New Lawn Mower Recommendations

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  #1  
Old 03-10-09, 06:18 PM
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Question New Lawn Mower Recommendations

Don't know if this is against the rules. If so, I apologize and moderators please remove.

I need to purchase a new lawn mower. Requirements include a minimum 21" deck, rear bag, mulching capability, and self propelled. Looking to stay around $400.

Looking for brands/models to consider, brands/models to stay away from, ease of use, etc.

Thanks in advance.

John
 
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  #2  
Old 03-10-09, 06:29 PM
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Purely from a DIY'er standpoint. Check at Sears in the "last years model" area. I had a 6.5 HP, rear bag, mulch capable, front drive, big rear wheel (so easy to manuever!) that I got for something like $250. It was a few years ago, and they may have changed makers, but it was still going after 13 yrs when I moved to the land of gravel yards.
 
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Old 03-10-09, 09:48 PM
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For $400 or less, I think Gunguy is right. A craftsman with a honda on it should give nice service for a long time with regular care. Another $100 or two and you could get into a better class of mowers with heavier decks and japanese engines.
 
  #4  
Old 03-11-09, 06:45 AM
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Toro has #20192 superbagger. This is self propelled and uses a Honda engine. Price about $600. for the extra $200, this is a great mower.
 
  #5  
Old 03-11-09, 08:35 AM
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Actually let me revise my recomendation. If you want a self porpelled, get a front wheel drive. Why? Because when you mow up to a fence or other obstacle, you have pull back the mower. If you have a front wheel drive, you can push down on the handlebars, lift the front wheels off the ground and pull it back. I had 2 Toro rear wheel drives in the shop last summer and both needed new drive gears due to owners pulling them back with out the drive fully disengaging. Total cost of the repairs were $165 ea. If they had front wheel drive, they would not have taken out the drive gears.
 
  #6  
Old 03-11-09, 11:03 AM
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my 2 cents

I have a older Honda mower but I just bought a second mower for 299 and it is a Toro model 20065. It has a 22 inch deck big back wheels and front wheel drive. I have only used it one time but I know already it is a good mower.Oh yea it also has a rear bag and is a mulcher. Also has a port were you hook up a hose to clean it.
 
  #7  
Old 03-11-09, 12:00 PM
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There are several good mowers out there at that price range. My suggestion is to go to the various stores and dealers and play with them a little, See which ones have an easy to remove and reistall bag, decent quality wheels and handle bars that can be adjusted so you can push the mower comfortably. I mention this because I'm 6'-3" tall and a LOT of equipment is designed for 5'-8" tall people causing me to have to bend over and stressing out my already bad back. Controls should be easy to reach and not require a vise like grip to activate. Is the posture needed to start the machine a comfortable one? Is the spark plug wire in the front of the mower where it will snag on every bush you push the nose of the mower toward? Can the cutting height be adjusted with one handle? or do each of the four tires have to be adjusted? And is the wheel adjustment mechanism well built, or look and feel flimsy? For $429 list price, I personally like the Deere JS25 steel deck mower mostly because I can stand up straight behind it. But I'd also look at Toro and Snapper and maybe Cub Cadet (haven't seen them in a while though).
 
  #8  
Old 03-12-09, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for all of your replies an suggestions. Because I have many large inclines on my (less than 1 acre) property, a self-propelled w/large rear wheel is a must. I like the suggestion of front-wheel drive vs. rear-wheel drive for pulling back (I do that alot). However, how does front-wheel drive effect operation if I chose to use the rear bag? Won't the additional weight in the rear lift the front wheels slightly and, in effect, kind of negate the whole self-propelled feature?

Someone suggsted looking at the Toro Recycler Personal Pace (Model #20332) but that model does not have the larger rear wheel. However, the Toro Recycler (Model #20331) does have an 11" rear wheel. The only difference that I can see between the two is the '31 is a 3-speed and the '32 Personal Pace matches you walking speed.
 
  #9  
Old 03-12-09, 08:18 AM
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I think this one should fit your needs. Priced at $443. rear bagger, Honda engine, front wheel drive, bigger rear wheels.
The weight of the leaves, grass in the bag should not be enough to lift the front wheels off the ground.

Husqvarna 5521CHV 961430001 21" Lawn Mower 3-N-1 Variable Speed Front Wheel Drive : Lawn Mowers : Store

or this 1:

Husqvarna Outdoor Power Equipment - 7021F
 
  #10  
Old 03-12-09, 08:25 AM
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I found with mine that if the bag was full of heavy wet grass and leaves, then yes, it does take a bit of weight off the front, but not enough to lift the wheels. More like 2 kids on a teeter totter and one weighs just a few pounds more..did I make that clear? Also, the bags on a push mower really aren't that big. Would have to be real wet and real heavy.

And I loved the large rears..had to borrow my neighbors (small rear wheels) while mine was being serviced once. The small rear wheels were really noticably harder to maneuver, even thogh the mower was very similar.

When you say inclines..do you mean hills? Or just slopes? Hills should never be mowed up and down anyway, so thats not an issue. I never had a problem with the front wheel drive, and some parts of the rear lawn sloped about 2' in 40'. Not flat...but not really a hill.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned...check for how easy it will be to remove and dump the bag. I loved my mower, except for removing the bag. Had to reach between the front section of handles to release and let drop (2 hand operation) then shift back and pickup bag from side or rear section of handles. It was just an annoyance and a pain in the rear (back actually). Of course no problem when mulching or blowing clippings.
 
  #11  
Old 03-12-09, 09:21 AM
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1. You will have problems with the front wheel drive on the inclines.
2. You will have a tough time finding a rear drive high wheel mower in your price range.
3. Go to Wally World and get a $200 mower, use it until it wears out then go get another.

Just my $.02. Have a good one. Geo
 
  #12  
Old 03-12-09, 09:30 AM
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Looks like a front-wheel drive would be OK as far as the weight issue is concerned.

The inclines/hills on my front lawn are kind of steep, probably about 30 degrees in front and 45 degrees on the side. I do mow them either diagonally or across the slope, usually alternating between cuts. The backyard has a slope that drops about 1 foot over about 10-12 feet. Really sucks to mow my property, but I need the exercise.
 
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