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How To Choose A Lawn Mower

Are all lawn mowers alike?

Take a stroll through any home center or equipment dealer and you'll see lots of lawn mowers that look almost exactly alike. Sure, they might be different colors and have some cool decals on them, but they'll all be powered by identical engines and offer similar features.

Letís take a look at some of these lawn mower features and determine why they might be important to you:

  • Mulch capability -  Most lawn mowers can mulch, but the more expensive mowers can recycle the clippings back into the turf more efficiently and leave less evidence, such as clumps of grass or an uneven cut. Look for lawn mowers that come with advanced cutting decks with special blades and mulch fans.
  • Self-propelled - You probably donít want to have to push a lawn mower around if you donít have to. Self-propelled mowers come in two varieties: front and rear drive.

    Front-drive is easy to maneuver. Simply lift the front end of the mower slightly and turn. Rear-drive is useful if you use a rear-bagger and want to ensure good traction on hills. Rear-drive is also less likely to damage your lawn. Whether front or rear drive, choose a mower that will allow you to set your own comfortable walking pace.
  • Rear bagging - Rear bags come in handy in the spring and fall when you need to collect leaves, twigs, and yard debris. Rear bags are much easier to attach and remove than side mounted bags, and they usually hold a lot more.
  • Easily adjustable cutting height - Many people fail to vary their mowerís cutting height according to the season. For most parts of the US, itís best to begin low in the spring and then gradually raise the height of the lawn mower as the weather warms up.

    The easier it is to adjust the cutting height, the more likely you will be to do it. Choose a mower with clearly marked settings so you won't have to guess what cutting height you're using.
Most quality lawn mowers come with these features. One brand that Iíve had good experience with has all these features and more: Lawn-Boy.

These excellent lawn mowers have a unique trim edge and wheel design that allows closer access to landscaping obstacles, such as trees and fences. The advantage is that you'll get neat trimming and precise edging without ever having to use your string trimmer. 

What really makes a Lawn-Boy a cut above other mowers is its commercial grade, 6.5 horsepower two-cycle engine. Two-cycle engines are unique because they use a mixture of oil and gas and have fewer moving parts than a standard four-cycle engine.

And two-cycle engines are constantly being lubricated by a steady stream of fresh oil, which makes it more powerful and durable than a comparable four-cycle engine.

Most four-cycle engines need regular oil changes and tune-ups, and will end up on the scrap heap without regular maintenance. But my five year old GoldPRo Series Lawn-Boy is still taking care of my lawn the same as it did when it was new. In five years, I haven't had to do anything to it except sharpen the blade and clean and inspect the air filter and spark plug.

About the author:

Mike Ferrara, also known as "The Lazy Homeowner," has appeared on hundreds of TV stations across the country telling viewers about the latest products that will make their life easier. Visit him at www.lazyhomeowner.com.

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