Lawnmower Questions - Gas vs. Electric for Replacing 30 year old too haevy mower.

The almost 30 year old Sears gas mower with the huge 3.5 hp Tecumseh (sp?) is again in need of a rebuild. Needs a new deck as rust has just aout killed the current (second) deck. Also needs a repair to the dead man cable.
I've replaced the deck before, and done the cable repairs. Its no big deal, but it kills a day after Sears sends the parts
The engine in this thing runs well, though by current lanwmower standards it is underpowered at 3.5 nominal hp.
Parts are going to run about $120.00 with shipping.
So I'm thinking about replacing it. Its a heavy sucker to yank around the yard, it gets heavier each year, and I'm not getting any younger. It used to have a chain powered drive, but the drive was very unreliable and I took it off. Still have all the parts in a box here somewhere.
Grass area in back is abot 90 feet wide, about 40 ft from the house to the back fence. Out of that theres a 16 foot x 24 foot vegetable garden. Back slopes a little bit in the west corner, maybe 4 foot down from the house to the back fence.
Front is a kidney shaped almost level piece, maybe 60 feet wide and maybe 20 feet fro street to where the flowers start. Again at the far west side that slopes maybe 2 foot down from the street.
There are two side strips. East side is level, about 5 foot wide and maybe 30 foot deep. West side is about 15 feet wide, again about 30 feet deep, and slopes a *lot*, maybe 8 feet over that 30 foot depth.
So, gas or electric? Any specific models you'd recommend or avoid. And no, a hand powered reel mower is not an option. Cut far too many grass patches as a kid 60 years ago with one of those. I don't want to work that hard.
I want to bag clippings. I compost a lot for that veggie garden. I don't want a "mulching" mower.
I do intnd to look, Tuesday when hey reopen, at the local library for the most recent Consumer reports stuff on mowers.
Please give me your thoughts and recommendations.
Thank you!
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If you're referring to the type that needs a cord plugged into 120 volts AC, I'd suggest the following: Put a glass jar into a thick paper bag. Beat the bag with a hammer until you have bits of glass the size of peas. Put half the glass in your mouth and the rest in your shoes, and go for a walk.
That's a pretty good analogy for what it'll be like to mow a 90 foot stretch while trying to manage an extension cord.
Get yourself a Snapper or Honda self-propelled gas mower. You'll find these at independent lawn equipment shops, not big discount stores.
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Frankly I have done just that with an electric with cord and had no problems at all. My current home is not laid out in a way that would make it easy, but I am considering either a corded or battery model. In fact I just saw an add for a cord/cordlesss model. I will have to look into that one.
I like the relative quiet of electric. No bother with gas etc. I don't like the prospect of buying new batteries, as I am about to do for my trimmer, blower and hedge cutter. Of the three original batteries (about 6 years old) two are almost dead. Very handy.
While I personally like electric, I suspect that Joe would more happier with a gas model.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia 's Muire duit
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wrote:

I bought an electric Black and Decker back in 1998, and still have it, still starts with the first pull of the trigger everytime! :-)
Yes, electrics are much quitier, no smoke, no oil to check/change, no carrying a can of gas around in your car or storing it in the garage.
You just have to get used to having a cord. What I do is start out even with the electrical outlet on the house and move Away from it as you cut. Basically of the back of your house is on the North and the electric outlet is in the middle of the back of the house. Start from the house outlet walking North to the fence, spin 180 come right back to the East side parallel to the one you just cut, get to the house, spin 180 cut towards the east again, etc. Then come back to the middle when you are done with the NorthEast side, and do the same for the West woring away from the electric outlet.
The other option is to run parallel to the back of your house from East to West starting directly next to your house and working Out towards the fence.
This way the cord doesn't get in your way!
As far as the battery units go, I'm sure having No cord is nice, but what is your experience with cordless drills, etc. How long do the batteries last, after a year or three, they tend to hold a charge for a shorter time than they did to begin with. I would expect that as you start mowing, the battery would be fine, but at some point when the battery discharges you will lose RPM and Torque to the blade, it won't be dead yet, but it won't be full power like the corded model.
If you find a unit that has a battery AND runs off a cord that would be nice. If you have an area where the cord wont reach, or you have to get around something, disconnect the cord, cut that section, then reconnect the cord.
That's my 50 cents (used to be 2 cents, but everything is going up!) Good Luck, Sam
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Hearing the electric mowers around here, they are not any quieter than the gas models. The pitch of the sound is different though.
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I had a corded electric mower quite a few years ago and it sounded some what like a vacuum cleaner. It lasted a good 10 years or so.
When it came time to replace it, I didn't see anything electric that I liked, so went back to gas powered. Some electric mowers are not real good at mowing heavy thick grass, so it can be trouble if it gets a little bit long. Some/many of them just don't have the umph that a gas powered one has. (At least they didn't a few years ago)
With corded electric models, there are two types of people: Those who have cut the cord and those who have not yet cut the cord. It took me 3 or 4 years to move from the second group into the first group.
Jerry
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Good light show when you cut the cord, or uneventful?
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If I remember correctly, there might have been a spark at most. That outlet was a GFCI one anyway, so it didn't take long for it to be dead from that or the circuit breaker. (I can't remember what was tripped after that) At that point I knew why the main case parts were molded plastic.
Jerry
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I left my electric lawn mower out on the front lawn and someone thankfully stole it! I was actually happy. Nothing works like gas!
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

The string trimer / weed wacker is plug in electric, and hauling extension cord with that is no roblem.electric and
There are outlets at each corner of the back and front of the house, so I'd never bemore than 40 - 50 feet from an oulet.
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jJim McLaughlin wrote:

Are they powerful enough to do the tough job? For me frustration factor was high when I tried electric mower and trimmer. It is not polluting but until I can find one which can do the job properly, I am with gas driven ones.
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Being roughly in the same age group, if my mower went on the hummer, I would look into having a lawn care company take care of it. The lawn companies around here will bag the clippings and give them to you if you are into composting. They trim the edges and clean up any clippings on the driveway and sidewalk. With the cost of having a lawn mower, string trimmer (weed wacker), and leaf blower as well as the physical cost of operating those contraptions in the hot humid weather, it just might be worth the extra cost to hire a company....or the kid down the road.
I have a self propelled Husqvarna unit that is good but I'm finding that mowing the lawn is becoming less and less attractive as time passes regardless of the equipment being used.
Take a hard look at how the catcher bag is attached on the new machines. Some of them are not all that easy to empty once filled and some of them are just not very easy to get on and off of the mower.
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Worn out Retread wrote:

The bad news is lawn services around here want $ 50.00 a crack for my yard, want t do it every ten days. That buys a lot of lawnmower.
The good news around here (Portland, OR) is there is not a humidity prolem sprng summe early fall. Winter is a different story, but no mowing.
I'd love to hire "the kid down the street", but there seriously ain't one.

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dont hire a lawn service the exercise is good for you, me and everyone
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On 2/17/2008 6:39 PM, jJim McLaughlin wrote:

Jim M......
The best 21" powered push mower on the Market is the Sears 3 in 1, 190cc 4 stroke motor, Big wheels, 50 State version which is easy Start (2 easy pulls maximum!!) Please add the proper amount of OIL...
Weight is 70 Lbs... Color is Red with Black trim.... Price is about $220.... Lower if on Sale....
Handle assembly is tricky... But the Unit works extremely well !!! Unit is both quiet & has a nice water hose under deck cleaning system..
Give it a Try..... I love my identical New Sears push mower..
Dennis M from GBay, WI
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On 6/19/2012 11:31 AM, Dennis Mayer wrote:

first posted in 2008. Just saying
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On 6/19/2012 9:31 AM, Dennis Mayer wrote:

I will concur with your statements. My old Sears 21 inch with a Tecumsey engine refused to restart last Saturday afternoon. I drove into town and bought the unit you referred to. Paid $232, and that was the sale price.
Assembly was easy and I did add oil! Started on second pull. After that, starts on first pull. Have to keep the base cleaned and painted. It seems really thin.
Should have bought it earlier, rather than fussing with the old machine.
Paul in Central Oregon
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I have a 20 year old Honda, it has never been serviced other than a change of oil now and then. Still starts on first pull. You can tell it was built by a motorbike company as they chromed the muffler.
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See earlier posting : "Worx PaceSetter Electric Lawnmower"
wrote:

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