Well, my 24-year-old Bolens lawn mower (old push-style, not
even self-propelled) died on me today with a BANG.
Obviously, something broke inside, valve, connecting rod,
not sure what. After nearly a quarter-century of service I
guess it's time for something new. I don't have the
facilities to repair it, and it's probably not worth paying
to get fixed -- money better spent towards sumthin' new.
- mulch mower (I do leaves with it, too)
- self-propelled (I'm gettin' old, nearing 70!)
- maybe electric start (is it worth it, those of you who
I did a quick web-review of Hondas, folks actually were
so-so about one of their models (HRR216K9VLA), that's
generally available at Home Depot, etc.
I might still consider it, but I'd like to hear what others
might have to say.
Should I consider other brands?
What say you?
I bought my Honda from a Honda dealer, not HD so it may be different.
I like it. That said, I've not used the other brands so I have no idea
how they compare. I don't think you'd go wrong with any of th major
On Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 10:10:06 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
I had a Honda Harmony HRM215. It was the best mower I ever had from
the standpoint of giving the best mulching cut and being quiet.
They used a double mulching blade, one on top of the other. It cut
up the grass very fine, it practically disappeared and the cut result
was the best I've ever seen.
On the downside, while I did get about ten years out of it, the
transmission failed. I took it apart, unbelievable amount of
disassembly required, all kinds of small parts, bushings, snap rings
etc to take it off. The main bearing had worn out. It was $130
at the time for a new one. I probably would have paid that, but then
there was the whole re-assembly mess. I've done a lot of work on
all kinds of eqpt, but wasn't looking forward to that mess and getting
it right. So, I bought a replacement Craftsman for $160 that someone
was selling new, locally. It's still running fine. It doesn't cut
anywhere as nice as the Honda, it's much noisier. On the plus side,
it has more power to go through tough grass. And after about 5 years,
the propulsion on it failed too. I investigated, the end of the
tensioning spring had broken off and it was right there behind one
cover with two screws. Put a cable tie on it and it's been working
again ever since. Another difference, that Honda had a tranny with
3 speeds. The Craftsman has a variable speed drive, with a simple
belt that slips. I like the latter much better, you can exactly match
the speed you want. With the Honda, I only used one speed that was
as close as I could get to the typical speed I wanted.
The Honda machine was designed better. For example the wheels had
real bearings. The Craftsman, the plastic wheels just rotate around
the steel shafts. Of course the difference is that the Honda cost
a lot more. I got lucky, I found it at HD at the end of the season
so I got a good deal. But normally, it was probably twice the price
of a Craftsman if you bought them at regular price.
Consumer Reports has a couple Best Buys for mulchers.
HondaHRR216VKA $430 rear wheel drive
ToroRecycler 20332 $360 rear wheel drive, Honda engine
Both are multi speed.
Single speed Best Buys:
ToroSMARTSTOW 20339 $350 front wheel drive, big back wheels, Briggs
Toro20377 $300 front wheel drive, looks
like regular sized
wheels, Kohler engine
And be well advised to look carefully at the details - not just
the "name" on the mower. My " Toro Recycler " had a B&S engine
and was very prone to annoying clog-ups and the deck rusted out
prematurely. The B&S engine was still quite good when I tossed it.
It was not the self-propelled model.
I replaced it with an old Jacobsen from an auction sale for $ 25.
and I really like it - aluminum deck; ~ 4 hp B&S Quantum; 1 pull
starts it ; no safety handle/bar ; ..while it meets my needs - it
meets none of your needs ...
I have never liked the extra weight of self-proprlled - my mowing
is not 100 % straight ahead - a lot of back & forth areas - where
I do not want to be pulling the extra weight. nor any extra
maintenance / repair issues over the years.
Try to stay away from HD and Lowes anad such. Go to a local dealer.
The box stores usually have the less expensive lines. Even if not that,
if there is any problem with the mower you can get it serviced much
better at the dealer while it is under warrenty.
Beg to differ...if the less expensive model meets your needs and gets
the job done for you, why pay more for bells and whistles you don't care
As for warranty service convenience...that's pretty much a non-issue. I
mean when was the last time you heard about a leaf blower/chain saw/lawn
mower, etc., needing service during the one-year warranty period?
At my local HD, if you sweet-talk one of the good ole' girls on the
customer service desk, they'll usually take the broken one back and give
you a nice new one-- with another year's warranty!
The grass isn't greener on the other side; it's greener where you water it.
The problem for me was the less expensive model did not meet my needs as
far as lasting. It worked fine for several years, then the transaxel
went out. Many on the internet had the same problem at about 300 hours,
the mower had a run time meter.
That mower also was defective in that it would not run but about 100
feet. Being a riding mower and at the time I did not have a truck, the
dealer had to come and get it. I doubt that Lowes would do that.
I did buy a weed eater from Lowes and could not get it started. Took it
back and they did exchange it for another new one.
Because it's not bells and whistles we are talking about. We are
talking about QUALITY. Some of the more expensive, better quality
stuff actually has FEWER bells and whistles. There is blinged out
crap, and there is good quality base, and there is commercial grade,
in order of quality.
Go in to the dealers and look at what they are working on.Shit
It has a Honda engine and does a good job of mulching grass and leave in
the fall. TroyBilt does make a self-propelled that I may consider when I
get old, like 80. (nearing 70 in a matter of months).
My highly refined selection process -- I grew up near Troy and was
familiar with TroyBilt rototillers. I think the lawnmower is actually
made, or assembled as the case may be, in Alabama now.
It starts with one pull which is pretty light compared to some pull
starts I've used. A self-propelled with a bigger engine might be a
different story but then you've got to mess around with batteries. Using
a tender in the winter will add to the battery life.
whatever brand ypu buy, do not buy the cheapest or most expensive.
Don't buy from Home Despot - buy a Honda from your local Honda
equipment dealer, or a Toro from your Toro dealer, or a Husky from
your Husky dealer. Again, don't (generally speaking) buy their
cheapest unless the dealer tells you there are lower priced models but
he won't carry them, or won't recommend them, and will only sell them
if at all, if you insist - then perhaps buy the cheapest he
recommends. Tes, you MIGHT buy cheaper from the BORG - you MIGHT get
the same product, but I can almost guarantee it won't be properly
assembled, and you'll get NO service of any sort. Support your dealer.
I made a mistake about 10 years ago and went to a dealer for John Deere
to buy a mower. They were selling the same one as the local Lowes did.
Good thing I bought it at the dealer as the switch in the seat was
messed up and it would only run for about 100 feet before cutting off.
They came out and took it back and replaced the seat.
Where I messed up was that was the low end mower made for Lowes and such
, even though it was over 2 times the price of the low end brands like
Murry. Found out later when my transaxel went out that was a common
problem at around 300 hours of the mower.
Typical homeowner averages maybe six cut per month max, five month
cutting season, an hour per cut so you're looking at about 30 hours per
year of mower use.
It'll take 10 years to hit that 300 fail point, well past any warranty
If it’s true that women are actually paid less than men in the
workplace, why are employers not firing all the men and only hiring only
Not talking warrenty,but how long something lasts. I mow for about 2
hours at a time with a 48 inch cut mower. The mowing season is a bit
longer where I am. Say 50 hours per year, that 300 hours is 6 years. A
mower that costs over $ 2000 should last longer than that. Especially
when buy what I thought was a major brand name like John Deere, and not
low end like a Murry.
When I lived at a smaller place I had a riding Murry that lasted for
almost 20 years and only got rid of it when I moved as it was not large
enough to mow the larger yard.
Only problems with that was replacing a few belts and keeping the tires
pumped up. I did service both mowers every year as recommended by the
factory as far as oil, lube and filter changes.
You bought thecheep riding lawn mower instead of rhe better lawn
tractor, or the better yet garden tractor, or best, their "compact
tractor" JD cheapened their brand by putting their name on cheap crap
to meet a pricepoint for the "mass merchandizers" It's biting them in
the butt in a BIG way right now. Has almost killed Ariens too. Cub
Cadet not far behind, alonf with Bolens.
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