Self-Propelled Mower?

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Will,

Once you have owned a GOOD self-propelled mower, you will never consider a push mower even on level ground.
I inherited some cheap self propelled mowers from my parents and had nothing but problems with them. One was belt driven, the other used a chain. Both would clog up with grass clippings or sticks and either throw the belt or break the chain. I spent more time fixing the mowers than I did mowing the yard.
21 years ago I bought a Honda HR214 self-propelled mower. It's driven by a shaft that sits above the deck of the mower, so I have NEVER had an issue with the drive mechanism. And, the Honda engine usually starts on the first pull, except for the two pulls it takes after sitting unused all winter. I hose it off after each use, and except for the blade, filters, spark plug, and a couple of control cables, I've never had a problem with it.
Anthony
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

I bought a Poulan with a Honda engine a few years ago at Costco. IIRC, it was about $230.
Definitely you want self-propelled.
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Your Poulan is Rear-drive?
Do you know if the motor has an oil pump (so it doesn't choke when run at an incline)?
Thx, Will
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

Yes.
I don't know. It's essentially this one "(Amazon.com product link shortened)" but a different color, and it's not on their web site.
I actually didn't go into Costco to buy a self-propelled, but it was all they had left, and it was cheap enough.
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

A quarter-acre would be about 10,000 square feet. If you have only 1,000, it would take only two minutes to mow that much on open ground. I wouldn't go for a wide mower or anything self-propelled. I'd go for something light.
I once worked at a golf course. We used a riding mower for fairways, a large walk-behind for tees, and a small walk-behind for greens.
We also mowed brush near the fairways. For that we used very light 2-cycle 18" rotary mowers. The lightness meant easy handling. The small wheelbase helped us avoid hitting the blade on the rough ground. The light, low,2-cycle engine got lubrication no matter how the mower was tilted.
How about an 18" electric mower? They're cheap, light, and low. A cord shouldn't be much of a problem in a small yard.
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No problem with that, except ...

It *looks* like Lawnboy still makes a 21" 2-str. (#10424) at 68 lbs., but I haven't found one locally.

No way. It's small back and front yards, and some between the houses. Cord'd drive me crazy.
Thx, W
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

The first mower I owned was a commercial 21" 2-stroke Lawnboy. It weighed 68 pounds. It was considerably heavier than what we'd used at the golf course but lighter than many 21" mowers, which may weigh about 100 pounds.
Black & Decker makes an 18", 6.5-amp mower that weighs only 35 pounds and costs only $140. They have a 9-amp that weighs about the same. For $240 (Amazon), B & D has a 12-amp 18" model that weighs 41 pounds.
For rough ground and steep slopes, those light weights are appealing. Those mowers have 1-2 horsepower, which may sound like too little. My BIL has a rechargeable 19" mower that's equivalent to 1 hp. He has a very thick lawn which he may let get 12" tall. He says power is not a problem.
The sharpness of the blade and the kind of stuff you're mowing make a big difference. My BIL has tall fescue, which I've found easy to cut. My 6-hp mower used to have trouble at two spots on two lawns where hard-to-cut weeds had taken over when in the past the lawns had been mowed too low. With proper mowing, the weeds eventually died out and cutting became easier.
I've mowed with a cord only once, at a relative's house. I put the cord on one side of the lawn, started by mowing a line on that side, and worked my way across the yard, away from the cord. It was easy.
I used to trim 500 feet of hedges with electricity. I'd run the cord over my shoulder to keep it out of my way. The danger of cutting my finger troubled me more than the cord.
Cords can be a nuisance to stow and to untangle. I'd rather work with 2 50' cords than a 100' cord. Besides, if a cord gets damaged, a shorter cord is cheaper to replace. There are plastic locks to keep cords from pulling apart.
I have seen advertised a 4-cycle mower that weighs only 50 pounds, but would it get oil on a steep slope?
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