower.

What should the mower cutting swath width be? Regardless of how big your lawn is, how much storage room do you have? It may be necessary to buy a mower with a narrower deck because of storage limitations. Typically, a wider cutting deck size is used for larger lawns so the number of passes across the lawn is less. Generally a one-half acres lawn is suited best with a deck size of 40 inches or less. A one-half acre to two acre lawn is best suited with a 42 to 48 inch wide deck and a three acre or larger lawn is best suited with a 50 inch or wider deck. Another factor to consider is how many flower beds, trees and other objects would prevent you from picking up speed? The more things you have to around and the larger the deck, the longer and harder it will be to move because you will spend a lot of time slowing down and turning.

What Do You Want To Do With The Clippings? The clippings add nutrients. However, you may want to remove the clippings. Therefore, it is necessary to decide if you would like to bag, mulch or discharge the cuttings on the lawn. Not all models have these three options.

 

 

 

What Are The Consumer Best Sellers And Best Rated Mowers?

Based on research, experience and discussions with lawn mowing experts to help us find the best mower for our needs, we are sharing our what we learned with you. Hopefully this information will be useful so you too can find the best mower for your lawn care needs. Check out the lists now.

We also provide additional resources for each lawn mower type. Read the details now.

We hope you will visit us again and again and discover more “lawn mowers for your grass cutting needs”.

OUR MISSION is to help you discover the best mower at the greatest value. Easy to Shop.

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Know peace of mind so your grass does not get too tall when those rainy, humid days come.

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