My First Lawnmower


Old 04-11-05, 06:20 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 21
Question My First Lawnmower

I'm a new homeowner, and I need a lawnmower. I've done a lot of looking and comparing. The features I'm looking for are: gas (not electric), walk-behind, self-propelled with variable speed, mulch and rear bag.

The lawn is 1/3 acre, pretty flat, and few obstacles. I could go either way on front or rear wheel drive, but several reviews mentioned that FWD mowers cut into their lawn.

I've found several mowers from various manufacturers (Craftsman, Husqvarna, Toro, TroyBilt etc.) with these features, all in the same price range. The only difference is the engine. I can get a 5.5 HP Honda, or one of several 6.5+ HP Briggs & Stratton engines: Quantum, Intek, or the new(?) Ready Start. The RWD mowers in my price range only come with the Briggs Ready Start engine.

What are the pros and cons of the various engines?
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Old 04-12-05, 12:56 AM
cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,818
Hello Dale!

I would personally prefer the Honda engine. From my experience, it is much more durable and trouble free than the others mentioned. As far as FWD or RWD, I think I like FWD better, because RWD makes it difficult to maneuver in tight spots with a lot of turning and backing up. With FWD you can just tilt the mower back enough to lift the front wheels off the ground and it quits pulling.
Old 04-12-05, 04:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 106
I've had both types of drives. I prefer FWD also. It's easier to lift the front wheels off the ground which is necessary when you turn anyway (if you cut in a square) than to release the RWD lever and also lift the wheels to turn. It's amazing how often you will need to release and re-engage the RWD lever while mowing.

If you don't release the RWD lever, the rear wheels will dig in ground when turning or trying to back up.
Old 04-12-05, 06:21 AM
daswede's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 2,215
I have had fwd,3 in 1 mowers for versatility. I have had different brands also,
reliability depends on how they are maintained.
Old 04-12-05, 02:43 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 21
Thanks for the help

Thanks for the help, guys. This is great.

I can now see the advantage of FWD vs RWD.

Are the Briggs engines roughly the same in terms of performance and reliability? Ease of maintenance? Tolerance for lack of maintenance?
Old 04-12-05, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,224
Whichever engine you decide on, the key is parts and service availability in your area. There aren't as many Honda service dealers as there are Briggs. Check online or your phone book for any in your area. What good is a machine if you can't reasonably find parts and/or service??? By the way, I like the Briggs.

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