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Mower Brand Selection


edoc's Avatar
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05-09-03, 08:51 PM   #1  
edoc
Help Choosing New Mower Please?

The repair shop has declared my mower not worth repairing (they want $260. for a 5hp push power mower).
I have been looking at replacements and would prefer something entirely built in the USA from mostly USA parts but am willing to consider alternatives.
I am also looking for a simple mulching mower, 5hp or better, non-self propelled.
Any recommendations, please?
Thanks! edoc

 
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05-10-03, 12:00 AM   #2  
Hello edoc!

I don't know how your budget is, or what quality bracket you will be looking for, but here is my 2 cents:

Most mowers made in USA of USA parts are not high ranking in the quality dept. unfortunately. I hate to say it, but the japanese small engines are generally better (at least when it comes to small HP walk-behind mowers). Kawasaki and Honda engines last much longer than the common Tecumseh and Briggs engines. They also cost much more.

With any engine, the better service you give it, the better service it will give you. A cheap Briggs or Tecumseh can give you many years of service if you treat it right, keep the oil changed and full, keep the filter clean, blade sharp, and water off of and out of it.

The cheaper mowers, like MTD, Stanley, Murray, Craftsman, Rally, etc.. are basically equal in the quality dept. and you would do best to shop for the one with the features you want and the best price.

Hope that helps!


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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05-10-03, 09:01 AM   #3  
edoc
Help Choosing New Mower Please?

Thanks for your reply!
I read online that Snapper makes a 6.5hp (Made in the USA) mower. Is that in the same category as Murray, etc. of is it a little more upscale?
Also, what about John Deere?
I am concerned that if we don't buy Made in USA products across a broad range then we will eventually lose 100% of our capacity to produce certain categories of products. Therefore I think I would rather buy USA and baby it a bit, and replace mowers a little more often, than buy overseas products -- even though I see Japan and others as friendly nations.
It is more of a strategic thing for me than an us- versus-them thing. Among other things I teach history at the college level and worry about some developing "holes" in our manufacturing infrastructure.
Thanks again! dmc

 
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05-10-03, 11:12 AM   #4  
Joe_F
My .02: I have bought Sears products for years with no problems. From what I can see, they buy from U.S. based vendors on their push mowers. Most are AYP (American Yard Products) which are US made.

I have had the same mower since 1992 and while I have a small yard, the Sears unit has worked well every time. I have only put maintenance parts into it, nothing more. It uses no oil and starts on the first try every week. I paid 200 bucks for my Craftsman at that time.

While I don't repair them for a living, I'm not a big fan of that imported power equipment. Inevitably parts cost more and in my belief, they just don't cut it. LOL.

I looked at some Honda snowblowers on Ebay when I bought mine and they all looked very light duty. I am happy I went with US made unit (OK, it's old, but still).

What is wrong with the original push mower? I have recycled many of those . LOL

Another alternative is to scout your local newspaper for a good used one. Deals can be had. Also, consider buying a floor model at one of the stores, it may be a lot less and just be missing a manual or a part or two.

 
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05-10-03, 02:08 PM   #5  
edoc
Reply To: My .02

OK re. Craftsman, will have a look online and then at a local retail store.

The current mower is a 5hp YardMan. It is push power -- since the yard is flat there is little value to self-propelled other than limiting the exercise value and increasing the list of things that can fail!

The thing was running rough, losing power and stalling, last I used it. When I went to use it again after several monts in the shed it refused to start at all. The throttle cable was twisted and that is why I brought it in for repair but they said the engine was shot. I have checked the plug and filter. I have disconnected the throttle cable and removed the filter and tried to start it using multiple settings at the engine, to no avail. When I pulled the plug I noticed that there was black oil on the threads.

We have 10 acres here but only a couple of acres are cleared and little more than a half acre is yet grassed. There is often a good mix of leaves and twigs in the grass.

I like the idea of 5hp or larger both to handle the mixed stuff and so that on most occasions the engine will be running easy.

I like the idea of mulching because I hate to rake!

Thanks again! dmc

 
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05-18-03, 01:51 PM   #6  
edoc
SOLUTION -- Bought A Mower

Based on wise counsel here I visited Sears, asked a few questions, and left with a new mower.
Bought an American made 6.5hp push power mower, brought it home and added gas and oil, pressed the bubble 6 times, pulled the string and it started right up ... and did so the several other times I needed to stop and restart.
Also noted the easier rolling of the large read wheels and the wider tires ... especially so when rolling across the sugar sand here in West Central FL.
Thanks for the good advice!
Blessings ... dmc

 
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05-18-03, 09:24 PM   #7  
Sounds like a winner!

Just a few pointers....if you bought the briggs engine, that engine, and others in that particular series, is not very forgiving when it comes to running it with the oil low, or a dirty air filter, especially an improperly installed air filter which allows dirt to enter. Of course, you want to watch this on all engines, but some are more tolerant to less than ideal running conditions than this one. Otherwise, it is a good strong engine, and should give lots of good service.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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