Curb appeal is what separates you from your neighbors. You want to be sure your lawn looks its very best every year. Be sure you’re getting the most for your money by selecting the right lawn mower to begin with! Let us help you find the right one for your yard and your budget.
A lawn mower is an investment. The money you put into this piece of equipment is as important as the yard around your home you will mow. Make this task easy and maybe even enjoyable by purchasing the right lawn mower for you. Here are some key features to look for in a push lawn mower, also known as a walk behind mower.
Gas, Electric or Reel Mowers
Reel lawn mowers have almost become obsolete with new technology. However, they are a wonderful option for home owner with smaller yards. A reel lawn mower is a manual push mower for a very small and flat yard as you are the power behind generating the mower to cut the grass. They are quiet, economical and require little maintenance. Reel lawn mowers are also very environmentally friendly as they do not release any emissions into the atmosphere. Grass clippings can also be used in composting.
Electric lawn mowers are great for the environment as they are quiet, produce no emissions, and tend to be easy to start. They run cordless and off of a battery. However, as the battery life depletes, the cut quality worsens. There are also corded electric lawn mowers however they are best for smaller, flat lawns.
Gas lawn mowers are for larger yards and tend to be more high powered than electric lawn mowers. They have wider cutting swaths and can handle much more grass. If your yard is small and flat, a standard engine will give you enough power to get the job done. An engine that features an overhead cam, or OHC, is more powerful than standard engines. OHC engines have more power to them and tend to run quieter than standard engines. However, if you have a lot of uneven or hilly lawn lawn to mow, you may want to find an engine that has an overhead valve or OHV. OHV engines tend to be the most powerful option on push mowers and provide an easy start and run efficiently. OHV mowers are also known to run cleaner, causing fewer pollutants.
If you expect any member of your family to use the mower, and not overexert themselves doing so, it’s a good idea to buy a mower that is self-propelled. These mowers move automatically at speeds of one to three miles per hour when the drive is engaged. Front wheel drive is best for yards that are flat. It is easier to maneuver around corners and obstacles in a yard without letting go of the drive or not tearing up your yard. Rear wheel drive is best for hilly yards, so when you are going up a hill and your mower tips back, the mower will still pull you up the hill. Most mowers only go one speed, but some do offer variable speeds.
This will largely depend on how you want to use your mower. A 2 in 1 mower will side discharge the grass clippings, or turn them into mulch. A 3 in 1 will let you do both of those things, while also allowing for the bagging of clippings. If you are going to use your bagger, keep in mind this may lead to extra stops to empty the bagger. Mulching mowers are a great alternative to bagging as the grass clippings are chopped into fine pieces that do not clump. Mulching mowers require a more powerful engine.
Pull or Electric Start Lawn Mower?
Most gas lawn mowers will come with a pull start mechanism. This means that you have to pull a cord to get the lawn mower to start. While reliable, it can be a tedious and strenuous task to get the mower to start this way. More and more lawn mowers now feature an electric start. This eliminates the work to start your mower – simply push a button or turn the key and you’re set!
The standard deck size for push mowers is 21”. This is the cutting path your mower will leave.
High wheels in the back will make it easier for you to turn your mower and go over bump.
If you choose a self propelled mower, the rear wheel drive options cost a bit more to repair. To fix a front drive lawn mower, you’ll simply need to replace a belt.
Depending on the thickness of your grass, you will want different options for the cutting height. If you are trying to cut very thick grass down in one swipe, this can greatly slow down your mower and be hard on your engine. You also want to be able to adjust the cutting height of your mower if your yard is particularly bumpy. This will cut down on the scalping of the grass. Never cut your grass too short.