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My next mower

1589 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  joebd5
Hi everyone
I am sure this topic has been opened a hundred times, but I would appreciate your thoughts on my needs and make some recommendations for my next mower.

I have just bought a new house and have about 1000 squares of lawn, just under half an acre. I have to mention at this point that I have an existing electric rotary that still works pretty well, but the cable is a pain, and I m finding it a lot of lawn to cut with this mower.

I would love a ride on, but am worried that it is over kill. If I do convince myself that I need a ride on, the Snapper hi vac is winning here. The negative is the high cost, and with bag on the back, it would not likely fit into my shed, so I would need to go without a bag, and then I would have clipping lying on my fresh cut lawn, not ideal with 3 year old twins.

Then there is self propelled to consider. I have looked at the Snapper hi vac, only concern here is how easy the bag will be to lift off and empty into our council approved bins, guess I need to play at the shop to see how easy this is, but I think it would better with a hard grass catcher. I have also looked at cylinder mowers. These are very appealing, but I am worried about how durable it will be with hitting the odd obstacle like small stones. I also have 3 short hills in my lawn, I have read cylinder mowers should not be used on hills.

So, suggestions and comments would be appreciated, should I bite the bullet and stick with what I have, go all out for the ride on or consider one of the self propelled (with a petrol engine)?


The other option
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If I were in your position and could justify the cost of a riding mower over a walk behind, that is what I would go with if it were my only lawnmower.

Some positives to consider if you go with a riding mower:

1. To state the obvious, riding mowers offer much less fatigue if you're going to be mowing a lot of grass.

2. Can be used for other things as well such as pull behind attachments: lawn sweeper, dump carts, thatcher, blade etc...

3. Cuts down on mowing time.


1. Initial cost.

2. Not nearly as maneuverable in tight areas. If you have a lot of these typs of areas where it requires a lot of back and forth turning, you will more than likely need to use a walk behind for those areas. Think of driving a car and making multiple point turns.

3. More costly to maintain and upkeep. You would have 2 or more blades to sharpen each time, more fuel, more belts to replace etc.

Those are a few of the main things in my mind to think about when considering a riding mower over a walk behind. Really the main thing is cost though. If you have any lawnmower dealers in your area, go check out some riding mowers and compare them to the walk behinds and see what you think. They will even probably let you test drive the riders too.

If you want a step above what you already have, yet don't want to pay a good chunk of cash for a riding mower, I say comprimise and get yourself and nice quality self propelled walk behind such as a Honda or Toro.

Whatever it may be though, be sure to research the particular machine to find out how they hold up. :)
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Thanks Austen, I am sure there are a lot of people out there that want a ride on, but need to find that perfect excuse to justify getting one. Quite a few shops have said my lawn is too small and I have at times lost sight of the point of the ride on, that is to make my lawn cutting easier and actually fun. I think a self propelled will make life a little easier, but it certainly won't be as much fun as the ride on. Now I just need to justify spending double the money on a ride on vs a self propelled. I suppose in the end it is me that needs to decide if my lawn is big enough or not.

I will post when I finally decide what I am going to do.
1/2 acre is not too small for a rider, but you need the correct rider. The Dixon 30" zero turn, or the Toro 30" zero turn would be an excellent fit. They are both fast, low maintenance, dependable, and if you have never used a zero-turn don't be concerned, they are very intuitive.
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