April 7, 1999 at 10:24 am #13699RichGuest
I’m in the process of purchasing my first lawnmower. My property is about a third of an acre (including the house). I understand that a mulcher is good for the grass and helps it grow. Many lawnmowers I’ve been researching also come with a bag as an option. Do I need a bag? When would I bag as opposed to mulch? Anyone have any suggestions regarding reliable brands? Any info would certainly help.
April 7, 1999 at 11:16 am #81439Henry in MIGuest
Hi, Rich. You are close to violating the first rule of a lawn which is “Never buy a house with more lawn than your wife can mow!”
Seriously, the choice of a mower has more to do with you than it does with the lawn. Your physical activity level, time to devote to the lawn and interest in taking care of the lawn will dictate your choice of mower. One of my neighbors mows his every day with an electric mower. It is his daily exercise and the clippings are very small. He has no need for a bagger and the clippings rot away quickly, which is beneficial and keeps down fertilizer cost–not that it matters to him. Having the prettiest lawn on the block is important to him.
I start fighting with my kids about a week after the last mowing to do it again, which means mine gets cut about every 2 weeks. The clippings are long and tend to clump. A bagger makes sense for us because the clumps sit on top of the lawn, turn brown and cause thatch problems. Our town collects the clippings and turns them into mulch. Disposing of the clippings can be a problem in some towns so be sure and check this out.
As far as brands, how you take care of the mower and store it will have more to do with it’s longevity than the brand name. Wash the clippings out from under the deck and change the oil twice a year with 4 cycle engines and a cheap one will still last many years. Drain the gas after the last mowing and put the chemical (Gum Out or similar) in the tank that keeps varnish from forming and it will start right up next year. I got to start doing that some year. Fighting with the mower in the spring gives me the excuse to put in a new spark plug, change the oil and sharpen the blade. After a lot of pulling, it eventually starts.
I think these contrasts are pretty typical and that I have given you the info to make a good decision. What “bells and whistles” you want and need–self-propelled, electric start, etc.–again will be determined by your usage. Have fun shopping.
Henry in MI
April 19, 1999 at 8:54 am #81510ronGuest
I would recommend finding a lawnmower that has a bag, unless you love to rake.
Most mowers today are mulching, but you still want the option to bag. The idea of mulching is over-rated.
Also, if your yard is rough (bumpy), you might choose a model with large rear wheels.
Many of the self-propelled mowers nowdays do not let you pull the mower in reverse. The wheels lock.
I agree that you want to get the options you need. At least look for s BS motor and a bag.
April 20, 1999 at 10:53 am #81515Jay JGuest
The current issue of Consumer Report has an evaluation of lawnmowers, among other things. It talks about many types and many mfgrs..
Mulching may be over-rated depending on your perspecitive. BUT, if you are a text-book lawnmower-ist, then since you’re only cutting 1/3rd of the blade at a time, mulching is a very good idea. Beyond that 1/3rd, the grass may ‘clump’, mulch-mower or not. My Ariens is a mulchers, bagger, and side-shooter. I am not a textbook lawnmower-ist. (I cut whatever grass there is to cut, 1/3rd or not, and I mulch.)
I know B&S are good engines but I can’t speak much for what they’re mounted on. Our household used a B&S before my time, and as a kid (and as a young adult) for 20+ years. But, we didn’t have that much to cut either.
A few tips: Keep the blade sharp, usually once per year. DO the annual maintenance on the mower that’s in the owner’s manual. (It will lengthen the lifetime of your mower!) Don’t use the mower as a wood chipper. Keep your lawn free of stones and stuff. Keep the mower covered or in a shed. I’m sure there are others but these are the ones I follow very closely.
My best to ya, and as usual, hope this helps.
May 5, 2000 at 8:19 pm #91414mikeGuest
I have a Lawn Boy self propelled that I purchased new 21 years ago. Because it is a 2 stroke I never have to change oil. I just put a can of Lawn Boy oil in my 2 gal. gasoline can when the can is empty, then fill the can with gasoline. Mine is the cast aluminum deck, which is light weight and stiff and has a clippings bag.
My two boys mowed our lawn and other lawns and they love it. The boys have used other other lawn mowers but prefer the lawn boy. It starts the first pull, it is light than many other brands.
Over the years I have repaired it myself. Rebuilt the carburator(3 parts). Sharpen the blade(vise & bastard file). Replaced the magneto(I forgot the part name). Replaced the rope. Two new spark plugs(they last a long time).
Lawn Boys are quieter than other brands.
May 12, 2001 at 12:06 pm #105465Robby PommierGuest
Anyone know of a website where Murray mowers are sold and priced??
October 23, 2002 at 9:39 am #122620Shannon AllegoodGuest
I tried to start my lawnmower and the engine acts like it wants to turn over sometimes but it is very slow, then when I initiate ignition at other times it only clicks or gives a sound like a loud whirring. What could be wrong? Also the lights don’t come on, they worked before this problem but I’m not sure if the lawnmower actually has to be running for the lights to work
April 14, 2003 at 6:36 pm #155619Mike DunnGuest
So what do I do now……..siphon off the old gas, change the sparkplug, check filter …….
and then if that doesn’t work – What next?
April 24, 2003 at 5:43 pm #157404icefox_12Guest
i’m having trouble with my ridding lawn mower my berrings in my lawn mower are all shot how can i fix it.
June 5, 2003 at 11:39 am #164251larryGuest
12hp briggs need help setting time
March 26, 2004 at 11:15 pm #223245richard mccarrenGuest
do you a recall on murray lawmower
April 8, 2004 at 12:51 am #226820KennyGuest
Need advice on cleaning and adjusting B&S carburetor………………thanks in advance
April 22, 2004 at 12:23 am #230587StephenGuest
Has anyone had experience (good or bad) with replacement mulching blades with the small fins on the back – like Gator mulching blades. I’m looking for something that might work a little better than the standard craftsman blade, especially for leaves in the fall.
May 9, 2004 at 1:51 pm #234275Joe BaranGuest
My John Deere riding mower won’t start. It just backfires when I try to start it.Gas,oil, filters all OK. Spark Plug 6 months old. New Ignition system put in last year.Battery brand new What should I try.
May 15, 2004 at 7:56 pm #235673RandyGuest
Looking for A Statesman Manual for a riding lawnmower need to find out about all the springs and see how it is put together
May 20, 2004 at 5:32 pm #236744FrankGuest
I have a 7 year ride on snapper (mows about a acre of grass) that the fron axel cracked, causing the belt assebley to hit the axel and cut into the metal. Question I have -is it worth getting the front axel repaired/replaced or should I get a new mower?
June 3, 2004 at 5:22 pm #239456mark barnesGuest
my mower will not move when i engage trans. it’s hard to put in gear. but when motor is off a in gear wheels will roll free.
June 19, 2004 at 9:18 pm #242497JeffGuest
My 42in Murray leaves a Mohawk when I cut. I have changed the blades and they are correct but it still does it. Any suggestions?
June 19, 2004 at 9:31 pm #242499JIMGuest
MY RIDING MOWER WONT START REPLACED THE BATTERY AND THE ALTERNATOR BUT STILL WONT START WHEN I TURN THE KEY THE ALTERNATOR JUST MAKES A CLICKING SOUND. HELP
June 20, 2004 at 7:35 pm #242624JeffGuest
Its sits level and the tire pressure is ok. It is leaving a strip in the middle between the two blades but the blades are correct?
June 27, 2004 at 11:57 am #243897tom babbittGuest
need a daigram
August 9, 2004 at 2:26 pm #249721marinifarmsParticipant
We have just purchased an older KGro 43″ riding lawnmower and need to sharpen the blades. Are there instructions on how it is done correctly using a bench grinder. They are mulching blades, so there is a lump that needs to be sharpened.
December 23, 2005 at 3:17 pm #269953Priddyky2006Participant
How do you take a pulley off the deck? I can’t get the top nut off. Frank
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