Page 1 of 2

Lawn mower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:16 pm
by Thegame14
I bought a new lawn mower two or three years ago, used it for one season, the following season I couldnt get it to start, probably left old gas or oil in in, but was busy with work and found a kid willing to do front and backyard for $40 a shot no contract. This year he wants to go on a every two weeks or every week plan, which we dont want, so I tried to get my mower started, but it didnt start.

Wife paid some guy she found on facebook $125 to fix it. He said some part he couldnt get so he did something to by-pass the choke and showed us how to do it. I mowed the lawn and had about 5% left to go and there was a loud boom and a spark shot out the side of the mower. Contacted the guy and he will refund the money, but now I assume I need to buy a new lawnmower, but prices seem high due to demand, and seems like any self propelled mower is over $300.

Anyone have a recommendation for a good but not top of the line mower that is a "good deal"

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:31 pm
by Nate79
Facebook marketplace used mower. Much cheaper than new. Then learn how to maintain them, especially over the winter.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:32 pm
by Balefire
Electric lawn mower
Much less maintenance.
Quiet.
Reliable.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:32 pm
by random_walker_77
How big is your yard? Flat or hilly? About how long does it normally take you? What kind of mower did you have?

Are you generally pretty good at staying on top of it, or do you often deal with cutting back an overgrown jungle?

How's the weather? Is it always raining so you're always cutting wet grass, or is it oppressively hot and humid.

Was your mower self-propelled? Do you bag or mulch?

I now use an electric mower that sometimes goes for $120 new. For the right person and right use case, it can be good.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:34 pm
by jjface
Don't go too cheap. Ego mowers last. I used to churn through greenworks/black and decker etc cheap models.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:48 pm
by lthenderson
Nate79 wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:31 pm learn how to maintain them, especially over the winter.
+1 If you aren't going to maintain your mower, then you might as well buy the cheapest one you can because this problem will likely happen again.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:50 pm
by Lalamimi
Honda.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:51 pm
by F150HD
Put this in your gascan each time you fill it up w/ fuel for the mower: https://www.goldeagle.com/product/sta-b ... tabilizer/.
Can be found at any Walmart.

use non-ethanol fuel if you can find it.

may want to mention how big your yard is to get worthy replies.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:55 pm
by Thegame14
random_walker_77 wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:32 pm How big is your yard? Flat or hilly? About how long does it normally take you? What kind of mower did you have?

Are you generally pretty good at staying on top of it, or do you often deal with cutting back an overgrown jungle?

How's the weather? Is it always raining so you're always cutting wet grass, or is it oppressively hot and humid.

Was your mower self-propelled? Do you bag or mulch?

I now use an electric mower that sometimes goes for $120 new. For the right person and right use case, it can be good.
Front yard has two hills from trees we removed, back yard is decently flat but some dips from neighbor tree removal from our yard. IT usually gets overgrown by the time I get around to it. we have had something like 5 out of 6 days rain here lately. Is an electric mower self propelled? I think in total maybe half an acre including our house.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 8:57 pm
by Thegame14
Lalamimi wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:50 pmHonda.
This mower was a honda, got it on sale for $220, wa regularly $280

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 9:17 pm
by Kenkat
A Honda mower should last more than one year. Maybe you just got a bad one. I am finally replacing my Craftsman mower that I bought in 2005; it still works but it’s time. A few things to keep your mower running well for multiple years:

- Fuel stabilizer mentioned above is a good idea
- Make sure oil level is topped off at least every few cuts
- I run all of my equipment dry at the end of the season - i.e., run it until it runs out of fuel
- I try to time things so that I have used up most of my fuel supply by the end of season
- I will keep unused fuel over the winter (see fuel stabilizer above), but I always add fresh fuel to the storage container before I fuel up for the first cut
- It’s not that hard to change the spark plug, oil and clean the air filter - or just have someone do it. It’s not necessary every season

There’s a lot of nice self propelled mowers available looking at Home Depot’s web site (for example, there’s other places you can shop as well) in the $300-400 range. That’s the equivalent of 10 cuts @ $40 a cut. So get something decent and take care of it and think how much you are saving in the long run. Toro, Honda, Cub Cadet should all be decent choices.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 9:37 pm
by random_walker_77
Thegame14 wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:55 pm Front yard has two hills from trees we removed, back yard is decently flat but some dips from neighbor tree removal from our yard. IT usually gets overgrown by the time I get around to it. we have had something like 5 out of 6 days rain here lately. Is an electric mower self propelled? I think in total maybe half an acre including our house.
There are electric self-propelled mowers, but they're pricey. My entire front yard is a steep incline and I found that my small electric mower is easier than my previous self-propelled gas mower. My previous mower needed some help to get enough traction (was front-wheel drive), and my electric is so light that it's less muscle to get it up the hill than my old gas mower. I happen to like it, and have found that the electric cord is no big deal once you realize how to setup the mowing pattern. (I don't like the weight nor the longevity concerns of battery-powered mowers)

While electric is really nice and easy -- no oil, gas, or starting concerns, it doesn't sound appropriate for your situation, since you often deal with wet overgrown grass. Get a gas mower, and use Stabil over the winter.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 9:51 pm
by Mr. Rumples
About a half acre to mow and I have a self propelled Toro with a Honda engine. Paid less than $400 for it at a regional chain that caters to the industry (HOA/golf courses/schools) but will sell to individuals. They charged less than HomeDepot for the identical item and set it up for me including adjusting the self propelled feature. It is on its third year; one oil change; sharpened the blades once. I also use it in the winter to mulch leaves so it doesn't sit idle. I like the large rear wheels which make going over bumps and holes a bit easier. I don't have hills as such, but it handles the ditches well.

The only thing I don't like about it is the way the controls are I can't add an extension to the handle and I'm tall and I would prefer to stand more upright when I mow. So If you are tall, be sure you are going to be comfortable; I have to remind myself to stand straight, just like my mother kept reminding me decades ago.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 10:16 pm
by beastykato
I wouldn't buy an electric mower unless you have a very small yard. They are pretty weak overall compared to their gas counterparts.

If you run one side-by-side against a gas mower you can tell the difference and they also didn't come in very wide sizes last time I looked. Are they 19-20" I think? Some people in this thread seem to have them so they can confirm the deck size.

If you look underneath too the blades are nowhere near the size of the blades on a gas mower. So, you don't get the lift/suction you do on a gas mower that pulls grass up and gets you that nice even cut. The bigger blade is probably too much for the electric mower to handle without dying too quickly.

I'm not against electric, in fact nearly all of my yard tools are electric now, but my mower is the final piece that still remains powered by gas. Just my opinion of course, but they simply aren't up to snuff yet.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 10:24 pm
by dukeblue219
Absolutely love my electric mower. Sure if you have more than a quarter acre property to mow you'll need extra batteries, but the 60V models are quite powerful. They're also quiet and best of all you don't smell like gas and exhaust until you shower. Never a need to fill a small can at the gas station and drive it home in the trunk, either.

We got the Black and Decker 60V. It's a 20" model. Maybe $300?

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 11:02 pm
by kimura king
Cheapest self-propelled Honda or Toro you can find. I like Toro. Learn to maintain it and use ethanol-free fuel. Either will last 20 years.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:06 am
by FI4LIFE
Either buy a cheap, used mower from Craigslist or spend some money and get an EGO battery powered. I love mine for several reasons. It's quiet, light, folds up and takes up little space in the garage, I don't stink after mowing, never have to fill a gas can etc. Worth the money. I hate maintaining mechanical equipment.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:14 am
by kmurp
My Honda mower has a bit of gas in the carburetor after being run dry so I loosen a screw at the bottom each fall to drain that. Stabil is always a good idea as well.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 6:53 am
by smitty1515
Honda or Toro

Make sure to maintain when the season is over by running fuel reservoir dry, change plug, change oil, and check air filter. Also check blade(s) to see if they need to be sharpened.

+1 to whomever mentioned buying used. Check FB marketplace or Craigslist for mowers. That’s how I purchased my Honda mower and it’s running great w annual maintenance.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 6:59 am
by regularguy455
+1 on the Honda and buying used.

I kept an eye on NextDoor and Craigslist for mowers over about a year. I found someone who was selling their well maintained Honda self propelled for $150. Worked perfectly and it was originally MSRP of $750.

There are deals to be had, especially in this economic climate. But if you want a deal, you need to be patient.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 7:05 am
by mtwhmemn
I kept a Craftsman self propelled push mower going for around 20 years, but it takes maintenance which I don't mind doing. It finally developed a massive oil leak on the bottom due to me running it when the blade wasn't fastened properly and the imbalance shook it so bad the seal broke so my bad. I don't know if they still make them as good (or repairable) as they used to.

So, I bought the cheapest Honda self propelled and am in my second year of use. Love it, really like rear wheel drive more now that I'm used to it. All good. I suggest as others that you put stabilizer in whatever you run at the end of the season and make sure to get it into the carb. Or, you can run synthetic fuel (can be purchased at Lowes/HD, etc...in cans last 3 years unopened) at the end of the season but make sure it makes its way to the carb, that stuff last years. Or you can just find non ethanol fuel for storage plus stabilizer. You don't want tank or carb empty because air contains moisture.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 8:53 am
by fishmonger
Get a gas mower over electric every time, unless your yard is real small (like tenth of an acre). And if it's that small, you could probably get away with a push reel mower.

I got a Simplicity Broadmoor riding mower 4 years ago (have about an acre, with some hills/terrain). Not cheap, so I decided to at least learn how to do some basic maintenance. It's much easier than you think to sharpen blades, change the oil/air filter/fuel filter, charge and clean the battery, etc. I am not mechanically inclined but I found that I enjoy tinkering with it quite a bit.

Also, don't focus so much on the brand as much as the motor. Briggs and Stratton are solid, while still being affordable

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:14 am
by cmr79
I got an Ego battery powered mower last year after exclusively using gas mowers before. It might not mulch overgrown grass as well, but I haven't had any issues with the actual cut quality compared to gas--I haven't had to recut or overlap more--and I haven't been tempted to bag as a result. I have a small yard, maybe 1/4 acre, but I can cut it 3-4 times before needing to recharge, which is fast. Significantly lighter than my gas mowers and ridiculously easy to start. I'm not going back.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:22 am
by Polymorphic
I’ve owned a Honda mower for nine years now, and the only winterization it needs IME is using STA-BIL in the gas tank. Starts up on the second or third pull every spring. I also use only ethanol-free gas in my power equipment.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:34 am
by TierArtz
A Honda.

My Honda mower is 9 years old and has a lot of life left in it. All I do is change the oil, spark plug and air filter every other year or so, sharpen the blades a couple of times per mowing season, and rinse of the air-filter, pre-filter after several mowings. I usually use the mulch plug; with it, the mower makes leaves and brush trimmings blown by hand onto the lawn disappear!

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:40 am
by prd1982
Polymorphic wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:22 am I also use only ethanol-free gas in my power equipment.
Unfortunately, the only place I can find ethanol-free gas is the big box stores at $6 / quart. The only problem I've had with my Honda is the carb having to be replaced. I assume the problem was caused by the fuel over the winter. So I now use a quart of ethanol-free at the end of the year. But running all ethanol-free is cost-prohibitive for me.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:52 am
by Nummerkins
I consider 2 cycle engines to be my enemy. Even when I drain for storage I have problems.

The single, largest change i made was using ethanol free gas. It made a huge difference. Lawn mowers, snow blowers, anything starts the first time even after storage.

Find it here: https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp

Also, I've switched some things to electric like the weed whipper. Insert battery, go. Zero issues. Leaf blower, plug in and go. Power washers, however, ethenol free gas-only. Electric ones are too weak.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 10:30 am
by Watty
Thegame14 wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:16 pm ....but prices seem high due to demand, and seems like any self propelled mower is over $300.
Prices may be up some because of the tariffs but I don't think there is anything special going on now, that is about what they cost three years ago when I bought one.

You may be able to find one for less if you are willing to not have it self propelled.

Two features you may want to look for;

1) Pay a lot of attention on how wide it is. The narrower it is the longer it will take to mow the lawn and some of the electric ones can be pretty narrow.

2) They make some gas ones that are designed to never need to have the oil changed. I don't know how they do that but I have had one of those for three years now and while I have added oil a few times it still looks clear, and I will change the oil this year. This is the one I have.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Toro-22-in- ... /100659628

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 10:48 am
by prairieman
I love my Ego Electric.
Quietly powerful.
No gas/oil related issues to deal with ever.
Folds up and tilts up on its front edge- allowing easy cleaning underneath and taking up very little space in the garage.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 11:07 am
by Ben Mathew
I got the Ego electric lawnmower last year and am happy with it.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 11:17 am
by Normchad
Craigslist is the place to go if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.

I’m still using the Honda HRX217 that I bought in 2000. It was about $750 then.

Honestly, I abuse this mower. I have a lot of woods behind my house that I mow with it. Constantly hitting sticks, fallen limbs, and rocks.

Because of this abuse, I sharpen the blades about twice a year. I don’t honestly do any maintenance at this point. I probably haven’t changed the oil in five years. Certainly haven’t changed the spark plug or air filter in over ten years.

It has a gas shutoff valve. At the end of the season, I leave the gas in it, but flip the valve and let it run until the engine stops.

I’m eager to buy another one. Mostly because the handle is about to fall off I think. When I do buy a new one, this one is going on Craig’s list for $50.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 11:53 am
by michelef
Another vote for Ego electric lawnmower.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 12:08 pm
by 9liner
I have a 12" Honda and a 30" Toro. My Honda (7 years old) has given me nothing but issues. There is a known problem with the auto-choke system. I've had to replace it twice along with a carburetor. Hondas are typically rated highest in terms of cut quality and reliability. Unfortunately, I think I have a lemon. My Toro is about 2 years old and runs strong but has a Briggs & Stratton engine which I'm not a huge fan of. Both were bought slightly used.

On the topic of gasoline...I used to purchase ethanol-free fuel from the local hardware store. As that became more cost-prohibitive, I have since moved to using AVGAS (100LL) in all of my small engines to include my 2-strokes. 100LL can easily be bought at your local airport. It has zero ethanol and has a nearly infinite shelf-life. Not to mention aviation fuel must meet much stricter standards for quality. It can be had for anywhere from $3.00-$5.00 per gallon. Since my move to AVGAS, I've had ZERO fuel-related issues and no longer use any type of stabilizer. There is plenty of information on using 100LL in small engines if you were to perform a Google search.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 12:08 pm
by Normchad
For those interested, there can be a significant environmental benefit to going electric.
The conventional lawn mower pollutes as much in an hour as 40 late model cars for an hour. Source: EPA statistics for Replacing Gas Power Lawn Mowers Assuming that a typical car travels 18,000 km per year, 33 gasoline lawn mowers would produce as much pollution a car produces all year. The 56 million gasoline-powered lawn mowers generate as much pollution as 1.7 million cars. Traditional landscaping gasoline engines create Ozone, O3, a colourless, odourless gas at ambient concentrations which is a major component of smog.
There are many other good things to be said for electric as well. So if they can meet your needs, they are definitely worth serious consideration.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 2:40 pm
by prd1982
Normchad wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 12:08 pm The conventional lawn mower pollutes as much in an hour as 40 late model cars for an hour. Source: EPA statistics for Replacing Gas Power Lawn Mowers
I agree that replacing gas-powered lawn equipment with battery-powered ones reduces emissions. This is esp. true for 2-cycle engines (e.g., leaf blowers, trimmers). But I also think the above statement is out of date. As far as I can determine, this statement stemmed from a 1996 study. A lot has changed for both autos and 4-cycle lawn equipment. Do you have any comparisons within the last couple of years?

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 2:47 pm
by Chuck107
.....

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 2:51 pm
by mtmingus
smitty1515 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 6:53 am Honda or Toro

Make sure to maintain when the season is over by running fuel reservoir dry, change plug, change oil, and check air filter. Also check blade(s) to see if they need to be sharpened.

+1 to whomever mentioned buying used. Check FB marketplace or Craigslist for mowers. That’s how I purchased my Honda mower and it’s running great w annual maintenance.
++
Especially:
running fuel reservoir dry!
change oil!

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 2:55 pm
by galectin
prd1982 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:40 am Unfortunately, the only place I can find ethanol-free gas is the big box stores at $6 / quart. . . .

Don't know where you live, but the following site gives lists by state and city of stations with ethanol-free gas. I also only use ethanol-free gas in my mower.

https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=NE

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:01 pm
by segfault
I mow about a quarter of an acre with a non-self-propelled push mower. The first cheapo from Lowe's lasted four years with annual oil changes. The last season, I think I overfilled the oil and ran it all season that way. It was puffing blue smoke on startup. Wouldn't start last year. I bought another cheapo from Lowe's and am not going to bother changing the oil. One year in and it's still running like a top.

There is a local hardware store that refurbishes and resells old mowers, I might look into that if I wanted something more high end without paying the price for a new one.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:07 pm
by 260chrisb
Buy a self propelled Honda. Use rec gas. Put stabil in it the last two times you fill it during the season. Turn off the fuel line when you mow for the last time so the fuel burns out and the engine stalls. Change the oil every couple years. I'm into my 5th season with mine and aside from a couple oil changes and a couple wheel nuts coming lose it's been perfect and starts every time on the first pull except the first time for the season because there is no fuel in the lines or carb.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:09 pm
by 260chrisb
Oh ya, I forgot; clean or change the air filter every couple years.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:47 pm
by Wyatt007
We decided to start doing our own yard this year (around .5 acres) and I purchased a Honda HRN216 self propelled mower from Home Depot for around $400. So far very pleased, plenty of power and starts on the first crank every time.

My only complaint is the very small bag attachment (we bag in the backyard to keep clippings out of the pool and off of our dog, mulch the rest). If you plan on bagging clippings it may be worth looking at one of the larger models

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:52 pm
by p14175
I have a Honda mower that's at least 30 years old. Never had a problem with. I do the maintenance on time and keep it inside when not it use.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 3:56 pm
by bikesandbeers
EGO 56v electric hands down. They do have self propelled model. Ethanol in gas is terrible for small engines, and unless you want to buy expensive fuels and additives and get into doing lots ofmaintenance, battery electric is going to be much easier,
Cars have gotten a lot cleaner in the last decades, I am not sure mowers have since they dont have fuel injection of catalytic converters

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:11 pm
by 1130Super
Balefire wrote: Sat May 02, 2020 8:32 pm Electric lawn mower
Much less maintenance.
Quiet.
Reliable.
+1

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:17 pm
by prd1982
I started to look for a new lawn mower before the lockdown started. Was comparing the new EGO dual-blade Select Cut to the Honda HRX217. Consumer Reports gives both of them great reviews, but lists the Honda as better at mulching. A 2nd battery is $350 bringing the price of the 2 mowers about the same. It is unfortunate that you cannot rent an EGO for an hour. I realize I could buy and return, but I hate to stick the Depot with a returned machine.

I know people say the batteries don't have to be replaced for years. However, I've had some Ryobi 18-V batteries have significant capacity reductions in a few years. Of course, the Ryobi batteries are a lot less painful to replace.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:30 pm
by eye.surgeon
Been very happy with my eGo electric.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 4:45 pm
by Normchad
prd1982 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 2:40 pm
Normchad wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 12:08 pm The conventional lawn mower pollutes as much in an hour as 40 late model cars for an hour. Source: EPA statistics for Replacing Gas Power Lawn Mowers
I agree that replacing gas-powered lawn equipment with battery-powered ones reduces emissions. This is esp. true for 2-cycle engines (e.g., leaf blowers, trimmers). But I also think the above statement is out of date. As far as I can determine, this statement stemmed from a 1996 study. A lot has changed for both autos and 4-cycle lawn equipment. Do you have any comparisons within the last couple of years?
That’s a very good point. I do not have recent information. I do know that more stringent emission standards were put in effect for lawnmowers several years ago. I do not know if the statements above account for those improvements or not.

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 5:02 pm
by Socrates
Bought a almost new Honda on Craigslist for $100 and nice fuel can. I noticed it was the same as many yard services use.

Often people will sell them when moving or they buy an electric mower....worth checking out

I leave gas in my mower all the time and nothing has every happened

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

Posted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:57 pm
by Small Savanna
I'm a convert to electric. We have a Ryobi with a 5 Amp-hr battery and I can get two mowings on a charge, but if I had a big lawn I'd just get an extra battery. We also have a Ryobi leaf blower and hedge trimmer that use the same form-factor battery. No need to keep highly flammable liquids in the house, no trips to the gas station to fill the can, no spark plugs or anything else to fix, no issues starting it up in the spring. Also, it's quiet, so you'll save money on hearing aids when you get old.