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Things to consider before purchasing a lawn mower

Bellow is a list of things we recommend you consider before buying your next lawn mower:

1. What size yard will you be mowing?

As a general rule of thumb the larger the yard, the larger the engine  and mower you need to mow your lawn.  Mowers with a wider cut and larger engines are better suited to larger yards.

2. Which type of mower is better suited to your application, electric, petrol or cordless?

Electric mowers are better suited to smaller yards with easy access to a power point.  The maximum length extension cord which we recommend is 30m. Petrol lawn mowers are better for larger yards. There are more petrol lawn mowers to choose from to suite varying conditions.  Cordless mowers are becoming more popular, they have the advantages of low noise and ease of starting.  The current range of cordless mowers is better suited to smaller yards.

3. Would a mower with an alloy chassis or a steel chassis be better for your conditions?

Steel chassis have the advantage of being cheaper in price.  They are also better suited to sandy yards.  Alloy chassis are more expensive, however they are thicker, do not rust and are more durable.

4. What size engine would be suitable for your yard?

We recommend that if it takes you 30 minutes or less to mow your lawn you consider a small engine like a 450 or 500 series Briggs and Stratton.  Larger engines, including the Briggs & Stratton 625 series and upwards, are better suited to yards which take longer than 30 minutes to mow.  These larger engines are also more suitable for thicker or longer grass.

5. What size cutting width would you prefer?

Mowers come in a variety of cutting widths from 16″ up to 21″.  Larger cutting widths of 20″ and 21″ are normally only available on self propelled or utility (side throw) mowers. Most mowers are a standard 18″ in width and unless you have a very small yard we would recommend that you don’t go smaller than this cutting width.  More of our customers are choosing 19″ mowers to reduce the time they spend mowing.  Remember, an inch might not sound like a lot, but when you consider how many times you push the mower up and down it can add up to a significant time saver.

6. What weight of lawn mower would you be comfortable with?

One of the first questions we get asked by our customers is, do you have a lightweight mower?  A light mower might sound great but these mowers are typically made from thinner steel, less durable plastics and don’t last as long as a heavier mower with a thicker chassis.  Unless you will be lifting the mower up and down, or carrying it around, we recommend that you buy a mower with larger steel ball bearing wheels.  Large wheels with bearings will make even a heavier mower easier to push and maneuver.

7. How easy is the lawn mower to start?

This is a very important consideration, particularly for older people or ladies.  We recommend that you “try before you buy”.  We fuel and oil our lawn mowers for all our customers and make sure they can start the mower before they buy it.  Many retailers won’t refund you your money if you can’t start your mower.  We also sell electric start mowers for those looking for the easiest starting mower on the market.  These mowers start by simply turning a key, no pulling required!

8. Do you prefer a catching mower or a mulch and catch mower?

Mulching mowers are becoming more and more popular. These mowers come with a plastic plug which is inserted in the rear of the mower. This plug seals the rear of the mower which ensures that the grass is recycled as it is cut.  Instead of the grass clippings collecting in the catcher, they are spun around in the chassis and cut and re-cut into finer pieces. The air draft created by the mowers blades, blows these fine grass clippings down into the grass near the grass roots where they decompose, releasing essential nutrients for healthy grass growth. No need to stop and empty your catcher.

As a general rule of thumb you can mulch 2/3 of grass length into the remaining 1/3.  For example, if your grass was 3″ long, you could cut and mulch the top 2″ into the remaining 1″ without leaving clumps of grass on top. If you want a neat and tidy finish to your lawn, we do not recommend mulching very long or wet grass. Mulching can also aid the spread of weeds. We recommend that you treat your lawn to remove weeds before mulching.

9. Would you prefer a self propelled mower?

Self propelled mowers drive themselves so you don’t need to push. These mowers are ideal for mowing yards with slopes or large areas.  All you need to do is push a bar near the handles, this engages a gearbox which drives the rear wheels. You don’t need to have the drive engaged all the time and you can also push a self propelled mower if your prefer.

10. Would swing back blades or bar blades be better suited to your application?

Most cheap mowers, like some of those found at Bunnings, are fitted with a single long blade under the chassis.  These single bar blades are typically more expensive to replace than 4 separate swing back blades.  In addition the danger of a bar blade is that they can result in a bent engine crankshaft if you hit anything solid with the mower.  A bent crankshaft is very expensive to repair and you will be better of buying a new engine or a new mower! We recommend that you only purchase a mower with a swing back blade system.  This cutting system, typically consists of a round disc with 2 or 4 blades.  A swing back blade system has the advantages of protecting your engine’s crankshaft if you hit a solid object, cheaper servicing costs and blade replacement costs.

We hope you found this article useful.  Should you have any queries in relation to any of the above, please call us. We would be happy to help.

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