Things You Should Know Before Buying a Lawmower
Lawnmower Buying Guide
Buying a lawnmower? There is no need to be confused or puzzled. The following are some basic things to know before buying a lawnmower.
There are four basic types: push reel, electric, cordless and gas. The first type is the push reel mowers. These mowers are powered by you. They are quiet and don’t need cords, recharging or gas and they don’t cause pollution. If you want a workout while mowing your lawn, then get a push reel mower. The down side of this is that it tends to be less effective on grass taller than three inches. If you have a big lawn, then this mower is not for you. The second type is the electric mower. These mowers need to be plugged into an electrical outlet to power them. This means that you will be constricted by the location of your power outlet, the length of your cord and any obstacles that may snag the cord. This is great for small yards. Cordless mowers are the third type. These mowers are powered by rechargeable batteries. Depending on the battery capacity, the size of your yard and the height of the grass, you may not be able to finish your mowing in one charge. The last but not the least type is the gas mower. These mowers offer the most power and are best in mowing tall grass and big yards. Just remember to keep gas and oil on hand and keep the engine serviced.
For gas mowers, there are three power measurements. These are the horsepower which refers to the amount of power the engine can produce, torque which is the amount of horsepower transferred to the blade and the cubic centimeters (cc) which is the displacement volume of its cylinders. There are two types of lawnmower engine. The first i the two-stoke or two cycle engines and the second one is the four-stroke or four cycle engines. Two cycle engines offer more power but also more pollution. For electric and cordless mowers, their power is measured by volts, amps or watts. More horsepower doesn’t mean more cutting power. However, power alone is not the only base or factor in choosing a lawnmower. Make sure that it has the features that you are looking for, warranty and quality ratings or reviews.
Some of the features to look for are:
- Cutting deck
This refers to the blade housing. Wide cutting deck will make few passes to mow a given area but you also have to consider the obstacles in your yard because the wider the cutting deck, the tougher it may be to fit the mower in tight areas.
- Mulching and bagging
If you want to collect the clippings, then choose a mower with a bag. A rear or side bag are recommended. If you want to leave the clippings on the lawn as fertilizer, then get a mower that mulches. A “3-in-1″ mower will mulch, bag or side-discharge.
Large mower wheels will make handling easy especially on rough or uneven terrain. Buy mowers with at least 7 inches in diameter wheels in the rear. Some higher-end mowers have front wheels on casters, which gives you an extremely tight turning radius.
- Height adjustment
Most mowers allow you to adjust the distance between the blade and the ground.
Many newer rotary machines are available with a lever or bar that must be depressed to keep the mower running. Look for models that have rubber flaps at the back to protect you from objects thrown from the blades. Wear safety goggles every time and read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
This applies to cordless mowers. Think about how long the battery will run on a single charge. Most batteries take several hours to recharge. A typical 24-volt mower will run up to one-and-a-half hours and cut up to a third of an acre; a 36-volt mower will go for three hours and cut up to a half an acre.
- Cord holder
A cord holder is useful for keeping the cord of electric mowers out of the way when you make turns.
Gas mowers are available either with recoil (pull-cord) or electric starters. Electric mowers will start at the push of as button or turn of a key.
- Self-propelled or push?
Self-propelled mowers move forward without you having to push it, all you have to do is steer. If you have a flat lawn, then go for push mowers but if you have a large and hilly yard, then self-propelled ones are best for you.
- Variable speed
If you want a self-propelled mower, look for models with variable speed. This feature allows you to make adjustments within a continuous range so you can find the exact speed that’s comfortable for you.
Always buy a mower that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty and follow the manufacturer’s routine maintenance instructions for cleaning the mower after use, keeping the blade sharp, keeping the engine tuned up for gas mowers and keeping the batteries charged for cordless mowers.