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Old 03-26-2012, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
18,650 posts, read 16,216,336 times
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I used to be a Toro dealer back in the 1970’s. Times have changed and the equipment has changed. I know that Husqvarna has a good name today - I even recently bought one of their chainsaws. However, just looking at the ads for the two; it looks as if you would pay considerably more for the Husqvarna mower.

As far as the Craftsman mower: Sears is not doing too good. MSNBC even said that it was one of the companies that could go out of business in the near future. I don’t think that it would be wise to buy a product from a company that might not be in business tomorrow. I was never a great fan of Craftsman lawnmowers when I was in business. Part of the reason was because they consistently changed parts as part of their special improvements on their mowers. I had a hard time getting parts - of course; that was many years ago.

If I was buying a mower for only a quarter acre; I would just buy a small, lightweight, and inexpensive mower. If you have trees, bushes, fences, or retaining walls; it might be easier or more agile than the clunky self-propelled units.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:01 AM
 
11 posts, read 65,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
I used to be a Toro dealer back in the 1970’s. Times have changed and the equipment has changed. I know that Husqvarna has a good name today - I even recently bought one of their chainsaws. However, just looking at the ads for the two; it looks as if you would pay considerably more for the Husqvarna mower.

Not to jump topics, but Stihl and Jonsered also make excellent chain saws.

As far as the Craftsman mower: Sears is not doing too good. MSNBC even said that it was one of the companies that could go out of business in the near future. I don’t think that it would be wise to buy a product from a company that might not be in business tomorrow. I was never a great fan of Craftsman lawnmowers when I was in business. Part of the reason was because they consistently changed parts as part of their special improvements on their mowers. I had a hard time getting parts - of course; that was many years ago.

Absolutely agree. Ever since the grandfather-in-law (a farmer) taught me about mowers (well, more about tractors), he stressed being able to get replacement parts is important. Geez, you can still get parts for Deere mowers/tractors that are well over 80 years old. The things last forever. The other strategy is to buy a really cheap mower (from say Kmart or Walmart), and toss it after 5-10 years). The latter will cost you less, but they also tend to have permanently-lubricated bearings, so once they go, it is over.

If I was buying a mower for only a quarter acre; I would just buy a small, lightweight, and inexpensive mower. If you have trees, bushes, fences, or retaining walls; it might be easier or more agile than the clunky self-propelled units.

Also agree, though the variable-speed self-propelled mowers make things easier.
It also depends where you live... if there are a lot of deciduous trees around where you are, then fall can be a miserable time of the year when attempting to clean the lawn with a small mower.
Good thread!
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:12 AM
 
2,728 posts, read 5,087,869 times
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Originally Posted by validmailer View Post
Hi,

I am in a market for new gas Lawn Mower, could you suggest one. My 1/4 acre yard is not flat (some bumpy terrain) so should I go for high rear wheel drive with self propelled mower.

Which one is better of these,

1) Husqvarna (190 cc, 22 in)
2) Toro 22 in. Variable Speed Gas Mower
3) Craftsman with Briggs & Stratton engine

Thanks.
It's the features, not the brand name, that are going to be important.

If I was looking for a mower for a 1/4 acre lawn, I would not get self-propelled, but I would want to get one with the large wheels in the back.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,381 posts, read 8,709,024 times
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I have the Toro you are speaking of - I like it. I have had Craftsmans before and never had a problem with them. Honestly, I like Craftsman mowers better. Find a mower that is out of stock at Sears and they'll usually upgrade you to the next best mower for the same price, if you ask and push for it.

Most Mowers use a Briggs & Stratton <hysi> motor. So they're almost the same except for the deck and any extra options. Yes, get the high wheel mower. Only way to go.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
18,650 posts, read 16,216,336 times
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I just wanted to make one other quick comment.

When I was a Toro dealer in the 1970’s; I would go to the National Hardware Show in NYC. There I would usually buy 100 cheap push mowers for about $25 each - I would sell them for $60 to $75 each (I assembled them, tested them and paid the shipping). They were simple mowers with B&S 3 1/2 hp motors. I always had fewer of the cheap mowers returned for service than the more expensive Toro’s. Money doesn’t always buy dependability.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:32 PM
 
25,626 posts, read 34,668,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
I just wanted to make one other quick comment.

When I was a Toro dealer in the 1970’s; I would go to the National Hardware Show in NYC. There I would usually buy 100 cheap push mowers for about $25 each - I would sell them for $60 to $75 each (I assembled them, tested them and paid the shipping). They were simple mowers with B&S 3 1/2 hp motors. I always had fewer of the cheap mowers returned for service than the more expensive Toro’s. Money doesn’t always buy dependability.
Yup the more stuff on them the more to go wrong.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:17 AM
 
2,156 posts, read 10,800,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
As far as the Craftsman mower: Sears is not doing too good. MSNBC even said that it was one of the companies that could go out of business in the near future. I don’t think that it would be wise to buy a product from a company that might not be in business tomorrow. I was never a great fan of Craftsman lawnmowers when I was in business. Part of the reason was because they consistently changed parts as part of their special improvements on their mowers. I had a hard time getting parts - of course; that was many years ago.
I'll second that about Sears Craftsman mowers. If you need a part for one, more than likely you will have to special order it and wait a week for it to come.
I bought a new blade adapter for my Sears Craftsman 22 inch self-propelled mower and then discovered it was the wrong part. Instead of placing a special order for the correct one through Sears, I just gave my old adapter a few love taps with a rubber mallet to make the blade fit over the slightly worn circular metal nubs on the old adapter. Hopefully that will keep the blade in proper alignment. If it doesn't then I will take my wife's advice and buy a new Snapper at Costco for $300.

P.S. The old circular nubs on the blade adapter became slightly worn because I had the mulcher blade upside down. Fortunately I did not completely shear them off. Duh! If I am not an idiot at times, then I am mighty close to being one. The man at the hardware store told me he has seen people try to mow their lawns with the nubs completely sheared off. All they got from mowing is good exercise walking around with their mower's blade just floppy away on the adapter and not spinning.

Last edited by Southside Shrek; 03-28-2012 at 10:22 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:44 AM
 
2,728 posts, read 5,087,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
I just wanted to make one other quick comment.

When I was a Toro dealer in the 1970’s; I would go to the National Hardware Show in NYC. There I would usually buy 100 cheap push mowers for about $25 each - I would sell them for $60 to $75 each (I assembled them, tested them and paid the shipping). They were simple mowers with B&S 3 1/2 hp motors. I always had fewer of the cheap mowers returned for service than the more expensive Toro’s. Money doesn’t always buy dependability.
Ain't that the truth!

About 15 years ago, when my sons & I were doing a side-line lawn mowing business, I ran across a used Homelight 21" push mower. Aluminum deck, 3hp (not 3.5, 4.0, or above) Briggs engine. No throttle adjustment, no self-propelled, no nothing. I think I paid $25 for the thing.

That was THE single BEST push mower I have EVER owned! It left lawns looking like carpet, was quiet, and we couldn't kill the thing! After years of using it, when we got out of the business, I sold it at a garage sale for $25.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,535,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southside Shrek View Post
I would not want to try to push my self-propelled mower around my yard with a grass catcher attached to it and the self-propelled mechanism disengaged. Self-propelled makes the job somewhat easier.

If one's self-propelled mechanism is not working very effectively, I would suggest checking out the belt and replacing the belt if worn.
I have a St. Augustine lawn, mostly flat, little in the way of interesting topography. It is laid out in such a way that it takes a long time to mow and I have complicated things with the addition of fruit trellises, hedges and a number of trees. To me, the self propel feature is worthwhile and I've rarely encountered wheelspin with my Toro unless the ground was completely saturated. Maybe other grass species don't "wicker" with as much structure as St. Augustine, but I just haven't encountered that problem and I think the feature is net positive for my applications. It does rob power from the blades and will bog down if you let your grass get too high, but time has demonstrated this to be a minor drawback for me.

I've been pushing Toros since I was a little boy and I've only had to push two of them, for whatever that's worth.

On the other hand, the landscapers that I know all seem to buy the cheapest equipment they can find and beat the living hell out of all of it, yet still get more hours out of said equipment than I ever will.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
18,650 posts, read 16,216,336 times
Reputation: 14550
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George View Post
Ain't that the truth!

About 15 years ago, when my sons & I were doing a side-line lawn mowing business, I ran across a used Homelight 21" push mower. Aluminum deck, 3hp (not 3.5, 4.0, or above) Briggs engine. No throttle adjustment, no self-propelled, no nothing. I think I paid $25 for the thing.

That was THE single BEST push mower I have EVER owned! It left lawns looking like carpet, was quiet, and we couldn't kill the thing! After years of using it, when we got out of the business, I sold it at a garage sale for $25.
I think the most dependable mowers that I ever encountered were old Worthington’s. I think the company was the predecessor of Jacobson? I found a man that had a junk yard with 25 of these old mowers. That was back in the 1970’s. I bought all 25 for about fifty dollars. I managed to get half of the 25 running - just scrounging parts. Some of them had been sitting for decades in the scrap yard.

Those Worthington’s had ball bearing wheels and a full quarter inch thick steel deck. They were heavy - but maneuverable. They also had the round disc blade with four separate blades attached - similar to the Jacobson’s. They had two cycle motors - also like Jacobson’s. They were also basically indestructible. However; the whole front of the mower was wide open - no safety features back then.
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