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Lawnmower: buy cheap or feature laden?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DaveF, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. DaveMcS

    DaveMcS Well-Known Member

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    just an FYI regarding the MTD brand:

    The MTD family of brands include Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt, Yard-Man, Yard

    Machines, Bolens, McCulloch and White Outdoor while the Cub Cadet

    Commercial brand is targeted to the commercial industry' needs.

    I dont know if there are varying quality/price points between the different lines..but there they are
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I bought my new lawnmower today [​IMG] Toro had a 10% sale, and I picked up the 20066 at Home Depot. Now what to do with my current lawnmower?
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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    craigslist.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm seeing more people buying battery-powered mowers. A newlwedg couple with their first house bought one for their smallish yard. And my dad bought one for their ~1/4 acre home. Both commented that they liked not needing to store gasoline near the house, and warm-fuzzies of being more "green".
    And I'll check out Craigs List. I've never used it before.
     
  5. mylan

    mylan Well-Known Member

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    I think you will like the Toro, I have one almost like it and the personal pace rear drive system is nice. Some mowers have three speeds or so but with personal pace you can go your own speed. I have a long stride and with other self propelled drives I cannot match my walk with a speed I like but I can fly with the Toro. Mine came standard with a Tecumseh engine but the newer models have gone to a Briggs and Stratton, which are better engines, I.M.O.
     
  6. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Well-Known Member

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    I have a tricked out Honda that I love. Just wanted to throw out a plug for it.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    If you have a relatively smooth lawn with actual grass (i.e. not a lot of dandelions, crab grass, etc.) then a reel mower should be fine.

    I considered getting one, but my lawn has a lot of non-grass plants in it, so I needed some kind of powered mower. Fortunately, I was able to snag an electric mower off Craigslist for a third of the price for new. I don't miss the gas and maintenance.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Another option I learned about is mowing service, $8 per. About $200 a year, with 24 mows. Buying mower and trimmer have a 1-2 year payback. But that's cheap enough to consider being lazy.
     
  10. Stan

    Stan Premium
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    I bought a basic Toro 17 years ago, finally did a tune-up last year when it started sputtering, but works great.

    Didn't get anything fancy like powered wheels, key start, etc. I have a rather obese neighbor who just guides his lawnmower with his pinky finger, getting almost zero exercise at the time. I was stubborn and refused to be that lazy, so just a basic mower that cuts grass, no options and provides me with at least some sort of workout.
     
  11. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Well-Known Member

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    I own a Honda HR215 bought new back in '92. It's still running ok. It was pricey at the time but it's cheaper than buying mowers every few years. I've seen neighbors doing that over the years.

    I change the oil more than requrired so that may be why mine is still running ok. [​IMG]
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Reel mower is out. I did a quick mow today with a hand-me-down electric, and concluded the yard is too small, with too many corners, for a reel mower to be effective. I wouldn't be able to keep the momentum going.

    I'm looking at cordless electric. I want to get away from the noise, and secondarily, the refueling of a conventional gas mower. And my yard is so small, I don't worry about the more limited range of a battery mower. I'm more uncertain the weight of these, and whether I should save money and weight on integrated-battery model (versus external, lift-out battery)

    (Now, my wife thinks I should pay the ~$200 / yr for the service to do it. That's very tempting, but with a two year pay back on the hardware, I think I should do it myself.)

    I'm looking at the B&D integrated and replaceable battery mowers:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YK4V04
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YK4UZU

    And while I'm at it, trimmers
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-LST220-Lithium-Ion-Cordless/dp/B004JMZH08/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=UWXABWV8IJ76&coliid=IWP4IOFFUL2H4
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-LST220-Lithium-Ion-Cordless/dp/B004JMZH08/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=UWXABWV8IJ76&coliid=IWP4IOFFUL2H4
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-NST2118-Cordless-Electric/dp/B004A84XI8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=UWXABWV8IJ76&coliid=I48QVHCKRWC46
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Well-Known Member

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    Don't overlook a corded electric for a small yard....they weigh MUCH less than a battery one so they are easier to push.
     
  14. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    My friend has a corded electric for a small front yard and a medium back. He's happy with it.

    I have a Black and Decker, last year's model of the CM1836.
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The mower I used today is corded (its a battery powered mower, but the battery is dead, so cord only). I hated it. And I'm apt to kill myself by mulching the cord :)My space is long and narrow, between my house and the nighbors, with the outlet in middle of my side wall. For a 20 min mow, I had to juggle the cord five or ten times. So, I learned that corded is not good for me, in this space. I'm a little concerned about the weight of the cordless mower; it's about 70 lbs! But I'm guessing that's the best trade in my options. Going to order from Amazon. They're not carried locally at the big hardware stores. And Amazon has free shipping, no tax, and has been good for research.
     
  16. Stan

    Stan Premium
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    Forgot to mention, but the more features, the more repairs you'll probably need. Mine is a basic pull start, variable speed and can compost or use a bag for the clippings.

    Unlike cars, which even the more feature laden they are, the car companies seem for the most part to have gotten things right finally, and they're pretty stable. Don't think the same quality is put into lawnmowers.

    I must say though, mine is a one pull start, so they did something right. I'd bet 99% if the time it starts on the first pull, even after sitting all winter. And I treat it terribly. Check the oil a few times each season, change the air filter once a year and that's it. 17 years before the first major repair, which only cost me $75.00 and it was only because some water had gotten in the system.
     
  17. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Who mows a lawn for $8? If I could find a service for that price, I'd jump on it.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Very small space. The front is included in the HOA. The side is about 20'x100', and they're already on site. So they can charge a minimal fee to do the sides. That comes out to $200 - $400 annually, depending on frequency. It's cheap and tempting. But one or two year's service I'll break even on equipment. And that little bit of mowing will help me get outside and meet the neighbors.

    I'm looking at a coworker's used electric mower this weekend. If it's decent and he will sell it for $50-ish, that's what I'll do.

    I'll re-evaluate service then next year.
     
  19. Stan

    Stan Premium
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    $50 is a great price. I actually wish I'd gone electric, they have very long, reliable lives. There is very little to go wrong. Not great in super thick long grass, but if you keep on top of things they do a great job.

    I'd go for it.
     
  20. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    If you can get it for $50, good deal. Otherwise, I'd use the service. Your not going to get enough exercise to make the investment worthwhile, and having someone else do it just gives them something to do and all goes well.

    Just my opinion, but if your lawn is small enough they will do it for less than $10, your cost to maintain a mower (even electric) and deal with doing the lawn.. I'd pony out the $8 in a heart beat.
     

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