Are you looking for the best lawn mower on your budget? In this review, we will guide you through some topics about lawn mowers.
First, we have to know what is our topic?
- Size Of Your Lawns
- Walk-Behind Mowers
- Deciding To Go Big Or Go Small
- The 30 Inch Mower
- Zero Turn or Lawn Tractor
01. Size Of Your Lawns:
Now the first consideration, of course, is the size of your lawn. Measuring your lawn is the first key to unlocking everything else when it comes to lawn care. And fertilizing your lawn and knowing how much fertilizer to buy. But when it comes to purchasing a mower, the lawn size is important in knowing how much time you’re going to need to put in each week to get your maintenance done.
02. Walk-Behind Mowers:
Now from my experience, most folks mow their lawn a minimum of one time per week, sometimes twice. But mowing also includes edging weed whacking and cleanup, and if this process takes more than about 75 minutes from start to finish, it becomes more of a chore rather than a time of enjoying being outside.
So, I use that 75 minutes is my standard here. Now of course this isn’t true for everyone. Some of us enjoy mowing for hours and hours and hours. But for the most part, there are times when you just need to get out and get it done in a workman-like fashion and 75 minutes just seems to be about the tolerance level that most people have. And so I’m going to start with the 21 or 22-inch standard walk behind mower 21 or 22-inch walk-behind mowers are what you’re going to find at most big box stores. I recommend this size mower if your lawn is 8000 square feet or smaller.
Additionally, if your lawn is bigger than 2500 square feet, you should definitely invest in a mower that is self-propelled. This basically means that as drive wheels, this makes it a true walk behind the mower and not a push mower. And the reason I recommend a self-propelled mower is this goes back to enjoying the mow. If it becomes too much like work, you’re not going to want to do it whereas if you enjoy it, you’ll want to do it more, and the more you mow the healthier your lawn will grow.
Now when you do get a self-propelled mower I recommend the rear-wheel drive. This is because the front wheels of your walk-behind mower have to come off the ground every time you turn or they’ll often come off the ground when you hit a bump. If your mower is a front-wheel drive, it’s those front wheels that are going to come off the ground and you’re going to lose the drive and you’re going to have to push through the turn.
However, if your mower is rear-wheel drive, the drive wheels will stay engaged around turns, and even over bumps typically rear-wheel drive self-propelled mowers are more expensive, but I promise you it’s worth the extra investment. Now in most cases, 2122-inch rear-wheel-drive self-propelled mowers are going to have the option to bag mulch and side discharge. And I highly recommend you get a mower that offers all three of these because there are going to be times when you’re going to need to use them.
I recommend you mulch your clippings through 90% of your most return those clippings back into the lawn and let those nutrients be recycled side discharge may be needed. However, if your lawn gets overgrown, maybe when you’re on vacation or you miss them or you get a lot of rain for weeks on end and you have to get out and cut them belong and overgrown. That’s when site discharge will be a lot better for you and then bagging is needed.
If your lawn has a disease, we’re going to want you to catch your clippings. Or if you have leaves that you need to clean up in the fall. That’s also a good opportunity to have a bagger on your mower. Lastly is the engine size. Back 1015 years ago when I first started doing this, I would tell folks looking at these walk behind mowers you want a minimum of five horsepower engine, this would be enough to keep the mower sufficiently powered through thicker grass. Or if you had to go up a slight slope.
However, some time ago, they stopped riding these smaller engines and horsepower and they went strictly to CCS which stands for cubic centimeters of displacement. Now people can argue in the comments below if they like and I think that’d be a lot of fun. But there is no real way to transpose horsepower to CCS. It just doesn’t work. So what I typically have said to folks these days is you want to look for a mower again, with all the options that I’ve recommended here.
If you want that mower to be somewhere around 160 CCS coupled to tree less couple, two or three more, you’ll be good to go. I can tell you if you’re taking my advice here and you’re getting one of these rear-wheel-drive self-propelled mowers, it’s going to be real close to that 100, And see STC standard Some manufacturers are add a couple of ticks extra just so they can talk about that in their marketing. But they’re all going to come in right around that PowerPoint.
Now, what will it cost for this mower, probably somewhere north of $400? To get the mower with all of these options that I’m recommending, of course, there are other options that you might want to get such as electric start or blade stop. And in that case, you could pay upwards of 850, or even $900 for a 21 or 22-inch mower. The good news here is this is an extra investment, I understand that. But this mower should last you eight to 10 years. And if you look at it over the total cost of ownership, it’s well worth it to be able to enjoy the mow, especially if you’re somebody that’s committing to getting a nice lawn and committing to mowing as often as I recommend.
03. Deciding To Go Big Or Go Small:
Okay, now, let me just offer a little bit of clarity here. These are not hard and fast rules. These are just my opinions and suggestions. Because listen, you’ll see me running my 42-inch Zero Turn here on my 10,000 square-foot lawn, which is actually at 500. I’m just too scared to admit that I have a lawn that small, but that’s okay because, with the ZT on this lawn, I can get the whole thing done with a double cut in like 30 minutes, and right now and coming up into our rainy season when the st.
Org really takes off, I’ll be mowing my lawn every three days. So having something like this at my disposal, especially if I get to it with some weeknight lawn work is very important. The key is I’m just trying to give you some baselines for you to make your decision on whether you want to move up or down depending on how much you want to enjoy the mow and how you want to enjoy it.
04. The 30-Inch Mower:
Next, let’s look at the 30-inch walk behind. Now there are not too many choices in this relatively new category, but it’s one that’s important. I of course have the Toro time master which is the one I’ve been using for several years now. And I would recommend 30-inch mowers of this type for lawns 8000 to 15,000 square feet. Again, keeping with our 75 minutes of total mow time, likely with a larger lawn you’re going to have more weed whacking and edging to do so anything more than 15,000 square feet and you’ll probably be over that 75-minute timeframe.
Just FYI because if you do like to walk you can easily use a 30-inch mower up to 25,000 square feet and have a great time with it. Now because these have two blades and a wider deck you do get a cleaner cut. Now the other thing here is is these mowers will always be self-propelled and rear-wheel drive. That’s because they’re just so heavy, there really isn’t a way that you could push this mower.
But one thing to consider is even though this mower is heavier, it’s still not too heavy to transport by yourself, or move around easily or get underneath it to sharpen the blades, you can expect to pay right around $1,000 for a mower of this size for homeowners up for one of the commercial versions and the price can go up. But I rarely recommend getting the commercial versions for homeowners because you’re just not going to be using the lawn more day in and day out doing 10 or 15 lawns with it.
05. Zero Turn Or Lawn Tractor:
Lastly, let’s talk about riding mowers, primarily zero turns and tractors. I’m not going to do a great deal of comparison between these two different platforms today, but I will say this, the tractor is much more of a leisurely mode and the zero-turn is much more of an active mode. And you guys have heard me use those terms before when I’ve talked about self-propulsion in walk-behind mowers and I’ll link up here in the eye to the comparison I did between the Honda HR x and the Toro super recycler, so you can get a refresher there. But in short, the zero-turn is much quicker and much more highly maneuverable.
Whereas the tractor is I’m gonna say, more chill. It’s not necessarily more comfortable, but it’s definitely more chilled. It also offers more flexibility to tow things around and pull implements. Even though you could do that with a zero-turn a tractor is much more practical for that type of work. Now one thing to note, if you’re looking to upgrade to a zero turn or a tractor, almost all of these come standard with side discharge only.
So, if you want to bag or mulch, you’re definitely going to have to invest over and above the cost of the mower to get that option. Another thing to consider and that is for those of you that are mowing a lawn over 15,000 square feet, but maybe you’re at like 16 or 17,000 and you’re looking at that 30-inch time master versus upgrading to one of these writing options, is it the riding mowers, they’re not easy to get underneath and they’re not easy to move and in fact, if you’re going to move it or take it somewhere you’re going to have to have a trailer to do that.
The other thing with tractors and zero turns is to sharpen the mower blades you can either take the deck which I have found not to be too handy, or you have to invest in a mower jack which is something that I have done so again another investment just to be able to sharpen the blades. The next thing is there’s a lot more maintenance that comes with a zero Turner tractor for example.
Just tire pressure alone can change the cut you have to monitor the tire pressure on these are your cut can be uneven without you even realizing it. Whereas with the plastic solid wheels that are on the walk-behinds that’s really never a concern. A zero-turn with a 42-inch deck can chew through 15,000 square feet in under 40 minutes, even with obstacles, and the average lawn tractor with the same size deck probably would only take 15 minutes or so.
Still though with trimming and edging you are for sure well under that 75 minutes standard. From here upgrading the deck size is a matter of your purse. general preference, I run a 42-inch John Deere on my 25,000 square foot project lawn and enjoy a good 70 to 75 minutes of just constant mowing. But I’ve also run my 54-inch lawn tractor out of the Freedom factory, which is 100,000 square feet, and enjoyed four straight hours of mowing.
When you get to this level, the options are infinite, you can get done really fast by getting a larger mower, or you can get done a little bit slower by getting a smaller one. Just remember, the more obstacles you have on your lawn, the more difficult it is to get around them with a wider deck. And I’m going to reiterate here, if you like to move fast and furious and be up on it and be moving all the time, you’re going to want to go with a zero-turn.
But if you’d like to chill a bit, while also being able to pull around carts and fun stuff like that and feel like a farmer, then you’re going to want to go with a lawn tractor. And that’s where I’ll leave you with this. When it comes to tractors and zero turns, the more comfortable the mow, the more often you’ll show because remember, I’ve been talking about mowing once a week. But really when we get into the heavy growing season, which most of us are coming into now, it’s really best to mow every three or four days.
And that’s another consideration that you want to make. Maybe you won’t have to edge trim and blow every single time but you’re definitely going to have to mow so if you can get it done quicker, especially on a Wednesday night when daylight is a little bit shorter because you work late that day. That’s when these considerations can really come into play.
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