Best time to buy lawn equipment?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Brett_H, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As new homeowners my wife and I are having to start from scratch on buying lawn equipment, and as with a lot of new homeowners, funds are at a premium. We've lucked out and been able to borrow my father-in-law's mower for the summer, and have been pleased with the results but we'll need to return it shortly. We'll be looking for deals on weed whackers, edgers, leaf blowers and the like, but those can wait for next year if needed. The mower is going to be a needed purchase soon.

    When is the best time to buy a mower? I'm hoping to score a good deal on one since they're soon to be "out of season" (at least in NE Ohio), but I'm afraid of waiting too long and not being able to find one anywhere. Does Sears typically discount at the end of the season? I'm happy with the Craftsman that I'm borrowing, and have heard good things from others regarding them.

    Finally, does anyone have a recommendation for a particular model with the following features: 21", self-propelled (1 speed is fine), convertible bag/mulch (includes bag), comfortable for someone 6'5".

    Thanks,
    -Brett.
     
  2. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I tend to buy Sears self-propelled lawn mowers. They last about 10 years or so. I believe I typically pay $269 - $279 which is the lowest price I've seen them go to. I believe they are priced about there now. If you have any size lawn at all or any hills of any kind I'd recommend a self-propelled mower.The Sears one I buy is a convertible type. Typically I mulch and you never see the grass clippings. If the grass is tall, or in the Fall when leaves start to collect on the lawn I use the bag. Congratulations on the purchase of your new home and good luck with it.
     
  3. GlenRF

    GlenRF Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think the best time to Buy Lawn equipment is the winter depending on your location I live in Ohio and work at a golf course and we buy new equipment every year from different place. and it really depends on what you are wanting to buy.
     
  4. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2000
    Messages:
    1,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actually it depends on what and where you are buying. I got a super deal on a leaf vacumn in the spring of this year, so I'm guessing at the very end of Sept would be a good time to start patrolling for mowers. If you wait too late (as a friend did) they ship away all the excess inventory and simply have a few mowers at regular prices.

    I think one of the Toro self-propelled models might fit you right; they run around $350 in-season, not sure about off. People here on the forum have sworn by Honda engines for their mowers, so that might be worth looking for.
     
  5. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2000
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just recently got fed up with my non-self propelled craftsman mower after having it for 6 months and bought a toro 20017 model mower. Its got a variable speed self pacing feature that is great. Its a mulching and bagging (side or back discharge) mower, 6.5 horsepower. It was about $350 or something at home depot and a $25 home depot gift card as a rebate of sorts that I'm going to use to buy an edger later. The variable speed thing works a lot better than I thought it would. It never felt like I was being pulled or that I was pushing, it just moved at my speed of walking. When I slowed down when approaching trees or fences it slowed down with me and stopped when I stopped.

    Home depot doesn't advertise the honda mowers anymore and it looks like they are clearing them out so if you want to go that route check it out, I'm sure they'll have some good deals.
     
  6. Michael Caicedo

    Michael Caicedo Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Michael Caicedo
    I say do check out the Hondas. As good as their cars and motorcycles. Boy, mine has taken abuse and still going strong. It's in the shop this week for tune up and sharpening.
     
  7. DaveMcS

    DaveMcS Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Looks like im in the responding minority here...i refer the Briggs & Stratton motors over any the Honda's. They've done very well by me and my family. Our Craftsman mowers are 13 and 2 years old. In fact the older one replaced a Craftsman mower who mower deck rotted through.

    For other lawn equipment. (blowers string trimmers, etc) Stick to the lowere end of the commercial lines (Avoiding the consumer models sold at the Depot.) Try a local power equipment shop for Echo, RedMax or Husqvarna hardware !
     
  8. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Guys,

    Thanks for the info so far! Last night I stopped in Sears and Home Depot; looks like mowers with the features I want can be had new in the $275-$350 range. I also saw that both places had some "reconditioned" mowers, presumably ones that had been returned, and often for $100 off the price of a new one. A good example was a Honda at HD that sells new for $360 was selling reconditioned for $260. This is nice, since I've got a $50 HD gift card laying around which would bring the total price to $210 for a self-propelled, mulch/bag Honda. Not too shabby!

    I'm going to continue to look around and watch out for price drops that would indicate an end of season clearance, and maybe combine that with the purchase of a "reconditioned" model to get the best possible deal.

    Thanks,
    -Brett.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    6,001
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just got a Sears RWD rear-propelled at a Craftsman Club sale for $350. Full price was $430 or something like that. It mulches, bags, discharges, has quick single-lever height adjustment, vari-speed, and 6.75 horsepower. It is GREAT.

    It costs more, but get rear-wheel drive if you have hills. Vari-speed is nice if you want to go slower up hills or around trim, propelled mowers are heavy so you want to avoid pushing/dragging them as much as possible.

    Discharging is great if you have any tall weeds/grass to deal with that is outside of your 'lawn proper'...around woods and such.
     
  10. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    4,457
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don't buy Yard Machines!! You really get what you pay for. My father bought a Murray lawnmower in the mid-late 80's and it still runs fine. [​IMG]
     
  11. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Carl III

    Stay away from brands that you find "reconditioned". A couple of years ago I bought a Craftsman mower from Sears and within 30 days I had to return it because the blade was bent. The salesman reassured me that the blade bent so easily because the mower hadn't been properly assembled and he offered to sell me the exact same mower only reconditioned for $100 less. The second time I used it I had the exact same problem with mower #2. When I took it back the salesman pointed me to the repair department so I demanded to see a manager. The manager tried to tell me that the blade was designed to bend to save wear and tear on the engine and it was basically my problem. Regardless I wasn't going for it and didn't leave the store till I got a full refund. On my way home from Sears I stopped in a second hand shop and bought a used mower for $35, it's been working just fine ever since.

    If you're shopping for a new mower I would recommend a Honda, my dad's had been running like new for 15 years now. If you're looking to save a buck you can do what I did and look for something used. Regardless I suggest you steer clear of Craftsman [​IMG]
     
  12. Greg_L_C

    Greg_L_C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Check the local shops in your area that specialize in lawn equipment. Their the ones that will discount in the late summer and fall when their business starts slowing. For my part time residential lawn service I always buy Toro mowers and Echo trimmers, blowers, edgers.

    Greg
     
  13. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Carl,

    Thanks for the tip regarding reconditioned equipment. I'm still interested in checking some out, but I do intend to look carefully for signs that they've been abused (dirty everywhere but with a new blade, etc).

    Greg,

    I have yet to look at a lawn care shop simply because I was assuming that their stuff would all be out of my price range. I don't want to drop over $300 on this, and preferably less than that. Wonder if they'd have anything that falls in that price range... I guess there's really only one way to find out: do as you said and go there!

    Oh, and I forgot to mention: my yard is completely flat, so no need to go looking for some mega-HP beast just yet.

    Thanks,
    -Brett.
     
  14. Ken CG

    Ken CG Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  15. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ken is correct in that FWD sucks on a lawnmower and most of the cheaper mowers like the Murray and Lawn Machines are all FWD.

    I think the Toros are RWD as is the Honda(which I bought) and paid around $400.

    Oddly I found Home Depot the same price as my local Honda Dealer so I bought at the dealer to support them.
     
  16. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ken/Shane,

     
  17. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's why I like my front wheel drive craftsman. It's much easier to push down on the handle to make turns rather than disengaging the drive mechanism. To each their own though. I've only owned 2 craftsman mowers as each has lasted 10+ years. The only part I ever replaced was the front drive wheel when the drive gear wore down. It was a cheap and easy fix and the parts are readily available at Sears.
     
  18. DaveMcS

    DaveMcS Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Don't buy Yard Machines!! You really get what you pay for. My father bought a Murray lawnmower in the mid-late 80's and it still runs fine. "

    Yard Machines, TroyBilt, Ryobi, CubCadet and Bolens are all mfg by MTD. And most have all lost the quality they once possessed prior to being bought by MTD.
     
  19. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2000
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  20. Ken CG

    Ken CG Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My RWD lawnmower that I have now, which has worn piston rings and is very underpowered, has a lever that I squeeze that controls a clutch. The harder I squeeze it, the faster it goes. If I need to turn, I let go of the handle. These are the systems I like best. Other systems, you snap this lever into place. Only way to turn it off is to lift up on the engine stop handle. One thing I like about is self propelled mower is that if you're tired after a long day's mowing, you can bungee cord the lever closed and let the mower walk itself back to the barn while you "walk behind" it. If my mower had the power and didn't bog down so much in 3-5 inches of grass, that's how I'd mow my lawn. Let it go by itself and walk behind it and just make sure it stays straight, then turn it when it needs to be turned.

    Here's a nice idea. I could set up a steering system with a radio control and a camera. I could have all the info sent to a cheap "on board" laptop computer. Then all the info can be sent to my computer in the house via WI-FI. Then all I'd have to do is look at the computer screen and use my Nascar steering wheel and pedels to control the mower. Gas to go, brake to stop, and steering wheel to steer. Now, I bet all of us would like to have a system like that. There's those robot things that mow the lawn for you, but it only runs on batteries. It's either internal combustion, or nothing.
     

Share This Page