Yard is pretty good size, .38 acre. We're leave-it-on-the-lawn people, so I guess we want a side discharge mulching situation, instead of a rear bagger. Or I guess the option of switching? Some mowers seem to have an easy tool-less change-over, and some not? What's involved with changing it manually?
Also planning to do a combo of some leaf clean-up and some mulching of the leaves, as per advice over on the gardening group. We've got woods at the back, and lots of mature trees, and prefer a more rustic look rather than the real manicured golf-course type situation. The grass is going to be long and think, because, believe me, it's not going to get mowed like clockwork every 5 days like the old guy across the street who seems to have nothing else to do.
The Mister works full time and is going to school nights and weekends, so it's likely I'll be doing the bulk of the yardwork for a couple of years as I am home with the children, who are too small to assist in such matters.
Engines - I see people here talking about Briggs and Stratton a lot. Does that mean they're good or bad? Seems like everyone's asking how to fix theirs, and we are not mechanically inclined in that way.
Here's what I'm looking at - Home Despot has a Toro #20016 for $299. Large rear wheel self-propelled, etc. 6.5hp and 22in. I've got a $150 giftcard for HD, so this leans me in this direction, but I'm sure I could come up with $150 of something else. They also have the Honda mowers up on the site, but no prices. What are they going for, and do I want one?
Lowes has a Troy-Bilt #183621 for $299. 6.75hp and 21". It's got the B&S 2 start ready start engine.
Sears has a few Craftsman mowers in that hp/in range, running $173-249, all with B&S engines, I believe. They also have a Husqvarna for $269. I thought they made sewing machines???
Any advice appreciated. Thanks.