Mower recommendation?

I have a medium sized suburban lawn, and I would prefer a petrol mower. I'd like a rear roller to give a stripey effect, and quite happy with a rotary rather than cylinder. I have spotted this one on Amazon, which has mostly very good reviews. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Is that a sensible buy, or is there something much better out there? Also, where's the best place to get one?
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Murphy's ultimate law is that if something that could go wrong doesn't, it
turns out that it would have been better if it had gone wrong.
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We've got rather more than "medium sized" and a Hayter a model or two up from that (electric start). It's OK. I prefered the Lawnflite before it to be honest.
I never use the electric start. Crap keyswitch, and I find it quicker to pull start it than to do all the key wiggling needed to make it work.
It's far too light on the rear roller to stripe it. Probably a good thing too, as it's a bit flimsy around the rear roller and enough weight to stripe it would probably break it. If I want stripes, I'd use the 1950s (and built like a Vincent) Jaguar push mower with the geared rear rollers.
Generally though, it works and copes with a big lawn. It will even cut it over-long or wet, just not both together. Starts easily, hot or cold.Obviously it enjoys fresh petrol, but it's far from fussy.
It came from Redblade mowers near Southport. Very good people for spares and servicing.
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On 27/02/2011 23:46, GB wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I have a much older version of the Hayter Hunter 41 - which is similar but with 4 wheels and no roller. I bought it in the early 90's. I have a love hate relationship with it though. I suspect the modern version will fix most of the problems mine has.
On the plus side, its reliable, very easy to start (does not care if its last years petrol etc), just push the priming tit a few times more than it says on the side, pull and it starts from cold every time. Starts easily when hot or warm as well. It cuts nicely, and the height adjustment is quick and easy.
On the down side, my one blocks easily if the grass is at all damp (current reviews suggest they may have fixed that). I found I can mitigate it a bit by tweaking the carb to up the revs a bit to get some more airflow though it. The undertray is plastic, and every few years it breaks near where the back wheels attach and they fall off! Costs about £25 for the new undertray to fix it each time, again probably not a problem on current ones.
The width of cut is only tad over a foot, and the grass collection capacity is not huge, so I would not want to do a large lawn with it, but 1/4 acre or so ought to be ok.
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Cheers,

John.

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I have a 16 year old Hayter Harrier 56, which looks basically the same as that, but probably bit bigger. It has been abused all its life but still starts easily and cuts well leaving a nice stripe on the lawn. So yes I would say that is a sensible buy.
Mike
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16 years? Probably made on a different continent. Hayter used to be really good back then,
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Andy Dingley wrote:

my Hayterette is around 1987 vintage IIRC. BUT its a bugger to push.
24 years? gosh..seems like yesterday.
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wrote:

I only like cylinder mowers. Unfortunately they are so expensive I can't afford one. My mum used to have one like this http://tinyurl.com/6h5pc6d but that was forty years ago and it had a metal, not plastic, grass-collection box. Built like a tank.
The Amazon price for the 14 inch is a whacking £578 plus £65 delivery (sixty-five quid!!)
I reckon an entrepreneur could bring the price down considerably. Almost 600 quid for a ruddy mower! Someone is making massive profit here. What is a mower? An engine, a cylinder, a frame in which to mount them. Pretty much it, really. Don't get me started on electric mowers. The cable is a real PITA.
MM
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That's incredible. I bought a new Suffolk Punch shortly after I got married and I am sure the whole thing cost about £65. It was not a good machine, catch a stone (or a stick even) and the cylinder blade bent!
Mike
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On Mon, 28 Feb 2011 08:08:57 -0000, "MuddyMike"

Stones!!! No lawn should have stones. ;)
MM
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That must be from someone without kids or dogs :-)
Mike
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MuddyMike wrote:

Or gravel paths, moles or rain..which has a tendency to wash soil down past stones in dug over flower beds..

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On Mon, 28 Feb 2011 08:00:18 +0000, MM wrote:

£600 is a bit pricey but there is also and element of "you get what you pay for".

Top of the range Honda with cast iron block or chinese clone with unlined aluminium block?

Made from stamped thin sheet or decent thickness cut steel?

Again pressed from thin sheet or cast frames bolted together?

Only if you don't engage brain about how to handle it both in storage and use. See recent thread on extension cable coiling and when mowing have the cable only over the cut area and work away from the supply point.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On Mon, 28 Feb 2011 10:22:55 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

With cable-free mowing my brain has plenty of spare capacity, thanks all the same. *ALL* cables are a friggin' nightmare. Hoover, iron, power drill -- you name it, the cable is always a PITA.
MM
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MM wrote:

wait till you get a ride on. £1500 at least. For anything that lasts.

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On Mon, 28 Feb 2011 11:03:59 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

By all accounts, even the brands that were once good are pretty much junk these days and relying just on their good name to get them by - and that's not going to last forever. I went the other route and picked up an ancient s/h tractor because I knew where there was an identical one languishing as a source of spares - so every time something major breaks I've got a supply of parts on tap (and the local farm supply place still sells consumables such as blades, belts, pulleys and bearings)
Our neighbour has something that's halfway between a lawn tractor and a regular farm tractor; it's not nearly as large, but has a proper drivetrain and set of implements - I'm thinking that might be the way to go once our existing lawn tractor finally becomes unrepairable, as it lacks all the plastic-fantastic muck-metal meccano parts that seem to infest the lawn tractor end of the market.
cheers
Jules
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Jules Richardson wrote:

As I said, that's why i chose a Deere. It was less fancy and more expensive, but in the end, repairable.
You can weld a steel deck, not a mezak or plastic one.
http://www.deere.com/en_US/homeowners/riding_mowers/index.html?link=eqf
The L350 is a pretty decent machine.

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On Feb 28, 1:59 pm, Jules Richardson

I forget the details (try wiki, I recall a good article), but domestic petrol mowers are now all (for practical values of "all") from just two makers, who sell under a range of merged brands. One is Chinese, the other American and Chinese-made. Everything else (including Hayter and Lawnflite) is just a badge.
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wrote:

I had to replace the transaxle on my Hayter ride on three years ago. The new one was labelled Murray/Tecumseh and had a Countax part number cross reference!
Mike
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MuddyMike wrote:

Hayter ispart of the Toro group. Decent kit mainly. Countax appears to be the same as westwood, leastways their website is broken in exactly the same way.
Tecumseh seems to be more a parts supplier
More like Gertrag, who make gearboxes for a zillion car brands, often with common parts.
That doesnt make the car manufacturers the same, any more than Dell Sony and Apple are the same cos they use Intel processors.

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wrote:

Seems they all use the same Tecumseh trans/axle. Perhaps Murray / Tecumseh are the same company as the unit was jointly named. My old Hayter 18/42 was identical under the bodywork in every way to a neighbours Countax machine, so they must have both been made in the same factory at some point.
Mike
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