New mower advice needed

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  #1  
Old 09-03-04, 02:21 PM
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New mower advice needed

I am completely over my Craftsman mower - it is only about 5.5 years old, but there are too many episodes of not starting, and trips to the shop, and after using my dad's Harmony one weekend this past summer, I found that I am spending more time/effort cutting the grass with mine as well. Here is what I am looking for:
1) A reliable mower. I am a single mom that does not have a lot of time. When I am ready to cut the grass, I need the [email protected] mower to start. When I have to turn it off to attend to a child, I need it to start right back up. (Like I said - I am over the Craftsman!)

2) grass-bagger. I prefer to bag my grass. I have an ongoing battle with bermuda that I am slowly winning, but mulching is not an option yet (it simply spreads the bermuda).

3) self-propelled - definitely want a self-propelled - the more powerful the better. Mine is, but it's really a weak one. I'd like my 11 yr old son to take over this chore soon - and my mower is more than he can handle.

4) easy to turn. Mine is not - and I'd like one that is - for a change.

5) can handle damp (not wet) grass without dying. My mower just wimps out with the least bit of dampness. I have to wait 5/10 minutes before I can start it again.

6) easily-available parts.

I am sure that these are features that everyone wants, but is it possible to get such a mower in the $350-500 range? My dad paid over $600 for his, and I just cannot pay that much.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-03-04, 03:20 PM
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Check this unit out, I think it will fit your needs. Only just a bit over what you want to pay but may be able to strike a deal with a dealer in your area. http://www.cubcadet.com/servlet/Bran...75&CAT=1&SUB=9
 
  #3  
Old 09-03-04, 03:43 PM
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Cool

you could checkl at walmart. murray and yardman mowers are pretty good and a little cheaper. i have a murray with a 6.0hp engine, self-propelled, bagger, and mulching on it and it gets around trees and stuff pretty easy when the self-propelled is on. i would go for the cub-cadet though or if not that the murray or yardman. oh yeah, you might try to go to a small engine shop and see if you can get a fairly new used push mower with those features and make sure that it runs good before you get it. you might want to get your dad to go with you and they might cut you a good deal, no offense but some people are just like that. good luck.
 
  #4  
Old 09-04-04, 09:27 PM
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yardnut
OK let's address your dilemma.
1- Most likely you've got a Tecumseh motor on your mower...I prefer a Briggs engine with the primer for the ease of starting.
2-Rear baggers are just about a given these days on most mowers.
3-Self propelled is great (that's what I use) Go for the most horse power you can get (probably 6 or 6.5 hp)
4- Easy to turn....I assume that you've got a rear wheel drive and if so, maybe check out a front wheel drive. it could be that when the bag gets almost full, the weight on the rear wheels (because of the drive) makes it hard to turn and/or control. I've got a front drive and my 10 year old son uses it 3 times a week on various yards. He has no troubles so far.
5-Again with higher and/or damper grass you need the horse power so higher horse power is recommended. I don't know how often you cut your grass but as a rule of thumb, you never want to cut your grass more than 1/3 of it's height at any time to avoid sending it into shock. Sometimes you may have to cut your grass more than once a week.
6-Ease of getting parts....you have to check around for a reputable dealer and a good brand name so parts availability won't be a problem.

This is just from me......I've owned a Craftsman 5.0 hp for the last 6 years.
It has a Briggs motor which runs great. Problem being is Craftsman isn't really known for having great bagging or mulching capability. I changed to a Gator blade to increase my bagging ability but that didn't really help in the mulching. But I can live with that. So in my opinion, the machines you should check out would be the Toro Recycler and/or the Snapper units. They are a little higher priced than the Craftsman (by how much I don't know) but then they are a little better designed for what you want.
I hope this helps you out.

snoman
 
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Old 09-05-04, 06:44 AM
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2) grass-bagger. I prefer to bag my grass. I have an ongoing battle with bermuda that I am slowly winning, but mulching is not an option yet (it simply spreads the bermuda).
If the grass has not gone to seed, the clippings won't spread the grass. Mulching is better for the health of the lawn.
 
  #6  
Old 09-08-04, 09:34 AM
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"If the grass has not gone to seed, the clippings won't spread the grass. Mulching is better for the health of the lawn."

Actually - you need no seed for the bermuda clippings to spread - only a clipping will do. Believe me - I'm an expert on the stuff by now unfortuntately.

Thanks for the help guys. I'll be out looking this weekend.
 
  #7  
Old 09-08-04, 07:19 PM
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I bought a Lawnboy recently, it's two stroke. It rocks. Its the lightest mower ive found, it has self propel, and can bag as well. Among my mowing crew it is the favourite. I bought it because there was a few ladies on my crew for a while. I bought mine used, so i dont know how much they are new. But from what ive seen they are super reliable. And you dont have to get the two stroke model, there is lawnboys with 4 strokes also.

Good luck.
 
  #8  
Old 09-17-04, 01:38 PM
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I have a TORO PERSONAL PACE mower that is 5 or 6 years old and is the best mower I have ever owned. It ALWAYS starts easily ( still has the original spark plug ), and has all the features you want. It is 6 or 6.5 horsepower. Personal Pace means, the harder you push on the handle, the faster it will travel. Works GREAT! Bought it at Home Depot for around $ 400. Good Luck.
 
  #9  
Old 09-21-04, 02:52 PM
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Yardnut,
Have you made a purchase yet? If so, what did you decide to buy?
 
  #10  
Old 09-23-04, 11:37 AM
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also,
I been told that Over Head Cam (OVH) engines are somewhat superior than non-OVH engines;
another variable to consider when doing your shopping.
 
  #11  
Old 09-23-04, 04:59 PM
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puey61 - No - no purchase yet. I like the idea of the Toro Personal Pace, but I also saw where a lot of people thought it did not work well at all. Everyone says Honda engines start good, but they are overpriced (I may not care - reliablity is of UTMOST importance!!) Lawnboy just seems cheap-looking somehow. Someone recommended Cub Cadet, but I"ve never even heard of them. So - still looking. I'll post back when I get one (soon!)
 
  #12  
Old 09-25-04, 04:57 AM
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My 2 cents

I bought a Harmony and love it starts every time one pull plenty of power nice cut because of two blades belt driven blades for saftey.I love the Honda.
 
  #13  
Old 09-25-04, 09:33 AM
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That was me that suggested the Cub. For the reason of ease of operation. I will say I'm not a fan of the drive train though but it does work well...it's just not mechanic friendly. Which equates to higher service charges when you have it repaired when it's out of warranty. As for the Toro drive (Personal Pace)...I like it. It's simple and works very well and so far has no ill side effects to it's design (relying on belt slippage to vary the ground speed).
 
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