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Old 05-21-2013, 10:44 AM
 
88 posts, read 142,326 times
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Default Easiest lawn mowers for women

I am a new homeowner and looking to get some lawn mower recommendations. I've never mowed a yard before and I'm a bit intimidated about getting started to be honest. My front yard is sloped downward and it is medium size. Looking at online reviews, it seems like an electric, self propelled would be easier to use and I do like the idea of not having to buy and store gas, change oil, etc. I'd like to mow biweekly and I'm in Georgia.

Any thoughts on electric vs gas, corded vs cordless, etc and just overall recommendations for an easy one for a woman to use would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:51 AM
 
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I had a Black and Decker cordless and it weighed 75 pounds and was not self-propelled. I got in the best shape of my life but as I got older, it was too heavy. Now, I have a cordless with a 50' cord and it is not self-propelled but light enough at age 58, I have no problem mowing. You just have to get used to and find a way to handle the cord. I know they have come up with some new easier and better alternatives to electric. I don't like the smell of gas or exhaust smell and that is what motivated me to buy the electric.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:05 AM
 
88 posts, read 142,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I had a Black and Decker cordless and it weighed 75 pounds and was not self-propelled. I got in the best shape of my life but as I got older, it was too heavy. Now, I have a cordless with a 50' cord and it is not self-propelled but light enough at age 58, I have no problem mowing. You just have to get used to and find a way to handle the cord. I know they have come up with some new easier and better alternatives to electric. I don't like the smell of gas or exhaust smell and that is what motivated me to buy the electric.
Thanks, which model do you have now? Do you use an extension cord with the mower?
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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We have an ancient 1978 Toro that is slowly falling to pieces. Its got no emergency stop release so being careful is always a priority but its so light that you can practically run with it. A light lawn mower is about equal to a self propelled, IMO.
I've looked at some of the cheaper Murray and Bolens mowers as a replacement and they seem to be almost as light. I don't know how they are quality wise. Our main mower is a 1991 LawnBoy thats still in top operating condition. Its big but as a self propelled its easy to use.
You should have your blade sharpened once a year. Some say every few weeks but, ehhh.... That means getting a lug wrench out and taking off the blade or taking the mower to have them take it off. And you should change the oil every season( this might be overkill), the air filter as needed and the spark plug as needed. All that depends on your cutting conditions and how much its used.
A coworker has his mower serviced every year for about $50. Oil, cleaned or new air filter, spark plug, sharpening. Do the math and in a few years thats a new mower so try to do most of that yourself. Or don't and just top off the oil and it will still probably last at least a few years without trouble and you can replace it when it finally seizes.
And don't forget about Sta Bil in the gas to keep the ethanol crap from gumming the carb.
A very small yard is probably ideal for a corded electric.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:45 PM
 
Location: NW Philly Burbs
2,152 posts, read 1,685,849 times
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I bought a Black and Decker electric mower 20 years ago and loved it!!! So quiet, no maintenance at all -- about as strenuous as vacuuming (or even less). It wasn't self propelled, but I had a small lawn (row house). If the grass was too high, it had a quick one-step to adjust the height. Only thing I'd do different would be to purchase a cordless one -- spent half my time coiling, uncoiling, and constantly moving the cord so I wouldn't cut it!

While you're at it, get a cordless weed-whacker to keep things neat and tidy.

I grew up cutting the grass at my house with a gas mower -- I really disliked the gas smell. Many times, it was difficult to start. Never again!
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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I'd probably give a try on the cordless battery units as long as the yard is around 1/4 acre or less (10,000 square feet) and the hill is not too steep. The main drawbacks of these will be a) heavy (though really no heavier than most comparable gas-engined mowers; I just purchased a new self-propelled gas mower and it's even heavier than my old heavy one!) and b) the battery might run out before you're done.

Since it's already going to be heavy you might as well go with say the Black and Decker 36V self-propelled unit to help you on the hill. I believe it's rear drive which is usually what you want for hills. This has a removable battery so you could get a spare, though I gather that could be a $100+ proposition. I guess you could first see if you can finish the yard in one charge or not, or whether that matters to you.

An electric with cord would be a LOT lighter, like half the weight or less of the 90-pound self-propelled B&D. But unless your yard is postage stamp tiny, I think the benefit of not fussing with the cord will outweigh the benefit of the lighter weight. I mean, yeah it's 90 pounds but it is on wheels; it's not like you should need to lift it.

I have a 1/3 acre yard and if it were flatter I might have given one of these a try myself. They claim 1/3 acre should be within the capability of the cordless mower, though I'm sure it's under optimum conditions (i.e. FLAT among other things). I switched my string trimmer to a cordless battery unit and couldn't be happier; much nicer than fussing with the big gas one. (I have extra batteries though.)

If it turns out you need a gas mower after all, they are easier to start than in the old days for sure, although it still can take some getting used to. You can get one with electric start if you really need to, although it's yet another thing to break down eventually. Go to a shop where they will let you try to start the mower if you need to shop for a gas one. Probably the Honda engines are the easiest to pull; my new mower with Honda engine pulls a little easier than the old one with Briggs & Stratton engine. Point being you might be surprised to find you can pull start it after all and may not need electric start. But yeah, check out the cordless first, nice to not have to mess with gas, oil, tuneups, etc. (You'll still need a blade sharpened now and then and maybe a new one every couple years or so.)
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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I'm thinking this might be the easiest mower for women.

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
11,321 posts, read 12,976,396 times
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All the ladies in my neighborhood use gas, and I would suspect that they are all self-propelled. Our lots average 1/3 acre, none are 100% flat.

I have only seen one electric in my neighborhood... it belonged people who moved in from Oregon!
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:50 PM
 
88 posts, read 142,326 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy Tea View Post
We have an ancient 1978 Toro that is slowly falling to pieces. Its got no emergency stop release so being careful is always a priority but its so light that you can practically run with it. A light lawn mower is about equal to a self propelled, IMO.
I've looked at some of the cheaper Murray and Bolens mowers as a replacement and they seem to be almost as light. I don't know how they are quality wise. Our main mower is a 1991 LawnBoy thats still in top operating condition. Its big but as a self propelled its easy to use.
You should have your blade sharpened once a year. Some say every few weeks but, ehhh.... That means getting a lug wrench out and taking off the blade or taking the mower to have them take it off. And you should change the oil every season( this might be overkill), the air filter as needed and the spark plug as needed. All that depends on your cutting conditions and how much its used.
A coworker has his mower serviced every year for about $50. Oil, cleaned or new air filter, spark plug, sharpening. Do the math and in a few years thats a new mower so try to do most of that yourself. Or don't and just top off the oil and it will still probably last at least a few years without trouble and you can replace it when it finally seizes.
And don't forget about Sta Bil in the gas to keep the ethanol crap from gumming the carb.
A very small yard is probably ideal for a corded electric.
Thanks, the extra maintenance on the gas model also is a thought. Had not heard of sta bil, I will look into that.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:51 PM
 
88 posts, read 142,326 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinx View Post
I bought a Black and Decker electric mower 20 years ago and loved it!!! So quiet, no maintenance at all -- about as strenuous as vacuuming (or even less). It wasn't self propelled, but I had a small lawn (row house). If the grass was too high, it had a quick one-step to adjust the height. Only thing I'd do different would be to purchase a cordless one -- spent half my time coiling, uncoiling, and constantly moving the cord so I wouldn't cut it!

While you're at it, get a cordless weed-whacker to keep things neat and tidy.

I grew up cutting the grass at my house with a gas mower -- I really disliked the gas smell. Many times, it was difficult to start. Never again!
I hate the gas smell and fumes too! I was thinking the cord might be a hassle. The cordless ones are almost double the price though.
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