Lawnmower..front vs. rear drive

I have to get a new mower soon and have been seeing a lot of rear drive types advertised. Are there any significant advantages or disadvantages to the rear drive as opposed to the front drive I am used to?
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I bought a troy built about a 2 years ago Front wheel drive before I had a snapper rear wheel drive. They both do the job I see no real dereference in drive systems. As for lawn mowing they cut the grass but seem weak on sucking up the cuttings, The troy built IMO is a little better, but I would not buy ether brand again ( neither of them were cheap) next time I will buy a cheap piece of crap so when I toss I won't care kinda like the VCR theory.
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Gosh! For anything less than say an acre of grass is it not better (and healthier) just to use a regular, $120/$160 4 stroke 3.5 to 5 HP walking type mower? If you insist on collecting the clippings a 'bagger type' probably works fine for few extra bucks. I can't quite hang up our gasoline mower, as my neighbour does with his electric. He only has a total of about 4000 to 5000 sq. feet. And occasionally he will do part of our backyard, I returning the favour on occasion with the gas mower. Gas mower doesn't take much space to store wintertime in the shed. Most of them you can detach (unclip) the handle if you want to. Front yard approx, 160 x 50 = 8,000 plus back yard (at max) 80 x 60 = say 5,000. Total 13,000 sq feet. Takes a couple of hours with tea-breaks for this slightly wobbly knee-ed pensioner. But thank goodness grass grows slowly in this cool climate!
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NickySantoro wrote:

In general the rear drive provides better power but the front drive provides better control. With a front drive you can push down on the handles lifting the wheels and you now have a steerable manual mower.
--
Joseph Meehan

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I have a early 80's Toro with rear drive. I don't know about newer mowers with rear drive, but with this one the rear tires don't rotate backwards. They really do but not easily. This makes it hard to drag the mower out of my shed. For the same reason when mowing and doing a 180 deg. turn on my driveway the inside wheel does not turn so it just grinds on the pavement leaving little skid marks at each pivot turn. Note, I am disengaging the drive as I make the turns. When I got the Toro from my BIL, the rear tires were well worn, I replaced them a couple of years ago ($20 each). They still look OK but I am sure they ware out much faster than the front tires on a FWD mower.
Kevin
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NickySantoro wrote:

I own both styles of mowers and find them both to be useful under different circumstances. With a rear wheel you have to operate the clutch each time you want to stop or slow the mower. This makes it better on long runs with few obstacles.
With a front wheel you can leave the drive engaged all the time and then just lift the front wheels to slow or turn the machine. This makes it better for mowing around stumps and rocks.
The front wheel drive has a lot less traction overall especially in rough ground or high grass. Under those type of conditions you really need a rear wheel drive. The rear wheel drive is a far more positive drive and can be expected to have a wider range of speeds to choose from. Front wheel drives usually have just one speed.
If I were buying another mower I would likely opt for another rear wheel drive because it suits my situation best. If your ground is smooth with few obstacles then you will likely save money by purchasing a front wheeler. I think they are cheaper.
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On Sun, 23 Apr 2006 10:19:49 -0400, NickySantoro
Thanks to all who replied. I've decided on another front drive.
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