My 1979 gas/oil-mix, 2-cycle Lawn-Boy has finally died, so I need
to get a new mower. My old mower was not self-propelled, and that
has not been a problem. In fact, I have some areas where I
definitely need to maneuver the mower, and self-propelled there
would just be in the way. So I'm thinking a push mower would be
ok, and of course it would have fewer things to break. :-)
I would appreciate suggestions on brands and specific models that
you like or dislike. Some parts of the yard I definitely need to
bag, so good bagging would be a required feature. The total yard
is about 5000 sq ft, so not exactly huge.
Well I see Lawn-Boy is still there. plus Honda, Toyo, Troy-Built,
Snapper, and even Craftsmen, but I know nothing about what's good
Thanks very much for any suggestions.
I have an 84 lawn boy still fine and ready for 2010, its outlasted 3
others I also use, its worth rebuilding, that was a great motor. About
15 years ago I put on a new deck and trim but the motor is original,
rings and bearings are not a big deal.
Check Consumer's Reports, especially repair record. 2-cycle mowers
are good on a slope, 4-cycle is a better choice for mostly level
ground. Not having self-propelled is just fine if your lawn is small
(or you are young).
I have two lawn mower bags, never used. However, there may be a time
you may need a bag. If there is a flowering weed, and you have to
mow, it might be better to bag the seed heads or cut pieces to avoid
spreading the weeds. A well-established thick lawn won't have too
many weed issues though, and then, no bagging needed nor recommended.
Cutting a lawn interferes with going fishing.
I tried for 20 years to kill one B&S engine on a Craftsman mower (lawn
mower abuse). Sold it in a yard sale, finally.
I bought another last year that rear bags, mulches and has a side
shoot for grass clippings you can open up for discharge.
Consider: you never check for an oil drain plug on B&S, when buying.
Always at the bottom of the block, right?
No this one. The oil filler tube is on the side, opposite the fuel
tank. Okay that works.
The engine block does not have a drain plug!! RTFM - TILT THE MOWER
(nearly upside down) and drain the oil (16 OZ.) from whence it came.
Damndest thing I've ever saw :) Of course run the fuel nearly out to
avoid fuel leakage.
Try adding some oil to the gas next time. My memory is fuzzy, maybe
~5%, I'd err on the high side.
Changing mower oil interferes with napping and fishing.
I've run 2 mowers until the decks rusted to pieces, never changed the
oil once. I suspect I don't know a single soul who has ever changed
the oil in their mowers.
Well, I have partially changed mine a couple 2-3 times in five years. No
drain plug, so you have to do the bit with tilting it over and balancing
it on the milk jug to collect the old oil out the filler hole. I can
only balance it like that so long, and I suspect not all is coming out,
since it never takes the rated capacity to get back to the full mark.
(Maybe 15 oz out of the 20 it says it takes.) Honda-engined red generic
from one of the MTD brands, Yardman, I think. Gets maybe 60-75 hours use
per year, depending on rain amounts.
So I suspect that if the mower burns or leaks oil, and you keep topping
it off, you are doing about as much good as I did. This stuff I drain
out is rather nasty looking. Now if I could just find a public drop-off
site before the milk jugs disintegrate again. Good thing I keep them in
a kitty litter pan now. (and no, you can't drain the mower into the
kitty litter pan, without it spilling all over the mower.) It does start
easier with fresh oil.
I was in an AutoZone store one day when I saw a sign reading "We take
used oil." I thought cool! I'll bring the old oil from my last oil
change. When I went back to the store with my old oil to do my duty
as a good citizen, the store clerk handed me a stack of paperwork from
the EPA that demanded all information from me down to the description
of the warts on my butt. This wasn't long after the EPA went gunning
for everyone who had taken their old lead acid batteries to a place
outside of Birmingham called The Interstate Lead Co. The EPA took the
company records and got the names of all customers and demanded they
pay millions for the cleanup of the contaminated site. Because of this,
I suddenly remembered some weeds that needed killing.
Here we have "convenience centers" were I take the trash to since I'm
outside the city limits and don't have trash pickup. It's a fenced off
lot with about 30 dumpsters to throw the trash into. They have a tank
for used oil. If you have a garage that you go to for other than oil
changes, they may allow you to dump it there. I'm looking for parts for
a home made waste oil heater so I started saving my oil, but I hear that
I can get as much as I want for free from local garages.
Up in PA a friend with a service garage heats the garage with waste oil
using a heater made for that purpose.
Consumer Reports: CU Recommended Cub Cadet 11A-18MC is a
little better for bagging. Lawn-Boy 10640 is a little better for
mulching. Both are listed at $260.
I don't think Tecumseh is making engines anymore if that figures
into your thinking.
OMC doesn't make LawnBoy any more. I think Toro owns the brand now, and
they are really Toros with a different paint scheme.
I know others speak fondly of the old LawnBoy 2 cycles, and their
durability and rebuildability. My experiences as a kid say, not so much.
Perhaps their old 'commercial' series, that eschewed plastic in favor of
1950s style steel. The vintage of LBs I used, say 1968-78, the one big
shining feature they had was the lightweight cast deck and staggered
wheel design. I found the engines to be fussy and buzzy, buzzy enough
that the plastic or fiberglass top shrouds kept self-destructing, and
letting all the little parts and buttons go sproing. After a 20-year gap
in my regular use of mowers, this el-cheapo honda-engined sam's club
special Yardman mulcher weighed a ton by comparision, and the wheels on
the corners make it hard to steer, even with the oversize rear wheels. I
like the engine, and it has held up well to 4 years of abuse. But the
rest of the mower, not so much. It was half the price of real Honda push
mower, though. I would not buy a mulcher that didn't also have a
side-discharge again, though. I have missed that a few times. The
rear-discharge between the rear wheels bag on this thing is useless.
Tried it once, it filled up in seconds, and is a major pain to empty. I
just mulch all the time now- even if I have to make multiple passes, it
is still quicker than fussing with the bag. A few industrial zip ties
and magnets took care of the nanny safety features, so I don't have to
restart it every 5 minutes, and can actually pull it backwards. Who can
mow a yard only going forward?
These days they are selling lawn mowers which DO NOT have fuel filters!
Needless to say, it is not long before the carburetor is clogged and it will
If you want quality, might want to get a "commercial grade" lawn mower like
the landscape services use...
The walking mowers I've serviced. Some have fuel inlet
screen, but very few have fuel filters.
My snow blower has a fuel filter, only because I installed
it inline. Two cycle Toro engine. Kept clogging the fuel
I like Honda. If you are a DIY type, though, you can get them really cheap
at yard sales. Trouble is, some of the tiny plastic parts for them are so
expensive, you will soon have a lot invested. Last time, I was tired of
that, and sprang for a Honda with bagger. Around $400 IIRC, but it starts
nearly first pull, and does the size yard I have. It pulls itself, a big
feature for me. Be sure to keep fresh gas in it, or use Stabil, and I try
not to let it sit without treated gas in it for winter. Depends on what
winter is to you. Change the oil, and do the maintenance on it so it will
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