What's a good walk behind mower?

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I have about 1/2 acre, but the house takes up a decent portion of the land.
I will be looking for a decent walk behind mower next year....not a rider.
I've had John Deere 22" cut, a Honda 21" (which I really liked, but the motor blew up), back to John Deere (which was horrible), then 2 years ago I bought a Snapper 26", which is absolutely the worst mower I've owned. The Snapper has broken down so many times, I wish they had a lemon law on lawnmowers.
I don't think my lot is too big for a walk behind, some neighbors have riders, some landscapers, and some walk behinds.
My neighbors which mow their own, complain they have junk, but I see a lot of the Murray brand.
If you have a lawnmower, which you're proud of, and don't mind sharing the name. What brand is it?
Thanks!
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Cabot wrote:

I've been very happy with my Toro Super Recycler with aluminum deck and "Personal Pace". It performed flawlessly with routine maintenance (oil, air filter, spark plug, blade sharpening) for 8 seasons. Then, last year, when I had to replace the Personal Pace cable, I took it in for a general overhaul and, again, it's been performing flawlessly ever since.
I have about 1/4 acre (which includes a modest-sized house) with various plantings to work around; it makes one appreciate the "Personal Pace" feature.
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I'm not "proud" of my mower but my Toro has performed well for 4 years with almost no maintenance. I just sharpen the blade every year or so.
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For Toros with Honda engines, be warned that the carburettor may be so hidden by other components that you cannot adjust motor speed if you need to. My Honda engine manual says this is a shop adjustment i.e. $50 min. (and Honda refused to tell me how to do it.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
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I bought a Bolens Model 084 22" mower 5 years ago that I use as a weed-wacker on wheels & mini-bushhog. I beat the hell out of it on weeds up to 1/2" thick, often hitting small stones. It is still going strong. Never had a problem with it. Bought it new for $133 at Lowes.
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Cabot wrote: (snip)

I'd be interested to hear what your experience was with the dealer and if you went over their head directly to Snapper.
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/102/open_snapper.html
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I certainly will post here, my experience with the Snapper. You're more than welcome to copy/paste the response wherever you see fit.
I bought it through an authorized dealer, 2 years ago this past May. It ran me almost $1,200, plus a had a Ninja blade kit put on it, which ran me, I believe another $125.
Within the first week, it quit. Dealer said to bring it back. Problem is, the thing weighs 165-170 lbs. It's not something you put in a trunk of a car. Dealer came and picked it up @ no charge, though I had to wait a week b/4 they could get out this way. They put a new carburetor on it, I got it back about 2 weeks after they picked it up. So, in the mean time, I had to pay to get my grass cut, since it was the growing season.
One week later, the head came loose. Had to go through the same ordeal with dealer. Pay someone to cut my lawn.
About a month later, the self propelled quit. Had to go through the same thing with the dealer. Pay someone to cut my lawn. Now it's the end of the season. I had maybe 10 hours on it.
Last year, one of the drive wheels (rim) came apart. Oops, 3 weeks past the one year warranty. Cost me $112 for new drive wheel. Had to wait because of special order. Had another 10 hours or so on it. A whooping 20 hours on this thing.
This year, the other drive rim came apart. These are the split rim pressed together, hard rubber tire. Ok, I'm ticked now. I write Snapper a nasty letter. They write back to call them. I call, and they act like it's my fault, this thing falls apart. Telling me it's not a commercial mower. I explain this thing has about 20-30 hours on it, and give the history on it. It's only used my property. They send me a wheel no charge, but it took about 3 weeks to get. The rep at Snapper tried to point everything at me for not knowing how to use it. Good grief, I've only been cutting grass since I was 7, and I'm now 54. I know a piece of junk when I own it.
The cable to engage the blade has broken. Another $42 out of my pocket. Now, the self propelled cable broke, again. Numerous pins/cotter keys have fallen out, causing the front wheels to come off!
I've even had this thing serviced every year through the dealer.
Junk, there's no nice way to put it.
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Cabot wrote:

I have a Toro 6.5 hp front drive, big back wheels with a bagger. It mows, mulches or bags and is great for picking up the leaves in the fall. I think it's a 21" blade. I don't use it any more since I have 3 lawn tractors. I have a smaller power mower for trimming. The Toro is a great machine, always starts and has plenty of power. I still start it now and them to keep it running. I used it all the time at my previous address.
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Cabot wrote:

Was that JD with Kawasaki engine? Or go Honda.
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The JD had a 6.5 BS engine. It was one of those with the caster front wheels. The self-propelled broke. I'm sure I won't get the technical names correct here, but I'll try to explain.
There's a pulley on the axle shaft, which sits on a pin. The pin wore out, which looks to be from the bearing seizing in the pulley. The pin is not screwed into place , but appears to be cast as part of the axle. You have to replace the axle housing, in order to fix this, the pin was not replaceable. The cost factor was too much vs replacing the mower. It was a bad design.
BTW.... I worked for JD, on the transportation end. I drove regional for them. JD used to have a good name, but it went downhill.
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Answered my question. You want the Kawasaki engine. Unless you have a lot of long runs you don't want the self propelled either. They are too much work around trees and other obstacles if you have a lot of them. IMO, pushing is not all that hard in most cases.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Mine is one with Kawasaki engine and >10 years old. Mostly cutting grass out at my cabin. Mever owned a self propelled. Maybe when I get real older, LOL!
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

A self propelled is easier if it has large rear wheels.
Lou
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Cabot wrote: ...

Except for possibly the "Sabre" line for the box stores, etc., I'd disagree wholeheartedly.
As Ed says, go w/ the Kawasaki if going green and stay w/ the "real" Deere, not the Sabre.
I've no experience w/ self-propelled so can't comment there, but total of four JD from 27HP to 6; from nearly 40-yr old to about 3. None have any significance maintenance issues.
--
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This mower came with the house I bought in June. It's actually model CMM1000, which I had to take in to B&D for a recall. I didn't think I'd use it but it's actually not a bad machine and it's nice not to mess with gas and oil. It's got just enough battery life for me to do my half acre lot.
http://www.blackanddecker.com/CordlessMower/
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you won't go wrong with the Exmark with the kawasaki OR the kohler engine. Should last a homeowner a lifetime. We had 7 where i used to work in service 6 days a week 8 hours a day. About all we had to keep an eye on was to pull the top off the engine about 3 times a season and blow the grass out of the cooling fins.
steve
http://www.exmark.com/TurfTracer.htm

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What was the problem with the JD? Mine has been doing a great job for 7 or 8 years now. Starts on the first pull every time
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The kind with somebody else walking behind it.
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On Fri, 03 Oct 2008 22:08:58 -0500, Red Green wrote:

You think like me.
Bought my wife a riding mower with a cup holder and automatic transmission.
She loves it.
I keep it running tip-top, change oil in the spring, pick up a can of fuel when I find the can empty.
life is good!
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I like the looks of Dixon ZTR. Anyone have one or have had one?
Steve
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