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Old 04-24-2017, 03:44 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,980 posts, read 47,284,481 times
Reputation: 10512

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
Haha, when I first started mowing our great big lawn 30+ years ago, I used to put the bagger on, like a dummy. Oh, my. How many times I would have to stop and empty that bag! And it was so darn heavy. Then the lightbulb went off over my head, and I started mulching the grass instead. I haven't looked back.
lolol! Same here. After the 1st yr I was like "huh? Whats wrong with me!" Even the bags of grass seeds says "LEAVE GRASS CLIPPINGS DOWN ON LAWN". LOL. Then I learned the benefits and boy was it true. Plus takes me much less time mowing. Win Win.


The downfall now is, I don't have any for my compost pile but I have a neighbor who still bags. Shhhhh
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Virginia
474 posts, read 250,157 times
Reputation: 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
Haha, when I first started mowing our great big lawn 30+ years ago, I used to put the bagger on, like a dummy. Oh, my. How many times I would have to stop and empty that bag! And it was so darn heavy. Then the lightbulb went off over my head, and I started mulching the grass instead. I haven't looked back.
With the Honda, it is a great muncher since it is designed to that with the additional blade, however if you want some clippings, either because the grass is too high and has not been cut on time or you need a few bags of clippings to use as mulch, you have the option with a bragger. I think Honda was on track with their design, IMO.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Sector 001
7,129 posts, read 5,942,160 times
Reputation: 8042
All box store riding mowers have t40 and k45 transmissions designed for not much more than mowing a flat lawn. For a rider get used if you have any hills or plan to tow stuff or snowblow or a minimum of a Deere x320 and even those transmissions are not a huge step up. The transmissions are the weak point on most riding mowers, they are designed to fail so you have to buy another one.

My toro 20092 push mower has given me no problems.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,717 posts, read 59,563,864 times
Reputation: 26822
I cannot understand paying $1000 for a walk/push mower.

I cannot help much with self propelled, we have had some, but our ground is so uneven, rough or whatever, and the grass is thick and well watered (by mother nature), so the self propelled part really does very little to nothing.

What I can tell you from have quite a few different walk/push mowers is:

Most of the major brand motors are quite good. Tecumseh, Honda, Briggs & Stratton. We currently have a cheap Toro with a B & S motor. Starts easily. Usually one pull or two, My wife and kids can start it.

There are really not a lot of differences between higher and lower priced mowers. Usually, they use the same motors (typically one of the three above) and work essentially the same.

If your grass is dense or long, or if you live in a wet place, get a bigger engine. 6-7 HP is plenty. Do not get one of those with a monster engine unless you are cutting hay. It just costs more and adds weight.

Large rear wheels are critical. You do not want to have to try to run those tiny wheels over rough even surfaces, It also makes it really easy to lift the front a bit if it gets bogged down.

Any brand with a decent motor and good care can last a lifetime, or nearly so. We abused some of ours and they still lasted 15 - 20 years.

If you have winter, drain the gasoline (or just run it dry) or add stabil and run it through or use real gas only (real gas is no ethanol - hard to find and expensive like $4.50 a gallon). If you let it sit with ethanol gas in it over the winter, you will probably have to a take it in and pay $80 - $100 for a carburetor rebuilt in the spring.

Change the oil and perhaps more importantly, the air filter. I change it once a season or every other season. It is a 10 minute job. I have had mowers last more than 10 years with never having an oil change (could not figure out how to drain it), but a plugged up air filter seems to kill them quickly.

Do not forget to sharpen the blade or have it sharpened. We did this twice a season or more if needed. A sharp blade cuts better, it better for the grass (cuts rather than tearing) and puts less strain on the mower.

Probably should store them out of the weather, but we have failed at that many times. It did not kill it right away, but one consistently left out int he rain, and buried in snow for the winter will generally die sooner.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:39 PM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
1,685 posts, read 664,786 times
Reputation: 4593
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
I need recommendations for a sturdy, reliable self-propelled mulching mower. I have a Toro Super Recycler that has been nothing but misery since I bought it last year. Never starts easily, had to take it to the repair shop for a melted spark plug wire (known problem with this model year) the second time I used it, etc. Yesterday, it once again wouldn't start for me and I told my husband I was going throw it into the middle of the street! The only thing that stopped me was the fact that someone could have gotten injured if they hit it. (My prior Super Recycler was a little better than this one. I probably should not have bought a second one!)

I am female and short. I can handle a heavier mower as long as it is self-propelled. Needs to be able to mulch, because I mulch a lot of leaves in the fall and I also hate spewing grass out the side of the mower as I mow (don't have time to rake it up). I have a large backyard (total yard approx. 2/3+ acre) that my smaller mower can't handle, esp. since my job demands mean I sometimes can't mow for a couple of weeks and the grass gets long.

I don't mind spending the money on a good mower, so long as it is reliable and actually starts! Not interested in a key start model, as my experience with a key start mower was not good, and the battery adds a lot of weight. Not interested in a riding mower, because of the space it takes up and maintenance required. More importantly, I get good exercise walking behind the self-propelled.

The ironic thing is last year, when the Toro was in the shop waiting for a part, I bought a piece of junk Craftsman mower, just to do the front yard, which was becoming an eyesore. Well, the piece of junk starts up immediately every time, never gives me trouble and is easy to maneuver in my front yard. It is my preferred mower for the front yard. Oh, how I wish it were tough enough to do the backyard, too! (I have tried, and believe me, it is not.)

Any suggestions? I have heard good things about Cub Cadets, but don't know anyone who has one. Many thanks to anyone who wades through my novel and has a suggestion.
One word: Honda. I bought a new Honda last year and it's the best mower I've owned in over 50 years. They are pricey for sure, but I expect this will be the last mower I ever purchase.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:20 AM
 
Location: NW NJ & SE Oahu
4,334 posts, read 5,152,493 times
Reputation: 3863
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
Haha, when I first started mowing our great big lawn 30+ years ago, I used to put the bagger on, like a dummy. Oh, my. How many times I would have to stop and empty that bag! And it was so darn heavy. Then the lightbulb went off over my head, and I started mulching the grass instead. I haven't looked back.
It has been one of the best maintenance decisions I've ever made, it's easier and the lawn is much healthier.

Two caveats- don't forget to mow- but you'll learn this pretty quickly if you ever do forget!

And the mowing can be somewhat slower as it needs a little more time to thoroughly gobble, grind and chew properly.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:23 AM
 
3,262 posts, read 1,941,217 times
Reputation: 6243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantalust View Post
It has been one of the best maintenance decisions I've ever made, it's easier and the lawn is much healthier.

Two caveats- don't forget to mow- but you'll learn this pretty quickly if you ever do forget!

And the mowing can be somewhat slower as it needs a little more time to thoroughly gobble, grind and chew properly.
Yes, the bolded part is important. If you try to run across the lawn with a mulching mower, you're not going to get very thorough mulching.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:26 AM
 
3,262 posts, read 1,941,217 times
Reputation: 6243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
One word: Honda. I bought a new Honda last year and it's the best mower I've owned in over 50 years. They are pricey for sure, but I expect this will be the last mower I ever purchase.
Honda is looking like I winner. I will probably buy a mower this weekend or next, before my backyard becomes a complete jungle! I am sometimes tempted to pay a lawn service, but it's expensive and at the end of the summer, you don't have that machine to put away for next year. The other thing is that lawn services insist on using string trimmers indiscriminately, everywhere. After I used one service for 1 year, I had to replace all the heavy plastic bubbles over my basement windows and all my plastic flower planters. They were destroyed by the string trimmers. Never again!
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:27 AM
 
3,262 posts, read 1,941,217 times
Reputation: 6243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I cannot understand paying $1000 for a walk/push mower.

I cannot help much with self propelled, we have had some, but our ground is so uneven, rough or whatever, and the grass is thick and well watered (by mother nature), so the self propelled part really does very little to nothing.

What I can tell you from have quite a few different walk/push mowers is:

Most of the major brand motors are quite good. Tecumseh, Honda, Briggs & Stratton. We currently have a cheap Toro with a B & S motor. Starts easily. Usually one pull or two, My wife and kids can start it.

There are really not a lot of differences between higher and lower priced mowers. Usually, they use the same motors (typically one of the three above) and work essentially the same.

If your grass is dense or long, or if you live in a wet place, get a bigger engine. 6-7 HP is plenty. Do not get one of those with a monster engine unless you are cutting hay. It just costs more and adds weight.

Large rear wheels are critical. You do not want to have to try to run those tiny wheels over rough even surfaces, It also makes it really easy to lift the front a bit if it gets bogged down.

Any brand with a decent motor and good care can last a lifetime, or nearly so. We abused some of ours and they still lasted 15 - 20 years.

If you have winter, drain the gasoline (or just run it dry) or add stabil and run it through or use real gas only (real gas is no ethanol - hard to find and expensive like $4.50 a gallon). If you let it sit with ethanol gas in it over the winter, you will probably have to a take it in and pay $80 - $100 for a carburetor rebuilt in the spring.

Change the oil and perhaps more importantly, the air filter. I change it once a season or every other season. It is a 10 minute job. I have had mowers last more than 10 years with never having an oil change (could not figure out how to drain it), but a plugged up air filter seems to kill them quickly.

Do not forget to sharpen the blade or have it sharpened. We did this twice a season or more if needed. A sharp blade cuts better, it better for the grass (cuts rather than tearing) and puts less strain on the mower.

Probably should store them out of the weather, but we have failed at that many times. It did not kill it right away, but one consistently left out int he rain, and buried in snow for the winter will generally die sooner.
Good advice. I also discovered the joy of large rear wheels when I bought the crummy Craftsman (that is still running, BTW). Too bad it doesn't have the power to cut my large, bumpy, overgrown backyard. LOL
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:30 AM
 
3,262 posts, read 1,941,217 times
Reputation: 6243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
lolol! Same here. After the 1st yr I was like "huh? Whats wrong with me!" Even the bags of grass seeds says "LEAVE GRASS CLIPPINGS DOWN ON LAWN". LOL. Then I learned the benefits and boy was it true. Plus takes me much less time mowing. Win Win.


The downfall now is, I don't have any for my compost pile but I have a neighbor who still bags. Shhhhh
Haha, Cambium, I am glad I am not the only person who did this. I watch my neighbor use his RIDING MOWER with a bagger and giggle as I watch him stop, remove the bag, dump it, put it back on, and restart. The truly odd thing is that he is a lawn nut: a giant expanse of dark green, weedless lawn that he lovingly fertilizes regularly and mows 1-2 times/week in the summer. Why not leave very finely-mulched grass on it and feed that lawn naturally? Go figure.
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