How to Buy a Lawn Mower

A Lesson in the Fine Art of Trimming your Grass

This is a brief once-over of the pros and cons of the four main types of lawn mowers. Ultimately the choice is personal, but hopefully you'll learn something new about a style you have not used yet in order to buy the best lawnmower possible for your neeeds. If you are looking specifically for a guide to buying a lawn tractor, check out this detailed information.

Manual Mowers

  • Because of the absence of generated power, the manual mower is quiet and is the most environmentally friendly choice.
  • It can be more difficult to use if you do not mow your lawn regularly, and need to cut longer grass.
  • Prices vary according to the quality of components used and adjustability, which may include height modification and the ability to alter settings between the cutting blades relative to grass thickness and length.
  • Best suited for small areas because of the physical exertion required to operate it.

Rechargeable Mowers

  • The rechargeable mower offers silent and safe mowing with its lack of fumes and eliminated risk of electric shocks.
  • Many offer the same features as gas mowers like 3-in-1 options for mulching, bagging, or side-discharge of clippings.
  • This style of mower is designed for areas of less than 5000 square feet (unless you  choose a solar model), as its charge is limited.


Electric Mowers

  • Although not as quiet as the manual or rechargeable models, the electric mower is still quieter than the gas variety.
  • The need for an electric connection limits the area it will cover.  It is recommended for areas of 5000 square feet or less, unless once again, you choose to go with a solar model.
  • This style of mower is designed for areas of less than 5000 square feet (unless you  choose a solar model), as its charge is limited.
  • Electric mowers are light and non-toxic, and provide options of regular cutting or mulching blades.

The Solar Mower or Enviromower

  • The solar mower is easier to use than gas-powered mowers.
  • Eco-friendly motor is non-polluting and extra quiet.
  • Simply squeeze the handlebar to start.
  • Cuts up to 10,000 square feet on a single battery charge (or up to an hour).  An extra battery for longer cutting jobs will set you back around $100 depending on the brand.
  • Little more expensive to buy than a gas-powered mower, but lower maintenance and operating costs will make up for it over time.

The Gas Mower

  • The gas mower is the most popular model for its power and ability to reach all types of terrain.  It is, however, very noisy and hearing protective gear is recommended.
  • Maintenance is high as it requires gas to run, oil changes, and annual tune-ups. Simple DIY maintenance books are readily available.
  • Most gas mowers come with mulching blades and model choices include two or four strokes, push or self-propelled, and electric or manual start.

Tractor Or Ride-On Mowers

**If your are looking for a detailed guide on buying tractor or ride-on mowers, click here. Otherwise, keep reading for a brief overview.

If you have the luxury of a big yard or if you're just not at the top of your physical form, a lawn tractor might be a good investment.

Lawn tractors come in a wide variety of models.  If the possibility of attaching many different accessories is important to you, like a trailer or a snowplow, a tractor model would be your best bet.  On the other hand, if your yard has plenty of obstacles such as trees or rocks, a sitting mower with a zero turn radius, would be more appropriate. Sitting mowers allow you to make tighter circles around bed and trees and therefor saves you time on hand trimming.   

Generally speaking, the higher the horsepower the more efficient - but more expensive - your mower will be.  If your grass tends to be wet a lot, a more powerful motor will perform best for you, but ultimately, your individual needs will determine your budget.  If you don't already have an appropriate place to store your mower, you will have to add the cost of a shed or suitable storage facility to your total budget.

Maintenance can be expensive for ride-on and tractor mowers as they require regular changes of oil and air filters if you plan to maximize your investment.  Also, an often overlooked nuisance is how to transport a mower of this size for maintenance and repairs.

When you start thinking about purchasing a tractor or lawnmower be sure to do your homework:  ask lots of questions, talk to your friends and neighbors in order to find out what they like or don't like, and research blogs on the internet.  All this will allow you to better understand what you need before you buy. 

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