Need suggestions for a lawn mower

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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 or not.
Thanks very much for any suggestions.
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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.
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Consider an electric one? Not with batteries.

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ransley wrote:

Second that. No matter what's wrong, getting the problem fixed is still almost always cheaper than a new one. Unless the item causing the commotion a member of the opposite sex.
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On Sat, 06 Mar 2010 17:45:43 -0600, Peabody

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).
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wrote:

Do good push mowers still exist?

That is small. Why do you need to bag? A good mulching mower is much better for the yard and far easier on you.

I really like my Honda but they aren't cheap. I'd stay a long way away from Crapsman, Yardman, and such.

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The $99 one from wally world. Mow more often and skip the bagging. That is better for the lawn and is politically correct.
I am serious. Though the $99 one may be more this year.
Colbyt
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On Sat, 6 Mar 2010 19:17:21 -0500, "Colbyt"

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.
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Peabody wrote the following:

In your case, the make of the mower does not matter. You just want an engine to spin a blade. I like Briggs and Stratton motors, but other users may differ.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

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.
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What a shame, they are cutting corners, like that. Be sure to check the oil level after adding 16 ounces, many mowers I've serviced take 20 ounces.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Hard to argue with that.

And screw up a nap from 5 doors down.

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. -----
- gpsman
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gpsman wrote:

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.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

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.
TDD
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aemeijers wrote:

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.
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Peabody wrote:

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.
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Dean Hoffman wrote:

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?
-- aem sends...
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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 not start.
If you want quality, might want to get a "commercial grade" lawn mower like the landscape services use... http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/wpm/index.html
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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 metering hole.
--
Christopher A. Young
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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 last longer.
Good luck.
Steve
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