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You take pride in your lawns appearance and work hard to keep it in top shape. With the right lawn mower, you’ll get the results that you are looking for with less effort. That is if you choose your mower wisely.
A lawn mower is a lawn mower… is that what you’re saying? Well, I can assure you that different mowers are better at different aspects of the job. But if you do some research and examine your lawns requirements, you won’t be considering mowing the lawn a chore any longer.
LAWN SIZE CHART:
There are three distinct types of push/walk behind mowers:
PUSH MOWER: As the name implies the motor drives only the blade, not the wheels. This mower has a YOU wheel drive.
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE MOWER: These mowers have maximum maneuverability and make the going easier on the flat. Great for medium and large lawns.
REAR WHEEL DRIVE MOWER: If your yard has slopes or hills, a rear wheel drive mower will really help you out. These provide better traction on wet grass or when you have a full bag of clippings.
The average push/walk behind mower engine ranges from 140cc to 190cc. The harshness of the conditions you intend to put you mower through will determine the size of engine that you’ll need.
For flat terrain with regular height grass the 140cc engine will be fine. If your property is hilly or you intend to be mowing wet grass, mulching leaves or doing weed cutting the 190cc engine would be a better fit.
The four main types of engine are:
This is where the drive power for your wheels is directed from.
Another aspect of your new push/walk behind mower will be how to deal with the clippings. You can choose a mulching mower. This option chops your grass clippings into tiny little pieces that return to the lawn and feed it. You can choose a bagging mower or one that simple discharges the clipping out to be raked up later. Many mowers allow you to choose any or all of these options in the same unit.
When you weigh all of these different factors against your lawn care needs, the appropriate mower choice should become a lot easier.
Of course there are also electric versions of these mowers as well as the classic spinning reel push mower, so, you always have options.
Larger lawns (or even fields for that matter) can often be too much for just a standard lawn mower. Smaller machines simply can’t handle the capacity. And if your yard is 6000 Sq feet or larger, it can be hard on you as well.
For larger lawns and even brush cutting, you need a riding lawn mower (or tractor). These are heavy duty machines and quite the investment, so you need to do your research in order to find the model that is right for you and your needs.
There are three major options to choose from:
REAR ENGINE RIDING MOWERS:
These are the next step up from a walk behind mower. They are slower than a riding mower/tractor or a zero turn and their cutting area is smaller; but they have the benefit of being less expensive. These are best for large home lawns as opposed to fields. Most utilize a gear drive and are maybe not the best at bagging or dispersing clippings. Their gas engines require regular oil changes as well as tune-ups.
Engine Placement: Rear
Cutting Area: 30 Inches
Yard Size: 1/2 to 1 Acre
RIDING LAWN MOWERS/TRACTORS:
These very versatile machines are better at clippings dispersal and have more traction on hilly terrain as opposed to their rivals. The riding mower/tractor can also accommodate other attachments like plows. Many models feature Hydrostatic transmissions for more power and smoother operation.
On many, the mower deck height is fully adjustable from the comfort of your high-backed seat. Bagging attachments can be a costly option that is available to you, or you can change the blade to mulch your clippings. A few of these mowers come with an ‘easy change’ system built in that makes changing to mulch mode fairly effortless. It’s gas engine requires regular oil changes as well as tune-ups.
Engine Placement: Front
Cutting Area: 42 to 48 Inches
Yard Size: 1/2 Acre or more
ZERO-TURN LAWN TRACTORS:
These units are agile and can turn on a dime. Rather than the more ubiquitous steering wheel, most zero-turn mowers utilizes two levers, (one on either side) to control direction. Pull back on one and push forward on the other and you are turning. The degree to which these handles are moved controls the amount of turn and speed of the mower. This allows the unit to make a complete circle nearly in place. Very convenient for mowing around trees, shrubs or other obstacles. These have a very wide cutting deck and do a great job mowing, but are not very powerful on hills. Bagging kits can be a costly optional extra. It’s gas engine requires regular oil changes as well as tune-ups.
Engine Placement: Rear
Cutting Area: 42 to 50 Inches
Yard Size: 1/2 Acre or more
So, as you can see there are a lot of different things to think about when you are out shopping for one of these mowers. Be sure to take into account everything that you will need this mower to handle. And, since you are most likely the person who will be operating it, think about what will make the experience more enjoyable for you.