Looking for inexpensive self-propelled lawn mower

Maybe you know a brand I should avoid or one you want to brag on. I'm all ears - as Ross Perot said.
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on 7/13/2007 6:14 PM ValveJob said the following:

What is your definition of "inexpensive"?
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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ValveJob wrote:

The most "inexpensive" self propelled mower is going to be a Honda or other high quality machine. While the initial cost is high, the life of machine and it's dependability bring the cost per year to be in line with or less than than your typical big box store mower. As an added bonus you won't lose your temper every time you have to start it.
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Art

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wrote:

I noticed today that there was lawnxxx self propelled mower for $300 that has a Honda engine.
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ValveJob wrote:

What is a lawnxxx mower? Is there a brand name on it?
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Art

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My eldest son, with a 3/4 acre lot bought cheapest push mower he could find. Like OP he figures he will buy a new one when el cheapo quits. 2nd son with less than 1/4 acre bought high end self propelled Honda. He has a good job and wants to put minimum effort into lawn. If you like to tinker with machines and spend more time on your lawn, buy el cheapo. If your time is more valuable to you for other things, go with a high end mower. Frank
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on 7/13/2007 7:15 PM Art said the following:

That would make my 23 year old Craftsman 22", B&S engined, self-propelled mower 'inexpensive'. It looks like sh*t with the chipped paint, dents and rusty chrome, but starts every year after a couple of pulls. I did have to replace the pull cord, but that didn't make it more expensive by too much.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

They were built a little better 23 years ago than they are today. And it probably has a Tecumseh built engine on it. Look on the engine shroud for the model number, if it starts with 143 it is a Tecumseh.
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Art

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on 7/14/2007 5:10 PM Art said the following:

It starts with 917.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

That number is on the deck and means it was built by Roper. Look on the engine for the engine model.
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Try freecycle.org .
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All a matter of personal preference & experience.
I have bought many cheapo's over the last 40 years and some were good and some were crap.
Two years ago I bought a Troy-Bilt w/Honda engine, it being a rear drive self propelled. Much better quality than I have had in the past, and the rear drive works MUCH better on my tough grass than the front drive unit I had prior to this. The front drive just didn't have the pulling power so it took much more of my effort to help it along. The rear drive does it all itself. Took a little getting used to by working the drive lever rather than just lifting the front wheels to make the turns, but it's now done without thought.
KC
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I own four self-propelled mowers and the cheapest one has been the most reliable, go figure. It's a Troy-Bilt with a front wheel drive. The briggs engine has started every time and the only repair it has ever needed in five years has been the drive belt. I have a lot of respect for the Honda and my next may be one. That don't mean you can't get a lot of service from another brand, you can. Honda has the rep for consistent reliability. Briggs seems to be more of a crap shoot. I have had good luck but some don't.
More important than the brand, in my opinion, is the dealer. Your mower won't run forever and when it quits you want to be able to take it somewhere they are famililar with the machine and have parts. I always reccomend that you take your business to you local dealer. My local guys are primarily a rental shop but they can get me a machine from a wide selection of manufacturers.
I own a Snapper self-propelled which is by far my favorite mower. Maybe that's why the Troybilt is so reliable, haha. It is a pleasure to use and on the rare occasion when it won't go, my local dealer has it fixed in one day! I'm pretty sure that if this Snapper ever quits, I would buy another over any other brand, including Honda.
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