I have the basic $130 MTD mower with B&S engine. Went for 9 years. The deck
rusted out at one wheel. I fixed it and got another couple years until the
rust got too bad. Engine was still good so I removed it and sold it on ebay.
I bought another one. I'm on the third season with it. Sometimes cheap
I have had good luck with my current Ariens. I am not sure I would
claim I am proud of it, but it has been doing the job for seven years.
I have the Ariens 21 with the swivel front wheels. My previous Ariens
died after ten years, but I had a hand in that; I overfilled the
crankcase. Now I did have a couple of issues with that one. It blew a
headgasket after nine years and the muffer threads on the body
stripped out so that I had to wire the muffler on after about two
I'd probably visit a couple of repair shops to see what brands are
currently the best.
Sure, my Lawnboy has given good service for 10 years, but I assume it is
an entirely different product, e.g. no longer 2 cycle engine.
Years ago, I bought a Toro when Toro was considered best. Well, in that
year they let their quality slip and mine was a POS, always in the shop.
You want to know from the front line folks how the new models are doing.
Hub bought a Lawnboy mower a couple of years ago.
It adjusts to the speed that you walk.
So this is the best one for him as he is a slow walker due to arthritis.
He does not come in huffing and puffing after cutting our 1/4 acre which
includes our house anymore.
Any mower (unless you get a lemon) will give you many years of service
if you take care of it, change the oil and keep the dirt and grass out
of the gas tank. Keep the tank full to prevent condensation and water
Too bad that Toro dropped the old Lawnboy staggered-wheel rustproof
lightweight chassis, once they emptied the warehouse out. I know they
can't sell two-strokes like the old OMC Lawnboys used any more, but an
OEM Honda engine on that light manuverable chassis would be great. I'm
pretty happy with the engine on my 'power by Honda' MTD cheapie, but
that chassis, even with big wheels, is a workout routine in itself. At
least until they went to fiberglas for the top decorative shell, I
remember the Lawnboys from my youth being damn near indestructible. We
had one at the house, an old beater out at the cabin, and a couple more
in the storage building at my father's construction company. Abused the
hell out of all of them, and the only thing I remember having trouble
with is the knob holes in the fiberglas shell on the newer ones getting
wallowed out from vibration. Had to machine a metal washer and put it
under the shell.
I had a couple Power Products that ran and ran and ran forever. They had
no throttle and had the steel flywheel that you used a knotted rope to
start and were 2 cycle. They would really knock down some grass. I wish
they still made them.
I had Snapper way over priced , Now I have a Troy built , the next one
will be the one of the big Box stores cheap ones. I think mowers have
reached VCR status disposable. My first mower was a cheap Murray it work as
well if not better than any of them.
We have about two acres, and our yard takes up about 3/4 of an acre. I
have a Honda HR214SMA mower I bought about 20 years ago that runs as good
today as the day I bought it.
When I bought the Honda, I was determined to find a reliable self-
propelled mower. The previous mowers we had were always throwing the
belts when they would get grass caught under them, or would stretch out
and start slipping. Not to mention the major hassles of trying to start
the mower. I would often spend more time trying to start it than it took
to mow our old yard.
My Honda has a shaft drive for the self-propel. Every other mower I
looked at (store brands, John Deere, etc.) all had belts which I was
determined not to do again. In 20 years I've never had a single incident
with the shaft drive, compared to belt problems every few weeks with my
Other than minor maintenance (spark plug, air filter, blade), the only
repairs I've made were to replace the control cables. After replacing
these a couple of times, I discovered they were rusting because I left
the cable out of the sheathe when rinsing the mower off (I rinse it off
after every mow). By returning the levers to their resting state, the
cable slides back inside the sheath and I haven't replaced a cable in
many years now.
I did just replace the grass catcher bag a few weeks ago. After 20 years
it was getting kind of clogged up with dirt and didn't pick up grass as
well. I ordered it online, super easy to replace, and it picks up like a
brand new mower now.
My mower has electric start, which was very nice to have. But, the
starter quit working several years ago (I verified it wasn't the battery,
switch, or wiring). Unfortunately, the starter cost $160, and it would
almost be easier to buy a new mower at that price. So, I've just ignored
the electric start and use the pull start exclusively. Even after 20
years, my Honda always starts on the first or second pull.
Just last week we discovered the fuel bowl under the carburetor was
leaking. After 20 years it had corroded and developed 2-3 pinhole leaks.
I ordered a new one off of Ebay for $15. Just one bolt holding it on,
less than 10 minutes to replace.
I don't know how the current Honda models compare, but I've been very
happy with my HR214. One of the best machines I've ever bought.
I am going to raise a lot of hackles here, but I have a 24 year old
Craftsman 22" self propelled mower that is still running. It's not too
good looking with all the rust, dents, and a shortened pull cord, but it
still runs and cuts with a couple of pulls every year. The only
maintenance I've had to do was to straighten the side mounted drive
shaft and remove the bent up drive wheel covers after the mower got
tangled up in a chicken wire fence. I did buy a new Poulan self
propelled mower a couple of years ago at HD because it was on sale for
$100 and I figured that sooner or later the Craftsman was going to bite
the dust. I guess it's going to be later before it dies.
i guess i thought you were asking about walk behind mowers, since that's
what you put in the subject line. Apparently, you were wondering about PUSH
mowers, since that's what all the replies except mine have been about.
Which do you want?
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