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Choosing a Lawnmower - Which Type is Best?

Jul 7, 2008
There are many different types of lawnmowers with a vast array of features over a large price range. If you are shopping for a new lawnmower which one should you go for? We have put together the advantages, uses and cost range of the popular types together with some examples to help you before your next purchase.

The Different Types of Lawnmowers

Simple Push Mowers around $100

Simple reel mowers, ideal for a small lawn. Not suitable for anything larger unless you have a lot of energy!
Examples American Lawn Mower Company 18-Inch Reel Mower, Scotts 18-Inch Deluxe Push Reel Lawn Mower

Cordless or Corded Electric Lawnmowers $200 - $400

Electric mowers are easy to start and quieter than the gas powered models. Lighter weight and with fewer emissions they are considered to be more environmentally friendly. the obvious disadvantage of corded electric mowers is the necessity of dragging around the cord and restriction in the range, usually under 100ft. Cordless models are more expensive but give you freedom to move around more easily, but you are then restricted by the battery life between recharges. The most powerful models are less powerful than the top range gas powered models but should be adequate for most lawns. In addition they are not usually as reliable as gas-powered models and getting an electric mower repaired may be more difficult.

Examples Black & Decker 18-Inch 6.5 Amp Electric Mower,

Gas-Powered Mowers $400 - $700

From hand push to those with a more sophisticated cruise control like system. Toro lawnmowers in this range are fitted with personal pace self-propel system reaching a comfortable 4 mph. Also look for a recycling system to turn your cuttings into valuable mulch for your lawn. Lawnmowers in this range are fitted with either an electric key start system or a recoil pull start. We personally prefer an electric start. These mowers will need regular maintenance and can be noisy to operate, often around 85 decibels or louder. These mowers are recommended for lawns under 1/2 acre.

Examples Toro SR4 Super Recycler gas-powered mower, Lawn-Boy Insight Series 21-Inch 6.5 HP Gas Powered Self-Propelled Lawn Mower, Poulan Pro 21-Inch Side Discharge/Mulch/Bag Push Mower with 6 HP Briggs & Stratton Engine

Lawn and Garden Tractors more than $1000

For the really serious home owner with a large area of grass or the small commercial enterprise, lawn and garden tractors are ideal. More expensive than the gas or electric powered models but you will cut your grass in record time and be comfortably seated while doing it! Lawn and garden tractors can also be fitted with a wide range of attachments to turn your tractor into a multi-purpose riding machine. Attach a front blade to clear soil, leaves or other debris, turn it into a snowblower with another attachment or hitch up a trailer to move small loads.

Examples Toro LX Series Tractors, Husqvarna #LGT2654 960430036 26HP 54" Garden Tractor

Zero Turn Lawnmowers $3000 and above

For large areas of grass with obstacles, such as trees, benches, birdbaths etc an zero turn mower will be ideal. Fast, reliable, zero turn mowers give an excellent cut and a comfortable ride and most perform well on uneven ground. Built to last these mowers are expensive, typically above $3000. Most come with a choice of bagging or mulching. these are large machines so finding a place to store them could be a problem!

Examples Swisher Max Z ZT2660B zero-turn mower - Consumer Guide Best Buy Award
Toro Titan Z Z4800 Model 74812 zero-turn mower - Consumer Guide Best Buy Award

Robomowers $1300 - $2500

Becoming more popular, robomowers are literally start up and forget it! There is even a solar powered model that will trundle itself back to its recharging dock when its battery is low. Setting up your yard for the robomower to work may take between 1-2 hours. Robomowers are better on square, even lawns with few obstacles. They may work less efficiently if your yard has trees or other large objects. Durability seems to be a problem with some models and they are pricey. With the batteries the mowers tend to be heavy.

Examples Husqvarna Automower, Friendly Robotics Robomower
About the Author
Read more and find some great deals in new and used Toro lawnmowers at Toro Lawnmowers and Toro Snowblowers at Toro Snowblowers
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