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Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:19 pm
by Jim180
I have a very old lawn mower that's giving me problems. It might be time for a new one. It seems many major brands have Briggs and Stratton engines but are quite expensive. At Lowes or Home Depot I see lesser known brands that are much cheaper and also have Briggs and Stratton engines. Does it really matter If I buy a Snapper, Toro, Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, Bolens, or Yard Machines mower if they are all powered by Briggs and Stratton Engines?

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:30 pm
by tcassette
Granted the engine is the main component of a mower, especially a basic push mower. So if various brands/models to choose from have the same engine, the the quality and ergonomics of the rest of the mower become important. Some brands may have easier to adjust height, or the push handle may be more comfortable to use. The deck would probably be more durable on more expensive mowers. Warranties may vary as well. If you move up to self-propelled, some systems are better than others.

All that being said, I bought the bottom of the line MTD power push mower at Home Depot about 20 years ago that is still going strong. It has a 6.5hp B&S engine. The only things I have replaced were the wheels, which have plastic hubs and just wore out.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:35 pm
by Grt2bOutdoors
I have a Toro with a B&S engine, bought it at Home Depot over 10 years ago, still going strong. Just change the plug, filter and oil once per year. Still going strong.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:40 pm
by epictetus
i use a basic push mower. i decided with the last mower to buy a cheap one and hopefully it would last long enough that when something major broke on it i would just buy a new one instead of paying to fix it. i bought a Murray mower with a B&S engine for $150. this year is the 10th year i am using it (i have a 1/2 acre yard and mow all the yard with this push mower).

i sharpen the blade and change the oil and spark plug each year. the air filter usually 2 times/year.

i had to replace the front wheels as the other poster mentioned because the plastic ones wore out.

other than that nothing has been done to it.

when it stops working i will buy another mower like it.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:42 pm
by killjoy2012
Sadly, almost all residential-class small engines are now manufactured in China, even your B&S. Buying B&S no longer equates to buying an American made engine, as it used to.

You'll need to do your homework if that aspect matters to you.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:48 pm
by Wakefield1
A mower model may have much better bagging or mulching performance than another. If self propelled the drive mechanism may be more prone to failure.
The deck may or may not resist rusting out for a number of years.
In the past Briggs & Stratton had various lines of engines.
Although I would prefer to buy American I would much rather have a Japanese made engine than a Chinese one.
The mower may last longer if you keep wet grass cleaned out from under the deck and/or spray it sometimes while it is clean and dry with a waterproofing substance such as Silicone or even frying pan cooking spray. Learn the proper way to tip your mower up,the wrong way may cause oil to escape making a mess or destroying the paper air filter element. Grass that has recently had chemical fertilizer applied to it is supposed to be extra corrosive.
A lot of mowers seem to have trouble with old stale fuel or fuel that has absorbed water from the humid air. Maybe use marine fuel preservative,keep fuel in sealed container and don't keep it more than a few months,certainly not more than a year. If you can get ethanol free gasoline as from a marina or small plane airport so much the better but it can still become stale.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:12 pm
by iamlucky13
Price point tends to matter more than brand. At a given price point, if you compare closely, you will usually find each brand has their own strengths, but on the whole, they tend not to have overwhelming advantages over any of their peers. It's a competitive market, after all.

In general, higher priced mowers tend to have:
Heavier gauge metal used for the deck and other parts
More complex deck shapes that can provide better air flow for ejecting clippings or circulation for mulching
Better wheel bearings for easier rolling
Easier to use deck height adjustments
More refinement of controls like throttle, choke, and safety stop levers that tend to last longer and be easier to use.

The same applies to engines, with quality level varying by price. Briggs and Stratton and Kohler both have a range of engines of varying quality levels. If well cared for, a lot of these engines will outlast the mower they're attached to. Honda focuses only on the higher quality / higher price engines. I'm actually impressed with how well even the cheapest engines have seemed to hold up, although I think the refinements you get at higher prices are worth their cost.

If you're talking about walk behinds, most of the mowers I've seen in the $250 price range seem reasonably well made. I'm a little partial to Husqvarna (who also makes a lot of the Craftsman models) myself, but not strictly so. I'd say take a look at the selection offered by one or two stores you like, and try to see what seems to have a similar build quality to the mower you currently have, which sounds like its given you many years of use.
killjoy2012 wrote:Sadly, almost all residential-class small engines are now manufactured in China, even your B&S. Buying B&S no longer equates to buying an American made engine, as it used to.
It's a bit tough to trace most because they have factories both in the US and in other countries, and the US factories use a mix of US and foreign-made components. I think more of the parts actually come from Mexico than China. Briggs and Stratton's engineering office is in Milwaukee, if that matters to anyone.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:16 pm
by Wakefield1
I think some Toro that are made to sell in dealer shops have much better decks than the models usually seen in big stores.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:49 am
by carolinaman
Wakefield1 wrote:I think some Toro that are made to sell in dealer shops have much better decks than the models usually seen in big stores.
I agree. Big box stores usually have brand name models that are specific to them and may not be the same quality as similar product by same mfr at lawn and garden stores.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:53 am
by carolinaman
IMO, a good strategy is to buy a reputable brand but buy at the lower end of their product line. These products are of better quality and will last a long time. Case in point: I bought a LawnBoy self propelled mower in 1992. It was still going strong this Spring but one of the self propelled wheels (rubber) wore out. I could not find a suitable replacement, even from LawnBoy. Oh well, I think I got my money's worth from it. I wound up buying a self propelled Honda for $350. I think it will outlast me.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:57 am
by tennisplyr
Had one in an off-brand mower and it lasted like 15 years.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:38 am
by Rupert
I have a Troy-Bilt self-propelled mower with a B&S engine that I bought at Lowe's almost 10 years ago. It was their low-end self-propelled model. It cost around $300, I think, maybe a little less. It's still going strong with no rust and all its original parts (except the blade, which I've replaced only once, and the spark plug and air filter, which I replace annually). The plastic wheels need to be replaced soon. I think for most people any brand mower will do as long as you do the recommended maintenance.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:27 am
by jadedfalcons
It does matter, in the sense that there are several different engines. Some are built better than others. Better companies (like Toro) will stay with the better engines.

The main thing I tell people is not get a tiny engine. You can get a cheap mower for less than $150 with a tiny little engine and save a few bucks. Problem is, when your grass gets taller than normal, and you're trying to cut it, do you really want to spend half the day out there walking slowly because the engine doesn't have enough power to keep the blades turning at speed? That's what I love about my Stihl mower, it doesn't matter how tall the grass is, or how deep the pile of leaves gets, I can walk as fast as I want and it'll never bog down.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:42 am
by sunny_socal
IME the deck design matters more than the engine. I used to have a Toro and didn't bring it with me when we moved to a new house.

So I bought a "high end" mower: Husqvarna with a Honda. It was terrible! I wanted to mulch when mowing and it clogged up with grass despite all my efforts to change the height, mow less grass etc.

Took it back and got another Toro with a B&S. The Toro starts every time with a single pull and has a great 'push' system for propelling the mower. And it was $200 less! :beer

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:06 pm
by theplayer11
need more info..what kind of mower?..how many acres are you mowing?

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:55 pm
by heyyou
Currently, there is a cheap red mower with a small Kohler branded engine on it. In my town, both Sears and Tractor Supply have them with identical decks, but with different decals on them, and noticeable different prices. In the old days, at least the paint color would have been different, but not now, and no, the decals on the Sears do not look like they cost any more than the TS decals. Also, I haven't ever seen a Kohler engine of that small size, so maybe that too is only a decal variance from the overseas factory.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:04 pm
by cheesepep
Not really. I have a B&S engine lawnmower which I use maybe once a year (I hire someone else to do the work) and it starts up first time, every time. I don't do any oil changing or cleaning whatsoever.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:06 pm
by finite_difference
You can get a Honda mower for $350.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:03 pm
by LawEgr1
Common failure points for a push / self propelled mower would be involving the engine. I attribute this due to the average consumer taking poor care of the engine / maintenance of the mower. To further minimize reliability issues, buy a reputable brand. As you've suggested, many have B&S engines. Unless it's the same exact model #, build quality and technical specifications, materials and manufacturing tolerances will vary substantially.

I suspect many of your engines will be fine for the first 5-10 years regardless of choice. It's after that then your reliability bathtub curve starts heading the other direction. In order to minimize that, you either need to understand the engine itself to fix it cheaply or buy a quality engine (or, I guess take your chances).

I bought a Honda self propelled mower. Starts first time, every time with ease and cuts very well. I expect 10-20 years out of it.

Ymmv

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:36 pm
by neilpilot
LawEgr1 wrote:

I bought a Honda self propelled mower. Starts first time, every time with ease and cuts very well. I expect 10-20 years out of it.
Why are you so pessimistic? The Honda I bought in 1982 is still going strong, with only a couple of spark plug and air filter changes, new drive wheels and oil change yearly. And, of course, several blade changes. The grass catcher succumbed to dry rot after only about 20 years.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:07 pm
by Andyrunner
Do people really change their oil that much?

I bought my Toro from the previous owner, he used it for 3-4 years, I have had it for 8 years. I have changed the oil maybe twice? Runs like a champ.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:05 pm
by indexonlyplease
I would buy the cheapest mower that does the job. If it starts breaking replace it. Very costly to fix. In south florida the repair man get $75 Hr.

My cousin has a small yard and purchased the electric mower, trimmer and edger. One charged battery does it all. This would be the way to go if you yard was an easy cut.

One of the best thing I every have done was hiring someone to cut my yard. No lawn equipment, no maint, no fuel runs, no weed line runs. And no storing lawn equipment in the garage that makes a mess.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:35 pm
by 6miths
Have mainly used Toro mowers over the years. Have one at the cottage and one at mom's and they have done well. One at mom's is almost 40 years old. I expect the enviro cops to pull up one day and take it away from me. I have no idea why my father went to a two stroke as the Toro that proceeded it was a four stroke. It was the sharpest looking lawn mower ever. Looked like a race car! I have a Honda at home and it mulches very well, my only knock on it is that the wheels can't be set up as high as I would like.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:40 pm
by Alto Astral
finite_difference wrote:You can get a Honda mower for $350.
+1 for Honda. Going great for the past 2 summers.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:47 pm
by LawEgr1
neilpilot wrote:
LawEgr1 wrote:

I bought a Honda self propelled mower. Starts first time, every time with ease and cuts very well. I expect 10-20 years out of it.
Why are you so pessimistic? The Honda I bought in 1982 is still going strong, with only a couple of spark plug and air filter changes, new drive wheels and oil change yearly. And, of course, several blade changes. The grass catcher succumbed to dry rot after only about 20 years.
Good question. I was being ultra conservative so I didn't come off as an exaggerator of sorts.

I completely agree with you and would restate that I expect results similar to yours. Thanks for challenging my statement.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:13 pm
by StarsandStripes
Ergonomics is important. Make sure the mower fits your body. Stand behind it to see how it feels and if all the controls fit you. Buy the biggest engine you can for a given width mower deck. There is no substitute for hp. Look for simple drivetranes. Less parts less to fix. The motor will still be going long after your deck is done for. A lot of the parts for mowers come from MTD and are interchanable. My mower is 25 years old with many hours on it. Had to replace one spindle this year after hitting a big limb. The mower still fits me, controls are easy to reach, and starts first time every time.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:58 pm
by badbreath
Going to give you a tip MTD makes about 90% of the push or walk behind mowers. They due have different designs for different brands.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:24 am
by Jim21713
EGO 21 in. 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Battery Push Mower
Model # 206515766

Try this one. My kids tell me its great!

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:34 am
by tim1999
At this point in time, finding and using ethanol-free gasoline is probably more important than which brand of mower you buy.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:38 am
by queso
Andyrunner wrote:Do people really change their oil that much?

I bought my Toro from the previous owner, he used it for 3-4 years, I have had it for 8 years. I have changed the oil maybe twice? Runs like a champ.
I do it every year. I keep a little piece of painter's tape with the date the oil was changed on each piece of equipment and then change it when a year has passed.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:51 am
by neilpilot
queso wrote:
Andyrunner wrote:Do people really change their oil that much?

I bought my Toro from the previous owner, he used it for 3-4 years, I have had it for 8 years. I have changed the oil maybe twice? Runs like a champ.
I do it every year. I keep a little piece of painter's tape with the date the oil was changed on each piece of equipment and then change it when a year has passed.
I suggest that the annual oil change is best done at the end of the mowing season, as part of the winterization process. There's a gradual buildup of acids in the old oil, and it's best if the mower is stored with the fresh oil. That way you can also do away with the tape. :D

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:06 am
by queso
neilpilot wrote:
queso wrote:
Andyrunner wrote:Do people really change their oil that much?

I bought my Toro from the previous owner, he used it for 3-4 years, I have had it for 8 years. I have changed the oil maybe twice? Runs like a champ.
I do it every year. I keep a little piece of painter's tape with the date the oil was changed on each piece of equipment and then change it when a year has passed.
I suggest that the annual oil change is best done at the end of the mowing season, as part of the winterization process. There's a gradual buildup of acids in the old oil, and it's best if the mower is stored with the fresh oil. That way you can also do away with the tape. :D
WIthout the tape I won't know which ones I have done and which ones still need an oil change! :happy

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:45 am
by neilpilot
queso wrote:
neilpilot wrote:
queso wrote:
Andyrunner wrote:Do people really change their oil that much?

I bought my Toro from the previous owner, he used it for 3-4 years, I have had it for 8 years. I have changed the oil maybe twice? Runs like a champ.
I do it every year. I keep a little piece of painter's tape with the date the oil was changed on each piece of equipment and then change it when a year has passed.
I suggest that the annual oil change is best done at the end of the mowing season, as part of the winterization process. There's a gradual buildup of acids in the old oil, and it's best if the mower is stored with the fresh oil. That way you can also do away with the tape. :D
WIthout the tape I won't know which ones I have done and which ones still need an oil change! :happy
That's easy. If the mower has been winterized, the oil has been changed. Assuming you hose off the deck (top & underside) before you put the mower away for the season, that should be very obvious without a piece of tape. I have 2 mowers, and don't need tape to know that my oil was changed.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:08 pm
by Wakefield1
badbreath wrote:Going to give you a tip MTD makes about 90% of the push or walk behind mowers. They due have different designs for different brands.
I believe they bought a lot of the old brands" trademarks or took over the brands. White/Wheelhorse/Ariens/YardMan? Bolens?

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:40 pm
by Watty
I bought a new lawnmower this spring and the length of the warranty varied by brand so watch out for that.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:56 pm
by Myopic squirrel
After you decide which brand you want, check out Craigslist. Frequently people downsizing are selling their lawn care equipment.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:01 pm
by armeliusc
I also have the EGO cordless battery lawnmower. No gas, oil, or spark plugs to worry about.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:07 pm
by neilpilot
armeliusc wrote:I also have the EGO cordless battery lawnmower. No gas, oil, or spark plugs to worry about.
I don't have an EGO, so no expensive battery replacement cost, under powered performance or inability to cut high and/or wet grass issues. I'm sure it's fine for some, but I'd rather worry about gas & oil. I never worry about spark plugs :D

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:42 pm
by victorb
Review Consumer Reports and make sure the mower meets/fits your needs. Electric Mowers are getting much better and some people love them totally. Some people only mulch and want a good mulching mower. Toro and Honda have top mulching mowers and the Honda mowers with the 4 in 1 Clip Director are extremely good. Toro and Honda had the top 13 mowers in the Consumer Reports ratings for self propelled mowers.
I also use non-oxygenated(no ethanol) fuel and that seems to make a huge difference. I have no starting issues and even if the fuel gets a little older, no problems.

Good Mowing!

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:06 pm
by Abe
For what its worth: A few years ago, I was shopping for a riding lawn mower. I asked the shop manager at our local John Deere dealership about engines. He said they had to work on Briggs & Stratton engines all the time; he said they rarely had to work on Kohler engines.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:14 pm
by iamlucky13
Andyrunner wrote:Do people really change their oil that much?

I bought my Toro from the previous owner, he used it for 3-4 years, I have had it for 8 years. I have changed the oil maybe twice? Runs like a champ.
I forget pretty regularly with my mower, but that is the manufacturer recommendation. $5 of oil and 30 minutes of your time isn't much hassle. The recommendation is no doubt very conservative, but lacking other qualified sources, it is sensible advice to follow if you want to maximize your mower's service life.

If nothing else, it ensures you start each season with the proper amount of oil. Having too little oil is much more likely to be a problem than having old oil with compromised properties, a bad pH, accumulated sludge, etc.

More important is draining your fuel tank or adding fuel stabilizer and running it for a few minutes to get the treated fuel to the carb. Engine wear tends to take a very long time to reach problematic levels, but gumming of fuel that can occur over the winter is a much more common problem. I suppose with older mowers that might not have been made with ethanol-compatible parts, draining the tank and running the carb dry is probably the better option.

Cleaning the deck at the end of the season isn't a bad idea either. Stuck grass clippings can help trap moisture, and also turn slightly acidic as they decompose, both of which can contribute to rust.

If you want to go all the way with winterizing, after running the carb dry, some actually advise pouring a very small amount of oil into the cylinder through the spark plug port and turning the engine over a couple times to coat everything.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:54 pm
by Watty
Andyrunner wrote:Do people really change their oil that much?

I bought my Toro from the previous owner, he used it for 3-4 years, I have had it for 8 years. I have changed the oil maybe twice? Runs like a champ.
Some like this Toro I bought this spring are designed to never need an oil change.
Includes just check and add feature which means no oil changes for the life of the engine
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Toro-22-in-P ... /100659628

I would assume that it is designed to just burn a bit of oil so that as you add oil it gets refreshed. In the few months I have had it I have not had to add any oil yet.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:59 pm
by munemaker
tim1999 wrote:At this point in time, finding and using ethanol-free gasoline is probably more important than which brand of mower you buy.
Local gas station has ethanol free gas but I am afraid to buy it. It costs a lot more, so I don't think many buy it and the inventory may not turn over. I am afraid it would be really old/stale. So I use the ethanol mix.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:33 am
by sco
munemaker wrote:
tim1999 wrote:At this point in time, finding and using ethanol-free gasoline is probably more important than which brand of mower you buy.
Local gas station has ethanol free gas but I am afraid to buy it. It costs a lot more, so I don't think many buy it and the inventory may not turn over. I am afraid it would be really old/stale. So I use the ethanol mix.
Pure gas doesn't go stale as quick as ethanol. It also tends to give better mileage. One more reason to use it in all your small engines.

Try it on a long trip sometime, and compare. Some vehicles get 10% more mileage, which makes up for the 10% extra cost (around here).

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:42 am
by hicabob
sco wrote:
munemaker wrote:
tim1999 wrote:At this point in time, finding and using ethanol-free gasoline is probably more important than which brand of mower you buy.
Local gas station has ethanol free gas but I am afraid to buy it. It costs a lot more, so I don't think many buy it and the inventory may not turn over. I am afraid it would be really old/stale. So I use the ethanol mix.
Pure gas doesn't go stale as quick as ethanol. It also tends to give better mileage. One more reason to use it in all your small engines.

Try it on a long trip sometime, and compare. Some vehicles get 10% more mileage, which makes up for the 10% extra cost (around here).
Only stuff you can get around here ethanol free is purple 110 octane "racing fuel". It costs $7/gallon too :shock: . I add stabil instead.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:46 am
by Rupert
hicabob wrote:
sco wrote:
munemaker wrote:
tim1999 wrote:At this point in time, finding and using ethanol-free gasoline is probably more important than which brand of mower you buy.
Local gas station has ethanol free gas but I am afraid to buy it. It costs a lot more, so I don't think many buy it and the inventory may not turn over. I am afraid it would be really old/stale. So I use the ethanol mix.
Pure gas doesn't go stale as quick as ethanol. It also tends to give better mileage. One more reason to use it in all your small engines.

Try it on a long trip sometime, and compare. Some vehicles get 10% more mileage, which makes up for the 10% extra cost (around here).
Only stuff you can get around here ethanol free is purple 110 octane "racing fuel". It costs $7/gallon too :shock: . I add stabil instead.
You typically find the ethanol-free stuff in areas where people are frequently filling boat and farm equipment tanks. The ethanol really does shorten the life of a small engine. So foregoing ethanol-free gas when it costs just a little (10-20% or so) extra ($7/gallon extra is extreme) is penny wise but pound foolish.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:07 am
by sco
Rupert wrote:
hicabob wrote:
sco wrote:
munemaker wrote:
tim1999 wrote:At this point in time, finding and using ethanol-free gasoline is probably more important than which brand of mower you buy.
Local gas station has ethanol free gas but I am afraid to buy it. It costs a lot more, so I don't think many buy it and the inventory may not turn over. I am afraid it would be really old/stale. So I use the ethanol mix.
Pure gas doesn't go stale as quick as ethanol. It also tends to give better mileage. One more reason to use it in all your small engines.

Try it on a long trip sometime, and compare. Some vehicles get 10% more mileage, which makes up for the 10% extra cost (around here).
Only stuff you can get around here ethanol free is purple 110 octane "racing fuel". It costs $7/gallon too :shock: . I add stabil instead.
You typically find the ethanol-free stuff in areas where people are frequently filling boat and farm equipment tanks. The ethanol really does shorten the life of a small engine. So foregoing ethanol-free gas when it costs just a little (10-20% or so) extra ($7/gallon extra is extreme) is penny wise but pound foolish.
$7 is race gas, it isn't the same as 87/91 octane Pure gas..

All the new local Quick trips around here have Pure gas. They are putting in 3 pumps/handles at all stations, outside 3rd handle is Diesel (Green Handle), inside 3rd one is Pure Gas (Red Handle)... 10% seems to be the going mark-up. Although I'm not sure you would really call it a markup since you are getting 10% more gas.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:34 am
by neilpilot
You can buy 100LL (100 octane low lead) at the nearest small airport, which often offer a self-serve pump. This fuel is usually posted "for aircraft use only", but it is definitely ethanol free. In my area it's about $3.50/gal.

Having said that, I use regular unleaded with 10% ethanol in my mower, and the vintage 1982 Honda just keeps starting on the first 1-2 pulls and running just fine.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:15 pm
by Geneyus
Troy-Bilt mowers are very affordable and have Briggs & Stratton engines. I bought a self-propelled mower about 8 years ago for $249 I think, and it still starts on the first or second pull.

Regardless of what brand you buy, I think consistent maintenance is the most important factor of how your mower performs and lasts. Keep up with oil changes, keep the blades sharp, check the air filter, and it should last a long time.

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:20 pm
by sco
neilpilot wrote:You can buy 100LL (100 octane low lead) at the nearest small airport, which often offer a self-serve pump. This fuel is usually posted "for aircraft use only", but it is definitely ethanol free. In my area it's about $3.50/gal.

Having said that, I use regular unleaded with 10% ethanol in my mower, and the vintage 1982 Honda just keeps starting on the first 1-2 pulls and running just fine.

100ll also has lead, and aviation taxes instead of road taxes collected... hence the sign...

I've hear it runs well though, at $5 a gallon average...