I bought a used Sears 4'2 inch mower for $200.00 Changed the oil,
sharpened the blades, put new belts, adjusted and greased it and it runs
trouble free every year. Even put a bagger on it. I had to remove the
deck brakes because they were jamming and preventing disengagement of
the blades. I also bypassed that irritating seat switch.
I have one that sounds like a very similar model, purchased about 4-5
years ago. Got about 35 hours on it, and I have been very happy. It
starts first time with no hassle. Plenty powerful enough. Excellent
turning circle. I used to pull a roller behind it and it would mow
and haul that thing with no problem. I changed out the attachment for
mulching (hadn't realized when I purchased that this was an extra cost
option, but not expensive). Foot pedal for reverse is very helpful.
Cruise control function a waste of time, I never use it. At the time
I was planning on a Deere - always prefer to go for the best brand for
something that's going to be around a while - but the extra cost just
didn't justify it in my view. And at this stage, I still think it was
the right decision.
I have a Craftsman 18 HP, 42" that sold for $999, now into 3rd year. Low
end, pretty basic but it performs great. Starts right up every time--even
after the winter storage period (just run it out of gas and remove battery).
Does everything it is supposed to. Would suggest that you get the mulch kit
(blade etc) with it. Saves a lot of clean up time.
Mine came with the munching plug and blades. I bought a catcher/bagger
and the regular blades for it. Not only is the catcher a PITA to a to
attach to the deck, but the tube clogs up to easily. I believe I used
it 3 times and then it just sat in the garage. A wasted $200.
A mower is a mower. They all have either a B&S, Kawasaki, Honda or
Tecumseh engine. The engines are all good if you maintain them
properly. The front axles are either stamped sheet metal or cast iron.
The sheet metal ones suck. The decks in the 42" sizes are mostly sheet
Personally, I would opt for a smaller zero turn. Maybe a Toro or
something comparable if all you're going to do is mow. However, if you
plan on using it to plow snow, a zero turn won't do it.
If you plan on staying at the house you're in now, don't fret over the
cost. Get what you want and it will pay for itself over time, as long
as you maintain it. If you are a person who lacks the ability to
maintain a mower, you might as well go for the cheapest and buy a new
one every few years.
I work on small engine equipment. Brand name don't usually matter as
much as price. A john deere that costs $1200 is just as cheap as a
Sears for $1200.
On Thu, 20 May 2010 20:25:27 -0400, aemeijers wrote:
Hmm, are you good at taking things apart (and getting them back together
again)? If so, see if you can find a couple of identical old mowers from
Freecycle / Craigslist, and mix 'n match to make something good. Treat it
to some new blades, belts too if needed.
That or buy some goats :-)
Use the money toward hiring a lawn company.
If you really want a riding mower, buy a Toro/Wheelhorse, anything over
$2500 (anything that costs less will be 'branded' but not made by Toro or
John Deere). I've owned two Toros, then bought a John Deere and I've
regretted it everytime I mow.
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