What made you buy a new lawn mower?

Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
9,944
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
I get a kick out of the amount of hand wringing Bitoggers do on choosing motor oil for lawn mowers.
I’ve changed out my lawn mower which was 18 years old and it had nothing to do with engine wear, which by the way was pretty much non-existent. My latest mower is a Toro self propelled with a Honda GCV 160. It replaced the Craftsman self propelled equipped with a Honda GCV that was still running fine after 18 years.

This is why I changed it out.

1. A screaming deal came on on a brand new return. I knew the manager of the outdoor department at the local Home Depot and he gave it to me for half price. The original owner said he didn’t like the Personal Pace system because he felt like “ the mower took off on him” when he pressed the bar.
2. The Personal Pace push bar was way more comfortable than the hand grip on the Craftsman, and no, it doesn’t “take off”.
3. The Toro had an automatic choke that has worked flawlessly.
4. The old mower started to have minor leakage at the gasket and collected a black film. I guess I could have still given it a good cleaning.
5. The height adjustment lever was slipping and I had to wire it to keep it from dropping.

I still kept the old mower and use it on neighbours lawns and crappy areas of rough lawns.The old mower works great. The oil was was changed every year or two with whatever xw30 or 30 grade conventional “ lawnmower oil” I had laying around. Sometimes it was synthetic and sometimes not. Still does not burn oil. Here is a shot of the tag on the old mower.

Why did YOU buy a new mower?

58685B77-EA2C-4190-A480-AF7334581DFC.jpeg
 
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Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
11,888
Location
Illinois
Old one was close to 20 years old and I got tired of fixing the handle. It owed me nothing. I think I still got $20-$25 for it on FB marketplace.

A Honda powered push mower at Lowe's was around $250 give or take. If I get 10 years out of it, that's what $25/year. My time is worth something, so tinkering with a mower is an act of diminishing returns.

I still mow, without self-propelled, etc. because exercise has its value as well.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
49
I don't have a big yard. I tried to go "green" for a number of years with a Scotts manual reel mower. It sucked. I went on vacation and came back to a jungle that the mower couldn't cut. That was it. I bought a used Craftsman for $25.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
15,070
Location
Central NY
This is my fifth summer being a homeowner. I have yet to buy a mower!

My current hand-me-down is a combination of a few mowers. When I first got it, the engine itself and gas tank were completely full of water. I was able to bring it back to life, but that particular engine only went a few years before it lost compression and died. I suspect the corrosion inside of the engine destroyed the piston rings / piston itself. It got a new engine and that worked a few years until I ran over the mower with my pickup. It bent the deck, broke the cable and handle along with bending one of the wheels. I was able to throw some used parts at it to get a few more years out of it and it has mobil1 synthetic 20w50.

The current engine isn't a mosquito fogger like the last one. That one just got top ups as needed and I never really did much to change the oil because it burnt so much. However, I haven't changed the oil in this one since I swapped it in. My yard is small. I spend maybe 4 hours a year mowing the lawn.

I have a nicer free unit hanging out in the yard that needs a coil and I'll probably switch to that soon, it's pretty nice.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
3,347
Old one was close to 20 years old and I got tired of fixing the handle. It owed me nothing. I think I still got $20-$25 for it on FB marketplace.

A Honda powered push mower at Lowe's was around $250 give or take. If I get 10 years out of it, that's what $25/year. My time is worth something, so tinkering with a mower is an act of diminishing returns.

I still mow, without self-propelled, etc. because exercise has its value as well.

The grass portion of my property is a little over an acre and a half. While not for the exercise (bike, hike, gym for that) I get what you are saying. Last few years my boys have done all the mowing as their chore. This spring I'm home and they have middle school and high school ball 6 and sometimes 7 days a week. I have mowed the lawn 3x's so far this year. The month of May in NY has been a truly beautiful one! I am actually enjoying mowing the lawn and the mental escape it provides.

FWIW I also have a Honda engine mower bought at HD for $350 IIRC. That mower has been pounded and beat and just keeps going. I change the oil about every 2 years. I replaced the belt a few years ago and thought it messy!! Shouldn't have to remove the engine to change a belt. It was easy though; just more than it should be in my opinion.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,477
Location
Juno Beach FL
I've had a couple of mowers, 15-20 years old. Most had the oil changed once a year at the start of a new season with whatever open container of motor oil happened to be sitting in the garage. They all eventually fell apart, but the motors always ran with my strict maintenance schedule.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2014
Messages
653
Location
Virginia, USA
My land is quite ruff and no matter what I do (box blade, landscape rake, 400 lbs or 1000 lbs roller etc), it is always extremely rough by the next season because of soil heaving caused by our freeze/thaw cycles. So instead of continuing to try to smooth out the yard, I bought a Ferris zero-turn with the four wheel independent suspension and a suspension seat. Now I’m mowing my speed-bump-like lawn while riding on a cloud…at 10 MPH.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
2,062
Location
Ontario, Canada
I was young and stupid but I must say, I still have it and works like a charm. I bought a Craftsman mulcher (6.25HP B&S), that was a new return at a Sears outlet store for $200 over 15 years ago. At the time I was using my dad's hand me down, an old Snapper rear bagger with a 3.25HP B&S that needed a coil but again, I was stupid to have gotten rid of it, but I must say mulching is way easier and grass clippings are not collected where I live regardless.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
11,888
Location
Illinois
The grass portion of my property is a little over an acre and a half. While not for the exercise (bike, hike, gym for that) I get what you are saying. Last few years my boys have done all the mowing as their chore. This spring I'm home and they have middle school and high school ball 6 and sometimes 7 days a week. I have mowed the lawn 3x's so far this year. The month of May in NY has been a truly beautiful one! I am actually enjoying mowing the lawn and the mental escape it provides.

FWIW I also have a Honda engine mower bought at HD for $350 IIRC. That mower has been pounded and beat and just keeps going. I change the oil about every 2 years. I replaced the belt a few years ago and thought it messy!! Shouldn't have to remove the engine to change a belt. It was easy though; just more than it should be in my opinion.

My previous house was from 1/2 to 3/4s of an acre. This home is bigger, but with a smaller yard. Now that the kids are all grown, we'll ditch the 4 bedroom home as oilBabe and I don't really need so many unused bedrooms.

But probably not for a few years as she will retire from her first career in the next three years if all goes to plan and then it will make some sense to look at our options.

Anyway, we'll be looking for smaller home, an perhaps a bit bigger yard or even some land for the retirement homestead. So I too get what you are saying.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Messages
215
Location
WI
Bought my first ever riding mower a week after moving into our new house, about 3 years ago. It sits on a 1.9 acre lot which had been not been mowed in several weeks. During the summer, that's about a foot or more of grass.

Lowe's had mowers lined up outside as they typically do during spring/summer. I found a Husqvarna YTH24V48 with the Briggs&Stratton air-cooled v-twin at a price that I thought was a typo. They usually sell for $2500 and this one was listed for $900 o_O That was 2018. Turns out it was "pre-owned" and returned/exchanged for a new because the first owner messed up the cutting deck. It was easily fixed and put on sale just at the right time for my needs.

Now in its 4th summer cutting season, it really hasn't skipped a beat. I broke one belt a year ago but replaced it myself for about $20. Otherwise, just simple maintenance (oil changes, a set of spark plugs, one air and one fuel filter). It currently has 150 hours on it.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
518
Location
Rochester, NY
I don't worry about which oil goes in the mower, or how well it's prepared for winter, etc. One of my teenagers or wife will run it into a root or a rock and kill it before it dies of poor maintenance. And that's the reason why I bought the last two lawnmowers.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
18,649
Location
NH
I bought one because I bought a house and "needed" one. I think I made it 8 years before the deck rotted out? Not bad for $100. Found a replacement on CL for $20 or $40, forget now, but it was identical, not running but I knew how to fix it. Got a couple of riders for free (inherited), and got two push mowers for free (one broken, one perfect). Last year I gave into temptation and dropped $100 on a rider as my last rider rotted out; was a mistake to buy but kinda fun in its own way. Just got another free rider and with any luck I'll get the head gaskets replaced for cheap money.

More of a game to me. It's not how little can I spend but a combination of "can I keep it going" and "for how much?"

I have an acre, maybe 1.5 acres? It's probably 3-4 hours with a push mower. Good workout but after an hour I've had enough.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,464
Location
Richmond, VA
I'm about to take a 12 gauge to my Lawnboy. Stupid rear wheels are a PITA. But since the Kohler starts right up and runs like a champ, I will probably do some redneck repairs to keep her going for another year or 10.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
9,966
Location
Ontario, Canada
I bought the $300 used riding mower maybe 5 years ago now. Its hydrostat so its nice for jigging around all the stuff my wife plants all over the place... I've tubed the old tires and it needed a coil this spring but I find simple sheet metal machinery is kind of fun to work on, and it is much faster than the push mower.
 

wwillson

Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,235
Location
Naperville, IL
I had a perfectly good Honda mower and I hit the buffalo box shutoff stand. The crank was bent about 10° to the side. Replace the engine with another Honda replacement engine and now I don't get within a couple feet of the shutoff.
 
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